Skate Park

I suspect there’s some lads been dying to have a look at these… Use the contact page to let me know if you’ll be setting up a soft landing for some air time & we can try to get some better shots 🙂

Well done!

Pride Gallery 2022

All images copyright © J.Sears

. All rights reserved.

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This is a test

So I am considering changing the design of the site & in doing so I’m toying with the thought of allowing a bit more interaction. In the past this has led to horrendous amounts of moderation of spam, which gets pretty tedious. However I’m not a fan of visual or audio tests or of sending people’s personal data to big tech companies.

Sometimes though compromise is necessary. So I have implemented google’s reCAPTCHA service, but only on pages where a submission is possible, ie the contact form & on any pages allowing comments. The privacy policy has been updated accordingly & pages on which it is implemented display the google reCAPTCHA widget, which includes links to their privacy & terms of use pages.

Testing comments & spam protection

COP Out 26

Humanity’s last chance at staving off catastrophe slither off to their various bolt holes to fill the bunkers and increase their investments in artificial intelligence and automated farming, robotics & weapons.

It’s not very hard to extrapolate the plan. Let’s face it if the machines can do all that do those rich folk really need us fleshy automatons they traditionally rely on for manual labour? How much tax could they not pay? Is negative tax a thing? I’m not an accountant but I honestly suspect there is, somewhere, some business benefiting from negative tax rates. Probably in the UK but who would know? The BBC seems to think balance is maintained by parroting the Government at prime time while covering the corruption & lies on excellent outlier programmes almost designed to be ignored by the majority of the population.

I found two of the arguments against action particularly galling, the most egregious of which is obviously. I paraphrase multiple delegates…

We can’t be expected to change the entire energy infrastructure of the world overnight. There needs to be a transition period in order to phase out fossil fuels

It sounds so reasonable unless you are one of the billions who have been shouting this message for 30 years, minimising driving, flying, watching the bloody water level in the kettle, turning off lights, comforted by the empty green-wash shit constantly spewing from the sewer of the “free market”

We’ve been shouting for at least 30 years that this moment was coming. The public & politicians are perfectly happy to accept all the benefits of science from computing, modern medicine, farming, logistics, financial trading, communications, modern materials, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals but apparently climate science is all bollocks. This sentiment is usually expressed on a digital computer constructed of insanely complex multilayered silicone circuits utilising streams of electrons & artificial materials all powered by vast utility systems connecting hydro electric, nuclear, wind and who knows what else, cross continental power grids run by computers & need & greed.

I once tried to express this to an individual who raged on twitter when a politician suggested we all benefit from a university education. It is very hard to explain to someone in 140 characters that every single aspect of modern life is a benefit of university educations. That’s the fecking beauty. We don’t all have to be clever or motivated. Let’s face it when people say “humanity are amazing” and “look at what we have achieved!” they are not normally talking about you, forgive me if you are some national hero inadvertently caught up in the reader’s letters page while munching on your once yearly keep up with the plebs cod ‘n’ chips November special.

In public these COP26 representatives & influential billionaires act as if this is all new to them. Incredulous that the climate is in such a terrible state. That no one has acted until now. As if every flight they took in the last 20 years wasn’t undertaken with the full knowledge of the damage it was doing to the environment. Sound familiar reader?

Today’s politicians can’t be held accountable for the decisions of their predecessors. In the UK though the first past the post electoral system, abandoned by most modern democracies, means the majority government will almost always represent a minority of the electorate.

In the United Kingdom that majority party representing a minority of the electorate accepts huge donations at both party & candidate level from many fossil fuel interests, insists that public accountability is via a 17th century electoral system in which the government is its own judge & juror of its behaviour and is committed to licensing new North sea oil fields, commissioning new coal plants & reducing duty on internal flights which are already cheaper then the same journey by rail/.

The UK has reduced the duty on internal flights.
The UK is commissioning new coal plants.
The UK is granting new North Sea Gas licences.
The UK is a rogue state.

The sooner the international community rescinds the legitimacy of this regime, the shorter the period of painful chaos its inhabitants will have to endure.

Please remember half of us have had our EU rights unwillingly torn from us by an undemocratic and corrupt regime.

Loki 10 year gallery


10 Year Gallery

Still born on May 3rd 2011 & resuscitated by her human parents Loki was the only female in her litter. The family she was reserved for changed their mind. We agreed to take her sight unseen and apart from being beautiful. She also matched our existing tom-cat Milo to a remarkable degree. Fierce, brave, beautiful, chatty & affectionate. She’s awesome!

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Spring at last!

Bluebell April 2011

I’ve never yearned for spring more earnestly then this year. She has given us a brief glorious glimpse of some potential relief from our necessary incarceration. Although it’s about to get chillier again apparently. The papers are saying a polar blast with weeks worth of snow blanketing the country is forthcoming. The met office say, average temperatures, & generally unsettled.

For me February has been the worst yet since Covid19 struck. I can’t remember feeling so low in my life. Everyday I am thankful for my situation. I feel on the very edge & yet I am in one of the best possible situations with a garden & a beach.

When I exercise on the beach social distancing is, in theory, effortless. It ought to be impossible to violate the strongly suggested 2m metre guideline or whatever distance the hapless Johnson pulls out of a lobbyists wallet this week. So it is a bit disappointing that a few people choose to pass you within a matter of centimetres when there’s metres to either side.

I got some new glasses this week. They are not exactly new but designed to fill the hole between my medium reading glasses and natural focus. I have near reading and long focus glasses to take care of the rest. There are some days however when I need none of them and then today when four pairs for every focal length won’t focus the blurry mess before me now. It makes me very, very sad. It will be fine in some random n number of days….or maybe not, who knows?

This evening, despite four pairs I can still barely see to type and the best option. In fact the only option that allows me to type at all is mother nature and squinting? Is this really the 21st century?

There are times last month where I felt I hadn’t taken a single photograph, or achieved anything else either. Photography though is like an investment, deferred pleasure, or perhaps some form of psychological nostalgic masturbation. Now I look back at what I did I’m feeling a bit more positive again. I’m satisfied for the moment that I am not, after all, the Nancy Paula Millstone Jennings of photography.

Anyway a February gallery is being brewed along with some Kite surfing shots from the 19th where the light was so bad & my ability a little off that day that it’s 20 times more work to rescue a few poorly exposed action shots than it was to take the pictures.

What Filter? Aaargh!

I assume it is an everyday occurrence these days for anyone who has taken a nice photograph to proudly show it to some friends and their response is “hmm that’s nice what filter did you use?” Sometimes you may get a slightly kinder “have you enhanced it?”. Such responses never make you feel good. They instantly imply you’re a sort of fraud taking advantage of some algorithm or someone else’s work to make yourself appear more skilful than you are.

“Nice sketch. Did you chop the wood, build your own charcoal clamp and monitor it, maintaining the correct temperature to ensure pyrolysis?”

No I didn’t use a filter.

It is important to remember that photography is a multi-skilled hobby. It’s more than pointing & clicking. Whilst it is certainly possible to spontaneously take great photographs that are perfectly exposed & beautifully framed I doubt even the best professional photographers in the world manage it every time.

Modern digital cameras are exceptionally good at taking care of the technical aspects of getting the exposure right, but if it was that easy they wouldn’t have so many different automatic settings. My Canon EOS 70D has 8 automatic modes & two manual (Manual & Bulb). That’s because shooting a landscape, a portrait, something fast or something brightly lit from behind all require a different balance of shutter speed, ISO and aperture.

You never hear someone say “Did you take it on automatic mode?”. No one piles on the shame for relying on the in-built light meter, or using aperture priority or even full auto. So what’s the obsession with whether you processed a digital image?

I learnt photography before digital cameras existed. You had to predict what film speed you might want for the next 24 or 36 exposures. My camera (a Praktica) had no automatic modes or in-built light meter & you wouldn’t know the results of the settings you chose until you could afford to have the film developed. This is what unprocessed images looked like back then.

Negative of dramtic kite surfer image
(simulated) Colour negative of kite surfer picture

With film you would now have to send the roll of film which contained this image off to a film processing company where they would develop the film, producing negatives like this. Which would then have to be processed on an enlarger – where many editorial decisions can be made & artistic processes applied if you were doing it yourself. Cropping. masking, sharpening, desaturation, exposure compensation, and on & on.

In digital photography there are no negatives just unprocessed data. You can see in the image on the right the sensor pattern before the computer in the camera applies an algorithm to extrapolate a colour image from this data. Basically from this moment on your camera manufacturer applies a subset of multiple algorithms – based upon your camera settings. In order to produce the image it displays on screen &* that you download.

Green highly patterened close up of surfer
Extreme crop of RAW digital image showing sensor pattern

Essentially the 3rd party film processing company we used to send our films off to is now the computer in your camera. Whilst you can then process that jpeg image in photo editing software if you do so you are working on a thin slice of the data available in the camera.

IMG_5272 that I’ve used on this page is impossible to expose for correctly in the standard way (HDR techniques rely on combining multiple bracketed exposures). Luckily although my compositional skills are somewhat lacking to be honest, I’m pretty good at the technical aspects of using the camera. Taking shots like this requires constant adjustment of the exposure because the lighting aspect is completely different when pointing the camera just a few degrees to the left or the right as you can see from the other shots taken in the same short session.

So in order to get something balanced I need to expose for a happy medium, I don’t want a silhouette. I know I can compensate in the ‘dark room’ to a degree. Having spent time in tiny little cramped school chemistry lab back rooms hastily converted in to a dark room for camera club. Playing with bits of cut out card taped to coat hangers I’m very very grateful that these days our computers are capable of the same artistic techniques used throughout the history of photography.

Now in the end I wasn’t 100% happy with my manual exposure choice chosen in that tiny moment in time but thanks to home developing I was able to produce something beautiful. Which image do you prefer?

Unedited. Flat tone curve.
Exposure corrected backlit surfer in the sky
Manually exposure corrected , cropped + vignette & noise reduction applied.

All images copyright © J.Sears

. All rights reserved.

Shame is not for the wealthy

Mewling discarded spermatozoon Jacob Rees-Mogg, once again determined to prove that you don’t have to have a heart or even be vaguely human to be a mouthpiece for the UK wing of the US Republican party, condemned Unicef yesterday for dedicating £25,000 to feeding starving UK children in poverty.

Detestable shit bag - Jacob rees-Mogg

A man who got paid £500 an hour for consulting for an investment firm on top of his MPs salary according to Channel 4’s dispatches programme (11th March 2019), has reportedly made millions in investments since the referendum and claimed the massive hit to the economy from brexit is worth the eventual benefits that we may have to wait A man who got paid £500 an hour for consulting for an investment firm on top of his MPs salary according to Channel 4’s dispatches programme (11th March 2019), has reportedly made millions in investments since the referendum and claimed the massive hit to the economy from brexit is worth the eventual benefits that we may have to wait 50 years for and yet voted against extending the school meal scheme ought know quite a bit about shame.50 years for and yet voted against extending the school meal scheme ought know quite a bit about shame.

However along with veracity it appears to be missing or at least redefined in the lexicon of new Conservatism that has infested Whitehall from 55 Tufton Street. It turns out “thinking of the children” is the last thing conservatives actually do despite it being the default sub heading for most conservative policies.

Conservatives ban ‘veracity’

The carnage continues throughout upper class England after the Conservatives decree ‘veracity’ is no longer cromulent.

Speculum Rees-Mogg (no relation to any real person living or dead) said “I’ve personally had to, ahem, dispose of four children due to naming three of them in honour of my aunt Milicent Verum Mortuus Est Veracity Rees Mogg (no relation to any real person living or dead) .

No relation to Veracity Rees Mogg
attribution & license

“Veracity clearly had to go, as any nod to reality within the party can lead to consequences & we thought it better to be safe than sorry with Veracitus, Veracitania and poor, dearest, dearest ,sweet, sweet Caliente How could she have ever got on at boarding school without her sisters?” The man, who was inexplicably, wearing a top hat, but had a much easier to understand ‘punch me in the face’ post-it note stuck on his back continued “In this post truth society we in the Conservatives have done more than almost any others to bring the truth to its knees begging for mercy. ”

At this point we were interrupted by a very, very small man tugging on Mr Rees-Mogg’s trousers. Mr Toad was some kind of Government source it seemed

“It is unfortunate for some. Luckily we stuck to the traditional toad family classics, Masturbatia and Unpronounciatia.” smirked the strange weasely little fellow who seemed to have forgotten to return his wind in the willows extras costume. “Cromulence is of utmost importance to the Conservative party. We need a new measure of propriety. One that only ourselves, and those who can afford a twelve week lesson in New Conservatism can understand.

Another Government spokesperson
attribution & source

Government Sources

A Government Source
Source: US Federal Govt.

It’s alleged The BBC may have talked to some Government sources:A Government source said, “the best thing about being a government source is you never have to explain who you are or how you know what you know. If the “Government” source is promoting the party line, then the Government source is “The Government” said a source.

I er.. well you..know… thought it better to……safe..than er….you know sword of damoclese er..what..come on..ha! …well…er… consequences

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