Archives For HOBBIES

Apple has posted a really cool page on how to use the iPhone Camera system better.

Well worth a look:


Woodworking is tough as it’s easy to start a project, really difficult to get it over the finish line.  (It’s just like the video game industry!)

So, I (on impulse) decided to make a wooden bench at the William NG – School of Fine Woodworking.  It can’t be that hard, right?

What’s 3D joinery?  Well, by my count there’s over 30 different wood surfaces that all need to align absolutely perfectly, all simultaneously touch to get everything to fit together.  Let’s just say it’s a 30+ dimensional problem. If you get it right, you don’t even need glue!  (I needed a lot of glue!)

The instructor insisted that all the joinery HAD to be done with traditional Japanese hand saws and hand chisels, so imagine starting some of the days knowing you have 6 hours of hand sawing!  (It took 4 days to make it.)

Let’s just say, I know how to saw now. I’m pleased how it turned out.

PS. Woodworking is interesting to me as I’ve pretty much led a digital life, so either my grandchildren will need to be happy with my old Powerpoint’s and Excel Spreadsheets, or I’d better learn to make something physical!  (That they would maybe want.)

So, that’s my challenge to you, if you are also just going to leave a digital footprint!

Photography is my current hobby, I’ve been lucky enough to get training time with some of the world’s best photographers.  (There’s a Canon Experience Center near me.)

So if you are an aspiring model, how do you get a good photographer to take your photo for free?

The answer is “TFP“, it’s a term used which basically means the photographer, stylist, make-up artist & model all work for free so they can use the results in their portfolios.

There are plenty of sites out there like Model Mayhem & MeetUp that will offer countless TFP shoots in your area.  (Your job is to find the best photographers in there.)

What I’ve learned is you just can never take enough shots.  Photographers need to get to a point where they could literally use their camera in the dark, so every adjustment is instant and not distracting to the shoot, and the models need to study what their angles and emotions look like when captured.

I recently shot a very professional model (arranged by Canon), while posing she suddenly ran through a whole set of emotions and boom, then back to normal.  It surprised me at first, but she realized I was shooting high speed, and she knew the best emotions that work with her face, and so it was fun to see someone work that must have done a thousand shoots before.

The point is, just get out there and shoot, then do it again, and again and again.  The pictures will keep getting better for everyone.

Every now and again you’ll meet someone very talented, you’ll form a team and the results make this whole process of Photography really fun.

PS. If you want dramatic shots, don’t be afraid to present your ideas!  It’s a collaboration and the photographer will enjoy the challenge.  (Just collect images up that you love on Pinterest for reference.)  In this photo below, I was challenged by the make-up artist to make a photo that was only red and white.

Original _M5A7842 FN2 - DP EDIT v02 @1080w

So… There’s nothing to stop you becoming a model, just start.

If you’ve ever taken an image with atrocious white balance, and, despite your best efforts at adjustment in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, found it shifting from one color cast to another rather than becoming neutral, today we’ve got a tutorial for f64 Academy to help. Some types of scenes are inherently more challenging to obtain correct…

via How To Fix Bad White Balance | A Simple 3 Step Method — SLR Lounge

Sangita’s Bench

April 29, 2017 — 1 Comment

One of my first “real” woodworking projects.

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ZX Spectrum Next

April 29, 2017 — Leave a comment

Super excited about this project, it’s a new “enhanced” version of the Spectrum!


Some of my Favorite Books

November 14, 2016 — 1 Comment

Chris Anderson has worked with the best speakers in the world and despite all the books on how to give good TED speeches, he decided to write the official one. It really is on the money so if you ever have to give a speech, get this book!

Was a great book when it launched, some really simple concepts (like checking you have an audience before you make the product) that many people do tend to miss.

I’ve done a lot of pitching and this book explains why you can’t download a template pitch off the internet and just fill in your data. I think of pitching as telling a story and this book makes it really clear why the “Why” matters.

This is a short and very simple book that just reminds you that an offer can be improved, and offers ideas on how to think about improving it. It wasn’t a GREAT book, I just keep finding myself thinking about the ideas when I see someone pitching a product.

This is really a psychology book, with really interesting examples of how changing a few words can impact a business. A good example was “Will you call our restaurant if you can’t make your reservation” vs “Please call”. Saying “Will you” gets a commitment and can improve the business.

Seth Godin writes a lot of books, but this one remains one of my favorites thinking about teams and social groups.

Modern thinking on how to improve engagement.

Really excited to see the final version of Jeremy Snead’s TV show “Unlocked”, he’s managed to get an interesting cast of characters involved.

You can request pre-order notification here:


Rise of the Tomb Raider

October 12, 2016 — 3 Comments

I’m obviously biased when it comes to certain games (working for Sony PlayStation) so I try to avoid game-spamming.  As I’ve been in the industry a long long time, I’m lucky enough to get to vote on games I respect, and this is definitely one of them. The work that went into this game is pretty remarkable and I’d highly recommend you give it a try.


If you miss the days of playing Pong with old-school dial controllers but would rather not track down a vintage console or arcade cabinet, today’s your lucky day. Daniel Perdomo and crew have built a real-world Pong machine that replicates the pionee…

via Real-world ‘Pong’ might just beat the video game — Engadget RSS Feed