Choosing glasses. Not my favourite task.

I like glasses, but hate choosing them. Had my current pair five years and only getting new ones because my prescription’s changed. There’s just so many to choose from, and it just feels like a lot of money to get wrong. (Especially as these will be my first varifocals so markedly more expensive than single vision lenses.)

Whatever I choose, I’ll probably be stuck with them for a few years. Been into the opticians a couple of times, once on my own, and once with my wife to narrow down a shortlist.

These are currently the top two…

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I’ll be ordering them early next week.

I may choose something entirely different.

And I hope I don’t get it wrong.

Old Eyes

I think my eyes are getting old. I’ve worn glasses for distance since my late teens, and had a long spell of wearing contact lenses. But for a while I’ve suspected my next pair of glasses will need to be bifocal or varifocal. I mentioned this last time I had them tested, about three years ago, and at the time the optician didn’t recommend it.

Glasses
Photo ©2013 Trevor Coultart

But it’s now reached the frustrating stage were I’m constantly putting my glasses on or off depending what I’m doing. When using my camera, I keep them on to set up the shot and for looking through the viewfinder, but need them off to check camera settings or review shots on screen. Reading I can manage if I hold the book far enough away, but for a more comfortable position (or if the print’s too small) I tend to slip my glasses off.

And that would be fine, except I need a prism correction, as my eyes see slightly different heights, so without that corrected I end up closing one eye and reading with just one. Which can’t be good.

Going for a sight test this afternoon. Wonder what they’ll recommend…?


Update, 3pm:

Yes. I need varifocals. I think that makes me officially old. 

And that’s why they hire me.

This week I photographed a nice little mews house in the centre of Hertford for a client. I’ve just spotted it’s also on the market with a different agent. Lets compare photographs, shall we?

Exterior1a7be977b0d98a648a92b48c7d21dd7cac4109c2

6 Bailey Hall Mews (13 of 14)

Sitting Room06d30764216b75f64d89cb7e910b38599e7e22af6 Bailey Hall Mews (2 of 14)

Kitchend3822c0612d6879d744237322d70682307f85ec66 Bailey Hall Mews (5 of 14)

Bedroom One
de8c7105d610183c1d0f46038b80ea3f122da044
6 Bailey Hall Mews (9 of 14)

Bedroom Two721d7f7585fa375cd4c3671fefbd556c11f97ef06 Bailey Hall Mews (8 of 14)

Bathroom1a1633c2fb0ee9128b2184c9063b62bfec1600ea6 Bailey Hall Mews (11 of 14)

And that’s why they hire me.

Oh, and I also supplied some alternative views of the main rooms…

6 Bailey Hall Mews (12 of 14) 6 Bailey Hall Mews (14 of 14)
6 Bailey Hall Mews (7 of 14)  6 Bailey Hall Mews (6 of 14) 6 Bailey Hall Mews (4 of 14)    6 Bailey Hall Mews (3 of 14) 6 Bailey Hall Mews (1 of 14)    6 Bailey Hall Mews (10 of 14)


Update: I guess I might as well mention that if you want to rent this property, here is where you can find it.

Exhibitions are over. What now?

It was great to exhibit my work at the degree show and then at the Truman Brewery as part of their Free Range series of graduate exhibitions, where we were exhibiting alongside six other universities’ photography graduates. Thank you to all who came along to either exhibition. I had some interesting conversations with a few folk about my project, including several suggestions that I should look into publishing the book properly – including one that came up with a couple of suggestions about who to approach.

I’ve been looking for online reviews of the Free Range show, but it’s early days yet; photography Week 2 opened last night. (I may go along to have a look – there was some really great stuff on display during week 1.) At least one blogger has picked my work out as among their favourites from the show, which is rather nice. I wonder if anyone else ‘spotted’ me?

ArtAttack

The end of the exhibitions really does mean that university is all over (bar the graduation ceremony, but that’s not until September). It’s been an amazing experience to dive into student life in my (relative) maturity, and I’m hugely chuffed to have come out the other end with a Photography Degree with First Class Honours*. I’ve had in mind for ages to write something about what it’s like to be a mature student inhabiting world of mostly 20 year-olds, but that’s never really appeared. Lets just say it’s been a positive experience and has (mostly) made me feel young. Hoorah!

And so… what now?

Well my property photography business is up and running, but undeniably slow and as things stand isn’t going to make me a living. I’m hoping to develop this further as a starter, taking other commissions as and when they come my way. Let me know of any opportunities that you hear of.

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(* Disclaimer. We don’t officially know our degree classifications until the end of July, but I’ve had all my grades back for every module and if it doesn’t average out as a first they’re using a previously unknown type of mathematics.)

Exhibition Details.

I’ve been a bit busy lately. And soon, my Photography Degree comes to a conclusion with the Graduate Degree Exhibition(s).

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First off, there’s the HEADLINES, the University of Hertfordshire Degree Show. I’ve been along for the previous two years and there’s always a load of amazing work on show. The whole of the School of Creative Arts exhibits at the same time, so it’s not only Photography on show, but just about anything else: Fine Art, Illustration, Graphic Design, Product Design, Industrial Design, Art Therapy, Digital Animation, and much more. It really is well worth a visit – the Graphic Design and Illustration courses in particular have blown me away the last two years.

And of course I’ll be exhibiting as part of the Photography course. If you’ve been following my stuff elsewhere online you’ll know I’ve been working on Childhood Treasures, a photographic collection of favourite toys of people of all ages. It’s done. Complete. The final exhibited piece will be a book of 68 photographs, together with some exhibition prints of photographs from the collection.

It's arrived. And it's beautiful.

I am utterly delighted with how the book has come out, and with the initial feedback I’ve had from tutors and fellow students who have seen it. You can see an online preview at Blurb.com [here] but to see it in real life, you’ll need to come to the exhibition. (Or buy a copy, also from Blurb!)

But don’t just come for my work, there are lots of talented photographers on the course and of course all the other amazing work. It’s open as follows:

University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield
Preview evening: 28th May, 6pm – 10pm
Main opening: 1st – 6th June, 10am – 4pm

(The preview evening is ‘officially’ a private view, by invitation only, but it’s been completely open for the last two years so I can’t see it being any different. Anyway, consider this your invitation.)

And then, we photography students are taking our show into London. We’ll be exhibiting at the Old Truman Brewery, which is rather exciting.

Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL Block F, Room T4A
Private view: 11th June, 6pm – 10pm
12th-14th June, 10am – 7pm
15th June, 10am – 4pm.

It would be great to see any of you at either of these exhibitions. (That make it sound like I’ll be there all the time. I’ll be there some of the time!)

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Phase One 645 DF

Following a tutorial today, I’ve borrowed the Phase One 645 DF camera system from my university loan store, just to see if I should be using it for a particular project rather than my usual camera.

For purely practical reasons, I’m unlikely to use it for the whole project, but I may use it occasionally. It can be a bit fiddly to use, but boy when you get it right the detail is astonishing. Take a look at this:

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Now I’m sure most of you know how big a LEGO® Minifigure is. That’s a pretty sharp image that is. But is it any better than I can get with my Canon 650D? Well, no, perhaps not. Or at least, not when you look at this crop. But whilst you may assume this was taken with some sort of macro lens, no. This is the remarkable thing – the photograph above is actually a crop from this one:

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…and look how much detail is still showing. Zoom in that far on one of the files produced with my camera and it’ll be a lot less sharp than this. In fact, let’s go further in; here’s an even closer crop, again from that very same file.

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Wow.

Only trouble is, this camera system cost more than my car.