The aliens have landed

December 25th, 2012

Kelham Island Museum

This marvellous contraption, which I think comes somewhere between R2-D2 and H.G Wells’s Martian machines, is part of the exhibition of steelmaking equipment at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield.

A note for any serious photographers amongst you: I captured this in very limited light at ISO 1600 on my Lumix GH2. I’m becoming increasingly fond of the micro-four-thirds system, but the sensor on this body, though generally very good, isn’t always at its best in low-light conditions when compared to recent DSLRs. I didn’t quite get what I wanted when processing this photo in Lightroom.

But after seeing a couple of references to it recently especially in the context of high-ISO images, I tried the free Rawker utility to do the initial RAW conversion, and was very pleased with the noticeable improvement. I saved it out as a TIFF and then imported that into Lightroom for final adjustment. I wouldn’t do this for all my photos – not least because the intermediate TIFF is 128 MB – but doing a side-by-side comparison with the one imported directly does show a noticeable improvement. This may be down to default settings more than the converter itself, but you might find Rawker worth investigating for important images.

LinkedIn foolishness

December 25th, 2012

John's been writing about the somewhat bizarre practice of LinkedIn 'endorsements', where you can affirm that an acquaintance really has the skills they say they have.

Well, frankly, I wouldn't, in the first place, link to anyone I thought was likely to lie on their CV. I'm old-fashioned enough to remember the days when a LinkedIn connection was meant to imply some sort of endorsement in itself.

Interestingly, you can also endorse people's expertise in skills they never knew they had. I never listed any on my LinkedIn page until some kind friend said I was awfully good at 'Architecture', which I assume they meant in the sense of 'computer systems architecture', but, who knows, perhaps they had seen my old garden shed modifications? Hoping for some interesting job offers from that one.

It is, of course, a brilliant marketing trick on LinkedIn's part. In a world where page hit numbers are everything, it's hard to imagine a better email campaign to make users feel obliged to come back to your site over and over again.

When it all started, I added 'LinkedIn Endorsing' to my list of skills, and a couple of friends have kindly endorsed my abilities in that area. So maybe, by way of bringing a little festive cheer, I should be endorsing their LinkedIn-endorsing-endorsing?

 

Oh, and Happy Christmas, everybody!