The Eiffel Tower

January 23rd, 2013 in Photo

I’ve recently spent a few days in Paris, and was lucky enough to find the time to visit the Eiffel Tower once again. The very top is closed at the moment for renovation work, and while the view from the second floor is still magnificent it’s what’s going on in the middle that really caught my attention this time.

They’re in the process of building a new restaurant on the first floor which, from the information boards, suggests that it will block the traditional view up through the middle as it is going to span that entire area. On ground level there is a small fenced off area for the work force, and the four skinny lifts shown above. It’s an amazing contrast to the huge structure around it, and also quite amazing that a structure so famous can undergo significant work to transform it into something new.

I look forward to visiting it again once the work is complete.


Sunset at West Kirby

December 24th, 2012 in Photo

SunsetAtKirby

It’s amazing how much the sky changes at this time of the year, even over the course of just a few minutes. Sunsets often produce dramatic images, and I was lucky enough to be on the beach at West Kirby yesterday when this happened.


It’s all so quiet…

December 21st, 2012 in Photo

TarnHows

Taken at Tarn Hows in the Lake District on a damp winter’s day, though very magical in its stillness and quiet.


Winter is coming

October 21st, 2012 in Photo

I’ve just finished the first book in the Game of Thrones series, and the tagline ‘Winter is Coming’ seems very apt for pictures taken at this time of the year. Especially so when, like this morning, there’s a thick fog around.

Fog is one of those things that we’ve never managed to do quite right in videogames, possibly because it was often used in the early days as a way of hiding technical limitations rather than for setting a mood. These days it is used to better effect, but still rarely manages to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary:

This scene above has little impact on a normal day – it’s just a field for playing kicking a ball around. Behind it the hill slopes upwards slightly toward the end of the park, beyond which is a road, a few trees and some houses. There’s a clock tower that grabs the eye most days, especially when the sun is setting.

When there is a thick fog you can only see the here and now, focus on what’s close. Everything else is lost, until you go to it.

Best of all, to me, is how trees can come alive:

I love this time of year.


GoPro… video for crazy people

October 17th, 2012 in Photo

Every now and again something comes along that makes sit up and take notice. And turn your stomach inside out a few times, especially on full screen. Today’s entry is no other than the newly announced GoPro HERO3, the latest version of the small, lightweight cameras aimed at people that want to record all the things I wish I had the guts to do, but don’t.

I’m not sure buying one will suddenly turn me into a far better mountain biker, snowboarder or underwater swimmer, but it is one mighty impressive piece of kit that I’m sorely tempted to try…


The Giants have arrived…

April 22nd, 2012 in Photo

Once again Liverpool has been transformed with what, on paper, sounds like a fairly old fashioned type of entertainment: giant puppets move through the city.

The skill of the Royal De Luxe takes that simple premise and executes it brilliantly, and the day of the Giants moving through the city to find each other is a story beautifully told.


Happy New (Chinese) Year, and let it snow

January 22nd, 2012 in Photo, Site

As I missed the date for wishing the Western world Happy New Year it seems appropriate to instead welcome in the Chinese New Year.  Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of dragons to post, so here’s a picture of the only snow we’ve so far had here this winter.

I’m aware that it’s been a few months since I’ve posted here, my online activities died down quite a lot towards the end of last year as significant events in my personal life kept me very happy and very busy.  This is not a promise to become a daily updater but hopefully now I will update more frequently than once a quarter.

My postings on #altdevblogaday also reduced but my latest article, Learning from the past, has now been live a few days and seems to have been well received.  I’ve now re-posted it on my articles page here too, and Gamasutra also picked it up.


Remember remember…

November 5th, 2011 in Photo

It’s November 5th today, a date that, to us Brits, means Gunpowder Plot.  Or Guy Fawkes, or simply bonfire night.  There are many names for it, but it means the same up and down the land – fireworks get set off, fires are lit, and toffee apples eaten.  As it falls on a Saturday this year it gives us the chance to celebrate it properly on the actual night, rather than the nearest Saturday as so often happens.

It’s a fun time to be about if you like fireworks, and what better way to kick off the darker nights than by lighting up the sky?