Breezy Westbay

It might have been blowing a gale, but it was also lovely and sunny at Westbay in Dorset yesterday. The day before the town had been very quiet, with rain driving visitors away. But the winter sun brought out plenty of visitors yesterday despite the cold and wind. I decided to head over with my camera. I travelled light for this one, just my Fujifilm X-T1 with the 27mm f/2.8 and 14mm f/2.8 prime lenses.

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Golden Years

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A Voice for Ellie

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Today I published my first short story on Amazon Kindle. Well not my first ever short story. It’s just the first that I’ve published on Amazon’s Kindle platform. At nearly 12,000 words I think it’s a bargain for 99p. The story is called A Voice for Ellie and is a fictionalised semi-biographical tale. The story is available in the UK, USA and many other Amazon stores.

If you are kind enough to buy the story please do leave a review – good or bad – I really value your feedback.

You can find the story A Voice for Ellie by Harry Neary at Amazon.

Garden Tweeter

Oh the horror, Twitter was down for over an hour this morning. I sat and watched the birds in the garden. It’s a beautiful sunny and frosty winter morning. Plenty of birds in the garden looking for something to eat. So I filled up the bird feeder and eventually we had some traffic.

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This is a heavily cropped image from a 55-200mm lens. I am going to have to buy some lottery tickets so I can get the newly announced Fujifilm 100-400mm.

My Photography Year 2015

2015 wasn’t a year where I was very prolific. I didn’t venture far from home with my camera so you’ll notice plenty of shots from the same local area. The year has been interesting in photographic terms in that I feel I’m finally developing a style – or at least have a better idea of the style that I’m working towards. The black and white shots at West Bay and the moody colour shots of the village of Broadwindsor are examples of that. At the very least it was a year I finally started getting past gear and working towards better photography even if I didn’t always achieve that.

This is my favourite photo I took in 2015. In reality it is two of my favourite photos I took this year. They were taken in January. However it’s only taken until December for me to realise they’d work well stitched together. And now this is my photo of the year. And if proof were needed that gear isn’t everything this was the product of my Canon Powershot S120 compact camera.

Stormy West Bay

What of the rest? I’ve never been very interested in portrait photography for its own ends. Yes I take lots of people photos – but these are family shots taken to document our children growing up. But I’m finally beginning to appreciate a beautiful portrait and I think 2016 will be the year I explore the art myself. Part of the catalyst for this change is watching the videos of Damien Lovegrove, a photographer whose work I absolutely love. So expect to see more portraits when I return for a similar post next year.

While I don’t think it’s been a vintage year, here are my favourite photos of 2015.

Best of 2015

Windows 10 Slow Sign In Fix

Has your Windows 10 machine been plagued with slow sign in since the major update in November 2015? My desktop machine has. Running from an SSD the computer will reach the lock screen in seconds as usual. But when I enter my pin, the computer now takes 20-30 seconds to reach the desktop. Previously it was only a few seconds.

Since the major update in November there have been a few minor updates released but none have fixed this issue. Yesterday evening I was searching for a solution again and I saw one mentioned I thought was mad. Surely this wouldn’t work. How could something so simple cause such a problem and why wasn’t this caught in testing?

The problem? Auto hiding the taskbar. My Desktop PC was set to auto hide the taskbar. I read that this was the cause of the problem. I didn’t believe it. I assumed it was someone trolling a tech forum.

I tried the fix anyway. I unticked the box marked “auto hide the taskbar”. And lo and behold. My PC now reaches the desktop from the lockscreen in two seconds. Two seconds!

Ridiculous a bug like this gets through testing. But anyway, I hope this fix works for you.

No Comment

Reader comments are becoming the bane of the internet. For every interesting article you may read online you can usually find a shitshow of stupidity and bigotry posted underneath. I am amazed intelligent sources of news and information still allow reader comments, it’s like producing a fine art painting and allowing any fool to scribble underneath it in crayon. Don’t read the comments.

And so I should really put my money where my mouth is. So from today I’m disabling comments on my own site. I’ve been lucky in that most interaction has been positive. But on the whole we don’t really need website comments anymore, that’s what social media can be used for and I also believe it’s a better way.

So by all means comment on anything you read here, you’ll be able to reach me on Twitter right here – @Grumpyrocker rather than a little box below the fold on this site.