Cockit Hat

Another slightly odd street sign, this one from Edinburgh. I assume that the reference is a local variant spelling of Cocked Hat. There's a local dominoes club that uses the same name.

Cold Snap(s)

I spent a few days in the Hyatt/McCormick Place Arcology in Chicago recently, afraid to venture outside lest my limbs break off like brittle sticks in the -15C temperatures. So, here are some entirely unadventurous pictures taken out of the window on the 23rd floor of the hotel.

Moo Cards

My ten free sample Flickr MiniCards turned up from today. Here's what they look like, along with the little dispenser the samples came in and one of my current business cards for scale.

The material the cards are made out of is very well chosen. It's a nice heavy card stock, pretty much matt on the printed side and with a nice soft sheen on the image side. Definitely not gloss, though, which I was a little worried it might be.

The text side of the card — which I think of as equivalent to a standard business card — is just large enough for a few lines of contact details, and that looks great in the format. My flickr avatar image works quite well at this scale, although I'd drop the flickr logo when buying some of these for real.

I'm not blown away by the results I got, though. There are two problems, both at my end.

The first problem is the shape of the cards; few of the images I've uploaded to flickr look really good at this very wide (2.5:1) aspect ratio. I can see myself occasionally shooting specifically for this format in future.

The other problem is that a lot of my flickr images end up pretty dingy in this medium (the two you can see here are the best results, and they're not nearly as punchy as they are on screen). If you're going to try this product, make sure you have lots of contrast and colour or you might be disappointed: what looks good on the screen isn't necessarily going to look great on a card.

Venice 2006

We have recently returned from a very enjoyable week's vacation in Venice, Italy. I have posted a flickr image set of a few of my happy snaps; you can view it as a slide show if you like.

Venice makes a pretty restful place to visit for anyone tired of city traffic noise. They might also have the best gelati I've ever tasted. I heartily recommend the mela verde, limone and melone from Bar Solda' in the Campo Ss. Apostoli if you're in the area.

The photographs were all taken with my Nikon E5700, mostly in RAW format this time round. Post-processing was done in beta 3 of Adobe Lightroom. I must say I am really impressed by Lightroom; I hope they don't charge an arm and a leg for it once it becomes a real product.

Pink Assassins

Another fun street sign, this one from Burano (near Venice) in Italy. A "fondamenta" is the kind of street that runs along the side of a canal. Just the place you'd expect an assassin to ply his trade, perhaps, but the colour doesn't match the image somehow.

Mowbrays Slap

Mowbrays Slap

Originally uploaded by iay.

Poor old Mowbray, whoever he was. This street sign is in West Linton, Scotland. I don't know the story behind it, but perhaps "Slap" is another local name for "small street". Or not.


Number one in a series of probably at least two "Great Street Signs of the World".

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is the name of a very small street in the city of York, England. In York, "Gate" means "Street", but "Bar" means "Gate" (as in "city gate"). It is probably something to do with those Vikings.

EPS International 2006 Entry Form

If you're looking for an entry form for the Edinburgh Photographic Society's 144th International Exhibition of Photography, you can download one here (PDF).

Feed Me!


In Windermere this week for the Core Middleware Programme Meeting, I find this little fellow in my bath.

Alas, I was unable to take up the invitation.

Penny For the iay


It's amazing how much fun you can have with a 50p packet of sparklers. Two each! Nearly sixty seconds of pure childhood glee in every pack!


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