Back from hols 2 / by Neil Alexander

Hidey ho, back again from a fun family week in Norfolk. We stayed in a fabulous converted barn not far from the quaint little towns of Great & Little Walsingham rented through a great company by the name of Rural Retreats. We've used them once before for a break in the Lakes, and I reckon we'll be back to Norfolk with them next year, though probably in a different property. Although I went completely tooled up, very little shooting was accomplished. My 17 month old daughter managed to crack her head on a stone step in the barn on day 2. After a not insubstantial amount of blood loss, a rather fractious hour's drive to A&E in Norwich, we got her head sewn up. She had a large gash above her right eye and was hysterical whilst they tried to repair her. Fortunately, its scabbed over nicely and hopefully there'll be no lasting damage, but the rest of the week was spent watching over her like a hawk and the result was very little shooting. We did however manage a trip out to see the seals at Blakeney Point, and a marvelous adventure it was. They get you really up close to the seals, and there are loads of them just languishing on the beaches with the occasional inquisitive one or two investigation the boats. I popped on the Sigma 170-500mm before we left the jetty, but due to the spray I kept it in the bag until we got up really close. I'd been toying with trading it in for a 2x teleconverter, but as PFD didn't have one in before I left, I thought I'd give it another outing to see if the results really are as intermittent as I remember. On initial inspection I got some great shots, but until I get into the office tomorrow, I can't say for sure. I'll post the results tomorrow.

I've got a few interesting links for you below, but before I sign off I've got to point out that I will be starting a new webdev contract on Tuesday and unfortunately its onsite so I'm probably not going to be posting as much as usual. I've got a few ideas for projects that I plan to put into action to keep me sane over the next few months or so and I'll post more details of these when I've finalised them.

1) The Flash Centre (UK-based lighting stores) have created a YouTube channel, where they have been uploading lots of lighting tutorials.
2) Now this is what you call a project! Scott Strazzante's "Common Ground" project was shot over several years detailing the change in land use in Illinois when a farmer watches on as his house is bulldozed to make way for a new housing development and then details the new residents who inhabit is old land. Highly recommended - check it out here.
3) If you're looking for inspiration, check out Chase Jarvis. At just 35, he is the youngest photographer to be named both a Hasselblad Master and a Nikon Master, and his work is fantastic. Check him out here.
4) If you're on Flickr or Twitter or some such social networking site, and looking to keep in touch with some other pretty cool photographers, check out the survey Brian Auer compiled over at Epic Edits.
5) Finally, this looks pretty cool. It looks simple to use and has some nice features. You can import photos and movies, and the finished show can be presented right from the browser or saved in Powerpoint format. Check it out here

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