Watercolour coot and cootlet

Here I had fun with a photo of a coot and baby in Lake Geneva that I took a couple of years ago.

I’m very happy with the feather textures, watery shadows and ripply texture, but I’m getting increasingly frustrated with my scanner’s tendency to murder my watercolours. I’ve included some photos for comparison – the most delicate details are obscured. I don’t think I’ll be able to make prints from my watercolours until I can figure out how to capture them more effectively.

Giffing about

I’ve recently become possessed by the urge to create GIFs – low-resolution, low overhead animated images that’ll usually play automatically in your browser. While I was fossil-hunting on the beach last weekend I used the ‘burst’ mode on my Sony Cybershot DSC-HX9V (a camera which I extremely highly recommend – includes a great macro mode, and can do most things in a very noob-friendly manner) to snap sequences of the waves on the shore, or over my fabulous wellies.

I used these as source to create a couple of quick gifs, but the result is very jerky, so I think I’ll try creating some from videos instead – more work, but hopefully much smoother and more realistic results. (Also I can actually ensure I get the timing right, instead of guessing vaguely!)

test-wave1

test-wave2b

At least now I know it’s not going to work I can delete all those nearly identical pictures and free up some space on my hard drive…

Fossil hunting – The Haul

Some quick snaps of the haul from the weekend’s fossil hunting expedition:

It was lovely on Saturday, chilly on Sunday, but I was bundled up very warmly, and here were a few useful tools I was glad I tool along:

A drinks bottle with the top cut off, inverted and stuffed inside makes a very easy-to-use receptacle for collecting small items. You can drop them in without fiddling, and they can’t really fall out.

A spork is good for flicking things over, digging and scooping – better than a fork or spoon independently. Especially useful when trying to grab something before the waves!

Which brings me to the third item – a pair of bright yellow marigold kitchen gloves. These weren’t very warm, but they did protect my hands from the sand, gravel and cold water.

The book is well worth the £1.50 from the fossil shop near the Charmouth beach carpark (or £1.20 in the visitor centre upstairs!) has great advice about where to look for all the different kinds of fossils between Sidmouth and Bridport.