Wednesday, 26 September 2012


The paddle steamer Waverley is making her annual visit to the Solent this week. I spotted her in Southampton Water this morning, making her way towards the Isle of Wight, under threatening skies.

As my mobile is crap as a stills camera, I used the video feature, which is not great (also crap, really) but is useful in the absence of anything else. Because of the weather, it has come out pretty dark. I also used portrait mode.

The UK is currently experiencing vast amounts of rainfall, with flooding and damage all over the country, thanks to a very deep low which has tropical air mixed in with it, aided and abetted by our nemesis the jet stream. As I headed towards Southampton this morning the sky was the blackest I have ever seen it. Last time I saw a sky this colour, it was on a science fiction film at the beginning of an alien invasion. No aliens today, (un)fortunately, but there were some torrential cloudbursts and I got soaked to the skin, despite wearing a waterproof jacket.

Mobile phone pics

Some people, my sister among them, use mobile phones exclusively for taking photos. I have a smartphone, a Samsung Android phone, the second one I have owned (the first was a Blackberry Curve, which I was not a fan of as it was rubbish and very limited in what it could actually do) and I do use the camera on it, usually for quick grabbed shots of pets, etc, but it is in no way a substitute for a 'proper' dedicated camera as, due to a tiny plastic lens and a tinier sensor chip, the results leave quite a lot to be desired - that said, it is way better than the dreadful 110 and 35mm compacts I had as a child in the 80s!

My work over the past few weeks has meant I had to go to Southampton once a week, on Wednesdays. Because my DSLR and lenses are big and heavy, they just got in the way when working, so they stayed at home. Wednesdays are often poor for ship-watching anyway, so it was no big deal. However, last week, I found cruise ships Celebrity Constellation and Arcadia in Southampton, as well as a tanker, NS Antarctic, underway, so decided to use the mobile phone's camera.

As you can see, the results are pretty crappy. Note nice sunny blue skies, a rare phenomenon this year...those weren't going to last - as I type we are having biblical amounts of rain. Again. It's like Groundhog Day.
Don't bother clicking for larger versions, they really aren't worth the effort.

Mentioning work, I am redundant as of next week. The company I have worked for for the past three years have lost the contract so that's the end of that. A pity, as it was a nice job with no annoying supervisors looking over your shoulder, a great deal of latitude and time off when you wanted it.