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The DIY globe that takes you on a pictorial tour of the world

For seasoned travellers and anyone trying to decide where to go to next , finding somewhere that ticks all the boxes is becoming more difficult . Internet information overload can dull the enthusiasm and make you wonder if it’s all worthwhile .

Step up  Caroline Buttet’s do-it-yourself solution which might offer a bit of help. OK  ,  looking at pictures of someone else enjoying themselves just reminds you of how long it is since you took a holiday yourself — but it at least makes the experience a bit more fun for the viewer.

Buttet has created an intuitive solution –  a touch-sensitive globe that displays the photos belonging to whichever country you tap. “Globe Trotter is a tangible picture viewer, especially designed to make vacation picture viewing more enjoyable,” she comments.

“It consists of an interactive globe that is linked to a computer via an Arduino, which interacts with a webpage. It allows the user to browse pictures ordered by country, by physically touching any country on the globe. The user can then spin the globe back and forth to view the images, like in a slideshow.”

Building a capacitive globe sounds like hard work. In fact, Buttet achieved the effect using a (relatively) simple hack: She stuck a thumbtack in each country, with the sharp end inside the globe connecting to a wire that links to the Arduino.

“Globe Trotter is just a proof of concept, and therefore there is still a lot of improvements that can be made,” she continued. “These include things like integration of geotags, automatic sorting of photos, and finding a way to make it wireless. I made the prototype just for fun, with no thought of commercializing it or anything like that. But lately I’ve started to get requests from people over the internet. If enough people are interested, maybe I’ll publish the code and go open source at some point.”

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Eilean Donan Castle pictures , January 2016

On Wednesday I drove up to Eilean Donan Castle to take some new pictures of the castle and try some new ideas .  I got there about half past twelve , just in time to catch some shots of the castle before the sun disappeared behind the clouds .
Eilean Donan Castle , edc16133

 

I also took a picture using the miniature effect as you can get quite interesting results with this effect .

Eilean Donan Castle , edc16136

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sky looks a bit more interesting and there seems to be a bit of HDR going on .

My plan was to get some pictures of the castle at night which meant I had a few hours to kill before darkness fell . I went up to Kyle of Lochalsh to have a look around for anything interesting to photograph but I had no luck. Usually there are some fishing boats in the harbour but there weren’t any there .

At night the character of the castle changes . It is floodlit and takes on an orange glow .

Eilean donan castle pictures , edc17680

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eilean donan castle poster
Eilean Donan Castle poster , Giant A3 size , 16 by 11 inches , just £5.50 including free UK delivery .

Eilean Donan Castle poster
This image is also available in a larger size as a poster to US and UK customers on RedbubblePictures of the castle have been published in hundreds of calendars , books and websites. Castle pictures.com has ńow published its own castle poster. The Scottish castles collection features pictures of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland by photographer David Rankin.Our original image of Eilean Donan Castle is now available as a poster .Eilean Donan Castle means Island of Donan (a religious figure from the 12th century). Eilean Donan was Clan MacKenzie’s most important stronghold from the 13th Century until it was destroyed in 1719. Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Eilean Donan Castle gifts , posters and ornaments are for sale at Redbubble.

 

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Snow covered landscape – the big freeze in Scotland

Blackmount , Scotland
Blackmount in the snow , Scotland

Scotland is in the middle of the longest cold spell for 40 years . NASA has released a satellite image of Scotland and it is totally white.While this is causing problems for many people , as photographers it is an opportunity for us to get some great pictures. On Thursday I went up to Blackmount and Glencoe. It was the first time I have ever seen Blackmount totally covered in snow . The loch was frozen over and it was a total whiteout. Further up the road I stopped at Buachaille Etive Mor to take some pictures. As soon as I got out of the car I felt the bitter cold . I walked towards the mountain to take some pictures and within 3 or 4 minutes the tips of my fingers were numb. I quickly took some pictures and headed straight back to the car.The temperature must have been sub-zero. I continued along the A84 to Glencoe . Unfortunately the sun was behind the paps of Glencoe by the time I reached it and it wasn’t ideal for pictures. I took a couple of shots and headed back to Blackmount because I knew there were more pictures to be had there. As soon as you got off the road the snow was about a foot deep. The sun was shining and the landscape looked like a winter wonderland. I took quite a lot of pictures including a set of 4 which I am going to put together for a panoramic image in Photoshop. I also recorded some
video of the scene . This is probably the best I have seen the Highlands in the snow for about 2 years[poll id=”1″]

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Photography in public – a dying art

Photographers are getting increasingly concerned about attempts to limit or prevent pictures being taken in public. Photography in public is under attack from a diverse range of vested interests from control freak celebrities to police forces who see it as a PR stunt or who abuse terrorist legislation . Parents are told about the threat of paedophilia on every corner .
As far as I am concerned anyone in public can be photographed without hindrance . Unfortunately some police forces see it as a good PR stunt to prevent photography in public places. In Scotland police can use breach of the peace as an excuse to arrest or threaten photographers under the flimsiest pretext . Police often invoke anti-terror legislation to prevent photographers from carrying out their work, and photojournalists are constantly filmed at public gatherings and their details kept on an ever-growing database. Tourists are also targeted by police, as was the case with an Austrian father and son who made the mistake of photographing a building of an extremely sensitive nature—Walthamstow bus station.
Celebrities see every public appearance as a carefully choreographed exercise to promote themselves. They don’t like it when pictures of them behaving badly are published .Them’s the breaks .

Martin Parr has stated “I am most concerned that the basic liberty for a photographer to photograph freely and legally in a public place in the UK is being slowly eroded by these new laws and overzealous interpretation by the police” . This situation has led him to believe that within five years, street photography could be totally banned in the UK. His advice is to get our there while you still can.

Photographers can join BJP’s Not A Crime campaign for photographers’ rights at www.not-a-crime.com.

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New Highlands landscape pictures gallery

Blackmount 3789
Blackmount 3789
I have just set up a new landscape pictures gallery of the Highlands . I went up to Glencoe yesterday and I have taken new pictures of Blackmount, Glencoe and Buachaille Etive Mor . It must have been one of the hottest days of the year so far and it was bright sunshine all day . I also shot some HD video of Glencoe . All of the pictures are available as prints

landscape pictures