Walkabout Camera Club Outing

Cwm Idwal

Members of the Wirral based Walkabout Camera Club enjoyed an outing to Cwm Idwal in February. An easy walk from the Ogwen Visitors Centre took us up to Llyn Idwal in the glacial hanging valley. It afforded great foreground interest with a backdrop of snow capped peaks.

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Ricoh Theta S spherical VR camera

Virtual Reality

After an interesting customer experience with Bubl Technology I cancelled my order for the Bublcam and will wait and see what happens over there in Toronto before reordering.

Instead I decided to try the Ricoh Theta S placing a back order through Jessops. After mailing their customer services for an update I was advised there were Europe wide shortages on stocks and that they had no delivery date for me. I was both surprised and delighted then when the next day I was mailed a tracking number for my Theta S order!

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I’ll be writing a review of the Ricoh Theta S once I’ve spent a little more time with it. At under £300 my first thoughts however are good for the money! But bear in mind as in all things you generally get what you pay for! It doesn’t offer the resolutions I achieve from my Google Street View (Business View) equipment – Canon 5D mark ii and Sigma fish eye lens combination mounted on a Nodal Ninja R10 pano head but let’s be realistic here it comes at a fraction of the cost!!

It is relatively easy to use and in fact shooting spherical images is literally a point and shoot affair. It was necessary to update the firmware but this too was relatively straightforward. The video resolutions aren’t great but at least I have the opportunity to create seamless spherical 360 degree VR videos. It looks like Ricoh have hit the market with a more or less finished product all ready for sale. They are available from UK outlets NOW and their customer support and backup is well established.

This is not the impression I get from Bubl Tech sadly – I say sadly because it does look like it could offer better technical spec and resolutions certainly in VR video making. The impression I get is the Bublcam is simply not ready yet, and there are a few QC issues with some of those that have been delivered to back this up. Nor do they have distribution networks internationally like Ricoh do. They also need to manage and develop their customer support and enquiry systems a lot better otherwise it will never be able to compete.

I will be keeping an eye on Bubl Tech and when it looks like they have got it sorted I’ll probably put an order in on one. Fingers crossed they do get it sorted because it does look like a very exciting product. For now though check out one of my first Theta S stills from our Walkabout Camera Club outing to Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia.

Cwm Idwal #theta360 #theta360uk – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Bubl Tech VR arriving in 3 weeks!

Labradoodle Puppy or VR Tech?

2016 will be an interesting year for us. I’m tremendously excited on at least two fronts and as you can guess from the title one cause is the imminent arrival of a long awaited labradoodle puppy! Jokingly I have an excitement scale on the puppy and the score is climbing steadily toward the upper 10/10 limit. So this is scientific!

PupsCute Labradoodle Puppies

This afternoon I took the plunge into the most happening of VR technologies and ordered a Bublcam. I am so excited by this technology and am completely sold on it! My order confirmation gives me an ETA of 3 weeks from the 15th December. Interestingly enough the due date on the Bublcam is the same as the date we welcome our new puppy into the home.

If I’m honest it is such a tight run thing on those scores. If I had to choose between the puppy or the Bublcam right now I really don’t know where I’d be on that……

Have a look at Bubl Technologies site.

And then come back here to this pic of the puppy.

Pup

Which would you choose?

Come back in around 3 weeks and I may be able to demo both of them in my first VR footage. The cam is coming from across the Atlantic so I do expect HM Customs delays and import charges so maybe give it a couple of months or so…. Hopefully the pup will still be a pup! I have made enquiries about becoming a UK reseller so you dont have to wait so long for yours! Watch this space!!

Camera Club Meeting December 2015

 

Camera Club Meeting

The Clarence

Tuesday 1st December 2015

Dave

Paul

Dorothy

Anne C

Mike

Howard

Brian

Malc

Stuart

Lol

 

Date TBC once weather settles we plan rescheduling this one in December

Waterfront Panorama

Seacombe Ferry

An exercise in shooting composite panoramas and how to stitch them. You will need a tripod but if you don’t have one we can lend you one – please ask?

Meet by 16:00 on the promenade by the main car park area at Seacombe Ferry

https://goo.gl/maps/fWT9E3gJugJ2

We will reconvene at The Clarence to look at stitching methods.

 

December 11th

Christmas Dinner

Ruhi Balti House 19:30

https://goo.gl/maps/y7yWJGaiAmu

Table is almost fully reserved but still room for another one or two as this goes to press. Don’t forget we can bring our own drinks to this venue!

 

December 17th

Street Photography

Liverpool

Meeting 14:30 at The Poppies Installation St Georges Hall.

https://goo.gl/maps/kpqfpYb2Lok

Long lenses can be useful tools to get in unnoticed alternatively consider tricks like shooting from the hip or using dynamic backscreen to achieve candid portraits discretely. If you have a wider lens bring it too so we can get some images of the poppies and possibly a cityscape.

 

Tuesday 12th January 2016

Planning Meeting

The Clarence 18:00

https://goo.gl/maps/jvah82zCSnM2

 

Thursday 14th January 2016

Martin Mere 09:30(TBC)

https://goo.gl/maps/PYYJM1gTxCm

Car sharing available on this one. We have a couple of vehicles available thanks Stuart and Brian. Please advise by email ASAP if you want a lift!? I will also drive from Wallasey. Muster point and time TBC. Please see the following link to Martin Mere website with details of admission and whats on – and do consider purchasing online as it will save you 10%

http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/martin-mere/plan-your-visit/prices/

http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/martin-mere/whats-on/

 

Saturday 30th January 2016

RAF Cosford Museum Visit

https://goo.gl/maps/UfXxjjU9fLm

Again car sharing as entry is by the car load! Times and muster point TBC nearer the time but I suggest we aim to land there for around 10:30. We can grab a bite of lunch in the restaurant and then finish off our tour. Please remind me if you have a car available to share and anyone wanting a lift please advise ASAP!? RAF museum info below.

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/plan-your-day/opening-times.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

360° Video

VR Video

Fascinated by this new 360° video tech and would love to trial something like the bubl cam. I’ve found loads of inspirational 360° videos from VR cockpit views in Airbus to SCUBA experiences in the tropics. A search today produced this channel on YouTube

#360Video

Hobs Reprographics Liverpool

See Inside Liverpool’s Leading Printers

I was delighted to be invited to provide virtual tours for Hobs Reprographics print shops in Liverpool Warrington and Chester last month. A hat-trick of printers in one week and Liverpool’s Hobs Repro shop now stands as my first virtual tour of a print-shop and as far as I’m aware it is the first printers in the UK to have Google virtual tour!

Hobs are a well established provider of print services to architects and the wider building trade creating large format plans, and drawings as well as 3D scanning and printing! Hobs Reprographics Liverpool is also very proud of it’s Royal Appointment for print services and you can see the original Royal Charter in the virtual tour.

Hobs Chester and Warrington branches also make an appearance in Google’s ever expanding virtual world with Street View tours of their own. All three tours demonstrate clearly a very welcoming public face alongside a busy print shop geared to meet the printing needs of any modern business. Hobs are exceptionally well reviewed in Google Plus with high praise for their customer service coming through clearly.

Camera Club Bonfire Night Outing

Hoylake Beach Bonfire

The 6th November 2015 saw the Walkabout Camera Club on Hoylake Beach to enjoy Hoylake Sailing Club’s annual Guy Fawkes display. We positioned ourselves at the RNLI station. I wanted to use Grace Darling as foreground interest….

Hoylake SC bonfire 2015

Hoylake SC bonfire 2015

Camera Club November & December Events

November Camera Club Planning Meeting at The Clarence

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Dave

Paul

Phil

Dorothy

Audrey

Mike – new member

Doug – prospect

Howard

 

November 5th

Bonfire Night Shoot

We discussed a couple of options including Liscard Central Park and Farmers Arms Frankby. Parking is likely to be an issue at both of these. However it seems there will be a display and fire at The Black Pearl which will make an interesting set to photograph. Access should be easy from New Brighton – car parking on prom, around Fort and at bottom of Victoria Rd as well as on side streets leading down to the promenade.

Meet at The Shelter on the Magazine Promenade at foot of Magazine Lane by 7pm

https://goo.gl/maps/mBBESWxhn6F2

 

November 22nd

Tatton Park.

Paul will be offering Canon and Nikon DSLR users an opportunity to try digi-scoping. Malc advises there will be stags rutting. A nice wildlife opportunity. Longer lenses would be best for this one and Malc has offered to show us Manchester Airport viewing area en route home. We will grab lunch out somewhere.

We will be car sharing to this one. Let me know if you have a car to share or if you need a lift? Exact arrangements TBC nearer the time.

 

December 1st

Waterfront Panorama

Seacombe Ferry

An exercise in shooting composite panoramas and how to stitch them. You will need a tripod but if you don’t have one we can lend you one – please ask?

Meet by 16:00 on the promenade by the main car park area at Seacombe Ferry

https://goo.gl/maps/fWT9E3gJugJ2

We will reconvene at The Clarence to look at stitching methods.

 

Planning Meeting Tuesday 1st December

We will meet at The Clarence again but a little earlier on this occasion. Those attending the panorama event will retire to The Clarence where we will look at methods of stitching panoramas. I expect we will arrive there around 17:00. The stitching tutorial will take around 30 minutes to present. The monthly planning meeting will then convene at 18:00

https://goo.gl/maps/bh8RT2pJUPR2

 

 

December 11th

Christmas Dinner

Ruhi Balti House 19:30

https://goo.gl/maps/y7yWJGaiAmu

I have booked a table for 20 – but can add to this if numbers increase – but I need to know exactly who is coming ASAP so we can accommodate everyone. All members are most welcome and please do feel free to bring a guest.

We can bring our own drinks to this venue!

 

December 17th

Street Photography

Liverpool

Meeting 14:30 at the Victoria Monument.

https://goo.gl/maps/V1DRLyVs4Vx

Long lenses can be useful tools to get in unnoticed alternatively consider tricks like shooting from the hip or using dynamic backscreen to achieve candid portraits discretely.

 

Google Street View Showcasing Silva Timber Products

New Showroom in Widnes launched with a Google Street View virtual tour by David Firth Photo-Graphics.

I’m delighted to have been involved in this project with Silva Timber Products. Manufacturers and suppliers of high end architectural timber products their new showroom looks great in their virtual tour and in real life too.

Their tour can be found in all Google and Google Map searches and has been embedded into their own website too.

For more information on commissioning your own Google Street View virtual tour please contact Dave Firth on 07411081818

Google Maps Business View merges with Google Street View

Google Re-brands Business View

Google has completed the merge of Google Maps Business View with Google Street View.

All certified Google Maps Business View Trusted Photographers are also re-branded as part of the homogenisation process. With effect David Firth trading as David Firth Photo-Graphics is now re-branded a Google Street View Trusted Photographer. I also get a new portrait and badge.

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The same excellent service continues.