Updating my website

I spent some time today updating my website to function as an extension of my CV. For just over a year now, I’ve had a website hosted on my own machine located in my parents’ garage, but I decided that I would try and improve the look of the website a bit.

I wanted something simple, just handcrafted HTML with good code legibility, but at the same time responsive and modern. I found a few CSS templates and guides that helped me achieve the look I wanted: Modern and responsive, with gorgeously large images, that scroll behind the text.

I kept all my writings and uploaded files in place, and transferred the text partially from my old website, and partially from my CV. The website is easy to maintain, and simple to read, and I got the chance to show some of my favourite photos as background images as well.

All in all, I’m pleased with the result. What do you think? See for yourself:

www.jpamills.dk

By the way, Safari on iPhone posed a bit of a problem. The images were not at all displaying correctly, in that they were stretched too tall, with each pixel being truly gigantic. I had to put in a small fix in my CSS, inspired by the solution on this page.

The problem was, that the iPhone was not understanding the CSS directive

background-size: cover;

So, I had to introduce a fix. To make it work, I had to sacrifice the nice parallax effect where the image scrolls behind the text, but Chrome on Android was already falling back to static images, so I didn’t mind iPhone doing the same. Suffice to say, the following worked, where I set background-attacment to scroll (thus giving up hope of the nice parallax effect), and hardcode the height of the image container, and thus also the image to a set value.

/* fix for the iphone */
@media (min-device-width : 320px) and (max-device-width : 568px)  {
section.module.parallax {
background-attachment: scroll;
height: 320px;
}
section.module.parallax h1 {
line-height: 320px;
}
}

Long exposures in Nordhavn

Feeling bored, I went for a bike ride out to Nordhavn. It’s quite an interesting place, with cottage industries, harbour facilities, and quite a bit of new redevelopment. And it made for quite a few good long-exposure shots.

Looking across the harbour channel to the other side. This was a bit of a zoom, and the wind was gusty, so camera must have moved a bit.
Looking across the harbour channel to the other side. This was a bit of a zoom, and the wind was gusty, so camera must have moved a bit.

The cranes, the frost on the ground, and the bright light make for an interesting contrast.
The cranes, the frost on the ground, and the bright light make for an interesting contrast.
Svanemølleværket in the background. Marina and modern developments centreground. My bike foreground.
Svanemølleværket in the background. Marina and modern developments centreground. My bike foreground.
Svanemølleværket. When this picture appeared on my camera screen after the 15 second processing time, I whooped out into the night.
Svanemølleværket. When this picture appeared on my camera screen after the 15 second processing time, I whooped out into the night.

Taking pictures of the moon: tricking my camera to choose a short shutter time

So yesterday night the moon was quite pretty and bright. So I thought I would take a picture of it.

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All these photos are cropped from the maximum 8x zoom of my Canon PowerShot A4000 IS.

Now if any of you own this camera you know that you can’t manually change the shutter time. So when photographing the moon, it will choose a much too long shutter time, and the moon will just be a white disk. But I managed to do it in a clever little way anyway. Process outlined below:

  • Select Program mode
  • Zoom in to full extent
  • Set 2 second self timer (important!)
  • Set ISO to 100
  • Set exposure to -2
  • Point camera at your smartphone screen displaying a white image at full brigthness
  • Half press shutter – voila, exposure time 1/200
  • Keep shutter button half pressed and move camera to point at moon
  • Press shutter all the way to take a nice picture.

The bit about the self-timer turns out to be important. Because otherwise the camera continually readjusts the exposure time, making this trick fail. Anyway, I think this was a clever little method.

Some of the pictures are at 1/60 as well. And with different exposure levels. But all in all, a big improvement over bright white disks.

Sometimes when it rains, it really does pour

Copenhagen occasionally suffers sudden “cloud bursts” (Danish: skybrud), where lots of rain falls within a short amount of time. The morning of 31st August was one such event. I got a few pictures of some flooding in a tunnel under the railway close to where I live. Bear in mind these pictures are after several hours of pumping the water away already, so the pictures probably don’t do the full extent of the flooding justice.

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In praise of digital

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The Old Church in Stoke Newington

So yesterday I attended a performance by Folklore Tapes at The Old Church in Stoke Newington.

The performance was in three parts, the first being a musician performing on custom instruments like nails, violin bows with electric pickups, metal plates and the like. He used layering of segments to slowly build up a piece of music that sounded to me a bit like Jean-Michel Jarre combined with the music you would get in the “the main character is soon going to die” scene of a horror movie. I’m not quite sure why this segment was so long, but perhaps it was meant to evoke the feeling of Dartmoor and folklore, the subject of the performance. At least for me, I would have appreciated a bit more textualisation and explanation.

Continue reading “In praise of digital”