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  • Stuart Herbert's Blog -
    Well the fact that I need a dedicated camera bag alone makes it hard to argue against the idea that it s bulky The camera and lens straddle the entire width of the backpack There s nowhere for a dedicated macro lens to fit And the 400mm zoom lens that I have my eye on I ll need to find a bigger backpack before I can buy that My camera bag is already much bigger than my hiking rucksack This thing is heavy too I hurt my right arm earlier this year moving an old amp that I was getting ready to sell on Until a couple of weeks ago I couldn t handle my DSLR camera body and lens because of the weight I m not sure how long it will be until I can try an all day shoot again So yes DSLRs are undeniably large and bulky But are they too large and bulky I think that depends on whether you see yourself as a photographer or whether you prefer to take photos When I go out with the camera I m going out specifically to do photography The camera isn t tagging along on some other adventure The camera is the reason why I m going out in the first place The majority of my camera bag is taken up by my lens collection With the DSLR I can switch lenses to suit my subject and my distance from the subject I get real zoom not a fake digital one where you re losing detail or image quality I get precise control over what s in focus in the shot and what s out of focus a key part of the artistic side of photography A perfect example of what I mean is this shot taken last year in the Brecon Beacons In this photo I ve been able to make Mike the subject of this photo by making him the only part of the shot that s in focus At the same time the photo works because you can still see what he s doing trying to capture Llyn Cwm Llwch on his camera phone That was possible because I could use the zoom the frame the photo The rest of the bulk is the camera body itself Combined with my lenses I can shoot handheld in moonlight or handheld in a conference hall it s so dark the laptop screen is the main source of light or I can take shots like this When it comes to challenging conditions like these you can t overcome physics You need to gather enough light to have an image to capture You need large lenses to gather that light and you need a large sensor to capture that light without capturing too much visual noise at the same time Try and replicate these shots yourself on your camera phone to see for yourself Are DSLRs Too Difficult To Use To deliberately take a great shot with a DSLR you need both technical mastery of your camera and artistic mastery of the medium Of the top of my head this includes ISO speed sensitivity setting of your sensor aperture size controlling the amount and angle of light hitting the sensor shutter speed controlling the length of the exposure when you take your picture focal length to frame your shot focal length combined with distance to subject to control visual distortion focal length combined with distance to subject and aperture size to control depth of field focal length combined with ISO speed and shutter speed to control camera shake height of the sun to influence the colours in the photo angle of the sun to control the blue of the sky angle of sunlight reflecting off the subject to control highlights and shadows the histogram in the camera to check for good contrast and exposure without over exposing the shot image composition who or what is the focus of the photo image background what else is visible in frame timing what is moving where is it moving to where do you want it to be when you click that shutter release button breathing keeping the camera still so that the shot isn t blurry and so on Boy does that seem like a lot of things to be juggling at once when taking a photo No wonder photography seems hard I m going to let you in on a secret The whole time I ve been taking photos I ve only once managed to capture exactly the photo that I wanted to Once Here it is That s a shot from the end of the road I live on taken during one of the rare winters where we actually had enough snow to be worthy of the name Previous weekend we d driven along the road on the way to do Christmas shopping and I d pictured that exact scene as we carefully made our way out It s the one and only time that the final image is 100 what I wanted to capture If you re interested that s a success rate of less than 1 in 10 000 It might be closer to 1 in 50 000 It doesn t mean that the other 99 99 of my photos aren t good With well over 1 000 000 views on Flickr to date I must be doing something that you like But yeah taking photos is hard Here s some examples to show why That shot was taken handheld again one evening in London There was the technical challenge of shooting at night where one stable primary light source the sun is replaced by lots of competing and sometimes chaotic primary light sources street lights shop displays passing vehicle headlights The subject is a silhouette of a passerby reflected in the window of the Museum of London I had to frame the shot work out the required exposure find an angle to manage reflections all before

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart on PHP -
    and The Edinburgh PHP User Group that I ll come up and present to them before the end of 2016 Be the first to leave a comment Talk Ways To Measure Your ORM s Cost Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 8th 2015 in phpnw Talks Here is the original blurb for this talk Your project has adopted an ORM such as Doctrine because it s the quickest way to hook your code up to your database Things are looking up and your website is about to take off Aaaand then the first complaints start to come in that your site isn t coping with the new customers You can t find a problem in your own code Could it be the ORM that s the problem How can you tell In this talk Stuart will show you how you can use off the shelf open source tools to work out what your ORM is doing and whether or not it is the cause of your performance problems He ll show you how to measure the database itself and the ORM code as well as providing useful strategies to reduce the cost of your ORM without having to abandon the ORM altogether Finally he ll show you how you can extend these techniques to other parts of your application so that you re never in the dark again Be the first to leave a comment Talk Introducing A Quality Model For MVC Applications Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 8th 2015 in phpnw Talks Here s the original blurb for this talk Your integration functional and non functional testing gives you a good idea if your code will work on Production But how do you go about measuring the quality of code that already seems to work How do you make that measurement repeatable How do you share it with clients in government finance or other large enterprises who are looking for a 3 5 year shelf life from your code In this talk Stuart will introduce you to SQuaRE the international standard collection for software quality He ll give you a tour of all of the available and upcoming standards in this area before taking a deep dive into the Product Quality Model from ISO IEC 25010 2011 He ll explain what a quality measurement is how you link them to your project s quality criteria and how you incorporate them into code reviews QA teams and management decisions You ll leave this talk ready to start measuring and improving the quality of your product or service with the tools you need to not only maintain quality but also to keep increasing it over time even when faced with staff turnover Be the first to leave a comment Catching Up On Recent Talks Posted by Stuart Herbert on August 12th 2015 in 2 Intermediate 3 Advanced I ve given several talks to user groups over the last few months around the topics of testing and performance I hope that

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/php/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart's Photography -
    not sure that any of them could have been duplicated on a camera phone or on a compact camera that didn t offer full control over shutter and aperture speed And several of those shots benefitted from being able to use lenses that you can t get on camera phones or compact cameras The complexity is inherent to photography as an art medium and is down to physics light and composition artistic taste All that the DSLR does is expose you to that complexity Nothing more Other Points In Favour Of DSLRs The DSLR platform brings some important advantages over other types of camera I ve already mentioned physics the gathering of light and the capture of light whilst controlling noise Indoors late at night or more northernly or southernly you go this becomes more and more important It s nearly always very dark indoors and by definition it s dark outside late at night No surprises there But if you live in Canada or the States you might not realise that it s much brighter outdoors there than it is here in Europe We re much further north than you are That makes it much harder to take good photos with smaller kit Phase detection auto focus systems are for me the next advantage of the DSLR platform This is an old technology but it works almost flawlessly And it s fast By contrast contrast based auto focus systems are slow inaccurate and struggle to track subjects well or work in low light I m sure that one day there ll be enough computing power in cameras to overcome these problems but right now they re very hit and miss systems I must not forget manual focus The ability to switch the motor off and dial in the focus entirely by hand is an important artistic tool when combined with manual aperture control Works best if you re lugging around a tripod more bulk Inter changeable lenses are important Other platforms notably micro four thirds also have inter changeable lenses but only the two leading DSLR platforms Nikon and Canon have an extensive range of lenses both from the manufacturer and from third parties such as Sigma And the quality of those lenses oh my I haven t mentioned flash photography as it isn t something I do But it s another area where the DSLR platform offers a major advantage over other camera types DSLRs are very versatile tools You can mix and match bodies and lenses to optimise for the kind of photography that you enjoy the most This is all good stuff but it isn t what prompted me to post in defence of the humble DSLR Final Thoughts I work in tech and it pays for my photography hobby Over the last few years there s been a steady rise of a culture that I wasn t aware of before Somehow it s become acceptable not to know what you re doing or how anything works Sometimes it s presented slightly differently that s there s far too much for anyone to know but the sentiment is the same We re moving from the days of the meta ignorant to an active cult of the ignorant As many of the people I follow on Twitter work in tech it is this culture spilling over into photography that I saw this afternoon And honestly I m deeply deeply uncomfortable with the notion It isn t a culture that I grok Because I don t understand it I don t want to call bullshit on it and I don t want to call people out who promote this culture I don t walk in their shoes and I don t see things through their eyes I don t know what the barriers are that are stopping you from learning the things that I have been able to learn The best I can do is offer to teach what I know So if there s enough interest I ll make the time to put together an easy step by step course to the humble DSLR and basic digital photography It ll be a group course run online and there will be plenty of homework involved Just let me know if this is something you want Be the first to leave a comment Desktop Wallpaper Bridge Over The Falls Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 31st 2014 in Desktop Wallpaper It s been an incredibly busy summer for me but I did manage to get a little bit of photography in during September I finally managed to dig through the photos last night and this one immediately jumped out at me I hope you like it as much as I do Be the first to leave a comment Desktop Wallpaper Be Careful Where You Tread Posted by Stuart Herbert on April 7th 2014 in Desktop Wallpaper As a belated birthday celebration at the end of January Mrs H and I spent a day at the Royal Navy Fleet Air Museum at Yeovilton We d had a lot of fun with our cameras at Scotland s National Museum of Flight and ever since we ve been looking to get to more air museums My first shot this week is the first shot I took in the museum a close up of the wing of a Supermarine Walrus I just love the texture of this wing and the unusual footprint painted on really caught my eye as we descended the ramp down to the floor of Hall 1 I m assuming that the footprint is there to show maintenance crews where it is safe to step without putting their foot through the wing Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter Be the first to leave a comment Desktop Wallpaper Llyn Cwm Llwch Posted by Stuart Herbert on April 4th 2014 in Desktop Wallpaper Last weekend was our warm up day for the

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Ten Principles Tai Chi -
    were at the beginning of our journey and that is when we lose our way Ed The principles we looked at tonight were Continuous Movement and Stillness In Motion two principles that absolutely complement each other You can take any move of the form and you ve got Continuous Movement firing off and it is being supported at all times by its exact opposite which is a lack of movement Stillness In Motion To explore Stillness In Motion a little bit more what we were looking at tonight was the difference between stillness and Stillness In Motion Stillness is where you stick where you stop and you feel that you have stopped Stillness In Motion by contrast is where you ve become more efficient and you re still moving but you re only moving that which needs to be moved So for me that was a very entertaining class tonight and for me very educational even though I m the one teaching it and I hope you find this point helpful too in your practice Be the first to leave a comment Beginning To Find Your Balance Posted by Stuart Herbert on February 25th 2010 in Benefits Podcast Principles Technique This blog post was originally published as a podcast in June 2009 I m slowly transcribing all of my podcasts to share them with my readers who either cannot play podcasts on their computer or who simply prefer reading instead of listening One of the reasons people choose to play T ai Chi and learn it in Western cultures is also one of its major health benefits it can improve your balance and as you get older it can reduce the amount that your balance degrades and help prevent falls as you get on in life Falls are quite dangerous as you get older in life as your body just can t cope with as much injury Don t take my word for it checkout all of the third party studies and testimonials for yourself Ed In our form one of the moves is called the Lotus Sweep You can view this on the YouTube video that I have of the form it s towards the end of the Part 2 video Ed This move really challenges your balance especially for a beginner What you have to do is go into cat stance weight is in the left and you sweep in with the right leg and you then sweep out once and then twice in a big circle before placing the feet heels in line to finish When I play this move my right knee the leg that is doing the sweeping the right knee comes up to hip height as I sweep in and out It s quite natural for beginners to want to try and copy that shape because as a beginner you are learning the shapes But what happens as you play the form with the knee up when you don t yet have Single Weight and when you don t yet have Relax The Hips and you don t yet have the uprightness that comes from Head And Body Moves As One Unit what happens to the beginner is that the sweep in and the sweep out cause the body to wobble left and right quite substantially It s not unusual for beginners to fall over at this point because they are trying to stand on one foot but don t yet have the balance to achieve it I saw a great thing in tonight s class where one of my students made a choice Instead of bringing the knee up high he chose to preserve his balance and his uprightness by playing the sweep low to the floor instead He brought the right foot up just enough to clear the floor so that he could sweep in once and sweep out twice and keep his uprightness I must point this out as being a great choice that he made and a great tip for everyone who is beginning to try and find their balance One of the reasons T ai Chi teaches balance is that it is teaching the body to understand what it feels like and what it means to be upright This is part of the mindfulness side of T ai Chi But as a beginner if you are wobbling left and right all the time as beginners are want to do and as I did too when I was a beginner what are you teaching the body there You re not You re continuing to confuse the body by lurching from one side and back to the other By smoothing these things out by focusing and saying right being upright is the most important thing and my form will have to grow around that core pillar over time it improves your balance far quicker and far better than throwing yourself from left to right That s a great little tip from tonight s class 2 comments An Observation On Looking At The Ten Principles Posted by Stuart Herbert on February 23rd 2010 in Podcast Principles This blog post was originally published as a podcast in June 2009 I m slowly transcribing all of my podcasts to share them with my readers who either cannot play podcasts on their computer or who simply prefer reading instead of listening On a Tuesday night I teach an Improvers class This class is for people who have completed the Beginners course and can play the short form all the way through from start to end either under instruction or as time goes on without instruction The syllabus for the Improvers class is to look at the ten underlying principles that shape the way the form is meant to be played and we use the form as a teaching tool for that The idea is that every week we look at one principle in isolation we study it and we understand what is going on and

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/taichi/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart on PHP - » How To Do Positive Code Reviews: My Talk @PHPCambridge
    has been writing PHP applications since 2003 and has been contributing to open source software since 1994 He was an early writer for php architect a co author of the Official Zend Certification Study Guide for PHP 4 and a regular speaker at conferences and user groups since 2004 When he s not designing software Stuart loves to explore the world through a camera lens spend time with his beloved guitars and continue his study to T ai Chi Chu an Taijiquan Add Your Comments To This Article Using The Form Below Your name required Your email address will not be published required Your website Your comment Your comments may not appear until they have been approved by a moderator Latest Photos Categories phpnw 1 Beginner 2 Intermediate 3 Advanced Brighton PHP Conferences Opinion phix PHP In Business PSR Servers and Hosting Storyplayer Talks Toolbox Training Uncategorized Archives February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 August 2015 March 2015 January 2014 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 February 2012 January 2012 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 October 2010 August 2010 July 2010 February 2010 January 2010 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 July 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 This Month February 2016 M T W T F S S Jan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/php/2016/02/22/how-to-do-positive-code-reviews-my-talk-phpcambridge/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart on PHP - » How To Design Functional Tests: My Talk @PHPsurrey
    beloved guitars and continue his study to T ai Chi Chu an Taijiquan Add Your Comments To This Article Using The Form Below Your name required Your email address will not be published required Your website Your comment Your comments may not appear until they have been approved by a moderator Latest Photos Categories phpnw 1 Beginner 2 Intermediate 3 Advanced Brighton PHP Conferences Opinion phix PHP In Business PSR Servers and Hosting Storyplayer Talks Toolbox Training Uncategorized Archives February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 August 2015 March 2015 January 2014 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 February 2012 January 2012 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 October 2010 August 2010 July 2010 February 2010 January 2010 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 July 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 This Month February 2016 M

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/php/2016/02/22/how-to-design-functional-tests-my-talk-phpsurrey/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart on PHP - » Gathering Apache Core Dumps Inside Docker
    can t change them inside the container which is not ideal You have to enable coredumps on your host operating system Ubuntu 15 04 ships with coredumps already enabled Ubuntu also ships with an app that gathers coredumps and ships them off to Canonical for inspection this is the A system error has been detected dialog box that appears all too frequently on a modern Ubuntu system Ubuntu s helper app can t intercept coredumps that occur within a Docker container so you don t have to worry about it in there About The Author Stuart has been writing PHP applications since 2003 and has been contributing to open source software since 1994 He was an early writer for php architect a co author of the Official Zend Certification Study Guide for PHP 4 and a regular speaker at conferences and user groups since 2004 When he s not designing software Stuart loves to explore the world through a camera lens spend time with his beloved guitars and continue his study to T ai Chi Chu an Taijiquan Add Your Comments To This Article Using The Form Below Your name required Your email address will not be published required Your website Your comment Your comments may not appear until they have been approved by a moderator Latest Photos Categories phpnw 1 Beginner 2 Intermediate 3 Advanced Brighton PHP Conferences Opinion phix PHP In Business PSR Servers and Hosting Storyplayer Talks Toolbox Training Uncategorized Archives February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 August 2015 March 2015 January 2014 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 February 2012 January 2012 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 October 2010

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/php/2016/01/06/gathering-apache-core-dumps-inside-docker/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart on PHP - » Why We Test: My Talk @PHPOxford
    since 1994 He was an early writer for php architect a co author of the Official Zend Certification Study Guide for PHP 4 and a regular speaker at conferences and user groups since 2004 When he s not designing software Stuart loves to explore the world through a camera lens spend time with his beloved guitars and continue his study to T ai Chi Chu an Taijiquan Add Your Comments To This Article Using The Form Below Your name required Your email address will not be published required Your website Your comment Your comments may not appear until they have been approved by a moderator Latest Photos Categories phpnw 1 Beginner 2 Intermediate 3 Advanced Brighton PHP Conferences Opinion phix PHP In Business PSR Servers and Hosting Storyplayer Talks Toolbox Training Uncategorized Archives February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 August 2015 March 2015 January 2014 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 February 2012 January 2012 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 October 2010 August 2010 July 2010 February 2010 January 2010 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 July 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 This Month November 2015 M T W T F S S Oct Jan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Recent Posts How To Do Positive Code Reviews

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/php/2015/11/03/why-we-test-my-talk-phpoxford/ (2016-05-02)
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