Thursday, February 4, 2010

Leipzig in 3d!

Hello to you all,

Since I've been running the Somerset3d website I've had lots of emails from other people around the world doing a similar thing. One such person is Frank in Germany who contacted me during the Christmas holiday and runs the website 3d Photos.Net.

Apart from his hometown of Leipzig there are also entries for Sudfriedhof, Innenhofe and other places I don't have a chance of pronouncing correctly to do them justice. A couple of samples can be seen below. I urge you to visit the site to see the full collection.

Top left is Riquet Cafe and the bottom left image is of Uhr am Kroch-Hochhaus, both in Leipzig.

All galleries are also available to view with the orange and blue 3d glasses from Sainsbury's used for the recent 3d week on channel 4 in the UK.
On the Somerset3d website this week's update is for Kingston St Mary. I visited the village in September of last year during a marathon day of 3d, visiting and recording 13 different locations in one day. Not my favourite way of visiting the villages but sometimes
stock is so low, and the following months have too much planned to do, that way is the only way. I may have to do another marathon day soon, as stock is running low once more.

That's your lot for today. Don't forget to visit the Speakin Zummerzet feature to keep yer Zummerzet up and Ill zid ee nex wick.

PS. I'm having problems with the layout. The pictures keep adjusting and moving and the text isn't appaering like it looks when I'm working on the draft. I'll have to have a chat and take lessons from my excellent blogger of a wife who runs the Suzy's Vintage Attic blog.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blog Resurrection

Hello and welcome to the resurrected Alan Woollard Photography Blog.

As previous visitors will know I decided to close the blog in November 2008. My reason was all due to the lack of time I could commit to said blog.

Well, although time is still an issue, I feel that there is too much going on in the world of 3d for me to ignore so I have decided to start blogging again.

So, let's get on with it.

I'm sure all of you are aware of how well the 3d movie Avatar has done at the box office since its release. It looks like 2010 could be the breakthrough year for 3d films.

In other news:

PANASONIC is one of the major players in the new push to 3-D and the company announced its first 3D Blu-ray player at CES 2010.

Key features of the Panasonic DMP-BDT350 are as follows:
  • 3-D Blu-ray player.
  • PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus video processor.
  • Supports Panasonic's VieraCast streaming content portal, which will feature content from Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Netflix, Pandora and Twitter.
  • SD cart slot and USB port.
  • 14-second boot up time.
  • Wi-Fi ready; requires USB dongle (not confirmed whether or not this is included).

As of the date of this posting there is no release date or pricing announced.
3-D Blu-ray will likely require both a compatible HDTV and a new HDMI 1.4 cable, so the true cost of 3-D will be quite high. Also, there's the issue of 3-D Blu-ray media, which will probably be in short supply for all of 2010. No manufacturers have as yet announced any pricing or release dates for 3-D Blu-ray players.


Sky has announced that the number of customers choosing Sky+HD, the UK’s only high definition (HD) service currently capable of broadcasting 3D services, has increased to 1.313 million following record growth.

Customers have responded in record numbers to Sky’s high quality and great value HD service. Sky has more than doubled the number of HD customers in the last year alone with over 90 customers* an hour joining Sky+HD.

In the next step in the Sky+HD journey, Sky today announced that it will launch the UK’s first 3D channel next year. The channel will offer a broad selection of the best available 3D programming, which is expected to include movies, entertainment and sport. The service will be broadcast across Sky’s existing HD infrastructure and be available via the current generation of Sky+HD set-top boxes. To watch 3D, customers will also require a new '3D Ready' TV, which are expected to be on sale in the UK next year.

This commitment follows extensive research and development activity into 3D, which included Sky becoming the first TV company in Europe to broadcast a live event in 3D TV. On 2nd April 2009 Sky successfully broadcast a performance by Keane live from Abbey Road Studios via the company’s satellite network to a Sky+HD set-top box and domestic 3D Ready TV.
Sky has also confirmed the launch of a comprehensive ‘pull’ video-on-demand (VOD) service next year, to provide Sky+HD customers with additional choice and control to complement Sky+ and the current Sky Anytime ‘push’ VOD service. This new service will use the broadband capability of existing Sky+HD boxes.

Brian Sullivan, Managing Director of Sky’s Customer Group, comments:
“Well over a million homes have future-proofed themselves with Sky+HD, a platform for choice, quality and future innovation. With Sky+ as standard, our customers are already enjoying amazing picture and sound quality on a range of high-quality HD channels which cater to the interests and passions of the whole family.

“Next year we will make our HD boxes work even harder for customers by launching Europe’s first 3D TV channel, as well as introducing a comprehensive video-on-demand service to complement Sky+ and the current Sky Anytime service. “3D is a genuinely ‘seeing is believing’ experience, making TV come to life as never before. Just like the launch of digital, Sky+ and HD, this is latest step in our commitment to innovating for customers.”

Sky launched the UK’s first national HD service in May 2006 which has since become Europe’s most successful HD service. Today Sky+HD customers can watch 33 HD channels from leading brands such as Sky Movies, Sky Sports, Channel 4, Disney, MTV, BBC, Discovery, FX, Sky1 and National Geographic. Sky+HD customers can choose up to 400 hours a day – or 13,000 hours a month – of quality HD content, which is significantly more than any other TV platform.
Further channels are due shortly, including ESPN HD (August 2009), and Sky News HD (Spring 2010), with a view to growing the offering to 50 channels over time.

Further details on Sky’s pull VOD and 3DTV services, including pricing, packaging and entitlement, will be announced closer to launch.

So, it appears that 3d is here to stay this time.

My own site Somerset3d is still going strong with last week's updates featuring Leighton in somerset and Launceston in Cornwall. Terminator fans may wish to check out the Speakin Zummerzet page to see what a Somerset Terminator would sound like (Scroll down to the entry for 14th January 2010).

That's your lot for this post. See you soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thursday 6th November - Blog Closed

Hello and welcome to November.

After careful thought and consideration I have decided to close this blog.

The work involved in keeping three websites updated is getting too much, so from now on please visit the Somerset3d website for 3d news and the Alan Woollard Photography site for other news.

Thank you to those who made the effort to read this blog.

I hope you will still visit Somerset3d and Alan Woollard Photography.


Alan Woollard.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thursday 30th October – Dyram Park

Good day to you all,

DYRHAM OARK HOUSE FROM THE FRONTDYRHAM PARK HOUSE FROM THE REARA couple of weekends ago the family and I had a day out in Dyrham Park near the city of Bath.

After our customary detour around the county we finally arrived around lunch-time and headed straight for the canteen. Lunch was enjoyed and digested before we headed off out
again to have a look at the magnificent landscapes. After looking at the gardens and church we ventured out to the front of the house to search out the Deer and Stags that Durham is famous for. It didn’t take the little one long before she saw a lone Stag grazing on the hill-side. A small crowd had gathered to see the a a animal the animal as it slowly wandered over the brow of the hill. Further on we marched up another hill in search of more, and it wasn’t long before we were rewarded. There were probably over 100 of the animals all congregated on a hill top, resting in the autumn sun.


It was great to see real wildlife so close. The little one was excited too and she even had a go on my camera to capture the scene herself.

After a while we decided to give them some peace and headed off for a walk around the grounds before we returned to the car and the journey home. All in all it was a very pleasant day.

Last weekend we made a surprise visit to my sister-in-law’s on the Isle of Wight. Leaving late on Friday night to return on Sunday afternoon, we persuaded the congregation to come back with us to so the little one would be able to spend some time with her cousins. After hours of internet searching and phone calls we eventually found them somewhere to stay and arranged the ferry crossing. It was a long journey back but the look of surprise on the little one’s face when she saw her cousins was priceless.

The weather here has gone really cold and biking to work in the mornings is a bit of an effort, especially after having two weeks use of a company car recently. It will do me good to get back to the exercise though.

Somerset 3d stock is getting really low now so I MUST get out and about over the next couple of weeks and get the stock back up again. Fingers crossed for the wind and rain to stay away.

I have some of my photographs featured on a new website called the Professional Photographic Gallery. Entry to the gallery is by invitation only so I was extremely pleased to be asked to contribute to the team’s project. Thanks to Trevor Hirst for the invite. My entry can be found here.

This week’s update is Buckland St Mary and the fifth page for Amiens is now online.

That’s all from me, have a good Halloween and I’ll be here again next week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thursday 23rd October - Trains

Morning All,

I've been on assignment this week for Mendip Rail Ltd (The people I work for). We bought some new wagons a couple of weeks ago and the powers that be decided that they would like to have a photograph of these shiny new wagons on their first trip out from the Mendips. So, as the unofficial company photographer, I was given the task.

The Boss wanted a photo that would show off the wagons and also show the corporate identity, so they could be used in publicity material.

So, a location was sought and, eventually settled upon. A place called Berkley, just outside of Frome. There were good vantage points from two bridges and a curve to the track. The result was this.
Not bad but too train-spotter-ish (No offence to Train-Spotters intended). So another location was sought and eventually we settled on the Great Bedwyn area. It was felt that the Kennet & Avon Canal, that ran along-side the track here, would add something to the picture. Next step was a location scouting mission.

So, Tuesday morning at 8am I headed off to Great Bedwyn. Once I arrived and found somewhere to park I headed straight for the canal and walked along the tow-path looking for possible sites. It was a beautiful day and the scenery looked fabulous.

CLICK FOR A BIGGER PICTUREThe canal was almost still, giving off wonderful reflections, and the trees were an abundance of colours. Unfortunately, it was the trees that were the problem. Wherever a view looked promising, the rail track was hidden by the trees. "Blast" I thought. I ended up walking miles in an attempt to find the view we were looking for. Eventually I found two possible locations. Test shots were taken and, once I arrived back home, the pictures were studied until a final decision was reached. Although I liked the first picture the trees would hide too many wagons, as you can see below. So, with site location decided upon, I had an early night in readiness of my early 7am start the next day.

CLICK FOR A BIGGER PICTURECLICK FOR A BIGGER PICTUREWednesday arrived and I set off once again towards Great Bedwyn. Once there I parked up and headed off down the tow-path to find my picture spot. The train had been planned to be at Bedwyn around 10:15am. By 09:30 I was ready and waiting, camera ready, my finger poised. 10:15 came and went, as did 10:30, 10:45 and 11:00. Although I didn't expect it to be on-time, I didn't expect it to be this late either. A call to the MRL office told me the bad news. It was running 2 hours late. "Blast" I thought again. By now my back had stiffened up, caused by me standing still for too long. So the next 30 minutes were taken up by me doing silly walks, in an attempt to get my spine mobile again. The minutes ticked by like hours but, eventually, the train did appear. As it passed by my spot I snapped away as quickly as I could to make sure I'd captured the moment and then, that was it. It was all over. A day and a half of planning and waiting and it was over in less than a minute. All I hoped now is that I managed to capture what my Boss had wanted. He's on holiday for the rest of this week so I won't really know for a few more days yet.

The last picture posted is more or less what I ended up with. More or less in that I can't post the actual photo as that belongs to Mendip Rail, but it gives you some idea.

That will have to do for now as it's getting late. Just a quick line to tell you the Somerset3d updates are of Withyditch and the 4th Amiens page is now active.

Thanks for reading. More next week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thursday 16th October - House 3 Photos 0

Morning all,

As you can see by the header no photographs again last weekend.

The weather was glorious, how it should have been in August, as it happens the weather in August was how we expect it to be in October. Perhaps we ought to juggle the calendar around to suit what the weather is doing.

Anyway, with the outside of the house almost done, I’m hoping to be able to get out and about soon to get some much needed stock for the 3d website. I can only hope this unseasonal weather continues for a few more weeks yet.

This week’s update is of South Petherton and the 3rd week of the feature on Amiens is now active with the pictures taking a journey back from the canals and to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Today I shall be attending the funeral of a good friend of mine.

Nick Flamsteed was tragically killed on his way home from work two weeks ago.
I’ve known Nick since my school days. We used to hang out together when we were 12 until we both left school in 1978. Since then we’d bump into each other three or four times a year and, when we did, we’d always have a good chat for an hour or more, catching up with what we’d been up to and what plans we were making. Nick was a very sociable person. He always had time to talk and was always cheerful and positive with his life. The last time I saw him was a week before he died, at his work-place. It was a quick hello/goodbye this time as customers were waiting for him and I had to get back to work. He was a gentleman and a good friend, I shall miss him.

More next week.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thursday 9th October - Latest 3D news

Good day to you all,

Good news for 3d photographers was announced this week by camera makers Fuji. Sometime in the next year they intend to sell a 6 mega pixel digital camera with two lenses to enable 3d photography to be available to all. As yet there is no announcement of a launch date nor of a price. One thing is for sure though, and that is you can almost guarantee that this photographer will be doing his hardest to get hold of one as soon as they are on the shelves. You can read the Fuji press release by clicking here.

This is exciting news for me. At the moment I take my 3d's by using two Canon Ixus's (or should that be Ixi?) and, though I'm more than happy with the results I get from them, I do get a little frustrated trying to capture, in 3d, things that move quickly. Things like water, birds or my step daughter. It usually takes me many attempts before I manage to get a pair of photos that match to be able to create the anaglyph. Now it's not clear to me at the moment if the Fuji with provide me with two shots of the same subject to be able to create my own anaglyphs, or if the camera does all this for you in the form of a lenticular image. I look forward to finding out.

My own photography (3d or otherwise) continues to take a back seat to the house improvements. The weather here has changed for the better, which means more outside house work will be scheduled for the coming weekend. I'll have to see if I can sneak away for a couple of hours to get a couple more villages in the bag.

This weeks update is of
Southstoke and the second Amiens page is now active. Southstoke is a lovely place to visit and, though I didn't try it for myself, the local pub, The Packhorse Inn, looked very welcoming. Unfortunately, when I'm out doing the 3d stuff time is of the most importance. So stopping for a meal at the local is not something I do. I ought to be much further ahead in stock for the 3d site that I can really take in everything about the village and enjoy some of the hospitality on offer. Alas, the amount of wet weather we have had this year means I am rapidly running out of new villages to update the website with. In fact, it's been so wet, I wouldn't have been at all surprised had I seen a bearded bloke rounding up 2 of every animal, heading towards a big boat on a hill. So it would really help me if you'd all pray for good dry weather over the next couple of months, just to give me a chance to boost the 3d stock.

Frank Matthys has produced two more 3d books to add to the Bruges in 3d book I've been championing over the last few weeks. He has one of Ypres in France and of Leuven in Belgium. Click
here to find out more and don't forget to mention Somerset3d if you should decide to purchase one of his books. The interview with Frank is still on the cards, I'm just waiting for him to have some free time to be able to answer my questions.

Right, that's it from me. I don't want to be too late to bed tonight.

Have a good weekend and I see you all next week.