Friday, 16th October, 2009
I have posted and will be maintaining a page for announcements about photography competitions - as much to remind myself as everybody else! Hopefully, this will make it easy for everyone to keep up to date with the latest competitions.
Culture and Customs of Laos
This intriguing new book about Thailand's neighbour was released in May 2008 and contains three photos licensed from me. If you want to know more about licensing photos then please read my licensing FAQ's, and contact me for more information.
Saturday, 26th January, 2008
Garden Photographer of The Year 2008 Entries for the Garden Photographer of The Year photo competition close on January 31st. A late call, but with over £25,000 worth of prizes, it's got to be worth a late rummage through your files, and a note in your diary to enter this competition next year! You must register and images must be uploaded to the site to enter the competition.
Saturday, 3rd November, 2007
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The UNESCO list of 851 world heritage sites is now available on stickyrice.co.uk. How many have you visited?! The locations are presented in a easy-to-read and attractive way over a series of seventeen pages (50 sites per page) . Please bear in mind that each page pulls a large amount of information from external sources, so the pages may take a second or two to load. Enjoy...
Tuesday, 30th October, 2007
Photo gifts available now
The most popular photos are now available as Art Prints. Printed to A4 size suitable for mounting (matting), and framing in a standard 30cm x 40cm or 16" x 12" frame. Selected pictures are available for dispatch as gifts.
Thursday, 4th October, 2007
BBC Worldwide buys major stake in Lonely Planet
On September 30th, BBC Worldwide announced that it had purchased Lonely Planet. Their 75% ownership leaves original founders, husband and wife team Tony and Maureen Wheeler, a 25% share in the company. Lonely Planet put news of the takeover on their blog.
Wednesday, 3rd October, 2007
Travel Photographer of the Year 2007
Entries for this increasingly popular competition are now closed. If, like me, you have entered the competition and have your entry postmarked October 3rd, then you are now reliant upon Royal Mail. Fear not, though; the organisers of the competition have made allowances for disruption in mail services caused by the strikes, and your entry postmarked with today's date is guaranteed entry.
More Epson Woes
I thought that it would be a good idea to update my drivers for my Epson RX640 All-in-One Printer/Scanner. I'm not quite sure why I thought that this would be a good idea, or what benefits it might bring me, I just did. Anyhow, while the drivers for the printer side of things seem to be working just fine, the scanner now seems to ignore that there is actually anything at all on the flatbed, and will print out a very nice A4 page of black. (The new printer driver over-rode my previous preference settings of an automatic print preview of each file prior to printing, so this came as an unpleasant surprise, and waste of - expensive - ink the first time round).
As I tend to update just about everything on a bi-daily basis and can't seem to roll back the drivers, it looks like it's a System Restore job, followed by re-installation of the other updates I've performed since. Ho-hum. Why can't all drivers be found, installed (and work) with the ease of Nvidia's?
Update 14th November: turned out that my driver problems were just a conflict, and nothing at all to do with Epson (shame-faced apologies...)
Saturday, 8th September, 2007
Sticky Rice Travel Photography RSS Feed now at Feedburner
Monday, 20th August, 2007
RSS Feed now available on Sticky Rice Travel Photography
I have put up a feed for the latest 25 photos to be uploaded on this site. The feed will link directly to the large version of the image on the server. The feed is available here. Update 9th September: My Travel Photography Feed now moved to Feedburner.
Tuesday, 14th August, 2007
Phnom Bakheng, Angkor Wat at risk of collapse
Representatives of the World Monuments Fund (WMF), say that Phnom Bakheng, the popular spot for taking photos of the sunset at Angkor Wat is at risk of collapse because of rapidly increasing visitor numbers.
As many as 3,000 people climb the temple to watch the sun set. [Ironic, since it's barely worth it, photographically - the temple just happens to be easiest to get to for most guides]. Those numbers are taking a heavy toll on the ancient buildings. The temple and the hill it sits on are crumbling away. Read more on BBC World News...
Nasa satellites reveal true scale of Angkor Wat
At least 74 new temples and complex irrigation systems have been discovered at the ancient Cambodian temple complex and World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat.
A map, published in the journal PNAS, extends the known settlement by 1000 sq km, about the size of Los Angeles - a third larger than previously thought. The map was produced from ground surveys, airborne photography, and ground-sensing radar from Nasa's AIRSAR satellite. Read more on BBC World News...
Saturday, 4th August, 2007
BBC Photographer of the Year 2007
Sadly, this contest has been suspended just as the second round was being voted upon. It's a shame that such a great fuss has been made, and that things couldn't have been resolved more cleanly and quickly in this fracas over competitions invloving many media companies and corporations, not just the BBC.
I had missed out on the first round, (I forgot that it had started!), and was looking forward to the judging on the second round, which I had entered. How long it will will take to resolve this mess is uncertain, but let's just hope that they can do it with the least amount of corporate nonsense (endless meetings, consultations, and reports), so that we can all get back to enjoying ourselves as soon as possible.
Wednesday, 11th July, 2007
The New 7 Wonders of the World
These are the final results in the Poll to elect the New Seven Wonders of the World. In no particular order:
- The Great Wall, China
- Petra, Jordan
- Christ Redeemer, Brazil
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Chichén Itzá, Mexico
- The Roman Colosseum, Italy
- The Taj Mahal, India
I still can't believe that Angkor Wat fialed to make the final seven, and Christ Redeemer did. I guess that national voting had a lot to do with the results, spurred on by Tourist Authority interests and encouragement. Just call me a cynic!
Epson RX640 Review - one year on
I bought this model in July 2006 having previously owned one of the forerunners - the RX500. They both perform very well as all-rounders. I have used the RX640 for most of the 35mm scanning for this site, and a lot of general printing, and it has not let me down - yet. The printer is fast and produces photo prints of very good quality for a machine of this price. The scanner too, is very good, though if you are thinking of scanning a large number of slides/negatives at high resolution for archiving/printing at 300dpi, then I would seriously think about investing in a stand-alone scanner for a bit more money.
Sadly, I fully expect it to let me down - as did the RX500. In common with other printers, Epson printers/all-in-ones have an overflow system whereby excess ink is drained into a 'reservoir' every time the heads are cleaned. Should you use generic (unbranded) inks then head cleaning is likely to be required far more often and the reservoir will fill up far more quickly. Once this tank is full, some printers allow you the facility to empty/replace the tank - not so Epson. In fact, there is a built-in program which will actually prevent you from using the printer AT ALL once the reservoir is full. An 'error' will occur, which is irreversible within the Epson software. A useless error will generate which gives you no useful information about the supposed fault. Referring to the Epson Website, you will learn that your machine has come to the end of it's working life - according to Epson. Supposedly, this is in order to prevent the ink from flowing all over your desktop, yet the printers could be made such that the reservoir could be emptied and cleaned, or simply replaced, easily.
A lot of searching on the Web (especially within photographic forums, where the Epson name is highly regarded, and with good reason, for their affordable scanning and printing capabilities), and you will find that the only way to override the in-built software "error" which prevents you using the printer is to download and install a (free) Russian-coded utility, from a third-party Website.
UPDATE 23rd July 2007: The website is no more. The utility is still available via the Web Archive, however, on this page: SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus Printers. Scroll down to the very bottom of the page, and you will see a link to the utility.
With thanks to Herbert Strohbach for the update on the dead link.
UPDATE 9th September 2007: Russian SSCLG Website for the SSC utility once again online.
This sounds very dodgy, I know, but it apparently works very well and doesn't involve sneaky installation of any Spyware or trojans or anything nasty like that: use at your own risk though. This will enable you to use the printer once again - but with the risk that everything will eventually get covered in ink once the reservoir eventually overflows.
Sooo...presuming that the machine is out of warranty, (my RX500 was by a month or two), you have to get your hands dirty. More in-depth Web searching and you can find scanned copies of the Epson engineers manuals, which will tell you how to take these machines apart. Although some users will tell you that this is easier than it looks and can save you a lot of money - beware! Unless you are the type who has the sort of skills and patience required to take apart engines, coupled with the hands of concert pianist, and the eyesight of a surgeon, then I would personally recommend against it. I have none of these skills or abilities, and I tried and failed. It took me a morning to take the RX500 apart, then three mornings trying to put it back together again - which was never 100% successful! Result: a trashed all-in-one after approx. 14 months use. A stand-alone printer is apparently far easier to take apart - but I can't see me ever trying it!
Ultimately, the answer is to only use Epson inks, which will require far less head cleaning, (usually only when you install new cartridges). Even so, a lot of printing will eventually result in the reservoir filling up anyway.
After a lot of soul-searching, I decided to buy Epson again. Why? Firstly, it was my decision to buy and use generic inks, the money saved was considerable, and could be written off against the cost of a new all-in-one. Secondly, although I am (still) annoyed at the policy of what appears to be in-built redundancy by Epson; actively preventing use of a perfectly good machine well before the end of it's usable life, I can to some extent understand that this is perhaps in part in order to keep down the design and support costs of the machines: they wouldn't be so cheap in the first place, if they were designed to last forever. Lastly, the technology in this field advances at leaps and bounds, and what you can get six months down the line for half the price, is way better than what you have today, (presuming you need and want the improvements, of course).
In short: an excellent machine at a budget price for the facilities offered - but only use branded inks. If you do a lot of printing, it will eventually fail anyway, but it's probably worth it for the quality you get.
- Clogged Clogging Blocked Epson Printhead Nozzles - How to unclog
- Epson Ink Cartridges Technical Support
- A non exhaustive guide to common Epson problems
- SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus Printer: (intermittently available), now here
- DVdoctor.community - Epson Stylus 900
- Epson RX500 print problems - fixyourownprinter.com
- Google search for Epson waste reservior problems
- Buy the Epson RX640 all-in-one printer/scanner/copier at Amazon.com
- Buy the Epson RX640 all-in-one printer/scanner/copier at Amazon.co.uk
Wednesday, 20th June, 2007
Vote for the New Seven Wonders of the World
The 21 finalists are up online. Now is your chance to ensure that your favourites get in the final seven. Vote for your Seven Wonders now!
The last 21 are (in no particular order of merit!):
- The Acropolis of Athens (450 - 330 B.C.) Athens, Greece
- Alhambra (12th century) Granada, Spain
- Angkor (12th century) Cambodia
- The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá (before 800 A.D.) Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
- Christ Redeemer (1931) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- The Roman Colosseum (70 - 82 A.D.) Rome, Italy
- Statues of Easter Island (10th - 16th Century) Easter Island, Chile
- The Eiffel Tower (1887 - 89) Paris, France
- The Great Wall of China (220 B.C. and 1368 - 1644 A.D.) China
- The Hagia Sophia (532 - 537 A.D.) Istanbul, Turkey
- Kiyomizu Temple (749 - 1855) Kyoto, Japan
- The Kremlin and Red Square (1156 - 1850) Moscow, Russia
- Machu Picchu (1460-1470), Peru
- Neuschwanstein Castle (1869 -1884) Schwangau, Germany
- Petra (9 B.C. - 40 A.D.), Jordan
- The Pyramids of Giza (2600 - 2500 B.C.) Egypt
- The Statue of Liberty (1886) New York City, U.S.A.
- Stonehenge (3000 B.C. - 1600 B.C.) Amesbury, United Kingdom
- Sydney Opera House (1954 - 73) Sydney, Australia
- The Taj Mahal (1630 A.D.) Agra, India
- Timbuktu (12th century) Mali
Despite my many years of travelling, I find that I have only visited six of the twenty-one finalists. Familiarity with some of the others still only gives me a list of 15 from which to choose. That made the task a little easier, as you get to vote for the seven. The Taj Mahal and Angkor were among my personal favourites.
Voting for the New Seven Wonders of the World closes at midnight on July 6th. The New 7 Wonders of the World will be announced during the Official Declaration ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday, July 7th, 2007
Saturday, 16th June, 2007
Entries are now invited for the Travel Photographer of the Year 2007.
Photography competition categories and prizes include worldwide photographic trips; copies of Adobe CS3 Premium, and Adobe Lightroom; Wacom tablets, bursaries up to £2,500 and more.
The closing date is September 19th 2007. Good Luck!
Friday, 15th June, 2007
I have added a (moderated) guestbook. Please feel free to add any comments or suggestions on the photography, travelogues or site design.
Top town in Asia?
Oh no: I have to admit that I hate it when this happens. Readers of Wanderlust magazine have voted Luang Prabang, (currently thirty photos of Luang Prabang in the Laos gallery) their 'top city' in the Wanderlust Travel Awards 2007.
As the Eagles sang in 'The Last Resort': "...you call someplace paradise; kiss it goodbye". It is true though - it's a gorgeous place, and certainly one of my favourite travel destinations. You can't keep places like this quiet.
As for the other results; well I agree wholeheartedly with the top countries list, but have to admit to being a little suspicious of the top websites list. Three of the top five websites are tour operators. Are they really the best places to find good unbiased information? Call me cynical...
Adobe Creative Suite 3 announced
Release dates and options for the new Adobe CS3 are to be announced on March 27th in a webcast live from New York at 3:30 pm EST. They have already made clear that Photoshop will be released in two new editions: Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Released
Now available at Amazon UK: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for PC/Mac. This has to be the best new photo-imaging software release in a long time. All photo professionals and enthusiasts should have already tried and tested this essential addition to their kit, and not found it wanting: a very impressive piece of software.
While not a replacement for Photoshop, it is a valuable management tool: combining importing, management, developing, printing and presentation features. It certainly has to be considered as possibly the standard image management tool for all (digital) photographers.
Non-destructive editing; support for more than 140 camera raw formats; excellent editing tools, (the usability of the curves tool is much improved on Photoshop); web gallery creation and print layouts: there are many excellent features in this new release.
UK Pricing and release dates - updated 28th March 2007
Available in the USA from February 19th. Initially planned to be released in the UK on February 23rd 2007, Amazon UK released Lightroom on March 15th. It is available at a discount price if ordered before April 30, 2007. Expected retail in the UK after this date is expected to be £175+VAT (£205.63).. Photoshop Lightroom is available now at Amazon UK (prices vary - see box at left for current price) or directly from Adobe for £146.88 (or £151.25 as a download).
Page last updated Tuesday, 24th November, 2015