gill moore photography

Archive for the 'websites' Category

New Designers exhibition, London … winners Kate Laskey & Abigail Borg

I was hoping to get to the New Designers exhibition at the Business Design Cente, London, when I was visiting the capital a few weekends ago. Sadly, the time slot was just too tight and I had to give up on that idea, however on their website is a full list of the winners. It was a two-part show which celebrated the work of over 4000 graduates from around the UK who also competed to win one of the New Designer Awards. It is one of two major platforms for new graduates, the other being the Free Range exhibition over at Brick Lane.

Amongst this year’s award-winning array of talent I really liked the work of Kate Laskey. Her project entered for the ND exhibition was titled ‘Ten stops from home’ and featured a collection of wallpapers, furnishing and upholstery fabrics and cushions that all incorporate images noted from her journey to and from college. Covering the past three years, her sketchbook featured drawings from towns such as Shoreham, Brighton and Eastbourne which were developed to create the finished designs.

Kate is a recent graduate in Surface and Textile Design from Northbrook College and won the Harlequin Award at the exhibition. The judges described her work as “inspirational and highly individual with a very specific style and unique handwriting. Extremely refreshing and versatile”. Together with the prestige and media buzz of winning an award at this exhibition, it also means Kate will spend some time working at Harlequin a highly respected brand known through the world of interiors, they design and sell a select range of classy fabrics and wallpapers.

Also an honourable mention for a student from ‘Oop Norf’ …. hurrah, no I’m not biased at all !! Well done Abigail Borg from Leeds College of Arts, proclaimed the Business Design Centre: New Designer of the Year. I think her drawing skills and colour palette match up quite beautifully and her work could fit comfortably within a number of media from textile design right through to book covers and many in-between.

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New Designers exhibition, London … winners Kate Laskey & Abigail Borg

I was hoping to get to the New Designers exhibition at the Business Design Cente, London, when I was visiting the capital a few weekends ago. Sadly, the time slot was just too tight and I had to give up on that idea, however on their website is a full list of the winners. It was a two-part show which celebrated the work of over 4000 graduates from around the UK who also competed to win one of the New Designer Awards. It is one of two major platforms for new graduates, the other being the Free Range exhibition over at Brick Lane.

Amongst this year’s award-winning array of talent I really liked the work of Kate Laskey. Her project entered for the ND exhibition was titled ‘Ten stops from home’ and featured a collection of wallpapers, furnishing and upholstery fabrics and cushions that all incorporate images noted from her journey to and from college. Covering the past three years, her sketchbook featured drawings from towns such as Shoreham, Brighton and Eastbourne which were developed to create the finished designs.

Kate is a recent graduate in Surface and Textile Design from Northbrook College and won the Harlequin Award at the exhibition. The judges described her work as “inspirational and highly individual with a very specific style and unique handwriting. Extremely refreshing and versatile”. Together with the prestige and media buzz of winning an award at this exhibition, it also means Kate will spend some time working at Harlequin a highly respected brand known through the world of interiors, they design and sell a select range of classy fabrics and wallpapers.

Also an honourable mention for a student from ‘Oop Norf’ …. hurrah, no I’m not biased at all !! Well done Abigail Borg from Leeds College of Arts, proclaimed the Business Design Centre: New Designer of the Year. I think her drawing skills and colour palette match up quite beautifully and her work could fit comfortably within a number of media from textile design right through to book covers and many in-between.

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Creative Studio sharing … a Danish example but it needs a green roof!

Maybe one day I will dabble in a bit of studio sharing. I often think it sounds like a stimulating and fun environment to work within, different creative skillsets all housed in one building with the possibility of collaboration plus the practical benefits of sharing facilities. Whilst savouring the wonderful design work on the bloesem site, I discovered a successful creative workspace enterprise called ‘Lynfabrikken’ (the lightning factory) based in Denmark.
I suppose the closest thing we have here in Manchester would be The Craft and Design Centre but it rents out only small units and does not have the space to attract photographers/musicians/film-makers. Maybe Islington Mill has the potential to grow into something bigger, though the Danish example seems to have a more central location and therefore the ability to morph itself into trendy cafe, place to be seen plus a gallery and performance venue. Lynfabrikken is open to the public with opportunities to buy and view unique work and provides a meeting spot for all the creative tenants and their clients.
I shall carry on with my idealised daydream for the Perfect Studio ….
Of course it would have to utilise all roof space, maybe a green living roof similar to the Unicorn Grocery roof project in Chorlton, their site has a live web-cam (you can actually control the camera movements!).
The Unicorn scheme provides a green escape for their employees and was designed specifically to attract the rare black redstart, a bird happy in the urban environment but rapidly disappearing from the UK. There have been reports of at least one breeding pair of these birds this summer in the centre of Manchester (near the CIS building) so maybe they will wing their way over to Unicorn one day soon.

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International Garden Photographer of the Year 2008

The International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition is one of the most prestigious photography contests  and the Overall Winner this year features the above stunning scene from a Japanese Garden.  Australian photographer, Claire Takacs, managed to be in the right place at a wonderful time AND possessed the skills to create a beautiful evocative image.  What is it about trees and snow which combines so perfectly.

 

Talking of trees, allow me to point you in the direction of Paul Debois.  He has a series of black and white images taken with a pinhole camera in the Portolio Section of the IGPOY competition (click here to view) which I just adore.  Yes, the winning set of shots is beautiful but (in my humble opinion) Debois’ work is more deserving for top spot as it is individual, highly creative and skilful and possesses the ability to move you into another zone.  I have always liked Edward Steichen’s work and it was no surprise to read that Paul Debois’ “Pinhole Impressions” has a dab of Steichen inspiration behind it.

 

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What makes a great photograph? … “how long is a piece of string?”

This year, for the first time, I am entering the Shot Up North Awards.  These UK awards are for photographers based anywhere from the Midlands northwards including Scotland.  The Awards used to be affiliated to the Association of Photographers (AOP) however SUN is now a stand-alone organisation aimed at celebrating and promoting Northern photographers and their work.

I started to ponder what is the key thing that makes an image a great image.  First port of call was viewing some of the previous winning images from Shot Up North.  Though hugely inspiring, I was struck by the variety and disparate array of images selected for the Top 50 over the years.
Studying the photograph at first-hand is always the ideal and what usually happens is you have a gut reaction upon initial viewing and this surely provides the key to answering the question.
I then took a read of the always excellent blog by J M Colberg “Conscientious” which featured a really in-depth piece: “What Makes a Great Photo?” with many gifted photographers and creative’s discussing their own take on answering that question.  After that I just jotted down lots of random thoughts which I list below.

  • emotional kick “wow” factor/connection/memorable tho it also may not wow it could linger and not go away.
  • tells a story/intrigues/shows a voice
  • captures a moment
  • has a sense of style/atmosphere/beauty
  • makes you think/question/can challenge or inform
  • has a high degree of individuality/fresh perspective
  • compelling blend of colours/form/composition
  • intimate – can open a direct channel viewer/photographer.  It communicates.
  • evocative/memory
  • has depth, image encourages/demands repeat viewing
  • reveals something new of the subject; a person/object/environment
  • has an ability to move and touch the viewer
  • element of mystery
  • powerful … it transports you to another place

Sure, it is a bit like asking “how long is a piece of string” but it is such an interesting question with no right or wrong answer; just more for the mix and people react so differently and that it what is so fascinating.

UPDATE : Newer post featuring my Special Edition image and other winners at Shot Up North plus details of the SUN exhibition can be found here.

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My Hotmail account hacked – all my contacts spammed !! How to avoid it happening to you.

Last week my Hotmail account was hacked and every single one of my email contacts was spammed. The email was sent from my actual Hotmail address (copies were in my Sent Mail folder) so for anyone receiving the post I am afraid it looked very authentic.

I have been with Hotmail right from the very start even before it was bought by Microsoft and until last week I had never been hacked before. Hard to believe I know, but way back then there were not many web-based email sites and I think Hotmail tempted me with access to a huge Mailbox for storing all messages.

So I thought I would post about my experience in an effort to make people aware that web-based email is vulnerable and is now seen as a relatively easy target for various scams and to procure valuable ID details. I know some people who run their business using web-based email, they chose it for its flexibility and low cost but just think what could happen if you were the victim of a Spam Scam. The credibility of the business could be severely dented.

Though I was understandably annoyed and it caused people on my Contacts List some confusion it could have been a whole lot worse. Once I started to look at other Hotmail members “hack horror stories” I felt rather relieved. For a start, the scam was selling iPods at bargain prices in the Far East … imagine the embarrassment if the links had pointed people over to some porn site or viagra boutique? Or sent a virus to my friends accounts? Or locked my Hotmail Account and wiped out all my Contacts? C-net has some more information and examples on their site.

It is not just limited to Hotmail though, here is someone blogging about their own hack which happened whilst using Googlemail.

To try to avoid your own web-based email getting hacked these are the two most important things you can do:

1) Pick a strong password. If you are with Hotmail you can do this by logging in with your email address and then Options>More Options>view and edit your personal information>password reset information. Here there is a password checker which will give an idea of the strength of your password.

Non-Hotmail users try visiting this blog which is a fascinating read. Did you know 20% of passwords are so poor even I could guess them!!
eg 123, “password”, pet’s name, favourite football team, your city, date of birth.

We all know that the longer the password the better, but just look at this table below, it puts it all beautifully into place illustrating how long a password might take to crack depending on the number and style of the characters used.  My own password is now 19 characters long, with characters, numbers and letters.

UPDATE : Oct 09.  In the light of the recent Hotmail phishing incident one thing it did allow was an analysis of passwords.  Visit the Acunetix Web Security site for a list of the Top 20 most popular passwords and a breakdown of the password styles that were uncovered by this hack.

2) Run spyware and virus-checker software regularly. This link lists an updated Top 5 for the current best spyware packages. This is a great link for free anti-virus software.

3) Good advice from Google on how to steer clear of phising traps. and maybe take the phising IQ test over at Sonic Wall.

UPDATE : October 2009. Mashable are reporting 10,000 Hotmail addresses and passwords compromised last week and a report on the same topic from the BBC .

UPDATE : January 2010. Good article over at lifehacker.com on password security.

UPDATE: March 2010.  Funny list of the 500 most common passwords, displayed on one page over at Flickr (via TheNextWeb).

UPDATE: March 2010. Useful online tools for remembering your passwords.

UPDATE:  August 2010.  The newly revamped Hotmail site seems to have brought a slew of fresh Hotmail hijacks and spamming.  Hotmail have got some help up there, though it took a while to find.  Link to Hotmail help regarding latest Hotmail account hijacks and spamming. Hopefully some of you may find it useful.

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