Tilting at Windmills

The personal wafflings of Cyran Dorman

I don’t know why I like it but I do January 3, 2011

Filed under: photography — cyrandorman @ 6:03 pm

A few times I’ve thought of taking a photography course but I’m usually put off because the only courses available are either too expensive or over subscribed or because I need access to a DSLR (why?) to do them. Lately I’ve been thinking that perhaps a design or an art course may be better for me and help me understand my own work better. Perhaps then I’d know what it is I like about these shots because I don’t know why I like them but I do. Flickr set: I don’t know why I like it but I do


Organic November 13, 2010

Filed under: photography — cyrandorman @ 1:14 pm

Organic, originally uploaded by CyranDorman.

About a month ago I won a photography competition and for the last four weeks I’ve been enjoying my prize of a months supply of organic fruit and vegetables. And I really mean enjoy. As well as the organic potatoes, onions, carrots (some of them purple!) I’ve had cabbage of various varieties, the biggest aubergine I’ve ever seen, satsumas, apples, pears, a mango, chestnuts, organic ginger and garlic and so many other things I’ve forgotten about. This is so the perfect prize for me, a veggie who likes vegetables and is on a limited income. I also received this fruit, I have no idea what it is but it was pretty enough to take a pic.

(This is a heavily processed and stylised pic, sometimes my camera’s limitations makes it necessary to get creative. )


Book Launch November 11, 2010

Filed under: photography — cyrandorman @ 1:06 pm

So, after months and months and rewrites and rewrites today I received an email to tell me that the Pulp Idol – Firsts book will be launched on 8th December.

The book contains the first chapter of novelists who, like myself reached the final of this years Writing on the Wall competition. It’s my first experience of what it will be like to be a ‘real’ writer and at times I’ve wondered if I wanted to be.

This has been my first experience of having to rewrite based on an editors notes. And then having to rewrite and having to rewrite again. It was frustrating at times although I know it was being done for the best, to ensure that my/our work is to the highest standard it can be. I’m hoping to use this book as a spring board, to get the attention of agents and publishers and so it isn’t really a complaint. More of a frustration. Given that this was just one chapter I can’t imagine how much rewriting needs to be done for an entire novel. But I’m willing to learn.

So, I suppose I should start shopping for dresses and practising my elevator pitch. This could be the start of something truly wonderful.


How to knit a stylish and attractive ‘hounds tooth/check style’ pattern October 24, 2010

Filed under: photography — cyrandorman @ 6:51 pm

Almost every knitter who’s seen my netbook cover has asked me how it’s done. So here it is. It’s incredibly simple, even a beginner knitter can and has knitted this pattern. And as I’ve seen, it’s very effective. (I can’t remember which knitting pattern I first saw this in but I’ve never forgotten it.)

2 different colours of wool, (colour A and colour B)
Suitable knitting needles (the size of knitting needle most appropriate to the wool you’re using can be found on the label.)

Using colour A and suitable needles, cast on an uneven number of stitches.

Row 1: Using colour B, slip 1, knit 1, [slip 1, knit 1], repeat from [ to ] to last stitch, slip 1.
Row 2: Using colour B, purl across row.
Row 3: Using colour A, knit 1, slip 1, [knit 1, slip 1], repeat from [ to ] to last stitch, knit 1.
Row 4: Using colour A, purl across row.

Repeat rows 1 to 4 to form pattern.

There you go, it’s that easy.

When using Colour A on a right side row, knit every first and last stitch. When using colour B on a right side row, skip every first and last stitch. You will need to make a tension square in order to gauge correct number of stitches when making a garment using this pattern, the finished piece is tighter and will give less length than if using stocking stitch.


Looking at Flickr September 12, 2010

Filed under: photography — cyrandorman @ 1:05 pm

Thamesmead Underpass, originally uploaded by CyranDorman.

This shot works so much better in Lightbox. Click on the photo or press L within the flickr page and you get to see it against a black bockground.

I’d been slightly resistant to the new flickr but my sister kept telling me that I’d get use to it and we’re all just too resistant to change. I like to think that I can go with the flow but it’s taken me a while to get into it. One of my absolute favourite features however is the option to see every photo against a black background by either clicking on the photo or pressing L within its page.

But about the picture and Thamesmead in general, I went for another visit recently to the place where I lived for a good few years in London. It’s worth reading the Wikipedia page about it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thamesmead There are many parts of Thamesmead like this and I think that the key to living there is in appreciating the beauty rather than paying attention to the rubbish and well frankly, the smell. In other parts of Thamesmead there are lakes, vast lakes, home Geese and Swans and Ducks, surrounded by fields of horses. One thing I really wondered when I started watching Misfits recently, (filmed almost entirely on location around Southmere Lake) is what did they do with the wildlife?

Have a look at the other pics in my Thamesmead set: www.flickr.com/photos/astrogirl72/sets/72157622907218918


Security Risk? August 13, 2010

Filed under: Journalish,photography — cyrandorman @ 10:30 am

Security Risk?, originally uploaded by CyranDorman.

Taken by the shops by Central Station in Liverpool. Not a particularly good photo and I was about to take another shot at it when a security guard appeared and told me that I wasn’t allowed to take photo’s in there. I suffer from anxiety and have trouble speaking to those in authority, yes even security guards and so a stammered “Why?” was all I could manage. “Security.” was his response. I wish I’d responded further but my anxiety meant that I put my camera away and left. Needless to say it was the last photograph I took that day..


Day 76 March 22, 2010

Filed under: photography — cyrandorman @ 2:22 pm

On Wednesday (17th/Day 76) I was so busy writing that I forgot to take my 365 picture.

On each day since I’ve taken a photograph that could be included in my365. I could carry on only having missed a day. But I don’t want to.

The 365 project just isn’t giving me what I need from it.. And frankly, there are far to many pictures on my photostream that are there only out of desperation. Too many photographs taken too late on with no inspiration to them, sometimes processed in the hope that something might happen because I thought I had a better shot that day. In short it’s too much stress. And I don’t want to resent my camera.

Instead I’ve started a 52×7. That’s still 365 photographs per year but at a far more relaxed pace. It also takes into consideration the days when I want to post more than one shot for my 365. And I’m hoping that it will help me develop by allowing themes. I’ll be trying water droplets and smoke shots again but perhaps this time over the space of a few days, giving me time to learn from the previous days results.

And choosing my seven best pictures from one week should leave something on my photostream that I’m happy to have there. Early indications seem to show this to be the case.