Monday, June 17, 2013


Who quite knows how we all see or perceive colours. Especially if we are colour blind. Although quite a long time ago, I worked for Plessey as a student in the LED lab and they were quite keen to ensure I wasn’t colour blind, and I wasn’t. Well I wasn’t colour blind enough to select the wrong colour LEDs anyway.

It does seem to me that here in the UK the “green” traffic lights now look a bit bluer than they used to. I don’t know whether that is to help people with colour blindness or because they are using LEDs for the light source. Whilst checking on the web to see if there was any information on the colour change I found this Wiki article on Green,  There are languages where green and blue are one colour – old Chinese, old Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese.

Also this post on Traffic Lights in the UK reckons that if all the  traffic lights in the UK were switched to using LEDs it would save enough energy to power the city of Norwich. This article discusses the idea – it would not be cheap though.

I was rabbiting on about colour because it interests me how badly digital cameras seem to record some colours. To be fair so did film cameras. An artist friend always used to used Kodak Ektachrome, which he used to take slide and then he would print on Cibachrome  paper. It had a rather nice punchy effect. Although at that time most of my pictures were black and white as I found colour work too expensive.  So I probably only saw his successful pictures whereas I see all my pictures.

Flowers that are blue and purple can be tricky to get right and require a bit of post-processing. I have always assumed that it was to do with UV light, but the link suggests that it is to do with Infra-red light. I rather like Alliums and was out in the garden taking some family pictures. (My brother-in-law had popped over from America for a few days and so the cameras were out.)

I rather like Alliums and Agapanthus, they are both rather like small frozen firework bursts.  This one looked a lot bluer in real-life.


I also like the Iris, this was also a bit bluer than it looks here. Both pictures were taken with my Panasonic Lumix GH). Perhaps I ought to try out some of my other cameras and do some comparisons.


And finally I was trying to take a picture of a butterfly, using my Galaxy S4. I learnt that it does not have a very close focus distance.  The focal length of the S4 is 31mm (35mm equivalence).  A search has not thrown up what the minumum focus distance is for the S4, however I found it to be longer than I had expected the first time I used it. Although the problem might have been when I tried to focus the flowers were blowing in the wind.

The flowers look rather like bluebells and they were slightly bluer. (Although they could be Harebells?)

As for the butterfly – I think it is a Brown Argus.

Brown Argus Butterfly

I must make a trip up the Cambridgeshire guided busway – apparently the flowers are look good there.

Also in the mixed messages we seem to be getting from the Government on roads and safety there is talk of 80mph motorway speed limit trials. The trouble is the speed limit is  a very blunt tool. Consequently it is open to criticism. After all even I believe that a car going along an open road on a dry, clear day can safely drive faster than one on a wet or icy day, with cars tail-gating each other.

I guess my question is why is the DoT even bothering to do this. Do they intend that the Police operate a speed limit with a margin so that. Which according to this website is +10% plus 2mph then that would mean cars being able to drive at 90mph. What is the cost-benefit analysis – what about the extra noise and cost of fuel, not to mention extra accidents.

WhatCar suggests that fuel consumption would increase by 17%. which would increase running costs by £300 every 12,000 motorway miles and you would save 10minutes for every 100 miles on clear motorway roads.

So there would be little benefit, why even run the trials, why not focus o something more worthwhile. More traffic police perhaps – Police arrest 30 motorists on suspicion of drink driving.

Finally some picture – “Death Valley’s ‘sailing stones’” – they are cool, the $17bn new subway line for New York. At lastly, a pilot who likes HDR and aerial photography.


  1. I rode along the busway today (Tues 18th) for the first time in quite a while and it's submerged in Oxeye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare). There are a few dog-roses, some clover, and the occasional buttercup. My destination was Willingham, so I turned off at Longstanton P&R.

    On the way back after 6pm it was really noticeable how many cyclists were using the track for commuting from Cambridge. A few getting a healthy workout on the tri-bars too.

    Ektachrome/Cibachrome oh yes! I once had a flat with a walk-in airing cupboard that was turned into a darkroom. A whole day to produce one finished print, yes that was me. Err, I've got a couple of decent Durst enlargers to dispose of. Any takers? My camera then was an OM1, very battered now (dropped from the top of a castle in Ireland trying to be clever. Still works but "takes understanding" as they say.), but even now the OM4 comes out for taking pictures in tricky light. It's just so much better at that than any digital I can afford.


  2. .... and can I say thank you to whoever found my Tour de France beanie hat somewhat off-piste between Willingham and Over, and left it on a post so I could retrieve it later.

    For something that probably cost EU0.10 to make and EU5.00 to buy by the side of a TdF stage I'm rather fond of it.


    1. I really must get out that way. Whenever I have been along the CGB cycleway it has been well-used, except when flooded and then only the (fool)hardy few use it.

      We had a cupboard that until a small number of years ago was turned over to a dark-room as my son tried his hand at developing and printing B&W. He used my old Canon AT1, which is still going strong. Although hasn't been used by me for ages.

      It is good to get the hat back. We were on a roller-coaster once and on a large loop my daughter snatched something out of the air. It was a hat worn by one of the people in front of us that had blown off. They were pleased to get it back. We were impressed with my daughter's reactions.