About Now

What I’m up to right now…

Photography

Since the start of October I’ve only photographed with one camera – the Panasonic Lumix FZ38 – aside from family snapshots with my Sony Xperia phone, and a Christmas family portrait shoot with the Pentax K-30.

The FZ38 seems to be all I need, though I confess I have been shooting far less than in my heyday.

My options with the Lumix have been (intentionally) very limited too. I use the zoom resume function to fix the zoom lens at around 40mm, use the “Film Grain” b/w mode, then mostly just point and shoot.

I love a camera with depth enough in the settings to find a combination that really works, and means I can focus on the composition, and, well, focus!

Some pure point and shoots are too limiting in the options they give you, but the Lumix has that sweet spot between having enough control, and being overwhelmed with too many unnecessary functions and features.

Reading

Online, I’ve been using Feedly for perhaps six months now, to follow around 25 blogs/sites. I recently purged the list a little to remove those who haven’t updated in a long time.

I think keeping this total manageable, then trying to regularly read and contribute thoughtful comments to those you follow is a far preferable approach to skimming say 50 or 100 blogs and just dropping half-hearted “likes” here and there.

Offline, I continue my run of Star Wars books, though the latest is not fiction, but Anthony Daniel’s story on being C-3PO, which is certainly illuminating.

I’ve also read a book for teenagers which was very enlightening and educational – Why You’re Parents Are Driving You Up The Wall And What To So About It. Having finished that I’ve started one about children dealing with anger, called A Volcano In My Tummy, which I feel could be very useful for me too.

Music

Still enjoying Spotify as my sole source of music.

I’ve been reading a list of ambient albums on Pitchfork to diversify my listening in that genre, but I still keep getting drawn back to favourites like 36 and Alaskan Tapes.

In between I’ve been getting know the quirky and original Virginia Astley, whose music is quite hard to describe, but I like her.

Home/Work

Following another lockdown here in the UK since early January, (and lasting perhaps until Easter the way it’s going) our working from home rota at my day job has intensified, so there are even fewer of us in the office at any one time.

The office has 17 desks, and we now have a maximum of five in on any one day. So it’s eerily quiet on the days I’m in.

At home, I’m considering a new larger monitor, as my daughter has also been using the one I’ve borrowed from work (she’s home learning currently, very intense having six hours of live lessons a day) when I’m not on it, and I think we’d both benefit from a larger second screen.

In between I’ve bought her a super handy USB-C to HDMI adapter that lets her plus her Chromebook into the work monitor – or her Samsung TV – to use as a second screen, which is invaluable.

The whole situation, despite requiring a significant amount of juggling, continues to give us more time together as a family, and makes us appreciate how blessed we are.

Anyway, what are you up to right now?

Please let us know here.

Updated 23 January 2021

(The idea for this page came from the frequently inspiring Derek Sivers.)