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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Winter images of Saddington Reservoir

Digital images of Saddington Reservoir taken during the Winter of 2012/13

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

2000 visitors and the trials of Photoshop CS6!

The author celebrates 2000 visitors to the website as well as getting to grips with Photoshop CS6!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Item review-Zagg InvisibleSHIELD for the iPhone 4

Hello again and I hope everything is well where ever you are. I am currently counting down the days until a litter of German Wire Haired Pointers are born, hopefully this weekend coming, as one of the pups will be coming to live with us! We lost both our Weimaraner and Labrador last year, within 6 weeks of each other and our house feels so empty without them. I am still stuck on a name for the new pup so feel free to give me and Amanda some ideas lol!

Anyway back to the purpose of today's post which is an item review and the item in question is the,

Zagg InvisibleSHIELD for the iPhone 4.

Many iPhone 4 users use a case of some sorts but there are also a lot who prefer their device "nude" and I can see their point. The iPhone 4 is a very nice looking device and it is a shame that, for protection, we tend to hide them away inside cases. For those that wish to use their device without a case, but desire a good amount of protection, look no further than the Zagg InvisibleSHIELD iPhone 4 Screen Protector.

What is the InvisibleSHIELD?

The InvisibleSHIELD is a film protector that is specifically cut for the iPhone 4. It is available from and costs £16.95.

In use it basically surrounds the iPhone 4 in a complete layer of highly durable film which acts like a case but without the restrictions a case brings.

The InvisibleSHIELD is made of a film that has been used in the military to provide protection for the leading edges of helicopter rotor blades so it will comfortably cope with anything you decide to throw at it. For those who doubt a film can protect as well as a case, please watch this video!
Now if you couple that with the fact that Zagg have been making protective film since 2005 AND offer a full 30 year warranty, you will realise that this is pretty serious stuff!

What's in the box?

Zagg provide everything needed to correctly install the InvisibleSHIELD. The box contains one complete set of protectors on pre cut sheets, a micro fibre cloth, a decent squeegee applicator, a bottle containing application spray and comprehensive fitting instructions.


How do I fit the InvisibleSHIELD?

The most important ingredient when applying any form of film body protection is patience!, which quite often precludes me from doing the job lol! As with all film applications you must also ensure that your device is completely free from any finger prints or dust contamination.

spray, cleaning cloth and applicator squeegee
Once the device is clean and you have washed your hands to remove any grease I suggest you start with the rear screen protector. Why?, well this is the easiest to fit and will give you a chance to hone your skills!
Remember that the InvisibleSHIELD has an adhesive on the reverse, hence the bottle of applicator fluid. This fluid allows you to apply the film and then move it on the iPhone 4 to ensure it is properly aligned.
Select the rear screen protector and remove the backing paper. Take the applicator bottle and spray the adhesive side of the protector with enough spray to ensure it is fully covered but without it being drenched. Make sure you also spray some of the contents on your fingers as this will prevent the film from sticking to you.
I always start at the bottom of my device when I attempt to line up the screen shield and as such it is a case of aligning the film with the bottom of the iPhone 4.

Now apply the film, adhesive side down, to the device. Do not worry if you encounter air bubbles as this is easily sorted. Whilst the film is moist you can move it on the iPhone so that it is perfectly aligned.
Once you are happy take the squeegee and gently squeeze the air bubbles by working them from the centre of the iPhone outwards. There may be odd, small bubbles left after this process, these will vanish in a day or so so don't worry. Now remove any excess fluid using the micro fibre cloth or some soft paper towel.

Now repeat this process with the front protector, take your time and make sure the protector is fully aligned.
The side and end films are a bit fiddly but easy enough if you keep your fingers moist with the spray solution. I suggest you do the easy side of the iPhone first. You will notice that all parts of the film are specifically cut for the edges and ends of the iPhone 4 so if it doesn't fit you have used the wrong bit!

Finally please remember to spray the film NOT the iPhone4!


The Zagg InvisibleSHIELD certainly offers a serious amount of protection against scratches and if you are like me and have keys/coins in your trouser pockets, then it is a godsend.
The plus points for using it are the fact that your device isn't hidden away from view and is kept at its intended dimensions so there is no added bulk.
There are some negative points and from my point of view they are as follows. You cannot use any of the slim cases as the fit is too tight and will cause the film to bubble up and ultimately damage it beyond repair. You can use cases like the leather pouches and the flip style if you wish.
You will also notice a degree of "orange peeling" when your iPhone screen is off. This can be a little off putting but does not detract from its use.
Thirdly the Zagg InvisibleSHIELD is quite expensive but it is made of the highest quality materials.


If I didn't use a case then I would have no hesitation in using the Zagg InvisibleSHIELD. I paid a lot of money for my iPhone 4 and I want to keep it looking its best. I like the fact that Zagg are a very established company who clearly know what the user wants in a film protector. The contents and instructions are top notch.
Application is so straight forward once you have got the knack, remember that patience over speed is the secret! The finished product is excellent and I personally don't mind the "orange peeling" effect.
I also like the fact that there is the 30 year warranty, this shows the confidence that Zagg have in the product.

I award this product a very healthy 8.5/10


Monday, 14 March 2011

App review-Touch Retouch

Hello again on a day dominated by the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. No words can really do justice to what is happening over there at this time, my thoughts go out to everyone involved.

Back to the purpose of today's post. How many of you regularly take photographs with your iPhones only to find out at a later date that there are plenty of unwanted additions to the image such as, advertising or random people that just spoil the picture? In the past the photo would probably have ended up being deleted but now there is an answer to this problem.

Touch Retouch-(29mb) 59p from the Apple App store.

Touch Retouch is an app that allows you to amend any image you have taken on your device and it really is very versatile.


I took this picture of the Grand Union canal and it is spoilt by the brick building in the distance. Using Touch Retouch I can now remove that building in a few easy steps. 

Original image
Step 1. 

By touching the "move" icon, a gold star next to the icon will highlight your choice of action, you can zoom into the building making the next step much easier. You zoom by using the normal, two finger, pinch and release gestures used in all apps. 

"Move" selected and zoom used

Step 2.

Touch the "lasso" icon and place your finger over the building. You will notice a small box pop up within the image which allows you to see what is happening beneath your finger as you move it around the building. This is a really excellent idea and shows the amount of thought and design that has gone into making this app.
Move your finger around the building until it is fully highlighted.

"Lasso" selected and showing the "in image" pop up box
 Step 3.

Once you are happy with the highlighted area touch the "go" icon and allow the app to re process the image. 

building now highlighted and ready to be processed

Step 4.

Having touched the "go" icon wait a short time for image to be processed.

Image being processed

Final result.

As you can see, the building has now been removed and the image much improved!

Building removed!

You can now save your image back to the camera roll on the iPhone.

Image saved to camera roll
As you can see, by using Touch Retouch I have improved my original photograph in a few simple steps. The resulting image is, in my opinion, much better and far more attractive. I amended this picture using just one feature of the app, the lasso but there are three other features called, brush, clone stamp and eraser, all of which perform slightly different tasks. All four of the editing features are fully adjustable to make editing of your images completely flexible.

The possibilities are literally endless with this app. You can do as much or as little as an image requires, whether it be removing an object or simply touching up your loved ones face!!! Use this in conjunction with Photogene and you have everything you could possibly need for photo editing.

There are two in app "help" video's to help you get the best out of the software, I can recommend viewing them just to give you an idea of how the app functions.

Touch Retouch is easily picked up and fun to use. I consider it an essential for any of you that use your device to take photographs so what are you waiting for?!

I have no hesitation in awarding this little gem 5/5.


Friday, 11 March 2011

iPhone 4 case review-SwitchEasy Vulcan

Hi guys and gall's, I thought I would add a post now as I need cheering up having seen the England cricket team capitulate in the World Cup!

There is a huge range of iPhone 4 cases on the market and making the correct choice can be a bit over whelming. I generally buy my cases on recommendation which is why I provide so many reviews of these particular items.

Today I would like to introduce you to the,

SwitchEasy Vulcan.

SwitchEasy Vulcan for the iPhone 4
This case is available in black only and can be purchased from It is priced at £20.37.

What's in the box?

Package contents
I think we are all used to manufacturers providing us with screen protectors etc but SwitchEasy have taken this one step further. Along side the case they also provide 2 front screen protectors, a micro fibre cleaning cloth, a screen protector application card and two 30 pin connector plugs as well as two 3.5 mm audio jack protector plugs. This is a brilliant idea and in use really does protect your device from dust etc.

The Vulcan.

The case is made of an ultra durable hydro polymer material ( SwitchEasy's words not mine!). This material feels like a very tough, heavyweight but flexible silicon that appears to be tear proof as well as extremely durable. The case is described as "ultra black" by the makers but this is misleading as it is very slightly translucent.

The Vulcan in use.

Fitting the case is very easy. As always I recommend fitting it button side first and then gently work the bevelled edges over your device. If you use a screen protector take your time working the edges of the case over to prevent the protector from bubbling.

If you choose to use the port protectors, the Vulcan offers a high degree of protection. The bevelled edges provide a good amount of "lay on the table" protection.

good "lay on the table" protection
In the hand the Vulcan feels very nice and the grip is excellent due to the nature of the silicon like material. Although the silicon does attract finger prints is is extremely scratch resistant and remains very smart looking. The case is very sleek and adds very little to the weight or size of your device.
The Vulcan has button covers for the volume controls and the on/off switch. These buttons are well made and very tactile when pressed, adding to the overall quality feel of the case.

volume control buttons

on/off button with audio jack "plugged"
The Vulcan also has good cut outs for the 30 pin dock connector and the camera and flash. I experienced no problems when taking pictures with my device.

30 pin dock connector cut out with plug in use

well designed camera and flash cut out
Everything about the SwitchEasy Vulcan shouts out "style" and the degree of protection is very good indeed. As an everyday case for "normal" use the Vulcan really is excellent.


There is nothing to dislike about the SwitchEasy Vulcan. It is competitively priced, good looking and offers a good amount of day to day protection. In short it is a top quality product and as such I have no hesitation in recommending it to you.

I can happily give this case 5/5.