Redesign the bbc.co.uk homepage

Interesting initiative. To say the least. Interesting choice of words too.

Help us discover what bbc.co.uk 2.0 looks like.
We don’t just want you to redesign the bbc.co.uk homepage, we want you take it all the way back to the drawing boardâ?¦
Throw out the existing content, throw out the existing focus, throw out the existing expectations, limitations and assumptions â?? and help reboot:bbc.co.uk

I’ll be watching the results very closely.

Confidence test

I had an interesting little conflict today: I’ve been looking around for a while now for a Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor lens. I really like this lens & I’m ready to buy. I’ve been searching the web for a local shop that has one in stock.

I found one yesterday at this site: Topfoto.be. It seems they have one in stock & the price is very sharp. But I’m having serious doubts about this site. I’m not at all confident that this purchase will be a success.

Why?

Well, for starters take a close look at that frontpage: it says: “Welcome to bvba Geheugenkaart” but in the URL-bar of my browser it says: “http://www.topfoto.be/”. Furthermore: you’re looking at an “Untitled Document”.

And it gets worse once you’re inside. This whole operation does not look professional.
Now I’m wondering why I don’t have any confidence at all in this webshop? Is it purely a question of the look and feel, the design of this site. Is it the lack of attention to detail?

What factors are important to you to have confidence in a webshop?

BarCampBrussels

So, I just enlisted for BarCampBrussels to do a demo / tips on Photoshop CS2. Bart insisted that I join. So I did, sure looks like fun:

BarCamp is an ad-hoc un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees. All attendees must give a demo, a session, or help out in some way. Anyone with something to contribute and with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join.

Although I’m not quite sure what I’m going to talk about…

I can easily fill 3 complete days with Photoshop related talk. Limiting myself to 25 minutes will be hard.
Hmmmm, maybe the other attendees will be able to suggest some topics / points of interest.

New layout

Just installed the rather interesting plaintxtBlog theme (created by Scott Allan Wallick). I do like a minimalist design… However this is still not 100% what I’m looking for.

Good layout until I get my own theme ready. Which will happen somewhere in the forseeable future.

Josef Müller-Brockmann Tribute

A rather fantastic tribute video to Josef Müller-Brockmann has recently appeared on the web. You can take a look at it here.

For those who are not familiar with the man and his work: see what pops up when you feed his name to Google Images. And of course there’s always the short bio on Josef Müller-Brockmann at Wikipedia.

I also found this interesting Conversation with Josef Müller-Brockmann at the ever-fresh Eye Magazine.

Freestockmagic

Another free stock photography / graphic design initiative that looks rather promising: Freestockmagic. A bit “wide” of scope as one can read on the site:

Freestockmagic is a brand new site, set up for photographers, web designers and print designers to share stock photos, buttons, icons, illustrations and anything else it may evolve to include!

But nevertheless one to keep an eye on.

As long as one does not forget who has been playing on the same field earlier.

Nikon D200

Yippeeee! I got the new camera yesterday. I can tell you: I’m one happy camper indeed.

And I guess I was very lucky: I just drove out to a store here in Belgium who had the Nikon D200 body in stock (yes, I couldn’t believe it either). When I arrived at the store things got even better: they also had one spare AF-S DX VR 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens.

Sometimes you do get lucky!

I didn’t have much time yet to put the camera through it’s pases, but I think it’s fair to say that the body is a decent piece of kit. The lens is a nice all-rounder. It’s good, but it’s not brilliant. This review at Photozone.de is quite specific about it. I already encountered some chroma aberration in a few shots…

But I’m quite happy at the moment. This is great stuff to start out with. Later I’ll get some prime lenses, starting with a Nikkor 50 f/1.4D.
Here’s a sample snapshot (straight out of the box settings).

Sample snapshot D200.

Cards

This weekend I’ve been working on the “thank you” cards for the “Sacrament of Confirmation-happening” for two of the kids of my brother-in-law. Silke and Maud they’re called.
Well, I don’t know how to describe it accuratly in English, it’s called “vormsel” or “plechtige communie” in Dutch. It’s some sort of Catholic rite at the age of twelve, supposed to welcome you in the Catholic church or something. As I’m not Christian, I can’t really remember what this rite is all about…

For the kids it’s simple though: presents & lots of ’em. But I’m being a bit cynical here.

Anyway, I’ve been working on their “thank you” cards. It’s custom here in Flanders for the kids to give such a card to all of the people who attend the mass, or party afterwards. They tell me what they want, I make the designs & supply them with an odd 100 cards as their gift for the occasion. Which is usually a big success with the kids.

Basically they flip through some of my graphic design books, point out what they like, I make some designs based on their choices, we print the cards & everybody is happy. Much easier & straightforward compared to working with grown-ups.

The designs are nearly finished, I’ll post them later.