Galway Photowalk details

Galway-based hacker and creative workspace, 091 Labs, will be hosting a photowalk and digital processing workshop at our Workspace on Saturday September 11, 2010. Our (well…my) general plan for the day is as follows:

Event details:
  • 10am: We all meet up at the 091 Labs workspace at Exchange House on Fairgreen Road and swap introductions.
  • 10:30am-11am: Move out and begin our walk around the city and Claddagh beachfront.
  • 2pm: Return to the workspace for lunch (we have plenty of eateries around the area).
  • 3pm-6pm: Digital processing and photographic technique workshops. I need you for these.

Some of the details of the day are still up in the air; I would like anyone interested in holding a 15-30 minute workshop to contact me directly within the next week to suggest yours. Anything photography-related is welcome: Share your business tips, workflow advice, shooting techniques or even a regale us with a suitably entertaining rant. The Labs’ workspace features a secure lockup, copious bandwidth, an abundance or comfortable chairs and plenty of sockets; with that in mind I encourage those interested to bring along their laptop or Netbook to work from.

You can grab an ICS calendar event to add to your Outlook, iCal or Google Calendar from here.

Hackerspace Week workshop: Writing Light

I’m only 24 slides in and I’ve already garnered a mention in today’s issue of the Galway Independent as part of their larger article on 091 Labs. This is a scary level of obligation.

On Sunday August 15 coming, I (email) will be at the Labs for a 6pm talk on the history of the camera obscura, the historical precursors of photography, the evolution of photography as its own art, the modern state of photography and what its future paths and perils might be.

Also: Build your own camera obscura to take home with you at the end of the night! Reenact your carefree childhood days with craft scissors and paper glue.

Admission and Pre-booking

Members: Free!
Unwaged/Student: €8
General Public: €10

You can find the full details of this and 091 Labs’ other Irish Hackerspace Week workshops on our public calendar.

091 Labs: The Photowalk

Good morning!

I’ve been polling interest among Irish photographers for an 091 Labs-sponsored Galway photowalk after discovering that there is a very strong interest within the Labs for us to hold one. Out of consideration for other big photographic events going on throughout August, I am looking at maybe the middle of September as the day for this.

To quote directly from my post:

Since I’ve joined 091 Labs in Galway City, I’ve discovered that there is a strong internal interest in hosting a Galway City photowalk. I’d also like to submit that I could also offer a space, equipment and bandwidth for a on-that-day Photoshop symposium and all-around digital processing get-together. The workspace is at the Fairgreen and immediately adjacent to both of Galway’s bus and train terminals – we’re next door to one and across the road from the other. Cute bullet-point list of what I’m proposing:

  • The People’s Photography is on in two weeks, and it wouldn’t be fair to schedule another event for the week before or after. I’m tentatively offering up Saturday September 11 as the date for this photowalk.
  • The photowalk route would just be your typical wander around Galway’s city center.
  • 091 Labs is around the corner from the fabulous Radisson Blu hotel on Lough Atalia road. If there is sufficient I’ll inquire about discounted rates.
  • In addition to the photowalk we have a great, well-equipped computer workspace with projectors and lots of bandwith. I think a digital processing sharing session on the same day/weekend would be a great thing.
  • Share your workflow, tips, tricks and techniques.
  • Pub afterwards.

Your passwords and you


In the midst of all the preparation for the great Hackerspace events that 091 Labs have coming up in the next week (I’ll be giving a talk on photography and constructing your own camera that you must attend), I want to write down a quick word about the security of your passwords.

Whether it is a desktop or laptop, when you use a computer at the Labs you are using a public machine. We will have old members and new members and the occasional outright stranger dropping in on the Labs to attend our workshops in the coming week. Every one of these folk has as much of an expectation to use these computers as you do. :]

I need to point out that takes a determined person under five minutes to log onto a machine, locate saved sessions and passwords, and record what they find. But thankfully I do not suggest or believe that any member of 091 Labs would act so maliciously.

Instead my biggest concern is potential embarrassment from stemming from inadvertent access to personal or otherwise sensitive information. I have logged into a given computer to find private email accounts left open, Facebook and Twitter account accessible and instant messaging clients left running. I have come home from the Labs at night to find that two people had logged into their Gmail accounts on my laptop over the course of the day.

Two good things for you to do:

  1. Do not save your passwords on an 091 Labs machine. If available, use your browser’s private browsing mode. If you can’t, remember to clear your history at the end of the session.
  2. Use your own computer. That seems to be the majority action right now.

So everyone be careful and have some fun in the coming week!

Teh Workstation

Nagrand from Halaa

I’ll start with a shout-out to Barry for providing me blog access!

Hello, world.

My name is Mark and to describe what I do in inscrutably technical terms, I take photographs. Most of the time, I’ll go out into the real world to photograph skies or trees or ruined buildings. Some of the time I’ll sit on a couch and (ostensibly) visually archive the activities of other 091 Labs members.

And during a wee small part of that time I’ll hop into virtual worlds to photograph skies or trees or ruined buildings.

The virtual world in question is that of Azeroth, from the hugely-successful 2004 video game World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game, a continuous online world where you are interacting with thousands of people simultaneously. You may form parties to raid dungeons, slay dragons and battle the opposing faction, or you can set out alone by yourself to simply quest and experience the world. I get out of bed an hour before the virtual dawn to set up my virtual tripod so I can capture that perfect ray of (it’s okay to groan) virtual light.

I began this small project, which I call Vistas of Azeroth, back in 2006 on a whim. Can I? Let’s see!

After chipping away, on and off, at different scenes from the video game at a low-quality for a few years, I’ve very recently gained the ability to “photograph” scenes at an incredibly high quality. I can now go to more new places than I’ve been able to in the last four years and on every single graphic bell and whistle with the help of other Labs’ members.

We built a graphical workstation.

The magic...begins!

Late last week, I spent an hour bemoaning my desire for a more powerful workstation while I struggled with a laptop that wanted to do nothing more than roll over and die. Matthew suggested that we could build a graphics, video and gaming workstation for the Labs. He donated a motherboard, RAM and a CPU. I donated software and a graphics card gifted by one Jennifer Tidmore of Dallas, Texas, USA – yes, we’re international!

In a hard-work montage straight out of an 80’s film, complete with upbeat soundtrack, we constructed, installed and tested. It is a fantastic piece of equipment for the Labs to have on hand because now have capabilities for:

  • Still image editing. I’ve transferred my imaging workflow from my laptop, although the screen real estate and underlying performance have jumped hugely. I’m down from (up to) six hours of building a scene, down to frequently under an hour.
  • Video and audio editing. I believe I saw somebody stream editing a video under Windows? I can build a time-lapse screencast in h.264 format and append an MP3 soundtrack in less than five minutes. Down from 20 or 30.
  • 3D video game creation. Matthew and others have been very happily cracking away at the Unreal developers SDK.
  • Video games. Don’t share this with anyody, but not all of my World of Warcraft playtime have been to capture scenes. And Matthew runs Portal when nobody is looking.Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Crystalsong Forest

Icecrown Citadel

The Nexus, Coldarra

Utgarde Keep, Howling Fjord

The Wyrmrest Accord, Dragonblight

The Amphitheater of Anguish, Zul'Drak

Dalaran, jewel of Northrend

Zeb'Halak, Grizzly Hills