Projecteo – size doesn’t matter!

Projecteo
Projecteo Instagram projector

Small yet perfectly formed!

 

 

As an avid Instagram user, I was recently offered a Projecteo to try out.  For those who haven’t come across this unique little product before, Projecteo is a tiny replica of one of those old fashioned slide projectors, where you can display your Instagram images via a slide wheel that slots into the top of the gadget.

The ordering process is very simple and straight forward, linking directly to my Instagram feed via their API (application program interface) as many of these Instagram related product sites do. The graphics on the Projecteo site are slick, you can select, deselect and swap images around with ease.  I would have liked to have been able to choose from more than my last 120 posted images, but that aside, I selected my nine images easily enough and sent the order on its way.

Priced at $34.98 (£21.25 at current exchange rate) for the projector and one wheel of 9 images, the price includes postage and packing from the US.   Individual and additional wheels are priced at $8.99 (£5.46), and if ordered separately are also free shipping.  I was a bit concerned at the warning about possible charges, should my package be unlucky enough to be stopped at UK customs, but mine slipped through unnoticed. (Not always the case I hasten to add, I was stung for around £24 once for an item costing less that £70!)

I have to confess that I lost track of how long the package took to arrive but arrive it did, pretty quickly and all in one piece.  First impressions?  It’s rather sweet and dinky, and seems well made enough.  Very easy to use, just slot in the provided battery pack underneath, slot in the wheel at the top, press the red button and Hey Presto!  There’s no bells and whistles, it just works.  It’s pretty sturdy for something so small and while I didn’t put it’s robustness to the test by throwing it against a wall or suchlike, I did (deliberately) drop it on the floor a few times and it’s still in one piece!

Projecteo with simple instructions

Simples!

The images can be viewed from a range of distances, roughly from 12 inches to 3 feet, obviously the closer to the viewing surface the smaller the image.  Clearly, this isn’t a precision piece of equipment, and the image is a bit rough round the edges but perfectly acceptable as a novelty – let’s not pretend it’s anything else!  It has a focusing barrel on the front of the Projecteo and I was pretty happy with the image at around 12 inches in size projected from about 3 feet away as well as projecting an image from floor to ceiling!

Projecteo display

Picture show

If I did have a criticism, like the Projecteo itself, its a small one.  I would like to have seen it provided with some sort of case, a simple drawstring pouch would be fine, just to keep the dust and dirt out when carrying it around.  Or maybe that’s just me!

All in all though, a nifty little fun novelty gadget that can be customised with my own work is always going to be a hit with me.

Projecteo - size doesn't matter

Projecteo – size doesn’t matter

 

One Projecteo with one 9 image wheel was provided free of charge for the purposes of this review.  It can be ordered here.

Going to the dogs

Greyhound racing track side bookmaker

Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium is the last remaining dog racing track in London, and one of a handful of tracks in the UK.  Is the sport literally going to the dogs?

They're off!

They’re off!

My husband likes a flutter, so we headed to the stadium in Plough Lane, as part of one of many regular Instameets organised by the London Instagram community.  This one organised by the queen of Instameets, Natalie.  We gained free entry and a printed sheet with the races and runners listed, using their Oyster Card offer, one of many packages on offer by the stadium, clearly doing all they can to get punters customers through the gates.  The stadium is past its best, a bit shabby around the edges, a posh venue this isn’t!  It’s all part of the charm and adds to the ambiance of a pastime that has seen better days.

As a small group of mobile, and other, photographers, we took a position near to the starting traps in the hope of capturing the dogs in full motion as they leaped out chasing after the toy bunny hurtling round the outside of the track.  Sadly, an iPhone is not an ideal camera in these conditions – the low light and the slower shutter speeds nowhere near good enough.  Any captures would be more by luck than judgement, although some of the group did get some great shots with their ‘big’ cameras.

But the lack of doggie photos meant there was more time for people watching, and what an interesting crowd!  From a lady celebrating her 90th birthday, old chain smoking guys with faces full of character, groups of younger people on the piss, families with children and couples just out together for the evening.  All life was here.

The unhappy punter

The unhappy punter

The girl from Trap 6

The girl from Trap 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I walked around attempting to take candid shots of some of the characters, my husband was busy placing a few bets.  As I said, he does loves a flutter, mainly on horse races it has to be said, so he did his usual bit of research with the Sporting Life, and came up with a few ‘naps‘.  He put his bets on all sorts of combinations, reverse forecasts, tricasts, even a straight bet to win.  Nothing!  You might as well bet on an interesting sounding name, that’s what Natalie did, and she came away with four winners!  But here’s the thing, out of 13 races, seven of the winners came from Trap 4. Coincidence?

The trackside bookie

The trackside bookie

Would I go again?  Might do, it’s not far from home so it’s convenient.  But for me, as someone who doesn’t really find betting (especially losing!) pleasurable, I’m not sure what else it has to offer.  Except great photo opportunities of course!

Checking out the form

Checking out the form

Pondering

Pondering

The happy punter

The happy punter

 

The scales don’t lie

Meringues
Meringues

Tempting meringues

This time last week I jumped on the weighing scales after many months of denying the inevitable truth.  I had put on a bit of weight!  Actually, not just a bit of weight, rather a lot!  But not until I jumped on those bathroom scales did I appreciate quite how much.  13 stone!!  FFS, I’m only 5 feet 2 inches tall, I’m practically a weeble!

Just over three years ago the same thing happened, but at half a stone less, and that prompted me to join Slimming World.  It was a photo taken of me at my 50th birthday party that spurred me into action – the image of that sequined roly poly will live with me forever!  There always has to be a trigger to force some action.  After around 7 months at Slimming World I lost almost 3 stone, and with it a svelte size 12 and a new confidence in myself.  I sold some of my nicer size 16 clothes on Ebay and bought some well earned new ones.  Curiously enough, I still have that sequined dress!

Deb at 50

Sequined Roly Poly

Since that time I have gradually put the weight back on, and a bit more.  I blame Instagram!  More to the point, my new crazy lifestyle  since I joined Instagram and getting myself involved helping manage the London Instagramers community group.  A constant round of meetups, that always end up in the pub, private viewings and launches with complementary nibbles and drinks thrown in, meetings with agencies and brands to discuss potential projects, and also lucky enough to be involved with a bit of traveling too.  Our ‘office’ has become the Skylon bar at the Royal Festival Hall!

But enough is enough, and I’m at the point where the size 16s I have re-bought are now pinching, and elastic has become my best friend.  Weeble, be gone!  It’s time to shed those pounds once again.  But, and this is a big but, I have decided to do it without heading back to Slimming World.  Instead, with the help and support of my husband, who could also do with shedding a few pounds it has to be said, we have both embarked on the slimming diet, using recipes and information from all the Slimming World books and magazines I had amassed.

So, coming towards the end of the first week, and the big weigh in tomorrow morning, how has it gone?  Well, I’m confident of having lost a couple of pounds, a sneaky cheating jump on the scales earlier in the week confirmed that.  But that doesn’t tell the story of anguish I have felt over the last couple of days, especially over the weekend, they are always the worst for battling against temptation.  But it’s not really been the temptation that has got to me, but the time and effort it takes to plan, prepare and cook the food.  Those of you who have experience of the Slimming World regime will know that it allows you to eat a wide range of many types of food, and you really don’t need to go hungry.  But that food doesn’t cook itself, and the majority of convenience food is measured in Syns, and those are strictly limited.

It all came to a head on Saturday night, when my husband was out with his mates for the day at Kempton races, and it was agreed that I would cook something and leave a portion for him to eat when he got home.  So, being true to my word, I cooked fish and chips, a la SW, and in all honestly, it was foul!  My daughter couldn’t/wouldn’t eat it either.  But if truth be told, I really didn’t fancy cooking it at all and would have been happy with a bowl of noodles, and my daughter with a pizza, except I had promised my husband that a lovely cooked meal would be waiting for him.

So when he returned home later that evening, slightly the worse for the drink, I apologised for the mess in the kitchen, as I had just chucked my almost full plate of ‘food’ on the worktop and left it there, discarded, in disgust.  I explained the dilemma but told him there was some in the oven if he really wanted it.  Which he didn’t.  He had already eaten dinner with his mates.  He didn’t tell me.  I cooked that shite for nothing!  Not best pleased, but at the same time it was just as well he had eaten, ‘cos there was nothing worth having when he got back!

But, I have survived the week, just about.  Next stop, the scales!

 

Snapseed – my go to app of the moment

IMG_1365

IMG_1365I love mobile photography.  I’ve been a fan since I discovered Instagram in March 2011.  But to many people Instagram is purely about taking a quick snap using the camera feature of Instagram and posting it straight away using one of the inbuilt filters.  That’s certainly part of what got me hooked on Instagram way back when, but there is so much more to mobile photography than Instagram.

Thankfully, Instagram allows the user to edit an image before it’s posted, giving the photographer a chance to be a bit more creative with their work, and get the desired look and feel of the photograph before it’s time to share.

Many mobile photographers produce work that may be more akin to art, in that the processes used, whether the use of filters, layers, blending etc, produce work that might bear little resemblance to a traditional photograph.  Others might use editing processes to gently enhance an image, to improve the photograph and the view.  I prefer to fall into the latter category, and my favourite app for applying subtle enhancements is Snapseed.

A few months ago Snapseed could be purchased for £2.99, until Google got hold of it and made it available for free .  In my opinion, it is still a bargain at £2.99!  I’m not offering a tutorial here (there are some getting started tutorials here) but it has all the essential basic features, like crop, straighten, sharpening, tilt shift, and all the usual exposure and saturation controls.  It also has a number of filters, black and white, vintage, grunge and drama.  But the best thing about it is its ease of use.  I have to confess I didn’t get it at first, but once I did get it, I found it intuitive and extremely powerful.  Most of my photographs are edited with nothing else.

There are many photography apps around, many offering a great suite of features, but for all round capability and ease of use, Snapseed is definitely my go to app of the moment.