The things I do:
Welcome to my personal web site. It’s designed to give you an overview of the things I do, have done and new directions I’d like to take. For the last 10 years I’ve been involved in promoting physics by making. The PiKon 3D printed telescope is a good example of a project designed to enthuse and stimulate curiosity by hands on experience with making. This project has sold over 400 units and now it’s time to explore some new directions.
“I’m not a donkey. I don’t have a field” – Max Weber
When criticised for publishing outside his field, this was Max Weber’s reply. Today, we readily label and compartmentalise people into race, gender, social class and academic discipline. But I believe that the human race is so prolific because of our curiosity. Creativity, innovation and progress comes from involvement, appreciation and enthusiasm for other subjects and cultures. I call it “managing your serendipity”. Sheer curiosity, involvement in other subjects, networking with people outside your comfort zone will improve your chances of doing something new.
15 Years ago I set up Lazy-Photon Photography. “Photography doesn’t have to be expensive” and over the years with the popularisation of mobile phone cameras this has become more the case. Having run many successful photography courses in Sheffield, I now volunteer helping the Canal and River Trust leading canal photographic walks.
New directions in photography have seen even more emphasis on mobile phone photography. At the other end of the technology spectrum I have been experimenting with 3D printed pinhole cameras and camera hacks.
I have always loved photography. I was the kid at school with a camera in class and for many years I worked abroad (China, USA, Japan) and always had a (film) camera with me. I have literally thousands of negatives which, at the time they were taken, were printed onto 6″x 4″ enprints. One major project that I have started is to digitise these images by copying the negatives with a digital camera / iPhone and processing in Adobe Lightroom. I’d like to extend the “remastered” concept to other media that too, such as 8mm video and audio reel-to-reel recordings.
1201 Alarm – The Apollo Archive
In 1969 there was no way to record television at home. I was a teenager and the Apollo moon landings would change the direction of my life. Grasped by the significance of these missions, I wanted to somehow record the events of the moon landings and the activities leading up to them. With a 405 line black and white television, Zenith 3M SLR camera, reel-to-reel tape recorder and an 8mm movie camera, I set about creating an archive of material. 50 years on it was exhibited at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, Yorkshire. The 1201 Alarm project is an ongoing project and the materials will be part of Remastered.
For just over 10 years, Elektric-Works has supported the PiKon telescope project and other ventures. Over that time it has developed into a flexible resource with 3D printers, photographic and video equipment as well as a well developed social media network and mailing list. We’ll soon be on the move to new premisses in Otley, Yorkshire where we’ll continue to build our links with Otley Maker Space. Quoting David Bowie: “I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring.”….and will certainly involve making!
7 years ago I was diagnosed type 2 diabetic. It’s a common condition in the UK and USA. I weighed nearly 100kg (220lb) and I decided to do something about it. Now I weigh 75kg and it’s been a very long journey. I’m aware that 90% of people who go on a weight loss programme will put that weight back on again and sometimes even increase it. I’m often ask what I did and what I do to maintain my weight, so I’ve included a section in this web sight.
In 2014 I presented a talk for Sheffield University’s ‘Festival of the Mind’ about how hobbyists could utilise new technologies such as 3D printing and the Raspberry Pi computer. I came up with the idea of combining them in a 3D printed telescope with Raspberry Pi camera. What was intended as a talk with a demonstrator has, through crowd funding, become a product selling over 400 kits. It’s also gone on to inspire others to improve on the design and share their endeavours. Now things are coming to the end of the road and it’s time to retire PiKon. There is still a stock of some components and there will be a crowd fund to add additional components to make up the last 25 kits at some time in the future.
Keep in touch – Ideas
If you want to keep in touch please fill out the form. If you have something specific or a proposal please leave a comment. Alternatively, email me: email@example.com