Monday, November 17, 2014

Some Garry Cook photographic links

Most of my photography over the past 18 months has been occupied by long-term projects. Some are listed here.

The two most significant are Palestiniana (2013) a book about the troubles between Israel and Palestine detailed within five fun-packed days in the West Bank. It's packed full of photography.

And then there is Stay At Home Dads Are Not Welcome Here (2014) a book about taking a one-year old (my daughter) to various Women-filled playgroups. The photos for this book were shot entirely on a mobile phone camera. But not just any mobile phone - the best one available (then and now), the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Both books covers are shown below. And here are the links to buy them:

Stay At Home Dad... Kindle links

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

iPhone iMessage SMS text problems when switching to Android Windows phone

WARNING: Not a fun read this one. Keep away unless you have SMS iMessaging problems

UPDATE: November 2014 - Apple have created a fix for the iMessage problem on their page here. Not sure if it fixes all problems, so you may still need to read this article (below).

I’ve done several reviews and written pieces about the best mobile phone cameras on the market, most recently in August 2013.

The Nokia Lumia 1020, my current weapon of choice, is staggeringly amazing. And there is no doubt that the iPhone 5 is very, very good (though it’s flash system is behind the Lumia).

What I know now is you can’t be switching between an iPhone and any other phone without seriously damaging your ability to stay calm.

But what is not good about the iPhone 5 – or any iPhone for that matter – is how Apple’s iMessaging system can ruin the use of any other phone you use after it.

Now, you may not be aware of this problem so let me explain it briefly.

If you use an iPhone and then switch to Android/Windows/whatever anyone else with an iPhone will be unable to send you a text message.

And it is ALMOST impossible to fix the problem.

When I say almost, I mean there are no easy are totally satisfactory fixes.

Technically this is what happens: an iPhone sends iMessages rather than texts to other iPhones. If your simcard has been in an iPhone, any other iPhone will always think you have an iPhone even if you get rid of it. And it won’t be able to send you a text.

There are half a dozen suggested fixes for this problem, included what is called a ‘secret fix’ – but none actually work. This is why Apple has actually been sued over this problem.

Here they are briefly:

Before you switch phones, turn off iMessaging in your iPhone. Then reset it and wait 45 days before using your new phone.
NOTE: Doing this DOES NOT work and is totally impractical. Also, if your iPhone crashes and won’t switch on like mine did, this is impossible

‘Apple told me to ask all my contacts with iPhones to delete my contact and re-enter it, delete all previous text messages from me, and update their iOs.’
NOTE: Doing this DOES NOT work

iPhone user should Delete all previous messages from you.
NOTE: Doing this DOES NOT work

Secret fix: Change Apple ID password. Log out of Apple ID. Text STOP to 48369
NOTE: Doing this DOES NOT work (text message will not send, certainly here in the UK anyway)

Call Apple on 08442090622 (UK) go through the automated system to get to an operator. He does some stuff, sends you a text, you read him the code, he does something else and tells you that in five hours the problem will be sorted.
NOTE: Doing this DOES NOT work

Right, how for what POSSIBLY does work – but it is something that an iPhone user has to do and not you. And if, as is possible, over half the contacts in your address book are iPhone users you can’t expect them all to do it.

Basically, if the iPhone user is willing, they need to ‘turn on Send SMS when iMessage is not available’

This is how:
Settings >>>>Messages>>>Send as SMS (when iMessage is not available).

This is the only fix I have found which has worked. Possibly it is linked to the work of the call centre operator but this seems doubtful as what he did should have sorted the problem on its own – but did not.

I will not be using an iPhone again. I suggest you don’t either, unless you are sure you never want to come back from the dark side.

And that’s it.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Alternative Histories of Photography: Documenting the World

Photographic history is a big, complicated subject.

So, without going too deeply into what is, I would like to repeat some key points from a lecture into this subject.

The lecture was by Dr Kelley Wilder (De Montfort University), put on by photography network Redeye at Manchester’s amazing and well-hidden Portico Library & Gallery.

Dr Wilder, who is co-editor of a forthcoming book about what has driven humans to document the world through photography, spoke about how some of the modern photographs and photography collections which are hailed as important today might not be those that are looked back on as important in the future.

She talked of the importance of everyday history of photography, images of what we do or eat on a daily basis. Images that are less iconic than those in photographic history (man walking on the moon, Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech) but perhaps more important in other ways.

This is what she said (paraphrasing) about the act of showing someone a photo: “Showing an image makes you talk. You talk about how it makes you feel. Film is different. Watching a film makes people shut up.”

It’s my opinion that this is the reason why images are so successful on social media platforms like Facebook. A photo is quick, convenient, and can have a huge impact on the viewer, albeit a few typed words replacing a spoken sentence.

NOTE: This is me with Dr Kelley Wilder.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

RAW images converted to jpeg in Phase One Capture One Pro DO NOT show up in Facebook app on Kindle Fire

Almost all photographs - but strangely not every single one - I have been converting from RAW files to jpegs using Phase One Capture One Pro have not been showing up in the Facebook app on Kindle Fire.

A blank space appears in the app. Any accompanying text can be seen, just the image will not display.

I can't work out why one of the seven images I did upload (via a PC) did work on the app. It is possible this has something to do with the embedded colour profile (which was Adobe RGB 1998 I think) but all that stuff is a bit too complicated.

However, unlike the problem with Nikon image settings displaying washed out in the Mozilla Firefox browser, there is an easy fix to this problem.

And it's the fix you should always try before anything else:

Uninstall the Facebook app. Download the (new) Facebook app.

The problem is fixed.

It should be as easy as that.


Friday, April 04, 2014

NEW BOOK: Stay At Home Dads Are Not Welcome Here (out soon)

Stay At Home Dads Are Not Welcome Here is my new book which mixes writing and photography as I document my horrific experiences of being the only stay at home dad in the village.

The book will be available on Kindle in April 2014, and in paper format soon afterwards.

I was very fortunate to be able to use a Nokia Lumia 1020 mobile (cell) phone for this project. Nokia's award-winning camera phone - which takes the best images in the business - allowed me to visually document the project without distressing other parents at playgroups.

The book is full of the usual wry observations and moments of self doubt which my many, many fans love so much. If you're interested in the unfathomable relationship between the male and the female you will love this book.

If all this does not make you want to read this book, I don't know what will. Apart from the photos of me in sexy swimming trunks.

NOTE: You can find out more about the book here:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Found photography (in a Preston car park)

Other people's photographs can be very dull. If you've ever had to endure someone showing you an album of holiday snaps, you know what I mean.

But photography can also be brilliant - especially when you find it in a supermarket car park.

I found this outside the legendary Home Bargains in Deepdale, Preston, Lancashire.

And what a fascinating find, I'm sure you'll agree. A young girl in a traditional dress. An old man, possibly her grandad uncomfortably slumped asleep on the sofa. There's an old gas fire and a coffee table full of bottles and other hard to identify items.

When was it taken? It looks like to could have been the 1980s. Or it could be an old house in the 1990s. Is it as old as the 1970s. Only the little girl in the photo can tell me.

If you know who this is and would like to help me reunite this photo with its owner, you know what to do.