I went for my weekly trip to the Peak District this morning. I still can’t quite believe how close it is – it took me just twenty minutes on my bicycle to get back home from the reservoirs today.

Having bought a map of the Peak District 4 years back (and then never used it) I sort of knew where I was going, somewhere over to the left where there were no houses. It looked pretty.

Shame I hadn’t paid any attention to the contours!

Once I had made the massive climb out of the city, I was hit by the autumnal beauty of Yorkshire – just gorgeous – and when I turned off the main road it just got better, as I found myself in a nature reserve, complete with bike tracks.

Fast-flowing stream

At one point along the route I came across a bunch of horses at a horse-hair dresser. It seems that bleach blonde is the in-thing in the equine world at the moment.

Sharon is particularly pleased with her shocking new look

Debbie, meanwhile, has gone for the sulky-teenager style

Mind you, there was one horse there who seemed pretty exasperated by the rebellious nature of the young-uns. He was easy to spot, galloping around the field at full pelt, trying to relieve himself of the stress of modern life. When he finally slowed down, I called out and suggested that he try meditating – which he then did.

A couple of hours later I was back in town – time for a trip to Beanies, the healthfood shop. There I set up a standing order for a weekly organic fruit and veg shop, and an organic loaf of wholemeal bread. This will ensure that I eat properly this year, and also save time as I won’t have to wait in the the very long queues that they often have there. Hurrah!

Back home I started to develop my new photo workflow. Now I’m shooting in RAW+Jpeg (the camera creates two files for every shot, one is the huge uncompressed original, the other is a 1mb jpeg), I’ve started using Adobe Light Room, which I like, a lot. It’s very intuitive, great for doing the basics before passing those images that need any further tweaks on to Photoshop. I had one minor problem – when exporting from Light Room it would set the ppi to 72, no matter what I specified in the options. Turns out that this happens when it compresses the metadata, deselecting that option fixed the issue.

It’s funny how a simple switch like that (from taking photos in JPEG to RAW (or NEF in the case of Nikon)) changes one’s relationship with one’s camera. It feels new all over again, as it starts producing stuff it’s never produced before.

Hard drive space is a bit of an issue. Always has been actually – that was one of the reasons I never shot in RAW before. Now I’m having to accept that I can’t carry round a copy of all my photos on my laptop – only the really old ones (with file sizes of 2mb or less) and the most recent. The rest have to go onto a couple of external drives, a data DVD, and a remote server too just in case. I think I’m a bit obsessed when it comes to backing-up. Still, you do hear horror stories, such a that of one of my classmates. They made three backups of all their photos when they came back to the UK this summer – and all three backups failed, leaving them with just a few shots on Facebook. Ouch.

With hard disk failure it’s never a case of IF, it’s always WHEN.

Flibberdy dee. Must be time to study some kanji.

xxx josephine