Jan 262015
 

For the last few years I’ve attempted (and failed) to complete the photo-a-day challenge. I usually get to the end of January and then find that life gets in the way. This year I’ve decided to be a bit more realistic and take on a different photo challenge: taking a themed photo every week. I’ve got a list of themes (no idea of the original source) and will be sticking to these but interpreting them in my own way – trying to be as creative as possibe.

Here’s my first four photos. Click through to Flickr to see each image larger and read a description.

1/52 "A photo of yourself"

2/52 "Time"

3/52 "Upside Down"

4/52 "Symmetry"

See you for another update next month, or follow me on Flickr

Jan 032015
 

Seeing as it’s been a year since I posted an update on here, I figured it was about time I put something… So here’s a selection of 20 of my favourite photographs I’ve taken in the past 12 months.

Frank Turner Photographing the Animal Action Sports Tour Docklands Water Alkaline Trio Kew Gardens Pagonda and Plane
Kew Gardens Wild flowers growing over steps Georgian Terrance Hotel rooftop Seattle, WA Seattle, WA
Atlanta Streets Alive Atlanta Pride 2014 Downtown Atlanta feelin' stormy Jellyfish Doggles Dog
Atlanta Sunset Portrait Autumnal Atlanta Suspended. Merry Christmas 2014

Hopefully I’ll remember to keep posting updates on here this year!

Dec 312013
 

For those of you who’ve not heard of the Rapha Festive 500, it’s an online challenge to ride 500km (about 310 miles) over 8 days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The miles must be tracked using GPS (either standalone such as the Garmin 800 I use, or using the Strava smartphone app) and uploaded to the Strava website in order to qualify and static rides are not allowed (so no spinning on the rollers after Christmas dinner!).

I’ve signed up for the challenge the last two years, but never really made much of an effort.  I decided that this year was to be different.

Those of you who know me know that I’m not exactly the fittest of people, so riding 500km over 8 days would be quite a challenge!  Indeed, between January and December this year I only clocked up a total of 420 miles, so the 310ish miles needed to complete the Festive 500 over 8 days would be almost doubling my miles for the year so far… My legs were scared.

On with the story!

Day One, Christmas Eve: 61.6 miles

My plan for the first day was to get as many miles in as possible. I had originally planned to ride home from London (approximately 100 miles) to get the week off to a good start, however there were some pretty awful storms due to hit on the 23rd so I decided it would be safer to do some road miles at home and not have to be concerned with riding home for Christmas.

As it turned out this was a good plan, there was some awful flooding as a result of the storms and a number of people were stuck getting home for Christmas – if I’d tried to ride home I’d have almost certainly ended up being one of them.

Of course the storms also effected the local area. A few miles out I encountered the first evidence of this, with rainwater rushing out of a drain.

Rapha Festive 500 Day One
The drains can’t cope!

A few miles later and quite a lot of bottom-bracket deep water (sorry bike!) I came across the first flood I couldn’t pass. This ford was the scene of an unfortunate accident earlier this year, when a driver drowned after following his sat nav and becoming trapped in his car after it became submerged. Sensibly I decided to turn back and try another route.

Rapha Festive 500 Day One
Unpassable

In the end I decided to steer clear of the local roads I’d usually ride and instead do some off-road loops of the common. Whilst this steered me clear of the traffic and the worst of the flooding it also turned out to be REALLY hard work on the CX bike, after 50 miles I was physically exhausted. I thought the worst of the flooding would have dried out by then so I tried to take the scenic route home, but I was met by more floods.

Rapha Festive 500 Day One Rapha Festive 500 Day One Rapha Festive 500 Day One
Stormy scenes around Hampshire

I finished the day with just over 60 miles finished, soaking wet, hurting and with completely numb hands and feet. I also managed to tear my (beautiful) Rapha hardshell jacket & get six thorns in my front tyre after a little altercation with a tractor and a bush. Not a great start to the week :(

Day Three, Boxing Day: 50.3 miles

I didn’t get any miles in on Christmas day, I’d intended to do a few but festivities got in the way!

As I was still hurting from Christmas eve I decided to spend boxing day doing easy miles on some local roads, riding a nice 3.5 mile loop I’d previously not discovered. The roads were still drenched but the weather was nowhere near as bad as my previous ride, I could just about feel my hands when I got home.

Rapha Festive 500 Day Three
The setting sun

Day Five, 28th December: 60.0 miles

I headed to London on day four but didn’t get any miles in, so decided to get up early to get some bigger miles in on day five. I headed up to regents park before sunrise and was treated to some lovely views over London as the sun rose.

Rapha Festive 500 Day Five Rapha Festive 500 Day Five
Rapha Festive 500 Day Five Festive 500 Day Five
Good morning Regents Park!

I loved listening to the noises of the animals in regents park as the sun rose, they seemed to be rather excited about the day ahead. I was slightly less so, as the miles from the last few days were beginning to take their toll and my knees and hips especially were starting to hurt! Still, it was nice being back on the road bike and the miles were certainly coming easier than on the CX bike.

Rapha Festive 500 Day Five Rapha Festive 500 Day Five
Rapha Festive 500 Day Five
Pretty scenes around Regents Park

Festive 500 Day Five
Sunrise over Euston & Bloomsbury

Festive 500 Day Five
The office is ideally situated for a 30 mile “comfort break”

Day Six, 29th December: 80.8 miles

It was another early start today, after setting my alarm for 5:10 and getting rolling at around 6:15 again (I decided breakfast would be a good idea today). I decided that I needed to get on the miles a little harder if I had any hope of finishing the 500km so I decided I needed to do another 60 miles today. As the miles progressed I decided to raise the bar and eventually managed 80!

Festive 500 Day Six Festive 500 Day Six
Nina and Scott hanging out, and a frosty Regents Park

When I arrived at the park it was damp and rather cold, but as the morning set in it got colder, the moisture on the ground froze and the puddles turned to ice, making the tarmac especially treacherous.

Rapha Festive 500 Day Six
The park actually got icier as I stayed out

Unfortunately a couple of hours after I took this photo (and nearly fell as I put a foot down to stop for a gel) an elderly lady took a fall. A few other cyclists kindly stopped by (they were there before me I’ll hasten to add) and covered her in their jackets until the ambulance arrived. After the ambulance arrived a cyclist fell in the same spot (he got up and continued riding) then on the same lap I passed another group looking after a lady who had fallen on the ice. I took it very steady for the next couple of hours until the weather warmed up, which was probably why I managed to do more miles than usual. As you can see, I still wasn’t doing great afterwards anyway (still, this was the furthers I’ve ever ridden in a day so can’t complain really).

Rapha Festive 500 Day Six
Exhausted

Day Seven, 30th December: 14.4 miles and 46.0 miles

Day seven was back to Hampshire and a late start after an incredibly painful night’s sleep… By now the miles were really starting to take their toll on my body, my knees and hips were absolutely killing me (I really must look at my cleat positioning), my shoulders and neck were complaining at the thought of getting back onto drop bars and I could barely get out of bed or walk down the stairs. Still, 60 miles to go, so back on it!

Festive 500 Day Seven
A patch or two of fog

I managed a few miles before darkness fell, so went back home to wait for my lights to charge before heading out to attempt to complete the challenge with one last night ride for 2014… Three and a half hours later (with a handy KOM and a few PR’s!) and I was done!

Finished: 313 miles/ 504 kilometers!

Woop!

504km and over 23 hours of riding later and I’m done! My body feels like it’ll never be the same again. My hips and knees are killing me, I can barely walk and I’ve lost all feeling in my neck/ shoulders, but it somehow all seems worth it. My Rapha hardshell took a battering too, but hopefully the Rapha warranty will sort that out ready for the endeavors of 2014.

Festive 500 Day Seven

I’ve put a couple of screenshots of my final activity below or you can look on my Strava profile for more.

Rapha Festive 500 Complete! Rapha Festive 500 Complete! Rapha Festive 500 Complete!
Quite the challenge for an unfit one such as myself!

Thanks for reading and have a good 2014!

Sep 022013
 

This year I once again photographed UX Camp London, this time held Central Foundation Boys School near Old Street. It felt strange wandering around a secondary school again, it somehow managed to smell just the same as my old school…

Anyway, it was a great day and I managed to make it to quite a few of the sessions and get lots of photographs.

UX Camp London 2013
UX Camp London 2013 UX Camp London 2013

I even got the chance to speak for a little while about my Fitbit study and the complications of running longitudinal research. I’m looking forward to next year!

UX Camp London 2013 UX Camp London 2013
UX Camp London 2013 UX Camp London 2013
UX Camp London 2013 UX Camp London 2013

More photographs on Flickr.

Jul 052013
 

Yesterday I graduated from my Human Computer Interaction with Ergonomics MSc course from UCL. The more eagle-eyed amongst you will see that I’m still at the same university, in the same department, working on a PhD… Should give you an idea of how much value I found in the MSc course.

I started off feeling really rather tired… I ended up getting about an hour’s sleep the night before, this photograph was taken before I’d found any caffeine to perk me up.

Zombie Graduation....

However, once I’d had an energy drink I was feeling much better… Even more so after a glass or two of champagne :)

MSc Graduation MSc Graduation
MSc Graduation MSc Graduation
MSc Graduation

We really are quite lucky getting to graduate in such a beautiful place… I just wish there had been more of my course mates there!

More photographs on Flickr.

May 262013
 

I visited the 100th anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show a couple of days ago, armed with my trusty OM-D and the PL25 (I took the 7.5mm and the Oly 45mm too, but they didn’t get much of a look in). I had a really good afternoon and got quite a few nice photographs, some of which are displayed below:

Sculptor Elf Man Birds!
Osteospurnum
Birds Chillin' NSPCC Garden
Alium Thatch
Flowers (these ones are pink and blue, and arranged in an arnagement of sorts) Dahlia
Spikey Silver Bowl
Gnomes

Really pleased with how the set came out, the OMD & PL25 are a stunning combination.

The rest of the set is here: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013 – a set on Flickr

May 122013
 

I returned from CHI last week, where I was an author on two papers. The full paper, Exploring the effects of space and place on engagement with an interactive installation and The Challenge of Maintaining Interest in a Large-Scale Public Floor Display which was shown at the EIPS workshop.

We made a rather funky video for Space and Place, which you can view below (embedded):

The conference was brilliant, a personal highlight for me was the Theory vs. Design-Driven Approaches for behaviour change panel on Wednesday afternoon, which will probably be the subject of its own post in the future.

I’m going to write another blog post with more details about the conference and the talks I went to (once I’ve revisited my photographs and notes).

For now I’m going to share some photographs of Paris, enjoy!

Ne Me Quitte Pas

Arc de Triomphe Telescopes

Disapproving Ancient Egyptian Looks

Cocktails :)

Apr 092013
 

Hello!

As you may be aware I’m currently recruiting for a study with the Fitbit Zip pedometer, we still need more participants for the study!

We want people who either live or regularly travel in to central London, are aged 18+ and use either an iPhone 4S, 5, or a Samsung Galaxy S3.

If you complete the study you may keep the Fitbit, we’re also offering prizes (1x £100 & 4x £25 Amazon vouchers) for randomly chosen participants who complete the study.

If you’re interested please sign up using the link below! It would also be fantastic if you could share the study details with anybody you know who fills the above requirements and might be interested- this could be family, friends, colleagues, housemates, drinking buddies, classmates, etc.

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I thought a photograph of a kitten looking sad (because of recruitment struggle) might help, so here’s an appropriately cute one to inspire you to sign up:

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You can view more information and sign-up to the study with the recruitment form, available online: www.walkerbit.co.uk.


(flyer available online)

Thanks!

Feb 282013
 

Our submission to the Experiencing Interactivity In Public Spaces (EIPS) CHI Workshop, “The Challenge of Maintaining Interest in a Large-Scale Public Floor Display”, was accepted and I’ll be presenting at the workshop in Paris in April.

The paper, written by Jon Bird, myself and Paul Marshall is related to work on FloorPlay, the project I undertook for my masters. In the paper we argue that floor displays, because of the novelty of their location, can be more effective at grabbing the attention of passersby than public wall mounted screens. However, a concern is that as floor displays become more familiar, people will take less notice of them. We explore how to maintain interest in a large-scale interactive floor display in a semi-public university location. Our ongoing research involves exploring ways to enable participants to update the content of the display and seeing how effectively this keeps them interested. Firstly, we are making the floor display interactive so that participants can manipulate the content in real-time using whole body interaction. Secondly, we are encouraging the local community to generate content for the display.

You can read and download the paper here: EIPSMaintainingInterest.pdf