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Across a Sea of Dreams 3 March 2018

New music alert!

My latest album, Across a Sea of Dreams, is out now on download and limited edition numbered CD digipack.

Bing Satellites - Across a Sea of Dreams
Making the CD digipack

The album is the full recording of a live improvised session I performed and broadcast on YouTube. It was among the first music I have had time to recird in several weeks.

It was a production few days with many recording sessions.

Being a truly independent musician means I performed, record and produce all the music I make. It also means I design and make all the covers - printing, glueing, construction, everything! For someone like me, it is perfect: I can make as many CDs as I need, when I need them, I can make covers that fit my needs.

Years ago, I would have had to rely on signing to a record label. No chance! This would just be a hobby. Now, I can put my own music out and I am in charge of every step. I have no one telling me I can or can't do something. Total artistic freedom.

It's a great time to be an independent musician!

Across a Sea of Dreams is available on limited edition numbered CD and download from

Further Adventures in Timelapse 1 March 2018

Today, in sub-tropical Manchester, we have snow, sub zero temperatures and very strong winds (a storm dubbed The Beast from the East).

A couple of days ago, we had beautiful wintry blue skies. I managed to capture a timelapse of the sunset.

To be honest, I wasn't that happy with it (the perfectionist in me) but everyone else seems to like it. A couple of days have passed and I feel happier with it. I learned from it too.

For this timelapse, I let the camera (Lumix GH4) choose the shutter speed. This meant the light levels stayed relatively even. The camera captures 16MP images which are bigger than 4K video. This means I can give the illusion of the camera panning or zooming in or out. If I render in normal HD, there is a lot of scope for movement or even the chance to get two timelapse films from the same shoot!

There are two jumps in the film, one when I had to take of the ND filter (the camera's sunglasses) as it got too dark and another when the 64GB memory card filled up! I need to try a 128GB card and I need to experiment with different settings to see if there is one that will work from sunlight to nighttime.

I have a big trip coming up with the possibility of timelapses being captured. I need to get more practice in. I also need to practice with my other camera, a Nikon D3100, as I plan to use both.

Expect more of this sort of thing soon!

Further Adventures in Social Media

I have finally succumbed to joining Instagram. I have no idea what I'm doing on there yet but judging by the number of followers I have already, most of my friends are on there! Find out if and how I have utilised this exciting new tool in my life at

The end of the beginning 27 February 2018

University Final Project

This is an interesting time for me. As I come to the end of my degree, everything is slowly but steadily fitting into place. My insane work ethic, my ability and need to soak up knowledge and endless hours of experimentation are all paying off.

As I write this, I am still a student but in a few weeks I will be a self-employed filmmaker and musician. I've worked hard to get here but I feel very lucky too.

Music promo test film used in presentation

The first part of my final project, the presentation, went well even though I was very nervous. It is 15% of the grade of this assignment, so 7.5% of the total year, all gone in 15 minutes.

I included the film I made the day before in my presentation, a test to see if my idea would actually work out on screen. I am making a music promo. I want it to have real emotion, so the viewer really connects with the peopl eon the screen. It actually surpassed my expectations, which I'm obviously pleased about.

This film also underlined one of the lessons I have learned recently: projects don't have to take a long time. I planned what I was going to do in advance, then went out and filmed for 40 minutes. Editing took less time but I did it soon after, while the idea was fresh in my head.

Adventures in Timelapse

After much research, I have made a huge step forward in the quality of my timelapses and have been amazed to discover that I can get decent night sky timelapse with a fair amount of stars, even with the terribly light polluted skies of central Manchester.

The technique involved taking reasonably long exposures (1 or 2 seconds at the moment but I may try longer in the future) and using the Expose To The Right (ETTR) technique, in other words, over exposing images without clipping while using a ISO 3200.

It seems counter intuative: Won't there be lots of noise? Won't the stars be bleached out? Both questions sprang to mind. However, in the editing process, I took RAW images or jpegs and edited them heavily in Lightroom, using high contrast and a pretty drastic S curve, bringing up lights and taking down darks. After some changes to colour, you end up with a natural-ish looking dark sky with lots of stars and very little noise.

I'm practicing and refining this technique as much as possible and looking forward to trying it out in a sky with a lot less light pollution, like Idaho!

Watch this space!