Pet Portraits by
Sally Jane Photographic Art
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31 January 2007

Lynx Viewer

This is a very useful web site if you build your own web pages. It allows you to see your pages the way search bots see it. All you do is type your url into the search field and it displays your page as it would be seen by the robots. Anything that is not visible to you is not seen by them. Load up your home page and then see how easy it is to navigate round your site. If you can't easily get from one page to the next and back again because your links are hidden in images then neither can the search bots. This system easily shows up problems that might otherwise get overlooked. You do have to prove you own the site before it will work but that is simply a matter of creating a blank page with a given heading and uploading it. It's totally free and recommended by Google. Just click on the logo or this blog title.

25 January 2007

Monochrome Photography

In these days of quick digital photography it is easy to forget about what happens after you press the shutter release. For many, the images are simply stored and viewed occasionally. Some people go to the trouble of straightening their images and removing red eye but that frequently tends to be the end of it. For me, the click of the shutter is just the beginning. Playing around with my images once I get them on my PC is where the fun kicks in.
You might think it strange in a world where colour is taken very much for granted that anyone would want to remove it but monochrome photography still has a very significant place among any photographers skills. Have you ever had one of those photographs that are well composed and sharply focused but for some reason simply don't work? Chances are it's the colour in the image that is distracting. Try removing it and see how it works then. Colour doesn't always add interest to an image, sometimes it can simply clutter it up.
The image I have shown here was created with a timed exposure and a moving torch to produce the light trails. I then played around with it in Photoshop removing the colour and adding a gradient map which partly inverted the brightest values in the image. It was a bit of fun. If you would like to see more of my images just click on this image to go to my monochrome gallery.

21 January 2007

It's official - Dogs are good for you

According to a report on the BBC Dogs are good for our health. Pet ownership in general is apparently beneficial to our health as they help reduce stress, heart rate and blood pressure, but dogs are particularly good probably because owning them involves taking them for walks. Perhaps now dogs will become available on the NHS :-)
Owning any kind of pet is also good for children according to a related report on the BBC. Children who have been exposed to pets at a young age are less likely to develop allergies and Asthma. I firmly believe in pet ownership for children, it teaches them not just about animals and how to care for them but gives them a sense of compassion and responsibility. OK, so most parents end up with the lion share of the looking after but I still think it's worth the effort.

13 January 2007

No Hope For Rusty

Despite being convicted of failing to care for their Labrador 'Rusty' by allowing him to get so overweight he could hardly walk, the Benton brothers were still allowed to keep him. In an interview after the court case they were claiming that they had not done anything wrong. Anyone with half a brain could clearly see they had been neglectful to allow the dog to reach this state. If they cannot see why they have been found guilty how can they learn from this sufficiently to be able to give Rusty the care he needs? Clearly they won't and the dog will continue to gain weight until he dies. They admitted he had hip dysplasia leading to arthritis and used this as an excuse for him not being able to walk. Surely this makes controlling Rusty's weight even more crucial? The brothers were also reported as saying in the Times that they could not get rusty to stick to a diet! Well that really says it all. After all, who is supposed to be in charge? I'm sure Rusty doesn't prepare his own meals and certainly does not look agile enough to raid the fridge!
There are no excuses here and I personally believe that as these two men cannot accept they have done anything wrong they should be banned from keeping any more animals, ever.
For further info go to and watch the inverview!

09 January 2007

Crazy Clothes Sizes

Over the last few years something very odd and very annoying has been happening to clothes sizes. My weight and shape has not changed in 20 years but 20 years ago my 25" waist required a size 10 skirt (UK size). I even still have a some size 10 skirts bought all those years ago that still fit me perfectly, one of which was from Marks & Spencer. Size 10 skirts were easy to get hold of and so buying clothes was never a problem and generally an enjoyable experience. Times have changed and now it appears that I have to buy a size 6 to get a skirt that is the same size as an old size 10. Size 6 skirts are as rare as hens teeth and usually only part of a petite collection for women under 5'3". I am nearly 5'5". Shopping for clothes is now a thoroughly depressing experience as I can never get the clothes I like in the size I require.
Marks & Spencer do a size 6 in their short (petite) range but I searched the whole of the Bluewater store and only found one skirt of that size in the shop. This is one of their main branches. Marks & Spencer on-line say that a 25" waist is a size 8 but they obviously haven't measured them.
Next do a size 6 in their petite range and had quite a few skirts of this size in their Bluewater branch however, their size 6 skirts were still too big! Come on guy's, I'm not a freak! I am the correct weight for my height according to medical guidelines. I feel like I am being penalised for NOT being overweight.
The worst offenders so far are Rohan. Their size 8 skirts have a 30" waist although they are supposed to be 24" according to their size chart. Their comment to this when I complained was to say they like their clothes to have a 'comfortable fit'. I don't know about you, but I find clothes decidedly uncomfortable if you have to have loads of waist band gathered up under a belt. Rohan do not cater for any smaller sizes.

04 January 2007

Dangerous Dogs?

The sad news about the 5 yr old girl that was killed by a pit bull terrier a few days ago was really tragic. I can't begin to imagin the grief that family must be going through. Tragedy aside though, I get really annoyed at all the media hype about amending the Dangerous Dogs Act. The act was a shambles in the first place particularly as there is no such recognised breed as Pit Bull Terrier. It is a mongrel breed and so difficult to legislate against. In any case, the 'Pit Bull' is not the one to blame here. I have known many well mannered so called 'Pit Bulls' owned by sensible dog minded, owners. All dogs have the potential to inflict harm on humans and the larger and stronger the dog the more serious that harm might be. What stops them is the way they are handled and trained. OK so some breeds may have a more aggressive tendency but that just means they need to be owned by the right people. Unfortunately the kind of people that own 'Pit Bull' often are the kind that shouldn't own a dog at all. Anyone who trains a dog for fighting or badger baiting, as some pit bull owners do, should be banned for life from ever owning another animal of any description. The owner of the dog in question had already been warned about his animals behaviour but clearly failed to deal with it. He apparently has been arrested now, lets hope he is prosecuted. In my opinion if having trained a dog to fight and it then goes on to kill someone you should be prosecuted for man slaughter.