Night time shots on a tripod with a Nikon D7100

I've started taking a lot of night photographs recently on a tripod with my Nikon D7100. After entering a challenge on the D7100 forum of someone suggested it might be interesting to see my process. I'd not thought of writing it down before and I found it useful; hopefully you will too. It is rather long.

Outrageous money saving email from First:Utility

If you are using First:Utility and on their iSave Fixed v27 September 2015 Direct Debit tariff you might also have received this email and you should read it carefully as it is at the very least misleading.

I'm coming to the end of my First Utility tariff and received an email a week or so ago from them last week saying I could "Update your energy tariff and save £225*". Sounds good, what's to think about, of course I want to save £225.

Joby Pro Sling Strap

I've got fed up of carrying my camera with the neck strap. It is a strain on the neck, it bounces around, and if I bend forwards to pick something up or to open a gate it swings forward and can hit something. I've seen people with a sling strap that goes over one shoulder and hangs down above the hip so I thought I'd investigate.

One liner in Perl to show you Nikon camera shutter count

There are online sites you can upload camera images to which tell you your camera's shutter count. Most didn't seem to work for me with my D7100 - I never looked in to why. This oneliner in Perl will do it.
perl -le "use Image::ExifTool qw(:Public); my $info = ImageInfo($ARGV[0]); print $info->{ShutterCount};" xxx.jpg

Vote For Bob and save our country's wildlife

I don't usually get too involved in politics other than taking an interest and of course voting but there is one thing I'm passionate about and it is our country's wildlife. I see all sorts of examples of where our wildlife and conservation is taking a back seat to in particular development (e.g., the +Yorkshire Wildlife Trust first conservation area at Askham Bogg, near York which is under threat right now - see With a new election coming up soon we need more politicians up for election to state what they are going to do to protect our wildlife, reserves and conservation areas.

The RSPB have started a campaign "vote for bob" to make sure our politicians know we are concerned about our natural places. If you want nature back on the agenda then please vote at

Windows 7, Screen blank after a wake up from sleep

I'm putting this here as a reminder to myself and in case it helps anyone else.

I have an NVidia GTX660 (latest driver) and an ASUS pb278Q connected via the display port. I have the power settings to turn off the monitor after 30 minutes and mostly leave the machine turned on. However, often when I come back to the machine and hit a key on the keyboard or wiggle the mouse the machine wakes up but my screen is blank.

Perl script to rename Nikon RAW files and now export MakerNotes

I use a Nikon D7100 camera and Nikon's Capture NX2 software. Recently Nikon have released a beta of some new software (here) they've got another company to produce and when it goes live Nikon will stop supporting Capture NX2. I wrote about the problems this will cause me and thousands of others at Nikon Capture NX is dead, Nikon have stolen our property and left us high and dry. Now it appears the subject of that post might be a bit over the top (I was really annoyed when I read the beta announcement of the new NXD beta) but the fact remains I (and countless others) have got thousands of hours of image editing that could potentially be lost. What is the problem?

Nikon Capture NX is dead, Nikon have stolen our property and left us high and dry

The thread on dpreview that started this off is at here. Basically, Nikon have got Silkypix to write a new editor (NXD) for Nikon and will stop supporting Capture NX. You can try the beta of NXD here. The beta feedback page is here and the official comments include things like:

New release of Perl DBD::ODBC with support for MS SQL Server Query Notification

I just released the 3rd development release of DBD::ODBC (1.39_3). Apart from a few bug fixes and other changes (see below) this release adds support for MS SQL Server Query Notification. Query notification allows an application to request a notification from SQL Server when the results of a query change. Once set up you can block on an execute call waiting for the query to change. Here is an excerpt from the pod:

MS SQL Server Query Notification

New Perl DBD::ODBC 1.47 release

I have just uploaded DBD::ODBC 1.47 to the CPAN.

This release does contain significant changes in behaviour for unicode builds of DBD::ODBC so I hope when I warned you months ago you tested it.

Thanks to everyone on the dbi-dev list and irc that helped me work my way through the unicode issue.

I'm now going to sit back and wait for the usual rush of reports from everyone who didn't test it.

See below for changes since last full release.

1.47 2014-02-19

Full release of the 1.46 development releases.


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