Photographing Cambridge as Coronavirus Restrictions Ease

Cambridge museum

As with most people, the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with holidays and trips, and photography opportunities have been dramatically diminished. While we are still far from ‘normal’ (with the wearing of masks indoors, for example), it’s been nice to visit more places and take more photographs. Recently, I visited Cambridge, enabling me to add … Read full article

New FTTP Full-Fibre Broadband Installation Guide

FTTP installation

The introduction of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) – often known as ‘Full-Fibre Broadband’ –  in my local area is kickstarting the production of lots of new content on my Increase Broadband Speed website. My new article (below) details what’s involved in an FTTP installation, with lots of photographs. An FTTP installation is usually relatively straightforward and quick, and … Read full article

Gigabit Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Broadband Arrives and it’s Fantastic!

New speed

Earlier this week, I reached a very important milestone in my personal 18-year journey towards better broadband, when Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) (also known as ‘Gigabit Broadband’) was installed at my home in rural Cambridgeshire. Every week, I receive many emails through my Increase Broadband Speed website from people living in rural areas across the UK frustrated … Read full article

Photographing Beautiful Oxford – ‘The Other Place’

I live near the beautiful city of Cambridge, which is one of my favourite places to photograph (when it is not too busy). I have now photographed many different parts of the city, although I have many more images to take on my ‘wish list’. In contrast, Oxford (otherwise known as ‘The Other Place’) has … Read full article

Photographing the Wedding of Vicky and Matt

I was delighted to be asked by my neighbour Mick to take some informal, candid photographs at the wedding of his daughter Vicky, to supplement the photographs taken by the professional photographer. Being home from university, Rebecca and Bethany were able to take photographs too, so it was a fun family project. Bethany and I … Read full article

Photographing Woburn Safari Park with the Sony 100-400mm Lens

Seizing the opportunity to try out the Sony A1 camera with the Sony 100-400 GM lens, I visited Woburn Safari Park. This is a perfect lens for zoos and wildlife, although it is relatively heavy when carried around all day. It is, however, significantly lighter than the longer 200-600mm lens. With the 100-400mm lens, autofocus … Read full article

New 8k Sony A1 Camera Provides Huge Flexibility to Capture Video

Squirrel small

Sony is intent on maintaining its global number one position in mirrorless cameras with the launch of its new professional flagship camera – the Sony A1. As well as providing incredible capabilities for capturing still images (taking up to 30 50-megapixel images every second), it also provides the ability to capture video in 8k resolution … Read full article

Photographing Wimpole Hall with the Sony 50mm F1.2 Lens

Poppy

I visited Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, which is owned by the National Trust. I took my Sony A7R IV camera with Sony 50mm F1.2 GM lens. The lens proved a very useful walkabout lens with exceptional sharpness, but really excelled in the quality of portraits due to the buttery smooth bokeh at F1.2. This is … Read full article

Sony 14mm F1.8 Sample Images

Tree

Sony has been on a roll recently with the introduction of several groundbreaking lenses. Following quickly after the amazing Sony 50mm F1.2 GM lens, Sony has introduced its ultra-wide-angle 14mm F1.8 GM lens. Just as with the Sony 50mm F1.2 lens, it is astonishing how much performance Sony has packed in to such a small, … Read full article

4G Mobile Review and Guide

4G antenna

Over the past few weeks, I have been trialling 4G mobile services from both Vodafone and O2. I would like to thank 4G specialist 4G National Broadband for providing me with the 4G subscriptions, 4G router and a high-gain antenna. Mobile broadband has clearly come a long way, and I’ve found that 4G delivers performance … Read full article

Sony 50mm F1.2 GM Sample Images

Despite the coronavirus lockdowns, camera manufacturers have been hard at work developing new cameras and lenses, with a major battle between Sony and Canon. Sony has just released its first every lens using an F1.2 aperture, which many in the industry said would be impossible. Pre-ordered many weeks ago, my new Sony 50mm F1.2 GM … Read full article

Spring Starts as the End of Coronavirus is in Sight (Mar 2021)

Flower

It definitely feels like spring, with daffodils flowering and temperatures rising. I cannot believe that it is nearly a year since I took photographs of a deserted Spaldwick in lockdown. As shown above, the A14 was empty. View the photos of Spaldwick in spring 2020. Back to the present time, things seem much more hopeful. … Read full article

Review of the Ubiquiti UniFi 6 Long Range Access Point

Do you want the very best Wi-Fi performance possible? I’m delighted to report that Ubiquiti’s newest Access Point – which uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) technology  – is absolutely superb and represents excellent value for money. Even several months after launch, this exciting product is in short supply. Deploying several of these devices in … Read full article

Wi-Fi 6 Versus Wi-Fi 5 – real-world performance and speeds

Wi-Fi

With broadband speeds continuing to accelerate, Wi-Fi – often the weakest link in the broadband chain – is playing catch-up. The latest Wi-Fi technology – called Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax – promises to deliver significantly better performance than Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). Although Ubiquiti’s new Wi-Fi 6 Access Points are currently like gold dust with very … Read full article

FTTP Installation Phase Begins in Spaldwick as Gigabit Speeds Near

FTTP installation

In my blog post back in October 2020, I wrote that Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) would be coming to the village of Spaldwick in Cambridgeshire as part of a new demand-led Openreach pilot. Following the excitement of the success of the local campaign, there has been little to see as part of the initial ‘Survey’ phase. The … Read full article

Online Partnership with Paul Braybrooke in Cambridgeshire

Paul Braybrooke

I really enjoy applying cutting-edge web development techniques and technologies to help local businesses to compete with national (and often) global competitors. As reported in my recent article The Increasing Importance of Website Speed and Simplicity, the introduction of website speed as a key factor in Google’s search engine ranking algorithm in 2021 brings major … Read full article

Improve Broadband Performance by Changing DNS Settings

DNS figure

Most broadband users have little awareness of the Domain Name System (DNS) but this plays a critical role in ensuring your broadband experience is fast and responsive. While we (as humans) distinguish between different websites using their domain names (e.g. www.bbc.co.uk and www.google.co.uk) , the Internet works in numbers (IP addresses). So, every time you … Read full article

A Showcase of Website Speed For Google Ranking Advantage

Spaldwick website

I am nearing completion of a major redevelopment of the Spaldwick village website, to demonstrate the ‘art of the possible’ in terms of website speed and responsiveness. With Google changing its search engine ranking priorities, the days of slow, bloated websites are thankfully coming to an end. I first launched the website for the Cambridgeshire … Read full article

The Changing Significance of Mobile Devices For Websites

With my Increase Broadband Speed website being in existence for many years now, analysis of usage statistics (using Google Analytics) has revealed many interesting trends. Perhaps, the most striking trend over the years has been the increasing access to the website by mobile devices. Figure 1, below, shows the proportion of sessions delivered to different … Read full article

The Increasing Importance of Website Speed and Simplicity

Screenshot

2021 will be a very important year for website developers, and change brings opportunity. There is a lot of research to show that users prefer websites that are quick to load and which deliver a good experience. There’s a reason why Google’s search site looks so simple and loads so quickly. For a company worth … Read full article

Dr Who Fans Will Be Delighted With its Move to Ultra HD

Bird eating

The BBC has bolstered its Ultra HD (4k) content on iPlayer with the introduction of a number of programmes, including ‘A Perfect Planet’ and ‘Dr Who’. While streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and Apple TV+ have been providing a broad range of 4k content for some time now, it’s great to … Read full article

Review of the Ubiquiti UDM Pro Router

Happy New Year! Following a downbeat 2020, which was completely dominated by the coronavirus pandemic with a little Brexit deal anxiety added in for good measure, the rollout of several vaccines brings much more hope for 2021. In one key regard, it’s going to be an excellent year where I live because ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) … Read full article

At Last, Sky Launches Movies in 4k Ultra HD HDR Format

Harry Potter on Sky

Just in time for Christmas, Sky has provided viewers equipped with 4k TVs with an early Christmas. It has released a raft of 4k Ultra HD movies in High Dynamic Range (HDR) format. There’s an impressive choice of movies from the outset but I hope Sky will eventually upgrade all remaining HD titles to Ultra … Read full article