Displeasure Photos

The one problem with the Nikon D40

I bought my Nikon D40 from a camera shop. I spent a fair amount of time talking to the expert behind the counter, discussing what I would get if I were to buy a more expensive camera.

The expert was telling me how a more expensive camera might have more megapixels, it will be more sturdily built (hence able to withstand harsher conditions), and it will have more buttons on the body which would allow me to change settings quickly (instead of having to navigate through piles of menus).

I nodded, and let him know that none of this was particularly compelling. I gave him one last chance to upsell me. I told him that I had no intention of buying another DSLR in the next few years, so I needed to get the right one first time. Was the Nikon D40 missing any features which, in six months time, I would really really want.

No, said the expert. Definitely not.

Six months later, with an interest in experimenting with HDR photography, I discovered that the Nikon D40 does not have Automatic Exposure Bracketing. Fuck you, expert.

About Me Photos Stunt 2007

Stuff on my desk

*This is a companion piece to a similarly-themed article on Karen’s site which, all things being equal, should be published at roughly the same time.*

My desk

Here is my desk. It’s an Ikea Jerker that I bought about 14 months ago, when we moved into this house.

My desk (overlay)

(Yes, the PNG is transparent, so you can overlay it on the JPG if you so desire).

1. Three boxes. One contains AC adapters, one contains receipts, and one is labelled “Misc crap” and contains all those little things that you don’t have a real home for. Mounted on the underside of the shelf below these boxes is a little OSRAM LED lamp.
2. Red Dwarf videos. I’m currently going through a bit of a Red Dwarf phase, reliving my teenage years. One, or more, of these VHS tapes may have been acquired at a reduced rate by switching price labels in WHSmiths. Such a rebel, I was.
3. Camera box. Nikon D40. Haven’t quite got round to putting this box in the garage or loft or wherever. On top of it is my camera case.
4. Books. One that I’m reading, one that I’m yet to read, and my 2005-06 and 2006-07 diaries. Older diaries are kept in a storage box in the garage, but I like having my last two to hand, just in case.
5. My pyro box. Lighters, matches, and an ancient pack of Golden Virginia.
6. Audio cassettes. All the live recordings, taped rehearsals, and early albums by my old band. On top of this little box is my bank statement book, and in front of it are my watches.
7. Pile of Terror. One of these boxes is also labelled “Misc crap”. Everything in this pile has no home, but hopefully I will rectify this one day. It’s a low-priority thing, and to be honest, most of this stuff could probably be thrown away, and I would never notice.
8. Postcards that Karen brings me.
9. Keyboard. It’s a Casio CTK-671.
10. Monitor. It’s a Sony. It’s a good monitor, but still… Sony. Ugh. Sorry. Tucked beneath it is a hefty reusable plastic bag. In front, a notepad with a comb on it, and to the right of that is the magnet that opens the drawers down to the side of the desk.
11. Man bag.
12. 8 track. It’s a Yamaha MD-8. I don’t use this much any more, so it now lives under here, and can be slid out if/when I need it.
13. Keyboard. It’s a Microsoft. It’s a good keyboard, but still… Microsoft. Ugh. Sorry. Behind it is a cheap plastic toy that my dad brought back from China. Its purpose is to spin round, light up, and play the Crazy Frog theme. It worked twice, then broke. So sad.
14. Photo of Karen. Whenever Bernard sees this, he points and says “Mama” about thirty times in quick succession.
15. Margarine tub containing a secret project that I’m working on. In front of it are my two coasters, by Marcus Gray.
16. Backup CDs and burned Linux ISOs.
17. A4 paper for the printer. To the left, empty CD spindles.
18. Printer. HP Laserjet 4L.
19. Some old envelopes for the recycling box. I just left them here while I took the photo to make the place look untidy. I am smart like that.
20. Second camera. Pentax Optio S30. Again, it doesn’t normally live here, but it gatecrashed the photo shoot. Behind it, an empty CD spindle. In front of it, the lens cap for my camera.

What else is on the shelf with the monitor?

* Two speakers (Harman Kardon Soundsticks II, the woofer is down there on the floor, glowing blue).
* Letter rack, containing things to file, things to do something about, and envelopes.
* A little pile with some post-it notes and Carmex lip balm on top.
* Pen pots
* Camera manual
* Some more pieces of paper to deal with
* Spindle containing blank CDs.
* Desk lamp.
* On the wall, some photos.

How has my desk changed in the last year?

14 months ago, it looked like this. Those two shelves at the top used to contain a lot of junk, so I moved one of them down to act as a monitor shelf. This gives me more space to work with at keyboard level, and also allows me to raise the speakers by six inches, out of Bernard’s reach (he likes grabbing them and playing with them. I can understand why – they are quite lovely). And the 8-track, as I previously mentioned, is now underneath that shelf.

You can also see that I’ve installed the second side-shelf, and used it to make a nifty little keyboard stand (the other end of the keyboard rests on my bass amp). This has been in place for quite a long time now.

And finally, here’s a photo of my desk at the previous house. It’s only six months older, so much of the hardware is the same.