Now that winter is here

Now that the two ends of the day are starting to close up, the gap of useful sunlight is rapidly narrowing. As that dusk starts to impose itself on my journeys the chances of grabbing shots with the Kindle is decreasing. Perhaps that is not a bad thing; I have stockpile of photos filling up the corners of the Fire’s memory waiting for uploading so it is time to start capturing the associated maps.

No material captured on today’s journey, so I am taking the opportunity to reflect on what has worked best with the Kindle Fire HD6 in my challenge



The chance to capture some noisy trains screaming out of stations was the first opportunity I grabbed. Once I discovered the need to turn off the wifi to avoid frustrating interruptions as the device tried to connect with every passing wifi train (or bus) the results were pretty good. Wind noise ruined many clips, but it I found the pretty easy to grab short clips.

After creating a youtube account I managed to upload the shots of various trains creating exhaust and the much sought after decibels, but interest soon waned after long evenings waiting for the uploads to painfully force their way through my WIFI.


The Kindle’s size proved perfect for quickly grabbing shots during the short connections between trains. The device is just the right size to sit in a coat or trouser pocket, ready to take advantage of opportunities. This was complemented by upgrades to the operating system which brought in a pretty useful photo editing tool. I think the upgrades are leftovers from the doomed Fire phone software, as they arrived under a cloak of stealth; no fanfares or headline announcements.


However, even with the editing ability and HDR gizmo, I felt that it was a challange to grab shots that had the impact I needed to perk up the pages and pages of maps.


Holding the Kindle against (clean) railway carriage window proved a method of getting the occasional interesting picture, it manages to autofocus well on the scene, ignoring the glass. Unfortunetly this is a method that relies totally on the driver stopping the train at just the right place to provide some photogenic interest.


HDR has proved useful in grabbing offline maps. Those posters and leaflets scattered around a location that add some variety to the screen grabbed cartography. Lacking a flash and macro function the results often lack clarity, but often the ‘enhance’ tool within the photo editor will resurrect and ‘iffy’ capture.



Panorama Tool
Now this is where the fun started. Once I had managed to get skilled in the smooth sweep I discovered the ability to grab shots that gave the impact I was craving. I am hooked on this tool,  and now relish the hunt for scenes that will provide material for it to work on.


Screen captures
I will admit at this point to never mastering how to screen capture on the HD6 or my previous HD8. No amount of pressing controls in unison seemed to convince the device to capture a screen. When I bought my current Blue Tooth keyboard from Maplins it quickly changed. There on the top line was a ‘Prt Sc’ key- and it works! So combining this with the Fire’s editing tool I have been abe to grab the open source map extracts I need. The only outstanding issue is that the fire now appears to automatically transfer my edited shots to the cloud which can be a pain to recover when away from wifi. I have discovered though if I take the shot, edit it, upload it to wordpress pretty smartly I can beat the Kindle before it decides to move the work to the cloud. There must be a setting somewhere to configure this feature, but I have not yet looked for it, so I will continue to try and outpace the HD6.


Click here for my Amazon author’s page


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