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It’s not over yet!

February 18th, 2015

Well, it’s been a good run. I’ve enjoyed posting to Sticks and Stones, with my random musings, photos, videos, and whatever else I felt like. And rest assured, I will continue to post here (I hear in my head the audible sighs of relief from across the nation, and indeed, the world. Jokes.).

However, the time has come for a separate site, which will contain a portfolio, as well as a blog that is focused on helping churches to communicate better.

The Sticks and Stones Facebook page will be updated to reflect this, and the Sticks and Stones twitter account will soon close. Sticks and Stones updates will continue to be posted on the Facebook page, as well as my personal twitter account.

Feel free to head on over to www.joegallant.co.uk now to check it out.

Thanks for reading Sticks and Stones for the last couple of years. I hope it has been, and continues to be an enjoyable visit, when the opportunity arises. As a special celebratory treat, here’s a link to something from the archive, my music video for the Klaxons, ‘Not Over Yet’. Enjoy.

Chromecast for frequent travellers

December 9th, 2014

A quick guide to using Chromecast for those who travel frequently

I bought a Google Chromecast yesterday. Well that’s not strictly true. I actually bought a Chromecast over a week ago, used my Amazon Prime account, and eventually received it nine days later. So much for one day delivery.

Google Chromecast - a great streaming device for frequent travellers or those on business

Now, I already have an Apple TV, and I’m thrilled with it – I have my digital home sorted for all of my streaming needs. But I bought the newer Chromecast device for two reasons: Continue reading “Chromecast for frequent travellers” »

Afterglow – Incredible Night Skiing Film

October 30th, 2014

Often when I find something that I consider ‘blog-worthy’ I might create a draft, or at least save the URL so that I can post it later. With this I couldn’t wait, I had to share it.

First things first, Afterglow is a short film (11 minutes for the full version) made by Sweetgrass Productions and funded by Phillips to promote their Ambilight TV (which I’ve had my eye on for years, to hint to any kind-hearted and/or wealthy readers out there).

There are hundreds upon thousands of skiing videos on the web, many of which are well worth watching (hint, here’s a bonus ski video I love), but this one is something different – not only is it shot at night, with incredible skill and creativity, but the production values are well beyond a slow-mo GoPro on the end of a pole. Yes I know they’re not all like that, but it starts to feel it.

At this point you should probably watch the video (this is the abridged version, scroll down for the full whack).

If that didn’t excite/inspire you, then you probably don’t need to read on, the rest could just be pretentious drivel about how a) I will probably never make anything this beautiful on film and b) we all need to take a 6 month holiday and travel the world with a rucksack and a camera (and a plane to carry 9000lb of production gear up a mountain).

No, I’ll resist. This video is beautifully shot, and wonderfully original. The soundtrack and voiceover are just pretentious enough to please the creative types out there, but understated enough so as to not be too overbearing. To take something that’s been shot so many times and represent it in a new way like this is a great achievement (even though I’m sure a rather large budget helped).

Enough though, here’s a suggestion:
Take 11 minutes and 35 seconds out of your day, turn off the lights and watch the following video – preferably on a large HD screen – and just enjoy it. Enjoy what you’re seeing and hearing and, dare-I-say-it, feeling.

Enjoy the moment.

If you have a few other moments that you’d like to enjoy, take a look at the nofilmschool article, which writes a little more, and references a Behind-the-Scenes video that shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Full video link: Vimeo
Shortened version: Vimeo
Referenced article: Nofilmschool

A screenshot from the Afterglow ski video

Future Pay

October 15th, 2014

Again, technology blows me away. If the new Pay and Watch are not your cup of tea, then give PlastcCard a try!

PlastcCard is a rechargeable device, the same size as a standard credit card. You can store multiple cards – be them credit/debit cards, gift vouchers, loyalty cards, ID cards or keypasses – all on the one device. This is achieved by components that can be re-written, the NFC chip and magnetic strip to be precise. With chip and pin functionality and a touch-screen e-ink display to switch between cards and unlock the device this is already looking impressive, but don’t forget to add in bluetooth to connect to the companion app. This app monitors your spending and has the ability to manage your stored cards, but most importantly it provides an additional layer of security, locking the device when you walk too far away from it.

Sure, as with everything that’s awesome, there’s a price tag involved – which essentially means you’re paying for functionality you already have. If you choose to, that is.

What’s more exciting for me is the potential this has. You can argue it’s unnecessary tech with phones and even watches now being able to do the same thing (bring on my wrist-inserted microchip), but with prices coming down all the time, how long before credit cards are a thing of the past.

And imagine the business cards. Oh, the business cards.

Product website: Experience Plastc.

It is your Destiny

July 23rd, 2014

The time has come, the day has arrived – the Destiny beta is here!
(Well if you’re a Sony type it’s been here for a few days… anyway)

I’m excited, if you can’t tell, and am looking forward to getting home from work to play away!

Now, to business – Bungie kindly gave out three codes to download the beta, and I am but one person, with one console.

SO, being the lovely person I am, I’ve decided to share the wealth.

Check back at 5pm UK time to get a code – be quick, they’re single use!
(Note: the codes only work with Xbox 360, and Gold membership to Xbox Live is needed – apparently a trial membership won’t work)

Here are your codes my lovelies!


First come, first served! Good luck! Don’t forget to say thank you, let me know if you got one!

Know your Onions

December 8th, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a graphic design book called, “Know Your Onions:Graphic Design“. It’s about graphic design.
Last week I read it.

It was a really good read, written with a refreshing sense of humour – very relatable. It lives up to its aim of trying to save the reader 25 years of experience in the design business – well maybe – but honestly, it’s already proved very useful in helping me to approach my design work in a different way. For anyone who does any sort of design work I’d go as far as to say it’s a ‘must-read’.

I visited the book’s website (which is unsurprisingly well put together, and extremely well-equipped with lots of download-able goodies) and couldn’t resist a quick tweet:

Anyway, one thing led to another, and I’m now proof-reading the new Know Your Onions book, “Know Your Onions: Web Design“. Pretty cool, huh?

So far it’s a great read, so go ahead and buy it when it’s released, and don’t forget to check out the original.

Book series’ website: Know Your Onions.
Buy “Know Your Onions: Graphic Design”: Amazon.
Buy “Know Your Onions: Web Design”: Amazon.


November 9th, 2013


Just travelling up to Landan on the train ready for #cnmac13 (The Christian New Media Conference).

Last year I tweeted so much that I managed to hit Twitter’s daily limit, think I might have to take it easy this year.

Lansdowne’s very own @dnheys (‘oh ancient Dave Heys’) is speaking at one of the breakout groups on video streaming. Luke and I are planning to ask some difficult questions of him. Especially ones about poo, bit rates. And compression.

Hopefully today will give some blog-spiration…

Edits by Luke.


Music and Short Talks

October 29th, 2013

Don’t be too blown away by the onslaught of blog posts…

I’m so excited for the event we’re putting on tonight, as part of our Twenties and Students programme at Lansdowne. We’re hosting a TED-style event at a local wine bar with some really diverse topics and great speakers, along with some musical performance. Can’t wait!

Event link: Facebook

Fun Day

August 31st, 2013

Today was hard work.

But I had fun watching this guy. More to come soon.


The Honest Truth about ‘Fame’

August 15th, 2013

It’s really good to see someone with such a high profile stepping out and sharing what’s on his heart. Ashton Kutcher’s speech (below) is honest and humble, and aims to cut through the myths that Hollywood proclaims as truth. Definitely worth a watch.