Can the Apple Watch replace your boarding card?

This morning my journey began with the usual walk to my local station but instead of catching the train into London I was heading south to Gatwick.

In fact my journey began using a ‘non-traditional ticket’ as I tapped into Earlswood station using my Oyster card. Not in an Oyster zone but a half thought through special extension covering the stations from zone 6 to Gatwick.

EasyJet app and the Apple Watch

My EasyJet boarding pass was loaded onto my phone, and had transferred itself to my wrist automatically so I thought I’d give it a go.

Entering the secure area of the airport went smoothly. Here passengers have to place their boarding card on the scanner, look at the camera and the gate would open. I’ve done this with A4 paper, a phone and now my Apple Watch all with success! Now to the departure lounge.

My gate isn’t up for another 20 mins but conveniently my watch vibrates and the EasyJet app is delivering a push notification telling me where to go.

plain sailing so far!

Now at the gate, for some reason gate 55D has two checkpoints, one to enter ‘gate 55’ and the other to board your aircraft at the particular letter. Here’s where it went wrong for me.

The boarding card scanners here are overhead ones. Meaning your pass or phone sits under the scanner to be read. My wrist won’t fit! No ones wrist would fit! So the watch has to come off, and then it goes to sleep, and waking it up means my pin needs to be entered again. DRAMA! with a queue of people behind me.

Onboard EasyJet flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh

I did eventually make it, through both of the boarding pass checks and took my seat on my flight.

My conclusion…

Boarding pass integration on the watch is super handy, but Gatwick Airport isn’t quite ready. Having your pass on your phone is still the best way to zip through the airport. But having it on your wrist too is super handy. Walking down the plane waiting for people to put up their bags, and I’m hands-free, phone is in my pocket, the screen on my wrist showing me my seat number.

I’ll try it on my return journey from Edinburgh too and see how it goes. I suspect the same.

(I failed with my non-traditional ticket journey getting a tram ticket at Edinburgh airport, I should have pre-purchased one in the iPhone app!)


So at Edinburgh airport, because the boarding pass on your watch is identical to the one in your phone, my return journey used both. My wrist at the security checkpoint and then my phone at the boarding gate. Seamless!



Life in 360 Degrees – Nikon KeyMission 360

2017 could very much be the year of the 360-degree camera and I’ve decided to get involved and give it a go. Especially now Facebook and YouTube support for sharing this content became available last year. Until recently creating VR video or photography required expensive rigs, multiple cameras, and stitching software. My camera of choice is going to be the Nikon KeyMission 360.

Until recently creating VR video or photography required expensive rigs, multiple cameras, and stitching software. My camera of choice is going to be the Nikon KeyMission 360.

Why the Nikon KeyMission 360

Until recently creating VR video or 360 photography required expensive rigs, multiple cameras or expensive wide angle lenses and stitching software. The GoPro Omni is one example, which purchased as a complete ready to shoot rig weighs in at £4,199.99 (at the time of writing). This price tag in my view pushes it well away from the world of hobby/personal use.

There’s a number of other cameras on the market like Samsung’s Gear 360, however, you’ll need one of their top line Galaxy phones. Of course, Samsung are also really keen that you buy their Gear VR as well to view them. I don’t have a Samsung phone, and I don’t plan on getting one anytime soon.

When the Nikon KeyMission 360 was announced last year I got really interested in the idea. One device with two wide angle cameras that cover the 360-degree field of view and stitch the images and video inside the device. So following the announcement I waited, waited and waited until it finally got released, and became available in the UK.

My D-SLR is a Nikon and whilst the KeyMission 360 doesn’t integrate into the stills photography ecosystem I felt comfortable giving their offering a try.

My first 360 photo

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So I’ve picked one up, and I’m going to learn how to use it, and how to get the most out of it.

I’m going to write up my initial thoughts and frustrations in my next post but for now here’s my first proper 360-degree photo straight from the device.


My cup runneth over

‘My cup runneth over’ was a little afternoon photography project for my mother-in-law, and I’m really happy with the results. She was looking for a picture with a bible quote overlaid to sit in the kitchen, and after a little while googling wasn’t happy with anything she found, so asked if I could create a shot for her.

From the Bible, Psalms 23:5 (King James Version):

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

The phrase has several interpretations but he meaning we’re going for is “I have more than enough for my needs” and the image often used to illustrate the quote is an overflowing cup.

The plan for the shot was to use a a teacup and teapot, with hot tea pouring from the spout. Using our patio table, a balcony plant pot with ivy, and few purple tulips (pulling in a colour from the mother-in-law’s kitchen) and to capture the tea pouring from the spout into the cup.

We experimented with both hot tea and cold tea but found that the heat wasn’t adding anything to the picture and extended the reset time. To get a full ‘flow rate’ coming out of the teapot it needed to be at good angle and very full. Resetting between shots was straight forward, the same tea was re-used and a quick wipe up of the pot and teacup.

I’m really pleased with the outcome! Nice to work to someone else’s brief and create an image.

Cup photo setup

Cup photo setup


Gallery: A dramatic East London sky


Timelapse: Stop EDL protest in Atlab Ali Park

Timelapse filmed from our balcony overlooking Atlab Ali Park in East London using a GoPro.