PHP, Zope/Python, and Perl

There is an article at called “Switching from PHP to Zope/Python“. This should provide for an interesting read for all those poor PHP souls.

As for me – I use Perl and I am not planning to change any time soon. There are two major bonuses in Perl for my programming tasks:

  1. CPAN – Comprehensive Perl Archive Network. This is a huge collection of modules that help me to avoid as much programming as possible. And that’s pretty much.
  2. Perl’s scalability to all sorts of tasks. I am using Perl for one-line long utility scripts, log analyzing, mail searching, graph building, database maintenance, web programming and anything else that pops up. The broadness of tasks makes PHP way underpowered and Java way too complex. There are tools that might come handy (like Python), but why change if Perl works for me?

Said that, I am familiar with other languages, since it’s not rare at all that I need to patch someone else’s code. PHP being a widely used language for web development comes to my hands pretty often. My Python familiarity is more on the system level and GUI programming.

Field trip to Cape Greko

Slavka, the friend of mine, invited me to the shooting of American Academy’s advertising at Cape Greko. I’ve had to leave Limassol pretty early – around 4am. 5am actuallyk, with this new time. Bah. :)

I’ve never been at the shooting before so everything was interesting. There were about 30 people including producer, camera man, art director, stylist, models, few assistants, etc. All were very fine and interesting people. Actually way above average interesting. Creative people with all sorts of education and experiences.

First shock – how time consuming the whole thing is. Few hours are dedicated to all sorts of measuring and planning. Nothing else. Every detail counts. Like, if you need a piece of road in the shot then which piece of the road will you use? Where is the sun? Is there any garbage on the background? Should we shoot now or in 3 minutes? Etc.

Secondly – the amazing organization. It’s a kind of a cathedral and a bazaar in one place. There is a hierarchy, in case they’ll need it, but everyone knows what to do and is pretty much helpful to each other. Nicy.

Thirdly – the amount of equipment and the way it is used. The ad had something to do with rockclimbers. But rockclimbers weren’t climbing rocks alone. Basically the whole crew was hanging on the rocks for the most part of the day. And not only the crew was hanging itself, but it was also kept all the equipment hanging too. Just the camera crane amounted to 100+ kilograms. Basically, there wa a whole minivan of equipment up there. Amazing.

Not surprisingly, I was not ready for the event at all. All I had was my Digital Rebel, 1GB Microdrive + 256 MB flash card and a couple of batteries. Things I didn’t think about were:

– Clothes. It was cold before in the morning and hot in the afternoon. I left my jacket in the car far away and I didn’t have any sun protection. Results will remain on my red red red face and hands for the next few days/weeks. :)

– Food and drinks. Actually I thought about it, but haven’t done anything useful in this regard. The event was from 6:00am until late evening and I didn’t bother to take any snacks or drinks. Luckily, the crew planned for idiots like myself. :)

– Equipment. Well, here I am a bit excused for the time being since I haven’t got anything yet. Flash, polarizing filter, lense shade and a lightmeter would have been handy. I’ve also ran out of disk space and battery power. Actually I didn’t but I left way earlier.

– Contact info. There were a lot of new and interesting people. All of them had business cards except me. I should have made at least a number of paper cuts with my name and phone on. People are very focused and concentrated over there, so breaking it all just to write down name and phone number is really inconvenient. I’ve still managed to make some really good contacts and arranged for future trips like this.

– Mobility. I’ve had all my additional storage and battery power in the bag, which I was kicking from here to there. But at the crucial point I discovered that the bag is about 200 meters away from me. And not only that, but I had to spent about 10 minutes climbing down the mountain, picking the stuff up, and climbing up. Essential accesories should be always carried together with the camera.

They say there is the first time for everything, so hopefully I’ll learn on this mistakes for the next time.

Overall, I am very impressed and satisfied with the trip. It’s a whole new experience and something you don’t get to see every day. I hope I’ll see more of this though.

I’ve made a whole lot of pictures, which I’ll sort out and post within the next few days. Stay tuned. :)