Thought Leadership


By Colin Walls

When my mind is not on embedded software, I have various other interests and one, which has given me a lot of pleasure over the years, is photography. Although I belong to a camera club and enter competitions etc., my main motivation in taking pictures is to please myself. This might be with snap-shots that remind me of my daughters growing up or a place I enjoyed visiting. Or it might be an image that I have carefully captured for its own sake. But, having said this, it is always pleasing when one’s work is appreciated by others – maybe just friends offering compliments or perhaps something more tangible.

I started doing strictly digital photography about 6 years ago and have not touched a roll of film since [and probably never will again]. I am very conscious of the progress of technology and how the equipment gets better and cheaper almost by the week. I come across many photographers who are convinced that by getting the right [expensive] kit, they will start creating excellent pictures. Often they just get buried in the complexity of the camera and are doomed to disappointment.

My point was proven a few years ago when I set out to gain a photographic qualification [which resulted in me being able to put the letters “CPAGB” after my name]. I needed to submit 10 pictures. Each would get a score and, if the total was high enough [which it was], my qualification would be assured. I was keen to see which pictures had done best. To my surprise, the top scorer was a grab shot that I had taken of a colleague in a café using a tiny 2 mega-pixel camera – actually it was a crop of the actual picture. Very modest equipment, but a picture I have always enjoyed.

a grab shot
A grab shot

Another example of my attempts to gain recognition for my photography has been my submission to exhibitions. I have tried numerous times to get a picture into a big show by clubs in the West of England. This year I finally succeeded with an image that I just knew had potential. It is even more pleasing to know that the organizers have selected this image for submission to the national exhibition. I eagerly await the result of that selection.

The exhibited picture
The exhibited picture

Of course, digital cameras are fine examples of embedded systems, so maybe I am not off-topic after all …

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at