Photo by Rob Allen from PHPUK 2009.

Welcome To My Website

Stuart Herbert is a highly experienced software engineer and operational manager who explores his professional and personal passions through teaching, talks, and writing.

His passions are for good engineering, good management, Linux, web-based applications (and PHP in particular), photography, walking, and T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

Stuart has contributed to several open-source projects since the early 1990's, most notably Gentoo Linux and Generic NQS.

Stuart holds a degree in Software Engineering from the University of Sheffield, and is a qualified teacher of adults for lifelong learning.

Welcome To My Blog

Invest In Loss

Invest In Loss is a philosophy of good management, based around the three core principles of Direction, Organisation and Supervision, which I've been developing since the 90's.


I've been programming in PHP since 1999. I've contributed articles to php|architect magazine, spoken at the php|cruise conference in 2004 (where I was voted Best Speaker), and co-authored the official Study Guide for the Zend PHP 4 Certification Exam.


One of the nice things about being married to an artist is the encouragement and coaching I get on my photography. Combine that with living very close to the Brecon Beacons, and when the weather's good, you can find me wandering the hills of South Wales with my beloved Nikon and Canon cameras.

My current photography project is Merthyr Road, an investigation of both the old and the new along the route from Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil.

Tai Chi

I went to my first Tai Chi class because my wife didn't want to go there alone ... now I'm teaching a class of my own! How exactly did that happen? :) I'm interested in the deeper understanding and applications of this fantastic art, and especially in how we can improve the way Tai Chi is taught so that the health benefits can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone.

Personal Stuff

If you're still reading at this point :), I also keep a general (and somewhat disorganised) personal blog too, aimed more at friends and family.

Latest Blog Posts From Stu

Desktop Wallpaper: Llyn Cwm Llwch

Llyn Cwm Llwch

Last weekend was our warm-up day for the 3 Peaks Challenge. We walked up to the summit of Pen-y-fan and back twice in just over 5 hours. I was expecting my knee to be a major doubt for the walk, but it turned out that I’m so unfit that the knee was the least of my worries :(

I did take the camera with me for the first ascent, and snagged this shot on our first trip down. I hope you enjoy it.

On a technical note, despite good conditions, this ended up being the only shot I took that was worth publishing here. Shooting exclusively at f/2.8 on a full-frame camera body isn’t a good decision for landscape shots, especially if there’s no foreground subject to focus on. Lesson (hopefully) learned.

I’ll be back on Monday with the first of my shots from the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton, from a shoot I did for my birthday this year. If you enjoyed my photos from Scotland’s Museum of Flight, then hopefully you’ll enjoy these too :)

Desktop Wallpaper: London: After The Summit

Here are all of the photos that I took last week for my ‘London: After The Summit’ shoot, including a couple that didn’t make it into this week’s wallpaper posts. Click on each photo to go through to Flickr to read more about the image.

Smithfield Market

Capturing Your Attention

Passing By

St Pauls Cathedral

City of London Information Centre

Beware Oncoming Cyclists

St Pauls Cathedral and Blackfriars

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Photography: Merthyr Road | Daily Desktop Wallpaper | 25×9 | Twitter.

Desktop Wallpaper: St Paul’s Cathedral and Blackfriars

St Pauls Cathedral and Blackfriars

From St Paul’s, I wandered south through the lanes (which you’ll see tomorrow) and down onto Waterloo Bridge for my last shot of the evening. You’ve got St Paul’s Cathedral, with the brightly lit Blackfriars Station immediately in front of it, and the lush purple lighting of Blackfriars Bridge just peeking in on the right.

A pro tip for any photographer who wants to join the crowds on Waterloo Bridge to capture this scene after dark: take a tripod. I shot this handheld at 200mm, but I’m shooting with crazy gear and I’ve had a lot of practice at stillness – and it was still the only usable image that I got from the bridge that night! If you’re using prosumer or entry-level gear, physics is against you, sorry. Take a tripod down to the bridge to avoid disappointment.

Or alternatively, do what I’m planning on doing in the summer and head down there at dusk to capture this scene towards sunset. I imagine it’ll make for spectacular photos – if you remember to take a tripod.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s photos. Tomorrow, I’ll publish a round-up post with all the images that I took for ‘London: After The Summit’. And tomorrow, I’m supposed to be spending the day climbing Pen-y-Fan in the Brecons as part of the training for the 3 Peaks Challenge. If weather permits, I hope to bag a few shots for a future set of wallpapers :)

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Photography: Merthyr Road | Daily Desktop Wallpaper | 25×9 | Twitter.