Posts in Category: Words

Canon 400D details

Just saw on DSLR Blog that the Canon 400D has been announced. Good news for everyone thinking of buying a digital SLR for the first time but not an upgrade option if you have any of the XT/350/20D/30D cameras.

The extra 2 million pixels only adds a small border worth of pixels around images so you really aren’t missing anything unless you blow your photos up to poster size on a regular basis!

Oh, I hate product announcement blogs so don’t worry, this blog isn’t going down that road any time soon! Photography Blog, I Like Cameras and Digital Photography Blog have all succumbed to the temptation of posting press releases and camera reviews for the most part. Bah.

Welcome everyone searching for information about this new camera!

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Motivation from the past

What is your favourite photo on your blog? Link to it here in the comments section, and I’d love to hear why!

I usually don’t have time to look through the archives of my blog at my leisure, but while working on Google sitemap stuff I found out that Google had discovered a number of 404 “file not found” errors on my blog. A number of them were due to my changing URL format way back in November. I used to have a redirect in place but it disappeared somewhere!

After fixing that little bug I took a look around at some of the old photos from 2005 and was pleasantly surprised at my own reaction. I haven’t see most of these photos in several months so I had forgotten about them and here I am, saying to myself, “I took that? That’s a nice photo!”

Self praise is no praise as they say but I liked what I saw and that fills me with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the sometimes daily slog of posting a new picture every day. So what if I’m no Chromasia or Daily Dose of Imagery or Thomas Hawk! We do what we do and do the best we can.

So, go look up your archives and be happy!

After that rather rambling monologoue, here’s something useful for all you blog owners. I changed the format of my URLs after a discussion with Tom Raftery. In the course of conversation Tom told me that he used the domin.tld/post-name/ format for his blog instead of the usual domain.tld/yyyy/mm/dd/post-name/. In that way, the all important post title is snuggled up next to his name in the address of the post! Good for search engines, good for finding information.

I did the same here, but I had posts already written in the old format. I needed a mod_rewrite rule to redirect those URLs to the new ones! Here it is, in all it’s glory! Add this to your .htaccess and it will transform http://inphotos.org/2005/10/08/into-town/ to http://inphotos.org/into-town/

RewriteRule ^([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{1,2})/([0-9]{1,2})/(.*)/ /$4/ [R=301,L]

That bit of code adds a “Permanent Redirect” to the new location. There may still be links pointing at the old URL but Google should hopefully know that it has been moved.

Wide angle adventures

David (I think, there’s no author information on the post) of Digital Photography School has rediscovered his wide angle lens! He has a few examples, and the kids shots are particularly good. The two at the bottom of the page aren’t anything to write home about however. I’d have got closer in on the violin player to exaggerate the size of his elbow and arm.

Of course, I’m very keen on my own Sigma 10-20 wide-angle lens too. It’s great for street shots for two reasons:

  1. It’s so wide that I can be pointing at something else and still get some passers-by in the shot. Useful when I’m not feeling up to pointing my camera in their direction. I usually carry my camera about with me in my hand, in a vertical orientation. I don’t have to worry too much about missing the action with a wide field of view.
  2. Distortion! It’s not the most flattering in the world, but I just love the flat stretched look at the edges. People and objects lose their depth and become frames for what’s in the center of the image. See point 1 again.

There’s one bad thing about wide angle for street shooting, you have to get really close to get a frame filling shot. That person five feet away from you is going to be swallowed up by their surroundings. Get in close, they won’t hurt you! *gulp*

I had a great time at WordCamp this year, and I have a feeling you’ll see more wide angle shooting by a few people who were there!

What do you do with yours?

Wanted: photographer to shoot nude photoshoot

This thread on boards.ie ran a bit out of control. Mention the words “naked” and “girl” in the same sentence and you’re bound to have a whole bunch of testoserone filled males jumping in to offer their advice and opinions.

Anyway, someone is looking for a photographer to do her first “Suicide Girls” shoot. Read the thread if you’re in the Dublin area and are interested. Out of the replies so far, there’s perhaps 3 on-topic messages.

While on the topic of Irish forums, if you’re looking for another one, there’s also Photography Ireland.net which is run by Mark in Bandon. It hasn’t been going very long but it’s already very active and worth a look!

From that thread, this video documentary about the life of a fashion photographer cracked me up!

Lighting 101 – all in one place

David at Strobist has linked to all his flash lighting articles in one place. It’s a really good place to go if you want to get the most out of your flash.

Another great resource is Photonotes: Eos Flash for users of Canon cameras and flash units. There’s some great bits of info there.

Selling Out, Selling Cheap

A few days ago Strobist published an article about how it’s harder for professional photographers to sell their wares online because of the burgeoning business of the royalty free stock photography market.

I have some sympathy for him, and I even feel slightly guilty because I received a cheque for over $120 from Shutterstock a while back from the sale of my photos and referrals. It’s not much, but I haven’t tried very hard to upload images there and it does ease the pain of being payed in US Dollars. The difference in Euro and Dollars must be killing European exporters, never mind that imported goods have to become more expensive in the United States.

The article is very convincing and compelling but it’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves. Read the following posts by two bloggers before you make up your mind:

  • Jason Dunsmore summarised some of the key ideas but he’s obviously in favour of people selling their images whichever way they like.
  • Chris Garret makes a great rebuttal on several points.
    You have to decide what the difference is between your photograph and some kids $1 stock photo. If there is no difference who’s fault is that? Not the kid and not the customer, that’s for sure.

The commoditisation of industries happens all the time and I’ve covered the argument between the professional and amateur sites before. I’ll even give away photos too. I’m glad whenever someone tells me they’re using the image, there’s nothing stopping them downloading them without so much as a nod in my direction. Did I mention I sell prints too through Deviant Art? More images will be uploaded there as I get the time to do so.

The real winners? They people running the stock photography sites.

A timely post by Stock Photo Talk – Some people do make money from microstock photography. I suspect they’re in the minority but where there’s a will..

Still stuck in P Mode?

Kathy writes that many users are stuck using P mode, or the automatic mode of their favourite tools simply because they don’t know how, or don’t know why they’d like to use those extra features.

I link to this usability article here because she used camera terminology to describe how a user approaches a complex application. Even if you’re not interested in the usability of stuff, and web apps in particular, then reading this article may inspire you to learn about why you haven’t used the A, S, or M modes on your fancy, expensive camera.

If you’re still interested, then read Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera by Bryan Peterson. It’s my favourite book on photography and it will change the way you use your camera!

Google Picasa for Linux

Google finally released their photo organisation software, Picasa for Linux. It’s a free download, and uses Wine so it’s not a truely native port. I’m going to try it out now and will update this post later with my thoughts and impressions!

Shooting panoramas el cheapo

112588_panoheadcamera2.jpg If you’ve ever tried stitching photos together to create a panoramic photograph you’ll be more than aware of the awful distortion between one frame and the next. That’s one reason why it’s recommended that frames overlap by at least a third.

There is so much distortion because the camera is rotated around using a normal tripod or worse still, handheld. The axis around which the camera is rotated is centered on the camera body usually, but a panoramic tripod is different. The center of rotation should be the lens of the camera, specifically the “nodal point” of the lens where light paths cross before hitting the camera’s film or sensor.

Make Blog links to a tutorial on building a panoramic tripod head for $10! That’s a lot more reasonable than what you’d pay for a head from Manfrotto or manufacturer. It probably isn’t quite as portable or nice looking though and you might have to invest in some tools to cut the wood and build it but it would be an interesting project.

If that’s too complicated, you can build a battery using a bit of wire, a screw and a magnet!