Andrew Macpherson


Miss Manners, may I retweet?

by on Sep.17, 2011, under Off the wall, Presentation, Tags and Copyright

Retweeting is of course a great compliment to those whose messages you forward, as it shows you have read their contribution, and think it worth sharing with your friends.

So yes Emily, you may retweet if you think your friends would be interested in what you have just read or seen, but there are things to remember:

If you simply retweet the message unchanged it will go to those of your friends who have not already seen it directly.  These friends will be able to see that they have received it because you forwarded it, yet the original attribution will remain unchanged.  This is a very good way to pass on the original snippet.

Should you wish to comment to your friends and there is enough space in the combined message, then you can prefix the original Tweet with your comment, the abbreviation ‘RT,’ and the original poster’s @tag.  Do remember that the originator will also see your comment so be nice.

It would be really bad form to simply prefix the tweet with RT and the original @tag, as this means that all of your friends will receive the tweet again, even if they have already seen it, and you will be associated intrusively with it, but without having added any value. This would reflect a lack of understanding and consideration on your part, and should therefore be avoided.

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Making a new Photo Book

by on Jun.05, 2011, under Learning, Off the wall, Presentation, Workflow

Holiday Photo book

Inspired by Scott Kelby’s post on making soft-cover photo-books for each trip, I decided to follow suit and give iPhoto a go.  One swiftly discovered that he had upgraded iPhoto from the release that came with Snow Leopard to the new version from the App Store.

Scott’s video is great on showing the workflow of collecting the photos for the book in Lightroom, and exporting suitably sized finished JPEGs that will hold good for any book making project.  It’s worth calculating that your photos, especially that mega-panorama probably need restricted to approximately the pixels to fit vertically on the page (eg 8in x 300px/in) as that will immediately be ¼ the size (you do stitch portrait format shots don’t you?).

The iPhoto software / templates have a USP which it would be easy to overlook. Maps.  Lots of the layouts have a small map which you can annotate with your locations.  The other thing iPhoto does,which you have to work at with other book-publishing software is that it makes it very easy to span your photo across a double-page spread.

So why didn’t I go with iPhoto?  Well 2 reasons.

  1. Taxes.  In Britain there is no tax on Books or printing (other than forms) Yet iPhoto proposed to charge me VAT at 20%
  2. Flexibility.  I found the available layouts restricting.  I would have lived with this had it not been for the tax issue.

In terms of flexibility — I take lots of panoramas.  I also have a 1:2 portrait to landscape shooting ratio.  The templates are very much set up for standard landscape shots, and without the ability to add ones own.  This approach does have advantages in terms of ensuring that the book is well styled, but …

So I went back to Booksmart from Blurb

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Photo Selection Slideshows

by on Apr.03, 2011, under Equipment, Presentation

It’s sometimes awkward  showing photos to a client, especially when you don’t have a projector, a huge screen, and ProSelect software, or the volume to justify such tools.  The laptop screen really does not cut it.

This weekend I realised that a very simple investment did a lot to give access to a viewing medium that is already installed at the client’s home, that they are fully comfortable with — their large screen TV. The tool? A long DVI to HDMI cable gets you their giant 1080i screen as a second screen.  Unfortunately the TV will not be colour calibrated, but the customers will be attuned to it.

The beauty is, the switch over to Digital TV means that most homes will have recently installed one, and the risk is only with the “early adopters” who have only installed the lower-resolution “sport” version of HD-TV in the mistaken belief that there would never be true HD 1080i transmissions, and those who are still using set-top boxes.

Of course the “HD” in HDTV is strictly a statement of improvement, and not any sort of absolute statement of quality, but it’s as good as we’ve got for now.

Now if only Adobe Bridge would do Slideshows on the second monitor.

Related Posts

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It’s Calendar Time

by on Nov.16, 2010, under Presentation

Overlay style calendar

It’s strange how few calendar templates there are out there for d-i-y calendars.  It was particularly nice to find Jeffrey Friedl’s Calendar Builder a photoshop javascript which builds the month tables for you, and does a nice job of putting a photo in for one to print oneself. (continue reading…)

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Giving too much away

by on Oct.11, 2010, under Competitions, Presentation

Original square photo as entered in competition

I quite like entering photo competitions and was delighted when notified that one of my photos had been picked for the official Bishop’s Stortford Calendar 2011.  I thought it was maybe a little dark, but rather fun, and very nice to be picked out against all the other entrants — especially after encouraging all the photowalk participants to take part.

On Saturday I had an email to tell me that the calendar was back from the printer, so I sneaked out this morning to pick up my copy.

There are some really nice photos in there, but some fail to be calendar photos in terms of colour clarity and just plain “chocolate box” oomph.

I’m afraid that my photo after it had been cropped into the template was one of them (continue reading…)

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A Successful Exhibition

by on Jun.29, 2010, under Camera Club, Competitions, Presentation

The Club Exhibition at the Rhodes Arts Complex (Bishop’s Stortford was Cecil Rhodes’ birthplace so he’s commemorated in the name) went gently.  The main benefit is when other events at the complex use the gallery to have their refreshments, as this gives quite a good audience.  We had a reception on Wednesday evening, and were really delighted that the Lady Mayor and several councillors attended, as did Malcolm Tinn President of the EAF

We also had a visit from the town’s tourism officer who wants members to submit photos

Advertisement for the World Wide PhotoWalk on July 24th

Click to join the World Wide Photowalk in Bishops Stortford

for inclusion in the tourist calendar she is putting together for 2011.  She agreed to extend the deadline till after the photowalk so participants could enter too.  I’ll post that link when it’s available

The poster picture was taken when I was scouting the walk.  Canon 5D MkII, EF14mm f/2.8L II USM Auto bracketed HDR.  And yes I know the HDR is seriously OTT for normal viewing

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