Andrew Macpherson

Just for fun, a Flash Quiz

by on Jan.14, 2013, under Learning

Using Strobes

In the club we've had a few evening workshops based on using strobes, both studio type powered from the mains, and small flashes, both on and off camera. This quiz is aimed at helping you get there yourself without one of the members who regularly uses flash.

Some questions have multiple correct answers, but be sure to read all the possible answers before choosing

Good Luck!


Congratulations - you have completed Using Strobes.

You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.  That's %%PERCENTAGE%%

Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%

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The Flickr Explore Experience

by on Jan.04, 2013, under Learning, Off the wall

New Year Sunrise 2013

New Year Sunrise 2013

I made it!  I was up for Sunrise on New Year’s Day for the second year running, and this time I was rewarded with sun!  The air was still, and mostly the sky was totally clear, but I could see this tiny patch of cloud, and drove up the valley till it was in the correct place relative to the rising sun which was still below the horizon.

I climbed the bank, and got out the long lens to focus in to the area that would be interesting…

I’m fairly pleased with the results, some toning down of the highlights in Lightroom, and a most acceptable image to add to Scot Baston’s “New Year Sunrise 2013” Flickr group

Much to my surprise and delight my image was featured in “Explore” the following day, has been viewed 1400 times and attracted 24 comments and 120 faves

As this is an unusual experience for me I was able to take a little time to “trackback” manually to these 120 or so kind folks, to if possible return the compliment

  • about 5% had no public photos
  • about 10% should have had no public photos, as they were all family snaps and one felt one was intruding
  • 70% had interesting but unsurprising photos
  • 10% had great content,
  • and 5% were truly outstanding, an inspiration for me to keep trying to improve

Thank you all!

The other thing I noticed was how few look beyond the initial image to the other content of the photographer who attracts their attention — something I always do — one can see this easily with the stats that Flickr provides.  I try to make a point of perusing at least the first 3 pages of a collection, though some collections I just keep going

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Ash Valley Calendar

by on Dec.16, 2012, under Off the wall

Picture of front page of Calendar

Calendar Images

I’ve just uploaded my Ash Valley calendar to the printers.  If you would like one (£8.50) please get in contact

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A Great Photography Course

by on Nov.12, 2012, under Learning, Off the wall

A Video podcast worth watching

I;ve being enjoying the slightly retro “Art of Photography” video podcast by Ted Forbes.  Feed the link to iTunes.

Thanks Ted!  Great series, and here is the link to the new feed for the re-hosted show

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Are Photo Judges Numerate?

by on Nov.07, 2012, under Camera Club, Competitions

The club used to mark out of 10 for the season league, with half marks.  The range for acceptable photos was 6–10 with the average adequate shot being 7/7.5, and authors of the ‘good’ shots (on the night) scoring 8 or above having their name announced.  9.5/10 also merited a round of applause.  Really poor shots, or dreadful presentation might score as low as 4.

We now have new software, which works in whole numbers only, so to balance with the half-marks of yore, the scoring is out of 20.  Rather than scoring in a normal range of marks from 12 to 20, our judges have confined themselves to 16-20, which should have resulted in every photo having it’s author identified something very much not our intention.  It also means there is little or no discrimination visible when as a club we review the scores and this is highly unsatisfactory.  The claim of “the standard is so good…” does not wash — the range is the range on the night, and the spread should reflect that.

It seems to be a human built-in in some fashion, so much so that we may have to revert to scores out of 10, and do hidden doubling to get a reasonable range and fit with the software.

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Calendars, Red Days

by on Sep.04, 2012, under Off the wall, Workflow

Calendar for 9/2012

A lovely Feature of Jeffrey’s Calendar Builder is the ability to pre-print entries on the calendar for public holidays, festivals, historical reminders or whatever.  The bad side is that one ends up typing them into the text file… well maybe not.

As an IT user I make good use of the calendaring systems available to me.  My prerequisite is that the system, whatever it is, should be able to export and import WebDAV ‘.ics’ files, and of course I want to partition my calendars into personal, work, club, and public.  Having made this decision a long time ago it paid off nicely.  I was able to export a Public Dates calendar and run a 30 line perl script to convert it into the correct input format.

If you would like my Calendar Builder GB-public dates file it is available here

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