Andrew Macpherson

Tag: Camera Clubs

Planning a Trip?

by on Jan.22, 2012, under Camera Club, Off the wall, Travel

The "Stuck On Earth" iPad App

The Camera Club is heading out in early May (Bank Holiday Weekend) to Bodelwydnn Castle Hotel, North Wales, and there were a couple of spots that are on my “Must See” list for the trip, In particular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct the new World Heritage Site, and Sir Clough William Ellis’ famous Portmeirion Village, background for the cult TV series “The Prisoner,” after that it is simply a case of where the whim takes one… or is it?

Trey Radcliff famous for his HDR style, and “Stuck in Customs” travel photography blog, has had an iPad & Android App built called “Stuck on Earth” which uses Flickr geotagged photos, and various cool aspects of Flickr’s organisation and cataloguing to pick some existing images to find the spots & shots others have shared, and challenge one to do better.  It downloads the photos one picks out as trip markers to the portable device so that the challenge remains with one, even when out of WiFi range, or failing again with mobile data networks.  (BTW go into a trip and the add image interface will let you remove shots)

I haven’t found out how to edit the spelling of a failed search (vs retyping from scratch) but otherwise I’m finding it fairly useful for picking out some potentially interesting spots.

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Camera Club Fundraiser

by on Jul.09, 2011, under Camera Club, Equipment, On Site, Workflow

Three weekends ago, just before I went off for an op, we had a stand at Hatfield Heath Festival to try to raise awareness of the club, and raise some cash for the projector fund.  I havn’t quite got round to writing about it, having been slightly distracted, so it’s time to make amends

Hatfield Heath Public Photoshoot, © 2011 Paul Lambert

Photo given to sitter as 6×4 print

The Saturday session was in direct competition with Bishop’s Stortford Carnival, where we also had a stand, so each event had one of the two print stands, usually used for print competitions

We had a selection of member’s prints for sale, both ones that had been in competition, and some framed or mounted specially for this event.  Mainly though the exercise was to engage potential members, and enthuse them to come along for a trial club evening, and I think we were moderately successful in that.

We were also offering free “Hollywood Look” 4×6 portrait, retouched with “Portrait Professional”  (continue reading…)

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Eye-Fi vs Shooting Tethered

by on Jun.05, 2011, under Equipment, Off the wall

Just been trying a borrowed Eye-Fi card with a CF adapter in my Canon 5DII, to see if it would work.  My goodness it was so slow till I turned round to “point” the CF slot in the camera at the hub. then it speeded up to about 15 seconds per frame from having been taking minutes.

When I compare this with Canon’s EOS utility which takes about 3 seconds even on the end of a USB cable with a 5m regenerating extender, and you’ll see why I’m not rushing out to buy one.  The lack of wires would be nice, and I hope we’ll start seeing Bluetooth tethering in every new camera soon, but this is just too slow.

It’s nice to have downloaded an apparently working version of EOS utility (December update), but I would still advise setting “leave image on card” out of general paranoia, along with putting the camera into “one shot” drive mode, just to avoid overrunning the buffer.

I do like the Lr Watch folder feature to bring in the photos transferred on the tether, but found Lr’s built-in camera control less useful than I had hoped — I had been expecting something closer to On-1’s camera remote for iPhone and iPad, with pretty full control, rather than just the remote shutter trigger.

It’s all an issue because we’ll be doing event-style portraits to raise money for camera club funds at the Bishop’s Stortford Carnival on the 19th. We need a new higher resolution projector, now that the competition resolution spec has improved.

This leads to a thought for the day: “HDTV” describes a comparison with what went before, not any sort of absolute quality.

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Why use shoot-through umbrellas?

by on Feb.16, 2011, under Camera Club, Equipment, On Site

Yesterday evening was one of those interesting sessions at the camera club, with lots going on.

Kevin, the chairman, was continuing his occasional talks on Photoshop Elements for beginners,  Dave Woods was doing some HDR demos, with photoshop, Photomatix and HDR Efex (and possibly others), and we had 2 ‘studio’ sessions.

Bill was doing a macro session, and had 2 tabletop setups: a tent and a square area with backdrop and white walls, while I was trying out 3 portrait techniques with interested parties.

For my setup I had:

Setting up the autopoles and paper is extremely fast, but assembling the softboxes is slow, even though they have one spreader pocket closed with velcro to make the job easier, the octabank really needs 2 adjacent spreaders set that way, as getting the ends of the final 2-3 spreaders into the flash head ring is murder when everything is under tension from the already placed spokes. (continue reading…)

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World Wide Photowalk reflections

by on Aug.08, 2010, under Camera Club, Competitions

Join Me for the PhotowalkWell wasn’t that fun!  Emma, Sandy and Kevin from the Club came along for the walk, and to offer directions and advice, and were essential as the group spread out along the walk.  Unfortunately we only managed the shorter route in the time allocated, but some really good shots were uploaded to the flickr group for the walk.

Nine walkers (of 22) entered the competition for one of Scott Kelby’s fine, fine volumes, and it was a revelation to me how difficult it is choosing a ‘best’ from a variety of styles and subjects.  John Pugh was a worthy winner.

We were lucky to have another prize to give away, and I asked Tony Auguste to help me choose which of the photos from the group should get the canvas treatment.  Our shortlist is here.

We finished the walk at the Rivermill Chinese Restaurant, and they put on a good selection of finger-food to go with everyone’s post-walk drink.  They also offered a spontaneous mini-competition for a Photo they could use in their advertising.  It was all a great afternoon, and just a shame that some walkers had to rush off to other engagements.  Thanks everyone for making it such a success.

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Join the World-Wide Photowalk

by on Jun.13, 2010, under Camera Club, Competitions, On Site

On Saturday July 24th I’ll beJoin Me for the Photowalk leading the Bishop’s Stortford photowalk, part of the worldwide photowalk. I’m expecting it to be great fun, and a great chance for us all to show off how fine Bishop’s Stortford is.

Scott Kelby, prolific author, is offering a prize of one of his recent books on Lightroom 3 or Photoshop CS5 for the best local photograph, and we also hope to offer the author a fairly large print of their winning photograph locally.  The local winner also gets entered into the worldwide contest for a $1000 photo equipment worldwide first prize (and lots of runner up prizes too…).

The prize is great, but the main aim of the day is to get local photographers together to share their enjoyment and enthusiasm, maybe offer mutual help and encouragement…  All levels of photography experience are welcome, all equipment from camera phones through point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs to stand cameras with sheet film backs will take pictures — bring what you’re happy with.  Any one of these might take a great photograph, guided by your imagination and eye as the photographer.

I look forward to seeing you on the day!

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