Andrew Macpherson

Tag: iPad

Tethering (Continued)

by on Apr.26, 2012, under Equipment, Off the wall, On Site

This article is intended to build on Scot Baston’s excellent Tip Squirrel article, not to rehearse ground already covered there. I want to cover a few alternatives, and touch on why they might be useful, and look in detail at a slightly less obvious application of tethering.

The first thing to point out about tethering in general is that it does not necessarily involve a cable, with the new Nikon D4 operating on a WIFI tether through its built-in web server and full control at the one extreme, and at the other the wireless capture possible through the Canon battery Grp or the Eye-Fi memory card. For most purposes however the wired tether remains the only really practicable option, and is usually significantly faster than any WiFi options

A regenerating USB cable is required for mobility

So the first thing one needs is a USB cable, swiftly followed by a USB regenerating extension cable, such as the one shown which I bought from eBay 3 years ago. One needs the regenerating extender because without that the maximum length one can use is 15′ (5m). Next useful and slightly non-standard bit of kit in the low profile USB cable one wants to fit in under one’s ‘L’ bracket it’s described as “USB A male to up angled mini B male” (or vice versa) the up angled mini B takes the cable in at right angles through the gap in my bracket rather than interfering with the portrait mounting ‘L’ plate.  Quick Tip: fold your long cable rather than coiling it up.  That way you avoid introducing a twist to it and will not have to unkink it.  Hook and lop cable ties are very useful for keeping things tidy.

Velcro Cable ties the cheaper alternative

Many people will have seen Frank Doorhof or Scott Kelby demonstrating the wonderful “Tether Tools” kit for holding the laptop and the cable snags to stop the USB plug being wrenched from & damaging one’s camera, and some discussion on preventing the USB cable coming apart. I think that one would be wise leaving the cable to be pulled apart, as that avoids trips and things being pulled over. It is desirable to have cable snags at computer and camera to protect those vulnerable ports, but have a relatively loose couple in the middle, that will pull apart when someone falls over it. This will have the disadvantage that you will have to set up the communications again, but that is a small price for not pulling over your tripod and camera, and dragging the laptop off it’s work surface.

Allow the cable to come apart if someone trips on it

The USB cable isn’t everything of course, one needs some software to drive the connexion. Canon cameras come with an extensive remote control suite, whereas for Nikon it’s an additional package such as the seriously expensive Capture NX2. Lightroom has a built in remote capability which addresses this to a certain extent but the control available is frankly poor, the trigger function is there, but that’s all, there is no access to even the simple exposure controls beyond displaying what is currently set. Where the Lightroon tethering really wins is for use by a Photographer who is using the camera hands-on, and does not need to make semi-remote adjustments. Like all tethering software the system responds to manual triggering and copies the image back to the laptop from the camera whenever the shutter is pressed.

Where more control is needed I’ve found On One’s Software’s DSLR Camera Remote HD for the iPad to be the most useful complete remote triggering package, as it addresses lots of the issues left open by other packages, and at reasonable cost. There is also a slightly cut down version for the iPhone, mostly what is missing is the video.  It integrates very well with Lightroom’s Watch Folder auto-import feature, but will work equally well just importing to a selected folder, again it responds to manual shutter activation, and all photos get copied to the computer.  The rest of this article will be about using DSLR Camera Remote. (continue reading…)

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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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New iPad Magazine for Photographers

by on Aug.24, 2011, under Learning, Off the wall

Front cover of First Issue

Kelby Media Group has just launched a pretty amazing new iPad-only magazine Light It with all the interactive features one might ask for.

It has it’s own iPad App, and will become a subscription service ($2.99/issue), but the first issue is free and amazingly high quality.

A bonus feature is that the content is downloaded, and available to peruse off-line (eg when travelling). Caveat, do not download the magazine itself until you are using un-metered WiFi, at 350M it’ll use half a standard Orange contract’s monthly data allowance of 750M on either of 3g or BT-OpenZone.

App Store link:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/light-it-digital-magazine/id455243692?mt=8

Was this why the 64G iPad was made?

 

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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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First iPad App to Buy?

by on Jun.10, 2011, under Equipment, Off the wall, Workflow

Yesterday, while waiting fro UPS to arrive with my new iPad I tweeted “What App will I buy first?.” It’s probably interesting to the App authors/sponsors both what the priority was, and also where I went to validate my choices.

By far the coolest review site is Terry White’s Best App Site and his associated Technology Blog in which he writes clearly about what he finds useful, sufficiently so that one can readily decide whether his needs match the problem one wants to solve, or if necessary move on and continue looking.

As it turns out, the first app was not one I selected, but rather an Apple-sponsored upgrade as they start moving toward IOS5 — the iBooks app.  However I did spend some money at the App store yesterday, in order:

 

  1. Prompt (ssh terminal)
  2. Air Display (uses the iPad screen as a second monitor)
  3. On-One Camera Remote HD — remote camera trigger with BIG review
  4. Snapseed for iPad (How cool is this photo editing?)
  5. Kelbytraining.com playback app
  6. Rich Sammon’s Light It

If I  hadn’t already bought it, Easy Release (as recommended by Alamy) would have been #3, as it was, I simply had to load it from iTunes.

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