Andrew Macpherson

Tag: self-study

The All Year Challenge

by on Jan.14, 2012, under Competitions, Learning, Off the wall

Lens Pro To Go, a US equipment rental company, have thrown down a challenge.

Joint them for a photo-per-week challenge on themes they set.  My photos will accumulate in this flickr set, and the  whole set of entries is in the Lens Pro To Go 52 week challenge.  The exercises are are as hard, or easy as you let them be, so it’s great fun.

Why not join in?

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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:

Was this why the 64G iPad was made?


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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. 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.

Related Posts

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Fresh reading and viewing

by on Jan.22, 2011, under Learning

Photo Recipes Live: Behind the Scenes: Your Guide to Today's Most Popular Lighting Techniques

Photo Recipes Live

Just picked up some excellent training. This book and DVD takes the ‘How to get this photo’ chapters from Scott Kelby’s “Digital Photography” series to the next level, and is a great resource.

Photo Recipes Live: Part 2: Behind the Scenes, Part 2: Your Guide to Today's Most Popular Lighting Techniques

Photo Recipes Live: Part 2

The format is a slim book in the standard American size for technical books (ie slightly too wide for speed reading) with a dust jacket comprising the DVD box.  The book is held in by spots of clear easily peeled sticky, which I immediately removed to avoid it setting hard over the next few years — there is no reason to suppose that the basic techniques explained are going to go out of date, even if the details of the equipment used, and the processing do change with technology.

The same remarks apply to the sequel .  Click on either image to go to Amazon in a new window.

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More tips and shortcuts

by on Dec.02, 2010, under Learning, Workflow

Sometimes one gets so used to doing things one way, one forgets the old methods.  For instance I’m so used to using the crop tool in photoshop, that I had forgotten that Image > crop will crop round whatever is selected.  A cool tip reminded me of that by selecting 2 separated items, and then cropping, the image was left with those at the edges.

Saved a lot of messing about getting the edges aligned

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Sending oneself presents

by on Oct.05, 2010, under Equipment, Learning

Well not really, but opening packages feels somewhat like that.  The day started well with UPS arriving with a small box containing my f1.4 50mm lens back from repair.   The focusing USM, and it’s controller had both had to be replaced.  One doesn’t think one will miss it — but having to fall back to an f2.8 zoom you realise why the initial expenditure on the fast lens was worthwhile.

Then the postman came.  I have been looking forward to getting Scott Kelby’s CS5 for digital photographers, and here it is — in time to read before Scott’s seminar in Islington.

Now what am I going to play with first 😀

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