Friday, January 31, 2014

Another Celestial Image

I can't decide if this looks more like outer space through the Hubble or someone's ultrasound test result.  Either way, I like it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sony Nex 55-210 Lens

It's only been one day, and most of the images were shot yesterday in shade so the auto ISO was 1000+ for most of the images, but a few were in partial sun, ISO 250, f 11 and I have just made a 16X24 print that looks excellent. I can read print that is 1/32 inch tall on the print - albeit with my magnifying glasses because I can't see that close without. Not bad for a $350 lens on a small camera, hand held. It's everything I need an  a walk around lens. I did debate getting the 18-200 which is reportedly about the same quality - but light weight and the fact that I have the 18-70 already covered, and saving 2/3 of the price won over. So, my three lens, light weight kit consists of the 10-18, 17-60, and 55-210 lenses, 15-315 mm. in 35 mm. terms.

I'll get round to doing some more formal testing on the lens (ie. wide open and iso 100, but all I needed to know was if it would serve adequately, and it's done more than that.

Remember to click on the image to see it at 100%

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wandering Around Downtown

I purchased the 55-210 lens for my Nex and spent the next two hours wandering aaround downtown.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Several years ago I left smugmug. The interface was not attractive, you couldn't use the keyboard to go through images, and integrating other parts of my website were less than easy to downright difficultt.

Enter 2014 and the New Smugmug resolves at least some of those problems, and makes uploading and moving images infinitely easier than the commercial website I currently use.

So, if you want to see all of my images (at least the colour ones so far), go to Smugmug

Whether I'll switch over the entire website remains to be seen - some stuff (like pdf files) has to remain on my current server and most of the links aren't yet functional from smugmug.

You can't order prints as at the moment none of the full size files is uploaded, but I'm considering doing that as a separate section of the smugmug site. That being the case I'm going to test several prints ordered from smugmug to check on quality before  I let anyone order directly from them.

Ebook Progress

After a lot of hours spent watching InDesign how to videos, and struggling to get an epub to look right on the computer monitor I actually made a lot of progress only to find that what adobe showed as the output didn't look anything like what appeared on my ipads, either the old one or the retina screen version. Seems that epubs are really for text type books, not image intensive publications.

Someone sugg. checking with David DuChemin and Craft and Vision ebooks. Turns out they are all pdf's. I checked with a few other sources - pdf's - beginning to tell me something here.

So, I'm not abandoning my intentions to produce an ebook, but I will be doing it in PDF format. Downside is that you need a different version for each screen, but that wasn't all that diff. from epub anyway so not much of a loss, and I can show images properly on screen.

I have the latest edit back from Blurb for my 12X12 book - actually very nice, but at $137 it's incredibly expensive. I'm going to explore more reasonable options.

Anyway, look for a pdf format ebook suitable for the ipad in the not distant future.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Do We Fuss About Selling Our Images?

The obvious answer to the above question is  that a) we need the money, or b) we need it to buy more photographic gear, perhaps gear our spouses wouldn't approve of otherwise.

Perhaps the more important reason is that is that someone paying for our work is a very clear message - our work is worth while (well, unless it's mum).

So, if the hassles of setting up e-commerce or accepting credit card payments and dealing with unhappy customers and failed transactions seems a lot of bother (it is), then maybe it's time to think of giving your work away.

Think about it.

What if you placed your work into a pdf, large enough images to really enjoy on a typical modern monitor, say something around 1200 pixels wide, 900 high, and either use your own website servers or a service to maintain this pdf file.

You then let everyone know that your work (perhaps a sig. but not complete part of your work) is now available, for free, to download.  You set it up so people do have to give you their email address, and make it plain what you will and won't do with that address.

You now have a way to track downloads and thus interest in your work, which was after all what you really were looking for when you thought to charge for it. True, people could share the downloaded pdf file, and you can't track that but that's ok - no saying where the exposure might lead.

Now, to be blunt, I haven't tried this, but it's something I'm thinking of.

I did think of an ebook but it occurred to me that a book of pictures wouldn't offer anything that a website wouldn't so expecting people to pay for it seems rather silly. No, for people to find a book worth paying for they'd reasonably expect more, and that's a topic for another day.

In the mean time, I'm interested in your thoughts about this idea, pros and cons.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Just To Get Out

No idea for a project but desperate to go out photographing none the less, I headed over to Ogden. I found a lovely rusty door - but though the colours were great, the overall form just didn't quite work. Likewise a rusting steel structure. I found some huge long dump trucks, with their beds raised, and their insides all rusty - but the light wasn't right and I was doubtful about the image anyway - not worth waiting for a cloud to pass.

I drove past ADM flour mill, that I have photographed many times, and there were thousands of ducks and geese feeding on spilled grain. I needed a background that wasn't distracting and the silos served. I tried stirring the ducks to fly but depth of field became a problem and so this one image with the ducks all near the silos worked best.

I might try this again though, a single duck flying against the background might just work.