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Friday, September 07, 2007

Geotagging and Google Earth

Its been a while since I have been on Google Earth. Now, google earth comes with a geographic database of browseable photos, taken by loads of different individuals and uploaded to Panoramio, another Google tool. Pretty cool, particularly if shooting landscapes or architecture is your thing.

This is geotagging, the adding of location information onto photographs. A record or longditude and latitude information gets inserted into the EXIF header of a photograph, either by a GPS-equipped camera, or more normally, a GPS device that is time-synced with the camera - specialist software then merges the contents of the camera with the contents of the GPS.

Its possible I will invest in one of the GPS receivers aimed at photographers, such as the Sony GPS-CS1, but it's far from being necessary as model photography is concerned.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Good, Cheap Software

At a recent gathering of photographers I swapped knowledge with a bunch of other people. I was able to pass on a fair bit of information on studio lighting, which is an area I am pretty competent at.

In return - I was clued into some interesting pieces of software, pitched at the consumer on a budget.

I was aware of ACDsee's Photo Browser, but had never seen their print studio software demonstrated before. It turns out to be quite a convenient tool for positioning multiple images on any size of page and adding template components such as frames and calendars.

The second package I saw was Breeze Browser Pro, a sophisticated photobrowser that amongst other things, generates web & thumbnail pages very easily.

Both pieces of software have time-limited free trials, so you can decide if they are going to do the job you need before purchasing... I am tinkering with them at the moment.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

America 24/7 and Britain in Pictures

From a bargain book store, I picked up the dead trees version of this online photography project, the result of which was an truly impressive collection of photographs, one collection per state and a super-set covering the whole of the USA.

Its not a new project to be sure, but I was very impressed by the book and I am happy you can see it online.

Meanwhile, I caught this TV series on BBC4 recently. Tom Ang provides professional photographers with unfamiliar cameras, in each case consumer grade digital cameras, then challenges them to take photographs of their local environment.

The show is a companion piece to a program about British architecture and as such, each episode takes us to a new region within the UK and features three different photographers from that area. The most interesting part of the show for me was comparing their differing styles, tastes and ways of working. Personally though, I think I would have preferred a program with a greater emphasis on instruction - still its nice to see any kind of TV program on photography.

There is a flickr group accompanying the series, where members of the public can contribute.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Jessops in financial difficulties

So Jessops is struggling. I can't say I am massively surprised. What happened to Dixons previously is now happening to them

I rather liked Jessops, for the single reason that the staff I met always seemed to know their stuff gear-wise, though it seems my experience may have been unusual.

Around two years ago I noticed that Jessops were making big changes to their stock, massively simplifying it. The unusual bits and bobs one tends to collect as a serious photographer started to disappear from the shelves and only be available on pre-order. This left Jessops bricks-and-mortar stores with a core set of products and services - printing, consumer and prosumer grade digital cameras and a much reduced selection of accessories.

Unfortunately, the stuff they chose to focus on can be bought from plenty of other outlets, including online where price competition is fierce. Result - Jessops went from a fairly specialist camera retailer to being just a more expensive place to get a memory card.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Photocast Network

A number of podcasting photography gurus have banded together, by the magic of technology and a willingness to ignore timezones, to bring us "Focus Ring" a roundtable discussion of all thing photographic.

I think the podcast is even stronger than those of the individual participants - one gets to hear differing perspectives on the same subject and the banter makes for a more entertaining show. If you only have enough time to listen to one photography podcast, this one is a good candidate.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

YouTube as information mine

Its come to my attention recently that YouTube is becoming a interesting resource for photographers and models. Whether its tips on photoshop, equipment reviews or advice for models, there are a number of people who are uploading informative video clips.

I recently cleared out my YouTube bookmarks. All the LonelyGirl15 and MarkDayComedy stuff is gone, to be replaced purely with stuff I have found that is relevent to models or photographers. Have a look - and if you also YouTube, add me as a friend or subscribe:

Jack Veight's YouTube page

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Photoshop Resources

Someone was asking me about Photoshop resources recently.

Digital post-production is a huge subject and one I could devote an entire blog too. Fortunately there are others who already have and theres lots of online material written about the subject online already, so I get to be lazy and point the reader at some of the better resources I have found.

Photoshopcafe has a decent selection of tutorials. Photoshoproadmap also has a tutorial section. Pslover, tries to index the various tutorial pages that are out there on other peoples sites into one searchable directory.

For the podcast literate there's the wonderful photowalkthrough, done by fellow briton John Arnold, which provides tutorials in movie version. Similar tutorials are showing up on youtube.

Finally, most popular photography websites (photo.net, photozo, tipsfromthetopfloor to name a few) have forums dedicated to either photoshop or digital post-production.

In fact, there's such a wealth of free resources available, I would probably hesitate to buy an e-book on the subject, even though I see them on ebay frequently. For paper books there's a wide selection and I hesitate to mention particular volumes. The best paper books are ones that teach by example, give you the before and after images, plus intermediate stages. In the UK, several magazine publishers produce supplements in this way.