TWiP #211 – Off the Wall

This week on TWiP: Apple releases the “lion”, a photographic Rube Goldberg contraption, and photographer David duChemin talks about his unfortunate accident.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Tristan Hall, Syl Arena.

Apple Releases the Lion
Apple last week released the latest update to its operating system named Lion. While Tristan is a Windows user and Syl doesn't call himself an early adopter, Frederick says he has had a pretty smooth experience upgrading his own system and, as a photographer, looks forward to the rollout of iCloud down the line. (Editor's note: if you also decide to try upgrading to Lion, you might want to make sure all the applications you rely on are compatible with the new OS. For example, onOne put out a software release warning users to deactivate their software before upgrading or it won't work after Lion is installed.)

Canadian Company Builds a Rube Goldberg Machine out of Photography Equipment
Looking for something to do with all that spare photography equipment you have laying around your house or studio? Why not do what one Canadian photography company did and build an amazingly complex Rube Goldberg machine out of it all. Syl says the 4-minute video showcasing more photo equipment than you can imagine proves that he is no longer the one that uses the most gear among his peers. The hosts wondered how long it must have taken to set up all this gear and how many attempts it took. Bottom line though, is they really loved this must-see video and encourage everyone to check it out!

Sony Alpha NEX-C3
Engadget recently posted a review of Sony's latest camera – the NEX-C3. The mirror-less, 16-megapixel Alpha NEX-C3 builds upon the successes of its entry-level predecessor — the NEX-3. Having previously worked at Sony, Tristan is quite familiar with theie products and chimed in to say that while most other companies have tried to make SLRs smaller, Sony has tried to put SLR features into a point-and-shoot body. Tristan loves the NEX-C3 upgrade and highlighted some of the new features: a slimmed-down body and redesigned APS-C sensor that is better in low light and produces sharper images, a boost in battery life, highly-customizable menus and buttons, and a more attractive design overall. Tristan does say that the downsides to the camera are: the proprietary hot shoe, a limited selection of lenses, and finally, because the camera is mirrorless, there is nothing protecting the sensor from dust when you change lenses. Frederick and Syl also talk about the advantages and trade-offs of using advanced point-and-shoots vs. SLRs.

Frederick had a chance to speak with photographer David duChemin who recently suffered a 30-foot(!) fall while teaching a workshop in Italy. David was severely injured, but he is recovering and is undergoing physical therapy that will help him walk once again. The event has given David a bigger sense of gratitude, has magnified in his eyes the important things in life, and has him cherishing every moment of every day. These days David is getting back into writing, spending more time with family, and reaching out to the community that has gotten him through such a difficult time. Frederick asked David about his upcoming book “Photographing Speaking” which teaches how to better “read” images and how to keep in mind the “visual language” of a photograph to resonate with viewers of the photograph. David also talked about making the right long-term investments for your photography business such as using the money that would've been spent on a ultra-high-end piece of glass and using it instead to make the very best first impression on potential clients by having an improved website or super-sharp-looking business cards. Finally, Frederick asked David some questions that came in during the interview via Twitter including topics like the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers (IGVP), the different electronic publication formats, “settling down”, and his gear and workshops.

Learn more about David duChemin at his PixelatedImage blog and check out his Craft & Vision ebooks.

Question 1: Jack Label asks “Can I make 360-degree VR pictures with my DSLR with a 35mm lens? What software do I need to create and see the 360-degree picture?” Syl says that if the question is about those images, often seen on real estate sites, that let you scroll around a scene, he isn't too familiar with them, but if it's more traditional panoramic images Jack is trying to create, Syl loves and recommends the Gigapan rig and software. Tristan says for the VR part, you have to consider what system or device will be used to view the images. Frederick also recommends Googling terms like “panoramic software” and also playing with the stitching capabilities of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Finally, a cool site to see where people have uploaded 360-degree panoramic images of cities from around the world is 360 cities.

Question 2: Mark Weisenberger writes that he and his friend struggle with how their images look one way in camera, another in Photoshop RAW, another in Canon's processing software, and another yet when done editing. Mark has calibrated his laptop screen then uses Canon software out of the camera to work on the RAW image and then Photoshop for further editing. Syl has a lot of experience getting consistent color in images for his books and says calibrating the monitor and then using the profile with the desired output method should work, but Frederick points out that unfortunately, Lightroom doesn't allow you to use a color profile when editing. This is a huge problem and the hosts wish they could provide more help. Syl also recommends getting the best desktop monitor you can afford if doing serious color work.

Syl – The Canon Powershot S95 camera and Lensmate – a great source of mods and accessories for the S95 and other pocket cameras.

Tristan – the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone with its 8MP camera and 1.2Ghz dual core processor.

Frederick – the Gymbl iPhone grip/tripod adapter that makes taking panoramic images easy.

Follow us on Join the Flickr critique group. You can also join our Facebook group.

Syl Arena – check out his “Canon Speedlites Demystified” workshop held next month in Maine. He can also be found online at his Speedliting website.

Tristan Hall – or as well as Alpha Tutorials.

Frederick Van or or Google Plus


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Pre-Production and Show notes by Bruce Clarke or

Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn

Bandwidth provided by Cachefly

Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

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