TWiP #226 – Retro Active

This week on TWiP: A new application called Shoebox lets you scan & archive old photographs with your iPhone, Nikon eying webOS, what's behind the rise in popularity of retro photography, and does the printed portfolio still matter?

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Martin Bailey, Syl Arena, Derrick Story


Shoebox – Scan & Share Old Photos with your iPhone recently released a new application for iOS that allows you to scan and share old photographs. They have partnered with the Internet Archive to ensure that the photographs you scan will be available forever. Derrick is a fan of this application and thinks it will be a great service that people can use whenever they are visiting friends or family and want to preserve a photograph that they run across. He also likes the convenience factor. Martin also thinks this would be a good application for he majority of people but he'd prefer to scan them in with a traditional flatbed scanner to get the highest quality.

Google+ Adds Retro Filters
Responding to the rise in popularity of retro looking photography popularized by programs like Instagram and Hipstamatic, Google+ has rolled out a suite of creative filters called Effects. Syl thinks that these tools are just another thing in the toolbox that a photographer could use although he has no desire to really use them. Martin isn't sure we'll ever see any award winning portfolios created with this stuff but you never know. Derrick thinks they are fun and good to get the creative juices flowing.

Nikon Interested in Buying webOS from HP
Fox news is reporting that Nikon is among those interested in buying webOS from HP. The guys discuss why Nikon might be interested in webOS and speculate where it might show up. Frederick recently did a workshop with one Nikon Speedlight and had a chance to play with a variety of Nikon cameras and found the menu systems very different in each model and difficult to use. Martin would love to keep the hands-on feeling for operating his camera but would love to see an improved menu system in cameras. Syl said that you'll find the same issue with Canon cameras. He thinks there is an opportunity for camera manufacturers to design a user experience with that piece of hardware that becomes intuitive.

Get Your Portfolio On
Zack Arias recently wrote a post detailing how he put his portfolio together. In it, he wrote quite persuasively about the necessity of a print portfolio. He writes,

I know many of you are wondering why I'm working on a print portfolio. What about web sites, PDFs, iPhones, thumb drives, laptops, etc, etc? Are printed portfolios still relevant? In my opinion they are.

That opinion also is held by many in the editorial and advertising world. I know of two leading Ad agencies that won't meet with you if you walk in with only an electronic portfolio. They want to see your book.

Derrick still believes in the finished print and thinks it's an important part of the photographic process. Martin will take both printed and electronic images with him when he goes to visit a potential client. Syl thinks that a lot of the photo buyers are buying for print so you should be fine tuning your work and showing it in the format that they'll be buying it for. If you are selling to buyers for the web, then having an electronic portfolio is also important.


Question 1: Str8ShotPhoto in the forums is looking for some advice on how to photograph the moon with some foliage in the foreground and properly expose for both.

Derrick: The moon is very bright and most people underestimate how bright it is. HDR could be one way to deal with it. He could also add a light to the foliage.  Get the moon exposed properly first and then play with the artistic element of the foliage. Martin says that he could try to get some reflections on the foliage but it will be dark so he might try using some LED flashlights to paint in some light on the foliage. Syl said that you'll see the same issue trying to shoot in full sun or full moon because our cameras can't see the dynamic range that our eyes are capable of. He should expose for the moon and let the shadows fall where they may. Then you can add some light back into those shadow areas. As far as what is a proper exposure that is an artistic decision.

Question 2: Atcavi8tor in the forums recently experimented shooting in Manual and found it slowed him down. He is wondering what the advantages are of manual and why he can't just shoot in Av and use Exposure compensation?

Derrick says that he can use exposure compensation if he'd like. He personally likes manual when he's doing flash photography. He also thinks that sometimes it's okay to slow down. Martin shoots in manual quite often, particularly when the lighting situations are difficult and changing. Aperture priority with exposure compensation doesn't handle difficult lighting situations very well. Syl thinks that in dim lighting situations, shooting in manual is better than Aperture priority because the camera will try to use a really long exposure for the ambient light.


Martin – 500px iPad app

Syl – Gulf Photo Plus FotoWeekend 2011 in Dubai, Nov. 16-19

Derrick – Apple's Photo Stream

Frederick – “Photographically Speaking” by David duChemin


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Martin Bailey – or

Syl Arena – or

Derrick Story – or

Frederick Van or or Google Plus


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Pre-Production and Show notes by Bruce Clarke or

Producers: Liana Lehua

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Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

Photo Credit: Bruce Clarke