Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Importing into Lightroom: Follow the arc!

A fundamental part of any photographer's workflow should be how they organise and file their photos. Lightroom (OK, the proper name is "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom") provides a great framework to integrate this into your workflow, but it's imperative that you understand what's going on. Too many Lightroom beginners try to use the program with no concept of where their photos are going. Everything's going swimmingly, until one day something changes and Lightroom won't let them develop or export their photos, and shows lots of question-marks. This is easy to fix and in fact easy to avoid, as long as you know where the files were!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Computer upgrades: SSDs make your computer run hotter

It's true! I've now installed SSD drives in many laptop computers, and they've all got hotter and noisier. Don't believe the hype that SSDs are quieter/cooler than normal hard drives. Ok strictly speaking that's true, but the real world is never that simple...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Macro lenses for photographing "the tiny world"

Recently I've been asked by several camera-club members and several of my students independently for advice on selecting macro lenses for use with Canon SLRs. So to avoid having to repeat myself again (intentionally tautological) I figured I'd lay out some of the answers here. This is another of the technically-oriented posts which I will continue to post from time to time.

Definition of macro photography

Technically "macro" photography starts at 1:1 magnification. That's where a 1 cm object is projected by the lens to be 1 cm on the sensor/film. Note that this doesn't say anything about how large the object will appear in the final image (life-size as 1 cm on a print, or 50 cm on a poster?) but it does provide a reference point for comparing the magnification of different lenses.
However life isn't always so clear-cut. Many zoom lenses are marketed with "macro" in their model name, even though they can't get to 1:1. Sometimes it's only 3:1. It might be safer to refer to those lenses as "close-up" rather than "macro". I'm only going to refer to "real" macro lenses here. Of course, you don't have to only use the lenses at 1:1 all the time.

Teensy tiny fungii

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Catching up with the bandwagon...

Ok, so I haven't been travelling for a while...

Well, last weekend was a trip away into the countryside to Wilsons Promontory and Tarra-Bulga National Parks with a bunch of photographers from Knox Photographic Society. But that's only small travel compared to being in Europe. Lots of fun, despite missing out on the photowalks held back in Melbourne on Saturday.

After winding down from the overseas holiday (hopefully that makes sense) there have been lots of work things happening, and at the moment I'm spending most days at regular work in the city. Oh the joys of commuting again! In November I'll be critiquing photos at Warragul Camera Club. Last month was Mitchell Photography Club in Broadford.

Pulpit Rock, Cape Schanck

But the really exciting news is that we opened up the 2013 Botswana photography trip! It was great to see most of the spots snapped up by participants from my previous photography workshops! If you're at all interested in photographing Africa, hop on over to the LuminOdyssey page and check it out, as there are only a few spots left!

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