Mar 012012

580EX-IIHere is a free video that I can recommend that you watch if you are interested in taking photographs using Canon Speedlites.

Syl Arena the author of the Speedliters Handbook recently ran a tutorial session at  B&H Photo‘s event space in New York. The event was videoed and B&H have made the entire 1 hour 43 minute presentation available to watch online for free.  You can watch it below.

 Posted by at 1:11 pm
Nov 062011

This post is about getting photos onto the iPad.

The easiest way is to take a photo with either of the cameras already present in the iPad but the quality of these leaves much to be desired. The second way is by uploading them to the iPad from iTunes from your computer. It is the third method that I am going to write about, that is the use of a camera connection kit and uploading the photos direct from your camera to the iPad.

The official Apple iPad Camera connection kit costs £25 and is available direct from Apple here. You get two adapters one with a USB connector on to plug your camera cable in to and the second has an SD card slot in it. Alternatively you can purchase a camera kit made in China from eBay such as this one for around £4. One of the advantages of the eBay one is that it is slightly larger and it has both USB and SD card slots in the same adapter , there is a small slide switch on the side to select which input to use.

Apple connectors

eBay adapter

The adapter just plugs into the port at the bottom of the iPad. It is then just a matter of putting in your SD card or connecting your camera to the USB interface.

Once you have connected to the iPad you will see a screen like this

Import screen

As you can see the iPad recognises and imports both RAW (it knows my Canon 40D RAW files anyway) and JPG files. You now just select the Import All button on the iPad and your images will be imported.

On Import

You get the option to delete the files from your camera / memory card if you want to. Your images are stored in the ‘All Imported’ folder on the iPad.

Album screen

Finally you can view both the RAW and JPG images on your iPad.

Image display

When you get back to your computer you can then import the photos as you normally would through your file browser interface.

This is an easy method of getting your photos onto your iPad and displaying them immediately on a 1024 by 768 screen and of course you can zoom into them as normal on the iPad. I found this a really good £4 investment and even the official Apple one at £25 is not too bad either.

 Posted by at 12:16 pm
Sep 282011

Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) is a free programme for all Windows computers and is available for free download from here.

This is a great programme for creating panorama images. Until this programme was recommended to me I had always used Photoshop to create my panoramas. Even on a powerful machine Photoshop can take a long time to render panoramas and even with the automatic settings sometimes Photoshop gets it wrong and you have to select a different setting and wait again for it to render. The only disadvantage with ICE is that it doesn’t create the layers and masks that Photoshop does BUT it does do such a good job that on most occasions you won’t need the extra flexibility of Photoshop.

 How to use ICE.

This programme is so easy to use that it doesn’t really need this tutorial but I will run through it anyway. On loading the programme this is the window that you see Opening screen

You can drag and drop your images onto the centre grey area of the ICE window or go to File > New Panorama to browse your hard disk and select your images. ICE allows stitching of a large array of image types including jpg and some RAW file types. As soon as the images are loaded the programme goes to work and in literally a few seconds the photographs are analysed and the panorama is created. Until you have loaded some images all the other options, except for Exit, are greyed out.


Now the images are stitched the other options below the image are now available.

The first choice that you have is to select the type of ‘Stitch’ that the programme has performed, the programme started with the automatic options, analysed the panorama and then decided the best way to stitch the images together. The screenshot shows the other options that the programme could have used and should you want to select one of the other options then the panorama will be automatically re-created with these settings.

The next option available is to crop the image. The image itself is displayed with the crop marks around it and you can re-size the image using the grab handles around the image or select specific sizes by typing into the dialog box. At the bottom of the dialog box the actual image size in pixels is displayed.

The export option allows the changing of image from the default JPEG type to those shown in the screen shot. Scaling and image size can also be adjusted as well as JPEG quality.

The final thing to decide is what you want to do with your panorama image. The ‘Export to disk’ option saves the resulting panorama to your local disk drive. The ‘Publish to web’ option allows you to publish the full sized panorama to the Microsoft Photosynth website, should you select this option then you need the Photosynth software installed on your computer and an account to upload the image to. A nice thing here with ICE if it finds the software is not installed it offers to install it for you and then offers to create an account all without losing your panorama.

Finally there is the information screen that tells you various information about your panorama image.

This is the panorama that that you have seen through the tutorial and a larger version is on my 500px gallery.

If you shoot panoramas either occasionally or regularly I  can certainly recommend this programme to you.

 Posted by at 2:07 pm