Apr 032012

I have a camera mount that I bought cheaply of eBay some while ago for the mounting of a camera (still or video providing it has a standard tripod mount thread) on a motorbike or bicycle. It doesn’t have quite enough range of movement to suit my current motorcycle, a Honda Valkyrie, with all the other things that I have mounted on the handlebars.

Existing mount

Existing mount

I therefore went looking for a now one with more range of movement. I found one that had much more movement and looked very flexible as it would fit onto tubes of up to 40mm in diameter and so would be suitable for mounting on handlebars, risers or engine bars.

New mount

I mounted it onto the risers to get a lower view of the road ahead and it looked great, locked on easily and didn’t mark the chrome.

Video camera mounted right side

Video camera from rear


Unfortunately this mounting was not very successful as it was too flexible in one of the joints and it did not keep the camera still. The joint in question is shown in the photo below, there is no way to tighten this joint as it is spring loaded and the spring tension is too light to dampen any vibrations.

Joint highlighted

This is an example of the video shot with this mount (it is low quality on purpose) and it has had YouTubes’ image stabiliser setting applied.  I hope that it doesn’t make you feel too queasy watching it.

This is an example of a video shot with the old mount.

I have not singled out the eBay supplier of this new mount as I don’t think that it is fair as there are many suppliers on eBay offering this mount.  My advice would be not to buy this type of mount for a video camera if you want to mount it on a motorcycle. It may be suitable for mounting on a car or bicycle but I haven’t tested it.

 Posted by at 12:11 pm
Nov 102011

What focal length lens to use for a flattering portrait shot?

The conventional wisdom seems to suggest that 50mm is ideal on a full frame camera. Personally I prefer somewhere between 70mm and 100mm. I recently came across a comparison done across a wide range of focal lengths on Stephen Eastwood’s website. I won’t plagiarise his page here but encourage you to look at the photo below and to read the article on his website.

Focal length comparisons

I hope this gives you something to think about and to try next time that you have to take a portrait shot.

Whilst you are at it have a look at Stephen’s main website he is an excellent portrait photographer in my opinion

 Posted by at 12:00 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
Oct 102011

Photography 1 on 1

This channel is sponsored by Adorama one of the large US photographic stores. It features Mark Wallace as the presenter. Mark covers mainly shooting topics and occasionally editing in Photoshop. The topics he covers are chosen from questions he receives from viewers of his videos. Each video lasts about 15 minutes and they are uploaded to YouTube regularly.

This is a recent video on focus basics.

Photo Gavin

The presenter of these videos is Gavin Hoey a UK photographer. Gavin’s videos usually cover editing in Photoshop and sometimes Lightroom and occasionally he covers practical shooting tips. His videos last between about 7 and 15 minutes depending on the subject covered.

This is a recent video about Time Lapse photography.


To make it easy to find when a new video is published from each of these presenters you can subscribe to their channels on YouTube. You then receive an email each time a new video is published. Just go to YouTube and create an account if you don’t already have one. Search for one of the videos above and once you have found it click on the subscribe button just above the video and you will start to receive the notifications.


If you have any relevant YouTube channels that you are subscribed to please post a comment and include your recommendation.


 Posted by at 8:11 am
Sep 262011

SuffusionI thought I would do a little coverage of how I built this website and thought that you may find it of interest.

The site is built on WordPress which started life as a blogging platform but has now evolved into a CMS (content Management System) as well. WordPress is a free programme that comes included with many web hosting packages or it can be downloaded from the WordPress website. WordPress comes with one theme built in but it is themes and plug-ins that enhance WordPress and make it a useable platform.

This site is built using the Suffusion theme from Sayontan Sinha. This theme is also free. It is the most flexible and fully featured theme that I have come across and it is very easy to customise to give the look and feel that you want. Suffusion comes with 17 pre-defined colour schemes and by use of the configuration options it is easy to alter these colours to suit the look that you want. As a result I have used this theme to build several  sites for both blogging and for conventional websites. You can read more about Suffusion’s functionality on Sayontan’s site and also on the WordPress site.

Extra functionality can be added with plug-ins. One that is in use on this site is Photonic also from Sayontan Sinha. This again is a free piece of software (GPL licence) and it allows the automatic integration of Flickr, Picasa and 500px galleries with your WordPress site. It is the plug-in used on this site to integrate images from my 500px gallery in this blog. Again it is easy to setup and use the only challenge was getting a key from 500px support to allow this site to access my gallery, it took about 48 hours to get but now I have it everything is working flawlessly. Once it is setup all you do is add a photo to your online gallery and it will be automatically added to your website.

Dedicated generous people like Sayontan allow pretty much anyone to create a professional looking website. My thanks goes out to him and the other authors of GPL licenced software.

 Posted by at 3:37 pm