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  • Commented on 'Extension Tubes'

    The best aperture for what? As keith said the focusing plane is going to be v. narrow indeed with extensions tubes. You will definately need a tripod with a 31 mm ext. tube and if you've got a tripod you can use whatever aperture you want, personally I've never managed to get a good handheld shot with anything greater than a 12 mm tube.

    b
    • 3 Aug 2004 9:23AM
  • Commented on 'You haven't really got a portfolio until...'

    You will obviously need the following:

    1. At least one photo of a Robin OR a Swan

    2. A photo of a child (preferably your own) doing something cute.

    3. A photo converted to black & white

    4. A shot of something rusty, barbed wire is ALWAYS a favourite.

    5. A sunrise / sunset photo.

    6. A shot of your pet dog/cat/etc.

    7. A studio shot, or at least something shot on a white background.

    8. A photo that has been converted to b&w with one element left in colour.

    9. A shot taken with a very narrow depth of field.

    10. At least three pages of mediocre photos you can look back at in 6 months time & feel faintly smug about how much you've improved.

    Currently I'm working on point number 10 but I'm hoping to move on to sunsets any day now...

    b

    edit: damn it! Ian beat me to it!
    • 29 Jul 2004 3:07PM
  • Commented on 'Black and White/Toned images'

    Eeek - I think that comment might have been by me... was it this one?

    I thought the textures were strong enough in colour without resorting to b&w, plus I just like the colour of rust... but that's not to say you're wrong, I suspect it'll look good in b&w, I just liked the colour version.

    With regard to your questions - very occasionally I will shoot in black & white, but usually convert afterwards if I think it'll enhance the texture.

    b
    • 28 Jul 2004 11:26AM
  • Commented on 'Stitching Images'

    Now that is a much more impressive example! I think I can see one join, but I really had to hunt for it & I'm only 75% sure it is actually a join. Very good indeed.

    b
    • 26 Jul 2004 6:25PM
  • Commented on 'Stitching Images'

    I see your point Ian, I just find that once I've seen the mistake I can't not see it - at least in PS I can go back & try to fix it. Well... I can if I can face doing it again anyway Wink

    b
    • 26 Jul 2004 6:21PM
  • Commented on 'Stitching Images'

    Personally I much prefer putting a pan together in PS - although stiching programs/plug ins can take a huge amount of the work out of it I never think the end results are as good. To use Ian's one as an example - you can see where it's joined due to slight colour mismatches and... a dead giveaway - where the ripples in the water are cut off.

    I always try to get at least a third of the frame as an over lap - then you can erase & try to merge the frames together.

    Here's an example which I'm still working on. Roughly 160 degrees of NYC taken from the top of the empire state building looking south. It's 11 photos stiched together & will be 1.5m wide when I finally print it... well, it will be if I can find a frame that big!

    b
    • 26 Jul 2004 4:07PM
  • Commented on 'Re-sizing large photo's'

    If you're using PS make sure you save for web, rather than just saving as a jpeg - gives you a lot more control over the level of compression. My photos are usually saved at a quality level of between 58 to 90 (0 being maximum compression, 100 being minimum compression). The more detail you have in an image the higher the compression (lower the number) you'll have to use to hit the 60 Kb limit. Also the colours in an image will also affect the file size.

    Remember to sharpen your image after resizing it but before saving it.

    Hope this is of some help.

    b
    • 26 Jul 2004 2:31PM
  • Commented on 'Feeling dismayed'

    I've been on this site for about 4 months now and while I think there's a little bit of cliqueness going on there's not as much as people seem to think.

    As far as I can make out most people browse through a few pages of the gallery and either click on thumbnails that catch their eye, or are of a subject that they themselves are interested in.

    I do think however that it's very easy to miss good photo's in the gallery, either due to the thumbnail not doing them justice or just due to the number of photos submitted. I think the best way of getting people to see your work is to comment on other peoples, people often check out your portfolio & if they see something they like they may well comment on it.

    Just my thoughts on the matter...

    b
    • 20 Jul 2004 2:50PM
  • Commented on 'Your favourite candids!'

    A shame no one has added any links to this, I've seen loads of great candids on this site, but trying to find them again is like trying to find a needle in a haystack!

    Here are links to mine, not very inspiring I'm afraid, but maybe someone else will post some better ones

    Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3

    b
    • 19 Jul 2004 2:54PM
  • Commented on 'Business cards'

    We do a fair bit of Corp Id work, obviously including stationery & business cards etc. My advice would be to keep your design clean & simple, after all, the real purpose of a business card is to save someone having to write down your contact details, don't try & use one to showcase your work.

    Personally I'd go for a matt finish, it's a personal thing but I always think that matt feels better, gloss is a bit too slimy for my liking. Paper wise we tend to use either a 250 or 300 gsm stock, again, makes them feel just a little bit nicer in your hand.

    Hope this is of some help

    b
    • 7 Jul 2004 2:28PM
  • Commented on 'Comparing digital image quality standards.'

    The reason they don't use dpi to describe camera resolution is because dpi & ppi are two completely different measurments.

    ppi is pixels per inch, and relates to monitors, cameras, scanners etc. - basically it is something that is not physically real, you can't touch a pixel. With pixels it is just how many coloured squares a device is displaying/capturing per inch e.g. a 15" monitor @ 800 x 600 is displaying 72 ppi, wack the resolution up to 1024 x 768 and it will display 96 dpi.

    A digital cameras resolution is measured by the number of pixels along the length & width of the sensor & multiplying them. This gives you the total number of pixels the camera will capture, but it has no real relation to either ppi or dpi - both will vary depending on how you view or print the image.

    dpi is how many dots per inch are physically printed, and depends on the lpi capacity of the printer used e.g. newspapers are usually printed between 65 to 100 lpi, books magazines brochures etc. are usually printed between 150 - 200 lpi. Generally speaking you multiply the lpi by 1.5 to give you the dpi. e.g 200 lpi = 300 dpi.

    As an example if you have an image which is going to be printed at 10cm x 10cm at 200 lpi you would save it as 10cm x 10cm at 300 dpi, if you saved it at 600 dpi you would not get a better print as the printer's maximum lpi is 200... so it can't print more dots per inch.

    Hope this makes some sense, I probably haven't explained it very well...

    b
    • 30 Jun 2004 11:13AM
  • Commented on 'Graphical images - good or bad for ephotozine?'

    I think it's a bit unfair to label graphic designers as the ones responsible for the quite obviously digitally manipulated images on the site - although yes, I'm aware that the photo of the week is by a graphic designer Wink

    I've seen lots of designers portfolios on this site & in the vast majority they're characterised by very abstract shots rather than manipulated ones.

    Personnally I always presume that manipulated images on here are by photographers who have just got their hands on PS, it almost seems to be an obligatory part of the learning curve to produce them...

    Back to the point of the discussion - I think if the component parts are still recognisable as being photographed then there's nothing wrong with it. When you start bringing in 3d models etc. then I think you're moving too far away from a 'photography site'. Personal view though.

    b
    • 14 Jun 2004 1:23PM
  • Commented on 'Extension tubes'

    I've got a macro lense & have been borrowing some extension tubes. Personally I've found that the extension tubes give a much better image, but I suspect that's due to me using a better lense with them.

    Only downside to using them from my (limited) experience is that you have to shoot on manual and for anything higher than 12 mm you really need a tripod due to the long exposures.

    Lots of fun though...

    b
    • 26 May 2004 1:35PM
  • Commented on 'Monitor Profile?'

    Monitor profiling is a pain, we do it every month or so in our studio. We use Lacie electron monitors with a blue eye sensor which works well as it not only allows you to adjust for ambient light but also allows you to adjust the rgb electron guns in the monitor, rather than just performing a software calibration.

    A couple of things to remember are:

    The colour displayed by your monitor will change as it warms up, make sure it's been on for at least an hour before doing any adjustments.

    The ambient lighting will change how the colours appear, so make sure you calibrate using the lighting you normally work in.

    b
    • 26 May 2004 9:25AM
  • Commented on 'Pro quality slide scans'

    We used to have everything drumscanned - and there is still nothing to beat it quality wise.

    The thing to remember about any kind of scanning is that the results depend to a large extent on the operator. Repro houses etc. deal with a large variety of media to be scanned & do tend to know their stuff. We always used a test tranny before committing a job to a new repro & you could certainly tell the difference between an operator who knew his stuff & one that didn't!

    If you're going to get them drumscanned I'd suggest you got a test scan done first - if happy with it then send the rest. They may well give you a discount for quantity - we got ours down to about 9 a scan I think.

    b
    • 7 May 2004 11:18AM
  • Commented on 'Edge to Edge printing'

    Most inkjets won't print to the edge of the paper as they keep a (roughly) 5mm margin free where the rollers grip the paper. Also if you're printing right to the edge you're upping the chance that you'll get ink splatters on your print as the ink on the heads sometimes clip the edge of the paper.

    Most modern soho printers give you an option to print right to the edge, usually under advanced options, but the quality decreases in that area - not normally apparent on a photo, certainly noticable if printing graphical work.

    Personally I print everything on A3+ sheets & then crop them down with a scalpel, but then I've probably picked up bad habits from working in a design studio...
    • 5 May 2004 1:15PM
  • Commented on 'Computer keeps crashing windows ME'

    I've been running ME for the last few years & it's been pretty reliable, crashes on average perhaps once every six months. The main problem I found with it is that stupid PC Health thing they put in, where it backs up important files etc. & slowly eats up your HD space. Even if you 'disable' it, it's still active - a known bug. You can delete the folder it backs up too & replace it with a txt file of the same name - sorted all problems out for me. A quick search on google will bring up step by step instructions.

    Personally I don't like using XP, but Windows 2000 is fantastic - have used it for the last 4 years for video editing (1 Gb+ files) and it's never crashed.

    b

    Just remembered - had an issue with ME when I first installed it, ME has problems with power management on some motherboards - try disabling it & see if that sorts out your stabilty issue.
    • 3 May 2004 10:05AM