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And a heated keyboard


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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And a heated keyboard

10 Feb 2021 9:06AM   Views : 397 Unique : 273


What accessory would you like that you’ve never seen or heard of? Something that would transform your photographic life and make everything easier, or better, or allow you to do things that you’ve never tried before?

For some people, presumably early on in the development of Photoshop, it was a way to draw in the editor – something for which a mouse is very far from ideal. Better yet, something where the pressure applied affects the result, just as it does with a pencil or a paintbrush. And – Ta Daa! – we have the graphics pad. The history Wikipedia relates is fascinating, and goes back to 1888: my own relationship with tablets started with a well-known knock-off brand, progressed through an earlier Wacom device, and has culminated with a small Wacom Intuos device. Along the way, I’ve learned that usability matters, and also that things like pressure sensitivity matter – as does one’s own position on the ladder of editing sophistication.


There’s still a parade of interesting ideas flitting into and out of existence. Many of them don’t have commercial legs, so they disappear rapidly: I still regret not buying a scarf camera strap for my daughter-in-law (the idea was to make a feminine camera accessory that was functional because it spread the weight over a wider area, but pretty) when they were available. Somebody’s cottage industry folded because – like me – too many people didn’t follow the web link in the review I read.

The latest edition of Amateur Photographer reviews a paper lantern diffuser for small flashguns: at one time, the Gary Fong diffuser was the must-have accessory for professional photographers doing social pictures. There have been numerous models, each for a specialist application (though I wonder if this is like the multiple sorts of mouthwash with supposedly different formulations for plaque, bad breath and receding gums) and the company still exists – but is it a triumph of marketing over commonsense? (I may find out soon.)


I’ve had a look round for the weird stuff I’ve ended up owning. The pictures are of a Kodak accessory that was marketed to doctors for recording their patients in detail: no ringflash and macro lens, but add-ons that required flashbulbs and a camera that was not by any standards expensive. As an afterthought, almost, it could also be used with the more expensive Retinette series. Just a little bit niche…

What’s the heated keyboard about? Well, my office is in a loft conversion, and outside the scope of the central heating system, so it is often cold in winter. I’ve just acquired a pair of finger mittens, which are wonderful at keeping warm the parts of my hand that don’t get especially cold, which is useful but not ideal. So what I really, really want is a keyboard gently warming my fingertips and joints. Ideally, accompanied by a mouse and graphics tablet that do the same…


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
10 Feb 2021 9:13AM
The Technical Close Up Kit is in just about mint condition - the owner was apparently noted for his interest in getting interesting stuff that might be useful for his work and hobbies.

I tried to donate it to the Birmingham Science Museum, but they were short of space. If there is a museum out that would like it, or a really serious private collector, please get in touch with me.
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.5k 682 England
10 Feb 2021 10:32AM
I don't have any kind of weird stuff in my's all in the garage Wink
AltImages Avatar
AltImages 3 4
10 Feb 2021 11:15AM
If somebody is going to invent something, my vote would be for a life size 3D projector. So that you could do a Covid-safe remote shoot, but directing your model who's posing in your own studio or other location! Then models would vote for a CGI body so that they can do art-nude poses without having to remove their PJ's during lockdown 😊

As for a heated keyboard John, don't forget that computer manufacturers don't recommend temperatures below 50°F/10°C, otherwise you risk corruptions of data whilst it's being saved to hard drives.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
10 Feb 2021 11:42AM
I like the idea of a model posing in her PJs - I have photographed two models in onesies, though.

It's not that cold in my Eyrie - not with the heat coming off the CPU...
mistere Avatar
mistere Plus
10 37 8 England
10 Feb 2021 1:29PM
Ha ha, BB and her legendary onesies. We had breakfast at a food van in a Lay By once. She was wearing one of her onesies, and (as usual) nothing else.
As for the non-existent (yet) device. A small, easily portable, adjustable light modifier/soft box. One that transforms it's shape and size. Square, rectangular,
octagonal, round etc, and would go from small to large with no fuss or messing around. Along with a small but powerful flash unit that has unlimited battery life.
It would make home and location shoots so much easier SmileSmile.

whatriveristhis Avatar
10 Feb 2021 1:59PM
Assuming your PC is not battery powered, then you must have electricity socket/s in your ivory tower. SO BUY A HEATER.
kaybee Avatar
kaybee 19 8.7k 28 Scotland
10 Feb 2021 2:41PM
A small fan heater would be easier.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
10 Feb 2021 2:43PM
Smile Alan.

I have one - but it tends to heat a lot of other things apart from my fingers. They are actually quite low on its 'to do' list...
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
10 Feb 2021 5:30PM
Now, a fan heater would be a problem. So much dust...
Angi_Wallace Avatar
Angi_Wallace 15 355 11 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2021 10:14AM
As I have to do most of my photography from home due to illness/disability I have a huge array of useful items that help me with my photography. Now my partner has joined in as lockdown has led to him becoming engrossed with stacking super macro - he is building himself a set up and lighting - his version of a specialist macro lighting kit which costs literally hundreds actually cost him less than a tenner and that involves 3 brand new lights!
Ive made myself about 20 two sided backdrops for my close up work and just ordered another 12 of my own photos/textures to make more.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
13 Feb 2021 2:53PM
I reckon that's almost cheating, Angi!

How times have changed: I have a piece of kit a friend used to use for shooting catalogue pictures of small electronic components: fan-cooled, with twin light pipes: cost, I think, over £1k, and worth peanuts now. Mind you, I'd quite like to get rid of it, either back to him, or to a good home. Very much the equivalent of a heated keyboard, I suspect...

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