January 24, 2010

Shutters Inc – episode 145

This week, Bruce is excited about having potentially sold his first large format canvas print,
which led to a bit of a discussion about marketing ideas for limited edition fine art works,
tales of woe over how our listeners killed the server after the Joe McNally epiosde was released,
Joe’s video confession,
Bruce’s lens dilemma,
and getting together for a photowalk with your local fellow photographers.


January 10, 2010

Shutters Inc – episode 144

Filed under: !Podcasts,alpha 850,CPW,Joe McNally,Shutters Inc,Travel — Bruce Williams @ 12:00

Happy new year!
In the first ep for 2010, we talk about our cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu,
the new Creative Photo Workshops website,
My new Sony alpha 850,
the Sydney photographers are getting together monthly,
the 5MP/SI party in Melbourne,
and finally, our special guest interview.


December 16, 2009

HonlPhoto giveaway winners

Filed under: Dave Honl,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 11:10

A quick note to congratulate the winners of the David Honl lighting accessories giveaway.
There were some VERY good entries received, particularly given the short time frame allowed for creation of said literary masterpieces.
So, drum roll if you please…
The winners are:

Jeni Nagy, who wrote this little ditty:

I wanna Honl filter kit
Love it more than a little bit
Many things to pose and shoot
With Honl filters, strap and snoot
How I’d use them, couldn’t say
Beginner, me in every way
Give me a chance to try and see
Santa (Bruce) pick me, pick me

and Nathan Chilton wrote:

I wanna win the Honl photo accessory pack so that I can coin a new phrase: “Find the light and… put these on it!”
Because I’m trying to build my wedding/portrait business and I’ve received a message from beyond, saying that “If you gobo it, they will come”.

Nice one, Nathan!
Let me tell ya, peoples, it was very hard picking 2 winners.
There were some really good entires.
I’ll include a couple of ‘honourable mentions’ because they deserved it!

Jan Polland from Germany sent in this (which I REALLY liked, but it exceeded the 50 word limit. Rules is rules. Sorry Jan!)

Bruce: Why should you win one of the Honl prizes?
Jan: Wanna do more flash photography.
Bruce: Flash photography?
Jan: Snap snap, win win, flash flash, wink wink, nudge nugde, send to me, say no more?
Bruce: I’m afraid we don’t have enough sets to give away.
Jan: Oh….still. meeeeee ay? wihihihihiiiin, ay?
Bruce: Look…are you insinuating something?
Jan: Oh, no, no, no……..Yes!
Bruce: Well?
Jan: You’re a man of the world and….this is my address

Richard Annable got creative with his text layout which I thought was cool:

1 I
2 want
3 to
4 win
5 because
6 Shelton
7 doesn’t
8 pay
9 me
10 when
11 I
12 help
13 him
14 and
15 I
16 can’t
17 afford
18 to
19 buy
20 cool
21 stuff
22 like
23 this.
34 The
35 (expletive
36 deleted)
37 brings
38 me
39 along
40 to
41 flash
42 workshops
43 so
44 he
45 can
46 use
47 my
48 pocket
49 wizards!

Jim Rockwell certainly blew his 50 word limit, but got a chuckle none the less!

Good morning from Pennsylvania USA!  I know I should be more supportive
of the Shutters Inc listeners and be more of a team player. After all
there is no “I” in team, but there is one in wInner. Not to be selfish
but Jim Rockwell is the I in wInner (Well . . . maybe)!  Surely you can
agree with me (Oops, I should stop calling you Shirley).  I figure since
I did not get any of the fancy pins Richard was giving away, I should
have this instead. Right?

If that does not win it (cue violin music here),  I have been a loyal
listener for may years.  Each week I sell junk I find along the road to
support my photography habit and pay for electricity to download your
valuable podcast.  I have been considering selling an organ so I can
have enough money to join the 5MP group and just “fit in” with the other
more capable photographers.

If not that, how about this, if I do not win, I will fly to the west
coast in Feb and detain Shelton until I am awarded the prize.  Well,
that is a little drastic.  Maybe I will just report him to Homeland
Security and suggest that he be placed on the national watch list.

If none of that works, I will fly to Australia while you are on your
cruise and throw toilet paper in your trees.  I may even hide your trash
cans.  Then what will you do on trash day when you return home.

Besides, about a year ago I built a light tent out of pvc tubing and a
sheet with plans I found on the internet.  Sounds like this would help
greatly with that and other photography hobby projects.

William Ng from Canada played on the “12 days of Christmas” idea:

On the first day of Xmas, my true love will help me put on the Speed Strap (on my flash of course)
Second day, put on the Speed Snoot to take pics of turtle doves
Third day, switch to Speed Grid to take pics of chickens (no French hens around)
Fourth day, try the Autumn filters to take pics of any birds I can find outside
Fifth day, use color correction filters to take pics of five different gold rings
Sixth and seventh day, use color filters to take pics of sea gulls since all the geese and swans went hiding
Eighth and ninth day, use Hollywood filters to take pics of any ladies I can find (try not to get beaten up…)
Ninth day, use sampler filters on my kids playing legos (..sorry no pipers)
Tenth day, time to pack all the stuff back into the carrying bag

and finally, Mark Popish had this to say:

Sometimes people get a little blue around the holidays.  A couple of CTO filters could really warm things up.  In the states, it is winter.  Lastly, I saved some words to include my address as time is of the essence.

Thanks everyone for your prompt responses.
My only regret is that I couldn’t give you all a prize for your efforts!
Congratulations to Jeni and Nathan!


December 15, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 143

Filed under: !Podcasts,Dave Honl,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 12:58

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
Yep, snuck one more in before the end of the year.
But it ain’t what you’re thinkin’, peoples!
DO NOT THINK TO YOURSELF “I’LL LISTEN TO THAT TOMORROW.”
You NEED to listen to this as soon as you see it in your feed.
Time is of the essence.
24 hour essence.
Go for it.


December 6, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 141

We’re baaaack!
Finally (after the death of my soundcard last week and the subsequent purachase of a new card which is SUPPOSED to be the successor to the card I had, but which has LESS features… grrrrrr!), we managed to hook up this week to catch up on all that has happened in both our lives over the last 6 weeks.
Shelton talks about India, the 4 day workshop in Brisbane, and the Creative Photo Workshop world tour planned for 2010, including visiting Los Angeles for the PMA trade show in February.
Also, Bruce’s photography career is slowly ramping up.
Info on the Bruce Williams Photography 2010 calendars, and the 5MP/Shutters Inc New Year party.
And no, I still haven’t forgotten about the HonlPhoto giveaway. In fact, this is discussed in the podcast. It may have to wait until the new year…. but it WILL happen!


November 21, 2009

The 5MP/Shutters Inc New Years Party

Filed under: 5 Minute Photographer,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 21:00

If you’d like to join us for the 5 Minute Photographer/Shutters Inc New Years party in Melbourne, here’s the deal.

Venue : Bell’s Hotel, South Melbourne
Date : Saturday January 2, 2010
Start time : 19:00 (Shudders Inc band… load in and soundcheck from 16:00)
Cost : AU$35 per head (this gives you a buffet meal comprising your choice of 3 hot meats, 3 cold meats, salads, pasta, bread and dessert. Drinks are NOT included.
Spouses: ARE welcome.
Children: Are, unfortunately, not welcome.
RSVP: Is not required, but PAYMENT is required up front (just so we can lock off the numbers and give the venue the time to prepare for the onslaught!). Deadline for said payment is Friday December 4th, 2009.
Accomodation: This will be up to you. As best as I can tell, Bell’s does not have any accomodation, but there are plenty of hotels within a 10 minute walk. Google is your friend. Or an even better friend might be either lastminute, or wotif (Thanks Kerry for the reminder).

If you’re happy with all of the above, then all ya have to do is click the button below.
Some people have however, expressed concerns over using PayPal.
If you would prefer to pay direct via internet banking, then please send me an e-mail, and I will forward my bank account details to you.



November 1, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 140

Filed under: !Podcasts,7D,alpha 850,Dave Honl,Konica Minolta,Shutters Inc,Sony — Bruce Williams @ 12:00

This week, a verbal version of this blog post from earlier in the week regarding the Konica Minolta and Sony alpha850.

Then, a couple of very special guests:

Dave Honl, strobist extrordinaire and creator of the Honl light modifiers, and his actress wife, Claudia Christian.

There is going to be a giveaway alongside this episode.

Dave has generously given us a copy of his 2 DVD set “Light” to giveaway, along with a “starter pack” of HonlPhoto accessories!

Watch this space!


October 28, 2009

The more things change…

Filed under: 7D,alpha 850,Konica Minolta,Shutters Inc,Sony — Bruce Williams @ 9:26

As listeners to Shutters Inc would be aware, I have been salivating of late over Sony’s alpha 850.
My reasons for considering the upgrade are these:
At the 2 workshops I’ve attended (the weekend in Echuca, and the wedding workshop in Melbourne), I have stood shoulder to shoulder with photographers who own cameras less than 12 months old. We have taken the same shots, using almost identical exposure settings, and when you compare the image on the back of my 7D with the images displayed on the backs of some of these newer cameras, the difference has been like chalk and cheese.
So, I had convinced myself that my 7D was getting a bit long in the tooth, that the white balance was not as accurate, that the dynamic range was not as wide, and so on and so on.
Last Saturday, I decided to go to my local camera store and have a ‘hands on’ with the alpha 850 and compare it, specifically, against my 7D.
I explained to the sales girl that I was not planning on buying the camera today, but that I am in the research stage, and wanted to compare. She was ok with me putting one of my CF cards into the alpha so I could take some test shots.
So I grabbed my 135mm f2.8 lens and slapped it on the alpha.
I set a manual white balance (in degrees Kelvin), set the ISO to 400, and set manual exposure at 1/100sec at f2.8.
I took a shot.
I then took that lens and put it on my 7D.
Dialled in all the same settings.
Took the same shot.
Then, I looked at the 2 images on the LCD screens on the backs of the 2 cameras.
The difference was mind-blowing.
The image on the alpha absolutely blew me out of the water, while the image on the back of the 7D just seemed to lack… everything.
So, at that point, I was feeling justified in my desire to upgrade to a newer body.
But, I was going to reserve judgement until I got the 2 images home and into Lightroom.
And that my friends, is where the real story begins.
Upon getting the 2 images into Lightroom and comparing them side by side, I COULD NOT TELL THEM APART.
I kid you not.
They were almost identical.
I did say ‘almost’, right?
Remember that the 7D uses an APS-C size sensor, while the alpha 850 is a 35mm sensor, so the image captured by the 7D was cropped in comparison to the “wider” view of the alpha.
Hence why I’ve cropped the alpha version of the image to be similar in its scope to the 7D image.
With the exception of the cropping of the alpha-generated image, these are both straight out of camera.
Actually, there’s one thing I did do in Lightroom which I did equally to both images.
And that was to set the ‘contrast’ and ‘brightness’ values to zero. I don’t know if it’s a Lightroom thing, or something that the Konica Minolta and Sony bodies do automatically, but I notice that whenever I bring images in to Lightroom, they ALWAYS have a contrast value of 50 and a brightness value of 25.
Not sure why.
So on both of these images, I returned those values to zero, which has made them look REALLY flat, but at least they are equal!
Anyway, below are the 2 images, labelled ‘sample1′ and ‘sample2′.
I’ve done that deliberately so you can’t tell from the filename which image is which.
However, both images have EXIF metadata attached, so you can look to see which image is from which body.
But my point is, WITHOUT cheating, can you tell me which image came from which camera?
To me, this has been both a shock, but also a huge revelation.
What I have learned from this is that what has changed over the last 5 years is not so much the image PROCESSOR technology, but LCD screen technology!
Shelton looked at these before he left for India, and he did make the comment that this was probably not the “be all and end all” test. It’s not exactly challenging lighting, it’s not a high-contrast environment, etc etc, and I totally agree with him on that. Perhaps I need to do some more test shots comparing both bodies under more challenging lighting conditions.
But this simple comparison has been an extremely eye-opening experience for me.
Suffice is to say that had I not done this test, I would have happily gone and dropped A$3k on the alpha 850, believing that it was going to provide a huge increase in quality, and would have then become quite melancholy to discover that that was not the case.
Does this mean I won’t buy the alpha 850?
Probably not.
I’ll more than likely still go that route.
But at least I now have a better idea of what to expect from it when I do.

sample-1.jpg
sample-2.jpg

September 27, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 138

This week, we address a couple of the back catalogue of e-mails that we’ve been trying to get to (for weeks, it seems!),
and then on to a discussion of the pros and cons of both APS-C sized sensors and 35mm sensors.
Is this shaping up to be the new “megapixel race”?


September 20, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 137

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This week, SI comes to you from the old Victorian river town of Echuca, located on the Murray River (which forms the state boarder between Victoria and New South Wales).

Recorded after one day of a 2 day photogrpahic workshop. The usual suspects talk about all aspects of the workshop, photograhy, working with models, lighting, you name it.


September 13, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 136

Filed under: !Podcasts,Echuca,Landscape,Panorama,Shutters Inc,workshop — Bruce Williams @ 12:01

This week, we talk about the upcoming (of course, it’ll all be over by the time you read this!) full weekend photography workshop at Echuca,
Bruce’s plans on going pro (plus a first sale this week!),
Jim Felder wrote to ask about the idea of recording Shelton’s dialogue whilst he’s conducting a workshop,
Carl Tregidgo and Landon Michaelson both wrote in response to ep#134 and our discussion of mentoring, and both commented on the need to take inspiration but turn it into something that is your own,
Shelton’s reluctance to accept the mantle of “Jedi Master”,
A rare advance warning on what’s instore for the next episode of Shutters Inc,
and Shelton’s e-mail alias not working.


September 6, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 135

Filed under: !Podcasts,August Exposure,forum,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 11:42

This week, Shelton rocks up with a couple of ring-ins. Yes, Richard Annable and Nathan ‘Guru-Junior’ Muller are back to talk about August Exposure, a full week photogrpahy conference that Richard attended a couple of weeks ago,
Bruce is moving toward taking his photography more seriously,
We’d still like to see some more faces signing up for the audio2u.com forum,
Check out Bruce’s latest panorama of Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour,
And just to clarify, Pat Benatar‘s “Love is a battlefield” came out in ’83 (on the album “Live From Earth”), while “All fired up” come out in ’88 (on the album “Wide Awake In Dreamland”).


August 30, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 134

Filed under: !Podcasts,D3x,forum,Panorama,Shutters Inc — Bruce Williams @ 20:55

This week,
Richard Ingram wrote to say how much he enjoys the show, but could we have guest hosts when Shelton is unavailable,
Bruce got to play with a Nikon D3x for half an hour through the week (verdict: blown away!),
the canvas of the Tabourie Lake panorama arrived last week (looks stunning, by all accounts!),
and Shelton talks about mentoring (both the pros and the cons), and the pitfalls of getting stuck in one style.
Also, the audio2u.com forum is now open and awaiting your involvement.


August 20, 2009

Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true?

Filed under: Building the Pod,Photography,Shutters Inc,Sine Language — Bruce Williams @ 23:50

Following is a post that I have just posted on the National Trail blog.
I’m copying it here for various reasons which may or may not be obvious.

Hi all,
My name is Bruce Williams.
Just after the National Trail was set up, my mother suggested the idea that we both plan to ride the entire length on horseback.
Mum had loved horses all her life, and had owned one when I was a kid. I also had a pony when I was younger (7-8 years old).
I got back into riding lessons in preparation, but for some reason, the goal of riding the trail never came to fruition.
The scope of such an undertaking was not lost on me, but I think that perhaps Mum realised that it was maybe just a bit more than we could have handled.
Anyway, that was then.
This is now.
Mum is no longer with us, I’m in my 40′s, and still love horses, even though I don’t currently own one.
And it turns out that my son, Max (now 9) also loves riding.
So, I’ve been re-kindling the idea that Mum had back then.
I’d still love to do it.
I know it’s not going to happen overnight.
Yes, both my son and I are going to need a LOT of experience before undertaking such a project.
I know that.
But if there is one thing I’ve learned in 40 years, it’s that to achieve a goal, it needs to be written down.
So, rather than just write it down in a diary somewhere where I’ll forget it, I’m putting it out there on the interwebs for all to see.
This IS something I want to do before I die, and I WILL do it.
When?
Probably not for another 10 years or so.
I have some obstacles to get over, like:

* Owning a horse or 6 (well, duh!)
* More riding experience
* Planning the support vehicles and someone to drive them.
* The financial side of things… what do you do for an income while you’re spending close to 2 years in the saddle (it took Dan 21 months, right?)
* And some more riding experience :)
* And there’s probably a whole bunch of other things too.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi, introduce myself, state my goal, and I guess get my mind thinking about it all.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve had too many goals in life that I didn’t take seriously enough.
Too many things that I wanted to do/achieve, but didn’t because I didn’t put enough energy into it/them.
And this is NOT going to be one of those….
… Springsteen just popped into my head… “is a dream a lie if it don’t come true?”
Anyway, where was I?
Yeah, this is NOT going to be one of those ones that got away.
If I keep posting here, keep reading about other people’s experiences on the trail, keep it all in the front of my mind, rather than allowing it to slip away, then maybe it’ll have a better chance of coming true.
Sorry if I’ve crapped on for too long.
If anyone wants to help keep me motivated, please feel free to drop me an e-mail (listed below).
I’d be happy to talk with others who have done it, or are planning it.

So, there you have it.
For those of you who know of my passion for photography as well, it is also part of the plan to photograph the entire journey and to publish a book of that experience as well.
Like I said, there’s a lot that needs to be planned.
But you gotta start somewhere.


August 2, 2009

Shutters Inc – episode 133

This week, David Elfering reminds us of some of the bargains that can be had on Ebay with regards to slightly older digital SLR’s,
Jim Rockewll chimed in on the ‘business stationery design’ topic with a reminder to leave some white space in your design, as well as a request for the donation button to be returned to audio2u.com (working on that, Jim),
a bit of a chat about our family holiday down the south coast (oh, and I will state here that I mistakenly claimed that the shot of Max and Aztec in the early morning light was SOOC… I realised after we had recorded that I had in fact touched up the contrast in Lightroom),
some discussion about using off-camera flash in bright daylight and the potential drawbacks thereof,
plus why having all the best camera gear whn you’re just learning is not always a good thing (the School of Hard Knocks has its advantages).

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