Some recent listener feedback
Firstly let me start with reference to something that Bruce had mentioned, I think in episode 137.
You were quite concerned with the audio quality that you were able to present to listeners from the portable recorder used at Echuca, the audio on that episode was fine.
I have recently dabbled with other podcasts, and have since canceled all of the downloads except Shutters Inc.
Bruce the quality of the audio delivered by you leaves all others far behind, keep up the good work.
Thanks for the great pod casts not only in the information passed on but also the technical quality.
Bruce, I can only say, in my opinion, that the services you are providing are greatly appreciated.
Building the pod
I've only recently decided to get back into music production after a prolonged absence.
So, when it came to choosing a DAW, it came down to a choice between FL Studio and Audition.
Dollar wise, quite similar although FL Studio does offer more in the way of virtual instruments for this price range.
But I chose Audition for two clear reasons.
1. I really like the look and feel. The layout is just easy on the eye and made sense to me very quickly.
2. I knew I had a great teacher. I discovered Building the Pod through the Adobe web site and soon found Sine Language.
I have to thank you sincerely for your weekly tuition.
It has turned a somewhat severe learning curve into managable bite size pieces.
I simply can't overstate how thankful I am of your weekly podcasts.
Bye for now.
December 6, 2009
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
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 19, 2009
Bruce Williams Photography is pleased to announce the arrival of the “2010 – It’s a wide wide wonderful world” calendar, professionally printed on 150gsm paper stock.
The calendar is available for purchase in limited quantities.
For more info, please visit Bruce Williams Photography.
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November 16, 2009
Hi one and all.
So, you’ve probably noticed that things have gone a little quiet round these parts, of late.
Has Bruce lost the momentum for podcasting?
Yeah, a little.
Is it all over?
BTP and SL listeners, I will say this. I am unlikely to get another episode of either of these podcasts out until the new year.
My holidays commence 4 weeks from today, but in that period, I have sooo much on my plate, it’s not funny.
Notice I said “unlikely”. That doesn’t mean I “definitely won’t”. There is always the slight chance that I WILL find some time somewhere to get one of my audio-related podcasts recorded. But for now, assume that there won’t be one ’til early 2010, and if I do get one out before I leave on December 16th, well, it’ll just be an early Christmas present, won’t it?
As for Shutters Inc, I am looking forward to Shelton’s return just as much as the rest of you.
If you’re following him on Facebook, or his blog, then you’ll have already seen some of the awesome images he has been taking whilst there.
However, if I know Shelton, his first week back is going to be manic for him, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he doesn’t have time to record straight away.
But I do anticipate a new ep being out within the next couple of weeks.
So, that’s the state of play for now.
If I don’t speak with you again before Christmas, have a merry one (if that’s your thing).
I wish you all the very best for the new year, and thank all of you for your support over the last 12 months.
Oh, and SI listeners, no, I haven’t forgotten about the Honl giveaway!
Just waiting on the product to arrive!
Don’t want to get stung by giving away something we don’t have!
Long term listeners will remember the Gorillapod debacle of a couple of years ago.
We don’t want a repeat of THAT, now do we?
November 1, 2009
Um, yeah, sorry about this, folks.
I didn’t plan my week out very well, and we’re going away for the weekend.
So again, there’s no BTP or SL this week.
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
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?
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.
October 25, 2009
…and I reserve the right not to podcast if I want to!
Nah, in all seriousness, Shelton and I DID try twice this week to record, but both times, things came up which killed our plans.
And BTP and SL… well, just too many other things on my plate this week.
October 18, 2009
After 2 failed attempts, we had to call it off this week.
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In episode 120, some thanks to those people who have made donations via the button on the front page of audio2u.com,
a couple of links to look at:
JR sent in this link to a laser microphone,
and somebody (apologies for not taking note of who sent this in) advised me of the forthcoming Waves Vocal Rider plugin.
Then, it’s on to a cotinuation of the discussion of vocal recording and processing methodoligies.
October 11, 2009
This week, a bit of ‘giggle giggle crap crap’,
I’ve decided to stay in the Sony camp,
and finally a further exploration of Michael’s “hard’ and ‘soft’ techniques idea.
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October 7, 2009
Hi one and all,
I am thinking of putting together a 2010 Audio2u calendar, and was wondering if anyone would be interested in buying a copy?
I’m not asking for a firm commitment to buy, right now… just looking for ‘expressions of interest’.
Basically, there will be 2 different form factors.
A DL sized desktop ‘flip’ calendar, or an A4 wall-hanging version.
Both versions will feature my 12 best panorama images.
Can’t say for sure what pricing will be.
I expect it will be around the A$12-$15 mark for the DL, and A$20-25 for the A4.
And depending on demand, I may also contemplate doing the A3 wall-hanging version as well.
Once I know for sure (on the pricing), I’ll post a revision here.
If you are moderately interested, drop me an e-mail or post in the comments here.
October 5, 2009
Sorry for the late notice (you’ve probably already figured it out), but there’s no Shutters Inc this week.
Shelton and I just couldn’t syncronise last week, and Cath, Max and I went away for the long weekend.
It’s now Monday night and we’ve just got home from an 8 hour drive.
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October 4, 2009
This week, we take a look at the first entry in the ‘restoration’ sub-menu of the effects menu…
the Adaptive Noise Reduction tool.
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September 27, 2009
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Ohhh yeah, baby! Am I looking forward to this one!
12 noon Australian Daylight Savings Time.
Mark it in your diary.
This e-seminar is called “Adobe Audio Tools : Audition 3 and Soundbooth CS4”.