On Writing, A(nother) Personal Essay

A couple days ago, I posted a personal essay about the state and future of the book/publishing industry. A friend pointed me to this essay on another blog about the work of writing and the value of being rejected.

I’m a proponent of the ability to self-publish. To an extent. I plan to put out a couple short, tutorial-type e-books later this year or early next via the self-publishing portals at Amazon and Indigo. These will be relatively short, highly focused e-books that wouldn’t otherwise be able to be published via traditional methods. And largely, that’s what I think self-publishing is best for.

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The Book Industry – A Personal Essay

With, I think, one exception – a short note in support of Pat Burns being elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame before he died (he did get in, but posthumously unfortunately) – all of the articles on this site have been photography-related. While I do freelance writing work and have one book to my credit, I’ve never considered myself to be ‘a writer’ and certainly not ‘an author’. I wrote an inscription in a signed copy of my first book to a friend who is an exceptional writer and who has encouraged me over the years to write: ‘The word writer will never be more than a marketing term for me, but I thank you for the illusion.’ As my second book is set to come out in a few months (December 2014) – and hopefully more to come – I’m beginning to cotton on to the idea that I may have to start considering myself a ‘writer’ and maybe even an ‘author’. Perhaps ersatz writer/author. Whatever descriptor is used, I do have a bit of a vested interest in the future of the book/publishing industry.

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4 Top Camera Control Apps for Android

The world of mobile photography has moved far beyond simply taking pictures with a smartphone.  Today, there are apps for editing of RAW images and numerous apps for controlling a DSLR camera remotely.  Today we’re going to look at four of the top camera control apps for Android.  I cover each of these in much more detail in my upcoming book on mobile photography. Hover your cursor over the slide to pause. Use the arrows to move forward and backward at your own pace. Continue reading

PowerTrip by PowerStick

In my ongoing research for the new book project, I began looking for portable power options that could help in situations where phone or tablet batteries are running low and you’re not close to a wall outlet. There are a few such options out there. Mophie makes a line of portable travel chargers as does Veho. A little more digging and I found a Canadian company called Ecosol with a unique product. Being Canadian, the idea of a product from a Canadian company is, of course, appealing. What sets this one apart though is that it also can be configured with storage and has a unique charging feature. Thank you to the folks at Ecosol for agreeing to send me one to evaluate. Continue reading

HDR – How Many Images to Use

Bottom line:  There is no hard and fast rule.

HDR has been a part of photography, in one way or another, for over 100 years – since the 1880s.  But in our modern form of photography, it’s been around for about 10 years.  There are all kinds of thoughts and theories about HDR.  Some hate it, some love it.  Those who hate it typically don’t know a lot about it and are opining based on a very limited exposure to it.  Those who love it may do so because they like the surreal, grunge look that – still – is popular in some circles.  Others, rightly, view it as a tool among the many available to the photographer. Continue reading

The RAW Goods – Nokia 1020 Raw Capture

If you read my write-up on the camera in the Nokia 1020 from back in November, you’ll know that I found a number of shortcomings with it.  At that time, I noted that there would be a firmware update coming that would give RAW capture to the phone in the form of DNG.  It was called the Lumia Black update. Continue reading

Backing Up Lightroom

I’ve been seeing a number of articles recently dealing with settings for Adobe Lightroom and backing up of the Lightroom catalogue.  There are certainly a wide variety of opinions about how to go about these tasks.  I’m going to give you my solution for backing up the Lightroom catalogue.  It works for me, it may or may not work for you.  I’ll also provide my thoughts on some alternatives with respect to using the cloud for back up.

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Nokia Lumia 1020 – Does it Live Up to the Hype?

In a word:  No.

EDIT:  I’ve received comments that are critical of this review.  I’ve been told that it was written as a ‘gotcha’ piece to try and attack Nokia.  I’ve been asked why I even wrote the review when I knew the RAW update was coming out.  Continue reading

Matrix Metering – The Silver Bullet?

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with another photographer recently.  He had taken some outdoor portraits and placed his subjects in a shaded area.  The background was in sunlight.  He used flash to light the subject but the background was, predictably, still quite bright.  He spot metered on his subject to come up with his exposure settings. Continue reading

Arrrrrggggghhhh…. Where’s the D#@* Charger for this: Keeping Gear Straight

Camera makers are well-known for making slight changes to gear and components from camera to camera. It’s a good move on their part because it means you have to buy different accessories for each camera. I’ll give Nikon credit for making the grip on the D300 and D700 the same, but other than that, they all get a failing grade.

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