Little trick.



Outside my Sheridan classroom, Monday night.

So. I am curious. How fast was the wind blowing?

snow speed

Based on that, I estimate with a fair degree of accuracy, based on the light stand width, that those snow trails are 5cm in length (that’s about 2″).

So. Snow (and thus, the air) travels 5cm in 1/125 second.

That is 625 cm in a second (5 x 125, since the shutter speed is 1/125 sec). In other words, 6.25 m/s (metres per second). That’s how scientists and engineers express speed.

That is 6.25 x 3600 m per hour, i.e. 22,500 metres per hour.

In other words, 22.5 km/h. (=14 mph, or 12.5 kts).

That is a Beaufort scale force 4 wind, or “Moderate breeze”.

And all that because I have a camera. A curious mind is, well, fun.


Learning Lightroom!

A quick reminder: if you want to learn Adobe Lightroom, watch my Lightroom TIPS videos:

Most videos on that channel are Lightroom Tips. You will no doubt find them useful.  Also, come to me for private lessons and setup (in person or via Google Hangouts, worldwide), if you want your PC or Mac set up right, once and for all.

Have fun watching!


Books on your iPad?

Want my e-books on your iPad after you buy them?

There’s probably many ways to achieve that, but here’s how I do it:

  1. Make sure iBooks is installed on your iPad. (free).
  2. Install Dropbox (also free) on both your computer and your iPad.
  3. Get a dropbox account (also free) and sign in on both devices.
  4. On the computer, drag the PDF file into Dropbox.
  5. On the iPad, open it.
  6. Then click on the export icon (the square with an arrow emanating from it).
  7. There, select “Open In…”.
  8. After the choice is presented to you, select “Open in iBooks” or “Copy to iBooks”..

The file has now been copied to iBooks, and you can read it there any time, very conveniently (it has been formatted to be read easily on an iPad).


Whatever works.

We spend a lot of time getting rid of, and better, preventing, “noise”. Grainy pictures due to extra amplification of signal that should not be in the image. Noise is worse at high ISOs and at low light levels. The signal-to-noise ratio is the important number, and exposing to the right, among other things, minimizes noise.

In fact, you can do a number of things to reduce noise:

  1. Use a modern camera.
  2. Use a large sensor.
  3. Use low ISO.
  4. Expose brightly (“expose to the right”).
  5. Do after-the-fact noise cancellation using, for instance, Lightroom.

But is grain always bad?

Surprisingly, the answer is “no”. Film grain gives your photos that old film look:

If you view that full screen, you see that it looks like old Kodak Tri-X film. And that can add to the mood you want to convey. It is for that reason that Adobe Lightroom has “Grain” as an “effects” setting in the Develop module.

This type of grain also enhances apparent sharpness, and hides skin blemishes. So go ahead: if the mood calls for it, add some grain when you like.

So: do not obsess. Noise bad, but sometimes noise good. Often, noise is not as bad as at first we think.


Mirrorless Tip

When you use a mirrorless camera, like this one, held by a student at this past Saturday’s Meetup Seminar…:

…then you need to be careful with your camera’s settings.

Often, mirrorless cameras have a way to make the picture that you see through the viewfinder look exactly like the picture you will be taking. So it looks like the “finished product”.

That sounds like a plan, eh?

But it isn’t. Not always, in any case. In particular, when you take flash photos. Because when you take a flash photo, the camera has no way of knowing this, and of knowing what the photo will look like. All it will show you is what the ambient part of the picture will look like.

And in a studio picture, that is usually something like this:


Well, when taking a studio shot, the ambient light should not show at all in your photo. Only your flashes should. Therefore, you would usually use a standard studio setting like 1/125 sec, f/8, at 200 ISO.

So if you tell your camera “show me the ‘finished product’ through my viewfinder”, you will see nothing.  So you cannot even focus, or compose the photo.

Therefore, I strongly recommend that you turn that feature off. So that you see the same thing you would see through an SLR’s viewfinder: a bright picture, or at least a picture that looks similar to what you are seeing without a camera. In flash photos, I would say that is a very good thing.