Friday, 27 August 2010

Findings for a Friday - #0006

It's Friday, which can only mean one thing - Here are this week's golden nuggets of knowledge!

Article: OpenBeak - The latest evolution of TwitterBerry (Twitter client for BlackBerry).

Article: Tiny Cardboard Box People Appear All Over Singapore - Brilliant stuff; nice pictures, too!

Article: 5 things to Know About Facebook Places - New location service from Facebook, but...

Article: DIY iPhone Teleprompter - Very clever device.

Article: 10 iPad Observations - After a couple of months' use...

Article: 5 Examples On Building A Brand - More inspiration to help you along.

Article: Should I Charge The artist? - Author asks whether artists should pay him for playing their music on his podcast.

Article: 7 Facebook Marketing Tips From world's Top Pros - Make the most of your Facebook presence.

Article: 101 Freelance Job Sites - A great list to help you.

Article: Fuji Instax Wide Format Instant Camera - Instant photography is back!

Article: Introducing The Photographers Rights Gray Card Set - Easy-to-carry and practical advice.

Article: Photographers' Light The Magic Ingredient - Photography is all about light.

Article: Balance Helps Creatives Showcase Portfolios On LinkedIn - Another good bolt-on tool.

Article: Shoot Tips: Shooting An Amphitheater - Behind-the-scenes advice.

Article: How To Use Your Flash Outdoors For Some Interesting Effects - Includes some nice, simple examples.

Video: Kodak 1922 Kodachome Film Test - Some of the earliest colour motion pictures you will ever see.

Video: Go Behind-The-Scenes With Annie Leibovitz As She Photographs Sean Connery - Exactly as it says.

Video: Sneak Peak At Samsung's Tablet Gadget - A rival for the iPad?

Website: Productive Flourishing - A great resource for helping you to be more productive.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Product test: Aquapac PDA Case

With the launch of my brand new podcast just over a week away, my thoughts have turned to all things audio of late - not least of all the considerations I have to bear in mind when I'm out and about recording content.

A while back, I reviewed the Aquapac PDA case, which took the form of a video and write-up on the GBP:Blog. You may remember it. Well, that video and post has been so well received, and subsequently pushed around the social media world so much, that I thought I'd make mention of it one more time.

Look out for more of the same from me soon, as I am now working directly with Aquapac and a number of other companies offering a range of great products which make our lives that much nicer.


One of the latest additions to my kit bag is an audio recorder, which I've begun using to produce interviews, location reports, video commentary etc for the GBP Blog. And so far, I can't fault it ('initial impression' review coming up soon). That is, except for one thing.

This technology is all well and good, but there comes a time when it needs a little helping hand in more extreme environments. Put simply, the audio recorder doesn't like the rain. Suffice it to say this is an assumption and I don't wish to test the theory - but for piece of mind, I set out to find some decent protection for the thing.

Enter Aquapac, who produce all manner of dependable covers and cases. I have been aware of these guys for many years, and took the opportunity to catch up with them earlier in the year at the Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show. Jump forward a few months and they suggested the 100% waterproof PDA Case for my particular requirements.

Rather than waffle on here too much, I've put together the following short video so you can see and hear the test for yourself:

Several details are not mentioned in the video, as I wanted to keep it fairly brief, but for your reference:
  • This case will float in water, and is submersible to 15ft (5 metres)
  • It has an optically-clear rear panel, good enough to shoot photos/video through
  • You can use your PDA stylus as normal right through the case
  • A stylus holder is built-in
  • The product model reference/number is Small PDA Classic (344)
  • You can also check out more more from Aquapac on their Facebook page

If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to jot them in the comments section.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Findings for a Friday - #0005

Another week, another great haul of useful links. Enjoy!

Article: $35 Tablet PC Has More Features Than The iPad - The future of market growth in this area is beginning...

Article: How To Create A Branded Twitter Profile Page For Your Photography Business - Excellent, step-by-step 'how-to'.

Article: Five Ways To Increase Your Photo Blog's Audience - A quick numbered list.

Article: Topicfife Photography News - Real-time ranked news.

Article: How Google Social Search Can Help You Get New Business For Your Photo Studio - Exactly what it says.

Article: Fed-Up Flight Attendant Makes Sliding Exit - When enough is enough...

Article: Learn How To Use Podcasting Software To Boost Your Online Business - Exactly what it says.

Product: Rogue FlashBenders - A system of shapeable light modifiers for flashguns.

Product: Pelican Products - Amazing cases and more, this is a collection of videos showing production and demonstration.

Resource: Evernote - 'Capture anything. Access anywhere. Find things fast.'

Resource: Blurb - Turn your blog into a book.

Resource: Productive Flourishing - Some excellent tools to help you manage your day-to-day workflow.

Website: UK Marketing Network - Contacts, discussions, jobs.

Website: Let's Colour Project - A worldwide initiative to transform grey spaces with colourful paint.

Workshops: GBP:Workshop - Excellent, personalised way to learn all the tips you need to make great pictures.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Findings for a Friday - #0004

So, Friday the 13th is upon us... Let's see if we can get you some good luck in the form of inspiration from around the web:

Application: - Scheduling made easy

Article: Are You A Healthy Blogger? - Tips for getting a good balance.

Article: 10 Nifty, Excellent Excuses For Failing At Photography - Exactly what it says.

Article: One Curve For Photo - A radical new concept for DSLR design.

Article: Backpack Photo School: Light Painting In Camp - Creative effects using a headlamp and slow shutter speeds.

Article: Keep writing Those articles! - Short piece which shares tips for article writing.

Article: Photography Light Stand Sandbags - DIY how-to.

Article/video: Police Use iPhone App That Can Identify A Suspect By Taking A Photo Of Their Face - Clever stuff!

Article: Basics Of Copywriting - How to become a successful copywriter.

Article/video: Volvo Accidentally Smashes New Car In Safety Demo - PR gone wrong... we all make mistakes!

Product: Manfrotto 797 Modod Pocket Table Tripod - Brilliant little fold-away item.

Resource: Oh My God what Happened And What Should I do? - Free e-book, just pay with a tweet.

Website: WEX's First Video! - The first purpose-made demonstration video by Warehouse Express (demo: Camera Armor's Seattle Solo dry bag).

Workshops: 1-to-1 and Group Tuition With GBP:Workshop - Learn and improve your photography.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Another last-minute shoot

A quick case study about a shoot from last week, which came at the very last minute from a long-standing client of mine...

Complicated story cut short, I received a phone call on Friday. The details about what was required seemed clear enough - shoot and supply a set of simple head-and-shoulders portraits for use in a forthcoming report. This was as much a surprise to them as it was to me, having already been confronted with a set of images depicting people which "look like they've just escaped from prison." Not a good look.

Thankfully, I had already met some of these people in the past and knew that this really wasn't a fair reflection on them, rather it was a reference to the fact that their current 'portraits' were most likely unflattering, 'rabbit caught in the headlights,' point-and-shoot snaps. Again, not a good look.

To top this off, everything - words, pictures, layout - had to be ready for publishing in less than a week, meaning all images needed to be edited and ready to go at their London office first thing on Monday morning (yesterday).

This is not an unusual amount of pressure for me. It happens all the time, so I immediately knew the setup I would use. And, knowing the sort of office space I would likely be setting up in, my choice of kit was instinctive.

So, here's the 'studio' space we took over for a couple of hours. A fairly typical boardroom affair, it came with an instant backdrop and soft back lighting in the form of large windows and blinds:

Arriving in plenty of time, I tested a few angles to see which window would work best, and decided on the furthest right (as viewed in the picture above). The next stage was to conduct a few lighting tests, arranging first one then two halogen lamps, which would produce soft, flattering results with the minimum of shadow.

Stepping back from the scene, here's what it looked like. Notice how the middle blind is drawn closer to give the desired effect, while the two outer ones (and out of frame in the final images) were left more open to allow extra light to reach the subject:

You can see two of the results at the top of this post.

All said and done, my kit was set up, broken down and all images captured within the space of two hours. The editing process was completed when I got back to the office, followed by the upload and supply of all high resolution files, via my website, later that afternoon.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Findings for a Friday - #0003

Your selection of gems unearthed from the interwebs this week... Enjoy!

Article: The Signature Image: A Fine-Art Photographer Looking For New Gallery Representation - Case Study Examples

Article: Google Analytics For Facebook Fan Pages - How To Set It Up

Article: Retro 1960s Robo-Dog Designs Unearthed - Experimental Electronics Of the Past

Article: Magnum Photos - Abbas: Tibetans In Exile - Photo Essay/Slideshow

Article: 7 Portable And Practical Media Storage Devices - Ideas For Backing Up Your Images whilst Out And About

Blog Post: 23 Fun Amusement park Pictures - Images To Inspire You

Product: The Camera Lens Mug - Geek-out When You Have Your Cuppa!

Resource: Photojournalism Links, Wednesday 4th August 2010 - Links To Interviews, Features, Essays And Photographers

Website: - 'An Exclusive Online Art Gallery'