March was mad

I was looking at the list of podcasts I produced during March and there was less than half of my normal output, you would think that there was a certain amount of PodFade. However that was not really the case, as it was mostly down to external factors beyond my control. I lost over a week to having no power and no internet, I can’t record an interview when there is no electric in the house. I did go to my sister in law to get internet on a few ocasions but that is no help for recording as there are kids and noisy dogs in the house.

Following the week with no electric there was, certainly as far as I was concerned, too much time in the garden trying to sort out the devastation the storm left behind. Our garden is full of mostly cork trees and a few pines. Five of the pine trees fell down and all  of the cork trees lost branches, such was the weight of the snow. I still hate gardening, even if I get to use a chainsaw.

I did have interviews arranged during the month and the people were unable to keep the appointment. One of them seems to be very busy and the other had a bad cold. These have been re scheduled but has left us without the interview content. That is the problem with the fact that the shows rely on content coming in from external sources.

I did do something different last month also with the production of the Mac20Q ramble as a video. I enjoyed that experience because I did it with green screen in Final Cut Express. Of course it does take longer to arrange such a production, but I thought it came out well enough that I will do more of those. Good to have the video posted out in varoius places too all pointing back to the show notes for the audio podcast. I have bought a set of LED lights to illuminate the green screen and I will post a picture of the set in the studio shortly.

The lack of podcasts was overall for the Answer20Q network and I think I will have to do some catching up. Also though I will have to get a schedule. I plan to chose a day of the week for publishing a Mac20Q podcast and do that once a week. The Video 20Q can be a every other week and the others I will aim for one a month and I’ll see if I can ramp it up when the summer is over.

During the summer I work in a camp site, a bit of cash is nice,  I improve my Spanish and get to practice my German speaking too. It does mean though that the podcasting lessens during the summer also.  I have started work for this year already but until the end of May it will probably only be weekends. That works out quite nicely and I am not looking forward to the working 10 hours each day in a reception that has no air conditioning. The owners are too tight to look after the staff at this place. At least maybe I can write a script or two in the quiet moments. It is a shame though that it will have to be as today written using a Windows computer and a Spanish keyboard which has a few extra characters and a few in different places.

Funny thing about camp sites is that you get used to seeing people walking to the showers in the dressing gown and a toilet roll in the hand. Maybe I should think about a story involving a camp site as a location. I have seen one or two other funny things here.

I have started work on a story /  comedy sketch that I want to make as a short movie. Writing it first in Scrivener as a narrative as the first draft and for the second draft I will make it into a screenplay- script. I will perhaps keep doing that in Scrivener but I might try using Celtx which is dedicated script writing software. Planning to send the script to my son who is a professional cameraman because I can envisage him helping me both with the camera part of the filming and with the acting side of it. I need 3 actors for the job and I could see two of my sons and a friend filling the roles nicely.

I have not  written a screenplay before so I am also in the process of learning how to do that, luckily I found a web site that shows the correct way of doing it as per the industry standard and gives good practice type of tips too. After I have the short film made I will publish the script also on Video20Q.

The Podcasts of February

I started off the month with a podcast thanking all the listeners to the podcasts for supporting the Mac20Q show for one year, also looking at what is to come in 2010. I also talked about the move to consolidate the podcasting into one site. I have done this partly to save time with the looking after all of the separate WordPress installations and I am finding that it makes a better web site when it is all together. Mac20Q, Photo20Q, Video20Q, Writers20Q, Car20Q, Artist20Q and other sites like the Spondicious which has been about the selling of my photos and illustrations online through the microstock sites like Fotolia.

I talked to Paul Boag who is a popular guy, there have been over 400 downloads of the Mac20Q Podcast 84. Paul is a web developer that goes out extensively to talk about making web sites and I found him to be very interesting.

Then there was Video20Q podcast 17 featuring the filmmaker Jon Reiss, who made the movie ‘Bomb It.’ I watched it and was impressed. Great that it tied in with what I have been doing already with the , you can watch the first two episodes of the Graffiti Podcast on YouTube also.

Peter Boodts from Belgium was the next to be featured on Mac20Q. I find it amazing that I get to talk to so many interesting people doing some super stuff with the Mac, and Peter was no exception.

Andrew Jones, who is a British guy living in New Jersey in the U.S. doing photography, art, web design, video and all sorts of artistic endeavour was featured on the Mac20Q Podcast 86. He has set up a web site that he would like to see as a community of Mac users helping each other, which follows on from the work he does helping Mac users near where he lives. For a change I came upon Andrew via YouTube instead of Twitter, where I seem to meet with most people.

Screencasts
During February I also posted two screencasts showing how to use Blogo. This came about due a bug in WordPress that was annoying me and Blogo filled the bill in terms of avoiding the bug and since then I have gone on to love using it. I am using Blogo to make this post. I expect to be talking to the developer of Blogo soon and he will be donating a copy of Blogo for listeners to win. So keep an eye out for that.

YouTube
I have also been putting out video from the local Carnaval, in Platja d’Aro. One video of that has been seen over 800 times and another of . The drummers were astounding, I loved getting into the thick of them to film the shots for that.

Twitter
I am still working on growing the numbers of my Twitter followers and I am as of this moment up to 13,619 followers for @Wizardgold and there are over 3000 followers on @Video20Q plus another 2000 approx on @Mac20Q. Trying to keep Mac20Q for Mac related things and Video20Q for film making items. Wizardgold will be for general tweets and Rt’s of the other things to ensure max coverage. Well pleased with the growth of the Wizardgold account seeing as I only had 2000 followers in December.

All in all it was a busy month and great to be creating content for the listeners and viewers. Let me know if you would like to be featured on any of the podcasts, would love to hear from you. I will ask you 20Q about whatever subject you would like to talk about.

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Graffiti Podcast 2 – Costa Brava Art

Going around looking for graffiti that might have some artistic or designerly merit. I found this one locally and some parts of it I quite like. A cubist sort of design of the face which is the part that the artist concentrated on. It still needs to be finished but who knows if that will happen. Graffiti artists are not the most reliable in the world.

Having to run when they see a car with blue lights on top kind of makes things more difficult. The police will prosecute even if the painting is any good and enhances the locality. Can’t expect them to make a decision based on artistic taste. It is all black and white to them, either guilty or not.

In the next podcast I will be looking again at the graffiti in Girona. Far better quality than what I have in this video and the intro and outro picture I have used in this video will be in that video.


Illustrator Scripts

s to keep you going to use in Illustrator. The one for finding and closing open paths I have already talked about but there are a few others on this site.

More on Using Illustrator

Graffiti Podcast 1 Girona

I went out to Girona and starting with some of the graffiti near the river. There is a Mural there and Some on a wall by a building site. While there I did get invited into a Student squat by some people living there and they showed me graffiti inside the courtyard of where they lived.

I also filmed some by a playground near to the Carrer Migdia. All in all a variety of street art and graffiti including some good creative stuff and some of the usual rubbish.

Stochasticity and WNYC

I have been listening to WNYC radio podcasts with Jad Abumrad and his friend for some time. Today I saw in my iTunes subscription this gem of a video which is really very creative and I enjoyed it immensely. So here it is for you to enjoy too.

I love the Magritte references in the video

Photography with the iPhone

I love my iPhone but the results I get from the camera in it are not that good. I only have the 3G version and I think they may have increased the resolution with the 3GS model. Apple added video capability with the 3GS anyway. Even if the best camera is the one you have with you I don’t think I will be up loading many pictures to any of the microstock sites that come from the iPhone.
I suppose there is still possibility of getting a good shot when you have all the necessary things in place like good light and an interesting or exciting subject. It just depends on what you want to do with it afterwards.

There are loads of photography applications for the iPhone, some that are for reference when you are using other photography equipment and some that are to help you get the best from the camera on the iPhone. Then there are the applications that are to do things like post your photos to the internet and geo tag them etc. On such appp could be the iPhone application “Sekai Camera,” a social, Augmented Reality service for browsing and sharing user-generated text, photo, voice, and other location-linked information.

Tell me what iPhone applications you have and what you do with them. Leave a message in the comments section. You just need be on the and scroll down to enter your comment

Mac20Q Podcast 1 Frank Corfield

I have known Frank since we were at art college together. He went to Stoke to study Fine Art and I went to Leeds to study Furniture Design and then Fine Art.  We have travelled to Germany together to work in the summer vacations in the Becks Bier Brewery in Bremen. We both had German girlfriends at the same time. Loads of funny stories to tell since 1980 to the point where the families have grown up and he is living in Wales and I am in Spain.

I have always been impressed with Franks’ dedication to his painting and his art. I went off in the direction of using art for a sign business while Frank kept at his painting. When making the visit to his house a few times over the years his house would always be full of paintings. When he came with his family to Ireland to visit me he would spend much of the time walking with a box of paints under his arm. I have some of those paintings still.

Frank has been featured on Welsh television, and has had numerous exhibitions of his work. Seeing as his family is all into art he has had a family exhibition when his wife and two young daughters exhibited paintings too. I love the paintings by Esme also. The family  sold some of their work alongside Franks’ sales.

This interview was recorded here in Spain just after a drawing session in my living room. They were taking it in turns to be the model, my son Jack included, who is also at art college. It is all a family thing. I put the sound clips from the interview on top of of some video I shot on a trip to to make some drawings of the local landscape.

Karen Sperling’s Book

As I am expecting to interview Karen soon here is a press release from Karen about her book.

Painting isn’t just for artists anymore.

Photographers nowadays are interested in turning their digital photos into paintings in Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.

And now Painting for Photographers, published by Artistry Books, shows both the art lessons and software steps for transforming photos into works of art.

Written and illustrated by Karen Sperling, one of the world’s foremost Painter authorities, having penned the first several Painter manuals and three previous Painter books, Painting for Photographers is the first art book for photographers.

It starts with a look at the art concepts that photographers need to know to paint their photos and describes the materials needed to create art, in this case, the software program tools and features, in addition to Wacom tablets.

Next, Painting for Photographers provides step-by-step instructions and four-color illustrations for creating paintings in Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop from popular photo subjects, including portraits, landscapes and pets, covering various styles of art, including oils, watercolors and pastels.

Additionally, Painting for Photographers shows how to paint with traditional acrylics and oils on top of the digital artwork after it’s printed to canvas.

Painting for Photographers appeals to everyone from professional photographers who would like to sell paintings to their clients to hobbyists who are interested in painting photos of their kids and grandkids to graphic designers, illustrators, animators, web art creators and fine artists who would like to use photos as the basis for their artwork.

A book trailer video about Painting for Photographers is on view at Youtube:

For more information about Painting for Photographers, and to order, visit the Artistry web site / or contact Karen Sperling at  or 818-981-2803.

Strobist is such a super site

This information is from which is an excellent site I highly recommend.

Sometimes you need a little extra power when there is nary a monobloc in sight. For one quick solution, follow the bouncing ball bungee as Paul Morton and Darren Stevenson show you how to mount three SB-800′s into a softbox.

This is 3x better than the , which will mount suspend a single SB in a speedring with the CLS window showing, a la the Strobies XS setup.

But remember, three strobes only buys you a stop and a half more power. The first additional flash doubles your power, which adds one more stop. The second one goes halfway to doubling it again, adding another half stop. But put them on 24mm zoom for good coverage and lose the internal baffle and you can definitely get up to full sun-balancing levels at close range.

Talking about making images

Photo20Q a blog and podcast where we will find out about how photographers do their stuff. We will talk about the taking and making of the pictures. The editing and art side of working with images, and the software we use to do it.

Famous and well known or enthusiastic amateur, who cares, let’s have a mix and talk to the real people making images for whatever purposes. We will make it inclusive and not exclude photographers. There is always something to learn when we get down to the nitty gritty.

20 questions will be asked and they will be the entry point to find out about that person and what drives him or her to point the lens at whatever subject matter.

Hello and welcome to Artist20Q

Welcome to Artist 20 Questions

The idea of this site is to talk to artists and find out what they are doing. There is going to be a podcast published in which I will interview artists and get some background and try to get a notion of what they are doing artistically.

Hopefully I can ask some sensible and probing questions to get to the artistic nub of it. Show off some of the work and find out about the hopes for the future as artists.

We will talk about the business of being an artist and getting the eyballs in front of the work as well as the critical acclaim when it is due.

The plan will be that it will be published as a podcast once a month with other items being slotted into the blog in between episodes. We can have comment on gallery visits, and I will be pleased to get reviews by guest bloggers, writers. The scope of the site is  Art, design, sculpture, photography, illustration and videography, so mainly the visual arts, but not confined to that. No reason why we can’t talk to writers for example.

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and why not suggest people that would be candidates for being interviewed on the Podcast.

Toronto Photographer Steve Carty

Click the Picture to listen to the podcast

but with a C. I had a great talk with Steve about how he uses his Macs and about photography, seeing as he is a photographer. He is well know in Canada and has spent time working other places such as New York. Obviously more detail in the podcast.

Steve is running a Mac with 2 GB of memory and from what he tells me about the applications he uses, he needs to get 4GB in there. Photoshop along with a good few other apps all at once means that he will notice a huge difference when he has the 4GB.

Using the social media networks such as , and the to get the word out there about his photographic work Steve is branding himself and his business, which is a vital thing to do if you are aiming for world domination of your industry. He will let his followers know when he is going to do a shoot through Twitter and then film some of the process and broadcast it directly through Quick. Steve also gets videos up on of course.

Steve recommends looking at the work of photographer, and .

Also, Buy the book “POSITIVES” 140 page full colour coffee table book. produced using FSC certified ethically produced paper. printed in Canada.
getpositives@stevecarty.com for details.

CS3 is the preferred software for the photography and he says he may upgrade to CS4 at some point. I was surprised that he doesn’t use either Aperture or Lightroom for sorting out his images, preferring to use Bridge which comes with CS3.

I talk with Steve about the photography business and how it is changing, the effects of events such as the World Trade Center event and the effects of the Micro Stock photography model on traditional photographers. He tells me about the Speck model of selling photos to magazines. I kind of wonder how it is all going to turn out with the down turn in the advertising due to the Worldwide financial crisis. Surely anyone that can keep a business going in these trying times deserves to be successful.

Steve Carty will be amongst the winners as evidenced by his ebullience and go get ‘em attitude to making his photography business work. Personally I really enjoyed my conversation with him and I know you will too. Enjoy the podcast.

Please leave me a comment in the comment section of the post. I am really looking forward to hearing from you. I want to know what you have to say about Photography and the Mac.

Spondicious PodCast 06 – Video

In this podcast I look at the idea of selling illustrations online through micro stock photography sites. One of the things that you really have to look out for is closed path and open paths.

With open paths in an image submitted to sell it will without a doubt be rejected in all of the microstock sites. When I was a CorelDraw user there was a setting with the pencil and with the brush too that actually automatically joined an open path if you took the end of the line close enough to the start of the line. Don’t think it is possible to do that with Adobe Illustrator.

There are times when you want to concentrate on the drawing and not have to think about the technical aspect of joining the ends of a closed shape. So what you do is to just draw away and when you are ready use a couple of plug ins to join all of the open paths in one foul swoop. I tried a few different ways of achieving this but one I found this set of plug ins I haver not looked back. One plug in to find all of the open paths and one to close them all, although that part of the job is done with a script. Just another plug in really with a different  name.

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Spondicious Podcast 05 with Lee Torrens

Here is and we are featuring . Lee is very knowledgeable about the industry although modest of his achievements. Have a listen and you will find some gems of information in there that will help you with working as a microstock contributor.

In it he mentions  who is among the world’s top microstock contributors and has been a full-time microstocker since May 2006. His portfolio contains over 6,000 images, specializing in business, fashion, lifestyle, outdoors, 3D renders and sport.


The Sponsor for the show is that allows you to call ordinary phone very cheaply from your computer. I have used it and it does work very well.

Yuris’ favourite gadget

I just bought a monopod last week so it was interesting to see what views Yuri Arcurs has about monopods. I have the ball head to use if I want to although I actually bought it for another purpose. Perhaps I will buy another to use on the monopod.

A favour please.

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