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

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

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.

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. 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.


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.

Can you hit the button below to stumble this post. It all helps with the promotion of this site. Thanks

Yuri time again – Learn from the best

Yuri Arcurs is the master when it comes to Micro Stock photography and therefore when I saww that Crestock were producing the videos in which they get Yuri to tell us wannabees how to do things in MicrostocK I was more than happy to watch the videos and learn form the best.

I posted here the previous video and it was learning how to shoot and direct a model and the latest video is the part two. How to get the right smiles from the model and  getting the model to freeze the action and eliminate the possibility of blur. Using a second shooter on expensive shoots to get more capital from the shoot. More pictures, with the second shooter getting in and taking shots when you are having some down time with the camera, checking shots or changing lenses or whatever.

Here is the video.

Sold some photos this week with , mostly subscriptions but it all helps

Yuri Arcurs talking about working with a model

Working with a model to make professional stock photos, the excellent Yuri Arcurs. Some great tips for getting the best from a model. I know I learned a bit from watching this video.

Closing open paths in Illustrator

Now this is a really important task. closing the open paths in Illustrator, because if you leave any open paths in your art work you will have it being rejected. The problem is first of all finding the open paths and then closing them quickly and easily. I first found this to be time consuming but with the help of some plug ins for Illustrator I can now close open paths really quickly.

Couple little things you need to know about when creating a vector
image, especially if you are going to sell it on stock websites

Here are some tips and tricks for making the best out of your work.
Mostly time savers.

OPEN PATHS: If you are dealing with open paths, you are in trouble, so
try this to FIND THEM FIRST without hassle.

To install this plugin, just drop the plugin in your Adobe Illustrator
Plug-ins folder. It works with Adobe Illustrator CS – CS2 and CS3….

What does this plugin do… It actually finds all guides, paths, open
paths, closed paths, filled paths, unfilled paths, stroked paths,
unstroked paths, dashed paths, undashed paths, compound paths, groups,
live object groups, gradient meshes, envelopes, symbols, embedded raster
art, and placed art.

It will appear under Select / Object menu.

So after clicking on select open paths, your open paths are selected,
now how are we going to close all these paths, here to

This time just drop the plug in in Illustrator scripts folder, it will
appear in File/ Scripts menu, and click. All your paths are closed in 2
steps. What a time saver.

Well if you have only couple paths to close just click on the open path
and press CTRL + J to join them, personally I never use this.

So there you go some vital information for you if you are going to sell your art on the microstock sites.

Bubblin in Dublin

Girl on way home from party at Portobello Dublin

Just got back home from a visit to Dublin. Much of the time seemed to be used up traveling from part of Dublin to another. Did a bit of chillin’ and took in a movie, I saw ‘Taken’ with Liam Neeson in it. Thoroughly enjoyable and I may even see it again in Spanish at the local cinema.

I did get taking some photos while there but there were also a couple of the days where the weather was no conducive to photography. On Tuesday morning the heavens opened and only the ducks were enjoying themselves. On the first morning I was there I got taking some photos early in the morning by the canal at Portobello. I was taking the photos and a couple who were on their way back home from a party from the night before, asked me how come I was taking pictures of the grunge and gunk in the canal rather then the lovely swans on the other side of the lock.

I do like to go for the interesting arty shot and not so much the shots that the amateur point and shoot camera wielder would go for. I did snap a couple of the swans late through, why not? Again I was without a tripod due to the bags and weight restrictions of the airline company. I was on the look out for a bean bag though, a bean bag would be great in situations where you can’t use a tripod and is easy and light to carry around. I did see one specially made for photography when I visited Newcastle but it was too small. The upshot of my searching so far is a big fat zero, no bean bags and I have not even seen the beans or beads that I could use to make my own either. Maybe I will get lucky when I go to Birmingham next month.

Anyone like to contact me about taking pictures in Dublin or if you know anywhere I might get a bean bag for resting a camera on top of let me know in the contact form or leave a comment.

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Spondicious video

Since I got the Cintiq I have used it a fair bit but mostly in the first week. I love it for drawing with but it has been useful as an extra screen too. Would be great to have another 24 inch screen as extra space though, or even the extra of the larger Cintiq.

After the first week I had to spend a good deal of time doing podcasting work due to the Podcamp Barcelona which I attended and gave a talk about podcasting for beginners. Since then I have been doing more blogging and podcasting and not had much time for the drawing. Shame really because I has a 90 trial running of Corel Painter X, so there are days wasting there.

What I should be doing is working on a few christmas images although when I do get back to doing more drawing with the Cintiq I will have to first get the London bus design finished first.

Today I have made a decision about what camcorder to get for the video podcasting and although I was interested in getting one of the prosumer models, I was looking at the Sony FX1E which is a super looking camera, I am going with a higher quality comsumer camera for a few reasons. The price is important for a start, with all the financial turmoil I thought prudence with spending might be a good idea. So I will have to forego the delights of looking more professional by having a big pro camera and instead go for the more practical considerations of lightness to carry and being able to record direct to SD cards. It will still be Hi Def HD recording but on to solid state media.

Going for the solid state is good too because I think that these Prosumer cameras I have been lusting after only record to MiniDV tape in the HDV format. There are benefits with using tapes in terms of storage but the camera compaines are heading towards non tape based Prosumer cameras anyway, or at the very least heading to hybrid cameras that will do both.

So how is this interesting to Spondicious Photography and Illustration then ?? well on iStockPhoto they sell video clips. I have had a look at what they have on offer and I reckon I could do it too. So the plan will be to be while I am out doing some shooting of photos I can also take some video clips too. Sometimes I expect the situation will favour the video rather than the still shots and sometimes the opposite. No problem.

So I now have a plan made to expand myself in terms of what I can offer the microstock sites.

I have to tell you still what camera I have decided to go with. It is the Canon HF100 or the HF10 the only difference being that one has built in memory. I will probably get the one with out as it is cheaper to buy the memory afterwards. I will be able to stick in 8GB cards and maybe even 16GB cards.

Spondicious Podcast 04

In this podcast I talk about how good micro stock is for earnings when you stop adding new images. When you want to or need to take some time off from uploading. Feeding the beast is the phrase coined on Lee Torrens Blog – Microstock Diaries.

I talk about HDR photography and I have included some small tips and tricks to help you along with the stock photography business.

Lastly I have put in a request for funny stories that you might have regards being a photographer or whatever. I will post funny stories in a Podcast and in return I will put a link to your website and of course you can include a plug in the audio too.

Enjoy the

Please leave me a comment on what you think of the podcast – I am looking forward to hearing your views. Or use the contact form below

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Cintiq 12WX First Impressions

I bought the Cintiq 12WX and I have to say using it is great but it took me some time to get it set up to work right.

When connected to my new iMac I have to set the position in relation to the main screen and the position of the Mac title bar just right. For me it works best with the extra display of the Cintiq to be above the main screen and with the title bar set in the Cintiq. That leaves the dock in the main screen. This is good because the dock gets in the way of the drawing on the smaller screen if set into the Cintiq.

The other set up to be done was the calibration, which involves pointing to 2 hairline crosses, top left and bottom right of the screen. That took a while to get the point positioned right relative to the pointer. You don’t want it under the pointer so that you can’t see it when you are drawing. It is better slightly up and slightly to the left (if you are right handed)

Drawing with the CIntiq is pure joy, which is just as well considering the price of the item. It isn’t exactly the same as drawing on paper but pretty close. Maybe the tiniest of lags from pointer to paint movement.

Screen size it something that bothered me at first. I bought an iMac with the big 24in screen and now I am working on a 12in with a smaller resolution ?? It’s Ok when you get used to it though. I did try mirroring the displays but that left me with the lower resolution on the iMAc and that was terrible. I wonder what is the resolution on the 21in Cintiq, if it matches the resolution on the iMac I will consider the 21in next year, for a while I considered sending back the 12 n and getting the 21in now but, was wise enough to give the 12 in some time for me to get used to.

Unfortunately I only had the Cintiq a few hours before having to go away for a few days but as soon as I got back I got playing with it. I spent a day working with ArtRage doing some drawing on the tablet and was pleased with the results and then the next day I worked in Illustrator to make a repeating pattern design to upload to my microstock sites. You can see which Micro Stock Sites I use at Web site.

I will post up a couple of drawings when I get around to it….

I am planning to make a new design each day to build up the portfolios in the Microstock sites because I have been doing well selling the illustrations, better than with the photo sales. has been a good one for the illustrations but not as successful as

Just seen that the repeating tile pattern I uploaded to BigStockPhoto has been added to my portfolio there and the wait for the image to get on to Dreamstime is around 120 hours.

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