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.

Mac20Q Podcast 88 @SwitcherMark

SwitcherMark tells why he is called that even though he is now more SwitchedMark, having been a Mac user for a few years now. We talk about his love of photography and how he uses his DSLR which he bagged at a closing down sale at Circuit City. He also has a Flip Mino, well he has the use of the Flip and has to hope the daughter doesn’t notice.

Mark was at the MacWorld 2010 and had a great time there. He met with a pile of his mates and enjoyed meeting many face to face to face for the first time. Mark bought a few toys there, not least a photography application which he got for $130 instead of the usual $180. Mark attended the Nosillacast castaways party, which must have been fun, especially meeting the venerable Allison Sheridan.

He is taking it step by step with the photos increasing his knowledge and skill while also using the camera to take sport shots of his girls playing football (soccer) and the camera being in a mode Canon have set for sports.

Back ups are all well taken care of with a system that includes, DVD’s, BackBlaze, Carbon Copy Cloner and Time machine. Something that a photographer really has to do to protect the portfolio or archive of photos. Using a To Do list is not a good idea for Mark as like me the items on the list are less likely to get done than noting things on a piece of paper.

Mark was a super bloke to talk to on the Mac20Q Podcast and I know that you will enjoy hearing what he had to say about how he uses his Mac, a 20 in iMac. he would like an iPhone but can’t switch away from Verizon which doesn’t have the iPhone available. Mark is sorely tempted by an iPad though and can see many uses for it in his daily business.

Photo20Q Podcast Adam Weiss

Canon EOS 7D Digital SLRAdam is a photographer from Boston shooting with a Canon 7D and uses it for video also. This podcast was recorded for Mac 20 Questions podcast mainly but we do spend quite a bit of time talking about photograpy, video and photo equipment.

Today’s interview is with Adam Weiss who uses a Mac Pro that is a quad processor antique and also a MacBook. Not only that he has hackintoshed a Dell mini9, just for fun and using on trips where he can’t carry much. He says it is useful but very slow in use. Good as a portable storage device and quiet to use as a recording computer and works with the microphones he has.

Adam Weiss is a successful educational podcaster and podcast consultant, as well as a sought-after digital media strategist. An expert interviewer and communicator, he aims to show that digital communication is more about story, presentation, and technique than fancy gear and tech toys.

He is the creator of the award-winning Current Science & Technology Podcast for the Museum of Science in Boston, which he hosted for more than two years. He now hosts his critically-acclaimed Boston Behind the Scenes Podcast, and has profiled everyone from street vendors to senators and astronauts in his career.

Adam also provides consultation on social networking, living with technology, web design and best practices, and general digital media strategy. He has started working in the digital video realm recently, and has been a photographer for years.

Adam does video reviews in which he shows what you can do with iPhone applications. He films using a Canon 7D SLR camera that also does video. He tells me that the main restriction would be the length of the clip you can record and that it doesn’t do autofocus while in video mode.

Adam is a podcaster too working as a podcast producer and also as the host on a podcast. One of the podcasts is a nature – science podcast. He even helps other people out with their podcasts as a podcast consultant.

Photo 20Q Podcast – David J Schloss

As part of my Mac 20 Questions podcast I interviewed David Schloss from MacCreate. There was a lot of chat about photography and David told me what he has in his camera bag. David also talked about his favourite photographers and he has taught photography courses with the best of them.
One of the photographers I am impressed by is Dave Hill, he comes out with some totally awesome images that look kind of hyper real.
What do you think the latest SLR cameras that take video too. I like the idea but think I had better see how they work first and see some footage from one too.

Using Speedlights in a softbox

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.

Thanks much to both Paul and Darren for the how-to. (If you are reading this via email or RSS feed, click the title to pull up the full post and see the video.)

Mac20Q Podcast37 Steve Carty

This is a post from another podcast I publish called Mac 20 Questions but is is about a photographer, so fits on this blog more or less.

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.