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Fave Links - Web Links

In the "Fave Links" category, I will try to regularly post links to some of my favorites photography related websites and/or videos.

Today I've found some few interesting videos on YouTube, it's all about other photographers' hints and tips they want to share with the community. It's very interesting to see how other photographers are dealing with their job and what they can advise you to do in some situations. Some tips may or may not suit you so just keep the one you feel for it, don't reject the rest but keep them somewhere (in your head or if your memory is not good enough like mine, in your bloc note) as they may be useful one day.

Nikon Solutions Expo was being held at the Olympia Conference Centre in London on December 9th and 10th, it's showcasing the latest digital imaging products, services and techniques, plus interactive photo opportunities, seminars, tutorials and expert advice.

I found the expo small if you compare it to Focus for example and the seminars and interactive tutorials were basics but I guess it is interesting for consumers that want to discover the product or learn to use the one they just bought and it was an opportunity to try to get some shots of models such as Katie Green the ex Wonderbra model. It was very difficult to get a session with the model as you can imagine the workshop attracted a lot of photographers and only a few could get an individual session. So I had to steal some shots from where I was. Hopefully the workshop was also about off-camera flash using Nikon Speedlights and CLS (Creative Lighting System), I was thus able to use my D300 popup flash to trigger the flashes used at the workshop. I did take care of waiting for the main photographer to take his shot first and while he was waiting for his pictured to be transfered thru WiFi to his computer I took mine :-D

Last week David Hobby came to London to give us a great seminar about off-camera flash photography using small and portable flashguns (speedlights). For this occasion the London Strobist group had organized a meetup at The Flash Centre. David was supposed to attend but he caught a stomach bug. We did have the presence of Neil Turner and Drew Gardener & Lucinda.

The seminar was held twice, one on Saturday and again on Sunday at ULU by Euston (Central London). David went thru the basics of his popular off-camera flash techniques followed by a demonstration with some of us. At the end of the day, Peter from California Sunbounce offered a Sunbounce Micro-Mini as a price for the winner which was selected by elimination on tossing a coin. Guess who was the lucky guy? ...me! That was awesome, I was so pleased as you can imagine.

Few months ago I've said bye "bye!" to Three, my UK mobile phone provider and say "hi!" to O2 with their offer for an iPhone 3G v2.0. And I'm glad to have done this. Browsing the Internet is so more intuitive and easy, the multi-touch (zooming with two fingers) screen is awesome. And as a photographer the iPhone is a very neat tool to use as a pocket portfolio, the LCD is bright and sharp and you can rotate your pictures just by physically rotating the phone.

The Apple Apps Store also offers a bunch of free and paid applications and some of them are quite interesting for a photographer.

I'm a member of the Ealing and Hampshire House Photographic Society (EHHPS) since the end of 2006, few months after I've moved to London from Montpellier (in the South of France).

The EHHPS is a local camera club near Ealing Broadway station. We have our weekly meeting every Thursday evenings from 8:00pm to 10:00pm in a room at the Ealing Town Hall. There is two competition every month: the Print Competition and the Digital Image Competition, and once a year the club is organizing a Panel of Print Competition which requires from the members to present a panel composed of a minimum of 3 and up to 6 printed photographs telling a story or within a theme.

At last year competition, I got the second place with my painting with light panel that you can see on my Flickr account: "My friend of light".

This year competition was held few hours ago. I presented with a new panel of 3 of my jumping shots taken earlier this year. The other panels were very good and to my surprise... I won! Oh yeah baby! The first place plus a trophy. That was so cool, I was really happy :-)

The competition was judged by Kevin Herbert.

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I just discover this product on a website and thought it would work great with my SB-600 whenever I would need a lightstand but don't want to travel with one... If it can hold a compact camera it should be able to hold a small Nikon Speedlight SB-600... Leave it in a bag and if I encountered a situation where I need to set the flash somewhere I can just use that Monster Pod X and stick my flashgun virtually anywhere.

This could be really cool indead. But being sometimes spontaneous, I haven't done my research properly and did not see that article on Strobist.com which mentionned that Monster Pod X won't hold a SB-800...

But well, lets hope it will hold smaller flashes...

Computer virii are a real threat to us photographers as they can crash your computer or delete hard drive content. You sometime need to completely re-install your PC in order to regain useability. This Sunday I discovered that my PC was infected by several virii while I was away in Norway. My wife must have been accessing infected websites or emails. But all attempts to access any website were redirected to another one. Windows has also detected the infection and so was my antivirus but it was already too late and the virus has downloaded several other ones including Rootkit and Trojans. I was very concerned as I did not want to go thru all the process of reinstalling my computer and risk the lost of recent work.

So after 2 days analysing the situation and running all sort of antivirus and spyware removal tools I've been able to regain a stable system.

Being also a web developer, I'm being sent to Oslo (Norway) for a training course on eZ Publish, a advanced Content Management System (CMS) that we are using at the company.

I left London from Heathrow T5 at 1pm today and arrived at about 4.30pm, Oslo time. There was still some snow on the street and obviously it was quite cold but not that bad though. I was expecting the sun to be still high as we are up north but I did not realize that in winter the sun goes down even sooner than in London. At this period of the year the sun raised at 8am and set at 4.30pm... That's not cool for evening shots as I'm hand holding my camera, but at least I don't need to wake up to early to try some nice shots in the morning.

Since about June 2007 I've followed on a nearly daily basis the evolution of Strobist, a blog setup by David Hobby, an ex photo journalist working for the Sun in the US. In a friendly and simple way, David Hobby is teaching you how to use small and portable flashguns to the maximum of their possibilities and achieve high quality photographs. The Strobist blog is reinforced by a Strobist Flickr Group where the blog readers could participate in the group discussion threads and posting their work into the group's photo pool and get comments and critics.

I remember going thru several pictures of skateboarders, cyclist... doing high jump with a great sky in the background. This made me want to get some similar photographs. So, with my wife, we started a serie on our trip to the Isle of Wight.

"Flickr labs have been hard at work creating a way to show you some of the most awesome content on Flickr. We like to call it interestingness."

Another of my recent photographs has made its way up to the Flickr Explore Interestingness page. Unfortunately Flickr Explore algorithm is still a mystery, but it looks like that if you submit to too many groups your picture is more likely to be dropped out, but it will get back in if you receive enough comments/faves.

This photograph pictured Frank Williams one of my photographer mates. I went to his place last weekend to practice and test new techniques. We ended up with an outdoor session trying a three speedlights setup in his residential parking. As the sun goes down, the sky was getting dark and dramatic. Playing with the aperture and the shutter speed, I could control the exposure of the ambiance and the one on Frank separately, this is really great as I can decide whether I want the ambiance darker or brighter when maintaining the correct exposure on my subject.

I would then in post-processing fine tune the colors, contrast and lighting and do some editing such as leaves on the face etc..

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