Tuesday, 9 June 2009


I've been listening to podcasts on-and-off since I first got a 4th gen iPod (the black&white screen and click wheel) and now regularly put one on in the car on my drive home from work.

I use a Kensington LiquidAUX to charge and connect the iPhone to my stereo's line-in socket. The main draw for me on this product is that the charger's also got a handy wireless remote control that fixes to the steering wheel allowing me to skip tracks safely without fumbling with the iPhone's touchscreen which doesn't have the tactile feedback of previous iPods.

Most of the podcasts I listen to fall into three categories - comedy, photography or technology and there's a special fourth category reserved for anything by Stephen Fry who's recently released a new book, The Dongle of Donald Trefusis, only by podcast.

Some of the other podcasts that I've been listening to are:
  • Tips from the Top Floor - photography tips from Chris Marquardt.
  • Stephen Fry's Podgrams - a series of audio essays (sadly not updated for a while now).
  • Guardian Tech Weekly - audio updates from the tech writers at the Guardian newspaper.

    I'm also very keen on one podcast in particular - it's a new one called PhotoLegal which is a great listen for anyone interested in the legalities and rights surrounding photography. You'll see in a future blog post why this one is close to my heart...
  • Strobist Boot Camp II

    One of the blogs I read religiously is Strobist, the photography and
    lighting site from David Hobby (@strobist on Twitter). David's a
    photographer and photojournalist from America who for a long time has
    been running a very popular website dedicated to sharing his techniques
    for off-camera flash photography.

    In case you're wondering, the American call their flashes a strobe so"Strobist" just refers to flash photography - I guess the English equivalent site might be called "Flasher" but that might get a different audience!
    Where David really excels is in explaining through simple steps how to achieve some pretty amazing lighting in your photos - specifically, the power and flexibility that comes when you a) stop using the little popup flash on your camera, and b) take that flashgun and move it away from the hotshoe.

    Over the years the Strobist blog has covered a huge range of basic and more complicated flash techniques through his Lighting 101 and Lighting 102 series. They're definitely worth a look if you're even slightly interested in improving your flash photography.

    This summer sees the start of Strobist Boot Camp II, a repeat of last year's series of practical challenges since there's only so many technique lessons you can post to a blog. David will be setting a number of assignments that the readers of his site will each attempt in their own way - the winner at the end wins a prize.
    If you're reading this at some point after the Boot Camp has finished then there's nothing to stop you completing the assignments however the real interest for me is going to be comparing my entries to all the others as we submit them via the Strobist Flickr pool.

    I'm going to be following the assignments and hope to post on here and my Flickr stream about my equipment, techniques and results. If you're entering too or just want to have your say then I'd love to hear from you via the comments on this site or my Twitter feed.

    UPDATE: The first assignment is here!

    Wednesday, 3 June 2009

    PhotoCalc iPhone app

    Recently I've been listening to the photo podcast Tips From The Top Floor from German photographer Chris Marquardt.

    One of their recommendations was a handy little app called PhotoCalc which won't appeal to the non-photogs out there but for the technical togger it's a nice reference tool to calculate the Depth of Field of a particular focal length/aperture combination.
    It'll also guide you on Flash Exposure settings, reciprocal exposures and plenty of other useful, but not all vital, camera related information.

    You can find it on the iTunes App Store.

    The other reason for this post was to test out the ShoZu app which allows you to update a number of different blogging, photo sharing and social media sites from within a single interface.
    So far so good if you're reading this... there's also a rumour on Twitter at the moment that the app might move to being paid-for so I wanted to download it while it's still free.

    Seems good so far but you can't post text and images as one post - hence the screenshot in the previous post.

    Posted by ShoZu

    PhotoCalc on the iPhone

    Posted by ShoZu