Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Post-show report

Just a quick post so that I don't disappoint all y'all (damn, I've got to stop hanging out with my Suth'n friends, I'm starting to talk like them). I know you've been anxiously awaiting my next blog post.

The show was reasonably successful for me, despite the lower-than-predicted attendance. There were a few factors interplaying: the lousy weather forecast (and there were T-storms all three of the days) kept the cottagers at home in the city; those who did come up were busy repairing their docks from the flooding last month, and I think the early date had an effect too. Someone told me that people come up, open their cottages, then go home until the blackflies are gone in a few weeks. With all the water around on the ground, it's going to be a banner year for the biting bugs.

Minden is still suffering from the high water:

Although I took this picture last month, before the floodwaters peaked (the chairs were right underwater then), I drove past there yesterday and it still looked like this. The waters had receded for a bit, but with all the rains, it's back up at this level. This dock is about 100m from the centre of downtown Minden. 

The Home & Cottage Show

Here are some images from the show. Just P&S record shots, though.

Here's Linda. Our booth was 10'x10' and we set up her stuff on the left, mine on the right. She was a lot more organized than me because she's done this before!

...and this is yours truly. FWIW, I had about 50 prints in that rack, a box of 8x12's behind me and a few greeting cards as well. I gave away that bicycle print in the foreground and a course, in order to get names for my database. Hopefully some of them are reading this blog today. 

By the third day, I made some pricing changes. People were more comfortable buying at this level. Notice the laptop and iPad at the back. The former was for the database, the latter a continuous slideshow of images. 

Next to us was a guy selling flagpoles and flags. For three days he stood there and did this (play the video):

What goes through your mind as you watch him playing with his pole? Sorry, I know what I was thinking!

I didn't sell as many prints as I had hoped. So I have lots of them in stock and I'd be happy to make a special offer to any of you faithful readers who want a print or two. Tell you what: go to my gallery at http://www.faczen.smugmug.com, email me which images you'd be interested in acquiring for your collection, (email address) and what you want to pay, and let's talk. They'll look better on your walls than in my bin. BTW I have full-sized (18x24 sheet), small (8x12) and greeting card sizes  for most of the images.

What was quite successful was the increase in awareness of my products and services up here in the Highlands. I got quite a bit of exposure. And I booked a number of people for both the DSLR and the Basic Skills workshops (here) in the next few weeks. Looks like it's going to be a busy summer. Oh, and I got to spend a weekend with Linda. It's OK, her husband knew about it (and in fact without him, we never would have managed to get that booth together!)

So would I do this show again? Not a fair question yet. Let's see how things work out. My initial impression is that a show featuring art instead of home & cottage stuff would be better, but I did get to meet and talk to a lot of people and that was valuable.

Want to tether your DSLR to your PC? 

I found some incredible software online. DigiCamControl is open source software for DSLR camera remote control. It's designed for Nikons and PC's but a whole bunch of Canon cameras are listed too.  It is amazing. Every control on my camera is available onscreen. It does focus stacking and all kinds of other stuff. I've played with it for 30 minutes and took several images to test it. Here's one

There's nothing wrong with the lens. The camera was sitting on a box on a chair and that's the arm of the chair in the photo at the bottom. I had to increase the exposure 3 stops to display it like this because I had it on pattern metering and of course it exposed for the window light. I did the focusing onscreen in Live View.

It was shot at ISO 100, 1/30 sec at f/2.8, all of which I set on the computer not on the camera. I opened the RAW file in ACR/CS6, changed the exposure value and nothing else. Then I laid the text on top and saved it, then imported it to LR and exported it as a Jpeg.

And the cost? FREE. GRATIS. NADA.

You are going to want to download this.* Here's the link: http://digicamcontrol.com/ 

*Note: I have NO interest or affiliation with this, I just found it. And I don't know if there's any kind of bad stuff like spyware or viruses, etc attached to it. So you download it at your own risk. But it seems to be clean and legit. I needed to download .net Framework and some kind of RAW viewing codec from Microsoft before it would run, BTW but it told me what I needed and one click to get it.

I haven't figured out how to preview images in it yet, and some other stuff. It has a lengthy manual. Next chapter I read is on focus stacking, for sure!

Is there a Mac version? I don't know.

Today's Image

For my new readers: I never leave you without some sort of image to enjoy. But I haven't been shooting because of the show, so here's one for today that I took last weekend when I was teaching a course and wanted to demonstrate shooting from a different point of view. Scroll down to previous posts, you'll see I usually do more.

This is one single click away from the original. I created a new layer (ctrl-J) then used the "Notepaper Filter" in the filter gallery. Done. OK, I took out a couple of artifacts, but that was it. GO AHEAD. Click on the picture to blow it up. I dare you.

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