Category: DIY

If you thought that sounds like the headlines of one of those trashy “tell all” magazines you might be forgiven. However I kid you not. It’s true 🙂 A Raspberry is indeed taking HA Images!

27km above Earth. Sat 4 Feb 2012: Moon from Near Space Image © Dave Akerman

Dave Akerman with his Strawberry Pi/Camera used in HAB Photography

Dave Ackerman of  Newbury,  UK is an “amateur” HAB (High Altitude Balloonist). I use quotes because his images and projects are anything but. Using a Raspberry Pi computer (@ £24.00!) hooked up to their new camera module, Mr. Ackerman created a lightweight ‘eye in the sky’ that he sent up 143,000+ feet above the United Kingdom, taking pictures on its journey. (more…)

There are 1000’s of monitor types, sizes, brands and various ways to get them displaying colour accurately. Cambridge in Colour explain it far better than I can:

Knowing how to calibrate your monitor is critical for any photographer who wants accurate and predictable photographic prints. If your monitor is not correctly reproducing shades and colors, then all the time spent on image editing and post-processing could actually be counter-productive. This tutorial covers basic calibration for the casual photographer, in addition to using calibration and profiling devices for high-precision results. Furthermore, it assumes that tossing your old monitor and buying a new one is not an option.

Ideally an IPS panel (In Plane Switching) is what you should be striving (saving?) for. Locally they are scarce but I can source them for you. ASUS, Dell, Viewsonic are popular brands. If you’re a MAC/MACBook user recent Apple displays are all IPS based (within at least the last 5 years). It’s even valid when purchasing cellular/mobile phones. LCD, IPS, AMOLED etc.

If you can’t for whatever reason justify an IPS panel, tweak the monitor you have on your desk (or the laptop) using this software tool. Don’t skimp on this. It isn’t costing you a cent and your images will be judged on “my” monitor with the same or near identical colour warmth, overall temperature and brightness, contrast as what you saw and edited your image for, on your monitor.

The test images are best viewed in a dim or dark environment and in full-screen mode. In most browsers, F11 switches to full-screen mode, and F11 back to windowed mode.

Age, size, type of screen, CRT, LCD, IPS, LED are all different technologies. Take 15 minutes of your time and calibrate!

It could mean the difference between image on the far left vs the far right!

Cambridge in Colour Monitor Calibration Tutorials | Lagom Online Calibration Tool

Other Calibration Tools:

Canon .CR2 RAW

Nikon .NEF RAW

So you have a Canon (CR2) but want to help a friend edit or Post Process their images but can’t open or view them because they are Nikon (NEF)?

When you install your DSLR software, the codec for your brand of camera is embedded into and used by the O/S so you can view thumbnails, open and edit with your manufacturers included software, however it can’t read a RAW file from another manufacturer if that codec is not installed.

You might have bought the camera 2nd hand and the packaging/software is amiss and downloading the original software is either daunting or it simply isn’t available.

Here’s a solution:

You can download the RAW Codec Pack from a number of online resources. Solutions are to get the codecs from your camera maker, O/S House or from a 3rd party, if you have failed at finding/downloading the software from the manufacturer. Please visit each site regularly as they are updated as new camera models are released. You could also join your local camera club, as there will be a diverse collection of cameras and someone might well be willing to copy his/her install CD for you. Once installed, most s/w self-updates to the latest version.

I’ve done some of the leg work for you; download them here > Codec links: (more…)

I recently noticed a few shots online that had the dreaded dust bunnies in them and this prompted today’s posting. Note this only applies to DSLR or Medium Format with interchangeable lenses and mirror mechanisms, not to your mirrorless Point and Shoot or Bridge Camera UNLESS they have interchangeable lenses where the sensor is visible and prone to contamination.

A few days after I bought my Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0 ATX Pro DX, I was at the coast. With the intention to do UWA scapes with the D80 (It’s ISO 100 and long exposure is superb on the CCD). The camera is seldom used and I also rarely remove the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 that’s on it. Less lens changes, less dust, or so the theory goes. Camera has done under 6000 images in 4 years.

So I get up at 4am and head off to the local lake district in Sedgefield for a few pre-dawn landscapes. Take a few shots, chimp at the screen. Everything looks awesome (LCD’s always make everything look awesome…)

Get back to the apartment and fire up the laptop, offload the images…enlarge…and there they are…”dust” bunnies.

King Fisher River Lagoon – Dust Bunnies – Click Image for full size – Blue circle is a “Hot” Pixel – more on that in another posting.


What a waste of time! No wait, I can clone them out in PP. But still, what a waste of time if I had just spent a bit more time on checking the SENSOR pre-shoot. I honestly thought that because I rarely remove the lens (more…)