All posts by John Aldred

Senior editor at, ASUS Brand Ambassador, photographer and geek.

Colour profiling my ZenFone 5 with the ColorChecker

I’ve really liked my new ASUS ZenFone 5 since I initially took it out of the box. It’s got some nice improvements over the ZenFone 4, particularly when it comes to the cameras.

They’re a little sharper, with a tad more dynamic range, and they really do show off the scene well when I use it to get photos when location scouting.

But I like to shoot DNG RAW with my phones so that I can process them on the desktop rather than on the phone itself. This way, I can quickly batch process them and schedule them on social media using Hootsuite.

DNG colour from smartphones isn’t perfect, though, which is where the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport steps in. It solves all my DNG colour issues and makes the post work a breeze.

Continue reading Colour profiling my ZenFone 5 with the ColorChecker

Motorising my camera slider – The electronics

In Part 1 of this little adventure, I spoke about the 3D printed parts I created to motorise my camera slider. I plan to make a few revisions to those printed parts in the future, but for now, they’re functional, so I’m leaving them alone for the minute. Now, it’s time to move onto the electronics side of things.

My plan is to power the whole setup using 3 cell LiPo RC batteries. I have a bunch of these from a drone I no longer use, so I figure I should do something with them instead of leaving them to rot.

But I can’t just hook a stepper motor straight into a battery and magically expect it to work. I need other items, too. And that’s where this post comes in.

Continue reading Motorising my camera slider – The electronics

Motorising my camera slider with 3D printing

Man, it’s been a while since I posted on here, huh? Well, all I can do is apologise. It’s been a crazy few months here.

I’ve been to the BETT show in London to interview Dobot about their new 3D printer, I’ve made a couple of trips to Scotland to visit friends, and I just spent 5 days in Birmingham interviewing people at The Photography Show and to meet up with some old and new friends. I’m also moving house in the next couple of weeks, and there’s been a lot of prep work for that.

In between that, though, I’ve been getting into 3D printing.

Continue reading Motorising my camera slider with 3D printing

Thoughts on shooting & using Godox XPro (Pixapro ST-IV) flash trigger

There’s two things I want to say right at the start of this post.

Firstly, I’ve written about this trigger once already on DIYPhotography.

If you haven’t read that post, I suggest you check that out first. I don’t want to duplicate content, and my initial thoughts haven’t really changed.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Second, buy the XPro. For real, just get the XPro. The XPro-C for Canon is shipping now, and the XPro-N for Nikon ships in a few days. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Now, let’s get on with it.

Continue reading Thoughts on shooting & using Godox XPro (Pixapro ST-IV) flash trigger

The YouTube gaming channel experiment

Recently I’ve been running some experiments with a second channel. The goal is to test out some YouTube theories and try to make some useful conclusions.

I’m not able to put out content for my main YouTube channel as much as I’d like right now. So I figured perhaps a gaming channel would be a good way to create some kind of regular content for testing.

The other main reason was because I couldn’t believe a gaming channel was as difficult to grow as people seem to make it sound.

Continue reading The YouTube gaming channel experiment

A brief guide to YouTube’s creator levels and the perks gained with each

Note: This post needs updating since YouTube introduced the whole 1K subscriber & 4,000 hours watch time thing. I will do it at some point. 🙂

I regularly see people asking in various YouTube related Facebook groups about the advantages available to creators with a certain amount of subscribers.

Many people seem unaware that YouTube even offers anything to creators outside of the various Play Buttons for the superstars of its platform. So, I decided to put together a list.

YouTube can feel like a cold soulless creature at times, especially when your channel is quite small. But, there are benefits for users who have subscription levels in various brackets. And these brackets start all the way from 1 subscriber.

Continue reading A brief guide to YouTube’s creator levels and the perks gained with each

Checking off the bucket list in Scotland

I don’t really have much of a photography bucket list. There are, of course, a few places I’d love to go and photograph in person. But if I don’t ever actually make it to all of those places, then it’s really not a big deal.

One of the places on my list that I absolutely had to visit, though, was Glencoe. Finally, during my trip to Scotland, I got to make it happen.

The day started out as they often do. Wake up and chug far too much coffee. After that began the journey from Glasgow to Stirling. I don’t deal well with public transport at the best of times, and not being familiar with the area, I was a little nervous.

Why Stirling? Well, that’s where I was meeting up with my good friend, Lauren. Glencoe is Lauren’s regular stomping ground. She knows her way around it like the back of her hand. Mostly. So, who better to have guide me to the best spots?

Continue reading Checking off the bucket list in Scotland

The adventure in Scotland’s wilderness begins

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend ten glorious days exploring various parts of Scotland. The trip had been planned a couple of months in advance. But not everything worked out quite to plan, but what an amazing time it was.

The whole trip was primarily a holiday. It was my first real break since I started writing for DIYPhotography. I chose Glasgow as several of my friends relatively local to the area had been pestering me to come up and visit for months. So, I figured, why not?

And boy, what a time it was!

Continue reading The adventure in Scotland’s wilderness begins

I finally started making my move to Godox with the AD360II (Pixapro Hybrid360)

Switching over to Godox flashes has been in my thoughts for quite a while now. I got rid of most of my Nikon, Yongnuo, Bowens and other flash gear last year.

I did keep my Bowens Ringflash, and have no desire to get rid of it. I’ve also still got a couple of SB-900s left over. Those will be up for sale soon, if anybody’s interested.

Now that the weather’s warming up, the sun’s coming back and I’m getting out to shoot more, the time has come to start rebuilding.

Continue reading I finally started making my move to Godox with the AD360II (Pixapro Hybrid360)

The Photography Show 2017

The Photography Show 2017 was something of a different experience for me than last year. Last year I was part of a team working the show, and this year it was essentially just me.

I got to hang out with many wonderful friends and colleagues, some of whom I haven’t seen since Photokina. But, as far as DIYP was concerned, I was flying solo.

I arrived on Friday evening and came back home after the show ended on Tuesday, and it was non-stop the whole time. We stayed in the worst hotel in Birmingham, but it was still the best show to date for me.

Continue reading The Photography Show 2017