All posts by John Aldred

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

TTSOL – Shooting Tethered On Location

There was one location at which I shot at quite a lot during 2013 (at least 20 times over the amazing few weeks of summer we had last year).  It’s fairly close to Lancaster (about 10 miles out), and it looks absolutely gorgeous, but only up until about noon.

During the morning, shooting upriver, the sun creates a beautiful backlight on the water and your subject.  Pop a flash from the front, and…

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TTSOL – WiFi On Location

During any given photo shoot, I usually have a few pieces of equipment with me that have WiFi capabilities, and it’s nice when I can get them all talking to each other and serving a useful purpose.

There’s the Nikon WT-3 grip for the D200 (which is a fantastic setup for shooting events where on-site printing is required, although on location shoots I generally just use it for behind-the-scenes shots), the Eye-Fi cards (mostly I shoot D300s bodies, which have dual card slots, one CF and one SD), the iPhones, the iPad, occasionally (but not often), a laptop (which will soon be replaced by a CubieTruck).

In a studio this isn’t an issue, but random locations out in the middle of the Lake District generally don’t offer WiFi facilities, so we have to create our own.

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The Joy of Airplay

When I first heard of AirPlay, I figured “Apple only”, being the proprietary types that they are.  I’d always seen it bandied about with words like “Apple TV“, “iMac” and “Macbook Pro“.

As the only Apple devices I own are iPhones and iPads, I never really looked much further into it.

A few days ago, I started trying to see if I could find an application that would allow me to record my iPhone or iPad display to a video file, for including in a tutorial video I was putting together.

As it turns out, there ain’t an app for that – at least not one that runs on the device itself.

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TTSOL – What the hell does that mean?

TTSOL is going to become a section on the site that I will populate over the coming weeks, months and years.  It stands for “Taking The Studio On Location”, and it’s really just an attempt to make life easier for myself.

Working in a studio environment is great.  It really is.  It’s warm, it’s dry, there’s always coffee available, you have easy access to all your equipment, lights and modifiers, you can shoot tethered to a laptop or desktop and usually you’re not too far from a local pub to grab something good for lunch (or at least have a kitchen and microwave).

But, you see, the thing is, you can’t really create sets that look like this inside a studio.

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BitTorrent Sync – Making Your Own Cloud

I’ve been using DropBox for probably about 3 years now, and it’s rather good.  Overall, I’ve been quite impressed.  It’s reliable, fairly quick (bandwidth permitting), and fantastic for delivering work to clients and models.

Delivery of final work to clients and models I’ve shot with has been pretty much my sole reason for using DropBox, and it will probably remain that way, at least for the foreseeable future.

I don’t need masses and masses of space for that, but I’ve still never really been all that keen on the idea of keeping things online in “the cloud” (which is basically just a fancy new term for the same old servers we’ve always had) as a form of file backup.

After recently having had a pretty major crash on one of my machines (motherboard died, taking the processor, RAM and a 2TB hard drive along with it), I’ve rebuilt and started looking into other potential backup solutions.

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LS20031 GPS Module

GPS is something I’ve wanted to play with for a long time, but the cost of GPS modules has always put them way out of reach for just for the sake of having a new toy to play with.

At the moment, however, the good folks over at Cool Components are running a January clearance sale, and this is one of the products in that sale.

There are a couple of other GPS modules included in the sale, but with a massive reduction from £50 to £12, ordering the LS20031 GPS module (10Hz version) was really no choice at all.

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I haven’t actually used my Arduino for a good few months, and I don’t think I’ve even reinstalled the software since I rebuilt my main PC a couple of months ago, but I think it’s time to pull the Uno out of its box and start having a play.

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ColorChecker Passport

Thus far, I’ve only used this blog to post about Linux stuff, but I also created it to write about photography related things as well.

First of those photography related things is the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport (CCP), as I’ve had a number of people asking me about this recently.

So, what is it?  Why use it?  Should I buy one?  Or am I just throwing away good money?

Well, to describe it as simply as possible, it’s a sort of grey card on steroids, but also much more.

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Taking a Stab at Cross Compiling

Cross compiling is something I’ve never really had a need to do before.  All of my past Linux machines have been your standard 32Bit or 64Bit x86 based PCs, and have been fast enough that I’ve been able to compile on the machine it’ll be running on.

But, if a 15 hour XBMC compile taught me anything (other than the fact that XBMC doesn’t work fantastically on the CubieBoard), it’s that I need to setup a decent Linux box, and learn to cross compile for ARM based hardware.

I’ve also always wanted to create my own Linux setup from scratch for a long time.  The CubieBoard gives me the opportunity to do this, but it will require some cross compiling to get things started.

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Let’s Try Cubie Web Server

With XBMC on the CubieBoard a bust.  It’s time to go back to my original thought, which is to set it up as a web server.

While I will generally run this without a monitor connected, I have decided to restore from the backup that already has LXDE installed.

Yes, I could set it up without X, and just install it in the event that I actually come around to needing it, but I figured I might as well just have it installed now.  It’s not like there’s a lack of space on an 8GB MicroSD card.

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