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Saturday, 8 February 2020

500px...is it over?

A few years back 500px.com burst onto the scene as a site for photographers to share their pictures, like so many sites but with a new, fresh look. There is a bit of a community spirit and people share and support each others photos.

I like having a place to display by pictures and there is an interesting model to promote the best photos (notably none of mine but the quality is stunning).

However, I have placed a number of photos for licensing. Indeed I have managed to sell 3 to date... For the princely total of $0.19, for all 3. The last one I checked was for sale through Getty at a minimum of $50, for which I received 3c. Well actually I haven't received anything as my efforts are miles away from the minimum pay out.

I did raise with 500px how I could receive so little but they were unable to explain how minimum $59 list price boils down to only 3c to me but did end with what amounted to "if you don't like it you don't have to license your images through us" in language distinctly expressing a lack of interest.

All images duly unlicensed. 

Will it make any difference. No not really, I am not making any money and my images really aren't up there with the best, I am just hopeful that one day I might be able to contribute to the cost of my gear. That said, I have read posts from some of the bigger players and it isn't just me. 

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Review: Fall to Earth

Fall to Earth Fall to Earth by Ken Britz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyed. Didn't bother with next in the series.

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Review: Neptune Crossing

Neptune Crossing Neptune Crossing by Jeffrey A. Carver
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

To be fair I am only a few pages in and found zero engagement and there are so many books beckoning. Had two tries and just didn't work for me.

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Saturday, 11 January 2020

Flashing

No not that sort of flashing.

I am trying to learn how to use the flash on my camera more effectively and this stems from a lifelong avoidance and being able to see the effects of adding flash on the production of so many pictures I see online.

I am not expecting this to change my photography radically, after all I think I am still the weak point in both the technical and artistic areas, not my kit, but I like to try things.

I have been experimenting with my Neewer NW400 flash unit. It's a speedlite by any other name but at a much more appealing price point for experimentation. I am impressed. Initially  I thought my results were disappointing and that the unit perhaps overstated its guide number by a long way but it turned out that I had dialled down the output and indeed at full power it does pack a punch.

In the Summer I was try some experiments with flower photography (note, none to show, highly experimental, early deletion) and discovered that I can remote trigger the flash using my on camera pop up (Olympus E-M10 mk2, its a great little flash unit when not running on auto) but in bright summer light, without drowning my subject, even at close range it was not triggering the off camera flash.

I had a look at radio triggers a couple of days ago and the Neewer N1T-o was £19.99 on Amazon so worth a try and Amazon reliably delivered next day.

Does the wireless trigger work? Well for the first 45 minutes no it didn't. The manual for the flash unit is in English. The manual for the trigger isn't. I finally found this video on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBfwRljoYv0 from Robert Hall Photography which goes a long way to making some sense of the functions but still didn't answer the basic "how to make it work" question.

All the while this isn't helped by my degree of confusion when talking about groups, I've only got one flash so why are we talking about groups and a nagging concern that the flash manual states that a firmware update may be necessary to use the wireless functionality. It helpfully says that the usb port can be used to update the firmware but then the company provides no firmware update information of any sort on their website.

Armed with fresh batteries and a healthy dose of common sense I try again and discover it's dead easy actually and leaving the trigger on default settings but setting the flash to wireless slave....remember I had one flash so was using master. I was being rather slow on the uptake there but slowly learning.