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PIXscotland | PIXscotland photography. | Page 2

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Barnes and Noble, Nook Simple Touch. Initial review.

I recently bought the Nook Simple Touch made by Barnes and Noble as a simple and cheap alternative e-book reader. I currently have an iPad2 which works just fine but it sometimes seems just a little big and heavy.

I commute most days by bus and find the Nook to be a great little reader. The PDF support on it is, well sketchy though. It’s fine for reading documents but anything that has a layout of fonts and images tends to get a little messed up. This detracts from it’s use, however I find it very useful for loading camera equipment manuals and e-books onto. Reading Kindle books (more later!) and EPUB format books is perfect though.

The design of the Nook is great. A simple e-ink screen with a good contrast ratio from the light grey background and the near black text makes reading in anything above average light good. If it gets too dark though the screen does struggle a little as the basic Nook Simple Touch doesn’t have a backlight. Of course this is also an advantage as the reader only needs charged once a month.

I decided to play around with the Nook a little and load some unofficial firmware onto it. The device now supports the basic functions of  the Android Operating System (2.1 I believe) which allows be to install Dropbox.com, Amazon’s Kindle Reader and other “near essential” tools. This is a great improvement. I keep lots of documents in Dropbox and have plenty books on the Kindle platform so these two make the entire machine worth the small £29.99 I paid for the device at Sainsbury’s.

I made a simple unboxing video of this Nook which I’ve posted below. Hopefully you will find this useful if you are considering buying such a device.

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    eBook Review: An Introduction to still photographs in motion: Timelapse

    This is a quick review of the book: An Introduction to still photographs in motion: Timelapse” by David Delnea and Craft and Vision.

    Timelapse_Spread_Cover_NEW-RELEASE

    We have here a 44 page eBook on the subject of Timelapse photography.  The subject is covered well with information on setting up your camera, tripod, intervalometer and takes the reader all the way into post-processing the images and making the video itself. This is an interactive eBook with links out to Vimeo videos that help demonstrate the feature being discussed.

    We start off with a guide to choosing the correct camera and lens for particular shots with useful information on getting the right solution whether that be sensor frame size, lens width or the use of manual aperture lenses.

    Breaking down the equipment into essential and non-essential extras is a useful way to help the new user decide on their individual needs. Preparation for the shoot is covered briefly and includes considerations such as camera stability and personal comfort while waiting for the timelapse to complete.

    During the shoot you’ll be choosing whether to auto-expose or manually expose and there’s a section covering the advantages and disadvantages of each decision.

    Software is covered in areas such as choosing and controlling framing of the subject to allow you to successfully manipulate the final shots by cropping to video sizes. More importantly there’s a section on using “LRTimelapse Deflicker.” This will balance your frames exposure to help create a cleaner video. Importing files into Lightroom is covered and includes a short section on editing choices and limits plus some useful file management thoughts. Exporting your files to JPG and importing to Quicktime 7 for conversion to video is the last section of the main book.

    Continuing on with some Bonus Material we have a brief reference to Motion Control, Bulb Ramping etc but these are covered only very briefly and add no real value in my opinion.

    The book then closes out with a selection of timelapse videos.

    Overall I found the book interesting and certainly worth the small costs, however it seems to have glossed over the feature that I would find useful. I am not an experienced timelapse photographer by any means, however I felt there was  a lack on detail and other options for creating the video from the stills. The author mentions his lack of experience using Adobe Premiere and After Effects however a brief guide would have been useful.

    Given the information in the book, I’d consider this a beginners guide only suitable for those with little or no experience as suggested by the title. I did pick up some useful tips all the same so I am happy with the purchase.

    The book is available from Craft and Vision for the price of $5.00.

    Click here to view or buy the book on the Craft and Vision website.

     

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      Adobe release CS2 Suite free for all.

      Adobe Photoshop CS2

      Adobe Photoshop CS2

      Adobe have released the entire set of the CS2 Suite free of charge for all to use. They’ve provided the full license keys for these products and links to the installers for both PC and “Power PC” based Mac computers. This will be an excellent way of getting a copy of Photoshop onto your backup laptops and systems, perfect for use in an emergency. The release of this product appears to be down to the fact that Adobe are switching off their CS2 licensing servers. These links are to allow direct access to the files and fully valid product keys as an alternative for users still using this software. Whether they change their mind or not is yet to be seen. The CS2 software suite is now around 10 years old and fairly well out of date however it will still be useful for the times when you are stuck without your main edit system, or for those new users with fairly simple needs. The main “problem” you will have is the lack of RAW files support. CS2 will not support the majority of camera RAW data formats so you may wish to find a converter for your system. Saving the RAW files as a 16bit TIFF would be best when importing into CS2. If you’re into Audio editing Audition 3 is an excellent program that still functions perfectly for single and multi-track use, while Acrobat is perfect for those needing to create PDF files. Download Links can be found below:

      Creative Suite 2
      Mac
      1130-0412-8377-1896-9751-5759
      Win
      1130-1414-7569-4457-6613-5551
      Acrobat 3D 1.0 for Windows
      Win
      1159-1414-7569-3493-5006-5653
      Acrobat Standard 7.0
      Mac
      1016-0414-2428-7157-5404-6669
      Win
      1016-1415-6379-6184-1333-2468
      Acrobat Pro 8.0
      Mac
      1118-0416-1130-3724-2927-7040
      Win
      1118-1414-1955-8737-8172-0350
      Audition 3.0
      Win
      1137-1004-8571-6848-7845-8029
      GoLive CS2
      Mac
      1033-0415-6162-2671-3431-0993
      Win
      1033-1418-1610-5696-5209-0095
      Illustrator CS2
      Mac
      1034-0416-0740-0527-2887-2375
      Win
      1034-1415-6230-2341-2884-9398
      InCopy CS2
      Mac
      1036-0414-4367-5110-5897-2432
      Win
      1036-1419-3531-6378-2148-9313
      InDesign CS2
      Mac
      1037-0413-9961-4063-8457-1098
      Win
      1037-1412-5094-8316-6812-7982
      Photoshop CS2
      Mac
      1045-0410-5403-3188-5429-0639
      Win
      1045-1412-5685-1654-6343-1431
      Photoshop Elements 4.0/5.0
      Mac
      1057-0410-8218-6295-1699-9560
      Win
      1057-1414-3729-7573-7352-1206
      Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0
      Win
      1132-1280-4900-7476-5108-8019

      Adobe’s original download link: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/entitlement/index.cfm?pid=4485850&e=cs2_downloads If you want something more up to date, I’d recommend this link: Adobe’s more recent version, CS6

      Update!

      Here’s some further information regarding this “free software.” It appears Adobe are giving that software out as they have actually disabled their CS2 activation servers, however they seem to be offering this to licensed users. I’ve no idea how they plan to police this activation-free software which appears to be in the wild now. There’s probably thousands of sites that now host the details of this offering. More information on the release is available here: forums.adobe.com If Adobe decide that the above table of details is breaking their terms/copyright/whatever I advise them to contact me via the contact form on my site. I will remove the data upon request and confirmation of this being a valid request by Adobe.

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        Making a Facebook cover image in Photoshop.

        This is a quick video and template to help you make a Facebook cover image in Photoshop.

        The template will easily help you align and crop your image as required by Facebook.

         

        Download the template here.

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          SPECIAL DEAL: Groupon photo book.

          EDIT: 2012/06/17 — This is an expired offer. Sorry!

           

          I know it’s short notice but I thought I would add this deal to the blog.

          Printerpix.co.uk has a deal on right now that gives a huge discount on some budget photobooks.

          Even if you’ve no particular project in mind right now, having this will probably inspire you to get out there shooting.

          Where else can you get a custom designed leather bound photobook for less than a calendar?

           

          Click here to go get the deal from Printerpix now!

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