Antarctica, Lightroom and AirDisplay

Antarctica: My 1st Blurb Book from Steven Black on Vimeo.


My Antarctica Blurb book arrived today.  I was very pleased with the overall quality and feel as well as the color accuracy.  A very simple setup process using Blurb’s application and I’m fairly pleased with my shot selection.  There are a few images I’ll change if I reprint it or aim to sell it in the future, as well as adding some text at the beginning.
I’m also interested in trying InDesign or some other tool for layout, if only to allow me to wrap an image across the front and back cover as well as the spine.   Overall – I give Blurb a big two thumbs up and will certainly use them in the future.  I don’t print photos for myself very often (moving around the world and travelling a lot means I end up packing them for storage instead of hanging them!) – but could see throwing together a quick Blurb book as a momento for certain trips.  Easy, not too expensive and something tangible to have later on.  With my dad confronted with 20 years of loose photos as he moves out of my childhood home, I’m hesitant to reel of a ton of 4x6s and a book seems like a great way to organise and store images – while forcing a selection process to cut the ones that aren’t worth printing in the first place!

What do you use Blurb (or any other service) for? Using it to regularly capture trips or specific shoots? Only using it for sales / portfolios?

Stop-Motion Video

The arrival of the book gave me the chance to try something I’ve been looking forward to: test Lightroom’s Tethered Capture – combined with my iPad.  A few weeks ago, I read a great article (by Brent Pearson) talking about using LR3, the iPad and an App called AirDisplay to:

a) View photos when shooting tethered (great if you have someone on set with you – less useful for me when shooting on my own!)

b) Trigger the camera remotely

It is this second point that was a big help today.  My setup was fairly bare-bones, as I had one external flash and no light stand (setup shots below).   I have a wired remote trigger – but the cord only extends 2-3 feet.  When I started the stop-motion shooting, I ended up manually pushing the trigger, walking over to the table, moving the book, walking back, triggering, looking at the laptop and repeating.  Wasn’t a far distance, but when shooting 150+ exposures, it got a bit tedious.

The great thing about the iPad setup was that I could stay right at the table, trigger the shutter and review each shot, all while just standing slightly out of frame.  Granted, I wasn’t doing anything too elaborate – but setup was a breeze and I can certainly think of applications when this would be pretty useful.

Getting the video together was a snap. Did shot tethered into LR3, exported to jpg. Used QuickTime 7 pro to create the movie. Very easy to try a few different frame rates (I think I ended up using 12/sec) to see what works. Quickly identified some gaps in the flow. Quick re-shoot to correct a few issues and fill those gaps. Re-export. Upload to Vimeo and done :)

When I tried to use AirDisplay later in the evening – it wouldn’t stay connected.  Not sure if it was a problem with my network, just needed to restart or something else.  Given it worked flawlessly for a few hours earlier in the day – I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to user error.

Overall, a great app (worth the $9.99 in my opinion) and a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Hit the comments with any questions – happy to elaborate if helpful!

See a selection of my work here, critique always welcome.

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