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Steve’s Corner #2

Originally published in the February 2016 issue of the Helderberg Photographic Society newsletter.

Colour Spaces
Strangely, considering it was the black & white evening, a debate on colour space use started between some members at a recent meeting. This prompted some questions on just what is meant by sRGB and Adobe RGB 98 colour spaces. I am no expert but simply put a colour space is just a way of describing a gamut or range of colours. This is important to us because of the way different output devices handle colour.
There are three colour spaces that photographers commonly use. In increasing order of gamut size (the range of colours they support), these are sRGB, Adobe RGB 98 and ProPhoto. Our processing software can handle any of these and we commonly work in Adobe RGB 98 or ProPhoto while processing our images. When our images are displayed by non colour managed software applications or printed, the colour space used is typically close to the smaller sRGB colour space. This means that the colours used in our images must be reduced to fit those available in the smaller colour space. When this is done automatically, the results can sometimes be less than pleasing and it is therefore far preferable to do the conversion ourselves, using our processing software. These applications will almost always do a better job of converting and we can further tweak the converted images if we aren’t totally happy with the result.
To read more about colour spaces, refer to the following articles, or search the Internet for others; there are many out there.

Podcasts
Podcasts are like radio shows on the internet. There are many of them focusing on all sorts of topics, and photography is no different. There are different ways to consume podcasts; they almost always have an associated web site that offers textual notes adding to the audio of each episode as well as the episodes themselves in an audio format, usually MP3, via players embedded in their pages. They also allow the audio to be downloaded so that you can copy it to your computer, phone or audio player for listening at your convenience. Beyond this they publish their episodes via service like Apple’s iTunes where you can subscribe to a podcast and episodes are automatically downloaded into the iTunes software on your computer. You can listen to it there or sync it to your phone, audio player or tablet for listening to offline; perhaps while commuting. Cars, buses or trains are places we may spend an hour or more in each day, making them perfect places to read or listen to our podcast content. The podcast web sites also give you access to earlier episodes that you can go back and listen to.

Furthermore, there are apps known as podcatchers, available for most desktop and mobile operating systems. These allow you to search for podcasts, subscribe to them and have episodes automatically downloaded for later consumption. iTunes behaves as a podcatcher as described above. If you use a smartphone or tablet, there are podcatcher apps you can use there. Some are free and included with the operating system on the device, for example the iOS operating system on your iPhone or iPad came with the Podcasts app. Many consider these built-in apps to be lacking in some ways and there are thus other podcatchers written by third parties available. For instance there is Overcast a free podcast player for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. If you are an Android user, there is a wide range of apps to choose from; ranging from free apps like Player FM and Podcast Addict, free apps with in app purchases like Podcast Republic to paid apps like DoggCatcher.
As for the podcasts themselves, there are a wide variety of photography related podcasts. You will probably find, as I did that there are some you really enjoy and others that you don’t really like. The podcatcher apps let you search by topic to find podcasts that you can try out and subscribe to. Here are some of the podcasts that I enjoy.

  • Tips from the Top Floor hosted by German photographer Chris Marquardt is the longest running photography podcast, with over 700 episodes, and focuses more on the creative aspects of photography than the gear as some podcasts do.
  • The Candid Frame hosted by Ibarionex Perillo author of Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light (Voices That Matter) has each episode taking the format of an interview with a different photographer, focusing on their creative process and projects they have undertaken.
  • The Digital Story hosted by photographer and author Derrick Story publishes half hour episodes where photography news is covered along with one or two more in depth looks at some topics.
  • PhotoFocus has various hosts and publishes three (soon to be four) episodes per month. These take the form of interviews with photographers (two per episode) interspersed with question and answer shows in which the hosts answer questions that listeners have sent in.
  • Shutters Inc. hosted by audio engineer and part-time phographer Bruce Williams, with photographer Glynn Lavender hails from Australia and takes the format of a chat between the two. This irreverent pair crack jokes and poke fun as they discuss photographic news items and news from their own lives.
  • This Week in Photo, also known as TWIP is another long running podcasts hosted by various photographers, some of whom also host their own podcasts. They cover the weeks news and usually pick one or two stories to discuss at length. TWIP is also the parent organisation behind a number of other, more focused podcasts, such as Street Focus hosted by Valerie Jardin, All About the Gear, a video cast reviewing the latest gear and TWIP Talks an interview based show. All of these can be accessed via the TWIP web site.
  • The Martin Bailey Photography Podcast is hosted by Tokyo based British photographer Martin Bailey and covers largely nature and landscape topics. Martin runs several annual workshops around these themes. He has an annual one to photograph the snow monkeys and winter landscape of Hokkaido, was recently in Namibia and is planning a workshop in Iceland this year.
  • PhotoNetCast is a podcast produced in a cooperation between several photography bloggers. The about page says, “Our idea is to stand out from the crowd and turn this podcast into a more relaxed and dynamic feature with a roundtable format. Instead of delivering the common ‘how tos’ we intend to bring our own opinions and discuss the latest news going around in the photography world with a special focus on what is released by photography bloggers. This, of course, doesn’t mean that we will not try to make it educational.”
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