One of the big advantages of digital photography is that EXIF data is embedded into your images, allowing you to easily learn when and how (and more recently where) a particular photograph was captured. If you still enjoy shooting film, then a solution is to jot down notes about your photography while you’re shooting. The “Field Notebook” is a nifty little notebook published by Etsy user fabriKateShop you can use to record “EXIF data” by hand — especially useful for when you’re taking a film photography course. You can find them for about $12 each over on Etsy.
The Flashkus by Art Lebedev is a cheap, disposable, and environmentally friendly cardboard USB stick that might one day make sharing event photos with friends much easier and cheaper. While many websites are geared towards photo sharing, transferring gigabytes of data to friends is still difficult to do via the Interwebs, so people often choose to burn DVDs or use pricey USB drives. The Flashkus would make the process easier by allowing people to simply tear off a USB drive, dump photos onto it, scribble a note onto the front, and hand it off to their friends. Once the photos are downloaded, the drive can be reused or thrown away.
It’ll be available in 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB but currently seems to be in the concept/design stage. Hopefully Art Lebedev adds it to their online store soon.
If you find yourself often shooting in cold weather and having to take your right hand glove off to operate your camera, you might want to check out Freehands gloves. These are special gloves that have thumb and index finger tips that fold back, allowing you to adjust your camera settings without having to expose the useless parts of your hand to the cold. They range from $18 to $80 and can be ordered directly from the Freehands website.
Have you always wondered how to use the Pen Tool in Photoshop but have never gotten around to learning it? f stoppers published this uber-informative video tutorial by Sean Armenta teaching how it’s used and why it’s a tool that everyone should learn. The teaching is done on a Mac, so if you have a PC, just substitute CTRL for CMD and ALT for OPT.
External hard drives are a convenient way to store your digital photographs, but they have finite lifetimes and eventually fail. Failing drives have a number of distinctive sounds that can warn you and give you some time to start a data-exodus to a healthier hard drive. Datacent, a data recovery company, has a useful page on which you can listen to some of the most common “bad drive sounds”. These are categorized by manufacturer, and include things like stuck spindles, disk heads crashing, accessing bad sectors, and bad bearings. If your drive makes any of these sounds while your photographs are still accessible, begin evasive maneuversimmediately!
DOF Calculator is an app for Android phones that helps you easily calculate depth of field and hyperfocal distances. Simply tell it your camera, lens, and aperture setting, and it’ll spit out the numbers you need for optimally sharp landscape photographs. You can download it for free by searching for “DOF Calculator” in the Android Market.
For a quick video tutorial on how hyperfocal distance works, check out this post.
You can see sun positions at sunrise, specified time and sunset. The thin orange curve is the current sun trajectory, and the yellow area around is the variation of sun trajectories during the year. The closer a point is to the center, the higher is the sun above the horizon. The colors on the time slider above show sunlight coverage during the day.
iPhone photography continues to grow in popularity, but transferring photographs to your computer can be a hassle. If you’re sick of having to plug in your device via USB every time you want to sync your photos, you might want to take a look at Cinq, a free app that allows you to wireless transfer full-resolution photographs to your computer as you take them. You simply download the app to both your computer and your phone, and photos taken through the app will automatically be sent to a folder on your computer. The free version is ad-supported, while there’s an ad-free $2 version.
Tag clouds are a neat way of visualizing what content is about, and Tagerator is a simple program that generates them for your Flickr photo tags. Created by Jeremy Brooks (the guy behind SuperSetr), the simple Java app will run on any computer that has Java 1.6 installed. Besides its ability to generate the tag clouds for you, it stores the tag information gleaned from your account to disk, allowing you to use the tag/count information however you’d like.
Here’s a clever trick to keep in mind if you use SD cards for your photography: if the locking mechanism on the side of the card breaks off and renders your card unwritable, covering over the area with a little scotch tape magically makes your card useable again.