December 28, 2010

An interesting story from the Apple Store

A friend and tech. support client recently purchased a new iPod Touch. She went home and was quickly disappointed when her black MacBook running 10.4.11 couldn't communicate with it. The new iPod needs the new Mac OS of course! She asked me about it and I lamented that this is a common occurrence for Apple users. The latest and greatest requires the latest and greatest... And so, I got ready to upgrade her RAM and install Snow Leopard. While she was at the Apple Store buying her system software for the upgrade she mentioned her surprise and disappointment that her iPod wouldn't work with her Mac to the clerk. No one at the store had even asked her about her computer when she purchased the iPod. She felt a bit victimized. I don't blame her. The new clerk consulted with the manager and they are updating her system to Snow Leopard at no cost. We upgraded her memory in a pretty affordable fashion. Happy ending, but why?

I find this interesting. Is the typical Apple "force-a-sale" strategy starting to backfire with upset customers? Are the Apple stores trying to upgrade anyone/everyone in anticipation of the upcoming Mac App Store opening soon? Just a sympathetic manager?

November 11, 2010

Shoot Color and Develop Your Eye for Black and White

It is a given that shooting RAW files and converting to grayscale is the way to have your black and white photography come out the best. There are lots of tutorials, lessons, and software to help with that. I'm currently pretty excited about the results I'm seeing from Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro. I have heard and read plenty about it but only recently gave it a try. I'll be buying it.

But my post is about developing your eye. When I'm shooting, color is all around me. I see the color but have a hard time "picturing" the grayscale image sometimes. If I set the camera to capture grayscale jpeg's I get to see the image in black and white and it helps me develop my eye but I don't get all the RAW data I want later during post processing. 

So, my solution is to set the camera to capture RAW and JPEGs. Then I set the JPEGs to be captured in grayscale. The best of both worlds! I can edit the RAW later but develop my eye in the field. I'm having a lot of fun with it.

October 23, 2010

About Nature Photography Guides

New Web site just launched:

Find a companion photographer to Guide you or become one yourself...

Are you tired of photography workshops? You probably don't need them anymore and they are expensive. You are an accomplished nature photographer already (or on your way!). Wouldn't it be great to know a local Guide that would take you to great shooting locations when you visit a new area of the world? Someone that shoots like you do. Someone that shoots the same camera brand that you do. Someone you have come to know via email, chat and phone calls before the shoot. Someone that can really help you get the shots you want to get in the time that you have to get them.
All of that, is what Nature Photography Guides is all about. Started by photographers that don't want to pay for instruction when it isn't needed but need guidance in new exciting locations. Guides, companions, fixers, local talent, fellow photographers, drivers ... whatever you want to call them, that's what we have here. Here's how it works.

August 02, 2010

Safe Updating on Mac OS

Before running any software updates...wait a fews days to a week. If there are any problems with the updates you will hear from me if you are one of my clients.

Then when you are sure there are no problems follow the directions below. Updates do best on a “quiet system” ... no applications running, nothing printing etc.

1. Restart
2. Run Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility - select the disk on the left, Click Repair Permissions
3. If there are issues, call Steve, if not continue
4. Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility - select the disk on the left, Click Verify
5. If there are issues, call Steve, if not continue
6. Do the software update or installation or whatever

July 31, 2010

Anthem Triathlon, Broomfield, CO Photos are posted

Photos of the bikers at today's ( 7/31/2010) Anthem  Triathlon in Broomfield, CO are posted at

Use for a more direct link. Many bib numbers were obscured so participants may want to search for "unknown" as well as their number and partial numbers.

The Anthem Triathlon is a production of Redline Races
Photos are all © Steve Gandy Photography.

February 14, 2010

Nikon settings for tracking a bird in flight...

I'm certainly not the final expert on this subject. Bird photography is not really my "focus" at all. But I always try to follow a bird in flight when I can just for the skill enhancement, eye/hand coordination, and practice on resetting my controls quickly. These images are current on my Nikon D3, might be slightly different on other models.

First, you want the Focus Mode (front of camera near lens) set to Continuous not single or manual. This allows the camera to keep following the subject once the system has "locked onto" the subject. You want Auto on the lens switch as well.

Then you want the Auto Focus Settings (rear of camera near the Multi-Selector) set to Auto Area. This will let the camera use the entire central portion of the frame and all the focus points to try and acquire (and keep) the the subject...which is hard to do! This makes it easier.

Note the picture shows Single point selected not the Auto Area.

Finally, the Release Mode, should be on CL or CH (Continuous Low or Continuous High) (on top left of the camera) to allow for quick exposures. The CH can be as high as 11 frames a second.

Then fire away. If you lose focus try again. Practice makes perfect. Well, "perfect" probably isn't a great word for this but it will make you faster and better.

Great Blue Heron

February 10, 2010

Apple Mail application preferences corruption issue solution

I had an interesting problem with a client's Mail today. After migrating to a new i7 iMac Mail worked but crashed and had to forced to quit whenever you tried to edit the preferences.

After searching the web and Apple's support site with no luck I devised a plan to trash the ~/Library/Preferences/ file and then manually rebuild the accounts. The mail in folders is unaffected by doing this but I made a backup just in case.

Before going to all this trouble we called AppleCare and we were bumped up to a Mail engineer that approved of my plan. But while talking we decided it was worth seeing if we could get the old iMac to re-write the prefs, then copy them to the new iMac.

I created a new email account on the old system. Closed Mail, which apparently did force Mail to re-write the preferences file, and copied the prefs over and it worked! The file's corruption was fixed.

Since this wasn't documented anywhere I decided to blog it myself.

January 25, 2010

Digital Photography Intro classes

I have 2 upcoming classes on the calendar:

  1. Saturday, Feb. 20 and/or Mar. 6 at Mojo Coffeehouse in Lafayette: Just 4 seats available $90. To hold a spot on this one I need a check. I will hold that until class day. There is a 50% cancellation fee.
  2. Thursday, April 22 at the Boulder Digital Arts classroom in Boulder: Lots of seats available $125. Registration is handled by BDA on their website. See the site for cancellation details.
  3. Landscape Photography Tour in Utah: I'm also leading a landscape photography tour to southeastern Utah, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks, May 2-6. Let me know if you want more info on that. Limit 6. $500 plus food/lodging/transportation costs.

Here are some links to info on the classes:

The class is always well received is great for beginning to intermediate levels of expertise. About half of the day is spent on photography with hands-on time and half on the computer with the image software, again hands-on.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'll be traveling 1/28 - 2/5 on a photography tour to Costa Rica so my responses may be delayed.

New Top Ten Images Post

Haiti Earthquake Tragedy :

New Bumper Sticker Spotted

There is a new bumper sticker spotting post: