July 25, 2011 - Hammondsport Mac Users Group

ATTENDING: Tom B, Jerry L, Jack H, Dotti E, Bob G.

TOPIC: How to Take Great Photographs

Mac users were asked to bring some of their favorite original photos on a USB thumbdrive to this meeting and tell us how the pictures were taken. Since many of us are old experienced photographers (from the film age), we had a good time sharing pictures, stories and the following tips:

SCUFI - shoot close up for impact - this also softens background detail

Framing - use a tree branch, doorway, or foreground element to frame subject

Background - avoid clutter, distracting lines, extreme light or dark

Lighting - use natural light indoors (by a window), use fill flash outdoors for shadow detail

Rule of Thirds - avoid dead center and symmetry in placement of a key element

S - curves - use streams, roads or lines to lead the eye into picture

Scale - include a recognizable element for scale when emphasizing height, depth or distance

Panning - emphasize speed by following fast movement with camera to blur background

Focus on eyes - in a portrait, the eyes are the first thing to be noticed

Angle - shoot from an unusual viewpoint (high, low, inside-out)

Bad weather - take pictures in inclement weather (rain, sleet, fog)

View some of the photos shared at the meeting by Tom, Dotti, Jerry and Bob.

Kodak Top 10 Tips (flash version) - or html version


New Digital Cameras can use old SLR lenses - such as Olympus PEN E-P1

i-FlashDrive by PhotoFast - two-way file transfer for iPad, iPhone and Mac/PC - USB on one end, 30-pin dock connector on other - works with free iFlashDrive app - read more - 8GB ($95) 32GB ($180)

Uninterruptible Power Source (UPS) - Jerry shared how to make a low-cost, high-quality Uninterruptile Power Source. Loss of power or a brown out to a computer can be disastrous if it happens while writing to a hard disk. It can corrupt the Table of Contents, making the disk unusable without heroic measures. So a computer should have a UPS feeding it to eliminate that danger. Kind of like having house insurance, may never need it but if you do need it, you REALLY need it. Read more


TenFourFox - fastest free browser for PPC running 10.4 or older. Which Version? G3, G4, G5

Caffeine - freeware to keep your mac awake during long sessions

JAlbum (version 9.5) - free app to transform a folder of photo files into a complete website in a few seconds with thumbnails, captions, linked images and camera info. (Tom's favors the older version 6.1)

Preview a folder of photographs as a Slideshow:

1) Open folder, then select all pix in folder (Command-A)
2) Right-click (Control-click) on one of the titles and choose 'Slideshow' from Menu.
3) Slow speed of slideshow by clicking Pause, then use direction arrows ->
4) Move translucent control panel of slideshow by click-holding on thin divider line



Secrets From Apple's Genius Bar - read some of Apple's store training secrets. They include: intensive control of how employees interact with customers, scripted training for on-site tech support and consideration of every store detail down to the pre-loaded photos and music on demo devices.

Apple Fastest-Growing Major Retailer in U.S.

MobileMe to iCloud transition - Apple Releases details - no more website hosting after 6/2012

TidBits article re: above

How to move iWeb site to new domain host



Water Accident - If you accidently run your USB thumbdrive through the washer, or drop your cell phone into the pool (or toilet), do the following to possibly salvage it for future use:

1) Remove any battery.
2) Then place the device in a ZIP-LOCK bag filled with UNCOOKED RICE.
3) Zip it closed and leave it for a couple days to allow the rice to absorb all moisture.
4) Replace battery and give it a try.

(Note: if the accident occurred in salt water, first rinse the device in fresh water).


Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -