An Easy to Use Lens Hood Cap

lens hood cap

Lens hood with an easily-removable cap

Lens hoods are an interesting accessory, meant to block light from coming into your shot at unexpected dimensions.  Unfortunately, they make putting a lens cap on very difficult if not impossible.

If you’re not satisfied with the fact that the offset does protect the lens somewhat, my extremely simple solution was to simply use a larger-sized lens cap than the lens uses on my hood.  This 58mm hood (Amazon) fit my Canon T2i DSLR’s kit lens, and a 62mm lens cap (Amazon) made a perfect lens hood cap.*  See after the “read more” link for a GIF of the process.

Seriously easy.  I’m really pleased with how this worked.

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GIMP vs Photoshop Elements 13 – First Impressions

pre-cropped-photo GIMP vs Photoshop

Macro photo from the National Gingerbread Competition in 2013

After taking a photography course, I’ve been curious about editing photos, especially in the Raw format (more on that later).  I’ve used GIMP for around 5 years, and am pretty comfortable with it for simple things, but from watching a few videos (this one is pretty excellent), it seemed to me like Photoshop Elements might have some significant advantages.

After seeing a physical copy on sale at Amazon for $49.99 on sale at Amazon (with Prime), I decided to take the plunge.  The hard copy seems to go on sale intermittently, as with the downloadable version, so I’d suggest watching it for a while if it’s not.

After playing with Photoshop for less than a day, I can see that I was definitely right about it being a more polished experience.  The two seem similar, but Photoshop just feels better to use.  There are a few advantages to GIMP though, so read on to see my comparison and some before/after photos. Continue reading

Bicycle Camera Mount Alternate Use

handlebar-mount1

Todd Schlemmer recently suggested that I feature this excellent-looking Minoura Handlebar Camera Mount (Amazon), which I’m quite happy to do.  I haven’t used it myself, but according to Todd, he was “very impressed by its solid construction and bikey part appearance.  The cork is totally Japanese old school.”*

It does look quite solid, but naturally I was curious to see what he’s come up with using this device so far.  Todd was kind enough to point me to his Flickr photostream, where he’s documented his setup for videoing a 3D printed camera build.  According to Todd, these photos are “very noisy and representative of both my cognitive method and work space.”  I can relate to this.

Although it’s not attached directly to a bicycle, the mount is fixtured to a pole resting on a bicycle, which seems fitting to me for some reason.  Also of note is his use of clamp lights, which I’ve found to be very useful for making good better quality videos.  Here’s my DIY clamp light stand.

handlebar-mount2

I’m sure the assembly footage will turn out great, and hopefully I can feature it here!

*He should know, as he was recently kicked out of a local Japanese garden for using a Tripod.  Apparently he’s considering his options for making s “stealth tripod.”