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NVMUG February 2013 Meeting Report


NVMUG Meeting
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Meeting Room 224
Northeast Vermont Regional Hospital

St. Johnsbury, Vermont

Warren Walker came to this meeting specially to give Midge Lubot two framed wildflower pictures for the Kiwanis Auction. He did not print his Vermont wildflower calendars this year because he has not had time from work to attend craft shows to sell them. He is working seven days a week, and is going back to work after this meeting.




Warren Walker delivering Kiwanis auction pictures to Midge Lubot






Midge’s camera was stolen when her house was broken into. She takes photos at her Kiwanis meetings for their newsletters. She liked her Nikon and is considering a new one, maybe a Nikon1 J1 or Nikon 1 V2.She asked for recommendations.

Warren recommended that she pick one up and handle it. What works for one person’s hands doesn’t work for another’s. Figure out what features you need, and what you can afford. Then handle them to see what works for you.

Warren said some cameras now take high dynamic range photos and merge them within the camera. Some are more sensitive with high ISOs for taking pictures in dimmer light. You may want shake reduction that comes within the camera. Shake reduction within the lens is generally more expensive but better.

A friend gave Midge a picture that was very dark. She lightened it up in iPhoto for her friend and it looked much better.

Michael Marks (Mike) said something about some Cannon kit lenses that were not very sharp, and wanted to know about going off auto to find the sweat spot were the lens is sharpest.

Warren said that generally a lens is sharpest in the mid-range. The aperture controls depth of field. With a smaller aperture, depth of focus is less critical, but as the aperture gets very small defraction gets blurry again and the exposure gets longer so camera shake gets worse. A tripod is the best for sharp photos, but don’t buy a cheap one. Tripod first - better lens second.

Mike said something about having a long Sony lens for his point and shoot pictures of birds. Most of the time he is out hiking, and there would not be time to use a tripod. He shot an eagle in flight that was so sharp he could see its eyeball.

Warren mostly shoots wildflowers, waterfalls, and mushrooms, but sometimes shoots smaller animals and frogs. His longest lens is 300mm, and they generally say you should have 400mm or longer for wildlife photography.

Warren said very few photographers make a living off their photographs. They teach photography, give lectures, write, or do something else. Only wedding photographers make a good living off their photos.

Mike held up a small device, about the size of a small iPod and asked, what does this one belong to. Then he turned it one, and it controlled his laptop.

Geof Gonter said that GIMP for the Mac has been around for a long time, at least about four years. His had GIMP in Lake Region schools for at least two years. They are part of the school’s standard install. He said an art teacher and a guy teaching web design wanted Photoshop, but it was to costly, so they went with GIMP which is available for very low cost or free.

Warren said GIMP is for image processing which is more than just photo editing. Anything you can do in Photoshop you can generally do in GIMP.

Warren said you can do color editing in LAB color which is not easy to do in RGB. L stands for luminosity, and A and B are two different color ranges. You can get a gray scale and total color value separately, so for example a color can go from yellow to pure black. RGB blends color tonal values to go to what looks very much like black. Printers use still another system, CYMK to layer additive colors.

Bruce Shields said John Knox, a photographer in Northfield, Vermont, shoots Vermont Life calendar photographs, like covered bridges in snowstorms, and uses LAB colors. See an example here > http://www.capturemyvermont.com/photos/902923

Using LAB color with curves changes colors without changing total contrast. You can change a blue car to red in LAB color.

I have added a page with two pictures of Burke Mountain from near my homw north of Lyndonville on a separate page here in to illustrate adding snap using LAB color.

Someone said that a famous photographer who took pictures for jacket covers took his wife with him. After he died people found out that she was having people change how they were dressed before he took the picture. He was color blind.


Midge said they have a Time Machine backup of Richard’s stolen computer. Now Richard has a new computer. She asked what would happen if she backs up Time Machine to the new computer on the same spot.

Geof said he has not used Time Machine much. Time Machine may be hard to restore with a change in the operating system. He recommended that she create a separate partition for the Time Machine side. Then Richard can drag out what he wants. Geof said he went to the Staples site and found a 500 gig hard drive for less than $50.

Midge said, when she lost all her passwords, she used Time Machine to go back a few days and restored keychain to get them back.

Bruce said four or five women wanted to be his friend on Facebook. Out of curiosity selected one of them. Some time later he got a message that she would be up this evening. How about drinks? He did not respond.

Midge said her Facebook is not working now and she misses it.

There was more discussion about problems with Microsoft Office. I believe Geof said there have been six versions of them. In 2007 they changed the format and the converter does not always work properly. They expect you to convert to them. Some web sites require Explorer and will not even work with Firefox.

Apple supports OSX 3 and more recent operating systems through their updates.

DataViz’s latest developments are more for iPad than desktops.

Geof said he uses text edit 95% of the time, Midge and I use Pages

Stephen Farber said he was here to copy Gordon Alexander's disk, He brought his equipment, but Gordon did not come to this meeting.

Bruce Shields said the National Geographic programTopo was really great, He only bought New England which came on 3 CDs. Its nearest SGS scan is eight inches to one mile.

Warren prints out topo maps now. This allows him to set a dot on his screen.He can zoom in and can download and store it on his iPad. Bruce said enter “GPS topos” for a Google search. Warren said their is a free topo app

Geof said one of iPad’s advantages is free apps that do what people want, but he does not like the clunky x’s for closing pages.

Bruce said people are using an iPad as the document copier instead of paying twenty five cents. Geof said people use their Smart Phone to copy bar codes in stores, then look for cheaper prices on line,

Warren said to be careful when downloading books from Amazon. Some of them are just close copies of popular titles. Amazon permits self publishing, Someone copied a wikipedia article and was selling it. Neil Raphel said you cannot copyright a book title.

Warren said he has downloaded a great many books free from the Gutenberg project. Any public domain books are available free. He is currently reading General, US Grant’s Memoirs. The quality of the books varies greatly. Some are hypertext linked, others not,

Bruce said the State Library of Vermont has old census documents. You can email them to yourself.

Neil Raphel said Google Books has lots of free stuff including whole books. Just Google “Google Books”.

After the raffle people started talking about genealogy and I stopped taking notes except that a great source of genealogy information is Cynci’s List. To learn more, just Google it.

And I learned that Michael Marks has a radio show on WGDR from Godard College every other Sunday afternoon. Geof Gonter listened to it last Sunday, and he and Mike talked about the program and stories about great guitar players.

Mike will be on the air again 12:30 p.m. Sunday, February 23 on MMMKafe on station WDGR.

“MMMKafe offers home style comfort music for most tastes.  Our Menu will cover many genres of music: from Lightnin’ Hopkins to Count Basie; from Elvis to (Dave) Alvin; with unique blending of sound-spices from around the world covering a wide array of 20th and 21st century musical tastes.  Your host is Mr. 3M.”

In the raffle:

Stephen Farber was the first winner and chose The Book of GIMP by Olivier LeCarme and Karine Delvare from No Starch Press. It is available with our user group discount from O’Reilly.

Warren Walker was the second winner and chose the certificate to choose an O’Reilly eBook from O’Reilly.

Michael Marks was third and won the CD with Take Control of iTunes 11 - The FAQ by Kirk McElhearn from TidBITS. It is available with a 50% discount for user group members.

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