Monday, October 18, 2010

ZD Soft Video Recorder for screen capture

The reason I want to mention this piece of software is because of the great support I received from the firm. It's too often that service doesn’t measure up when we are dealing with a supplier and when they do, we should let others know.

I had a 2.x version of this software on my XP computer and it was not migratable to the 64-bit Windows 7 PC. When I originally bought it in the beginning of 2007, the website stated that the cost was only $29 and upgrades were free but a new license was required for each machine. I downloaded version 4.1 and thought the old key might work. Nope.

I wasn't sure that since this was a new computer, I would qualify for the upgrade, but I forwarded the old confirmation email with Key to them and explained my situation. Within a day I received a reply with the key for 4.1. Now how great is that!

There are times, when viewing materiel on the web, I find it easier to capture and watch again at a later date than re-visiting the site and sometimes finding the material gone.  The software is used for capturing any video on a screen and outputting to various video and audio different formats. It has worked perfectly on the old XP and now is doing the same on this machine.

The software is now $39.


Feature List (from their website)
Useful capture wizard.
Adaptive screen sharing component. (to other pc)
Easy to start/stop recording with a single mouse-click/hotkey-hit.
Easy to view recordings in the built-in media player.
Easy to manage recordings in the built-in file explorer.
Wide range support of PC games based on DirectX and OpenGL.
High performance screen capture driver for legacy PC.
Fast real-time audio/video compression.  (22 video codecs)
Good audio/video synchronization.
Customizable audio/video quality.
Option to output uncompressed audio/video.
Options to capture selected view, entire desktop or game screen.
Option to capture from external device such as webcam.
Options to capture from speakers, microphone or external lines.
Option to mute capture.
AVI/WMV recording files. (15 codecs)
BMP/PNG/JPG screenshot files.
Customizable hotkeys.
Sticky view selection box.
Tracking mouse cursor view.
Option to capture mouse cursor or not.
Option to keep original mouse cursor size or not.
Option to add mouse click effect or not.
Option to show recording indicator or frame rate in game.

I have not received nor will so in the future any funds, discounts, gifts or special favours from this company. I post here only to highlight the good performance of a company.

Niels Henriksen

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Artist or Photographer?

 I was thinking, obviously too much, about how we see or label ourselves and how this might influence our choices or approaches to subjects, compositions, etc. Am I a photographer, artist or just some crazy guy behind the camera. The last probably being more to the truth.

One thing I know I'm not is a 'commercial' or 'professional' photographer. Even these labels have many interpretations. By these terms I mean a person who can consistently deliver quality materiel under stressful and changing environments. Its not too hard to achieve success under great conditions. The good photographers deliver no matter what happens, every time  and I know I would run into trouble pretty quickly.

For me photography is first and foremost about pure enjoyment. Like exploring with a microscope or telescope but with less magnification. Being able to capture a fleeting moment in time which was 3D and render into 2D flat image.  By use of selective focus, DOF, time and digital enhancements I can try to reveal a unique charm, even though they are not always pleasant, or character to that moment in space. I am creating an interpretation of a real event, like  portrait painting of a person.

I therefore tend to think of myself as an artist who uses the camera-tool, as opposed to the brush-tool, to create images maybe even art work. I tend to shun the label photographer because for many people this has certain connotations, like above, which could lead to think that I have more abilities than I really have. Like delivering a wedding shoot or family portrait.

I tend to photograph subjects I like and the way I want, but then again I'm not making a living from that approach. But there are people who do enjoy my art work.

I'm in the process of printing 3 images in sets of 5 for future prints. I will test a bunch of fine-art or rag papers to see which one works best. Since these images are shown here, in this blog, are somewhat the same it will make it easier to fine-tune the ink adjustments for them all.

Note to Regular Readers:

As I mentioned in the previous article, this summer has provided me with a great opportunity with time to explore and to just look and think and to not spend so much time at the computer. Unfortunately this has also led to a dearth of articles recently and I want to thank all for still dropping by to check up.

In my articles I many times discuss how to stimulate and increase your creativity and now I find myself  with some self-doubt about where I am going with my photographic art. But this is common for most of us from time to time, but I still don't like it.

I have been thinking that I need to change my approach to selecting scenes and subjects. Up until now, I have been photographing any image when it made a good composition but when I look over my portfolio, I now realize that there is not much tying the images together. Maybe the odd few but most are stand-alone photographs and most are not focused on people. If there are some they are more ancillary to the image.

I therefore need to find some new and story-telling types of images where they could form a theme base portfolio.

I will keep you informed about my progress to stimulate myself with some new ideas.

Photo Tip

If it's bright sunny day and scene to be photographed is sunlit then automatically shift to bracketing.
Even with today's modern cameras and post editing tools the dynamic range captured has never been greater but I have on times been lazy and only realized later the information was either missing in the highlights or too dark to really bring out the tones.

Learn how to change to this mode in a few seconds. Once it becomes instinct in programming your DSLR you will turn it on when needed. If you have to think about how then it just doesn't happen.

Niels Henriksen


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