Friday, May 31, 2013

Manual Flash Exposure Chart Generator

When photographic flashes were commonly operated in manual mode, they usually had a chart or dial on the flash to calculate the correct exposure based on the distance to the subject. Now that many flashes are designed primarily for automatic use, they may omit this aid, making it harder to use the flash in manual mode.

I thought it would be helpful, therefore, to make a spreadsheet that would generate a table of aperture settings and subject distances for any manual flash. You can download it here:

Manual Flash Exposure Chart Generator [XLS]

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fat Peppy (1997-2013)


Pepper “Fat Peppy” Allen passed away today at the age of 16 from a blood clot in his femoral artery. He was my wife’s loyal companion and obstructer-of-laptop-use; she had him longer than she’s had me. He will be deeply missed.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Team Soft G

Apparently, at least on Twitter, today is the day for all parties to declare their allegiance on the matter of the pronunciation of “GIF,” the Graphics Interchange Format.

I stand with the soft G. (The “JIF” pronunciation, if you must.)

My reasons, like my wallet, are bifold:

  1. The creator of the format, Steve Wilhite, said that it is pronounced with a soft G, and this pronunciation was endorsed by his employer, CompuServe. The peanut-butter-like pronunciation was intentional. In my opinion, it is reasonable to grant inventors the privilege of naming their inventions, including their pronunciation*.  This privilege makes at least as much sense as patent protection.
  2. The usual hard-G argument is that “Graphics” is pronounced with a hard G, so GIF should be as well. This is a stupid argument, based on a non-existent, made-up rule that is not invoked for any other acronym. Anyone who advances this argument deserves to lose**.

* Within reason, at least.
** Anyone who pronounces “SCUBA” with a short U, “UNICEF” with a CH , “LASER” with a short A and soft S (not Z), and “NASCAR” with a schwa for the first A is exempt from argument #2.