Apple, Please don't let me down!

[finger crossed]

Well, I finally found a place to contact the iTunes Suport staff. It was a bit convoluted, but I finally found a form. I was told that my question will be answered in 72 hours. Hopefully, I'll be able to report soon that I've gotten a fix to my podcast being submitted to the store.

Another gripe post...

Ok... So I know I'm being a little hard on Apple tonight. I have another problem to get off my chest. I purchased QuickTime Pro because I want to create Quicktime movies with HREF links within the movies. I have some ideas I want to work out with this.

I follow the tutorial on the Apple website... seems easy enough, but there is a major glitch. I have found a few people with this problem on the discussion forums on Apple.com and there are NO ANSWERS to it. To top it off, I got a major run around on the Apple support side of their site and seems like there is little to no support for paying customers of QuickTime. :-(

So, after a few unanswered posts, I posted this to the Apple forum this evening. I hope I get an answer to this problem. I would love to post a "big ups" to Apple post, but lately they seem to keep leaving me flat.

I'm trying to follow the Apple tutorial on creating HREF tracks in a quicktime Pro movie, but when I try to rename my Text Trac to HREFTrack and click enter, it renames back to Text Track and won't complete the change.

I'm very frustrated. This is the BIG reason I even purchased QTPro in the first place and now I'm only finding that at least a few QTPro users have this problem... there is no support phone number, no way to submit a bug report... AND if this is a bug, then it shouldnt' be listed that you can do this with QTPro if it won't do it.

(feeling a little cheated!)

I realize I might sound a bit nasty in my tone, but it's only because I've STRUGGLED to find an answer online, only to be rerouted to wrong pages, the feedback request didn't work because it said that I left a field blank that was filled in, so I couldn't submit feedback and I see that other people on this message board have this same problem that has gone unanswered.

In terms of a customer support, this is very poor on Apple's part. No one should have to go to this extent to get help on a software program that someone paid for... and it doesn't do what it was said it could do... AND there "seems" to be little to no help for paying customers.

So, yes, I'm frustrated. I just want it to do what I paid for it to do. Is that too much to ask?

Strike Two. Major Bummer.

Feeling a little cheated!

I tend to not make posts like this but I had to vent. I'm a PC user. I used to be a HUGE Mac advocate. I don't dislike Apple's... PC's just seem to suit my career currently for a variety of reasons. Would I use a Mac and be happy with it? Sure I would. I have an iPod and LOVE it. iTunes is my music app of choice. I'm not anti-mac.

But that company is not on my good side right now. My PhotoCast was rejected from the iTunes music store because I had a problem with the way I set up the feed initially (no enclosure). Ok, I goofed... my mistake. I fixed it and tried to resubmit it, "sorry, this feed has already been submitted". I tried replying to the email I received but I got no response after almost a week.

So, It seems like there is a way to get a feed reconsidered. One strike and you're out? Sound a little harsh to me...

Apple, please don't let me down.

Making Your Mark

Any advertising guy knows that branding is everything. Well, I've been a little lax with my recent uploads to this blog with my watermarking. Some people use watermarking as a way to protect their images from "misappropriation" and that's something to think about. Aside from this, I like the presentation this gives even more so. Especially as I work with more people and give them samples from the shoots, I'm going to ask that when they display them on their online portfolios to keep my watermark on them.

When reviewing photographers on OneModelPlace.com and even models, it's great when a model adds your OMP number to your images, but the watermark is visible to all that don't follow the links. There are a number of photographers on OMP that I recognize their style now when I see it, but only because I've seen a bunch of their images watermarked in models portfolios (attention nicovision, it works! I like your stuff!)

So, how do you make this quick and painless while keeping it professional. I prefer the Russell Brown approach. On his site, he has a Creating Watermark Tutorial and Quicktime Movie. It's a fast approach do doing this easily and quickly. All you need I a logo in a "path file" or shape in Photoshop and you are ready to go.

You've seen mine in previous image examples, or in the header of this site. But here's one I made for my friend, Matt and his soon to be released site (right matt? Wink wink, nudge, nudge.)

Lighting Podcast


It's a funny story how this all came to be, but I'm co-host on LightSource, the brightest podcast about studio lighting. Our episode 1 released this week. While I'm still getting the hang of "broadcasting", I think it's a good show. In this show, we talk about lighting news, setting up a studio in your home and have an interview with Paul C. Buff owner and creator of Alien Bees and White Lightning lighting systems.

I'm looking forward to future shows and improving my technique as well as learning, talking and teaching more about studio lighting. If you have any ideas, comments or suggestions, feel free to email me, or contact us through the podcast page.

Listen today, tell a friend. This podcast is also available via iTunes in the iTunes directory... and mentioned on the home page of alienbees.com

Photo Manipulation, Prison and Internet Religion.

Isn't love grand? Photo manipulation reaches new heights. Imagine you are confined to a certain location, like say… prison. But wish you could take a vacation somewhere with your significant other (and not the one you share a cell with.)

Well, now there is a company catering to this group. Thanks to Adobe Photoshop, this company is now taking prison visit photos and putting the subjects where they wished they could go.

This brings up an interesting question. As virtual reality becomes more of… well, a reality, will it's use be restricted for prisoners? I know I've played computer games where the experience was so real that I felt like I had been "immersed" in another reality. Or even the Internet allows that to a point (are prisoners allowed online?) A former creative director I worked with argued that the Internet was man's attempt to be more god-like. With the ability to "transport" to anywhere in the globe through the web, it closes gaps that used to exist before. Information is instantly accessible that once required lots of research and maybe even some traveling. I can see where this quest for "all knowing knowledge" could be perceived that way. (To counter the god-like theory, it's important to remember there is a difference between knowledge/information and wisdom.)

I constantly marvel at how the Internet has shrunk the world for me. I used to be very centralized here in South Central Pennsylvania. Now I have people I consider close friends that are all over the states, different parts of Canada, some in the UK and Europe. And they are no farther then my bedroom office.

Summer of Shooting - Newark

Shortly after that shoot, I was in Newark for a shoot and had the opportunity to work with a slew of models. The volume of images produced that day was incredible. The models were fantastic and being in an actual studio setting was very exciting. The great part of that shoot was taking some sketches I've had for some time and and actually producing them. These have turned into my hotest sellers right now.



Hacker guy

Son of a geek is still a geek Or The Power of Marketing

My 5 year old is pretty tech savvy. At our block party this weekend, he was showing a few of the adults how to select songs on my iPod. (To which a few of the replied, "I just don't get this. Maybe I don't want one.")

He was going on a long car trip this weekend and my wife bought him a Game Boy Advance SP to be entertained during the car ride. So, I took him to Toys R Us to pick up a game. In the car on the way home, he's checking out the box and asks, "Is this from eBay?". Why do you ask? "Because it has a big [lowercase] E on it, isn't that eBay?"

I figured out he meant the "Rated E for Everyone" icon, but it made me realize just how powerful a job eBay has done with their marketing. Soo much so that my son associates the letter e with eBay. (That, or he's just a big computer/internet geek like his father.)

Bloggers in the media.

Typically, I don't blog about blog stuff. I try to stay on topic of design and photography. This one was hilarious though!

Daily Show News Story About Blogging

I have been hearing so many things in the media these days from the way bloggers are regarded. Some places refer to bloggers and "fringe kooks" (and I'm sure those guys are out there... but they are out there in society too.) to being referred to as the "Napster equivelent" of journalism.

Regardless, it's nice to know that the media seems to have an interest in bloggers other then something to poke fun of. It's important for them to remember. Bloggers are people... and possibly the very consumers of their product they may offend.


Photographer seeking models (for stock photos)

Harrisburg photographer interested in finding subjects. Don't need the "supermodel" look, attractive everyday people are actually preferred. Male or Female. In studio or on location. I have compiled a brief set of Frequently Asked Questions.

What are these used for?
I'm a stock photographer on istockphoto.com. If purchased, they could be used for a variety of design projects; websites, advertising, packaging, personal projects, CD or DVD packaging, film and video presentations, multimedia presentations, commercials, books, greeting cards, posters, postcards, business cards, articles, etc.*

What's in it for me?
I can provide a CD of images for your own personal use (see usage note) and/or a few prints from out session. For aspiring models, it's also another opportunity to be in front of the camera perfecting your craft.

What do I need to bring?
Attire and such will be discussed when a session is planned. Please have taken the time to read my model release. I will be happy answer any questions you may have regarding this release.

Usage Note for Stock Images
Images provided to models can be printed for their own personal portfolios or to share with family and friends as any personal photos. These images can not be resold without the photographers knowledge or written consent. Images can not be displayed any larger then 640x480 pixels in online portofolios.

* - models are protected from their images being used for derogatory or defamatory use or in any way that depicts in a person in a potentially sensitive subject matter. Please review my model release I use prior to our photo shoot.

toe-mA-toe, toe-mAH-toe

Is mySQL pronounced - "My S Q L" or is it pronounced My Sequel?

I'd always assumed it was the latter because of calling SQL statements "Sequel Statements". But my co-worker was talking to his "geek" friend this weekend who lectured him about "pronoucing it the right way".

That last thing I want is to be one of "those guys" that calls a GIF file something that sounds like a brand of peanut butter.

Funky Little Ringflash Reflector

Originally uploaded by motoed.

In an article I wrote for istockphoto, I discussed a little ringflash reflector that I have been experimenting with. The above photo is a shot of that setup... and here is the quoted text about this lighting setup.

For a "poor man's" ringflash, you have a couple options. It works best with two flashes, but you can make do with a single flash unit. Cut an oblong hole (vertically) in a large white card just large enough to fit over the outside of your lens. Set your flashes up on a stand so the flash units are on either site of your lens, facing each other (I use Canon flashes that operate as master/slaves via IR). Then place the card over the lens through the hole in the card and position it so the top of the card is tilted at a 45 degree angle toward the subject. The flashes will bounce off the card and toward your model and give you an effect "similar" to expensive ringflashes. You'll have to experiment with power output and exposure, but you can get some interesting lighting effects.

See the article for more information and some samples.

Lana -Ringflash

Internet Photography Site Of The Week

With the increase of digital photography on the rise, it seems like everytime you turn around there is new photography site on the net. It's really the best invention for photographers. The wealth of information available is unheard of before and it gives you a chance to discuss techniques with other photographers more easily then ever before.

I will continue to feature a link from my extensive list of bookmarks each week. I'm going to start with one of my favorites, FredMiranda.com. The main reason I read FredMiranda so often is the professionalism of the members. The work and advice they share is consistently top-notch. You can get that same quality on other forums, but FredMiranda seems abundant with it.

Fred Miranda is also known for his excellent Photoshop actions. I have the Intellisharpen action and love the results. I've also played with the BW Pro action and found it to be a very great tool for someone highly interested in BW photography.

An interesting note: Fred Miranda, the person, was a model with a number agencies and decided to give up being in front of the lens to move behind it and start learning the art. His site is an excellent resource that I value highly.

Check it out at: FredMiranda.com


I am a stock photographer and I've been working more with models and honing my studio lighting techniques. Here is a small sampling of some of the commercial photography projects I've worked on.

[kml_flashembed movie="/ssp_director/swf/ssp_Models.swf" fvars="startalbum=album-9" height="550" width="500" /]


A project in my senior year of art school was a self portrait illustration, of an open poker hand with my face dimensional popping out of the "jack" and the caption read, "Ed Hidden, Jack of All Trades". Sure it was Cliché, but I'll chalk it up to still being a teen.

I must have been insightful to my career because, I've tried to stay true to that cheesy metaphor over the years. I've been a paste-up artist, technical illustrator, multimedia artist, animator, online video editor, art director and currently, a web designer and photographer.

So, just who is this multifaceted person?

"Educator Bio"
Ed Hidden is a graphic designer, photographer, code-monkey, blogger, cubicle dweller and motorcyclist (often referred to by his online moniker: MotoEd). Ever since art school, he's enjoyed tutoring his peers and his blog is an extension of sharing that knowledge. Ed also co-hosts, "The Light Source" podcast available at StudioLighting.net.

"Photographer Bio"
Ed Hidden is a graphic designer, photographer, code-monkey, blogger, cubicle dweller and motorcyclist (often referred to by his online moniker: MotoEd). While interested in photography for about half his life, he focused on it as a career 4 years ago. Primarily the goal is shooting stock photography, but has been known to shoot some wheeled sporting events, portraits and anything that tells a story. Here Ed's blog and commentary at EdHidden.com (blog and podcast) and at StudioLighting.net (LightSource Podcast)

"Web Designer Bio"
Ed Hidden is a graphic designer, photographer, code-monkey, blogger, cubicle dweller and motorcyclist (often referred to by his online moniker: MotoEd). He started working in web design before a reliable visual editor existed, not an easy task for a graphics guy. While he's a geek at heart, it brought him to love databases and connecting them visually through a browser. Today, he can be found screwing up the CSS on his blog and fumbling through the PHP statements.

Please feel free to reprint any of the topics or articles on EdHidden.com under the condition that you include the appropriate author bio at the conclusion of the article with a link back to Ed Hidden.com.