The Digital Photo Guy

Quick Tip – Keeping Monitors Clean

by on Jun.14, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Website, WordPress

Keep That LCD Monitor Dust Free

If you’re like me, the sight of dust bunnies, lint balls and cat fur on your monitor is like the screech of fingernails across a blackboard. In other words, it’s enough to drive you up the wall. The only thing worse is trying to keep it clean. Well, for all your dust-o-phobes, I have good news and I have bad news.

The good news is that I’ve found a solution. A 4 inch Kinetronics StaticWisk removes all dust, lint and fur using static electricity. Of course, this does not remove the little spots left behind by your sneezing cat or the coffee stains when you open your brother-in-law’s latest non-PC joke while drinking your morning cuppa joe. I bought the SW-101 with a grounding strap but that’s probably not necessary for most people. The photo of Tylor is simply because she’s so cute. Who wants to edit that photo while looking through dust, lint and fuzz.

Now, the bad news. The Kinetronics people are complete incompetents. I ordered through B&H who doesn’t stock these but has them drop shipped by Kinetronics. It took Kinetronics over 6 weeks to fill the order. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend dealing with such incompetence but, bottom line, the product works. My advice is to search the web for a company that has them in stock.

Why Pay for a Photography Class

I received the following e-mail from a reader and thought it had universal interest so I’m reprinting it here in toto.

Oh, a have a couple questions and my wife says I have no tact, so here goes anyway, I went to your web site and tried to contact you through your “contact” header. Yes, I clicked it on but was unsuccessful and did not find it very friendly there. Is there some other way to contact you other than through the present method? Please – make it more convenient for the your subscribers to contact you from your site. I absolutely believe a website should have a method of contacting the host of the site but contact should be more friendly than this one. Again, I did not find your contact a particularly friendly area – it put me off in a negative way more than helping me. Can you just put in a pass word on the contact site and make contact that way? In other word, make it much more simple. Simple is better.

I always appreciate it when my readers tell me something isn’t working and that’s the case here with the Contact Form. Apparently, the form was mixed up with a different form about 3 months ago and no one ever noticed. It’s now been fixed. As for Captcha code, it’s necessary to keep out hackers and spammers. Longtime readers may have noticed the site has slowed down in recent months. That’s because I set it to reject all connections from Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria, China and a host of other spammer rat holes. As you might imagine, the list of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses is huge. Without this security, I’m always worried that hackers and spammers will find a way to spam, hack and annoy readers.

Also I wanted to say – with all the influx of tutorials (mostly free) on the internet, why are you still charging for a six week course when most people can get what they require from the internet free of charge? I can state several sites that post great tutorials free for the asking and they even have feedback for all postings. They ask what you want to see (specific subject area) and you can contact them and converse through their forum. I find them very friendly places and there is no pressure on the forum member.

This one is a bit more complex. In short, the answer is “Different Business Models”. I have very large investment in photography training and my students benefit from that training without paying what I paid. Every year, I spend $2000-$3000 to attend classes and workshops. I also spend an additional $500-$1000 for dues and subscriptions to keep up with the world of photography. If your needs are satisfied by free tutorials, then you don’t need my classes.

If however, you want personalized, relevant, up-to-date information and on-going support, I don’t know of any sites that provide that for free. For example, in September, I’ll be at the California Photo Festival for 6 days at a cost of $1500 including travel, lodging and meals. I can’t conduct classes during that time so I also lose income. My students benefit and I charge to offset my expenses. Other sites make money through advertising. I don’t accept any paid advertising. That way, I can be objective in my reviews.

As for forums, one of my favorite sayings is, “Learning on forums is like a fly in a pasture, flitting from one cow patty to the next without a plan or direction.” Forums are full of well meaning but misguided people who believe the world mirrors their experience and knowledge. A great analogy for forums is the Indian fable about 6 blind men describing an elephant. Put it another way, half of everything on the Internet is false, the problem is trying to figure out which half is true.

I don’t know if you really want to hear about such things but if we don’t state our point of view (as members) regarding a specific area, well, that would be unfortunate to say the least. I wish to hear from you and your reasons for charging when other sites are free to the public. My questions are base on wanting information and not for any other reason. I don’t wish to cause problems but a inquisitive mind is a wast unless you use it.

I appreciate any and all comments from my readers. I hope I’ve answered your questions. Not everyone learns in the same way and not every photographer has teaching skills. I recently had a student whose father is an accomplished nature photographer but can’t explain the basics to his daughter. He knows how to do it but not how to break it down into simple, easy to understand steps. I know how to teach complex subjects by breaking it down to simple steps.

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