Digital Camera Colour Management - Which Colour Space?

An area of colour management which seems to cause particular confusion (is there only one?) relate to camera setup. Mainly the questions of, what is the colour gamut of RAW and what colour space should my camera be set to?

The net is awash with information most of which is mind blowing so I am copying here a couple of paragraphs from a website which goes by the name of TheLightroomLab.com. These words made sense to me and as I could not put it better myself I repost them here with due recognition of the origin.

Digital camera raw files do not have a fixed color space because these file’s do not yet contain pixels. Raw files are a record of the unprocessed “sensel” data which exceeds all gamut limits. Flexibility of color, and of color space, is one of the greatest advantages to digital camera raw files. Serious photographers often shoot in raw so that they can pick the appropriate color space for each processed copy of their original capture using post-processing software. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom makes this process completely painless since color space is one of the parameters that we can control, and automate, inside of the Export dialog.

My advice is to keep life simple. I suggest that photographer’s of any level shoot Jpeg images using the sRGB color space. Using sRGB in camera will give you files that can be printed directly off the memory card. If you need more control over color, if a wider gamut will help with your work, then bring home Raw files and learn to use post-processing software like Lightroom or Photoshop 
To summarise: I have my camera, a Sony RX100 II, set to shoot jpeg and RAW and the colour space is set to sRGB. Yes a compact, I have given up lugging DSLR's around!

Link to full article here.

Free Up Disk Space on a Solid State Drive (SSD) in Windows 7

Like many folk these days my main PC main drive (Drive C:) is a Solid State Drive (SSD).  Due to the cost of these devices it is tempting to fit a much smaller capacity than a typical mechanical hard drive (HDD),  mine SSD is only 120GB. This small size means you have to be very careful about conserving disc space. For example I locate most of my non critical software on a second mechanical hard drive (Drive D:). Drive C: is reserved for the operating system and the likes of Adobe Photoshop. This means that rather sooner than later you will face the "not enough free space" problem no matter how careful you are. Which is the problem I just ran into. I have been quite strict about running the standard Windows 7 Disk Cleanup utility. I have also been careful to delete or relocating any unwanted software.

When searching for a solution I came across a very good blog post: 7 Ways to Free Up Disk Space on an SSD in Windows 7.  The post suggested followin these steps:-
  1. Disable hibernation 
  2. Decrease the size of the page file
  3. Turn off System Restore
  4. Perform a Disk Cleanup regularly
  5. Use a third party disk cleaning tool regularly
  6. Uninstall programs you do not use
  7. Disable File Content Indexing
I followed most of the instructions and managed to release 12 GB of space, that's 10%.
I missed out steps 3 - Turn Off System Restore and 5 - Use Third Party Cleaning Tool. But I will look into these options later.The two steps that seemed to make the biggest difference where steps 2 and 7.

Follow this link to the original blog post.


The Perfect Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

I know cooking is not normally the subject of my blog posts but I think I may have cracked the Yorkshire Pudding bogey that has been blighting my culinary efforts for years! So I need to record the recipe for future reference.

The general principle is copied from here. But like so many recipes there is always a snag, the way that recipe is worded could lead to the wrong amount of flour being used. But as I have a scientists mind the way the ingredients in recipe from the link were proportioned made sense to me. I have rewritten the recipe to make it clearer, hopefully avoiding any possible pitfalls.

This sufficient to make about 12 puddings using a standard size muffin tray .
  • Crack 4 fresh eggs of any size (I used large) into a measuring jug, note the volume and tip into your mixing bowl.
  • Measure the same volume of skimmed milk and add to mixing bowl. If you use semi-skimmed or whole milk dilute half and half with water. Whisk the eggs and milk together (I did not bother).
  • Weigh as many grams of plain flour as you had volume (ml) of eggs ie 150 ml eggs = 150 grams flour. Add to the egg and milk using a sieve (don't worry if you don't have a sieve).
  • Whisk by hand or with an electric whisk until just single cream consistency with no lumps, don't over do it.
  • Add a half a level teaspoon of salt and optionally, a shake of pepper.
Allow to stand for at least 30 min. Before use add 2 tablespoons (30ml) water and stir in thoroughly.

You can use a 12 portion non-stick muffin tray or a roasting tray about 12x8 inches, 10x10 inches.

Add a teaspoon (5ml) of of Rape oil (this is what I used because it has a high smoke point), light olive oil, sunflower oil or beef dripping to each well or 30 ml oil to roasting tin. Place in oven at 230C, (220C fan oven) until oil/fat is smoking takes about 15 min.

Remove hot tray from oven (CAREFUL). I hold tray over the gas hob to keep oil sizzling hot while I add the batter. Fill each compartment about two thirds to three quarters full.

Immediately return to oven for 25 min. When time is up turn off oven and leave in for another 5 min. Keep warm until served.

Using this method the Yorkshires I produced were voted my best effort ever. I thought so as well!

Prep time = 15min, Resting time = 30 min, Cooking time = 25 min, Total = 1 hr 10 min


Broken Earphone Jack Removal from iPad or iPhone

My iPad slipped off the bed the other day and landed on the earphone jack (Apple Earphones) snapping it off flush with the iPad case. The problem was now how to get the broken jack out of the socket? This is my fix.

There was the vestige of the centre core protruding but not enough to catch hold of. I discovered that the plastic remaining in the socket could be levered out with the tip of a craft knife or you could use a pin to remove the top plastic ring insulating ring of the jack left in the socket. For my fix to work you have to remove this bit of plastic. You maybe able to shake it out or hook it out with the bent tip of a pin.


  • Pin
  • Satay stick, wooden kebab skewer or similar piece of soft wood to fit in jack socket.
  • Super Glue
For the next step I used a "Satay Stick", these are square ended wooden skewer/kebab sticks made from a softish bamboo used for Chicken Satay and the like. They are just the right size to fit in the socket hole. Removed the plastic ring to expose the central conductor for the jack, gently press and rotate the Satay stick to make a hole in the centre. Put the tiniest amount of Super Glue into the hole in the stick, dont let it get down the sides of the stick. If it does trim off and have another go. Carfull reinsert the stick into the hole and press for about 10 sec. give another 30 sec to make sure fully stuck and then pull stick straight out. With a bit of luck the result should look like the photo below.


VLC media player

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols. 

When installing VLC media player it is important to make sure you only download from the main website. Unfortunately VLC media player has become a popular piece of software to bundle with a range of malware and potential malware as I discovered to my cost recently. I managed to corrupt the copy of VLC that I was using and when I tried to reinstall from the original download file I managed to install Spot.do a browser hijacker hiding as a helpful toolbar. There were also other nasties that loaded at the same time. I don't remember where that original download came from but it reinforced the cautionary warning to be careful where you download freeware from even something as popular as VLC media player.Incidentally I managed to clear up the problem using Malwarebytes.

Hence the reason for this post to guide you to the original source download. which can be found here:-



Canon Powershot G12 Lens Error Fix

I took my Canon Powershot G12 out of my bag, I turned the camera on the lens partially extended but would not focus, zoom or retract when turned off. On the screen it displayed Lens Error.I had not dropped or banged the camera and it had been working immediately prior to putting in the bag.

I just found a fix. Hold down the shutter release, then turn the camera on. The lens retracted and Bingo now works normally. This fix may work for other camera in the G range.

The last time that happened on a G9 it cost £250 to repair via insurance.


How to Copy a List of Files from a Windows Folder Into an Excel List

Maintaining an Excel spreadsheet of computer files can help you keep track of important business documents or images. Unfortunately, Microsoft Excel doesn't include a one-step method for importing a file list from Windows Explorer, but Windows 7 offers an easy workaround. Using the Command Prompt, you can tell Windows to output a text document containing a directory list. This text document can then be imported into Excel and modified just like any other spreadsheet.
Link back to original post...

Step 1

Press "Win-E" to open Windows Explorer and locate the folder for which you need a file list.

Step 2

Hold the "Shift" key, right-click the folder and select "Open Command Window Here." This only works with folders, not libraries. Libraries point to a specific folder, so select the folder located under the library icon. If the library points to a drive, right-click the drive letter from the folder tree.

Step 3

Type "dir /b > dirlist.txt" without quotes and press "Enter." This creates a list containing file names only. To include file sizes and dates, type "dir > dirlist.txt" instead. To also include files in sub-directories, type "dir /b /s > dirlist.txt" to create a list of files with the full directory structure name, such as "C:\folder\subdirectory\file.txt."

Step 4

Open Microsoft Excel and press "Ctrl-O" to bring up the Open dialog window.

Step 5

Navigate into the folder containing the files [note: this is the folder you right clicked on]. Click the file type drop-down menu and select "Text Files (*.prn,*.txt,*.cvs)." Double-click "dirlist.txt" to open it.

Step 6

Click "Finish" in the Text Import Wizard window to use the default options and import the directory list into Excel.

The dirlist.txt file created by his method could also be opened into Word or any text editor.


Remove Moire Pattern from Scanned Image

Photographs scanned from books, magazines and newspapers or photographs from TV screen or projected images often results in an unsightly interference pattern called moire. This is how to remove the effect in Photoshop.
  1. Go to Filter > Noise > Median.
  2. Use a radius between 1-3. Typically the higher the quality of the source, the lower the radius can be. Use your own judgement, but you will probably find that 3 works well for newspapers, 2 for magazines, and 1 for books.
  3. Go to Image > Image Size  and resample to the desired image size and resolution using the bicubic resampling option.
  4. Make sure you are zoomed to 100% magnification.
  5. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.
  6. Exact settings will depend on the image resolution, but these settings are a good starting point: Amount 50-100%, Radius 1-3 pixels, Threshold 1-5. Use your eye as the final judge.


  1. If you still see a pattern after applying the Median filter, try a slight gaussian blur before resampling. Apply just enough blur to reduce the pattern.
  2. If you notice halos or glows in the image after using Unsharp Mask, go to Edit > Fade. Use settings: 50% Opacity, Mode Luminosity.


Word 2010 Spell Check Language Not Correct

I just realised that my spell checker keeps offering American spelling as a correction ie favor instead of favour. The document language was set to English (UK) so why the problem? Apparently you have to set the Proofing language, mine was set to English (US) for some strange reason. 
So here is how you change it...
In Word 2010 select the following options from the Ribbon:
  1. Review tab > Language group > Language button > Set Proofing Language
  2. In the Language dialog, select the language you want to use for spell checking.
In Word 2007, Review tab > Proofing group > Set Language will accomplish the same thing.

Word 2010 Insert Endnote at end of a Section

The menu layout in Word 2010 is so frustrating at times. I wanted to insert Endnotes before my References, so I made a Section Break [Next Page] but the end notes came at the end of the 2nd section, ie after my Reference Section. After much searching I discovered the answer here.

This is the post which provided the answer, I hope you can follow it...
 ... make your changes directly in the Footnote and Endnote dialog, which you can open with the dialog launcher in the bottom right corner of the Footnotes group on the References tab? Select Endnotes, select "End of section," select the desired number format, select Continuous (assuming you're putting them all at the end), and make sure "Whole document" is selected under "Apply to."

Screen Clip - Footnote Endnote Menu
Finding the answer was a problem because Word 2012 does this differently to previous versions of word and many of the answers that come up are for the older versions.


Picasa not Downloading Video or RAW Files from my Camera

I have been using Picasa for ages now and it is one of my favourite bits of software. I recently started to use it to upload images from my Canon G9 and G12. I have just realised it is not uploading video files nor is it showing RAW files, which it used to do. 

The solution seems to be quite a simple one. I discovered that in Tools> Options> File Type, I did not have the boxes for RAW or Videos checked. Interestingly when you tick the Video box another box appears with the option to select .mov (Quicktime) files as well. I ticked all the relevant boxes and suddenly Picasa is searching all my watched folders for the missing file types, and when I connected my camera it found and downloaded the video files.
Picasa >Tools> Options Screen Snip


Slow Boot - Optimize Windows 7 for Faster Start-up

No matter how fast or shiny computers might be when they're new, they all seem to get slower over time. My Samsung NC10 netbook running Windows 7 was taking forever to start up so time for a sort out. As a yardstick they reckon if your computer is taking more than 45 secs to boot up there is something seriously wrong, mine was taking nearly 2 minutes. 

A quick Google throws up a bunch of useless information most of which is a disguise for selling you some 3rd party software solution. So I started with the Microsoft suggestions "Optimise Windows 7 for Better Performance".

First suggestion is to try the Performance Troubleshooter, which can automatically find and fix problems.
  •  Open the Performance troubleshooter by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type troubleshooter, and then click Troubleshooting. Under System and Security, click Check for performance issues.
I discovered that about 10 programmes were opening at start-up. None was essential, Microsoft hides the essential programmes from view, so I chose the global option to close all. I rebooted as requested and amazingly the NC10 booted in 30 seconds which I call a result.

There are other things you can do, if you are not certain about the security status of your computer you may wish to double check you have no nasties lurking about on you HD. Make sure your ant-virus software is up-to-date and run a full scan. If you don't already have it, upload anti-malware software such as Malwarebytes, get the free version here. If you not up to speed with security software I suggest you have a look at this video by Britec09 on YouTube, this guy knows what he is talking about and there are no catches.


Send to OneNote Printer Option Missing

With Microsoft OneNote installed in Windows 7 there is Print to OneNote option in the Printer List. Occasionally this can go missing. Here is a solution. 

Repair the Microsoft Office program installation

  1. Close all Office programmes.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. Copy and then paste (or type) the following command in the Open box, and then press ENTER:
  4. In the Currently installed programs list, click the installed version of the 2007 Office program, and then click Change.
  5. Click Repair, and then click Continue
  6. Restart computer.