Short Sighted Camera Clubs

An open letter directed at camera clubs and societies in the UK.

I have received an invitation to enter another audio-visual competition from a local camera club. I expect however, I will once again be ineligible to enter because I don’t conform to the expected standard of running a Windows based computer, or installing Windows on my Mac.

Why am I excluded? Well, there are two programs commonly used to produce Audio Visual presentations on PCs. Pro Show Gold and Pictures to EXE. Both produce EXE files which are containers for the photos and synchronised music that make up an AV.

I predominantly use a (in my opinion superior) program called Fotomagico, which will produce native Mac executables, or video files. Video can be viewed on any platform – including Linux – but the rules don’t permit these files, even though any decent computer will show full HD video without issues.

Examples of Mac produced AVs are here (all video files, and viewable on a PC…)

American Star

Small World

Scarlett

Mummies

In my opinion, the Mac provides a superior platform to create these productions, a conspiracy theorist would say that the rules are created to prevent those who can produce better work because they have the better tools winning against the PC masses.

In any case, exclusion is a restrictive mechanism which will only prevent the furthering of the art. It would be like telling photographers that they were not permitted to use digital technology and would have to use film. It’s actually like telling us which brand of camera or memory card we have to use.

Many photographers do use Macs, I think an increasing number. It’s disappointing for them to not be able to partake in the full range of competitions available at club level. What is the purpose of camera clubs and societies? Is it not to develop the hobby and creative art?

Restricting the computers we are allowed to use is very backward thinking and does not move the hobby forward.

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3 Responses to Short Sighted Camera Clubs

  1. David Fisher says:

    Can’t agree more, enough said. Another (New) Mac user perfection at last.

  2. simontaylor says:

    I have found a solution to the problem though now :

    This application – http://mulder.dummwiedeutsch.de/home/?page=projects#instplay creates EXE files (using a PC) from video files. So, we can output our files as video, borrow a Windows machine and make an EXE to conform with the unknowing…

    I’ve tested it using XP, have yet to see if it works on Vista or W7.

  3. Simon Taylor says:

    So, a year and a half on, nothing has changed.

    It’s galling to see that other countries are more progressive, the Australian Photographic Society, for one, with the UK lagging behind.

    Recent suggestions have included simply being able to provide a MOV file that will play in Quicktime, but there’s resistance as organisers will have to install Quicktime on a PC. Tricky that.

    It always comes back to “just use Pictures To EXE”, but the whole point is, that people should be allowed to use other programs to produce AVs rather than being effectively restricted to two proprietary pieces of software on a PC.

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