Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Vieux Ville Nice - a Street Scene

I think there's lots of interest in this image.
First the technical stuff - 1/4 sec shutter speed, hand-held braced on a wall and held at waist-level with a 30mm manual lens pre-focused, f22, Iso 400 and fill-in flash.
Couple having an argument as they walk along are blurred due to the slow shutter speed. Any stationery objects or people are as sharp as I could manage. None of the picture was posed it just fell into place and makes for a nice tableaux.

Felt MTBs at speed Promenade des Anglais Nice

For those of you who don't know the cyclists appear to be moving fast as the car's headlamps are made into light trails.
This is achieved with a 1/3rd of a second shutter speed and panning + slow sync rear curtain flash.
Panning means moving the camera with the subject and pressing the button smoothly during that movement. Camera shake is minimised due to the freezing effect of the flash which is of high intensity and short duration.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Portrait or Silhouette?

Portrait, Manor Valley, Peebles, Scotland, EH45 9BBIn a recent class of my photography course I demonstrated portraiture through a silhouette. It caused much discussion.
One student said it was not a portrait because the sitter was not looking at the camera. He revised his opinion when shown an image by another student in which the sitter was clearly looking at something out of frame. Some discussion of that photo led to the discovery that it was one in a series of mum and daughter. As the daughter's expression was not perfect, the photographer had taken a picture of the mum alone but she was still looking over her shoulder at the child.
Another student said Geraldine was not identifiable. If you knew her she would be. We talked about classic portraits of filmstars taken in the studio showing one side of their face, the other being in shadow.
It was felt a portrait had to show the character of the face enabling a viewer to "read" the face.
Settings for this picture - exposed for the sky with a pocket 4 megapixel compact without manual.
The camera set 1/500ths f4.9 Iso 50 about 80mm(35mm equivalent) after the camera was told to compensate -2.0 stops on the +/- button.
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Sheffield United, Sean Bean, When Saturday Comes,Sean Bean, photographed in a throng of people, at the preview of "When Saturday Comes" qualifies as a "news portrait."
Originated on film - Fuji 800 Press, 180mm lens from a set of stepladders, 1/60th f2.8 + flash. The copy here was photographed from a colour original picture with my 4 megapixel compact on a tripod in daylight.
Again he is not looking at the camera which caused some consternation in class but his "character" as it was in 1996 can be read from the details of his face. Back then he even looked like a footballer.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hasselblad H3D

Anyone for 22 or 39 megapixels? At just less than £15k & £23K respectively these cameras are the business for commercial digital work. Might not be too useful at the Sevenoaks Chronicle my old employer but for weddings and just about anything else it would be great. Pop the Hasselblad H3D on aperture priority mode and it's child's play for most "Green Auto Only" Canon and Nikon owners - you know who you are.
Sometimes seems slow to save to a 150x Calumet CF card but the file from this beast is massive.
The AF is tack sharp and as you can see it even has pop-up flash - '60s fashion snappers must hate it.
The next problem is persuading Vanessa my Calumet manager to let me borrow it!


"The internet search engine has risen to become the world’s most valuable media group. Its business now increasingly threatens software and internet giants such as Microsoft, Yahoo and eBay. They must find a way to face down the challenge, or be chewed up and spat out like so many search results." From

Funds press Google on internet freedoms

By Chris Nuttall in San Francisco

Published: April 5 2007 01:15 | Last updated: April 5 2007 01:15

Google on Wednesday recommended to its shareholders that they vote against a proposal calling for new policies to protect internet freedoms.
The world’s biggest internet company gave no explanation in an SEC filing why it opposed the proposal, which is being put forward by The New York state pension funds, one of the biggest investors in the US, at its annual meeting in May.
The group has submitted an identical proposal for consideration at Google rival Yahoo’s annual meeting in June.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Technical Advisory Services for Images

I will eventually put this in my links:

It is an academic site with masses of useful information for the digital photographer. Explanations are clear and precise.

A Tale of two Photographic Websites

Hunt for Fuji Film (no, clever clogs not Fuji Hunt) on and , what do you find?
At Jessops there are 20 items, but only four are film, the rest digital cameras or accessories. While on Calumet's site at least the first five pages (50 items) of 214 items are films from everyday Superia, through Velvia to X-Ray film (Yes it amazed me too).
Jessops' staff, many of whom still do not have digital cameras, have found themselves in the ludicrous situation of buying their film from on-line providers such as arch competitor 7-day-shop. Others head to their nearest Calumet. This week we sold at least £150 worth of Fuji 5 x 4 film, not to mention countless five packs of Pro 400H. Even some Superia which, at the branch of Jessops, where I worked was totally unavailable.
One magazine survey has estimated that only 2% of photographers still use film. After a fortnight at Calumet I think it might be higher. But Jessops is prepared to wave goodbye to that percentage and high profit margin sale as it tries to pocket instant profit from hardware and as mentioned below digital printer ink.
These die-hard film customers are often the enthusiasts who sustained camera shops for years before the digital explosion. Many of them are using both media. One of my customers this week bought 5 rolls of colour film, 5 FP4 and a 2GB Compact Flash card. She could not make that purchase at Jessops as it did not have the film, so the nation's favourite photographic retailer missed the digital sale as well.
There's no chance that Jessops will change its policy as Chris Langley does not read this site or any of the other bloggers with similar opinions.

Snap 'em Up!

Jessops shares closed six points higher yesterday at 22p.
Meanwhile a customer was happy to buy his Epson ink from us, at Calumet, on Wednesday. Commenting that he was saving more than nearly a fiver at £21.98 by not making the trek to Jessops, where the same T009 cartridge is more than £25. He said the cheapest high st price was £20.98 at Curry's Digital but often it was not in stock.

(See next post)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Nikon F90 £75 + free Union Jack chair

Jessops - Over Exposed & deveveloped - Needs a Fix

As punters grabbed Canon Eos 350Ds for a song (£249.99) in Edinburgh on Friday & Saturday the company's shares looked worth snapping up at 15.25p each.
What will next week's trading bring?
Edinburgh's World Camera Centre looks great with an impressive array of stock. I almost felt sorry not to be there but at 8.30am on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning the feeling past. I hope the training was good, as three weeks ago it was impossible to buy the Bowens 500 Esprits, Apple computers and top end video equipment on sale at this branch now.
Or could it be a case of box shifting at the top end instead of the compact end of the market.