Friday, August 31, 2007

Calumet Brochure

Calumet customer David Noton presents stunning street photography in the September-October issue of Calumet focus. The magazine is avaiable free at all branches. It is well worth picking up just for the two page feature: "How to Capture Planet Earth." David gives tips on how he started out knocking on doors in his hometown of Bristol.
There is a list of what's in his bag including a Swiss Army knife with a tool he says that could service a nuclear submarine!
Calumet's new digital shutter releases are announced all priced £18.99 and there's an article by Andy Johnson, Calumet's National Digital Sales Manager on recovery software and travel solutions.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moo Mini Cards

Here's a great idea for photographers, visit
Create your own mini-cards from photos or designs. Not only that it is possible to have a different pic on each card for just £9.99.
Moo also offer 90 stickers in a book - sounds great, sure it is probably available elsewhere.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Frontpage focus: A few of New York paparazzi
Leigh Green's splashes. Leigh says:
"My life is pretty good but it is tough out here & there are so many photographers now.Fortunately most are morons so I do alright but if the numbers keepincreasing like a bad virus I do not know for how much longer."
Most of his competition would not have been
through the tough training of Paul Delmar on
the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) course at Sheffield.

Friday, August 24, 2007

New York Paparazzi

Former Stradbrooke snapper Leigh Green has gone a long way in 12 years. He now snaps stars in the Big Apple its got to be better than being an embed in Iraq. This is the route to photographic hall of fame chosen byDan Chung, a contemporary of ours on the NCTJ course at Sheffield.
He was Guardian Photographer of the Year.
Sometimes I get the odd hankering but as I cycle home from work at Calumet, unless it is raining particularly heavily, on balance I'm happy with my lot. I leave at 5.30pm that's it. Still enjoy photography as my regular readers will note.
Leigh tells on his website of a dodge used recently to capture celeb pics at a wedding which was guarded by ex-Israeli security. He and a fellow photographer rubbed suntan lotion into each other's backs and pretended to be gay, the guards ignored them hey presto pics in the bag.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Panning for speed

Cameron Balfour in Peebles Cycling Club's 14.5 mile time trial on Wednesday evening. Tech notes:
1/30th f11 panned of course with rear curtain flash -4 stops on manual adapter, Iso 200 Camera Nikon D100 28mm lens Vivitar 283 flash.

Nikon D3

New Nikon entry into full frame sensors and suddenly all my lenses are useful at their true focal length.
Straight from Nikon's website here's the gen: (Expect price to be around that of D2XS.)
  • Nikon's original FX-format CMOS image sensor with 36.0 (H) x 23.9 (V) mm image size; 12.1 effective megapixels
  • Compatible with three image-sensor formats – FX format (36 x 24), 5:4 (30 x 24) and DX format (24 x 16)
  • Sensitivity range ISO 200 to 6400 at normal setting for exceptionally high-quality images; can be set to ISO-equivalent 25,600
  • Incorporates Nikon's original EXPEED digital image processing concept
  • Nikon's original Scene Recognition system, utilizing the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, greatly improves autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance performance
  • New 51-point autofocus system features 15 cross-type sensors that maximize the potential of lenses with apertures as small as f/5.6
  • High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 9 frames per second [FX format (36 x 24)/5:4 (30 x 24)]/approx. 11 fps [DX format (24 x 16)] *1
  • Newly employed Picture Control System enables creation of desired picture with preferred tones
  • Accurate focal-plane contrast AF*2 available with built-in Liveview mode

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Photojournalists v Reporters (with compacts)

There is currently a dialogue in the British Journal of Photography based on the old kernal of multi-skilling. Nick Hart has contributed to this argument with the following letter:

"I've been a journalist, staff and freelance, here and abroad, for over 30 years. I've always thought it mad that reporters could not take pictures, particularly mug shots of people they were interviewing, if they had the skills, which modern equipment has made much less demanding. I suspect that photographers are in such a lather (about the Drogheda Agreement) because they know that while most writers could easily master a modern digital camera, and take good pictures, most press photographers are not 'photojournalists' but stupid, unprincipled, oppournist snappers who can't string a sentance together."

Let alone copy out his ridiculous letter word for word and reproduce it on their blog.

As you can imagine I have replied to this letter, next installment coming soon........

Garden Photographer of the Year Competition

Garden Photographer of The Year 2008
This year’s competition is now open, with thousands of pounds worth of prizes up for grabs.A panel of high-profile industry professionals, including Clive Nichols andAndrew Lawson, will judge the competition and the top 100 photographs willbe exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London from May toSeptember 2008.Closing date for submissions: 31st January 2008.For entry details visit ( .

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

National Geographic & Nikon

A TRIP to Queensland, Washington DC and a Nikon D40 + 18-55mm lens are the prizes on offer for Kids in a Nikon & National Geographic photographic competition. The closing date is 5th September - so hurry.
Log on to: for details of how to enter and for full terms and conditions. There are three categories: portraits, scenes and animals.

Calumet 18 in 1 Media Reader Writer

Sorry for all the product news, here's some more I was surprised to be asked last week for a downloading solution as a friend was unable to get his camera to speak with his PC.
I thought everyone used PCMCIA cards or card readers to download photos.
So here's a picture of our own Calumet 18 in One card reader writer, it is excellent value at £10.98!
This 18 in 1 media reader/writer is compatible with the following memory cards: CF type I & II, Microdrive, MagicStor, SM, MS Pro, MS, MS Pro Duo, MS Duo, SD, MiniSD, TransFlash (micro SD), MMC 4.0 (MMC Plus), MMC, RSMMC, RSMMC 4.0 (MMC Mobile), xD, and SDHC.

Pentax K100D Super

Pentax's latest digital SLR offering is an update of the K100D. At £389.00 it is good value for body integral shake reduction and built in dust removal.
However, it still only sports 6.1 mega pixels whith Nikon for £10 (after Nikon's cashback offer) more the D40X has 10 mega Pixels and is considerably lighter.
Unlike the Nikon though it is possible to use any K-mount lens. Since the end of cameras like the ME Super K-mount lenses are cheap as chips.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Canon 1Ds MKIII

Photo review sites and Canon photographers have more to look forward to than just the much vaunted Canon EOS 1D MkIII.
Today a 21 Mega Pixel 1Ds MKIII is announced. Possibly a camera to rival the Dalsa chipped "medium format" digital SLRs.
For further information and a preview of the main features see:
At the same time Canon announced an update of the venerable (in digital terms) 30D. The new 40D will have a 10 mega pixel chip. A new 14mm f2.8 wide lens is announced. Finally in an attempt to remain at the top of the quality compact market the firm announced the G9 with 12.2 mega pixels and raw shooting.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Roast Beef

Simple roast beef, parsnips and potatoes which was our Sunday dinner.
This post is prompted by a local restaurant menu which we picked up on Saturday evening.
On it are such well known delicacies as Oxtail gateau, I used to think it was good in a stew. Wild turbot fillet with pistachio crust, I genuinely did not know that farmed turbot was an option. There was also plenty of jus available with Scotish beef fillet main course, what's wrong with gravy?
In deserts was crispy shredded dough with smooth rhubarb compote, if that was not enough in the same dish it's possible to enjoy the flavour of Perth strawberries and raspberry thyme sorbet. A nice bit of strawberries and sorbet would do!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Jessops Share Price

A Scary ride: Jessops' shares are in freefall again hitting a low this morning of 8.25p. How long before the shutters snap closed at all the branches not just a select few?
By 10.40am shares had rallied and at 3.05pm were back up to 11p a drop of 2.5 pence since yesterday.
Financial commentators were speculating that the firm might have broken its banking covenants but a spokesman said that has not occurred.
Finishing price today was 11.5p (-14.81%), shareholders who snapped up at the launch price of £1.55 in 2004 and clung on must be hoping for a miracle. Back in the family owned days when there were about 75 shops in the chain it was not such a wild ride. Certainly spending £3m on "revamping" the brand is perhaps not as good as employing some knowledgeable sales staff. One of my customers (Regular readers will know I now work for the competition) was with his wife, returning a camera recently and a member of staff tried to force a lens onto a camera for which it was not intended - result broken lens!
When old man Jessop was in control this person would never have been offered a job in the first place - one of the criteria was that staff were passionate photographers. I had worked as a photojournalist for five years when I rejoined Jessops, my manager then (in 2003) warned me that it was not the same company for which I worked in the mid-1990s. Now the firm prefers a good salesman to an enthusiast.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sean Bean

So snapper's spelling is not as good as hack's cropping or something like that in the latest National Union of Journalists'multi-skilling spat.
Sure anyone can take a good snap with a pocket digital. However, to get great snaps as many students from my courses will testify takes more skill if only in "managing" the subject to capture the a perfect pic.
Back in the days when I worked for a newspaper I knew what picture I wanted and how to capture it. Notice the little sparkle in Sean Bean's eyes from fill-in flash. What's that I hear most reporter's saying - that's what seperates "stupid, unprincipalled, opportunist snappers" (according to Nick Hart in the British Journal of Photography) from top photographers.

Recycled Camera Bag

Plastic bottles = backpack is Lowepro's latest attempt to gain some environmental credibility. It claims the Primus AW is made from recycled plastic bottles. Surely Billingham's timeless canvas and leather is kinder to nature by being natural at the start. At £179 inc vat it might more economical to recycle an old bag.

Photo from Lowepros Website

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Must be a bit behind things........................
But not as much as who emailed me some photos he has on, the link was interminable as it tried to download something I think I don't want. Perhaps that's what an embedded widget is, or am I just showing my lack of knowledge?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Bacchae

Not exactly photography but:
"A CROSS between Gary Glitter and Marlene Dietrich," says the Telegraph about Daniel Greig's adaption of The Bacchae written by Euripedes in 450BC. The Greek tragedy set in Thebes is now wowing Edinburgh International Festival crowds with a mixture of pyrotechnics and lighting.

Alan Cumming returns to his Scottish roots to take the role of Dionysus seen here surrounded by his "gospel" chorus. He entered the stage from the rafters and finished in a blaze of light from 96 floodlights which must have put a severe strain on the King's Theatre electrics.

Photo from Daily Telegraph website.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Johnny Vegas (by Andy Hollingworth)

Today I met Chester comedy camerman Andy Hollingworth known for snapping the stand-up antics of Britain’s comedians.
He has captured 130 comics on celluloid since 1995 in a body of work now recognised as an important archive for the medium.
Check out: Chortle

His series of portraits began by tracking down 1970s Yorkshire funnyman Charlie Williams and then photographing the other comics of his generation. Sittings with Russ Abbott, Frank Carson, Roy Walker and the infamous Bernard Manning followed. Sponsorship from the photochemical firm Ilford then enabled Andy to produce a long-running series featuring comedians, comedy actors and writers active since 1960.

Andy's photographs are included in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, Rotherham City Gallery & the Picture House Centre for Photography.

His work has been published in the Independent, The Big Issue, Daily Express, Practical Photography, the Journal of the Royal Photographic Society and Photo Technique.

He has spent the last year producing work at the Comedy Store in Manchester photographing visiting stars such as John Thomson, Peter Kay, Rich Hall, Paul Merton, Greg Proops and Tony Slattery. This work was featured in a recent exhibition as part of that city's Comedy Festival.

Andy can be contacted at

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Singer Sewing Machine

Put our old singer sewing machine on ebay today.
No special photographic techniques but did do a cutout using Adobe Photoshop Elements.
It is in full working order and comes with full instructions, accessories and power cables

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tour de France

A small collage of more than 75 images I snapped during the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysee, nearly two weeks ago. Despite the tour being besmirched by drug allegations and some truths no-one really cared by the time the caravan cruised into Paris.

Paris Advertising

This is a selection of some of the advertising hoardings dotted around France's capital. The board for Paris Plage (Seine Sands) is to remind the populace who have not escaped to the beach for August that sand, showers and beach games are available alongside the river.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ben Starav Scottish Highlands

Ben Starav by Martin Breeze on his new Pentax K100D 6 megapixel, with body integral anti-shake.

Mount Elbrus summit

SECOND of seven summits: George Atkinson, 13, of Manor Drive, Surbiton, Surrey stands proudly on Mount Elbrus, more than 2,000 ft higher than the top of Mount Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe. On Elbrus he was accompanied by his father Mark, 48, who failed 300ft below the top due to altitude sickness.
George aims to conquer the world's seven highest summits before the age of 21. The record is currently held by British climber Jake Meyer who climbed all seven by the age of 21.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cameratiks & Camerabase

This is the logo for Cameratiks & Camerabase located at:

122, Morningside Rd, Edinburgh, EH10 4BX.

Opening HoursMonday - Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The knowledgeable staff Nigel on the front counter and Patrick in repairs offer great service and can fix most broken cameras and lenses. My Nikon 180mm f2.8 would not focus and made horrible gritty noises - the repair cost £56.00 much better than £350+ for a good used one.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Yellow Jersey

Yellow Jersey: Contador in the middle of the peloton as it hurtles around the Champs Elysee cobbles in Paris last Sunday, looking like a shoal of tropical fish. For the technically minded: Manual mode 1/60th sec f9 105mm lens + fill-in flash from Vivitar 283 manual adapter -3 stops