Friday, September 28, 2007

Dust Aid

For £36.99 Calumet, where I work, has added this new product to aid digital SLR sensor cleaning.
As I have not tried the product I'll not give it a review but one of my colleagues in the States has tried it out.
His review is at:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Flash freezes water

This exposure was taken on Fuji Iso 800 film at an indoor pool with the Nikon F90 + 180/2.8 lens wide open. The exposure was 1/500th f2.8 with a burst of flash from the SB26, the camera and flash have a special mode allowing synchronisation at all speeds.
It is the flash which has frozen the water streaming off the swimmer's arm.
I have published this picture a few times but it is now hidden in archives.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Shutter Speeds

The shutter speed dial from my old Nikon FE. In the Auto position the camera is in aperture priority mode. It is up to the photographer to select apertures the cameras set the shutter speed for what it thinks will be correct exposure.

In manual mode the speeds which can be chosen are from 1/1000th sec to 1/2 second (The White Numbers). The orange numbers are slow speeds from 1 second to 8 seconds. M90 is a mechanical speed (No electronic shutter) and B is bulb for exposures longer than 8 seconds. In most digital SLRs the speeds are displayed on an LCD and inside the viewfinder on the information bar.

This image from inside the camera's viewfinder display shows:

From left: Metering option of matrix, 60 which represents 1/60th second shutter speed, f2.8 the set aperture.

The scale from + to - with zero in the centre shows slight over-exposure.

The number in brackets is the frames remaining.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Speedy snapper

Cycling snapper Mike Bascombe who works with me overdid it a bit on his bicycle one day this week. Speeding and jumping two redlights resulted in £65 worth of fines from two zealous Edinburgh bobbies.
In Edwardian days the offence was: "Pedalling furiously..." which Mike must have done as his steed is a Specialised Langster single-speed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Calumet adds Flash value

Just £5.86 buys this wonderful PC adapter for any SLR which does not have a sync cord socket for flash. It undercuts the opposition such as Jessops by at least £3.
It is one of a slew of flash related products which my employers have launched this month. Others include a radio flash trigger for £59.99 nearly 1/4 the price of its nearest competitor.
There's also a radio shutter release and cable shutter releases.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Camera quiz

Beginners on my Wednesday evening course will be
presented with this graphic and a short quiz.


My first ever Border's College SLR course begins on Saturday 22nd September.
Students will be given this graphic and an exercise to produce a picture showing the effect of focusing on a foreground object with the widest aperture set & f8 or f11.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nikon D3

Veteran AP photographer Ed Betz has posted (dpreview) a user's report on the yet to hit the high st Nikon D3:
I was covering the Mets game tonight and there were 2 D3's there. I was allowed to shoot with one for a bit and I have a few comments.
Tonights experience with the D3 has really changed my mind about Nikon.
The camera "FEELS" great in your hand. The controls are really well placed (as they have been in most Nikon Cameras). The Auto focus was SPOT on and VERY VERY fast (even under night time baseball lighting)
While all of that I expected from the camera, there was something I never expected. The image quality was BY FAR the BEST I HAVE EVER SEEN in a digital camera. The detail in the images was STUNNING.
Just for fun, I turned up the iso to 3200 and to my astonishment, it still looked BETTER then my 800 iso on my Mark II. Both in color and in noise.
The noise is NOT ONLY very low, BUT, the quality of what noise there is (unlike the D2H) was pleasing. The final test came when I opened the images in Photoshop. I must say, if I didn't shoot them myself, I never ever would have believed that they were iso 2000 and 3200. They look like 400 and 640 (only better) then my Canon Mark II.
Finally, the level of detail that the camera captures goes FAR BEYOND anything I have ever experienced in ANY digital camera .
So, my hats off to you NIKON.... I only wish you would have done this sooner, before I spent tens of thousands switching to Canon.......Perhaps there is a Nikon switch in my future. Ed -- Ed Betz

Renaissance Photographic Competition

Welcome to Renaissance, a photographic competition in aid of the Lavender Trust at Breast Cancer Care.
There are moments in life when we suddenly see the world from a fresh perspective, and appreciate the beauty of the people and places around us. Renaissance invites you to enter photographs that you feel capture these special moments.
Judged by a celebrity panel consisting of former Guardian picture editor Eamonn McCabe, singer/songwriter KT Tunstall, photographer Mary McCartney and eve magazine editor Sara Cremer, the finalists will get the chance to exhibit and sell their images at Proud Galleries in London and win fantastic prizes, while supporting a great cause.
1st Six nights in the Masai Mara Game park
2nd: £500 vouchers to spend at Calumet
30 selected images will be exhibited at the Proud Gallery in London and selected entries will be published in a special book of the competition.

Key Dates
10th September 2007Competition opens for online submissions at 10:00 GMT
10th December 2007Competition closes at 22:00 GMT
January 2008Winners announced
5th March 2008Gala opening
6th - 9th March 2008Exhibition open to the public

Monday, September 10, 2007

Wedding Photography

Pro photographers planning a wedding shoot make sure they have all the essentials sometime before the big day. Unlike a customer at the shop where I work, not content with the usual sorts of worries about whether batteries are charged for ther big day, he set himself a stern test turning up to buy a new camera just four hours before it was needed.
At first he failed as he tried to present someone else's credit card, her name was not even the same as his but he did have a marriage cert tucked into his bag to prove they were related. Marriage certs, weddings it is all getting a bit complicated. It was a no go, as even with the right pin it is illegal to use someone else's card.
With just two hours to go to the event, barely time to charge a 1500mah battery, he turned up with a fist full of dosh and bought the one essential that all wedding photographer's require a camera! Was he reading the instructions at the wedding......and someone was paying him to do this....

Nikon P50

Divide the P5000 by 100 and you have Nikon's latest pocket marvel the P50. It has a 28mm (35mm equivalent) wide angle lens, AA batteries so is truly go-anywhere, optical viewfinder, manual mode, Iso 64-2000, 8.2 Mega Pixels and vibration reduction (VR). So pretty much everything needed on a compact.
I'll have to give up recommending the P5000 and move to this newer model.
Have yet to try it out......................

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Taken by Keith Valentine at last year's World Mountain Biking championships in Fort William. I hope he's not going to charge me for this bit of free publicity for his website at:

This year's gallery will be live in a few days. Keith uses the Canon EOS 5D.