Monday, December 08, 2008

Traquair Wedding

A J Purdy - Credit Crunched

On Saturday a customer bought a Nikon D3 at Calumet.
During the sales conversation he mentioned that he had already purchased the camera on the internet from Harlow firm AJ Purdy.
When the camera did not arrive he tried contacting Purdys but although various excuses were made the camera never arrived. His credit card company are now trying to recover the money.
I was amazed to hear of the demise of AJ Purdy as I'd been at a Nikon training day just a month ago with one of its employees.
The firm moved into new premises earlier this year and has a good name in photography but competing against the likes of Jessops, which seems to have a never-ending line of credit and Warehouseexpress is tough for all.
AJ Purdy website has the following statement:
"Please note that unfortunately A J Purdy & Co Ltd are now closed and so no longer trading. Please check back here later this week for further information.All orders that were in stock have been processed and sent out and we have advised most customers who ordered items not in stock that they will not be receiving the item. For any query please use the contact us button and send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not return any goods as the unit is closed and cannot accept deliveries."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Picture Library Request

This afternoon a picture library sent me a huge list of images they require, buried amongst it was this amusing selection, now I've forgotten when I last had rattlesnake chilli......................

OM_SB2_p67_a_PA Chinese sea cucumber (or several in a box). Preferably boxed as a foodstuff.
OM_SB2_p67_b_PRoasted scorpions, canned or not, but they need to look like a foodstuff.
OM_SB2_p67_c_PFried grasshopper s sold in Mexican markets (chapulines) as a foodstuff.
OM_SB2_p67_d_PCooked frog legs on a plate.
OM_SB2_p67_e_PCanned rattlesnake meat.
OM_SB2_p67_f_PThe large fried ants they eat in Colombia (cooked).

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Student Discount

Calumet, where I work, has introduced a new student discount card this Autumn. One of the great features is a tiein with Nikon which gives students 10% cashback on any Nikon produce from an eyepiece to a D3 or perhaps a new lens.
The card also entitles photography students to a massive 20% off Calumet own brand products.
Own brand products include Brilliant Inkjet paper from A4 to 44 inch rolls, brollies, softboxes, tripods, monopods, the essential hot-shoe PC block to hook up your camera to studio flash, filters, memory cards, background paper rolls and many more. CLICK THE POST HEADER TO GO TO THE CALUMET WEBSITE AND REGISTER.

Panasonic G1

The new Panasonic G1 uses a Micro-4/3rds sensor to make a tiny SLR camera.
Full-time Live View both for LCD and LVF
Advanced AF featuring iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode such as AF Tracking
4/3-type 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine HD
Bundled with LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S.
Dust reduction system - Supersonic Wave Filter

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Velvia 50

Glamaig Panorama

Shot on 35mm Velvia 50 with my Nikon F100, 28mm lens
and a polariser filter. I think the range of tones is far better
than that possible with a digital camera.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Portrait Photography

Bruach Na Frith View

The power of Fuji Velvia, when I visited The Isle of Skye in May I shot a few rolls of Velvia, which I have just had scanned. The colours are far superior to digital pictures I took at the same time. the pictures were shot on a Nikon F100 picked up for £130, brand new, from Jessops when bosses there decided film was dead.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


An Image for practice editing on my Digital Beginner's Course

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Photography Courses

My latest photography courses start this week, with digital beginners on Wednesday evening and Introduction to Digital SLRs on Saturday morning.

To get into the swing of things students on Saturday - who are probably not looking at the blog yet will have a fun quiz to complete.

It might be inconvenient if anyone turns up with a full-frame camera.

Last September I had a student with a Canon 500mm f4 (£3K+)

Left is the quiz for Wednesday's digital beginner's course.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nikon D90

The first digital SLR with movie mode hits the shelves on Friday September 19th. Nikon's D90 uses the same 12.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor as the D300 and offers very low noise up to ISO 3200.
At Calumet it will be £695 body only.
It might be an ideal second camera for pressmen who need to take the occasional video clip.
Best movie resolution is HD720p (1280 x 720 pixels), sadly autofocus will not operate but it will be possible to use the full range of Nikon Lenses.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Competition Winners

Two recent students from my Borders College courses have had competition success recently. Angus Gillies a 14-year-old who took the Beginners Introduction to Digital Photography in the spring was a runner-up in the Rob Kerr Photography prize at Peebles High School.
Jeff Douce who took the "Introduction to Digital SLRs" last September won the Postcard for Peebles competition using his Nikon D80 + 18-135mm, which incidentally he bought from me at Calumet last November. I'll post a copy of the postcard as soon as I receive it.
Congratulations to both of them

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Holiday Snaps by a Pro

On Friday last week I completed my first assignment photographing half-a-day of a client's holiday in Edinburgh. The concept is simple, rather than taking your own snaps while enjoying the sights of a new city, hire a pro and get top quality photographs. In this case it will be an album of 5 x 7 inch prints and a DVD.
My client emailed me to say howe enjoyable the shoot had been, hope he and his wife are happy with the prints...........

Sunday, September 07, 2008

North-west Highlands

We have just spent nine days touring in the North-
west of Scotland. This was one of the few sunsets we saw, at Achmelvich Beach near Lochinver.
Another guest took the same photo on his Olympus point and shoot digital but got quite a washed out result. 
I explained that my first shot was on program mode and then I used the exposure info gained to fine tune this picture on manual.
1/400th f8, Iso 200 and 200mm lens.

Monday, August 11, 2008

He drives it like he's stolen it............

The commentator at the Bo'Ness Hillclimb Revival meeting on Sunday 8th August 2008 made this comment to account for this driver's dash in his MKVI Bentley.
I used a Nikon D700 with 70-300mm VR lens and panned at 1/60th, due to the position I was standing it required just the right squeeze on the shutter button before the car went into the shadow of a tree.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


After nearly one year of failed attempts finally got approval from istockphoto last weeekend and am starting to upload images. It was a snap of an Oregano flower which clinched it, even though the site claims they have the best collection of flower pictures bar none...........

"Dear Mark (photobymarkdavey),
Welcome to, the designer's dirty little secret.
Congratulations, the iStockphoto administrators have determined that your files are commercially and technically ready for Please begin uploading at your convenience. There is currently a limit of 15 uploads per 168 hour period.To upload files, please click on the Upload Files ( link found in the navigation bar.Comments from the iStockphoto
Administrator:Oregano Flower.jpg: Approved--
Thank you for your time and effort.Best Regards,"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Available Light Photography

Michael Freeman has been authoring photography books for at least two decades. This is an update of his volume on low-light imaging for film with chapters on techniques such as high dynamic range (HDR) digital photography.
For a full review see:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Eurofighter 2

No Adobe Photoshop effects here. Straight out of the camera just as it appeared.
Nikon D300 + 180mm/2.8

Aerial Crossover

A lucky snap at East Fortune Airshow on Saturday 25th July. Wingwalkers are on the top wing of these biplanes which enthralled the crowds.
In this picture a wingwalker's hand is visible just above the propellor. Click on the image to enlarge it.
Taken with the Nikon D300 using a 180mm lens + 2x converter, Iso 400 manually focused. Not bad really! Even if I say so myself. The contrast was really tricky as the clouds were very low.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Canon 1000D

Latest digital SLR from Canon is the 1000D hoping to capture
the beginner market like its film namesake did nearly two decades ago.
The camera is the smallest and lightest Canon digital SLR ever and
10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
EOS intergrated cleaning system
7-point wide-area AF system with f/5.6 cross-type centre point.
Up to 3.5 frames per second
2.5" LCD with Live view shooting DIGIC III image processor
Compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards
Compact and lightweight body
Digital Photo Professional RAW processing software
Fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX series Speedlites. It is £579.99, with the the 18-55mm lens + a 4GB SD card at

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Eye-fi (spy)

Now for sometihing a bit light-hearted.
Thieves in an american restaurant stole a woman's camera. Little did they realise it was loaded with one of the new Eye-fi SD cards. These cards are enabled to wirelessly transmit pictures to your computer or via a web based storage server.
The thieves were walking past a wi-fi hotspot with the camera switched on. The camera automatically uploaded the pictures one of which featureed the clueless trio. At home the woman turned on her file manager on the computer and recognised one of the restaurant staff in one of the beamed in photos.
The staff were sacked but the woman decided that was punishment enough and did not press charges.

SB900 Flash

Yesterday Nikon announced a new top-of-the-range flash the SB900.
Now setting the gun to master or remote firing is simple with a switch on the body instead of the SB800s complicated menu driven control.
It has three illumination patterns: - Centre-weighted, Even and Standard and it covers a auto zoom range of 17-200mm. Advanced features include a booster circuit that enables high-speed recycling using four AA-type batteries and a built-in thermal protection system to warn of excessive heat build up. It automatically detects the presence of a fluorescent or incandescent color filter and transmit this information to the attached camera’s white balance setting.

Nikon D700

Nikon's second full frame FX format camera will be the D700 which is
expected in Calumet on July 25th. It will use the same 12.1 mega-pixel
sensor as the D3 but cost about a grand less at £1999.00 when it is
Full Specs below:
12.1 megapixel FX (full-frame) CMOS sensor with high signal-to-noise ratio, wide dynamic range, and built-in self-cleaning sensor unit that minimizes dust.
ISO 200 – 6400: extendable up to 25600 (equivalent) and down to ISO 100 (equivalent).
5fps continuous shooting (8fps with optional MB-D10 battery pack with lithium-ion battery EN-EL4a or 8 AA batteries).
EXPEED image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb detail and tonal gradation.
Advanced Scene Recognition System combines the camera’s metering and AF sensors for precise exposures and sharply defined images.
Multi-CAM3500FX 51-point AF system. Individually selectable or configurable in 9-point, 21-point and 51-point coverage settings.
Picture Controls streamline in-camera image processing by enabling the pre-set customization of image parameters such as sharpening, contrast, brightness, hue and saturation in various color modes.
920,000 dot 3-inch VGA LCD monitor with wide, 170-degree viewing angle.
Live View with Autofocus enables composition of images by use of the LCD monitor. Two modes are supported: Handheld or Tripod.
DX Crop Mode can be automatically enabled when a DX format lens is attached.
Quick response: approx. 40 ms shutter-lag.
Active D-Lighting enables superior high-contrast images by automatically applying tone compensation at the moment of capture.
Intuitive ergonomics with optimized button placement for fast and comfortable handling.
Durable Magnesium alloy body: moisture and dust resistant.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Having a bit of a play with remove colour in Adobe Photoshop Elements following a session of Black and White with my Thursday evening class. So here is Belinda Swift on the Isle of Skye with her ordnance survey map.
If you have not tried this feature, first using the lasso tool create a selection around the part of your photo which is to remain in colour. Go to select>inverse to select the rest of the image and then enhance>adjust colour>remove colour - hey presto it is done.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Skye 3

Glamaig with a capping cloud - the only cloud visible for

Skye 2

Cooling my feet after a hard day's walking on the Isle of Skye, May 2008.


Ruth Beach of the Austrian Alpine Club taking picture near the summit of Bruach Na Frith, Black Cuillins, Skye, on May 29th 2008.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sealion at Edinburgh Zoo

Playing with the Nikon D3 at the zoo at the end of May. Went to sealion feeding and got some great pictures with the animal's whiskers.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Nikon Capture NX2

Loaded Nikon's latest version of Capture NX2 this evening and had a bit of a play with it. Tried out "Batch Process" to resize a whole folder of images.
Discovered that with NX2 you have to create a settings file first and save that to a specific location and then apply that to the folder.
Whoops this seems very complicated compared to Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0.
With Elements 6.0 I can simply Batch process a folder to say resize for the web in a matter of minutes without anything complicated.
As usual there are some features you like and others you wish the designers had spent some more time over to simplify. Elements 6.0 is £50 and NX2 is £129.99.

Nikon Capture NX2

Capture NX2 announced at the Nikon Business Conference 2008 yesterday (June 3rd 2008). So that's why Capture NX is being taken out of the D300 and D3 which will no longer ship with the software.
Everyone was trying to get Nikon managers to talk about the D3X but they remained tight-lipped even after quite a few drinks.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nikon D3

Went to Edinburgh Zoo on Sunday with my niece Anna and her family. Took some great pictures of the sealion feeding with the Nikon D3, the amount of detail in its whskers was outstanding. I'll post a picture of it when I have time.
Orders are starting to come in on my POLO site, Peak Imagings on-line ordering system, from the wedding I did last Saturday. It is a great system for any photographer who does not have a website with payment facilities but wants to make sales. Check out this link: and follow the link on that blog to find the polo site.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jessops Bosses read my Blog

I was chatting to a couple of old Jessops' pals on Monday evening. They told me that the company's bosses were fuming about some comments I'd made on my blog.
It was a post in fact on on that site's share chat. I wrote in late March that a birdy from Jessops had told me the next day the company was expecting a shipment of 4,000 Canon 450Ds. Pretty innocuous really but it seems the company's bosses were mad as my source must have been an employee.
In a company the size of Jessops with about 800 shop staff they should expect some leaks.
I was more surprised that they were unconcerned with an earlier post about a former manager of mine at Jessops who spent the day watching videos on his laptop and used the company's couriers when he moved house.
The next thing that will happen is that I will have to grow a beard to shop in Jessops, which I still do occasionally as their proof quality printing is perfect - now there's a compliment. One of the best managers I worked for in Edinburgh - Alan Thomson was effectively sacked and replaced by the "video watcher".
Later Alan was banned from the store for no good reason, this seems to be the way they often deal with ex-employees.
At Calumet we say do good service for one person and they'll tell 20 friends, the opposite may be the case at Jessops.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sigma DP1

An endorsement for this great compact from one of my customer, it is in the comments section after the original article. However I have decided to publish it in full here:

"I think I was that customer.
I have taken over 1400 shots with the camera now (it goes everywhere with me) some of the pictures are stunning and a lot of the ones that aren't are mainly down to my skill level.
Its no rocket but it is substantially ahead of other small cameras when it comes to IQ.
I have taken some street shots with it and it just doesn't register with most people as it's so boring looking. It's superb."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Nikon D3

I will be photographing a wedding on Saturday 10th May and went out to scout the location at the weekend. The 16th Century private chapel where the blessing is to be held is quite dark, setting the D3 on Iso 1600 captured the inside as if it was a summer's day. In addition there was zero noise or any noise there was looked like film grain. A customer said to me last week if the camera is so good at mimicking film why not just use film! We also took the D3 on a trip to Bowhill near Selkirk where some of the rhododendrons were out - the colours were perfect.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I stopped off for a coffee at Caffe Nero in Lothian Road Edinburgh on the way to work yesterday. My new Dawes Galaxy was locked to the railings outside. As I chatted to my friend Faye. I spotted a man, dressed in a suit for work, casually lift my Tour de France drinking bottle from the cage on my bike and walk off with it.
I gave chase and caught him about 40m up the road. I grabbed him by collar spun him round and took the bottle off him, the lid burst open and a spray of Lucozade Sport went over his suit.
Why would anyonme risk a criminal record or worse a beating up for a £4 plastic bottle? especially someone who dresses in a suit for work. Perhaps it was a dare and on his desk at work he has other "trophies" lifted on his journey in each day............................

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sigma DP1

The world's first compact camera with an APS (C) sized sensor is a classy camera. It impressed one of my customers today who was not put off by the disgraceful review at:
The whole link is a bit of a mouthful so you'll have to scroll through the site!
My customer ordered the camera on Monday and bought it today for £599 including the optical viewfinder. He had a quick play with it in the shop to check out its Raw recording and was pleased as it compared well to the Canon G9 but has a much better sensor.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Digital Beginners (Quiz)

Below is the quiz for the first night of my latest Borders College digital beginners course.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Misty Meldons

Using the Nikon D3 this evening at 8.30pm on Iso 3200, hanheld 1/125th f2.8 et voila!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Nikon D3

Misty Hills near Peebles taken this evening with the Nikon D3 which I have on loan from my work at Was trying out the Iso 1600 and using an old series E manual focus 28mm lens. This is a cropped portion of the larger picture which can be seen at: photobymdavey.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring,Snow & Sunshine

View from Tweed Bridge to the south on Sunday 6th April. The daffodils are out but it is still cold and quite wintry.

The picture was taken with the new Nikon D300 (12 MegaPixel) and an old manual focus 28mm/2.8 lens + polariser. The picture style was changed in the menu to vivid which roughly recreates the colour of a slide film, hence the green, green grass and orangey tree tops.

Chamonix Skiing

Yours truly on the descent from Grands Montets to Argentiere. Picture snapped with my pocket 4 Mega-pixel Nikon by a kind Swedish man. The snow that day (my last) was excellent as it had been snowing for a night and a day!
My knee just about survived the trip but was aching a bit after this run.
Now back to cycling and have managed to cycle 18 miles a day for the last three weeks. Begining to feel moderately fit again after the December accident. Doubt that I will do any time trials until June as I'd be too slow.
We have a pair of Nikon D3s in at work, one in rental and one in demonstration stock. Last weekend I was using the D300 and now looking forward to testing out its big brother.
One of the students on my course recommended as a good photo site. She has managed to sell a couple of her prints through redbubble-not bad going from a 5 Megapixel compact. It is smaller but more friendly than which regular reader's will know I have been using for about three months.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

fascism too

fascism too
Originally uploaded by illegalphotos
i'm sorry sir but that tie is suspicious and may contain a camera.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Framed Face

Originally uploaded by *Zara
I used the same technique once when I had to photograph a gilder....someone who gilds

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Calumet Exclusive Leather Crumpler Bags

Calumet have introduced an exclusive range of Crumpler Daily 490 leather camera bags. In Red, olive, Graphite and white at £149.99

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Portraiture - Character Study

A good portrait is a picture that says something about the person, gives you an insight into the person's character, whether this is make believe or not. At college, on my photojournalism course we used to call this "character study. For that you usually needed the person to be in their normal surroundings, so while it could be a headshot for a pilot or grands prix driver (wearing a helmet), for a blacksmith it might be surrounded by the tools of his trade and similarly for a hairdresser. This is more than a simple formal portrait but makes the picture more interesting.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dead of night

Dead of night
Originally uploaded by laurence.winram
Excellent use of Black and white to record mist and fog very eerie atmosphere

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Geese reflections

Geese reflections
Originally uploaded by muppet number1
Really neat reflection taken with a Sony Ericcsson phone should provide some inspiration............

Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Camera day 25 A swimmers adventure in shutter speed

Flickr photographer Mojo74 who took this picture said:

"Just carrying out a couple of exercises from my Bryan Peterson book. Here I set the camera on manual, opened the aperture to it's widest & selected the shutter speed to get the right exposure (1/100). I then worked my way through shutter speeds, slowing them down by a stop each time & selecting the appropriate aperture. It's a good lesson in why manual can be best. I can see now why 1/30 is meant to be good for panning & motion blur."

Monday, January 28, 2008


Originally uploaded by Jess Cartwright
Edinburgh based Jess Cartwright said:

"Part of a mini series for my friend Martina, who has been determinedly dropping hints about that empty wall over her dinner table, where “something red” and “maybe a set of food photos?” would look really good…"

Taken with a 13mm extension tube behind an 18-55 mm lens.

Luckily it fits the theme for my class perfectly

Cooking & Cameras

Next week's picture project for my Wednesday evening class is Pancake Day, I may extend it to food in general.
Hopefully this handout will provide some inspiration. Regular readers of these pages will have spotted this handout previously.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Digital Photography for SLRs

My new course started today (26th January) with nine people attending. Two are published photographers wanting to extend their skill.
The picture projects for the five week course are as set out left.