Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hahnel Inspire

Camera Accessory company Hähnel's   wireless Inspire LiveView Remote Control is now available at Calumet in Cannon Or Nikon fittings for £200.
Ideal for wildlife, sport and even hazardous photography, the Inspire features a built-in, 3.5” colour LCD on the hand-held transmitter that displays a LiveView image independent of DSLR.
You can then view these images from up to 60m away, ensuring that you take the perfect photo at exactly the right time.
Control up to 4 different cameras remotely from one transmitter and then switch between the LiveView image of each camera at the touch of a button.
  • 3.5” LCD displays LiveView image of the Camera
  • Built-in camera gives LiveView image even for those DSLR’s without this feature
  • Easily switch between DSLR LiveView & built-in CMOS camera view
  • Playback the pictures taken without having to go back to the camera
  • Control several cameras withone Inspire
  • Several Power options for every situation
  • Available for Canon & Nikon DSLR’s

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Black Grouse or is it?

Taken by Geraldine Davey using her D200 with 70-300mm/4-5.6 VR lens, Sophie made a noise to disturb him from his meal and he obligingly flapped his wings.

Magnum Photo

Picked up the link to the Magnum site from chrismorephotos&grafix
So thought I'd give the old agency a plug with a "PrintScreen" of its front page.

Lover Boy

LOVER BOY - Teaser from Max Swinton on Vimeo.
LOVER BOY is a new short film by Max Swinton, to be released in 2011.

Jack and Chlo fell in love. They love each other very much. But Chlo can be cruel, her behaviour erratic. As Jack's increasingly fragile state of mind begins to rapidly degrade, he will have to choose between facing up to the fatal flaw in his and Chlo's relationship, or exploring his own potential for cruelty to it's fullest potential.

Written and Directed by Max Swinton
Produced by Max Swinton and Zach Sell
Original score by Stuart Torrance

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nikon FM2N

The first FM2N I snapped up, and fitted with this bashed 50mm/1.4, was a chrome model. I parted with £175 for that camera in 1992 at Leeds Photovisual in Birmingham.
It was my main camera for the next four years of building up my photojournalism. I used it for sports pictures published in a myriad of local newspapers as I created a portfolio.
In 2010 I returned to mainly using film for my own work and alternated between my F100 and Rolleiflex. But both are weighty compared to the sublime FM2N.
A month ago I spotted this mint condition black FM2N in Cameratiks, Morningside Road, Edinburgh. Patrick, the proprietor added this neat Nikon strap and again I spent £175.
The first rolls of Tri-X from it were great as you'd expect from a virtually unused machine.
Hillwalking last weekend I handed it to a stranger to take mine and Geraldine's picture,
"What a lovely sound," he said as the shutter went off.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fuji X-100

Why not just buy a used Olympus 35RC rather than the hyped horror that is the Fuji X-100. The Olympus with its razor-sharp 42mm 2.8 lens and  modern film will give far better resolution than the 12mp sensor in the £800 Fuji. Cameratiks, on Edinburgh's Morningside Road has an RC for £80.00 a 1/10th the price of the Fuji.
If you shot one film a week and had it processed and scanned at say £15.00 it would take 48 weeks to match the price of the Fuji. By that time the clever engineers at Fuji will have a replacement planned and the X-100 would be worth a couple of hundred pounds as we all know new digitals are worse than new cars when it comes to depreciation.
Oh yes the Fuji even offers film simulation modes to mimic Provia, Velvia and Astia so even more reason to use the real thing - probably not what a camera salesman should be writing!

A Much Hyped Horror- The Fuji X-100

Kodak Tri-X (2)

Another shot on the Nikon FM2N with Tri-X + Orange filter on a nice day looking down the Leadburn Road towards the hills above Peebles.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Edinburgh's Royal Mile

A former colleague has spent much of his leisure time photographing the goings-on along Edinburgh's Royal Mile. He is now so well recognised as a street festival photographer that he is to fly out to Dubai next week to be the official "street photographer" at a festival there. No doubt he'd have something to say at this image. I liked the view of this couple enjoying the pictures on their LCD outside this tourist trap shop.

A Wedding Snapper Snapping

Everyone who has viewed this wedding photographer at work has asked:
"Was the bride happy with this shot?"
I was out and about with the trusty Nikon FM2N and some Tri-X when I happened across this guy at work on a Saturday afternoon.
At first I thought he was using a 5D MKII and shooting video but no this was a still.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Nikon has shut down its Sendai plant in the earthquake hit part of the country. Nikon's Sendai plant is where cameras including the D3S, D3X, D700 and F6 are made.

'We are suspending operations there and continuing to evaluate further details of the damage,' Nikon said in a statement.

'We are unable to announce how soon the operations will resume due to the regional interruption of life-lines…'

Canon has similarly shut down a factory in the troubled region.

Nikon has contributed 100 million yen to relief efforts and Canon, a much bigger company, has given 300 million yen.

Nikon Sendai

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ansel Adams The American Wilderness

At Peebles' Charity Book Sale on Saturday I picked up a mint first edition of this beautiful coffee table book for £10. I'm not a great Ansel Adams fan as I prefer my landscapes to have some human interaction, such as rock climbers halway up El Capitan or Half Dome, rather than just be pretty pictures.
This is probably why my first Yosemite book was Galen Rowell's "The Vertical World of Yosemite." Also John Cleare's "Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia" from the 1960s takes some beating for gritty black and whites.
In modern large format photography of British mountains Gordon Stainforth's series are as good as Adams with the benefit of comprehensive shooting notes.
For something a bit more basic W A Poucher's Guides, mostly shot on early Leica's are quite inspiring.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Painting Colours in B&W Using Photoshop Elements

Painting in Layers to add colour to a Black & White:

I have opened a colour image and converted it to B/W(Enhance>Convert to Black and White).

To add colour to the black and white image and make the car blue and the driver’s helmet red. Layer>New layer name it colour. Change the layer blending mode to Color in the drop-down menu.

Select the brush tool from the tool box and set the background colour to blue or any other color you wish.
To change the colour of the brush click on the squares at the bottom of the toolbox, the default is black and white. The foreground colour is ontop the background colour underneath. Clicking on the foreground color opens a color picker window.

Using the brush tool paint in the blue colour on the car body, I used a brush size 100px, opacity at 100%.

It doesn’t matter if you go over the edges as the  next step is to use the eraser to rub out those bits.
The final stage with this image was to set up another new layer and repeat the above process to paint the driver’s helmet red.
Final Picture:

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Canon NP-E3

Had a true pro in the shop today, with his Canon 1DS MKII, he was in a bit of pickle as he'd left his battery charger in London and was shooting in Edinburgh for a few days. Sold him a Calumet equivalent battery great value at £70 less than the Canon battery.
Then spent the rest of the day with the battery on charge so that our super snapper has power for his camera tomorrow.  Course if they'd hired an Edinburgh photographer he'd not have had so far to go to get his charger.
No-one's perfect, in the year 2000, the Bishop of Winchester was walking the Pilgrim's Way I was sent to get a picture of him at one of Kent's fine churches in Wrotham. Shot some great pictures with his "shepherd's staff" as a prop.
Rushed off to my next job, arrived a bit late, and thought: "I'd better change the film before I begin".....yep you've guessed in no film in the camera for my unrepeatable shots of the Bishop. It is a bit harder to make that mistake with digital.

Nikon 17-35mm F2.8

Nikon 17-35mm F2.8D AF-S Zoom-Nikkor Lens
Spoke to a customer last week about ordering this lens over  the
14-24mm as he wanted to put filters on the front.

Panasonic GH2

Max's latest camera and the latest one to our household! The Panasonic GH2, he chopped in his Canon 7D on ebay to get this so here's hoping it's better for video.

Unable to use as yet as the lens adapter for Zeiss has not arrived.