Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peebles Beltane 2011

Cornet's Reel at 10.30pm outside the Tontine Hotel, Peebles High Street, Wednesday June 22nd 2011, Nikon D100, 28-70mm/2.8, Vivitar 283 Flash 1/4 sec f8

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tyranny of the Camera

Tourists' tripping the shutter can seriously damage the enjoyment of a beautiful scene. Or so thinks Nick Trend writing in Saturday's Weekend Telegraph.
Mr Trend, who seems to have "borrowed" the bulk of his argument from a blog written in 2009, argues that it is best to remember views seen on your travels in the mind's eye. He says that seeing life through a viewfinder and remembering it afterwards through pictures diminishes the reality of the experience.
Until about 1961 my father was a very keen photographer. It was only after his death in 2010 that I found out how keen he'd been when I discovered many previously unseen albums. He largely seems to have used a folding camera, I have speculated it may have been the impossibility of keeping up with his sister's Leica ownership which turned him away from photography. In later life he often said to me:
"It is better to remember things in your head as the colours are better."
Whenever I took pictures of him, and latterly of his grand-children he was always very keen to display them, which seems at odds with his views about retaining images in the mind.
At first when I started to pursue photojournalism as a career he was fairly against the idea, but when I landed a job on a weekly paper seemed to come round. Even then he said I'd have been better off going into TV news, despite the fact that in the last 20 or so years of his life he didn't own a TV.
So perhaps there is something in this not viewing life through a viewfinder - I'd certainly save a lot of money.............

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Matterhorn, Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn & Dent Blanche

Another shot with the folding Zeiss Ikonta from the North Ridge of the Weisshorn in August 1989.

Weisshorn View

The view East at Sunrise one day in August 1989 from halfway up the Grand Gendarme on the North Ridge of the Weisshorn, Swiss Alps. It's a bit magenta but I've not fiddled with it in Photoshop.
Taken on Kodak Gold 200 film, using a Zeiss Ikonta 6 x 6 cm camera, with a 75mm/4.5 Anstigmat lens. Unfiltered. I'd only owned the camera about six weeks and the picture has some flare from the uncoated lens.
It is ideal for mountaineering as it is light-weight with the lens folding into the body and shoots medium format negatives.
I'd hate to take a modern Hasselblad digital up the North Ridge of the Weisshorn - the battery would probably fail!! Apart from the weight................oh and £8,000, the Zeiss cost £80.00 and you can still get them for about the same money.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Isle of Rum

Looking back to the Isle of Rum and the Cuillin mountains from the deck of the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry to Mallaig. This was the first clear day after 8 days of rain and storm. Taken with Provia 100 film through a Nikon FM2N + 28mm lens and polariser.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Isle of Rum

Deer Tracks on Kilmory beach, Isle of Rum. Somewhere in the haze and rain clouds in the background lurks the Isle of Skye.
Photograph by Geraldine Davey, on a Nikon D200 with standard 18-55mm zoom at 18mm.

Long Lens

Spent some time pondering purchasing a variable aperture zoom such as the 70-300mm VR before our trip to the Isle of Rum.
Eventually took my 180mm/2.8 and a manual TC200 2X converter. On the D200 this gives the equivalent of a 560mm f5.6. I used that to take this photo of a duck? (Does anyone know what it is?)
Settings 1/500th f5.6 ISO 125

Carn na Caim

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Camera Panning

Taken on Fuji Provia 100 film with a Nikon F100, 70-300mm G VR lense 1/60th f11 using panning where the camera moves at the same speed as the moving subject thus blurring the background

Amateur Photographer

Amateur Photographer reader Martin Johnson reveals, in Backchat this week June 11th, that film is far from dead.
He relates a conversation which he had with a work colleague. She told him that her daughter is at university studying photography but won't use a digital camera.
"She doesn't like the complexities of modern cameras and all the stuff you have to do on the computer. She'd rather wait and see what comes out and loves working in the darkroom."
The girl visits camera shops which sell second-hand equipment and is always adding to her collection of film equipment at bargain prices.
Mr Johnson concludes by saying that perhaps "...we are losing the anticipation of photography - those wonderful moments when we get back the pack of prints, the box of slides or the sheer satisfaction of seeing a selection of images taken on basic equipment."
As regular readers will know and by looking at my captions will see, this is just the approach which I have taken since last year. I'm not a luddite and am happy to use digital equipment when commercially necessary, I usually hire a D700 from my work, I have all the necessary lenses.
Last night I was talking to a former colleague, Mike Bascombe, who is now the photographer for Lyon & Turnbull Actioneers in Edinburgh. For work he uses a Canon 5D MKII but told me he has recently bought a Hasselblad 500CM and lenses for his personal work.
Digital may have caught up with the resolution of film but film still looks different, whether black and white such as Tri-X or colour such as Provia 100.
I get my film processed, printed to 6 x 4 (for the album) and scanned at 3000 x 2000 pixels for the web. Certainly it costs me on a regular basis, but buying a D700 and probably its imminent replacement, not to mention a D3X would be a major expense. Many people looking at the prints remark on the sharpness and colour and ask what on which camera the images were captured.
I trained on black and white and transparency film, getting the exposure correct even without a meter is not a problem as I have shot so many pictures in the past.
The only problem is that new film cameras are not being made so eventually the old ones will wear out or film may become unavailable. Film is still selling at Calumet not in the quantities of the past but there is still a demand. An archaeologist who buys from us generally gets 20-30 at a time having tried digital and reverted to film.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Cloud Inversion


Clouds bubble round the summit of Snowdon North Wales originally taken on a Kodachrome slide
 with a Zeiss Ikonta Folding 6x6cm camera with 75mm f4.5 lens in 1992

Floors Eventing 2011


Floors Castle eventing shot on a  Nikon F100 + 180mm/2.8 with Provia 100 1/60th/f11 taken by panning (moving the camera at the same speed as the horse and rider as they approached the fence).

Floors Eventing 2011

Shot on Fuji Provia 100, Nikon F100 + 100mm/2.8 Series E lens 1/500th f4 pre-focused on the top rail of the fence, motordrive on single shot. Timing is key.


Mecanopsis at Glendoick near Dundee, shot on Provia 100 film with 60mm/2.8 on Nikon FM2N