Saturday, December 01, 2012

First Snow of 2012

First post straight from Snapseed App on ipad

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Watch Strap

Adding links to the watch strap at Watches of Switzerland photographed with a 300mm lens + flash and converted to sepia on the computer.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Photographing into the light

Took a late lunch today and wandered out to Leith Walk at 4.15pm, just as the light was going down. I always stand in one position and photograph whatever moves. Camera was set to ISO 1600, 1/320th f4 with a 180mm/2.8 lens.
Just in front of me was a nice pool of light from a shop front. The first images were people walking towards me as they entered the light.
Then I tried pans of buses passing as the people onboard were nicely lit.
Finally this couple walked by and made a great romantic shot.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Cider With Rosie

A montage of the process of cider-making using a small apple press shot with a Nikon D800 and 50mm/1.8, mixture of techniques from slow speed sync top left to give a sense of movement, to short duration flash (bottom) to catch the flow of juice.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Bonfire Night Peebles

A Montage of my firework images from Victoria Park, Peebles, which we attend every year. All images Nikon D800 + 28-70mm/2.8, the exposure time for the main firework image was 4 secs f8, ISO 100, with focus set to infinity. My Calumet Class project for the week was nightime/hallow'een and bonfire night.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Autumn Morning

The River Tweed flowing through Haylodge Park, Peebles, photographed at the end of October 2012 with a Nikon D800 and 70-300mm VR lens. The fullsize file is a 26mb jpeg.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Antique Clock

Louis XV style tortoiseshell bracket clock made by Elkington and Co Ltd Paris, together with its catalogue image. Photographed under halogen spotlight using polarising filter. It will be sold on Saturday, Lot 684, estimate £100-150. Inset is the catalogue picture against a "white" background, but it looks grey!

Found while digging on the allotment and photographed with a 60mm/2.8 macros lens, daylight.

Close-up of a JW Benson of Ludgate Hill, pocket watch movement in action. Caught using a strobe flash and D800 camera, the mainspring is rotating but partially frozen by the flash hence the blur which is an ambient light exposure.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monday, October 08, 2012


A handout from my CALUMET Introduction to Digital Single Lens Reflex course held from September to November 2012.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Compound Eyes

D800 resolution shows the "pixels" of this fly's eyes, or are they rods and cones?

Monday, October 01, 2012

Swan Take-off

Swan on the River Tweed, Peebles, startled by a dog takes to the air, 180mm lens on Nikon D800 1/1000th f2.8 ISO400 cropped from middle of the frame.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bale Out

I waited for cars to go through the giant puddle creating a bow wave. The cycling time trial had been cancelled and I was looking for a "Blip". This lorry came the opposite way, moved camera to eye and pressed button,
1/1000th f4 + fill flash Nikon D800 + 180mm/2.8

Friday, August 10, 2012

Time Trial

Peebles Cycling Club Rider Andrew Isherwood races through a puddle moments after nearly coming a cropper. Grass and mud can still be seen stuck in his brakes from his rush onto the verge.
Nikon D800 + 180mm/2.8 ISO 400 1/1000th f2,8 AFC 3D, 1st August 2012.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Callum Gray

Callum Gray riding in the Peebles Cycling Club's 25 mile time trial which he completed in 70 minutes on July 25th 2012.
Nikon D800 85mm/1.8 1/125th f11

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins, races up the Champs Elysees, on his way to an historic victory in the Tour De France.

Nikon D800 180mm/2.8 125th sec f11

Bit of an addition I wrote a letter to Cycling Weekly about their woeful photography here is the letter and the reply (I was thinking it might be interesting to readers for the letter's page) but just elicited a response from the picture editor:

To: Default User Name <>
Subject: Photography Coverage of Bradley's Win

Dear Sir,

I have just returned from Paris where we witnessed the finest sporting achievement by a British man ever. Last week I ordered Cycling Weekly from my local newsagent and eagerly awaited its arrival yesterday. 

As a photographer I was amazed that of all the many pictures including the fine poster which came with the magazine there were none that really showed the "motion" of the bike. By that I mean blurred spokes and some blur in the background, a technique achieved by "panning" with a still camera. 

Indeed the poster picture could have been taken with the bike and rider lent against a stand as the wheels were stationery despite the bike being in a leaning position. Even the many images I have seen of Wiggins going round the bend at the Arc de Triomphe are shot so that he is totally "stationery". We know he is moving pretty quick so why not show it. 

Panning is not some computer trick it is done in camera, sure the rider will not be as sharp but at least it looks like he's going some. The attached picture was taken from the barrier half way up the Champs Elysées, I had no press pass or special access.

Yours faithfully

Mark Davey

Cycling Weekly picture editor Jason Hardy says I may not reproduce his reply as the email is protected by a confidentiality clause.

So, quoting from an email I received, Mr Hardy said:

"Many thanks for your expert advice on cycling photography, examples of which I have seen on your website. I'll be sure to pass it on to our photographers and hopefully they'll take it on board and raise their game.

By the way, I think you meant "stationary" as opposed to "stationery" (writing and other office materials)."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Never Work with Animals & Children

A Barn Owl Delivers Rings at Cringletie House, Peebles on Saturday 9th June
Guests are looking forward as they are totally unaware of what is taking place.
Photographers used to have a maxim which stated never work with animals and children.

I don't photograph many weddings these days and am pretty selective about the ones which I accept.

When Kathryn Hooper originally contacted me in 2011 she wrote:

"We are getting married on the 9th June 2012 at 5 pm and it will be a small wedding. We are only wanting some photos taken during the ceremony and then some group/family shots and a few of us straight after. We would probably only need a photographer for an hour and a half or so."
I decided to take the job, slowly things expanded, as often happens. The hotel was booked for the whole weekend for the two families, then I received, what I thought was a strange request:

"Will you be able to photograph the owl flying down the aisle delivering our rings?" I said probably yes. as the wedding day approached I started to have a few sleepless nights thinking about this one off shot. Especially as I had begun to try photographing birds this spring and found it pretty tricky.

On the day the falconer didn't reassure me when she said about 1 in 100 wedding photographers have got an image of the bird in flight. I thought I'd hit it with flash using Nikon's high speed sync at 1/500th with the SB700 off camera.
The registrar conducting the ceremony said: "Sorry no flash during the ceremony", room was quite well lit so went back to ISO 800, 1/500th f8 with 70-300mm zoom (VR) which I'd recently bought. The resulting image was a bit soft but perfectly acceptable, although I did think perhaps I should have used th 85mm/1.8 as the eventual image was shot at 80mm on the zoom range.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tobermory Lunchtime

Lunchtime Tobermory (The inspiration for Balamory)
Nikon D100 + 70-300mm (VR)
Lunchtime diners on Tobermory pier enjoy alfresco eating as the mercury hits 30°C on Friday 25th May 2012.
The modernist 1930s building, which used to house Caledonian MacBrayne  - God made the world and all that it contains except the Western Isles and they're Caledonian Macbrayne's -  is now fancy fish restaurant Cafefish on the top storey and The Pier Cafe down below. Dinner for two at Cafe Fish is a bout £65, lunch for two down below is about £20!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Evening Calm

Ben More & A'Choich Reflected in Loch Scridain from Penygheal.
Technical: Nikon D100 with 24mm/2.8 and polariser

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wedding Breakfast

Wedding Breakfast
From the award winning chip van on Tobermory Pier, Isle of Mull

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wren's Feeding

birds in the nest
Feeding Time
Technical info: Nikon D100 camera with 70-300mm vibration reduction lens plus blip of flash from pop-up gun on camera. 1/60th f8

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mouse Feeding

A mouse in a tree photographed with a Canon 5D MKIII and 100mm/2.8 L series lens.


A tiger yawning photographed with a 600mm/f4 lens on a Canon 5D MKIII through a fence at Marwell Zoo Park near Southampton on May 3rd 2012. Note this is not my conversion to Canon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fashion Shoot Skye

Daniele Mabe Campanha Moda Inverno 2012 Moda Feminina Inverno 2012 Daniele Mabe

Source: Mkt Mix 
Photos: Gustavo Zylbersztajn 
Copying is not cool! Request material to the press, or if you copy, quote linked site.

Ha, Ha very funny

Nikon D800

"Hello Mark, I'm just calling to find out if you have the Nikon D800 in stock?"
I have heard the above question about three times a day since 22nd March 2012, when the camera was due to arrive from Nikon. Some are a bit more shirty than that and some downright rude, as if I can magic up a camera there and then.
Yesterday one customer even said that a rival dealer had stock. At lunchtime I rang the dealer who's exact words were:
"Ha, ha, no of course we don't have them and when we do we have 330 orders so if you want one you will be 331 and might receive a camera just before Christmas!"
I relayed this to my customer who said she would leave the order with us but really needed the camera for three jobs next month. If it is just a matter of the high resolution then a film camera would make a good substitute.
I find it hard to believe that there would not be an alternative especially as three months ago no-one knew for certain Nikon would bring out a 36 million pixel camera this year, or even ever.

This is an image shot by my wife Geraldine with the new Nikon D800 and 24-70mm/2.8 lens. Exposure is 1/160th f4, WB Cloudy with fill flash, ISO 100. It will probably be the last she will take until we get our hands on a camera. It was shot at the Calumet spring open day in early April on a camera loaned by Nikon UK.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Daniele Mabe Brochure

Back and front images of the Daniele Mabe Winter 2012 Brochure on which I worked as photographic assistant to Brazilian Photographer Gustavo Zylbersztajn, see earlier posts in December 2011 and January 2012.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

AP McCoy

Champion jockey and BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010 riding Captain Conan at Kelso Races on 3rd March 2012. Nikon D700 + 300mm/2.8 1/2000th f4

Penny Vincenzi

Just Funny...............

Thursday, March 01, 2012

River Tweed Peebles

Stopped to snap sunrise this morning from Tweed Bridge, 1/500th f11 24mm lens

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kelso Races Carrots

Trainer Nicky Henderson (Right) receives a bag of carrots for Bellvano after his win at Kelso on 15th February. The Daily Telegraph highlighted this practice in their racing pages as it is unique to Kelso.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Eventual winner Simonsig (left) ridden by jockey Barry Geraghty clears the last hurdle at Kelso in the BetVictor Morebattle Hurdle Race 15th February 2012. But trainer Nicky Henderson (Lambourn) was left with more questions regarding the horse following this easy win.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kelso Races

A Day at the Races: Kelso 15th February 2012. Images taken with Nikon D200 + 180mm/2.8 and 85mm/1.8.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gordon's Gin

A couple of riders heading

on Sat-
for a
shot with a D200 + 85mm

Monday, January 23, 2012

Photography Course

My latest DSLR Beginner's course for Border's College starts today with the following programme:

Week 2 Weather & Landscape, try to illustrate the changing moods of the weather with a scenic
picture, I recommend using Aperture Priority mode and an aperture of f8 upwards or manual if
you already feel confident!
Week 3 Apertures, this week I have set a technical exercise, please bring a minimum of two
pictures, one an image shot with a wide ie f3.5 - f5.6 aperture set, the other using an aperture of
f11 - f16. Try to have the main subject about 3 metres from the camera.

Shallow depth of field, Wide f2.8
aperture. Focus on main subject.

Week 4 Nightime - this is an exercise in using long shutter speeds normally of 1 second or more
to capture the atmosphere of the night. Could be buildings, traffic trails try not to use flash.
Could try painting with light using a torch.
Week 5 Valentine’s Day/Cooking An image to illustrate either Valentine’s Day or something
from your Kitchen, could try macro/close-up
Week 6 Movement/Sport, this is an exercise in using shutter speeds, either very short to freeze
movement or longer to show the essence of movement.
Week 7 Silouettes/Contre-Jour, this is about shooting against the light to create graphic shapes or
about using backlighting to improve a subject you might shoot it indoors or out.
Week 8 Portraits - use what you learnt during contre-jour to create hairlights or create a striking
Hollywood look with a table lamp and black background to make a moody low key image. No
Week 9 Street Life/ Shoot from the hip to show people in one of our towns or cities, the key is
to make sure that you are not observed as a photographer and look for an engaging composition
which makes the viewer think.
Week 10 Reflections - put together everything you have learnt to capture any reflective surface -
remember composition, depth of field, maybe revisit one of the earlier topics and combine it with
this one.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kodak Film

Photographers are still c-dacking with Kodak film. Yesterday a customer of ours bought 55 rolls of Portra 160 for a trip to Australia, and it was in 120 roll film. At £229.00 it did not quite match our biggest Kodak film sale of 2011 with a value of £1098.00. However, this is not an isolated sale and it is not just students who are sticking with celluloid. Another regular buys Ilford HP5 and Provia 400x at the rate of about 30 a month. This customer tried digital but returned to film for the quality. Don't be too quick to snap the door shut on a truly innovative photo company.
Fujifilm unlike Kodak has embraced the digital market in many ways from building a range of innovative cameras and sensors to getting involved in large format inkjet printing. In addition it makes top quality lenses for companies such as Hasselblad, sells pharmaceuticals like skin creams used cosmetically, Two years ago Fujifilm's revenue from imaging was $4.2bn half the level of 2005 but in 2010 it made six times that amount from other businesses. More than two years after the demise of Polaroid Fuji still makes an instant analogue camera the Instax and the 20 image film to go with it and it is still selling!
Even as an ordinary consumer I was ahead of the trend, I first used a Casio digital camera in 1993. At that time I faithfully wrote a monthly diary on an Amstrad word processor which is long gone sadly stolen with its discs. That month I wrote: "Today I have seen the future of photography."

See also:
The Sunday Observer January 22nd 2012
John NaughtonCould Kodak's demise have been averted?
Kodak Advance Warning: Mr McNaughton writes:
"What's not often appreciated is that it was Kodak that invented the digital camera – in 1975. And four years after that a Kodak executive named Larry Matteson produced a report that predicted, in some detail, how different parts of the market would switch from film to digital, starting with government reconnaissance, moving on to professional photographyand finally the mass market, all by 2010. As it happened, Mr Matteson got the time-frame wrong by about five years, but apart from that he was spot-on."

Friday, January 06, 2012

Olympics 2012

Today Nikon joined the race to provide the top camera for London 2012. The firm's D4, available in the UK from February 16th for Nikon Professional Scheme Users, is firmly positioned to capture gold winning performances in eight months time. Despite having fewer pixels than Canon's latest flagship 1DX, Nikon is looking to cement the reputation its predecessor the D3 gained in Bejing in 2008. This afternoon I spoke to award winning sports photographer Russell Cheyne, (Sports picture of the Year 2000 and 2004). A long-time Nikon user he said he will not rush to get the first camera off the blocks but will wait for any bugs to be ironed out. However by July he reckons the camera will be well sorted for its run in Britain's biggest sporting spectacle for more than 60 years. Both cameras available to pre-order from Calumet.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Ben Vorlich Summit

Anonymous walkers share a drink in wintertime on the summit of Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond) Photographed with Rolleiflex TLR on Fuji Pro400H + Polariser

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Grey Imports

A customer experienced a problem with his Canon 7D, it would not work on e-TTL even with a dedicated flashgun.
As the flash was a Nissin, I checked the camera with canon 580 EXII and found that it had the same problem but would fire on other modes. I looked carefully at the shoe and noticed that the four pins which transmit e-TTL information were not connecting to the hotshoe contacts. It was possible to slide a piece of paper between pins and contacts even with the gun locked on.
I told the customer the camera would have to go to Canon for service, was it still under guarantee? Yes, came the answer but I bought it in Dubai for ½ the price of a camera in the UK.
I think we know why it was so cheap....................

Camera Club Talk

Yours truly making a presentation: "My Life as a Weekly Newspaper Photographer" at Midlothian Camera Club in October 2011. Photo by David Meikle Midlothian Camera Club

Sophie Swinton

Sophie Swinton on Boxing Day 2011, Nikon D700, ISO 400, 1/320th f2.8 with 50mm/1.4 Manual Focus and Polariser.