Friday, December 23, 2011

Patricia Beck

A relaxed moment during the Daniele Mabe shoot, Isle of Syke, Scotland.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Black Cuillin

    The Black Cuillin mountains seen from "Joe Cornish" beach, Elgol, Isle of Skye. Nikon D700 + 28mm polariser 1/15th sec f22 handheld

Krishna Carvalho

    Make-up artist Krishna Carvalho, Nikon D700 + 180mm f3.2 1/500s Iso 400, nicely dropping off focus on right eye.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Location Lighting

    Model Patricia Beck in high heels and make-up artist Krishna Carvalho ignore health and safety on the
    edge of a 100ft precipice at the Quairing, Isle of Skye.  Photo: Mark Davey 
Make-up by Krishna Carvalho, concept and photography by Gustavo Zylbersztajn Camera Hasselblad H4D + 35-90mm, Lighting Profoto 5ft Octabox on 7B head with B2 Pack triggered by Pocket Wizard. Winter collection for Brazilian designer Daniele Mabe. Lighting supplied by Calumet Edinburgh.
Bruce Telford (Bruce's Highland Tours)holds the Profoto lightstand and Octabox, used for fill,while I grab a quick shot, Nikon D700 + 28mm/polariser

 Brazilian fashion photographer Gustavo Zylbersztajn flew from 32ºC to -1ºC when he chose the Isle of Skye for his latest shoot.
Mr Zylbersztain, 36, from the equatorial heat of Sao Paulo, Brazil visited Scotland during the harsh winter of 2010. He was stunned by Highland Scotland's soft subtle lighting compared to the often harsh light of his homeland. On his return to Brazil he sought a client who might be interested in using the Scottish landscape for an advertising campaign.
The former building's civil engineer, who now earns a crust photographing beautiful models around the world for magazines such as Vogue and Elle soon found a designer with the same vision. Small Brazilian designer  Daniele Mabe  was looking for something slightly different for her 2012 winter collection.
Winter in Brazil, which begins in April, is a relative term as the temperature in Sao Paulo rarely drops below 6ºC. Miss Mabe's styles would be suitable for a Scottish summer.
    Patricia Beck balances on the icy parapet of the old bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, at Sligachan,   
    Isle of Skye. Photo: Mark Davey

Model Patricia Beck, more used to sunnier climes such as Mumbai and Madrid, where she has recently worked said:
"It was very cold but last winter I did a shoot on Brooklyn Bridge, New York, when it was -10ºC and although there was a temporary tent for clothes changes, it had no heating."
On Skye Miss Beck made all changes between different outfits in the back of a four-wheel-drive provided by Bruce Telford of Highland Tours where Krishna Carvalho also applied the make-up.

Elgol Beach

Black Cuillin range from Elgol Beach at 1/15th sec handheld. I was lucky enough to be assisting Brazilian photographer Gustavo Zylbersztajn and his wife Patricia who was modelling a winter range for Daniele Mabe.
I kept telling him he was enjoying amazing light for the Isle of Skye in December.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


A link to the ephotozine site:


It never ceases to amaze me when photographers have a shoot booked but leave buying film till the very last moment. At the shop we experienced such a situation last week, the customer ordered 5 rolls of Ilford 120 Pan F film on Wednesday afternoon and was told "we cannot guarantee that it will be here on Friday." The shoot was booked for Saturday.
At 5.15pm on Friday he phoned and said: "I might not make it before you close would someone wait back till I arrive." He turned up just as we were pulling the shutters down. Unfortunately we did not have the ordered film and as an alternative offered 5 rolls of FP4.
The reaction was: "You've ruined our shoot we'll send you the bill for the model as you have failed to supply!"
Another pro photographer, on hearing the story said: "If he's going to use film why doesn't he have his own in stock."
Digital has killed many films for instance another customer this week wanted 400 slide film, there is only one easily available which is Fuji Provia 400X and currently that is out of stock. The customer was going to order 20 but when I told them about the problem of ordering it they immediately upped the order to 100 rolls. That is the way to ensure having your own stock when needed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Despite being a dedicated follower of Canon Scott Louden thought us Nikonistas deserved something to cheer us up. While Canon ran a big lens day Nikon sent us this giant camera ably displayed by Gavin Dougan at Calumet, Edinburgh.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Took a phone call at work yesterday and the conversation went like this:

"Hi, I have bought a Nikon D300 from a seller on Ebay."
"Yes," I was thinking he'll want to book it for a sensor clean,
"The seller told me it had 5,023 actuations but when I loaded a file onto, the data said the actuations were in fact 23,521," So what I was beginning to think.
"I wondered if you would act as an arbitrator as I'll have to send it back," said the caller.
I was speechless,
"Why would we want to be involved?" I asked him.
"Well I paid £620 for it and it's not right."
I replied:
"You are right about that, we have a used one on the shelf for £520 inc vat."
I then asked was he a customer of ours,
"No, but I thought you might help..........................."

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Cross Screen Filter

Photo taken with a Nikon D7000, Manual mode, 1/30th f4 50mm manual focus lens, flash fired. Starlight effect created in camera with filter. Colours in the lens are light refracting from my pop-up flash.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Polished Rocker achieved with P320 Wet and Dry followed by P600 Wet and Dry, final polish with autosol applied with a toothbrush and polishing cloth.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Today a guy came into the shop with two 2GB compact flash cards. Unfortunately both cards, purchased in 2008, only allowed 1GB of memory in the camera. I agreed to exchange them for two 4GB cards, as we no longer have 2GB cards.
Told the customer our process would be to refund the original purchase to his credit card on the understanding that he would buy the replacement cards. Checked his account and discovered that there was no history of him purchasing the 2GB cards.
He said they were purchased as a present by a woman, whose name he gave. I said he would have to get her to come to the shop and we would be able to refund to her card.
Later in the day she turned up and said that an ex-boyfriend she'd split with two years previously had asked to meet him in our shop to do some sort of refund. The original customer entered the store and the process began:
I refunded her more than £70 and he said she'd have to use her card to buy the 4GB CF cards, she agreed but both the credit cards she tried to use for the transaction were declined. (The refund can take three days to go back).
In frustration he took his wallet out and paid £60 for the two cards, our margin on the cards was better than the original sale.
Afterwards we were splitting our sides as his ex walked off £70 better off and he now had two new cards but    had lost the use of the 2GB cards which had been returned. Plus it appeared he'd spent two hours trying to put the deal together.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ceilidh Dance

Sarah and Paul Harrison dance the night away on their wedding day at Norton House Hotel near Edinburgh.

Photo Notes: Nikon D700 + 28mm/2.8 ISO 800 f8 1/4 second + flash from SB900 Rear Curtain Sync and handheld.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Traquair House, B&B / Guest House in Innerleithen, Scotland Scottish Borders - YouStayUK

Traquair House, B&B / Guest House in Innerleithen, Scotland Scottish Borders - YouStayUK

North Cup Burgie

Anna Davey on Wispa rockets across the water during the cross-country.
Photo notes: Nikon D700 + 85mm/1.8 ISO400, 1/1000th f4 + Flash from Vivitar 283 which seems to sync ok even when camera is set to Auto FP which takes the sync speed to any speed. I always understood that this mode only worked with Nikon guns.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Nikon Facebook

A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses, and a good lens is essential to taking good pictures! Do any of our facebook fans use any of the NIKKOR lenses? Which is your favorite and what types of situations do you use it for?

So say Nikon on its Facebook page. This comment has met with howls of derision and comment from amateurs and pros (who have the time) alike.
Nikon responded:
"We know some of you took offense to the last post, and we apologize, as it was not our aim to insult any of our friends. Our statement was meant to be interpreted that the right equipment can help you capture amazing images. We appreciate the passion you have for photography and your gear, and know that a great picture is possible anytime and anywhere"








Thursday, September 22, 2011


Karsh began his study of photography at an early age. Born in Mardin, Turkey in 1908, he was sent by his family, at the age of 16, to Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada where he apprenticed with his photographer uncle, George Nakash. Nakash felt his nephew had great potential as a photographer and arranged for him to study in Boston with a fellow Armenian portrait photographer, Joseph Garo. When he returned to Canada, he set up his own studio in Ottawa in 1932, not far from the seat of Canada’s government and through a connection with the prime minister, he began to take portraits of prominent figures.

Karsh had a keen apprehension of the function of light in the context of black and white photography and went to great lengths to achieve the prints that express his signature look. His work at a local theater in Ottawa introduced him to the use of incandescent — as opposed to natural — light and he was to use this medium to dramatic effect in his work. For some of his assignments, he and his assistants would transport as much as 200-300 pounds of lighting equipment to a shoot. He also developed a strategy of lighting his subjects’ hands separately from their faces, a technique that deepened the interest of the shot. Karsh made use of a number of large-format cameras, but his favorite instrument was the Calumet 8” x 10”, whose large negative made possible a finer image quality in the printing process. In many instances, he would spend considerable time with his subjects before actually taking any photographs, talking to them, and persuading them to relax. However, in the case of the famous Churchill photo, taken in 1941 after Churchill’s speech at the Canadian parliament, he recounts that he had only a few minutes to catch the essence of the great man.

The darkroom processing of the image was as important to Karsh as the composition and actual taking of the shot. He developed his own negatives and the prints were made through a photogravure process on especially manufactured heavy paper to produce silver gelatin prints. This process made possible a great range in tonality of the final prints, from the deepest blacks to the most brilliant whites and everything in between. He also made extensive use of retouching to heighten or diminish the density of an image. When he signed the original prints, he used a special heavy, soft, black ink.

In all aspects of his work, Karsh must be admired and respected as the consummate professional who mastered both his art and his craft. There is virtually no photographer today working as Karsh did, and with the advent of digital photography, it is highly unlikely that his darkroom skills will ever be replicated.


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Creag Leacach

Creag Leacach photographed with Fuji Provia 100 on the afternoon of Saturday 20th August 2011

Cairn Bannoch

Tim Breeze reviews photos on the summit of Cairn Bannoch July 3rd 2011. Photographed with Fuji Provia 100 using a Nikon 28mm/2.8 series E Lens

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sony Nex-7

The Sony Nex-7 featuring a 24 Million Pixel APS-C size sensor is a huge leap from the original Nex 5. It has the largest pixelled sensor from any camera close to a compact and is sure to prove popular. While Nikon and Canon do not have anything close to this in APS-C sensors surely those companies cannot be far behind.
Main features:

  • 24.3 effective megapixels Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
  • Quick, responsive autofocus and world’s fastest (0.02 sec) release time lag
  • Quick, versatile new TRINAVI control
  • High-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder and built-in flash
  • Full HD Movie with 50p/25p, manual focus, full P/A/S/M exposure control and improved audio
  • 10fps continuous shooting (Speed priority mode) Thanks to Ephotozine:


"So you want me to walk round that ring?" Bull photographed at Peebles agricultural show August 13th 2011 with Nikon D200 + 180mm/2.8 lens.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Citroen Xsara Picasso

Just onto the Isle of Skye from the Glenelg ferry in early June 2011 with mountains of Kintail in the background. Photo by Geraldine Davey

Citroen Light 15

Cartoon of George Davey working on his Citroen Light 15 drawn by a colleague when he left Havant in the 1950s.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


"There were Four-in-the-bed - and the middle one said: "Roll over..........."
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Loganberry shot with a Nikon D7000 and 60mm/2.8 Macros lens

Hopetoun House Cross Country

A Competitor in the cross-country at Hopetoun House eventing on Saturday 30th July, shot with a Nikon D7000, 85mm/1.8 and Nikon SB700 flash.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Provia 100

Summit of Carn an t-Saigairt Mor shot on a Nikon FM2N and 28mm Series E lens plus polariser.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Tripod Plate

More than three months ago a customer phoned me after losing her tripod plate. She wanted me to source a new one, at the time I took her number but was busy for the last hour of the day.
By the time I called her the next morning she had written and emailed a four paragraph complaint about my slovenly service to our customer services team in London. We did not even list the plate she wanted for the head of her tripod, I contacted the importer and within a week we had the plate in stock.
Now in July it is still on our shelf awaiting payment, each time we phone her she insists she wants it as her tripod is useless without it.
Is this punishment for not calling back instantly?

Comment from David Whitehouse:

We have well-heeled Warwickshire residents who want to use vans to bring waste material to recycling centres beacause they don't want to sully their Jaguar, Aston Martin etc! You can't please all the opeople all the time. Some people you will never please.
10:22 AM

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

New Nikon Lenses

This is a list of lenses scheduled to be announced by Nikon in the near future (not necessary in 2011):
  • Nikon AF-S VRII Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4G IF-ED N
  • Nikon AF-S VRII Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4 IF-ED
  • Nikon AF-S VRII Micro-Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 IF-ED N
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/2G
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/2G
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/2G
  • Nikon AF-S DX VRII Zoom-Nikkor 16-70 f/3.5


Being Prepared

A photographer from New York is attending a conference in Edinburgh from Thursday. However, today he has decided that he needs to hire some extra equipment, not just a few bits but a camera and two lenses, three studio lights, stands, backgrounds etc.
Luckily most of the equipment should be available, but this joker is just one of the many who seem to leave everything to the last minute..............

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