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.