Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Belated Friday Photography Blog No.21

by In Wales Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:29:23 AM EST


Due to people running off in tears of disappointment and a number of requests for a photoblog this week, the Friday Photography Blog makes it's hungover appearance a day late.

The blog is in two parts this week - one for "Your camera and tools" where we get to be all technical if we wish or to share tips, queries and comments about cameras, lenses, other kits bits and discuss what we like about photography and techniques we use.

The second part is for "Photos As Usual", whatever you want to post.

Please try to keep to 600 pixels width and less than 100kb in file size and take a look at Wednesday Photography Blog No.2 for the technical bits on how to post.

Please enjoy!


Display:
"YOUR CAMERA AND TOOLS"
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:30:00 AM EST
As you see above, I have the Nikon D200.  This photo was taken when I first got the camera. I forget when now.  The timestamp on the photo tells me february 2007 but I thought I had it before that. Anyway. My trekking bag is the best.  It contains all of my kit which includes the lenses, camera, flash, filters, spare cards and batteries and also has a compartment for a laptop (which I kept my water pouch in when I trekked around Thailand) and space in the bag for a change of clothes and a bit of food. Very robust and comfy and stood up to trekking in the jungle and everything.

And here we have a peek at my kit. I have a 50mm, 18-70mm kit lens, 10.5mm fisheye, 12-24mm wide angle,105mm macro and a 70-300mm sigma lens which I rarely use (tend to use the macro instead). I also have a novelty lens baby.

I have an amazing manfrotto tripod. I forget the model but an earthquake can't knock it over and it has a ball and socket type head which is great to use. SB600 flash and a long cord remote shutter thing which arrive this week... Bit by bit I'm getting to know everything but the best has been getting filters - I use the cokin P-system.  Learning slowly and enjoying myself immensely as I go along.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow... You have some great lenses (specially 105 micro and 12-24) !
I use the D200 too but with Manual Focus lenses (MF) inherited from my two FM2n's cameras (180/2.8 AIS, 35/2 pre-AI, 50/1.4-S, 28/2 AIS, 85/2 AI, 55/2.8 AIS and a 20/2.8 AFD and the 60/2.8 AFD) I used to have the 18-70, but gave it to my daughter with the D70 !

I don't use bags, even though I have a weathered Billingham, I prefer keeping the camera in my hand with the strap around my wrist. (I do have an old SB15 flash that still works)!

I usually favor the primes lenses vs the zooms, one on the camera, and two in the pockets !

With digital, and for a long trip, the computer can be a hassle ! I might get an Epson picture wallet one of these days ( I used one once for a two week trip) as it is smaller and you can carry it with you instead of leaving it somewhere (hotel, office, etc.)!

I have the camera with me, always! Meaning that it's quite battered, being in various satchels (I'm on motorbike) with books and files...

I'm in the "no filter" camp, specially on digital cameras where those can induce some weird effects... But then filters in photography is like religion elsewhere, the pro and cons are very vocal about it :-)

Just to say that I've just got somehow a heavy flu of some sort and the computer's screen seems to move in it's own way... So I might not be very pertinent this saturday...!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:28:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry about the flu. My smallest girl, Marcelle, 5, has something similar. Pretty miserable.

For many years I used a Nikon N90s, and did it the same way- a 50mm on the camera, a 135mm in one pocket and the 28mm in the other. Don't really like zooms.
Since a midnight visitor invaded the boat and stole my small but  nice Olympus digital, I may buy a DSLR--a Canon EOS 5D is the latest candidate, (prices have dropped to 1500 Euros) mostly for the sensor size.
Dunno. Also, the new EOS 350 is a candidate.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poor Marcelle.

Zooms make me lazy, especially at the wide to short telephoto range. I'd much rather use 20mm, 50mm and 85mm primes with a single long zoom than have just two zooms. Currently I have the Sigma EX 10-20mm to give me wide-angle on the D70s (effectively 15-30mm) but I don't enjoy it. Maybe if I tape up the zoom ring so it is effectively a fixed 20mm equiv ...

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:57:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I prefer my prime lenses.  I rarely use the zoom ones.  I do make use of the wide angle lens a fair bit but tend to do landscape with it in conjunction with the filters.  Going to full wide angle sees the filters appear at the edges so I stick to a very narrow range with that one.

I still find it hard to go out with only ones lens and hate having to change too often so it does discipline me into roughly planning the shots I want to get.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 12:28:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EOS 5D or D3, they are not at the same price, but think about the lenses. If you have several lenses of one brand you may have to buy them again for the other brand... Thus making a higher price for something that's often equivalent in both... ?

After the D3, Canon might bring out an interesting model ? It might be worth it to wait a bit that the dust settles ?

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:45:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those are some nice primes you have.  Despite the fact that some of my sharpest pix were taken with old 45 to 50mm primes, I've become addicted to zooms.  Keep telling myself to get back into the prime habit.  Carl Zeiss (brand) is now making a line of primes for the Nikon mount.  A bit pricey, as one might expect, but I read they are worth it.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 09:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a Lowepro bag?
by olivia on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 09:36:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes it is.  I actually have three - this one, the most sturdy, a slingshot which gives easy camera access but no good for any length of time with the weight on one shoulder (it slides too) and I have another which has the compartments in the bottom half and then a bigger section for use a a general rucksack.  Really good but the straps are not very wide so it isn't good for lots of walking with weight on your back.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 12:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mostly use a handy 199 € Samsung L85 which has all the automatic and manual features that I need, as well as taking useful video.

The flash has no real options, however, so I am usually to be found balancing the camera on wine bottles with 1 sec exposures. It produces a lot of instantly deletable crap, but with persistence it is possible to capture of the feeling of an event.

   

  1. My daughter on stage for a live radio gig at Korjaamo last Wednesday.

  2. Friends in the bar before the show.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:22:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the pictures I've posted recently have been taken on this.

GR-Digital

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:51:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like a neat camera... Rangefinder style !
I used to have a M6 Leica and still wonder why I sold it !!!!
Modern DSLR's are getting bigger and heavier everyday and I'm waiting patiently for a brand or another to get a full frame rangefinder !!!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 01:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm waiting for Nikon to bring out a full-frame DSLR that isn't the size of their pro bodies: there's no point me owning a D3 (even if I could justify the cost) because it's just too damn big and heavy to bring anywhere. The D70s size is ok, but even that gets left behind unless I've got a pretty good idea there's going to be opportunity for good shots. It'll be even less likely to come along for a while with a baby and associated paraphernalia.

The whole GR-D kit (without tripod or monopod) weighs just about a kilo and (except for the flash) fits into the pouch on the left.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 01:42:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree, and wonder why after the OM1 (Olympus) the trend was to get big cameras ? I see many people that thinks a D200 is great only when it has the accessory that makes it look like a D2x ! (I know... Mine is bigger...)

Rumors do exist on a Nikon rangefinder (S or SP) with a D3 sort of sensor, as one of the heads of Nikon is a rangefinder groupie :-)
If Nikon brings out a D300 sized FX camera they'll kill the full DX range... Even if they have it they might keep it a few years !
There is also, in blueprints, a modular Nikon (think F3) for space, scientists, military... And maybe some photographers !!

I expected a M9 but Leica started a coslty upgrade system with the M8. And it ain't cheap either !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 01:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I never got into rangefinders, though I keep getting tempted even now (if I'm going to play with film it's going to be in some of our existing classic cameras, not another one I buy!). A reasonably priced Nikon one could possibly persuade me though!

A prosumer FX will mostly kill the high-end DX ones, but not the likes of the D40 - D50 type. I want my 20mm 2.8 to work as a bloody 20mm again, not a 35mm. I don't like 35mm on an SLR. I don't know why.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:01:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah... I've been through that phase :-)
35mm on film is the "classical" view you get on every snapshot machine ! I like mine now because of the 1.5 factor...!

A great, unbreakable, multi-purpose camera would be the FM2n. You can find them used in a good pristine condition. Purely mechanical (1/4000th), the small battery is just for the metering, and if you're used to the sunny 16 you don't need it !

I've got two of them I keep from my film days and won't sell them as they work "at once" (just load film)! Factory spare parts are still there for 10 years !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:10:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I know why I don't like 35mm: not wide enough to be interesting or include environment properly and not long enough for a flattering portrait.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:15:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We still have an Nikkormat FT-3, a Nikon EM, a Rolleiflex and a kit-built 4x5 view camera around here. I am not buying more film cameras - I had to stop myself rescuing an EM from the bargain bin in the camera shop recently. It was only €100 after all ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:19:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The lovely old Rolleiflex...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:23:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except the one we inherited is a bit more battered and the meter doesn't work.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:25:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This pic is starting my mouth to water! I love the TLRs.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 09:35:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.rollei.jp/e/pd/MiniD.html

Saw one of these recently in a camera shop here in DE, it had me drooling...

by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 07:23:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's hysterical! Though the joke fades at about the $500 mark!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 07:31:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My D40X isn't very big.

That's all I have. I'm bringing this on a year long trip, so there is no room for extra goodies anyway beyond a few extra batteries.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:29:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The GR-D has the advantage that I can dump all except the camera itself and bung it into a pocket.

That's a neat kit though. How's the lens?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Sam's R7 has a 28-200 zoom equivalent on it, so between the two kits we have reasonable quality 'sketch' photography covered.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:40:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I love it. The lens covers everything I need. A fast 50mm lens would be nice but I can live without it and I'm still quite an amateur.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:47:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You should be able to pick up a 50mm 1.8 AF for almost nothing second hand? It hardly weighs anything. Honest.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:53:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure you're right, but space is at an ultra premium. I'm getting by on a 35L backpack and a camera shoulder bag that is going to have to hold things beyond camera gear.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 04:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bring one set of underwear less!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 04:09:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
believe me, the list of stuff I am bringing with is already pretty short.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 04:40:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By which I mean I've spent measurable time debating with myself on how many pairs of boxers go with me.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah... Exactly my thoughts :-)
But then in such a case I don't take any...

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:04:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are practical limits to minimalism...

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still wonder why you sold it ...

The GR-D is an interesting little camera. There are two adaptors in that photo, one which gives me a 21mm FOV and one 40mm. The filters are a circular polariser (for reducing reflections from haze and water) and two ND filters which are to allow me use lower shutter speeds with wide apertures - one of the constraints on small sensor cameras is that diffraction starts reducing the sharpness of the lens at small apertures, so the GR-D is limited to f9. There's also an IR filter in there that I bought during the week and haven't had a chance to experiment with yet.

The quality of the lens is very, very good and the sensor isn't bad for what it is: I can get usable B&W shots from ISO800 in a camera that will fit in a jeans pocket.

The controls are nice too - there's a dial on the front for aperture control and a rocker on the back that can be used for shutter speed, manual focus that's usable, instant access to exposure compensation and quick access to things like changing ISO or focus mode. There's a nice macro mode too.

The hotshoe on top means that you can use optical viewfinders to frame the shots, which means, when combined with snap focus mode (preset to about 2.5m with huge depth of field), you can frame and shoot pictures very quickly for street or informal photography.

It also does some nice landscape work.

Lot's of constraints on it, of course, but I like constraints - they make it easier for me  to get good results because they impose a discipline upon what I'm doing.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:51:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've heard these compact small-sensor cameras compared to artist's sketchbooks. They allow you to take pictures when you normally wouldn't have a camera with you. Only a complete fanatic takes an SLR everywhere.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL...!

Why am I out of phase with most here ? Each time I come in there's almost nobody and when I go elsewhere for a while there seems to have been a meeting in between... :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dissynchronicity - it's a well known phenomenon.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Happens all the time.....

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I must be in the Finnish time zone... Gee ! :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:20:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we are in the same time zone. What's your excuse?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:25:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a weird Moomin family.... !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:37:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fuji S2 Pro
Nikon 28-70 f2.8
Nikon 17-35 f2.8

Skylights and polarisers, but no grads or colour gels.

Also a Fuji S7000 for non-SLR days.

I've outgrown both of the cameras now. I'm aware of technical flaws that I wasn't aware of when I started - most obviously noise, but also some odd digital artifacts in extreme lighting conditions.

It's still possible to take good photos with both of them, but post-processing afterwards to remove the flaws is tedious.

I don't like primes. I do a lot of outdoor shooting, and the alternative to a zoom is clambering over barbed wire fences trying not to fall into mud. Zooms are a good way to minimise this. Also, swapping lenses outdoors in hostile weather isn't fun.

I'll probably move to a Canon soon. I don't particularly want to get rid of the Nikons, but the Nikon/Fuji bodies are no longer doing it for me - not even at the top of the range, from what I've seen of them. I'm finding I can recognise a Nikon image because it has a certain look - which really shouldn't be possible on a pro or semi-pro camera.

I'd like some grads, however. People who think you can duplicate the effect exactly in Photoshop are wrong. There isn't enough dynamic range in an 8-12 bit image to make it possible without adding noise. Likewise with coloured gels - not quite the same when done optically.

In spite of the fact that film can still look prettier than digital, my lack of interest in film is almost total. I'm so used to the convenience of digital now that I can't imagine enjoying playing with chemistry in a darkroom.

It's amazing to think that £250 will get you a camera edging tentatively into the bottom end of what's needed for professional work. Thirty years ago a snappy camera would use a godawful film format like 110, with next to no resolution or colour stability. Now a good snap cam will be just a step or three down from pro quality. You can't use one for a glossy fashion shoot, but if you capture something unusually interesting with it, AP or Getty won't necessarily turn their noses up at the quality.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:15:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same here. Though I'd disagree with you about the grads. There is essentially no technical difference between what happens before the photons hit the chip and what happens after - except for glass effects.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:29:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes there is, in the dynamic range.

Let's say you're shooting into the sun. You don't use a grad. You have a choice between over-exposing light areas or underexposing shadow. If you do either, the available dynamic range of both will be limited.

This is obvious if you select the light or dark area and look at the histogram. Half the curve will be missing.

If you use a grad, you can limit the light and bring up the shadow. You now have much more detail to play with in Photoshop because both shadow and light are properly exposed. It's not unlike using a compressor for audio. The histogram will be more balanced - maybe 3/4 of the curve used in each section, and much less spiking at the far left and right.

I've done this in practice, so it's not a theoretical point. If you digitally correct shadow underexposure without a grad you get noise. If you use one, you get much less noise. The difference is obvious, especially on a cheaper camera.

I have a plug-in which converts a range of shots with different stops into a single high dynamic range exposure. You can do tricks with that you can't do with a single exposure, and one of them is creating low noise grad effects.

But you can't create the same result with a single shot, because it doesn't capture all the information you need.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 09:37:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An extreme case. And largely an obvious artistic intervention. I can't think of any situation where a the geometry of a grad would bear any relationship to a physical scene - unless the scene happened to conform to the geometry. I've only ever used one once, and that was film shooting in the desert of Kuwait.

Electronic compresson can be achieved by fidding with the black clamp levels, but this feature is only available on pro video cameras, and it happens after the chip. It is something I've used a lot with Betacam video shooting.

For stills, there is a simpler method if your camera will automatically shoot a set of bracketed exposures off a tripod. Or you can do it manually for a scene in which there is little movement. In both cases there is some photoshopping to do.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 06:06:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Sad to say, but my processing days with B&W film is over... I still have everything and even taught my children how to use it, but as in most cases I have to scan the damn film afterward, it makes no sense vs digital !
The trouble with my work is that I usually have to do about three rolls of film worth of crappy pictures of sites, with or without existing buildings, shooting the limits, fences, neighbors, etc., then I need to include in some of those pictures the future design for the building permit...!
In film days, it would sum up quite nicely each month !

With digital, all is much easier... Of course, I "like" taking pictures too, meaning that I always find some excuses to get the camera that seems a good compromise between a snapshot use and a more interesting one...!

I don't feel that pictures can be traced for brands, unless you shoot in all auto ! But then maybe I'm not expert enough !
Still, like in computers, progress moves asymptotically, so I'll wait a year at least before changing for the next one !!! :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ND grad can useful in principle, if you have a tripod - I can't use them handheld at all.

As to zooms, I just don't have the eye or the discipline to use them. I tend to stand where I am and zoom without considering whether I should move to get a better shot. The primes force me to either move or change lens, which is enough hassle to make me think seriously about moving for a split second.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:36:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would agree with that comment... Being quite lazy naturally, and not having to "get" a picture for professional use, I "need" the constraint of primes and MF to move a bit beyond... :-)

Some go fishing, I go photographing ! Sometimes I get small fishes and sometimes a big one... But the pleasure is still the same !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 09:57:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Photo from this afternoon, with a polariser and an ND grad filter.  I think I overexposed the barn though.

Photobucket

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 03:29:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't look like overexposed this side of the screen :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:10:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thoughts on some incredible equipment.

My father was a serious amateur photographer.  I knew how to print pictures in a darkroom before I started school.  We always had subscription to photomags in the house.  When he died, we children had over 25,000 pictures to sort through.

I hated it.  My father so wanted me to share his passion but I just detested it.  Every event.  Every trip.  Every holiday was disrupted by a damn camera.  

But I listened.  I learned to work his cameras and dark room equipment.  And I read his camera magazines--if only because every issue had a nude study.  And when Photoshop came out, I started taking pictures for really the first time in my life.

So from this perspective, this is my kit.  I have a Nikon Coolpix 4300 that cost $500 four years ago.  It is SLOW.  It's wide angle isn't wide enough and I would like a MUCH longer telephoto.  But it takes wonderful pictures and $500 is enough for photographs in my mind.

Any camera these days that cost $200 is probably 4 times better.  Do I envy the equipment on this page?  Not at all.  So for the rest of us who don't have the budget for the beyond-magic cameras, let me explain secrets of low-cost photography.

  1. Unless you intend to do a lot of portrait work--humans OR animals, slow is just fine and a LOT cheaper.  These days, even cheap cameras have sensational capabilities and wonderful lenses.

  2. 99.9999% of photography is the photographer.  Almost no one uses their equipment at full capacity.  Anyone who uses 20% will take sensational pictures.  Folks who understand composition and light can get by VERY inexpensively.  If you don't like the pictures you take, money spent of improving your skills is much better spent than money on better equipment.  If nothing else, subscribe to the photomags--if only to see what prize-winning photography looks like.

  3. Photoshop!  If you like pictures, this program is WAY beyond magic.  In the old days, serious photographers would build a darkroom.  Now, you learn Photoshop.  About once a month I'll be doing something in Photoshop and think, "My father would have just LOVED this."  And here again, one does not need to be crazy and buy the $800 version--$80 Elements will do just fine.  In fact, if a person learns just 10% of the cheapest Photoshop out there, he can make wonderful pictures.

So if you'll indulge me, I'd like to post a few of images I think prove my contentions about point-and shoot cameras.  At full size, these pictures are just wonderful--the color and detail are spectacular.

No indeed--there is nothing wrong with cheap cameras.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't miss an opportunity to post a picture of the Veblen house, do you?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:57:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry,

I like this picture a LOT--it is probably the best one I took in 2007.  I just love the dying summer, early evening light.  My father would wait for such light--I will not.  I have to get lucky.  That night, I did.

But I did include it here to demonstrate a point--that even a cheap point and shoot can capture thousands of leaves and blades of grass.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 09:19:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No indeed--there is nothing wrong with cheap cameras.

Nope, not if they don't stop you getting the photos you want.

I don't like excessive post processing. I don't enjoy it.

The best the photographer can do is work within the limitations of her tools. If she wants to take frame-filling pictures of  horses at play, a slow, short P&S isn't going to get the photos she wants no matter how good she is.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 09:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No.  And a point and shoot will not take a stop-action picture of a balloon popping, etc.  There are many specialized forms of photography that require special equipment.

But here's the real point.  MOST pictures are missed because the equipment was left behind.  My father had suitcases modified to hold his equipment.  He had four of them--one for his 35mm camera bodies and lenses, two for his 6 cm x 6 cm stuff, and one for his flash kits and other lighting.  He had a duffle bag for his tripods and flash stands.  Cameras, and especially film, are fragile enough so you can't leave this stuff in the trunk of a car.  I cannot count the times great pictures were missed because the equipment was back home.  Because my little Nikon is so small and light, it get carried around a lot.  My biggest problem is remembering to keep the battery charged.

As for not liking Photoshop--that I do NOT understand.  My favorite part of photography, by far, was printing pictures in a darkroom.  With Photoshop you can have all the fun--times 10--and there are no acetic acid fumes to inhale.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 09:12:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thus the GR-D kit I describe below...

And I never liked darkrooms much either.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 03:23:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I started in the digital world with the Coolpix 990, then the 4500... Some of the pictures I've showed last week were from those...

So I've nothing "against" small and discrete cameras !
But you must allow us to indulge in some sort of technical mania, as for those who like watch or clocks movements (I do :-) ).
Even when drawing, I have the pens that "think for themselves" and those that are just pens...

When In Whales (did she recover from rugby ?) started the topic it wasn't meant as a "bigger is better " sort of thing... Just that she likes taking picture and decided to get herself some tools she liked :-)

Same for all of us here... Whether amateurs or professionally inclined we have the tools we want, or need, or dream of...Or more simply that we can buy !
Whatever the gear, it's the picture the result :-)

And for those who don't want to get too far in Photoshop, there is Lightroom that I find quite useful for everyday use and archiving :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 09:34:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have NOTHING against techno-lust.  Note my screen name.  You have the funds for high-quality photography equipment?--please buy all you can carry with my complete blessing.  

I DO object when folks with high-end equipment show me some sorry pictures they have taken with their expensive toys.  And IF you buy a $4000 camera--at least read the manual!

With this post, I was just trying to assure the rest of us that you don't NEED big-bucks equipment to take high-quality pictures.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 09:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gee...!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 04:26:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"PHOTOS AS USUAL"
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:30:33 AM EST
You look gorgeous.  Get that camera out of the way!

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:32:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just going to ask: "Who's that sexy babe in the photo?"

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:07:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you didn't recognize without the imagined bikini? (either that or your memories going) ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lol, you're nearly as bad as LEP!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do like the boots :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:29:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is it with men and boots, huh? ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 11:13:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't want to risk talking about the hair style... :-)
A "Nikita" look... (taking shelter)!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 11:16:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taken in Krabi last May, the untouched sand was scattered about with these holes and little balls of sand that the crabs roll up.  I was taking a photo of the the pattern made by the balls of sand and didn't realise until after I took it that the crab was in the shot.


Here it is close up. I used my macro lens for this.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:35:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that little crab is a camouflage master.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why I didn't spot it when I took the photo!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose he's the one who's making all those small balls of sand ?

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:39:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, we have been babysitting from dawn past dusk all week, so missed the posting deadline for Europe. These are for the good.


My bedroom window on the Harbor and Bay of Algiers


Bedroom - It was huge!


The sitting area.  I think I used flash and a 28mm lens.


Balcony of Eisenhower's Room (Hq) at the Saint Georges Hotel in Algiers


Room where the Allied invasion of So. Europe was planned.  St Georges (El-Dejazair) hotel, Algiers

 

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 09:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow ! That was a big room ! I like the first shot with the windows overlooking the city and the sea... "Alger la blanche" :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 03:52:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The window depicted in the first shot is actually the one just to the right of the fireplace in the sitting area.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 09:41:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

i have arranged appointments with a regular weekly client which takes me on a road west to cortona, up to 1700m. then down to lower views of the val di chiana and the very end of lake trasimeno.

heading this way the effect of there being many sunsets in a row as i head up then down over the mountains.

and the client loves the pix, so if it's particularly good photo weather, it's ok to be a bit late, it's understood!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:25:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]

i like the stark carbon lines of the tree, with the wispy clouds in similar tones.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:27:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice one ! I like the "mauve" value of the clouds :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:32:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:27:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
forest floor



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:41:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

i love how nature blends even the dullest winter colours and makes harmony of them. the composition of this shot reminds me of the famous japanese lithograph of the wave, the line of the hill, and the curling mist.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:47:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

tiny jewels beneath our feet, like your crab!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:52:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I creep out from under my rock to say 'Super'!

Super photo, melo.

by Loefing on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 04:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I took this sunrise from my studio in Paris on Friday morning. It's all I have for today because I have to go back to the country now.



Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:53:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now to pin-point the studio, DoDo style... :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 01:04:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:04:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:18:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A landscape of the island of Porquerolles, just before the coming rain...!



"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Awesome!

 1/100th of the way there... Thanks to all of you who have made this possible.

Mr. Horst Wagner of Austria, please come to the ticket window to pick up your prize!

by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 10:34:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are coming in fast, seems like every 10-15 seconds at this point!
by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 10:35:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not actually a photo but a screen grab that I converted to a jpg from a png (mac native format).

Sorry for not following protocol, but I'm like that! ;-)

by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 10:40:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Photo of these palms I took on the way from Puri to Bhubaneswar, capital of Orissa, poor state in middle-east of India, on the Bengal sea. It was misty early morning.

I need advice about photo of a boy - I took it at the angle as you can see. What should I do? Rotate and crop? In this case the boy's feet will be cut what I don't want.
by FarEasterner on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 10:58:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep it like it is, as either you rotate the picture and do a severe crop up to the dhoti, or you have to "invent" the boy's shadow (filling up with the beach part is easy)... A bit too much post processing for this picture !

You can always argue you wanted a slanted horizon for a dynamic effect :-)

Do they still have those "sawn together" fishing boats at Puri ? The one I see seems more modern !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 11:12:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I also thought how to Photoshop it, artificially enlarging it, but did not arrive at any conclusion yet.

I don't know about boats you asking, some were simple, others with modern motors, I did not go further into village as beach behind these children was sadly turned into public toilet.


by FarEasterner on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 11:27:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The original Puri boat has the same shape then those but are made of three pieces of wood (trunks shaped) that are assembled with ropes before fishing and disassembled after to let the wood dry on the beach.
For a casual observer they appears as floating logs that were stranded on the beach :-)

Bubaneshwar and it's "chariot" temple is quite a sight :-)

I'll have to scan those slides one day, if I can find them...!!!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:58:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I learned how to surf on that beach :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 07:38:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I think leaving it as it is is safest: any combination of crops and rotates I can think of will lose something from it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 11:59:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:09:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:12:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:15:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:18:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Messing around in the back garden:

Birdie

That's a 100% crop from the D70s with the 70-200mm 2.8 AF-S G IF VR (etc) that we picked up last week: the bird is a little dot taking up a few percent of the original exposure - it was far, far, too far away.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a great lens ! Is VR as good as everyone says ?

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 01:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Um. I think I took that shot with a Manfrotto monopod hanging off the bottom of the lens ...

The VR is great: it gives you two or three stops worth and the newer lenses with VR II are meant to give you three or four. I was shooting with the thing last week at the stables - just playing with it, there was nothing much happening- and was getting sharp shots at 1/30s at 200mm, which is silly.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 01:39:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, yes, and yes.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 01:41:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok... So I'll have to start playing Loto... !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's amazing!

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 09:39:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A few test pics taken with my new Ricoh Caplio R7...

Will now have to get out and practice using it to get some more interesting subjects...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

by Sam on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:34:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you were meant to be producing a more interesting subject?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:48:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes...but I didn't think you wanted me to wait another 5 weeks before I took the camera out again!!!
: P

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:04:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yes I can see it now - every Friday. The Irish baby Photography blog....I am prepared.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 04:00:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can we have a webcam?

And can we suggest names? After all a Euro baby should really have something international rather than parochial...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 04:02:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
P. Coyle <surname> comes to mind ;-9

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 05:05:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure we can add it to the list...what do you think dear?

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 05:22:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well several hours later, and he still hasn't said no, Sounds like a choice. ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 08:39:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using Nikkormat FT3 and Sigma 170-500mm zoom...

(...nearly missed it as I'd run out of film on the roll!!)

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

by Sam on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

...I think this was in the Imperial Palace.  Again taken with the Nikkormat FT3.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

by Sam on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:19:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually that was probably an F100 now that we think about it...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 03:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fasching (Karneval) parade in Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland

Bundled up for the cold...

With the parental units...

One of the best costumes!

They are yelling "HALLO", so cute...

Trampoline on a float? Dangerous!

Good view from here...

The cheer squad...

Farmer by day...

My competition! He's got better equipment...

Quite the ham...

I love draft horses, we had Belgians while I was growing up...

FREE BEER!

Love the cat on the sax...

What a set of teats!

John, is that you?

Dixieland jazz...

Hmm, can I get to that candy before the next float runs me over?

Everybody was dancin', dancin' in the streets!

He knew exactly what I was doing...

The best dressed ladies!

Fabulous!

Pooped from all that partying...

by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 06:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
""

What are Dad and I standing in front of?

""

The trunk of a fallen giant along the Avenue of the Giants in N. CAl.  Dad is 6"1'.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 10:05:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a dwarfing tree...! I think I never saw one that big!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 03:55:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 05:11:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 05:12:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a very interesting series on that old village, but the high level of contrast seems to have fooled your metering system...

The usual advice (If I may...) is to "expose to the right", meaning for the highlights, as with the usual softwares, getting back details from the shadows (even with some noise or grain) is mostly always possible while the overexposed parts are usually lost...

It's the "bane" of digital sensors up to now...!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 06:35:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm heading towards a new camera, the screen on the back tilts between showing out of the back, and pointing upwards through the viewfinder, however it has become jammed halfway, so in anything other than perfect conditions, it is a case of point and guess wether the framing or exposure is correct, and checking on pictures before I get back to the laptop is impossible.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 12:03:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah... That's unfortunate ! But then it can be seen as a game, never knowing what the results can be... Interesting :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 12:17:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does mean I fire off even more shots than usual.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 12:23:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, no, no... It's not because digital is cheap (picture side) that we must shoot again (tilt-shoot again)... Unless we try something like documenting a crime scene, or being paid for a "great" picture !

There's often something inspiring in looking at what was at the moment a "bad" picture... It can have strength and a value we didn't see at the shooting time (like In Whales' crab) !

Limiting oneself to one shot of a given scene gets back to what Colman called "thinking" with primes, some replies up there ! If it ain't good enough... You'll try again another day... And if it's an unique event ? Then one shot should suffice anyhow ! (I'm thinking of Robert Capa's pictures of D-Day)

In the "golden sixties" with "Blow up" (the film) the whirr and the schlack of motorized reflex cameras was the bang... It still is in media rooms!
But maybe not for most of us who try to capture the essence of the instant... In one frame !

Otherwise it's already movie directing... :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 12:38:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Half way from Europe to FarEasterner's Puri beach, Istanbul (18 millions people) is an incredible city...

This picture is from a street at dusk, between the districts of Fener and Balat. About half an hour walk from the more sight seeing zones of the golden horn.
End of Ramadan explains the "emptiness" as everybody was poised to get to the shops to buy food... :-)



"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 06:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a wonderful photo as well as the one above in the Island of Porquerolles. What lenses were you using?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 06:34:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tank you :-)
Porquerolles was the good old 35mm/2 O.C. (AI'sed), while in Fener I was testing my newly bought 28mm/2 AIS (from Canada, first time I bought something online )!
Those two lenses have an interesting (for me) minima focusing at 20cm, and on a 1.5x sensor have an equivalent focal of 52mm and 42mm, which makes them all purpose everyday lenses... :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 06:45:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it this?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 07:56:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Er... More like this one (that should be an O, mine is just after in time (O.C. with another coating)but has exactly the same look... (Old eh ? )




"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:08:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm wondering if the one on ebay would work on my D-80.
Is the manual focus a big hassle?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:11:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The manual focus isn't a problem - I've seriously considered buying some of the Voighlander manual focus lenses - but the metering on the D80 will not work with an AIS lens so you'd have to do all the settings manually somehow or the other, either by trial and error, measuring with an external meter, using another lens or by the sunny16 rule. That's reduced amounts of fun if you're not doing tripod mounted still shots!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:26:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think manual focus is great... And not so difficult on the D80 as you have the little green focusing dot (lower left in the viewfinder).

The main draw back might be the metering... The D200 allows for using the three metering modes with all old lenses in A and M modes... You can also memorize those lenses so as they show in the exif file.

I used them on my D70 but had to rely on the "sunny 16" technique or shoot , view, and shoot again after some aperture or speed modifications... Great for not fast moving subjects (meaning really slow :-) )

The manual focusing can be much more precise then AF, and the focusing ring has a much better feeling and has more "room" the the new AF ones!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:28:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman and I are stuttering again :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The metering with old lenses is the only thing that makes me almost want a D200. Thought I think the only AIS lens we have is a 60mm (55mm? macro. Oh, and some E-series lenses.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:33:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like for me, its cheaper to buy this than to step up to a D-200.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is... :-) And it's the same lens, with better (modern) coating... And AF!
It's a workhorse and you should be very happy with it as it is small and unobtrusive !

I use my old ones... Because I can ! And because I have them already. I did buy the 28/2 because it was sold at 150€ at a recent time when most thought old lenses were useless on digital... Seems that now, prices have gone up again (sigh)!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 09:43:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 06:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting one... :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 07:41:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. You probably know that estHer is my 13 year old daughter. She takes photos with her 120 euro Canon automatic that would provoke envy in many of us.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:00:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I knew it ... :-) (I do some archive reading from time to time)!
Next year you should get her something "not" only automatic... And show her about aperture, speed and depth of field... Who knows, she might be the next one :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:11:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have offered to get her an more advanced camera but as of this moment she just asks "why?"
She's always looking for the interesting shot, or creating one herself; I don't think she wants to mess with camera settings right now.
The interior photo of hers in last weeks blog, which looked like she was shooting through light rays was actually shot through her barrette. I didn't know it at the time I posted it.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the good point of the digital age... They can experiment without it costing you an arm !

Maybe you should have a look at this "web critique" blog together (if you didn't know about it already) :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 10:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or ... ?this one that is more about B&W and the 19è district...?

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 10:35:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This one is from Izmir's "maïdan" (same word and same meaning as in hindi).
A small victory from local associations against a highway being built between the sea and the city...
As the work of landfill had started already, they made a "green" (no cricket players yet!), which is favored by students to play guitar, drink turkish beer... And date !
(Unalike other Islam countries, turks joined mainstream Islam with the right to drink alcoholic beverages as a concession in a meeting alike the Nicaea's one for christians!)

Even if "revolutionaries", those young people still abide by old lore and young couples are seldom seen... But as a "bunch" or as here, two by two, it doesn't seems too suspect !
The romantic sunset is always marred by several huge container cargo ships, as Izmir was already a high level trade port in neolithic times :-)



"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 07:55:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gee... I was re-reading myself and thought I was getting as tedious as the National Geographic... :-) < Auto snark>

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 07:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blame the flu ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 08:26:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US Library of Congress put several thousand photos taken from 1910-1940 into a Flickr acct.

There are some stunning shots of industrial landscapes buried in the pile.

by Bruce F (greenroofgrowers [at] gmail [dot] com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 02:59:19 PM EST
Thank's for the link. Good stuff in there!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 10th, 2008 at 03:08:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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