My beloved Canon M50 is back from the camera doctor and working once more:

    My repaired Canon M50

    And here’s one of my test shots, just to prove it’s working again.

    Looking up the Adur from Emerald Quay

    Happy days.

    Bloomin' lovely in the garden this weekend

    Playing with a recent(ish) lens for my Canon M3, and finding incredible beauty lurking in our back garden.

    [caption width=“6000” id=“attachment_6634” align=“alignnone”]Blossom on an espalier fruit tree Tree blossom[/caption][caption width=“5729” id=“attachment_6635” align=“alignnone”]More blossom on an espalier tree More espalier blossom[/caption][caption width=“5583” id=“attachment_6632” align=“alignnone”]Shrub flowers - no idea what it is, it was here when we arrived… Shrub flowers[/caption][caption width=“6000” id=“attachment_6633” align=“alignnone”]One of the few pansies my eldest has left unpicked Colourful pansy[/caption]

    Nostalgia, saturation and digital photography

    Two walkers in the hills near Hay-on-Wye

    One of my projects this year has been to get on top of my digital photograph archive. Up until recently, it was across several libraries on different computers. I’ve been busy consolidating and de-duping those libraries, and the properly processing all the photos within.

    Right now, I’m working through 2002, my first full year of digital photography. I’m really enjoying two things: culling the photos down to a tight selection, and improving them with modern technology.

    The culling just makes for better albums. You look through, and photos which seemed so important at the time, clearly don’t work with a decade’s distance. Chucking them away makes what’s left stand out so much better. But it’s the latter - bringing new tech to bear on old images - that’s really making things fly. It’s become clear that the Minolta digital impact I was using back then fairly consistently undersaturated the images. That, along with some careful exposure work, is making images which I thought fairly average really come to life, despite the low resolution by today’s standards. Here’s another example:

    The hills above Hay-on-Wye in 2002

    Nothing earth-shattering, but pretty impressive for a digital camera that’s 13 years out of date by today’s technology.

    The shots are from a walk in the hills around Hay-on-Wye that Lorna and I embarked on with the London Mountaineering Club back in 2002. It was both a wonderful and disastrous weekend. Wonderful because the weather was great, the scenery stunning and the company great. Disastrous because the the organisers were rather too ambitious. Three of us sensed we wouldn’t make the entire route - so turned around at the lunch break - while the rest eventually ends dup calling us for a pick-up to get them home.

    But it was still one hell of a walk.

    Walkers on a bridleway in Herefordshire

    We never managed to go on another walk with the club, which I regret to this day. But it’s lovely rediscovering these images after over a decade, with the pain and exhaustion long forgotten. It makes me itchy to put my walking boots back on…

    First photos with a Lumia 920

    So, I have in my posession for a while a Nokia Lumia 920 (I’m involved in a little work for them, via Brilliant Noise). It’s the first non-iPhone phone I’ve had serious hands-on time with since 2007. I’ve only had the chance for a little play with it so far, but here’s some first shots from the camera:

    [caption id=“attachment_1135” align=“aligncenter” width=“800”]Emerald Quay shot on a Windows Phone from Nokia Emerald Quay[/caption]

    [caption id=“attachment_1137” align=“aligncenter” width=“800”]Cyclamen on the balcony Cyclamen on the balcony[/caption]

    [caption id=“attachment_1139” align=“aligncenter” width=“800”]Shoreham by Sea and the Adur seen from the beach Shoreham by Sea and the Adur[/caption]

    The images come off the phone a little soft, which I’ve ended up correcting slightly in Aperture. Otherwise, the detail and colours are really impressive. I’m looking forwards to playing more…

    Aperture hates Flip

    This window popped up when I installed the latest update to Aperture 3:


    Screen Shot 2012-03-14 at 11.11.58
    Destroy all 3ivx codecs

    And sure enought, the linked support document tells you to purge that 3ivx codec from your system. Where did it come from? FlipShare.

    And so the component is gone, and Aperture is noticably more responsive. And the legacy of that lovely little Flip cam fades a little more into the past…

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    A photographic method and a career, in the rear view mirror

    Portrait of the blogger as a young hack

    I've been scanning again. One of my redundancy resolutions has been to use my sudden increase in available free time to catch up on some projects, including the digitisation of my own negatives and old family photos. 

    The image to the right comes from a set of negatives I shot as a university student - probably in the spring of 1993, although exact dating is hard. I'm not quite sure who took the photo of me above - but I do know they took it with my camera.

    The thing that has really struck me about this film in particular is how darn grainy it is. Honestly, I'm not sure if that's an inherent characteristic of the film - Ilford HP5 Plus - or some poor darkroom discipline on my part, effectively "push processing" shots that didn't need it. 

    Or, am I now so used to using digital photography (which I've been doing since late 2001) that I've forgotten how much grain was an inherent quality of silver halide photos? I suspect the coming weeks of scanning will answer that question one way or another.

    The other thought that occured to me was that, as these photos from the student magazine office remind me, I'm not involved in the production of a journalistic periodical in any way for the first time since probably 1987. School magazines, student newspapers, my professional journalistic career… It's been over two decades of continuous involvement brought to an abrupt end by redundancy.

    And you know what? I'm amazed by how little it's affected me. Perhaps sometime in the last year I passed the point where I'm truly more a blogger - an online content afficicnado - than a journalist.

    Where does that take me next?

    A weekend in Instagram…

     A touristy weekend, showing my brother-in-law around Shoreham and Brighton:

    • IMG_1762
    • IMG_1771
    • IMG_1779
    • IMG_1788
    • IMG_1792
    • IMG_1794


    All Instagram pic, because it seems the more people waving big SLRs around me there are, the less likley I am to get my own Big Camera out. It's a form of photographic introversion…

    On the rise of camera phones, and photo apps

    Teru Kuwayama, a photojournalist, disagrees: “You could make an analogy to the advent of the electric guitar or electronic music. Much to the annoyance of classical musicians, those things made ‘everyone’ a musician. I grew up on punk rock, hip hop and death metal, so I welcome the post-classical age of photography, and the explosion of amateur expression that comes with it.

    “Obviously, it sucks to be a professional photographer, and it's personally inconvenient to lose your pedestal and your livelihood to a $2 app, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing for photography.”


    And just like with music, I'm sure we'll see new forms of photography emerging, because the technology for capturing AND sharing has become ever more accessible.