Posted on June 11, 2011
Once in a while (ok, often) it’s nice to go out for a proper breakfast. It’s gorgeously sunny today and we had a few errands to run that were tantalisingly close to the foreshore and it’s array of cafes :)
We started out just going for coffee, but it was brunch time and one thing led to another..
Posted on June 6, 2011
So as you all know by now, it was my birthday and I got an awesome camera.
Well, as tradition has it, I’ve been taking photos left right and centre – wife, children, pets, outside, everything. Nothing is safe. I’d do the same with the big cameras too, but it’s more fun with the little sneaky silent one – muhahah!
Its a long weekend for Foundation Day here in Western Australia – yes, 1829 the Swan River colony was founded.
Posted on June 5, 2011
It was my birthday last week
I’m a whole 40 years old now. I don’t really feel it. Or, according to my colleagues at work, really look it either (although I have a wokey eye today thanks to a rogue cat hair). I had to work, which was a bit of a downer, but I did get to celebrate a little bit after work for a cheeky drink and then at home later for some presents.
Posted on May 29, 2011
I got some more films back and I love them. The negatives are gorgeous but scans themselves weren’t brilliant. A little nip and a tuck and some removal of dust and fluff from the jpegs and I have a load of shots I’m really happy with.
I took a bunch with the Holga again – its one of those cameras that when you get the films back, you kick yourself for having left it so long to use it. I promised myself I’d take a few dozen shots a week, but as yet, I’ve not done that.
Posted on March 26, 2011
It’s overdue – the shots from the ‘blad are here and I’m very happy with them :)
I’ve said this before, but there seems to be a lightness of touch that film has in the way it renders some light conditions that digital can’t reproduce, or at least I can’t reproduce it!
Posted on January 29, 2011
It’s been a busy week after the pee-test drama.
I’ve had lots of work to to for a really hard proposal, some interviews and generally me feeling like I need a weekend really badly. Didn’t really get an Australia Day at all cos I was too busy with trying to create project plans and statements of work out of thin air.
Anyway, blah blah.
It’s been interesting though – I got offered the job for the place I had to pee test for and also at the DIY chain store too. And it looks like another company that I interviewed with also wants to offer me a job too.
Its nice to be in demand – I’ve had a few interview fails in the last couple of months – not because I’m crap or anything, it’s just I wasn’t right for a particular role. These other jobs though are right up my street and all for different reasons.
I have some actual concrete news, but I just need to wait for a few days before sharing.
So, thats the life changing work stuff over with.
Now, onto the fun stuff
I went to hang out with the kite surfers again which was cool – they were all a bit drunk as it was Australia Day. Spent a bit of time chatting to Cesar Portas again – he’s a cool guy – I really want to get the chance to take a lot more shots of him. One of his friends was out though and having a lot of time
Most folks were packing up and I didn’t get stunning shots like last time. I’ll be back though.
Its been really hot and humid the last few days as we have a cyclone making its way down from the tropics – its been hard to even move about without melting, but last night after a day of feeling like I was in a sauna, I decided to take some beach shots again as I havent done that in ages.
The sky looked like it might be amazing, but was a complete dud in the end, so I got some cool abstract shots instead.
So there ya go, work and play all in one post :)
Posted on January 5, 2011
All The Gear and No Idea.
Its a common problem. A newbie rocks up with many thousands of dollars of shiny new kit and has not a clue what to do with it.
You can find examples of this everywhere and in sports and hobbies of all kinds. Its an issue where people have lots of disposable income and somebody tells them (or maybe possibly hints at a kind of a compliment) they have an ounce of talent.
All of a sudden, they have dreams of being the next Lance Armstrong (cycling), Annie Leibovitz (photography) or Valentino Rossi (motorcycling) or Eric Clapton (guitar) and go out and spend as much as they possibly can on the very best equipment.
A flash, full carbon, dura-ace equipped bike, a top flight digital SLR and a brace of professional lenses and flash guns, a race replica motorbike or a Fender Stratocaster and Marshall amp and cab combo.
Whilst all the time have absolutely NO idea of how to use any of it.
I’m going to focus on cameras as it’s the thing closest to my heart (well, cycling is too, but I’ll leave that one alone)
I’ve seen this so many times. Someone takes a nice shot with a point and shoot camera, takes this as a sign of massive untapped talent, so spends thousands on a super DSLR, with which they promptly take hundreds of super high quality but utterly shite photographs, increasingly blaming the failures on the camera, the light, the subject, etc. Anything but themselves.
So, I’ll enlighten everyone.
Bar a few circumstances where professionals or serious amateurs will make use certain features, the camera makes almost NO DIFFERENCE to the result.
Yes, I know – you’re thinking this has to be wrong. Well, it’s really not.
An image needs to speak to an audience, to capture imagination, to stir the soul or heart, to provoke a reaction, to inspire and cause the viewer to stop and admire.
So, how many of those things has anything to do with equipment?
Clue: Pretty much none of them – its all to do with aesthetics. Which you can capture with anything, and in many ways, advanced technology actually works against this.
Yes, sure, sometimes you need a specific camera to do something – a long lens for wildlife or professional sport, an underwater housing for the best marine photography or a very low noise DSLR for low light portraits or weddings, but 99% of the time, the camera has nothing to do with it.
How many of the great shots that you have seen are due to the best quality smallest pixel, lowest noise and highest resolution?
Clue #2: None.
You know how I know this? I bought a Nikon D50 when I couldn’t get the right shots with my antiquated point and shoot. No additional lenses, I just spent time working out how it worked and made horrific mistakes, got way ahead of myself, got a reality check and kept on learning. Then I bought a D300 just after they were released. And it did pretty much nothing to improve my shots until I went back to basics and worked out what I wanted the camera to do for me.
I went through that trough of disappointment with digital and bought a Holga and a Trip 35 and even a Hasselblad 500C/M to teach myself how to read light, how to compose and how to take a good shot.
And I’m still learning.
My favourite shot? I’ve not taken it yet ;)
So go out, take photos with whatever camera you have to hand – the iPhone is a prime example of this – shoot, look for image you can see in your mind, create, experiment, learn to read the light, go back to basics, try film, polaroid. Do all of these things, even buy a second hand vintage camera from ebay to experiment. Look on Flickr for photos you love and work out what it is about that shot that moves you and try to replicate it.
Point and shoot cameras usually have enough manual settings to do most things. You know that Av and Tv mode you keep on looking at but never using? Ever used that macro mode on the point and shoot? Learn what they do and when to use them before moving on. Learn when to use a certain setting to control the end result.
But whatever you do, don’t go straight out and buy $5000 cameras and lenses to do any of that for you. I guarantee it’ll make no difference whatsoever if you don’t know what the camera actually does.