Picture of the week

Here’s a wide screen crop of one of the last pictures from Newcastle. Nobby’s beach at low tide and at sunrise. Taken in between the rain! Click for a full size preview. I have also added a couple of new frames in the gallery.

Nikon Df

At last Nikon has produced a camera that I have wanted them to for years (not quite the F3d I was hoping for but it will do). The new Nikon Df is in principle a FM/FE with the sensor from the D4. Its original film camera styling is perfectly timed to capitalise on the retro wave of cameras hitting the market courtesy of Fujifilm and the original X100. This going back to pure photography (why not just shoot film..?) makes a lot of sense in revitalising digital photography where just about every device now has a camera and web access. There are plenty of sites reviewing pre-production models and Nikon is eager to show off the usual sales pitch. If time and money allowed I’d order one straight away but that will have to wait. This camera will certainly be one to watch closely.

Nikon Df

I’ve been away for a while but will be picking up my last roll of E6 from Newcastle and surrounds tomorrow as next year I’ll be pleasantly exploring the Adelaide hills and greater South Australia. More to follow…

The Value of an Image

I’ve been looking back at all the images I have as well as those which are considered to be ‘iconic’ for events of the 20th and 21st centuries and realised a few important points that will change the way I look for a picture. Firstly there a very few landscapes! Yes its what I have been capturing for the past few years but very few landscape images move you in the way that people pictures can. Be it a candid or a spur of the moment portrait, there’s something about the recognition of a face that the human mind responds to in a very different way. Secondly, there needs to be a story or a moment behind the image. It can be very subtle or world news but it has to be there. Obviously this is different for each person but the effect is the same. What have I learnt? Well, expect more portraits and candids courtesy of Ektachrome if I can find any rolls left.

What started this thought process? A simple picture taken on my iPhone, technically not brilliant, poor lighting and colour but it captures a moment and memory that I’ll now treasure forever. Thankyou.

Adobe CS2 Free!

The kind folks at Adobe have been offering CS2 free for some time now. Whilst everyone’s attention is drawn to the CS6 vs Lightroom vs Aperture argument, this has probably gone unnoticed for many. I have found CS2 has all I really need to fine tune and edit images (it may lack RAW support for new cameras but if you shoot film it doesn’t matter). The biggest mistake I see to days it the over-editing of photo’s and the poor results that follow. Remember, if you couldn’t nail it in camera then there probably wasn’t a shot in it. CS2 is only 340mb and can be downloaded here!

Cape Farewell

Here is a snapshot of one of the stunning places visited whilst in New Zealand. This iPhone panorama is of Wharariki beach, a beautiful and isolated spot at Cape Farewell, the Northern tip of the South Island. There is only a basic holiday park to stay at when you reach the end of the road and then its another half hour walk through some fields to get down to the beach. But once there the almost endless flat beach stretches across the cove with the impressive archway islands standing tall in front of you. Wildlife was abound with countless species of birds and a group of baby seals playing in the water. A must visit destination that is well worth the long detour. I should have the majority of the film images back next week to share. I must say though, using the iPhone and film camera hand in hand works much better than I had expected. The iPhone is perfect at documenting all the small but memorable moments and if you know its limitations it can create some incredible panoramas. With a spot of Wifi, all can be shared instantly. This simple work flow allowed me concentrate on getting the most out of the film when it counted.

Latitude 45 South

No updates for a while as I am currently in New Zealand’s South Island enjoying the scenery of the West Coast, Fiordland and the Southern Alps. I have both the F5 and 645NII with me and have shot through a couple of rolls already! Stay tuned for some Velvia 50 images when I return…

Slow Sync

Having the automation of the F5, SB-28 and AF-D lenses has been great for starting to make the most of flash photography. It’s not an area that I am use to as just about all of the images I have on film are from natural light. This is slowly changing as I use the SB-28 more and more. As I dislike the typical flash look of photos, the F5 is set to slow sync rear to keep the background exposed and the SB-28 gelled warm to match. The above is a great example that I’ll be expanding on and having fun with.

New Images and Website

There’s nothing like a fresh set of chromes back from the lab! As promised the 2 rolls of E100VS turned out great and I have already placed some of the images in the gallery. I’ll look at showing some more in due course. It certainly cements my satisfaction with the feel of Ektachrome colours as compared to Velvia. I feel it is best suited for the more photojournalist approach as well as people shots, not just landscapes. Having said this, it’s Back to Velvia 50 for me and my upcoming trip to New Zealand’s South Island.

I have also begun to setup a new website, entirely dedicated to the Nikon F5. This will be in progress for a while yet but something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Stay tuned for updates at nikonf5.net as well as here.

Digital Dilema

As my current desktop computer sits idle having produced smoke and sparks from the power supply, I am reminded why film is sometimes worth the hassle. Unsure whether my digital files are still intact with years of pictures potentially gone, my rolls of developed film sit neatly undisturbed in their box. Yes, I have backups here and there but nothing recent and noted my computer has lasted eight years or so which in digital terms is about eighty. Whilst its certainly time to revisit my workflow from emulsion to electrons at least now I know my important images are safe.

On the bright side I have 2 rolls of Ektachrome on the way and a roll of Ektar 100 half finished in the camera!

Full Moon Rising

Wednesday’s full moon was a sight not to miss with the conditions being just right for some spectacular photo opportunities. There are only a handful of times each year where the full moon will rise as the sun is setting to give that warm yellow glow. The weather was also perfect with clear blue skies as far as the eye could see. Mark your calendars for future reference and commit to being somewhere in the field!