December 2018

Do you get up before dawn and drive around the suburbs looking for houses? Do you carry an entire studio in the back of your Hyundai TinyBoy? Do you deal with surly customers at 3:30 in the morning? Are you an unpaid maid who cleans up an entire house in a half hour? Do you take pictures that are demanded faster than Jesse James can say " Stick 'em up "? And do they have to be perfect - or you go to redo the entire sequence at your own expense? At dusk, this time...

That's the best kind of carnival trick - selling an empty bag and then running away before you discover there's nothing in it. Except in our case we need not run - the whole idea is the emptyness. I address myself to the Camera Electronic customers who travel - who take their cameras to holiday destinations on a regular basis - who pack more than they should while vowing to pack less than they need. And who then do it again next month. The inside of a suitcase can be a chaotic thing. It may start out well-organised on your bed at home but halfway round the world and halfway through the trip it looks like a bear's nest. Short of throwing everything out of the hotel window and emptying the mini-bar into the case, travellers need a solution to too much that is too dirty. The Peak Design Packing Cube is just such a solution. It's a deliberate pouch/bag system that will carry an amazing amount of material - either out on holiday or home to be washed. It's not padded -...

Or, if that is too confronting, " The Worst Lens I Own ". Time for soul-searching, pixel-peeping, and test shooting. If you own only one lens - the one on the front of your compact camera - you can change the title to " The Best Lens I Own ", and go off contented. No sense beating yourself up about something you cannot change. And the actual optic may, like some of the Fujinon or Zeiss lenses, be specifically formulated for your sensor and processor and thus be really the best one you could have. Try not to be too smug . For the rest - the people who have interchangeable mount cameras and who can choose different lenses, the problem can be real. Of course if they  have only one lens for the body and cannot afford to change it, then the question is still academic and it would be cruel to mock the situation. And some, like Henri Cartier-Bresson, could hardly be beaten with anything we might try to do, and however many different lenses we might try. Maddening, these geniuses, eh? But back...

PHOTOS TELL YOU a lot more than words when it comes to a new meeting space in Arncliffe, Sydney, that features the photography of EIZO’s Australian photography ambassadors. The Gallery is designed as a combination office space, demonstration area and meeting place. One of the best things EIZO can do to sell its monitors is to let photographers see them in action and while this is not the key function of the new Gallery, there is a selection of EIZO’s latest monitors scattered around the various meeting areas. And already a number of photographers have given workshops and presentations in the EIZO Ambassadors Gallery. So, why is it also a gallery? Around the walls you’ll find photography by Jackie Ranken, Rocco Ancora, Les Walkling, William Long, Lisa Saad, Karen Alsop, Tony Hewitt, Peter Eastway and Mike Langford. Said EIZO’s Australian managing director, Matthew Bauer, “All the artwork has been beautifully printed, mounted and hung and I just can’t believe how magical it is. A very big thank you to Les Walkling for his assistance and incredible attention to detail, generosity, and speed!” So, if you’re...

Here's a chance for international fame and prizes. The Head On Photo Awards is an internationally judged opportunity for all photographers to enter their work and be adjudged in anonymity - but to score some rather cool prizes. There is $ 60,000 worth in cash and goods up for the winning images. Plus the finalists are exhibited internationally. Note that some of the prizes are gorgeous goods from Sony, Fujifilm, Adobe and international photo publications. Four categories of entry - Portrait, Landscape, Mobile, and Student. Here's the address with a very complete explanation of the entry and judging: https://www.headon.com.au/awards Note the entries close in February, 2019. Time to get snapping....

Ernest advice? Did that slip through the Spell Checker? No, it really is Ernest advice, because it comes from the most experienced technician in the Camera Electronic Repairs Department; Ernest Cesar. Asked about why Perth’s photographers should have the CE repair department service their cameras regularly, he said: a.  Contaminants are everywhere. Your car is the dustiest place to change your camera lens - and once the dust particles hit your camera’s sensor, they are there forever - until a professional cleans them off.  Once-a-year clean is not enough - you’ll be dirtying the screens and sensors as fast as you use the camera. Keep up the cleaning schedule and keep ahead of the task. b.  “ Waterproof “ sounds well on the literature for action and travel cameras but it is entirely dependent on the seals in the camera body. Unless you know how to clean and reseal a camera, and replace the seals every year, you risk disaster with every dive. You also risk it with every trip into extreme dust. Get a pro to clean and maintain that waterproof promise. c.  If...

Leica have announced the Leica D-Lux 7 camera. It’s the latest of their compact 4/3 sensor models with a fixed zoom lens - and just the thing for summer holiday travel. The lens is 10.9 - 34mm f:1.7-2.8 - that’s 24-75mm in 135-speak. The sensor has 17 megapixels and there’s a 3” touchscreen at the back as well as the conventional D-pad controls. Bluetooth and wifi, of course and a brilliant 2.7 million dot electronic viewfinder. It’ll shoot 4K video and even do focus stacking - there is also a flash included as an accessory in the kit. The newest feature is The fact that it will play with the Leica Foto App on your smart devices to let you fire your travel shots off as soon as you finish them. Your friends will avoid you for weeks… The Leica lenses are the real secret of thee success for this and the previous range of D-lux cameras. I had the good fortune to watch them being made in the factory, and the most fun was listening to the moulding machine finish one - to...