April 2019

Some years ago I opted for the Fujifilm mirror-less X system cameras and sold off my other equipment. In the move - on I gave up a lens that was absolutely magnificent - a Sigma 8-16mm zoom. I cannot speak highly enough of it as a part of the system I used then. It scooped in big wedding parties, coped with dim, pokey little churches, and was an absolute hoot with the tabletop scenes I create. Hats off to Sigma. Unfortunately Sigma cannot get the go-ahead codes to make lenses for Fujifilm - and few other makers can either, though I note a few Chinese factories turn out X-mount lenses by the score. But that wasn't the issue. The issue was where was I going to get a lens that would do what the Sigma did - if not a zoom, then at least a decent compromise focal length. The model tabletop scenes could be made to order but the dim, pokey little churches would stay the same...

When to pursue analog photography is a question that really is a way of asking what advantages it has over digital work - and when should one access them. The idea of advantge may not have occurred to some younger photographers. Consider: a. The digital camera is free of the need for film and tied slavishly to the need for electricity. This means the kind of attention to batteries and chargers that young men used to devote to young women and beer. You might be able to hop on a plane without worrying about X-rays spoiling your film, but try hopping on without three chargers and a bag of cords. One chain off, one chain on. b. The analog camera may be a lot less automatic than your normal digital. This might be frightening, but consder how much quieter and less obtrusive the best of the analog machines can be compared to whizz-beep-buzz of your digital trying to autofous on a grey cat in the fog. c. The analog camera limits the number of times you can repeat a pointless shot. At the...

Why is always a good word - particularly if you are a four-year-old and want to torment your parents. You have to judge the number of times you can get away with it before you're sent to your room or smacked. When you are older you have to be even more careful because there may be a set of encyclopaedias in the house and you'll be sent there. If you are very unlucky you'll learn things. But " why? " is a good question for the prospective analog photographer to ask themselves - a clear answer will make the rest of the process so much easier. For instance: a. Why do analog photography? After all we've had 20+ years of increasingly wonderful digital imaging that seems to be able to cover any need or want. Why ditch this and go back in to a dead technology? Well, your answers can be many fold. You may want to use old equipment because it feels right. You may want to get the 'look' of older processes by actually using those old processes. You may...

For years I have been looking at the various Billingham camera bags sold in Camera Electronic - the tan, green, black or brown ones - and trying to think where I have seen the like before. Then I looked my photo souvenirs of a trip the the UK made in 1995 and one of the souvenir purchases nailed it for me. Billingham camera bags are bigger versions of British sporting bags - rather like the ones designated for game - but bearing some resemblance to the cartridge bags used for shotgunners in the field. Or fisher's bags. Here's examples from Farlowes web page. The Billingham camera bags have finer linings than those intended for rough game or shotgun ammunition. They have slots and dividers that will keep laptops and tablets safe. There are internal divisions for lenses separate from the bodies But the basic construction is remarkably similar.   One feature that you might not think about is the back of the bag where it rests against you. Some other maker's bags have complex pockets, bands, and stiffeners that go across this area....

Awkward In The Adlerstrsse. Obstructive in Omsk. In other words, the selfieholic. The traveller who needs a picture of themselves in front of an iconic landmark to prove to their friends that they were there and that they were happy. In some cases I wonder if it is a case of them trying to prove the same thing to themselves. Lest you think me a greater hypocrite than I really am, here is a selfie of me taken on a Wallace And Gromit set in Melbourne. Those of you who have been told to avoid me in the street now know why...

And the Rubber Bricks Of Criticism. The former reserved for anxious times when you need to knead. The latter for when you have finally had enough and want to express your outrage practically. You heave them at your tormentors. Usually this does not result in injury or a gaol sentence. Matters may not get to this pass if you can get some help with your photography. To this end we suggest: a. Look up your local camera club and go along to one of their meetings. An AGM might be a bad choice, but any competition or lecture night should be good value. The Gem Club, The Workshop, The Northern Districts, The Mandurah - they're all good and there is likely to be one in your area. b. Take an online course from a good institution - one that lets you work at your own pace but that challenges you to do better. If you enter into the spirit of education, generally you will do better. c. Look at the Shoot Photography Workshops menu and find something that appeals to you. d. Get out your camera manual...