Author: Uncle Dick

Not going to enter into a debate about which is better - analog or digital - or to take one side or the other. I've done the one and do the other and in both cases I'm just grateful when I can see the faces in the pictures and the horizon is straight. But I am curious as to whether there will be any new developments of value in the analog field in the future. I was drawn to this speculation earlier in the year by the news that the Perth photo markets were set to reopen in November after a two-year hiatus. I wondered if there would be a flood of secondhand digital or whether we'd see the same old run of film cameras. I also experienced the shock of the old encountering the new when I went to a hifi retailer seeking a small CD player for a studio system. Oh Dear Me, I can buy amazing new Bluefi things that are probably better, but if I do not want to start up with new technologies, I'll be reduced...

If that title sounds like a meme from a social media site, forgive me. At least there are no kitten pictures*. But it's true, and for the person who wants to be paid for their photography it needs to be a prime thought before they start. This applies if they hope for cash or just judge's praise. I wish I could say that I've always adhered to the maxim, but I haven't - and when that happens, nothing else works. The business photographer is frequently in the same position as a film actor - they are judged by their last performance. This is awkward when fate or fortune step in and deal a bad job or a bad result. Equipment breakdown or lack of knowledge can make it all stop - I had one of these a week ago. Fortunately it was a small glitch, but I am going to be extra vigilant that it doesn't happen again - or I would get a reputation as an unreliable worker. How to prevent this sort of thing? a. Get as much real knowledge about your...

Those aren't black eyes in the heading image - they're a pair of variable ND filters; 67mm on the left and 58mm on the right. They're alike except for a few small things: a. The 58mm can be turned to successfully exclude light - the 67mm cannot. b. The 58mm turns smoothly and freely - the 67mm is stiff and difficult to work with. c. The 58mm has a smooth overall darkening pattern - the 67mm has a central greyish band and two polar patches of bright light. The small one was purchased to go in front of a Fujinon 18-55 f:2.8-4 zoom lens. It was used at a recent dance show to provide smooth fade-in and fade-out for video recording of portions of the show. When the recording was started, it was slowly turned with one finger to the open position - when the segment finished it was rotated again to darkness. The final cut-off point was dark and precise enough to give a definite black. As this was so successful I asked a friend if I could borrow his 67 Variable ND to test...

No, I've not gone dyslexic.  Shooting pictures of sport is a time-honoured form of photography. Early successes in the wet-plate era would have been rare, but subsequent improvements in plates, films, lenses, and shutters meant that the 20th century's photographers got more and more sports into their lenses and out onto printed paper. Now in the digital era i cannot think of any sport that doesn't have exceptional coverage from professionals - we all see the best of the action every time we open a newspaper or turn on a screen. As an audience we are presented with a magnificent visual feast, and all it needs for satisfaction is an interest in sport. Which I do not have. Not at all. Couldn't care less who kicks a puck into the basket on the MCG. Wish them well and no torn cartilages, but that's about the extent of it. Emigrated to the wrong country, eh? On the other hand, I do like looking at pictures. And sculpture, and dance. And when I cannot see it firsthand, I like seeing it on the screen or...

If you follow baseball you know that a batting average above .300 is considered a sterling achievement, and over .400 nearly impossible. Yet I know a photo firm that bats 1.000. Not every retailer, I hasten to say, nor yet every wholesaler. They do their best but sometimes strike out. I'm thinking of a manufacturer - a maker of studio and lighting equipment; Manfrotto. You can be as surprised at this as you like, but my experience with their goods has been uniformly...