Author: Uncle Dick

And we don't mean antibiotics. Think about doing a course of instruction in some aspect of photography. I was minding a table at the recent PhotoLive 2021 set very close to the lady you see in the heading image. Perth Learn Photography is an organisation that aims to do just what it says on the tin; help people to learn photo skills. Before you turn away, consider some ideas: a. If you don't know how to take photographs...

A guide to the newest idea for tripod legs. And not just for tripods - The Manfrotto people have come up with something for the monopod and video rig users as well. That's Sgt. Sharma at the en garde position with the new FAST leg locks. It would appear one twist of the entire hand section unlocks both ends of the tube - then one twist locks it again. The technology has been adapted for tripod legs: Up until now we have seen any number of locking mechanisms applied to tripods - and even in the Manfrotto stable there have been variations - one era seeing thumb screws and the next clip locks. Other makers utilise screw collars or spring-release collars to some success, but I can say from personal experience that the more precisely a thread is cut the more it attracts sand particles and the more it fights you back when you try to operate it quickly or with delicacy. I wrote earlier in this column about lens juggling, but you can find yourself doing a plate-balancing act with some camera...

Well, that's not bad at all - I captured four extreme professionals with two shots of my little reporter's camera at the recent PhotoLive 2021; Andrew, Kym, SanDisk, and Sigma. I agonised about which lens to take on the day. But in the end I settled for the Fujinon 18mm f:2 - the diagrams of the sales rooms and the corridors of the Edith Cowan venue suggested that it was going to be a bit squeezy. The 18 is quite tame if you remember to level it - and even if you get a few degrees of tilt and the consequent distortion you can iron it out in Photoshop. I know, I know...

I dived for the Nikon stand at the PhotoLive 2021 as soon as I saw the little group of colourful cameras at the front of the table. I'd been primed to this by reports of the new Nikon Zfc retro-style mirrorless camera that had been introduced just a few weeks earlier by the company. I read DP Review and Rockwell and a lot of other sites every day - the reports so far seem very impressive. What I didn't realise was that the colourful examples there were trade samples showing the decor. Nevertheless, they were spectacular to look at and I think will sell the product to a whole new range of clients - people who have started to see cameras just as same old/same old. There is bound to be a major show and launch when they come on stream here in Australia and I am going to make sure I'm there to see it. There will also be the release of a much bigger new Nikon mirrorless camera, I suspect, but this is still just glimpses and rumours from...

If you thought the Indianapolis 500 was a gruelling race you want to go to a PhotoLive trade show as a wholesale representative  or the official photographer. By the end of the day you'll be ready for the pits! Here's Brenda and  Julie at the Canon stand taken early in the day before the thundering herds arrived. They are cheerful and relaxed, and not at all apprehensive. They both know that the Canon equipment will not let them down - whether thry are selling it or shooting with it. Note that Julie is using an on-camera flash to raise the light level of the venue, clean up the colour balance, and tame the shadows that overhead spot lighting can sometimes produce. If you're ever in the same position - having to be a fast-moving worker in a variety of lighting situations, emulate her - a speed light is often the difference between a blah shot and a sparkler. Note to self: Emulate Julie in the footwear department as well. I chose my old black shop boots with the bovver toecaps for the day,...

I went to the show yesterday and it was a lot of fun. I was on the refurb and ex-rental stand and it got a good picking over in between the lecture and workshop sessions and I'm pleased to be able to say several sales were made. Also pleased to think that the people who bought the gear got the right thing for themselves - the cameras and lenses carried substantial warrantees as well as discounted prices. I was also pleased to see that the bustle in the trade rooms did not abate. The staff from the shops had done a massive job in the days leading up to the show selecting and transporting the stock - so much so that I believe they closed Wanderlust and Murray Street shops for the day. The take-down was no small affair either, but I could tell that the next few days would be something of chaos as goods were found and re-stocked into their accustomed places. The fact that the show prices will continue for a little while longer will also put pressure...

Well, sort of a trade fair. As good as it's going to get in the current locked-down state of the world. You trade a gold coin to charity and the photographic people trade in their Sunday ( plus all the rest of the week to get things restocked and accounted for ...

The answer depends on whether they have been in the business, trade, sport, or profession of photography. If they have, and have ceased before they have deceased, then yes, they have retired. But I am hard pressed to think of any trade people who have done so. No names, and none of us are fit enough for pack drill, but cast about at the next ex-trade affair and see for yourself. Old photographers are never really retired. No need to get romantic about the smell of D-76 in the morning or artistic inspiration. Most people who have squeezed the rent and food out of a camera did because they knew how to do it and found there was a market for what they were prepared to do. That applies to a lot of professions. The fact that they got enough food to get to retirement age says they were a success. But there is something about doing photography that we do not let go. The fact that it carves a place in posterity ( at least until the hard drive fails )...