Dick’s Rant

Or canned haze. In actual fact canned mineral oil, propane, and butane. A spray can that you can carry in your photo effects bag to create atmosphere in your shots. You've seen how Hollywood film and video producers use mist, haze, and atmosphere effects to inject visual tension in a scene - every horror shoot seems to have something boiling along the ground. In many cases it's made with water on dry ice. Good for a Transylvanian feel but the vapour created is heavier than air and tends to drop fast and disperse. The actors have to bite one another quickly while the mists roil. For a higher haze you need a different aerosol. Some have tried smoke but it can be too light, tending to drift up in spirals instead of spreading out all over the set. Unless you are prepared to torch the woods along with CALM, you may not get a wide dispersal of smoke. The answer between the two is the pressure can you see in the heading image. One of the staff members put me onto it, expecting...

As a photo enthusiast who turns every dial and pushes every button on a camera - often inadvertently - I am keenly aware of the harm that I can do to my images. This becomes evident when I use one of the lenses that the Fujifilm system makes on a standard camera. It's the 27mm f:2.8 pancake lens - the original one with no aperture ring. I keep examples of this on X-T10 and X-E2 camera bodies and use them all the time ( Love the convenient size for reportage or mini-studio shots. ) All is well in the aperture line as long as you control this from the thumb wheel. All the apertures plus ' A' setting right next to f:16...

Dale Neill recently posted a piece on Facebook comparing the hit rate of  good results between the roll-film, 35mm, and digital eras. Like Dale himself, it was funny and dead-on accurate; 6 good shots whether the shooter was using 120 film, a 35mm cassette, or a digital card with 2000+ files on it. As Dale said, it shows that we took a darn sight more care to get the exposure and composition right when we knew we were paying a higher price for it. The 19-year-olds can stop snorting their contempt and show us old geezers just how wrong we are...

My recent RAID system failure and recovery has proved to be more of a boon than I expected. Not to the bank account - this is boonless most of the time - but to the image collection as such. Because it caused me to review what was sitting there. Some people are on top of their images through careful catalog work - assigning stars and ratings, organising collections, typing in key words, etc. All the computer program texts go into this in great detail even before they teach you how to spoil the colours. I have tried to make my way through the literature but always lost the will to live after half a chapter. As a result I have adopted the practice of named folders containing named folders, and then depend upon my ability to intrigue myself later with odd titles. Mostly it works. I can go to "cars" and see every car show I have attended - further foldered into years if it was a regular thing. At first glance it seems quite regimented. So I thought until I casually...

I am grateful to Camera Electronic in general and Daniel Ward in particular for their ability to get me out of trouble. It is a condition I experience frequently as I operate photographic machinery. It's as well that no one trusts me with a motor torpedo boat or a herd of geese...

Some venues make a great fuss about cameras - rock concerts and Russian air bases for instance. This is because they do things in these places that they don't want you to photograph. Perhaps they would be more lenient if the bands or bombs were less harmful or more attractive looking, but that's just speculation. Accept that fact that your Kodak will get you into trouble. Note, Kodak also don't welcome cameras, but that's because they already have enough...

And be prepared to be horrified. I say this having been told of some of the things that tripods do by the repairman in our shop. He has a set of tales that would have Stephen King sleeping with the lights on. With his encouragement I tested out my tripods and found them wanting. To be fair, they are not new - and they are not the first tripods I ever bought. They came to me over a period of decades when I felt I needed better camera support. In some cases I was not thinking very well at the time. The repairman told me of a test that can be done for the overall condition of the support. Remove your camera and set the tripod open upon a firm floor. Then push down on the tripod head as if you were applying the weight of a camera. If all is well it won't collapse. If it does collapse quickly you have a basic problem - it may be made of flimsy materials or with poorly-designed joints. It may be overextended for the weight-bearing...