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The cutting edge of a good knife is backed up by a piece of softer steel. The sharp bit may be ever-so, but it can be brittle - it needs a tough and resilient spine to keep it from snapping. Any connection to photography here? Well, if you are the brilliant but brittle star of a studio you might produce the images...

Club - Association dedicated to a particular interest or activity. Or a blunt weapon. I'll leave the latter to your discretion - the former is the idea we want to deal with today. I met with several members of the Western Australian Photographic Federation at the recent PhotoLive 2021 at Edith Cowan University. When I say met, I mean pinned them to the wall with a request for a photo. Game souls that they are, they agreed, and I think they look pretty good withal. Their presence at PhotoLive was to promote one of the best ideas there is is photography: fellowship. I hope they had a number of interested visitors and that they can gain new members for their constituent clubs. This is no idle desire; when new people come to photography, or enthusiasts get to meet like-minded individuals, the whole art advances. I might not bring anything new to the table from one year to the next, but that doesn't stop someone else from getting a brilliant idea...

If you’re looking for the ideal home photography project, look no further than scanning and printing from the comfort of your own home. If you’ve been at the game long enough or are new to film photography, chances are you have dozens of film negatives lying around. Regardless of them being from decades ago or last week, wouldn’t you love to scan and print these at home? Take your film photography to the ultimate level by scanning negatives, managing them as digital files, and printing them.    Scans To Last a Lifetime   While photo labs can do this for you overnight, it takes time to post your negatives in and receive your prints back. Plus, you have no creative control over the process. And what if you only want the one high-quality print from a roll of film? The answer is to use a high-end film scanner to digitise your analogue film. With the right scanner, you can digitise 35mm and 120 films into files that can be loaded into Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or your software of choice.     Epson Perfection V850 Pro Scanner   The folks...

Besides booze? Well, that was a one of the questions that flicked through the mind as I walked around the trade hall at the recent PhotoLive. It was a fair bet that the people employed by the wholesalers would be carrying their own goods - the staff sales discounts pretty well guarantee that. And no sale rep who is paid to sell A all day will risk being seen taking pictures with B on the weekend. Not in this gabby town. But what of the volunteers who manned the stands from a sense of fellowship, or loyalty, or curiosity? And what of the retired reps who were there to pass on their considerable knowledge but wouldn't be writing up sales orders the following Monday? I did not poke the various bears too hard, but I did pause beside the Fujifilm stand to listen to Duncan Dodd when he spoke about the cameras he liked. I was a good audience because I like and use the Fujifilm system myself. Duncan was preaching to the choir when he was talking to me but I...

You all know the joke about the job not being finished until the paper work is completed. Laugh it up, but then go back to your desk and start making an Excel spreadsheet of 500 items. We need it in half an hour...

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...