Or Facetime, or Zoom, or whichever app and platform you used at the start of the 2020 pandemic? When you had no idea what you were doing, and neither did anyone else, and it showed? Did you do a Zoom quiz night? Or birthday party? Do you ever want to do another one? Thought not...

But dry at the time I went outside the Murray Street Store. Sometimes you can luck it. The opportunity to try the new-to-me Nikon Z-fc was too good to miss, so I took the spare SD card out of the gadget bag and plugged it in. Thus was the point at which the Nikon muscle memory kicked in and I was able to dive into the menu and format it. That's not just bumpf. A lot of cameras operate on menus and instruction sets that have been devised by their own staff. They may have configured the things quite differently from those of other makers, and it can be an Indiana Jones adventure to try to find the pathway in the menu that will lead you to the command you wish to exercise. Quite a few camera makers employ poison dart shooters and giant stone balls to discourage you from finding their treasures. Just getting to " format " can be a feat. The choices after that for sizes, shapes, renderings, colour, and such are pretty much standard between each camera in any...

It's been a long time since I first saw the announcements about the Nikon Z-fc camera - and since I watched Michael Phillips juggle three dummy demonstration bodies at a photo trade fair. I've looked at the dummy cameras in Murray Street and Stirling street since then, but this is the first time I've gotten a real-live working one to play with  It is fitted with a 24-70 f:4-6.3 lens. The lens is an average zoom range  - but for this APS-C-sensored camera that equates to 36-105mm fields of view when you compare it to the other Z full-frame cameras. Never mind - there are all sorts of Z-mount lenses for the Nikon cameras and you can go wider, too. You can also get Z lenses that capitalise on the style of the camera body...

Go 0n. Buy it. You know you want to try it out. If you have recently discovered that there is a world of photography beyond the pixel, and braved the wonders of the film cabinet, you are ready to consider a revolutionary idea; rolling your own film. Don't imagine that I'm suggesting you manufacture it yourself. Unless you live in Rochester, New York and aren't afraid of the dark, it is probably still best to let someone else actually coat the plastic strip, perforate it, and roll it up for packaging into a lightproof wrapping and a tin case. They've been doing it for a century and they are good at keeping the emulsion in and the insects out. But at this point you can step in  - and save yourself some money by doing so. Lots of photographers have been loading their own 35mm cassettes from rolls of bulk film for the last 70 years. It was a standard practice for big users; newspapers, magazines, schools, etc. when pre-packed tin cassettes from the major makers - often delivered in screw-top tin cans...

That shows fear. And don't look over the shoulder of anyone else - that's nosiness. But what can a photographer do, when everything bad that they have ever done is lurking behind them? And everything that someone else is doing looks good and is in front of them all day? Whence cometh tranquillity and whither doth it go? I promise not to use cometh or doth again - but I had to do it at some time in my writing career. It was either doth or death. Well, let's get back to gettin' back that photographic tranquillity. We may need it to force ourselves into the studio tomorrow morning or to the camera club on a Monday night. If we find ourselves feeling a little anxious on either score there are things we can reflect upon: a. Whatever we learned in basic photography, we learned from someone else - either through book learning or practical demonstration. If it was crude stuff, we were learners, and no apprentice's work is that of the master to start with. I can look through my negatives and find fingerprints...

They Tell Truth. Truth hurt, but still truth. The honest fellows I refer to are Chris Lee from the pal2tech YouTube site and Omar Gonzalez from Omar Gonzalez Photography - also on YouTube. I tune into their broadcasts every week and have benefited greatly. I still don't know how to like and subscribe but I do know how to recognise good presenters. Over the months that I have been reviewing their shows they have repeatedly mentioned one point in respect to video presentations; the audio component is more important than the visual one. The nature of their internet entertainment being what it is, they can directly demonstrate this as you watch and listen. In the case of Chris Lee, he does gear reviews based around his own intimate knowledge of the Fujifilm system, and adds some of the peripherals of video production - the lights, cables and microphones - from time to time. Firms send him gear for review and he buys some of his own stuff, but all his opinions are his own, and he makes no bones about saying that. Recently he...

Make up your darned mind. Those of you with children or cats who stand in the doorway will now exactly where the title of this post comes from. But it is also a muttered undertone for a lot of photographers - and that included me over the weekend. I'd taken a Fujifilm X-E2 camera along to the in-laws for Saturday luncheon and was intending to take some group pictures. It was even attached to the little Sirui tabletop tripod I use for reportage at shop open nights. Beautiful combination - but only when there is electricity in the battery to work it. There was electricity in the battery when I put it into the bag at home  - but it had all run out and run away by the time I got to Mandurah. The wretched on/off switch had been activated as I loaded it and the camera was switched on the whole trip. The first indication that something was wrong was the fact that it was red-hot inside the bag - and the little red dead-battery icon confirmed it. The lunch was...

Is whom? What name springs to mind? Is it a name you don't know? Is it your own name? Drawn to this by a supposed quote from Billy Connolly that said he measured success for himself by the amount of time in a week when he could do what Billy Connolly wanted to do. I find myself suspecting any quote or meme that reaches me on social media - since many of them are constructs and mis-attributions designed to push a political message. But I rather like the idea expressed with this one. If it really was the Big Yin who said it, thank you. So who IS the most successful? If it is a question that revolves around money earned, you'd have to be guided by the ATO. The banks won't reveal who has the most in their accounts - unless you're emailing as a Nigerian lawyer with the legacy of a prince to distribute. The photographers themselves won't say, and even if they get together in a conference, numbers mentioned are likely to be imaginary. No-one likes to tell real...

Because it probably isn't mine. The writer of this column is looking alternately at a keyboard and an iMac screen. Peering would be a better word, and it is being done around a number of internal barriers in his eyes. Floating bodies, cataracts, and what have you. Plain sheets of paper are starting to look like ordnance survey maps. The time is coming when something will need to be done. I bring this up because the fate of your hard-won traditional photographic print - the one that you started growing months ago when you hauled out the old SLR camera and which you have nurtured lovingly through so many tanks, trays, and chemicals - depends on the eyes that see it. And upon the way they do. a. The eyes that see it may be a wonky as mine. If someone criticises your picture for a technical fault that you are sure does not exist, suspect the final two lenses through which it is perceived. Do not get annoyed and be tempted to poke a finger in there. Beauty is in the eye of...