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...

Previous Next Have you heard the saying “You don’t know what you don’t know”? That’s how I would best describe my relationship with professional, colour calibrated photography monitors. I’ve been a full time professional photographer for the past 12 years and during my career I’ve always used high end, all in one desktop PC’s to edit my images. Now these computers did their job as far as running the internet, storing client record management database and saving my word docs – but little did I understand the damage they were doing to my images. I finally realised something was wrong in late 2017 when I changed over to a new computer and started experiencing dramatic variation in the colour output of my prints. What I was seeing on screen wasn’t what I was achieving in my prints – they were filled with colour casts and over saturation. I print at a professional photo laboratory, so I knew the problem was at my end. Yikes! It was costing me time and money to try to rectify the issue by editing blindly, hoping I would...

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...

Well here we are, supposedly twenty years later, and some of our photographic space odysseys have become distinctively odd. None more so than the ones we start on when we open the menu for our new camera and see what the factory designers have prepared for us. In 1968 when we went to the cinema to see Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey we were shooting analog cameras and processing the results in chemicals. We were just about to be amazed at the success of computers in getting people on the Moon and were ready to accept the fact that one of them could turn rogue and start thinking for itself. Now when we open the camera or the phone we are all too ready to let these devices do just that - and to accept what they think as our opinion too...