Every field of human endeavour has old-hat ideas, new-hat ideas, and hatless scatter-brain maniac ideas. The trick of commercial success is to convert the first and the last to the middle sort - this is the thing that pays money. I'll explain. The technique of shooting pinhole photos on sheet film or paper is old-hat. It either requires hardly anything at all or a whole raft of special equipment. The minimalists will go out with a pin, a cardboard box, and a stack of bricks and construct an ur-camera on the site of some landscape. The results may be wonderful, but probably won't. The pinhole will be too big, the box will leak light, and piling the bricks on it for a long exposure will not work. The technicians will buy a large-format camera, a laser-cut pinhole disk, a special lens plate, and holders of the fastest film available. They will attach the rig to a massive tripod and weight it down with...

If you go to the right places and keep your eyes open you learn something. Tuesday night last at Camera Electronic was one of those places when Michael Philips and Daniel Carson presented the new Nikon D780 body to the audience. I was sorry for Michael because I think the thunderstorm that hit Perth just before dusk kept a lot of potential viewers away. I was sorry for me when I tried to drive in Vic Park just after the thing went through...

And we do the rest. Even better than Kodak - you don't even have to press the button. Camera Electronic's shop in Murray Street is the home of the new Shoebox Service. Courtesy of some very clever machinery and programming , the staff at Murray Street can now turn your shoebox laibility into a digital asset. The deal is this - you take in your shoebox or envelope of paper prints - and they must be between 5 cm x 5 cm and 20 cm x 30 cm - and must be unmounted with no backing paper - and the staff carefully scan them for you. It may be the work of minutes or hours but the important points to remember is that they are not your minutes and hours and you are not going to be asked to pay for the time taken. You just deliver and then collect later. The prints coming in cannot be on big album pages - the staff will not unmount them. Nor can they be in those big cardboard studio frames. You'll have to remove them from...

This is not about the C.E. Rental Department. They are a fully professional division of our organisation and can hold their own in the commercial world. If you need to rent something , go see them or contact them via computer. Do not expect a lend, mate. Expect a formal contract, deposit, identification, and proper rental charges. Do not expect to get away with keeping things over time, treating the goods roughly, or losing items. It is a professional contract. But the giz-a-lend? You'll still encounter it all over the photographic world - from camera club members wanting to borrow your gear to economical end users wanting to burrow into your stash of images. They want them for their own purposes but generally do not want to stop at the cashier on the way in or out. No names, no pack drill...

Recently a member of my scale modelling club asked me for advice on tabletop photography and computer processing of artwork for kit building. He wants to make his own decals with a laser or inkjet printer. If you can get the specialised paper to do this, it's quite feasible. The results don't equal a good quality Italian or Czech decal sheet, but if no-one makes what you want, needs must. The photographic point of the exercise became interesting when he trotted out the various image-editing programs that have been loaded into his laptop. I provided some initial images of club models and we tried to manipulate them. It was a disaster - the old and assorted programs refused to do what we wanted. I explained that I use the Adobe products - LR, PS, and PSE - and recommended that he purchase the PSE. He did, but oddly enough, it is PSE 7. Rather an old version of the goods. His explanation was that it was the version that would run on the old software in the laptop. Umm...