When I started shooting events in the field in the 70's I fell upon the electronic flash with glee - it was so much better than the bulb flashes that I'd used prior to that. Of course it gave a different look to the images - harder shadows for one, and a cooler and more consistent colour temperature. In those days, the WB was set by the film manufacturer and you changed it via filters...

Wow. Last night saw the presentation of pictures and commentary by Hugh Brown over at Friday's Studio. It was an event sponsored by Canon and Camera Electronic to showcase some of the work Hugh has done in desperate places throughout the world - mostly concerned with the human side of mining or mineral recovery in remote places. Note: " remote " is a wrong word. Every one of the places that Hugh photographed or showed us is plain old home to someone. If it is a hard and difficult home, that still doesn't make it alien ground. And the people who live and work there are all-too human. Hugh has a penchant for mining as it forms part of his own background, and also has the necessary photographer's skills to make the business of photojournalism into an aesthetic exercise. His books and some of the images that were screened show this - but you can never go past the human conditions and the drama of the mines to get to just pretty pictures. Frankly, there were pictures we saw that were not pretty,...

Well, it's a good start when you bring your equipment in to be cleaned and repaired and you don't bother to put the front, back, or body caps on. That'll get a smile. When he finds the lenses in the footy socks sans covers he'll bust right out laughing. He'll be positively hysterical when he sees the surface of your sensor and after you say you want all the dust and bugs taken out of the prism and focusing screen system of your DSLR it'll be all we can do to hold him down. We're not suggesting that you become the camera enthusiast that needs to put on a HAZMAT suit in a NASA clean room to change lenses - or the worried individual who shines Mag-Lights into lenses in an effort to find dust motes...

Camera Electronic in Stirling Street used to have window shelves for people to look into. That was the way a lot of shops did it in the past - if there was a lot of passing trade going to do other things it was a way to arrest the gawker and possibly get them interested enough to come inside. But it had its drawbacks - the window could be a hot and dusty place for display and frequently you couldn't have a good looking pile of gear from front and back - you had to choose one or the other. That was the flaw in having two sides of glass. In Melbourne it doesn't get as hot and dusty as Perth and some of the shops are deep in canyon streets...

You know all those places your Ma told you never to go - where she was sure you were going to get killed or worse? Well Hugh Brown has been there already and broken his cameras in the process. Sometimes he broke them going in, and sometimes he broke them coming out, but they've always been interesting to look at afterwards.* I know - we've seen what they looked like after he went poking around up in the Northwest - or down volcanoes - or into desperate mines. Cameras are delicate things but Hugh is not, and something generally has to give...

I stopped dead opposite the Olympus binocular shelf at the Murray Street store this last week - and that's exactly what the Olympus designers intended me to do. That's why they made the 8 x 21 RCII WP field glasses in four colours. For visual appeal outside to match the optical appeal inside. Other makers have done this as well with smaller sets of binoculars. I won't detract from Olympus here by adding another brand name but suffice it to say that if you had wanted their small field glasses in bright yellow or aqua you would have been set back a considerably higher price than these. If you want style for value, Olympus are your go. Who needs 8 x 21's? Race goers who don't want to carry massive glasses with them. Tourists on Alaskan cruise ships who want to see the bears or moose close-up. Mountain hikers - indeed anyone who has to hoof it and wants to see further without bearing weight. Who needs colourful 8 x 21's...

I wrote a piece a little while ago about the action camera mounts that are intended to strap onto your dog - turning Fido into at best an unwitting cinematographer and at worst just an Alpo-fed dolly. Today's product is also a mount, but this time you have to be the person to do your own dirty work. Actually, in cinematic terms it won't be dirty at all - because this clever gimbal unit will make sure that the footage you get is a lot steadier than you can do unaided. The Feiyutech WG2X has the ability to render your images steady and correctly orientated in several planes - just like other gimbal units - but this one does it on such a small scale that it is actually wearable. Illustrations show it mounted on a motorcyclist's helmet and also on handlebars of various types. the literature mentions a chest mount as well. Of course the mount is configured for the most popular of action cameras. Light enough on the head? The mount is only 238 g so if you can hold up...