You can run, hide, or make them a great experience for the kids. Your choice. The great experience part might well involve some time spent with Fire Tech - the company at 232 Stirling Street Perth that organises innovative workshops for young photographers. Their literature says they help shift kids from being passive consumers of technology to developers of digital tech with real-life application. That sounds like robotics, electronics, programming, and our own favourite subject - photography. And this may have real benefits for their parents and grandparents - tech-savvy kids can program home computers, TV remotes, and retic system controllers. Finally - your house might actually work...

" So I want one too - but his had a 50 milly meter lens so none of the pictures came out good. I want a 50 milly meter camera so mine will be better. And I want a 50 milly meter zoom. " You can only hold your breath so long before sparkly lights flash and the world sort of greys out. Then you have to breathe and come back to consciousness, and if you're a salesperson in a camera store you've got to start unravelling the knotted ball of informational string. It's no good fainting and falling to the floor as someone will just revive you and you'll have to start over again. I blame the manufacturers. If they had not decided to turn 35mm motion picture film sideaways and start to make still pictures none of this would have been a problem. Even then, they could have used Imperial or Russian or Andaman Island units of measurement for the focal length of the lens and it would have made it easier. When the film makers started to refer to the 35mm...

Okay, that's a predictable headline given that we were at the Western Star Mercedes showroom in Osborne Park last night and that we were clustered around  a grasshopper green Mercedes AMG 4.0 V8 BiTurbo sports saloon. No-one who came into the showroom missed seeing the car.  It would be an enormous hit wherever it went - Subiaco, Dalkeith, Applecross, Winthrop. Parking it might be easy but the anxiety involved in leaving it to the tender mercies of the other shoppers would be killing. All those doors opening...

It has been one of the constant themes in photography that the camera can see more than the operator. Even when that vision took twenty minutes and a cup of boiling mercury, there were details of vision the glass lenses recorded that were not seen by the human eye. It has gotten better/worse than that over the last 175+ years and there are lots of times when we humans stand at the back of the line to receive the word from the lenses. The digital era has accentuated this. The heading image is from the recent Vivid show in Sydney - though Luna Park has been an attraction for decades. The platform from which t was shot was a bobbing one - a ferry from Pyrmont to Circular Quay in a choppy harbour - and the lighting was the dead end of sundown when the light show projectors could start to make an impact on the buildings that had been chosen as screens. The metadata says that it was taken at 6400 ISO, f:2.8, and 1/60 of a second - all...

I mean, is it: a. Big enough? Are you still using the small size when the clients and judges expect the quality that you get from the big size? Ask carefully - but don't give them any hints. If they are perfectly satisfied with what you produce, with what you've got, don't poke the bear. If they are not, start poking, and begin with your wallet. You may have to spend actual money for actual goods, and it is just about  to be actually the end of the financial year. Poke fast, if you are going to poke at all. If you need to spend to earn, spend now. b. Small enough? If you are going to do a holiday trip riding in anything smaller than a tank transporter, you'll need to think about size and weight. The heading image from Sydney Vivid was taken last week on my little Fujifilm X-T10 with a 27mm f:2.8 Fujinon pancake lens and the results as well as the experience were all I could have wished for. The freedom from zooming provided by taking one lens only meant...

I well remember a tripod that was offered for sale with a ball head on the top and a very stylish set of control knobs on the side - locking for the tilt and also for the panning. The style adopted was minimalist and the maker thought that if they put a plain rubber cylinder there it would be  a world-winner. Possibly, in a world where there was no air, water, or grease to foul the fingers. Here on Earth the thing was a monumental nuisance when people tried to tighten it only to find their fingers sliding around and nothing really happening. Anyone who still owns one of these designs has either developed a grip like a gorilla or carries a pipe spanner in their back pocket. Thank goodness the designers at Manfrotto looked at real life and real requirements. They've issued new ball heads for their BeFree and larger tripods that incorporate very positive cast knobs. They are somewhat reminiscent of the knobs on a bathroom tap, but set sideways. This is no bad thing - remember that bathroom fittings...

I was taken with the size and weight of the box in the storeroom that contained the Sigma 40mm F;1.4 DG HSM lens. Was that weight real, or had someone put a brick in the box as well as the lens? Oh, it was real all right - 1200g real. This was a puzzle - 40mm focal length for Nikon, Canon, or Sony E-mount cameras. But look at the size and think of the weight involved: That's a big barrel, and  a lot of glass - okay, it's f:1.4, but really, there are smaller f:1.4 50mm and 55mm lenses out there. Why should SIgma take up all that room and material? What makes this necessary, or better. A dip into the Sigma website dedicated to it gave a hint. It is a lens that has come to the still world from the researches Sigma have made into cine lenses. Oh, don't panic - you still get recognisable F-stops and the barrel is AF and dedicated to still shooting - you won't be breaking your hand trying to get past gear cogs. But what you do...

Some decades ago an employee of mine got married and I was invited along to the wedding - a cheerful affair on a sunny day. Her uncle was a professional wedding shooter of some aquaintance and he did the wedding coverage as a gift. I was content to donate a toaster and not do any shooting. As I had been doing weddings myself on a part-time basis for years I was curious to see what the rig was going to be. It was full-on film days and I cannot remember whether it was an Olympus or a Nikon outfit that he carried, but I do recall that he had the biggest accessory cart I have ever seen. It would not have been out of place pulled up next to a Jumbo jet at the airport. Quite why he felt it necessary to tow an artillery limber to a wedding is beyond me, but he faithfully pulled it over all the doorsills in the place for hours. Maybe film was heavier than pixels...

If you are determined, we can't stop you. Indeed, the best thing that can be done is to reach into the Sigma cabinet and pull out the 14mm f:1.8 DG HSM Art lens and let you put it on your Nikon or Canon. Then you can head out for your architecture, landscape, or astro photography and we can feel that we've done our best for you. You will not go away lightly - you'll be adding 1120 g to your burden, and if this is out bush to get the landscape or the star view, that's a significant weight. No wonder- the barrel is fully professional and there are 16 elements - three of them aspherical - inside it. You 'll be operating the aperture electro-mechanically with either mount and you'll also have a option to add a rear filter if you're using the Canon version. Quite what you can do with a filter arrangement up the front is beyond me - this is a very wide view of the universe for a full-frame camera - and the adaptation you'll need for...