Christmas Tag

You get best wishes for the holidays from the column writer. He is currently looking at the clock and trying to figure out when to turn the oven on for the roast dinner. On the hottest day of the year. The dinner will be basted with a mixture of trepidation, perspiration, and garlic. Tomorrow is Boxing Day and if it was all on before, it will all be on again. The adventurous will go surfing and shopping - the rest of us will cocoon up in the coldest room of the house and either watch Bond movies, read holiday gift books, or build model airplanes. There will be leftovers. I pray for hungry visitors upon which I can unload them....

And its stuffing. A final guide to Christmas surprises. Many things are Christmas surprises. People buy garments on-line that they would be ashamed to put on their washing line. People buy tiny puppies without looking at the size of their feet and are surprised six months later at what runs through the house knocking over furniture. Family dinners can resemble something from either Dickens or Machiavelli. You just never know. If you would make your holiday giving into happy surprises look for odd things that are helpful. Here are three to consider: a. Lume Cubes. Mount these on your mirrorless camera, vlogging camera, or smartphone for a quick and easy solution to lighting. I have one on a stalk that sits to the side of my X -T2 when I record video - it's not the main light for anything but it is a great catchlight for eyes and a good way to pump enough light out for the autofocus mechanism to work. You can get filters, diffusers, and other accessories and the battery life is stupendous - I can do a whole dance show...

And when better than at Christmas time. If we need a family picture with all of us in it - and not missing the photographer yet again - we need a helping hand. Or three helping legs, as it happens. The Christmas dinner table can support more than the turkey and salad - it can hold up a table tripod. If you have a good big tripod that you use for studio shots, wildflowers, or landscape shots by all means take it to the family gathering and set your camera up on it. Activate the 10-second self timer and run round to your place at the edge of the family group for the photo. No matter how bad you look, it will be a precious memory. That's if it is in focus and no-one moves. If it is a technical failure big-time, you have a problem. Not only is it a memory lost, but you lost it...

Good morning. It is now officially Christmas Day 2017 and you are awake. If you have young children you have been awake for what seems like a very long time. Brace yourself - the day will go on for a considerable time more. And the children. Will. Not. Stop. If you are reading this on your iPad while sitting at the perfectly-decorated tree and sipping a latte you have our congratulations. You may start unwrapping your new mirror-less lenses and cameras in a moment and ask the valet to lay out your morning wear. The Dom Perignon will start shortly and it is wise to prepare yourself. If you are reading this on your 5-year-old mobile phone while your five-year-old plays "Little Drummer Boy " on a plastic trombone you also have our congratulations. Today will be wonderful, and once the lunch is done and the police leave with the perpetrators, you can settle down to read the instructions for your new action camera. With a bit of luck the kids will not have broken it yet. If you are reading this at...

I realise now that I made a mistake - I accept this. When the customer came into the shop all those years ago and asked: " Where can I stuff this stocking? " Well, I should have been slower to answer. Kinder. Gentler. More professional...

More fun and a lot easier to park.Lomo have just sent us some of their new Lomography instant cameras. They run under the term LOMO'INSTANT - with one of those floating apostrophes that so maddens teachers of English. In this case the makers should be forgiven because the product is actually quite nice.It is an instant film camera that takes the Fujifilm INSTAX cartridge and spits out paper prints that develop in 90 seconds outside the camera. You'll need Fujifilm INSTAX film for it as the kit has no film pack in there - you'll also need to get some AAA batteries if you plan on shooting directly on Christmas morning.The black example you see in the pictue is the camera on its own - it has a wide-angle lens built in - the equivalent of a 27mm focal length. There seem to be two focusing ranges for it - 1 metre to infinity and a closeup position of 40 to 90 cm. This is selected by a lever on the right hand side of the lens standard.The shutter has...

Well, if you're going to toot a trumpet or beat a drum you might as well do it loud!Fujifilm have a fascinating range of Instax cameras that use the instant-film technology to deliver finished analog prints in your hand in 90 seconds. There are several modls ranging from tiny to medium sized...