Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Flickr Badge not fully functional.
Removed on Saturday, 8 March, 2008.

Sorting Through Lens Tips

I'm back looking at lenses.
Since the new Digital Rebel arrived,
I have not used my Pentax MZ50 much.
However it has such a nice zoom lens
I took it for a tour round the garden
yesterday and practised some DOF.

Now to get the film processed.
As Davimack has pointed out,
finding a good shop can be an ordeal.
However, anybody who comes to Dublin
should drop in to Gunns of Wexford Street.
They will be my next port of call...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's All in the Lens, Baby

The Kit Lens which shipped with the Canon EOS 400d
continues to challenge my focusing skills.
It is very versatile and I cannot understand all
the negative feedback in the wider Canon community.
Perhaps hobbyists are less fussy overall?

A true photographic airing was given this new treasure yesterday.
A whirlwind trip round County Meath, north of Dublin, made a nice change,
especially as the light levels were incredibly variable. Noon was a gloomy affair with dull cloud cover making a very Celtic atmosphere.
By the time we reached the Hill of Down, towards four o'clock, there was
an sparkle in the sunlight and colour burst into view in every shot.

Four seasons in one day?

That's Ireland for you...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Floral Art

Thoughts on Fine Art Photography.

While it is important that photography work should

demonstrate some finesse, if only in the care and

attention applied to detail, I have an admission to

make. Much of the work sold on the "Fine Art"

market seems morbid and even sad. I recently

declined an offer of a gift in a photograpy shop.

The extraordinary flower closups in the calendar

offered were masters of the genre. However, on a

damp drizzly Winter's day they made me stand back.

They seemed dull and dead in the grey light.
I chose some landscapes instead, which had some

colour toning and somehow seemed less

claustorphobic. Also, the thought of box upon box

of flower photos at home, snapped in a cheerful mood

in the height of Summer and which pleased me far

more, inspired my choice.

The over-fetishism of flower photography is a trap

which is very easy to avoid, once seen. While I

admire the masters greatly I somehow recoil from

twisting and twirling my subjects into projections

of my own psyche. And I wonder if that is what

they actually do.

Objectivity? Even seen through the clinical

photographic eye, I doubt more and more that it

fully exists.

That said, here is a before and after exercise,

based on a doughty little narcissus which insisted,

unseasonably, on bursting into full bloom in a pot

out of doors just a few days after Christmas. It

continues it's headlong rush towards self-

propagation on and indoors window sill.

Now there's a metaphor worth exploring...

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Poor Workman Blaims His Tools

The visual world has taken so much attention recently, that blogging continues to be down a long list of priorities. Then there is always the consideration that one should only blog when there is something useful (and/or beautiful) to say.

Thanks to an interesting question in the comments box today, it's worth noting that
the software which came with the new Canon digital camera is of quite a high standard.
It certainly suits my amateur needs, but in fact I've just learned that it is also
meant for professional use. The tonal curves feature has kept me entertained for
weeks while wind and rain do battle out of doors.

I do not rush into a long analysis of the new camera, purely because much energy
is spent hitting buttons and marvelling that such a machine exists. It has made me
remember the amazement I experienced when presented with a simple Kodak Brownie about
a hundred years ago and came to realize that the World was full of mystery and intrigue.

It's not worth rushing to join the chorus of nay sayers who find the kit lens which
ships with this camera a bit "soft". As one who has been driven out of television shops by the clarity and sharpness of insect life as represented by macro enthusiasts who insist that every detail must be recorded, this is acutally a positive value in my case. Even the hypnotic closups I've produced of flower stigmas and stamens are vague enough to be artistic rather than totally scientific. Somehow I don't want my work to look like lab specimens... or at least, not yet.

Everybody who is associated with the EOS 400D can rest easy in their beds in the knowledge that there is a very contented photographer who will be singing its praises for some time to come. No wonder it has become one of the top cameras on Flickr in the past month.