Photo of the Month – July




Leica M8
Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M
50mm, 1/30 Sec at f/1.7, ISO640
Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom V5.5
On a MacBook Pro, OS-X 10.9.4

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iOS Differences

Since moving villages I no longer get a mobile phone signal at home. My current mobile phone contract is up next month and the excuse of not getting a signal at home plus the fact they will not unlock phones for free has pushed me away from my current provider.

So this month I had my phone unlocked and have been trying other networks.

As part of this testing I made a number of interesting discoveries.

Dependant on whose sim you have in and if you restore your phone from a backup or set up as new you get a few minor differences.

The first thing I spotted was the Cellular Menu became a Mobile Menu, also the options in here differed but not really surprising.  No the surprising thing was things like security options, on the old sim I only had auto lock from instant to 15 minutes, but when the phone was setup as new with the sim from another network it had options up to four hours!

I would have thought the functionality would have remained fairly constant.

Now that my testing has finished I have a few choices to make.  A review of the main UK networks was published this week, and the one I am on came top, but this network does not work at home and I still need to use my mobile at home.  The network that works best at home came worst and in my testing was worst for data.

With those results in mind I am not quite sure what I am going to do.  I could remember to put a divert on my mobile before heading home but what if I forget, and there is the cost.

I could just change networks and put up with a better service at home but poorer data elsewhere (though things are looking like changing in the coming year).  Or even go to two phone.  A basic mobile with my main number on it and the best data sim in my smart phone.

Not sure yet but I have till the next month to decide.

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Family News – Vegetable Plot


One of the things we wanted with a new house was to have a vegetable plot.  It was handwork but we now have one.  It was a little late being setup but we managed to get a few crops sowed before the start of summer.


garden-2 garden-3

We have had a few fresh peas but this weekend we started to harvest some of the root crops, fresh carrots (a little misshapen) and some beetroot.

Fresh tasting and very enjoyable.

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Mirrorless for a Pro Shoot

Leica T 701The internet abounds with articles about professional users having a go at a ‘real’ shoot with their mirror less cameras, generally Panasonic, Olympus or Fuji.

Today I was reading article about a photographer who did a article for a magazine, and instead of using his professional gear decided to use a Leica T, its current prime lens and the EVF.

As people always say its the photographer and not the camera.

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Replacing the Nikon V1 -considering more options

Leica C Compact with a Viewfinder

Leica C Compact with a Viewfinder

So last week showed that while generally I could manage with a small high quality compact  with a 28mm or 35mm field of view, there are times when I need more range in a small body.

The Nikon V1 has many issues and Nikon really do not seem to know where they are going with it but my little original V1 with 28mm prime and zooms from 28 to 300mm give me a lot of flexibility.

So this weekend while planning my next studio shoot (which involves water so is rather complex) I also spent some time checking out compacts on the web.

The top two I thought of where the Sony RX10 and the Sony RX100 Mark III.  The RX100 certainly fits the bill on small, and the new Mark III model now has a neat little pop up viewfinder.  Whilst the zoom range does not reach as far as I would like only being 24 to 70mm it really is a fantastic pocket compact that you could always carry with you.

The RX10 has more reach now being 24 to 200mm but I need to handle it and consider the size.  It might be getting a MicroFourThird’s body is a better option and certainly more flexible.

When Monday came I popped into my local camera store the Silver Street London Camera Exchange. I was intrigued by the built in viewfinder of the RX100. Lucky for me they had a mark III in stock as well as a mark II & mark I. Sony, maybe your coming out with new models a little to fast?

For a compact it was very good and with a quick press the EVF popped up then you had to pull the viewing window out and it was read to use. A little fiddley but one of the best, well only (ok there is the Panasonc LF-1 & Leica) EVF on a compact.

Now if your used to high end Sony and Fuji EVF’s this is not as good but it’s the best yet in a compact and the camera is still very pocketable.  The other option to consider is the little Fuji X10 or X20 with its optical viewfinder but smaller sensor.

Still as I keep writing, more choice is good and the options keep growing.

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World Wide Photo Walk

Well it’s that time again, Scott Kelby has announced this years World Wide Photo Walk.

While it’s doubtful you get a stunning wining picture, it is fun to me up with fellow photographers, talk shop and maybe see something different about your city.

World Wide Photo Walk

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Nikon V1 – another fine job

Nikon V1 10mm f/2.8

Nikon V1 10mm f/2.8

Last week saw me commuting to Lincoln on the bicycle again, its only a 21 mile round trip and very enjoyable, but I also needed to do some personal photography requiring the equivalent of a 300mm field of view lens (on 35mm full frame).

Being on a bicycle with limited luggage space, the little Nikon V1 was perfect for this.

It seems every time I think of replacing the little Nikon V1 for something with either better image quality or better ergonomics a job comes up for which it is perfect for.

Come on Nikon, since the V1, the V2 and V3 have moved backwards, give us a Series 1 Pro. built in EVF and great ergonomics, with the image quality we have grown to love.

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Weather stops once in a lifetime opportunity

Battle of Britian Flight

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum this week flew their airworthy Lancaster Bomber to England.

On arrival in Bomber County, Lincolnshire, just before it touched down at RAF Coningsby it was due to meet up with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Red Arrows, and all of them would pass over the iconic Lincoln Cathedral.

I had arranged roof top access to one of the taller buildings in Lincoln and was all set to photograph this once in a lifetime event.  Unfortunately weather delayed their arrival and as they approached Lincolnshire a storm came up from the south forcing them to route direct for Coningsby, this storm also grounded the BBMF thus the event had to be cancelled.

These are the only two flying Lancasters in the world and they have a special connection with Lincoln and Lincolnshire.  I hope they can arrange to fly over the city again and I hope i’ll be ready.

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What should Aperture Users do?

Lightroom V5If your after an all in one DAM/RAW processor that enables none destructive editing there are only two products that you should consider these have been, Apples Aperture and Adobe’s Lightroom, both were released at the same time and both have advantages and disadvantages, I even know some photographers who use both.

This summer Apple announced that they would be ending there Aperture product.  Now they do have a replacement coming soon likely to be released together with there new OS this autumn but if its anything like there other software releases recently, its likely to be a step backwards with less functionality at the start.

With this in mind many users are now considering jumping to Adobe’s Lightroom.  Lightroom has always been my preferred product, but if your an Aperture user I would be tempted to wait and see what Apple’s replacement is like before jumping ship.

Adobe have announced that they will be releasing migration tools to help and so far they have released the following white paper:

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Photo Archive

Tintern AbbeyI know of a number of photographers who keep a photographic archive. This is not their backup, but a copy of their selects saved either onto a spare harddisk or in the cloud/internet.

The idea is that these are saved in a different format. Commonly used is JPeg but a growing number of photographers now use DNG.

So why not RAW or Tiff?

Well RAW is just that an unedited RAW file not your final image unless you also bundle into your archive the database for Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture.

RAW files are a proprietary format that may not be supported in the future.

TIFF is a good solution if you have the harddisk space, JPeg is smaller but lossy

I find the ideal compromise is DNG. Now this is a standard that Adobe control but it is open and the specification is well published so many program’s can read and view DNG’s.

So if you have a spare drive or a internet storage solution, save your favourite photos as Jpegs or in DNG. Just in case.

If it’s an old drive ask if you can store it at your parents or brother or sisters house. If you have more then one drive rotate them round.

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10 Tips for Adobe Photoshop CC

Terry White always has some great Photoshop tips. I remember how tough it was getting started and learning the basics, but this is a very good starter guide.

Before you do dive into using Photoshop, its a very good idea to get the Colour Space and Working Space, I have covered that in my blog before,here:

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