Early morning dog walks

Walking Ted the Greyhound early one morning with the Leica M over my shoulder I spotted the moon coming out of the clouds.

As I walked over the fields I kept looking for some nice foreground, just as the scene started to improve the clouds came in and spoilt it somewhat.

Still I got a few pleasing images.

NEC – The Photography & Video Show 2024

This weekend was the biggest photography show in the UK.

The last time we visited it was a stop to charge the car on the way, as there was no real charging at the NEC if you were arriving by EV. This time was very different, we booked a spot in a dedicated EV carpark where every space had a slow 7kWh slow charger.

The trip down was uneventful and we arrived, parked up, set the charge limit to 90% and plugged in and left the car to charge.

First up was the Nikon stand and I got my hand on the Z9, Z8 and the ZF for the first time. Amazing cameras.

Most of the big players where there, and despite what you may hear on social media, stands like OM (Olympus) were heaving with interested parties. Looks like there is lots of life left in MicroFourThirds.

Many of the stands had demonstrations, and we spotted Gavin Hoey from Adorama on the Godox stand.

Adobe had Lightroom demonstrations, Macro demonstrations on the OM stand and a number of lighting stands had some interesting subjects to photograph.

I managed to get to the Fuji stand and tried out the X100VI, nice but still a few issues if you have large hands and are used to the big bright optical viewfinder of a Leica M. I’ll still hold off. The new Fuji GFX 100II was a different matter, this camera is very impressive. Despite the poor light in the hall its autofocus was quick and reliable.

If you like small cameras like the Fuji X100 but want something with a little more potential, cameras like the OM5 with a small 17mm prime would make a great everyday carry, and with the show offers, was available body, lens and a grip and batteries for only £1000, that’s £600 under the Fuji X100VI. Something to think about.

So did I buy anything, well yes I did, a book about Peter Lindbergh to inspire my fashion photography and a new rucksack. Dragging a camera bag and laptop back into work is a bit of a bind, so I treated myself to a Peak design rucksack that can hold my IT equipment but also my camera equipment.

What do you take pictures of?

While, architecture and landscapes take up some of my time, it is mainly people photography that’s the bulk of my work.

A dog walk in the country does produce the odd pretty landscape but people photography has a great deal of variety.

Street photography is challenging and fun, though now with the day job in IT and working from home, I do not get to indulge as often. One thing I do try and do regularly is some black and white fashion photography in the studio.

Some simple portraiture is always fun.

Working out doors can be a challenge with the British weather.

Outdoor work can often be more models in overcoats rather than pretty dresses in the sun.

Sometimes you have to bring your own sun like here with a flash to the front and a gelled flash pretending to be the low sun coming thought the trees.

Either way, from portraits to weddings, to corporate headshots, people photography is a wide ranging subject.

Technology moves on – The death of the SLR

Press, action, wildlife, the driving forces that continually move forward photography.

Travelling light – Ebony 45S

Folding 10×8 single shot cameras were used by the press at first, then as technology moved on cameras and film got smaller and smaller.

Large format press cameras went from single frame to double sided film holders, enabling a camera man to get two shots quickly.

Medium format came along, smaller and lighter, and amazingly twelve frames available on those twin lens press cameras.

Leica revolutionised photography with the invention of 35mm film photography. For press and action. , this meant smaller lighter cameras and thirty six shots to a roll. The small rangefinder became king.

With the Korean War western photojournalists were mixing with colleagues from the east who had these new fangled Japanese SLR’s. The Nikon F was for its day small light, had a vast array of lens available to it and could take a beating.

From then on Japanese 35mm SLR ruled the day.

Now with rumours flying of the end of production of the SLR and its lens, it will like the Leica M rangefinder become a niche product, as the world again moves on to mirrorless. With video now being a key part of news mirrorless cameras make more sense, and with cameras like the Canon R3, Nikon Z9, sports and news photographers have mirrorless options that can match and some would argue now beat the best SLR’s out there.

Some will always prefer the optical viewfinder, as do I with my Leica M10, but when shooting fashion my Nikon Z7 has become my camera of choice.

Importing files to Adobe Lightroom Classic

Lightroom import dialogue box can be confusing, there are two options, simple and advance. I have on occasion gotten my import wrong myself, generally importing files to the wrong location but its an easy fix.bad credit loans uk direct lenders

I can think of a couple of other ways of importing photographs but rarely use them. Recently on YouTube I saw this and thought it was a easy way to import if you struggle with the other methods.

The video shows you how but basically create a folder in Lightroom where you want the files to go and then when highlighting that folder select import to this folder.

Simple and easy.

I still use the normal import methods, I have presents that apply things like basic develop settings and metadata which is the advantage of the normal import methods. Creating import, development and location presets to get a lot of the leg work done in advance can really speed up your work flow.

Colour Grading

Colour or Black & White?

Or shall we say what colour?

In cinema, colour grading is a big thing to give a mood to a scene. If you watch the matrix movies the colour grading for the scenes in the matrix and outside in the ‘real’ world are very different.

I do occasionally colour grade some one off images but rarely.

But for my last shoot of last year, a lifestyle, and lingerie set, I did some extensive colour grading. The smart modern kitchen set suited it well so I toned the shadows a steely blue, while just giving the highlights a hint of extra warm tone.

With one set of images I combined some in camera work with post. This image above has the cool colour grading of the first but I also used half CTO on a small soft box. The majority of the light in this image is from a large shoot through umbrella, there is then a small soft box with a orange gel on it, to give the warm sunlight look.

With these first two images the colour grading while noticeable is relatively subtle. In this image above the colour grading is more more obvious, its selective colour saturation and grading which gives it a monochrome look.

Lastly a standard black and white image. Even with this, using digital capture there are lots of options available. The image is still made up of the three colour channels and by changing the amount of each and their ratio to each other you can dramatically change an image.

A vintage look. What would you have done?

Z8 Rumours – now coming thick and fast

The rumours for new cameras from Nikon are now coming thick and fast. The Z8 is the one most are expecting next but we are also due a refresh for the Z6 and Z7.

While we have had the Z30, the last major camera release was the Z9. Its interesting what people want from a Z8 and from what I am hearing, a lot of people are going to be disappointed.

  • Mini Z9
  • High megapixel studio / landscape
  • Super high performance, low light low megapixel action / news camera

The first option, a mini Z9 is going to a difficult one for Nikon, it will have to have less video functions, over heating in the smaller body would be a major issue, plus you do not want to to match too closely the Z9 or loose sales of your flagship model.

High megapixel camera studio and landscape camera. Now here we get to a difficult position. While the crowd is still calling for more and more megapixels, at 50 mp diffraction starts to soften your images at f/11, going much higher then it will kick in at f/8 or less. Not what most of us want. Going much higher than 50 – 60 is going to start getting difficult to use unless you switch to medium format, but staying around 50 and not moving to at least 61MP like the new Sony A7R iv is going upset people, even through practically there is little difference between 50 and 60MP.

Super high performance low Rez camera with high lowlight performance. Canon have a good model here with the R3, and while the Z6 comes close it’s not a pro spec camera. For now it seems Nikon see the D5 as the camera for these people, but will the Z8 be the option for them?