Coffee Ratios

Classic Coffee and a Leica

With COVID-19 lockdown continuing I have been using the time to improve my coffee brewing.

Mainly espresso and pour over, but even the odd French press (cafetière).

Coffee recipes are often expressed in various terms, scoops of coffee to cups of water, or fluid ounces (often not explaining whether American or imperial). Oh and what is a cup. In Europe a cup of coffee can be anything from a 4 Oz to a 6 Oz cup. In America in fact the west in general it just seems to keep getting bigger. The biggest issue with measuring volume is the fact that different coffee can have more volume than other, plus it depends on grind size.

Most common now is a ratio by weight, for espresso 1:2, one part coffee to two parts output. So for example 14 grams of coffee (an Italian double), and have 28 grams of espresso.

For pour over 1:15 is often the starting place. So one part of coffee to fifteen parts of water.

So ratio by weight is better but who wants to do maths before making coffee, I much prefer grams of coffee per litre of water, a litre of water being 1000 grams.

As a general rule I start at around 60 g per litre for a pour over and maybe a little more for a French press depending on how I am feeling. It makes the calculations easy, a large mug is generally 250 ml so four mugs is a litre, 30 g for two mugs, 15 g for one mug. Also I grind a little finer for a V60 when making amounts up to 250 ml, a little courser for my Kalita Wave, and courser still for my Chemex when brewing over 400 ml.

Knowing that 1 g equals 1 ml of water you can figure out the size of your favourite coffee cup and using the grams per litre measure quickly make yourself a cup of quality coffee first thing in the morning.

Nikon Z9 – Nikon’s first Professional Mirrorless Camera

Its been rumoured for a while and Nikon this week confirmed that it is coming this year.

I expect it tested fully at the Olympics. A lot of people seem to be expecting a D850 type replacement around the £3000 – £4000 mark. While I fully expect a D850 type mirrorless camera to appear this is not it.

I expect this to be similar to the D6 and a similar price, £6000 – £7000; this is going to shock a lot of people but I expect the tech in this will trickle down to cheaper models. I also do not expect it to be a megapixel monster, I suspect 40MP at the most if its going to have the kind of performance News, Sports and Wildlife Photographers need.

NSW – Reworking Old Photographs

Candy – Art Nude: Nikon D200

Its not something I do often, but with software advances, it can sometimes be interesting to take old photographs; the original raw images, and re-edit them in the latest software.

Adobe Camera RAW

Lightroom has come a long way since I last edited this black and white set of Candy, that I took at Worksop Studio back in 2007.

Most of these were processed in an early Adobe Camera RAW. Fourteen years is a long time in software development and the improvements were considerable. It was also interesting to see how I have developed as a photographer. I feel my work now is of a considerable higher standard.

Winter Walks

Ted the Greyhound

For the later part of this winter, between the recent snows we now are seeing the odd warm sunny day.

Being able to walk in the sunshine and take a few pictures has been extremely pleasant.

Local village church

So far as we are still in lockdown, so the walks have been just myself and Ted the Greyhound. Hopefully when lock down ends the Lincolnshire Greyhound Walks group will be able to restart and we can have some nice walks through the countryside of Lincolnshire.

Village Walks

With the COVID-19 lockdown version 3 here in the UK, the only photography I have been doing is when taking the hound for a walk.

My little Leica M10 is a great walk around camera, small and light.

According to the governments new schedule we are coming out of lock down and will be able to shoot again in the studio from the middle of April, so I have started to book some models. These are shoots that I cancelled from the end of year shoots.

Perspective Control – In Camera

Being able to correct perspective is not not new. Its been a feature in programs like Adobe’s Lightroom for a while, which I have blogged about before.

Leica are not always thought of as being the most high tech of camera companies. People forget that they invented 35mm photography, autofocus and the first full frame mirrorless professional mirrorless camera the SL (I know Sony users are going to argue that one).

The latest firmware update brought about perspective control in camera, when in live view can preview what its doing. If you shoot jpeg then its baked into the file, but RAW shooters will find the correction added into the DNG data fields that you can choose to use or not in Lightroom.

Unfortunately the original Leica M10 does not support this feature as its missing a key piece of hardware the horizontal level sensor, but if you have a M10P or the new Monochrom its available now as a firmware update.

For people like me there is always post production in Lightroom so no hardship.

Leica M new firmware – FIRMWARE (2.20.48.38) LEICA M10

While reading up on the new L mount 28mm lens from Leica, and its quite a lens, I saw that Leica had released a new update for my camera the M10.

Leica M8 sample – Boudoir

As I have frequently mentioned smaller companies like Leica and Fuji are very good at supporting their old cameras. Remember to keep checking for updates.

https://uk.leica-camera.com/Service-Support/Support/Downloads?category=93710&subcategory=139034&type=108942&language=all

Keeping Reptiles

Timmy the Greyhound

I have kept, cats, dogs, birds, fish, hamsters and snakes.

Currently we have a Ted the Greyhound, two birds, and two snakes; Oz the Corn snake and Bertie the baby boa.

Of all of these reptiles are both the easiest and the hardest. The advantage of the types of reptiles I keep is that they do not need to feed, often for weeks at a time, a big bowl of water can last several days.

Some reptiles are more difficult than others, please do you research, some of my vivariums are over two hundred cm by ninety cm. Not everyone can afford the space for these sizes of vivarium, and if your keeping lizards or some large pythons you will need to dedicate a large room.

The key to keeping them is to do your research. You need to give them the room they need. You need to know the temperature they need to be kept at and whether you need to change that temperature during the day and night and by season.

Often you need to provide a high ambient temperature, a hot spot and a cold area.

Next humidity. This can be a challenge, pick your vivarium carefully, glass, plastic and wood are your options. You also need to consider your substrate. Does it need to increase humidity or decrease it. Will it cause issue with feeding, does your reptile like to borrow?

Lighting, some want heat but not light, others need a UVB source, but also want to be able to hide from the light sometimes.

Bertie the Boa, less then one year old

Lastly making the reptile feel safe; hides in the cold area and hot area is a minimum. Too much glass can make your pet feel exposed, does it need a dark area to hide in.

As I said, research is key. Choose the right pet and know your subject to give them a good life, and you can give each other years of pleasure.

Having a mini project – Lamp Posts

Leica M10, 50mm Sumilux-M

While I shoot professionally, mainly corporate and events plus model portfolios and the odd wedding I also try to have a walk around Lincoln at least a couple of times a week.

Its a very photogenic little city.

I often have a number of projects on the go, my main ones are drinks and doors at the moment, plus people on the on the phone, but I also have a lamp post and signs project. Simple little projects like this give you a focus when you are lacking in direction.

Its an easy thing to do and can lead to some interesting future ideas and keeps your interest when you need some inspiration.