While we were in lockdown due to COVID-19 and I could not shoot at all, not even outdoor shoots, I have been shooting a few still-lifes.
With macro photography getting the focus and having enough depth of field are all big issues. These shots were taken handheld, the top shot with one of my Elinchrom flash heads and a small brolly, the second a little hotshoe flash on a light stand and a shoot through brolly.
They could all be better, I should have used a tripod, and the objects I chose to photograph were not perfectly clean, but I encourage you to have a go.
Last week was warm and sunny. I had a free day to shoot this week, so booked a model and took them to Hartsholme Park for a sunny days shooting.
After this was all arranged the weather forecast came in; -1 C wind chill with snow showers. Bang goes the idea of a model in a summer dress by the lake. Instead I need to borrow my wife’s long warm wool coat.
For outdoor shoots it always pays to have alternative ideas.
The day was also a learning experience. I was using a small light weight light stand, with a small high powered hotshot flash, and a radio trigger. The light modifier was a 90 cm shoot through umbrella. With the wind and weather this proved tricky, I should have brought a heavy lightstand, sandbags and switched out the umbrella for a small soft box.
Modular cameras have always been a big part of professional gear. Large and Medium format cameras were always highly modular as was the film based Canon F and Nikon F ranges.
Recently Sigma produced their very exciting fp modular camera. With the L mount from the L alliance you have access to the best Leica glass and more affordable glass from other manufactures. It is an interesting concept that deserves to succeed. This new model at 60 MP is quite a beast, and I can see if attracting landscape photographers and maybe a few product and studio cameras.
There is so much press over the last year that Nikon is doomed. Finally their recent results has resulted in their share price increasing and it was nice to see Nikon sweeping the board in the German Foto Community & Colour Foto awards.
Its difficult for large companies like Canon and Nikon who are market leaders in digital SLR’s switch to mirrorless, and many would say they are too late to catch Sony, but for existing Canon and Nikon users there is much to temp them with the current mirrorless bodies available from these two big brands.
For myself with a big investment in Nikkor glass, knowing it works well on the mirrorless Z system is something I’ll consider if I jump from the DSLR world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.