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  1. Today
  2. Bytesmiths

    Zuiko Digital 35-100mm ƒ2

    I got mine from BorrowLenses.com, on sale, for just $524! I think it is useful to prowl lens rental places for used gear. They rated it 3.5 out of 5, and I was a bit worried about its condition, but when I got it, I only noticed the tripod foot scuffed on the bottom and a number scratched into the hood; otherwise, it was like new. I'll certainly buy used from BorrowLenses.com again! (They still rent the 4/3rds 90-250/2.8, which means they will probably sell it someday…)
  3. atpaula

    Museu do Amanhã

    You mean like this:
  4. Clactonian

    Museu do Amanhã

    I wonder if it would have been even more dramatic if you were closer to the museum with that wonderful lens Aguinaldo.
  5. Clactonian

    Not what I was expecting

    You're right Chris. Second shot ...
  6. atpaula

    Museu do Amanhã

    Rio's newest museum. Museu do Amanhã (Tomorrow Museum). I've posted it taken a while ago with a 18mm f/3.5 Zeiss Distagon. This one was taken with the 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E last weekend. Both with the Df. Thank you for looking. Merry Christmas for you all!!!!!!
  7. Clactonian

    What Did I learn In 2018?

    Despite my beef Mike, I actually enjoy camera clubs, and belong to two. I've met some good friends and one or two of us go on interesting photographic jaunts occasionally. We have also had some really interesting speakers. Whatever, it get's me out of the house!
  8. Clactonian

    What Did I learn In 2018?

    Just to be clear Dallas, I'm not knocking the professionals that run the courses. They are all trying to earn a living. It's the amateurs that attend those courses and then parade their photographs as original masterpieces when they are nothing of the sort.
  9. Mike G

    What Did I learn In 2018?

    You will note that I didn’t say it was going to be the cheap option! Mike, that is the reason I’ve never joined a photo club! It used to be that the judging to be biased towards the club elders or so I’m told. Plus I’m really not a clubby person!
  10. crowecg

    Not what I was expecting

    Excellent shot, but you do have to point it at wildlife if that is what you are wanting.😁
  11. Dallas

    What Did I learn In 2018?

    Thanks Mike. I have heard about the E-M-1X but I have also heard that it will cost twice the price of a Mk II, which is going to mean that it needs to be that revolutionary camera I spoke about. I have nothing official on it, but I suspect that this might be the one that does handheld sensor shift for enormous megapixel results. If they develop a 24MP MFT sensor that shifts to produce a near 100MP image with the same kind of quality we can expect from current sensors, oh boy... Imagine they do it with a Foveon sensor. 😮 Thanks! Yes, I see a lot of that replicated stuff here too, especially with wedding photographers which drives me nuts because they literally cannot "see" anything other than the manufactured shots their instructors have showed them how to take. Nothing original, ever. The one thing I have never done is sell my safaris as workshops or learning events. They are really just get-togethers with like minded souls who have a strong appreciation for nature and photographing it with others who enjoy the same things. I'm always on hand to help anybody who is not an experienced photographer get better shots, but that's entirely secondary to the purpose of going on the safari. The best part about joining one of my trips is that you will not pay any more than you would if you booked it yourself. This is not something that any of the bigger names in wildlife photo safaris can offer - they have to sell them as workshops to justify their own costs of joining (which can be excessive, especially if they are not based here). I am going to be branching into two distinctively different kinds of safari in the near future. One will be aimed at the more affordable market and the other at the exclusive, charter market (I am making inroads with chartering small planes to get to specific destinations - I have great contacts in the industry!). Stay tuned for more info in 2019. On gear folly? Absolutely, if you can afford to spend money on something that gives you pleasure without impacting on other areas of your life, then you should spend it. This is why the 3rd Apple monitor idea is flaming hot for me right now! I don't need it. I want it.
  12. Clactonian

    What Did I learn In 2018?

    Your stoic resistance to GAS is understandable as the breadwinner, and I can recall similar self restraint with my family responsibilities over the years. Now well past retirement age and with some disposable income to play with I am able to give into my craving from time to time (well quite often actually) but whilst still maintaining some modicum of restraint. I know that I actually appreciate my equipment more now, knowing that I have had to be patient over the years and that nothing is going to suffer as a consequence of my purchases. So what did I learn photographically this year? A couple of things both relating to club photography. Firstly that the internal club competition league is a farce and therefore to jump ship, stop trying to please judges and their random scoring methods, and to take and print photographs that actually please me. I still participate in the competitions but on my terms and not others. Secondly to avoid the growing trend amongst club photographers of using 'bought' photographs. More and more professional photographers are now leading courses, either day shoots or over several days (yes a bit like your safaris), taking amateurs to established view points or locations, so we are seeing more and more of the same images all set-up by the professional. The amateur just presses the shutter and his tripod is in the same holes left by the previous photographer. The same problem exists with studio nights where the lighting is set up by the professional, the model is posed and the amateur takes his/her turn to press the shutter. As part of the learning process this may be fine but for heavens sake stop trying to pass the resulting images off as your own work. Oh and as a third point, to burn the soapbox on which I'm frequently to be found standing! Seasonal greetings to you Dallas and to all our colleagues on Fotozones.
  13. Mike G

    What Did I learn In 2018?

    A very interesting read Dallas, sorry to hear that the evil doers tried to get at you, but good that you came out stronger than before! You say that a new camera is not needed, but have you seen the new EM-1X, which might be very suitable for your safaris? I admire your resistance to GAS, but I’m sure you will succumb eventually! Rock on matey
  14. Dallas

    What Did I learn In 2018?

    It’s an interesting question, fully deserving of an honest answer since this has been by far the busiest year of my 10 year long stint as a freelance photographer. The first thing I learned is that when you have a satisfied customer your enthusiasm to satisfy them even more intensifies. The better you are at producing what they need to fulfil their mission, the likelier they are to keep coming back to you and also referring you to others. This leads you to find new ways to impress them at the next incidence, even if it’s just an incremental change from before. For instance, if I am dealing with a client who needs a particular product photographed for an online store, I won’t just give them what they asked for. I’ll give them a little bit extra, even if it takes longer and they don’t use it. This could be a slightly different angle or a variety of shots they hadn’t even considered. By giving them a little extra they see that they are not just dealing with a guy who only cares about making a sale, but about a guy who is taking an interest in their success too. Happy client = happy photographer. The second thing I learned is that I don’t need a new camera when the old ones are still working fine and show no signs of dying. If I was to give in to the desire to get the newest camera I would only be fooling myself that it would make any difference to the images I make. Unless… …that camera was so revolutionary that it would make my job much easier. How so? Well, at the moment the bulk of my work is real estate for one particular estate agency. I started doing work for them in March this year and since then I have shot over 250 homes for them. The only change in my equipment has been a single lens acquisition (written about here). Everything else is still the same. Olympus E-M1 body with L-plate and that old Sunwayfoto carbon fibre tripod I got several years ago. The new lens helped a lot with flare, but the thing that made my job move from taking on average 1 hour per listing to under 20 minutes was learning how to use my camera and software more effectively. I found out through practice that I get better HDR results from 3 frames than I do from 5 or more. Sounds crazy but it’s absolutely true. Of the three different HDR engines I have been using (Lightroom, Enfuse and Aurora) all of them do better with fewer frames. Adding more frames just takes longer, especially when you’re shooting darker spaces. Sometimes a dimly lit room would require up to 30 seconds of exposure for the super bright frame, but when I put that frame into the HDR process, the results became less realistic (and realistic HDR is what I am after). 3 frames works better than 5 or more. Bank it. So, back on the question of getting a better camera. If I could find one that does a better job of HDR in-camera, that might be a good reason to invest in it. Thus far in my investigations for such an animal ,the only candidate appears to be the Sony A7 or A6500 series which I have seen doing pretty amazing in-camera HDR jpgs on a social media group I joined (just to look, not participate, mind). However, I wouldn’t buy the Sony for reasons related to my dislike for that company, so something else would have to come along from a maker I could trust. I looked (and am still looking) at the Sigma SD Quattro series for my property work. There is something about the Foveon sensor IQ of those cameras that really hits all the receptors in my brain. Not readily available here where I live, but the importers can bring one in for me. The price is keen and the lens selection from Sigma is definitely enticing. The downsides are that the camera is a bit clunky to use according to some reviewers, plus the battery life is not great. Also on the downside is that there is no articulating screen which is an absolute life saver for RE work. Using the Sigma on RE would certainly slow me down which in this game is not a good thing. I want a camera to speed up my process so that I can cover more properties in a day, not go the other way. That said, I don’t intend to restrict my work to only RE. My aim is to get stuck into the hospitality market because it overlaps extremely well with my safari planning and marketing ambitions. The Sigma would definitely be a camera worth considering for that type of work. Shooting for hotels is very different than shooting for estate agents. So why not look at some of the other big names like Canon and Nikon you might be asking? Good question. Canon and Nikon both brought out serious mirrorless cameras this year. I wouldn’t consider using a DSLR again so those new mirrorless models did briefly catch my interest. However, that interest was soon quelled when I saw the local pricing. Ouch. Sorry. Thanks, but no thanks. If I was getting commissioned to shoot for major hospitality outlets every week then yes, it might make sense from an eco-system point of view (think availability of tilt shift lenses), but right now it’s a lot of money spent with a non-commensurate return. Not once in the decade of being a freelancer has a single client asked me what equipment I shoot with, so why spend more when spending more doesn’t translate into earning more? The Canon and Nikon mirrorless systems therefore remain a non-starter for me. The next thing I learned is that while gear is necessary, you have to separate the emotion from it and look at obtaining it pragmatically. There comes a point in your life as a photographer when the realisation of just how much folly and irrational thinking is tied up in gear acquisition leads you to question every next purchase. I think I finally reached that point of realisation sometime this year. Right now I am wrestling with the notion of buying into the Godox portable lighting system. I already have two great little Olympus speedlights and three powerful a/c powered strobes, but the advent of lithium battery powered lighting opens up a whole other playing field, especially in property photography where working with a/c strobes and underpowered speedlights is more of a hindrance than a benefit. I’m about 90% sure that I need to buy at least one Godox AD200 unit before the start of 2019. The 10% that isn’t convinced is telling me that I should rather spend the money on an Apple 27” monitor to match the other 2 currently on my desk. That monitor sure would be awesome to have and look at, but it doesn’t add anything to my quiver of arrows as a producer. The Godox AD200 does. Do I want to follow folly or common sense? On a very personal and non photographic note, something else I learned this year is that there are people out there in the world who are irredeemably evil and who will allow their avarice to wreck havoc in the lives of those of us who unwittingly fall into their web of deceit. But the havoc only happens if we let these evil ones get the better of us after they have robbed us. I had something very bad happen to me this year that could have altered the course of my life in a seriously negative trajectory. Trust me when I say that that it was very, very bad. However, this thing that happened changed me in a profoundly positive manner and I can literally feel myself emerging from the gloom that had initially beset me after its occurrence. I’m awake. I feel truly awake for the first time in my life. Maybe the sucker punch was what I needed to cause this awakening to happen? What this episode taught me is that I don’t have to let poor circumstances or affairs dictate tomorrow to me. Yesterday I can do nothing about, but today is mostly in my hands and the things I do today can shape the outcome of tomorrow. That’s worth living for. I read somewhere recently that you’re only a loser when you give up trying. Amen to that. As we steadily approach the end of 2018 I would just like to sincerely thank those of you who are still visiting and posting on Fotozones. It’s still here and the message is still the same; we share what we do for the love of photography. Tell me about what you learned in 2018. I hope that you have a very blessed Christmas and Hannukah this festive season. 2019 will see me leading my first safari on my own and it promises to be the start of many more to come, which I will most definitely be telling you about on this website, so don’t unsubscribe! Take care everybody! Dallas
  15. Ed's Notes: a beautiful image showing contrasts of warm and cold colours, manmade and natural elements. Taken from this series.

    © Alex Duskman

  16. Yesterday
  17. Clactonian

    Not what I was expecting

    Thanks Vivion. We were blessed with wonderful light before it clouded over and we missed the sunset. I will definitely be printing this one as you suggest. Now what paper shall I use?
  18. vivionm

    Not what I was expecting

    Definitely one for printing, framing, and hanging.
  19. Clactonian

    Not what I was expecting

    I recently bought a Sigma 150-600 sport lens so that I could join my pals on wildlife shoots. Here is the result of my first outing ... not quite what I was expecting! 'Drifting on the Tide'
  20. scenario

    Dove with extension tub

    had been shooting birds in flight with fill flash flash did fire but was pointing other way have since pulled some green colour out of background looks better Grahame
  21. Mike G

    Dove with extension tub

    I thought you liked them dark? But too dark for me to appreciate!
  22. Dallas

    Dove with extension tub

    What is in the background to cause it to go dark?
  23. scenario

    Dove with extension tub

    added an extension tube to my 300pf backgroubd went dark Comments please
  24. Last week
  25. Hugh_3170

    B&W at BG @500mm f/4G

    Love the interplay of the light and the shadow areas and the timing of the image. On the other hand: Bloody cell phones!!
  26. atpaula

    B&W at BG @500mm f/4G

    Thank you for looking.
  27. Dallas

    Illumination of objects of architecture

    Very nice work, Alex. I particularly like #3 and #7 best.
  28. Alex Duskman

    Illumination of objects of architecture

    The city is preparing for the Universiade 2019 Railway station - Krasnoyarsk Central 1 _DSF1705 by Aleksander Pustovarov, on Flickr Grand Concert Hall Philharmonic 2. _DSF2200 by Aleksander Pustovarov, on Flickr Vinogradov Bridge - from the city center to the Tatyshev island 3 _DSF2219 by Aleksander Pustovarov, on Flickr Communal bridge - the main bridge of the city 4 _DSF6917 by Aleksander Pustovarov, on Flickr 5 _DSF7770 by Aleksander Pustovarov, on Flickr 6 _DSF7743 by Aleksander Pustovarov, on Flickr 7 _DSF5837 by Aleksander Pustovarov, on Flickr
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  • Headliners

    • It’s an interesting question, fully deserving of an honest answer since this has been by far the busiest year of my 10 year long stint as a freelance photographer.
       
      The first thing I learned is that when you have a satisfied customer your enthusiasm to satisfy them even more intensifies. The better you are at producing what they need to fulfil their mission, the likelier they are to keep coming back to you and also referring you to others. This leads you to find new ways to impress them at the next incidence, even if it’s just an incremental change from before.
       
      For instance...
        • Like
      • 6 replies
    • POTW #2.11 Illumination Of Objects Of Architecture
      Ed's Notes: a beautiful image showing contrasts of warm and cold colours, manmade and natural elements. Taken from this series. 
      • 0 replies
    • The Lion Whisperer & His Black Leopards
      Kevin Richardson is a tireless campaigner for lions and other wildlife here in South Africa. He runs a sanctuary for these animals just outside of Johannesburg and next year on the day before our safari to Sabi Sabi begins I will be taking our small group on a day trip to visit this sanctuary (and hopefully meet Kevin himself). 
      • 0 replies
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