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Showing content with the highest reputation since 26/04/12 in Posts

  1. 15 points
    The older I get the more apparent it becomes to me that in spite of what I think I know, I actually know very little about the world and human nature. I’m referring of course to recent feelings expressed by many members of Fotozones relating to the way things have been going here lately. There are some folks who are happy, but there are also some folks who are not happy with the way Fotozones has been moving. A lot of this is because of me. What it boils down to is that I have been perceived as being very negative towards Nikon and very dismissive towards DSLR cameras in general. This is seen as divisive and counter-productive. I guess on reflection there is truth in that, although to be very honest with you all, I had not intended for it to be the case at all. I guess in my excitement with exploring the mirrorless world I have become a bit dismissive of other things, which as a photography site owner is not a good thing to do. Everybody has a right to use whatever equipment they want to use and to talk about it to others, but on forums like the one we have here, it’s important to remember that we may not all share the same views, nor do we share the same tastes. We need to be respectful of the other person’s choices, even if we don’t agree with them. For site owners like me it’s a delicate balancing act and I have managed it for a long time, but now, because of the change in dynamic between my photographic journey and that of others who have followed Nikongear into Fotozones, it’s important that I continue to balance things out, especially in the forums where I often find myself at odds with other members. I fear I may have wobbled on the high wire recently. So, to all those members who I may have offended with my remarks in recent times about the gear you use or the way I perceive developments at Nikon, I am truly sorry. I will henceforth cease and desist with all such commentary and focus instead on doing what I intended to do with Fotozones in the first place - make it a great photography website and resource for as many people as possible. Andrea and I are working on a new forum policy and I am hoping to get that wrung out before I go away on safari in just over a week’s time. It won’t be radically different, but it will at least cover some areas of contention, specifically how we moderate and why we moderate. I am looking to make the forum more independent of my influence than has been the case in the past. I’d like it to be run on a committee basis where each gear zone is managed by a person who champions that brand in a positive way, but understands that in doing so they shouldn’t be dismissive of any other brands. If we can get this right then we will be well on the way towards regaining our mojo as the coolest photography forum to hang out on. If you’d like to have a say in what the forum policy should cover, please chime in either on this thread (or by PM to Andrea and I if you’d prefer to remain out of the limelight). Once again, to those members who have felt alienated or offended by my comments in recent times, please accept my sincerest apologies and help me to work towards a better Fotozones by participating positively on the site. Fotozones is my life and my promise to you all is that I will dedicate myself to making it the best one there is for all photographers out there. Peace, brothers and sisters.
  2. 14 points
    (powered by 210 teeth...)
  3. 13 points
    Oh dear, that is extremely sad indeed. I have often thought of her of late and wondered as to her absence on FZ, but many names drifted as new ones appeared on the NG>FZ swap, so I just assumed she was one of the drifters, unlikely though I thought that might be. Her preference for working in B&W and her concern for the environment meant that she and I shared much the same reasoning for the way we photograph things, although I wish I were even half the artist at it that she was. I have had contact with her in the past when she asked off-forum to buy one of my prints (which was indeed a huge compliment coming from a photographic artist of her calibre), but of course I would have none of that "purchase" stuff and simply sent her the print. So once more, for Carolyn:
  4. 12 points
    Here is B shooting A and C shooting B on the Titus Canyon adventure. We had so much fun!! (From a 2012 thread).
  5. 11 points
    I already posted one image from this series in the "favourites from 2014" thread, here, post #49. These are some of the remaining from the series, taken in November. I'm sure there is much more exploration to do here. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 This was a tough scene to get and I missed the bit of flare on the right. 13
  6. 10 points
    The reality of climate change is very real in the Philippines and the immediate effect of this is apparent in the changed weather pattern. In the past, April to May typically bring forth fiery colored sunsets but this has not been the case last year and this year. I am currently vacationing in Bohol (Central Philippines) and as I have done in the past, late afternoon is spent at the beach or at a hillside where I can capture the scenery as the sun sets. The attached photo shows a different kind of sunset. Despite being untypical as it was a cloudy day (again), nature has a way of bringing out different colors, hues and shades that evokes feelings of awe, gratitude and praise. Long after humanity perishes from this earth through its own folly, nature's beauty and majesty will continue, as in a sunset. The photo was taken with a Nikon D500 and a Nikkor 70-200mm f4 at Base ISO 100. Other than size reduction, the photo is straight out of the camera.
  7. 10 points
    I had the pleasure to spend a few days at the Jigokudani Monkey Park (near Nagano). It was a very special experience to be so close to the Snow Monkeys i.e. Japanese Macaque. The surroundings are a bit of a mixture between nature and man made. There are many hot springs in this area and the monkeys enjoy these a lot. The man made part are the pools that are built and maintained by humans. The monkeys however are absolutely free to roam around. They come in early in the morning and return to the hills in the afternoon depending on the outside temperatures. The colder it is the earlier they return to the hills in order to dry completely before temperatures drop even more during the night. Shooting these monkeys in the snow was challenge by itself. forget about all automatic modes ... either shoot manual or fail ... and this was only the start of the trip .. shooting white cranes or swans during snowfall with a white background was something that needed some getting used to. Images of this to come later. Nuff said ... here are some images that I hope you like ... I would really appreciate comments and honest opinions. Especially on the matter of post processing I am interested in every thought. I jumped ship from Lightroom to Capture One (I like LR as a tool but I am so sick of Adobe's company policies) so feedback on potential processing improvements as well as on the images themselves is very welcome! Cheers Chris PS: You find ~20 more images here #1 Monkey Cuteness 1 ... On the second day we were blessed with a full day of snowfall. The snow in the fur of the monkeys was the icing on the cake. #2 Monkey Cuteness 2 #3 Monkey Cuteness 3 ... but even without the snow falling heavily there were incredible opportunities #4 Monkey Action 1 ... but don't you dare to consider them monkeys pets ... they can be very aggressive and there is a strict hierarchy amongst them. Not every monkey is allowed in the pools at all times and not every monkey may dare to approach a more senior monkey. #5 Monkey Action 2 ... what looks like Mr. Phelps heading towards his 100th gold medal was actually a senior monkey who discovered a teen monkey what was -not- supposed to be in the pool #6 Monkey Family 1 ... No need for words ... Every time I look at sceneries like that all I do is smile smile smile ... How cold must a heart be that does any harm to such animals? #7 Monkey Family 2 #8 Monkey Family 3 #9 Monkey Business 1 ... Sitting on a tree watching strange relatives with weird devices... at least the food is tasty #10 Monkey Business 2 ... Sitting in the pool watching strange relatives with weird devices ... and not even food they have ... #11 Monkey Business 3 ... Ahh ... there is food in the pool! #12 Monkey Farewell ... where only did they learn this? *scnr* :-D
  8. 10 points
  9. 10 points
    Here is Caro pointing the way out of Titus Canyon (from a 2012 thread).
  10. 10 points
  11. 10 points
    This buffalo lay dying, its spine broken and encased in mud was one of 2 victims of a lion pride attack the evening before. He eventually fell victim to crocodiles later that night. Anthropomorphising here, one could almost imagine the Ox-pecker paying it's last respects to this hapless beast. Looking carefully one can also see a tear in this daga boys eye. South Luangwa Nat Park- Zambia. D3s 500 f/4 VRII 1/200s f/5.6 ISO800, BB from vehicle, slight crop for comp, levels, curves, lumo mask in ACR & PSCC. C & C most welcome Cheers Marc
  12. 10 points
    No bells, no whistles, no frills but stubble...
  13. 9 points
    I haven't posted in a while but thought I share a few of my latest images of African wild life. This is the part that covers lions at night ... I'll post more later. All these images have been taken from within an overnight hide where we entered at 2:00 in the afternoon and were picked up the other morning at 9:00 ... It was an exercise in patience and quietness but it was amazing experience. Cheers Chris #1 ISO6400, 1/125s, f/2.8, 160mm #2 ISO3200, 1/200s, f/2.8, 70mm #3 ISO3200, 1/200s, f/2.8, 58mm #4 ISO3200, 1/250s, f/2.8, 135mm #5 ISO6400, 1/500s, f/2.8, 70mm #6 ISO3200, 1/250s, f/2.8, 38mm
  14. 9 points
    Finally! I got a picture of a Pileated Woodpecker from our deck. Overcast and flat light, but for once the bird stuck around long enough for me to catch it in a fleeting perch on a dead branch. They normally zoom by into the brush next to the house, or alight just long enough for me to imagine that I hear Woody Woodpecker’s famous laugh before they fly off. Not the greatest picture, but a small personal victory
  15. 9 points
    About once every decade it snows almost to the valley floor here at Gretna in Tasmania. This morning was one of those days.
  16. 9 points
    Mongo has photographed many of these birds but none as spear-like in the body or dagger-like beaked as this one. This bird was so pointy that Mongo almost cut himself while post processing this. D4s, AFS II 600 f4 @f8, ISO 400, 1/2000 (view large)
  17. 9 points
    Driving Biking Skating Running Walking Standing at f22 looks like someone sneezed on my sensor ...
  18. 9 points
    Alan, I think posting B&W landscapes here is a great idea. This image form Maui is one I discussed with Carolyn:
  19. 9 points
    Number 9 Death is the number 1 killer in the world. Number 8 Life is sexually transmitted. Number 7 Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die. Number 6 Men have two emotions: hungry and horny, and they can't tell them apart. If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich. Number 5 Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the internet and they won't bother you for weeks, months, maybe years. Number 4 Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing. Number 3 All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism. Number 2 In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal. Number 1 Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow. ...and as someone recently said to me: Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.
  20. 9 points
  21. 9 points
    Here is the first is a series of short tutorials on various lens-related topics, in particular as they relate to close-up and macro photography, in this case focus-stacking as well. Let me know how you like them, and please offer suggestions. I am working to find a way to introduce more people to DSLR photography and, believe it or not, a lot of them don’t read…. Much.
  22. 9 points
  23. 8 points
  24. 8 points
    Teekay. Tasmania, 27th February, 2019. Paper negative (2004 expired Ilfospeed 1.1M paper), Neue Görlitzer Camera Werke half-plate studio camera (c.1920-25), Voigtländer Heliar 4,5/240 lens @ f6.3, total 2,250 joules with three flash heads, softboxes & brolly. (Spots, edge fog and other paper-ageing artefacts left on image for effect.)
  25. 8 points
    This image was shot at the Vancouver Aquarium. The basin was full with jellyfish and because of that and lighting conditions and reflections this image was quite a challenge.
  26. 8 points
    Back yard Nikon 300 mm Grahame
  27. 8 points
    Condor Airlines Boeing 767-300ER departs from Minneapolis-St. Paul airport at 915pm local time to head back to Frankfurt, Germany. I took this shot last Saturday on one of the longest days of the year. On the composition side, I always struggle how to place the aircraft in the frame when I have an open sky. Comments and constructive ideas always welcome.
  28. 8 points
    Moonrise in a smoke-filled sky last night (brought to us by Forestry Tasmania's incessant obsession with burning their logging waste).
  29. 8 points
    We spend three days in Rausu where - in the morning - we went out by boat to photograph sea eagles and used the remains of the day to see what else we can do. On all three days we ended up doing the Shiretoko Peninsula (Hokkaido) by bus photographing eizo deer and northern red foxes. I will probably post more than one thread with foxes, there are too many images I like even if they are not all excellent ... Cheers Chris #1 It was quite cold but in terms of winters in Hokkaido it was a warm one ... we've been told that these nets are usually covered with snow. Especially the Shiretoko Peninsula is a real cold and very rough place. #2 Some of the fishermen gave the foxes some leftovers from their catch (which was not much anyway) so it seems to me the foxes stayed somewhere near the boats but this is only an assumption... a british photographer told me "orange and green shall never be seen" ... I disagree #3 From our guide: "Here this pair were comparing the size of their mouths, which is something I believe they do to establish their pecking order, or to threaten the other fox." #4 I am bigger, better, stronger and overall much cooler than you ... oh my ... #5 I know that the composition is a bit centric but I like it that way #6 stretching ... #7 and leaving ...
  30. 8 points
    On Saturday I attended a workshop at the Nikon School in London. The subject was Urban Dance photography. Here are some of my results. Please click to view large.
  31. 8 points
    Januari third After taking Martha to the station i took time to stop for some photos, carrying a D3 with 58mm f/1.4g. The sun is little beyond dawn when i stopped here rising over what is called the Bosche broek.
  32. 8 points
    I have been on record in complaining that digital killed B&W as a truly viable monochrome end-product (unless created by extremely skilled practitioners, of course), with the interpolation of Bayer sensors and the algorithms written for "removal of colour" changing what was once a guttural, organic look that film gave to a B&W image replaced with a smoothed-out "plastic" looking image with the colour removed. the tonal response was now linear, as opposed to the "S" curve response of B&W (silver halide) film. So on Saturday, with the winter sun shining and not a cloud in the sky, I tracked down a few static subjects filled with contrast and tonal gradations, packed my two Sigma Merrill Foveon cameras along with the Fuji X-T1 and my Mamiya RZ67 film camera, along with lenses for the Fuji and Mamiya that would roughly equal the AOV of the DP1 Merrill (19mm) and DP3 Merrill (50mm) with the intent of setting up a tripod and shooting the same scene with Foveon, X-Trans and T-Max in turn, just to verify that my satisfaction with the Fuji, as far as its monochrome rendition goes, wasn't just mere wishful thinking over the battle I had had in getting a B&W result that pleased me with all my previous Bayer sensor cameras. I also threw in the Sigma Merrill cameras to confirm that while they did to a degree reproduce the classic digital "plastic" look, the tonal gradation and acutance with which they did so comes as close to matching or even exceeding a print up to 20x24 from a 5x4 film negative. As I no longer have a 5x4 camera I couldn't do a direct comparison, but I was keen to affirm that the little Merrills definitely surpassed the medium format Mamiya, which a mere decade ago was still up there with the Hasselblad, Pentax 6x7 and Rollei as the standard equipment for professional use. As they say, the best laid plans...... well, don't necessarily follow suit with preconceived outcomes. While the overall expectations were partially confirmed, it was the performance of the once-professional Mamiya RZ67 and the T-Max TMY (400 ISO) film I had loaded which gave me one heck of a jolt as to just how far digital from relatively tiny APS-C-sized sensors has come, and while I was hoping to prove that film still does B&W "better", I have to concede up-front that this is no longer true, and by a surprisingly huge margin at that. I still prefer the "look" of the non-linear tonal response, but that's where it begins and ends. So my quest to find a good used Fuji GSW 690 film camera and start shooting hand-held location and street on film again died a swift and permanent death when the scans started coming off the scanner. I think I'll put the money to far better use in buying either another lens for the Fuji X-T1, or maybe even a new Sigma DP0 Quattro. Thank you all the greedy bastards on eBay who were asking way too much for a 25+ year old obsolete film camera with absolutely nothing other than a fixed lens with inbuilt mechanical shutter, a range-finder viewfinder, a place to put a roll of film, and a shutter button and a crank to expose and wind on the film. You just saved me hundreds of dollars. Much obliged. For me, aside from maybe (very) occasional use of the RZ & RB67 cameras to consume the film I still have left in the freezer, B&W film is dead. So, to the results: I still think maybe that B&W film "looks" better, but IQ-wise the difference now is so great that no matter how good it "looks", you wouldn't intentionally use it instead of digital if you owned either a Fuji X-trans or a Sigma Foveon. The Sigma is still challenged with blowing out highlights and bedevilled absolutely awful software processing support, but the Fuji is none of that - the results are superb, the dynamic range more than adequate, and the equipment itself is a joy to use. I love holding and using that camera as much as I loved holding and using my Hasselblads over a decade ago. All photos cropped to roughly the same dimensions, resized to 1600px high, so you'll have to "click up", and better still, hit the "Click here to view full size" button after clicking up, and save them to a folder on your desktop so you can flick through them to really appreciate the differences. First image (shadow/highlight detail on a mainly monochrome subject) : Mamiya RZ67, TMY (400 ISO) film, 50/4.5 lens, f/16: Sigma DP1 Merrill 19/2.8 lens, f/11 @ 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, 10-24/4 lens @19mm, f/11, @ 200 ISO Second image (shadow/highlight detail, colour differences, vegetation and image resolution): Mamiya RZ67, 50/4.5 lens, f/16 TMY Sigma DP1 Merrill, 19/2.8, f/11 @ 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, 10-24/4 @ 19mm, f/11 @ 200 ISO Third Image (separation of many different colour shades tonally, shadow/highlights, fine detail retention) Mamiya RZ67, 180/4 lens, f/16 TMY Sigma DP3 Merrill, 50/2.8 lens, f/11 100 ISO Fuji X-T1, Zeiss Touit 50/2.8M lens, f/11 @ 200 ISO Method & conclusion: I used the digital cameras at their native resolution - the Sigmas because increased ISO is purely and obviously an amplification of the signal which adds noise, and processing the top layer only of the three-stack sensor for cleanest results distorts the colour response to that of the full three-colour layers when converted to B&W as a whole. Likewise I used the Fuji at 200 ISO to completely kill any possibility of the DR function kicking in as it can at higher than 800 ISO to dramatically increase dynamic range. The object was to see if film really does still have that legendary DR advantage. (No, it doesn't! ) I used T-Max 400 film as (1) I have the most of it left in stock , and (2) I assumed that the huge area of the 6x7 format would enjoy an unfair advantage over the minuscule APS-C sensors if used with finer-grain T-Max 100. (Wrong again! ) As I have already indicated, even allowing for the fact that a scanned negative won't be as good as a directly printed one, fact is that this is the way most negatives will be put to use these days - scanned and an inkjet print - at least that most certainly is the way that my negatives would be put to use. I have absolutely no intention of resurrecting my wet darkroom for printing, even though it is still fully assembled and operational. I've done more than my time under the amber lights over several decades, so never again...... I reckon the Fuji overall blitzes the field here - combining just the right amount of "organic" look with the superb resolution of the Fujinon and Zeiss lenses. I will now stop lamenting the past and start actively pursuing B&W again without thinking that "this would be better done with film". The Sigma can't be faulted for finesse in resolution and smooth tonal transition, but it really is hobbled by the lack of software support and its propensity to blow highlights. The Mamiya - well, that's just an antique, obsolete, collectible curiosity now. From this little exercise, I will now shut up forever about the superiority of film B&W. It isn't. View full article
  33. 8 points
    These are from the last couple of weeks; it is a long time since I got the chance to capture these species. In Alaska, the undergrowth in the forests is dominated by horsetails in the spring time opposed to Scandinavia. Please click for larger versions. European wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa. This first one with the 10.5mm at f/5 on D5100: #1 Then stop all the way down f/22 for the sun burst. This is not something I do often on the DX sensor. I was surprised how well the 10.5mm handled this: #2 A different perspective with the 135mm f/2.8 AIS @ f/3.2 on the AW1 at ISO 200 : #3 105mm f/2.5 at f/6.3, also on the AW1: #4 Two-some, 10.5mm @ f/14 on D5100 #5 Again 10.5mm @ f/22: #6 Another with the 10.5mm @ f/22: #7 105mm f/2.5 AIS @ f/2.8 on D5100: #8 The 105mm f/2.5 AIS @ f/5.6 on AW1: #9 If you look closely, there are two versions of mother and child inlcuded, 10.5mm @ f/8 on D5100: # 10: Enough nemorosa for today - dropped by a child,105mm f/2.5 AIS @ f/5.6 on AW1: #11 Less abundant is the Anemone hepatica. AW1 with kit lens has nothing to be ashamed of @ 11mm f/6.3 : #12 No spring in these areas without Tussilago farara, Colts foot. 135mm f/2.8 AIS @ f/4 on D5100: #13 The Norwegian name "hestehov" translates to "horse hoof", so a horse must be included: 135mm f/2.8 AIS at f/11: #14 The real horse hoof included although the image is not as orderly as I like, 135mm f/2.8 AIS @ f/5.6: #15 Then finally a couple of other signs of spring, both 135mm f/2.8 AIS @ f/6.3 on AW1 at ISO 400 in challenging light: #16: #17
  34. 8 points
    This is simply too good not to post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsH9wGB_Acs
  35. 8 points
    Feeding titmice. D3s+300mm f/2.8 @ 1/2000, f/5 iso 2800, hand held.
  36. 8 points
  37. 8 points
    One point I forgot: 100 viewfinder coverage. Because I really don´t like to crop the images. It is a relive to know you get waht you see. I was going through dinamic range, timing with the shutter, underexposed frames for later postproduction, auto wb...etc. This images kind of summes it up. Paddle under the bridge. No crop, no adjustments. Camera standar preset SOC. I´m happy
  38. 8 points
    One of my jaguars is on long term display at the Nikon School in London (with an attribution). Sorry about the quality of my snapshot. It looks a lot better in reality. Here is the original. Dusk, D800, 80-400 @400, ISO 6400, 1/50 second handheld from a small boat.
  39. 8 points
  40. 8 points
    warm fire and muscadel - we have real winter's weather here today.
  41. 8 points
  42. 8 points
  43. 7 points
    A few shots from the Fort Worth Alliance airshow held a couple of weeks ago - A very unusual bird. Take two Yak 55 airframes + One J85 jet engine and mash them together. to get a Yak 110 (N110JY) Randy Ball in his MIG 17 taking it easy on some very high performance cars. Messed up here having my shutter speed set for a jet aircraft which makes the cars look like they were standing still, which they certainly were not. Randy Ball making a photo pass in his MIG 17
  44. 7 points
    Yesterday he was taken out with a friend for a walk of his cat. It's already becoming a tradition for us to walk the cat in January. 1. _DSC3333 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 2. _DSC3341 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr At that time, it was -27 degrees Celsius on the street. 3. _DSC3367 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 4. _DSC3374 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr Please smile, shoot! 5. _DSC3390 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 6. _DSC3420 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 7. _DSC3438 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 8. _DSC3447 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 9. _DSC3486 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr Yes, do not care about the frost! That's really true - invented, -25 - frost. The normal temperature for Krasnoyarsk in January. The Siberian in such weather in flip-flops, a shirt and trousers for ice cream in the stall runs, with three of them, one on the way back eats. :))) 10 _DSC3513 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 11. _DSC3521 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 12. _DSC3535 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 13. _DSC3572 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 14. _DSC3580 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr On the shore of the Yenisei, the cat was tired of portraying a wild predator and already wanted to go home. 15 _DSC3608 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr During the shooting, no animals were harmed. There was a cat above and nothing superfluous. And it's just to illustrate how it looks like a frosty day on the river bank. 16 _DSC3625 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr 17 _DSC3615 by Александр Пустоваров, on Flickr
  45. 7 points
    Milky way almost from horizon to horizon, taken using a Samyang 8mm fisheye @ f/2.8, 30 seconds, ISO 5000, X-T2 lying on its back on top of a fence post in my back yard. Chimney and a bit of my roofline at bottom left, upper left my oak tree, light at bottom right on a hill on the opposite side of the valley about 1km away.
  46. 7 points
    In this new series of articles Fotoozones poses 5 personal photography questions to some of our more well known members and contributors. In our first instalment the questions are put to one of the most popular members on our site, namely Alan Lesheim (aka @Alan7140). Question 1. Why did you pick photography as a profession? It was always going to be – I can't recall ever seriously wanting to do anything else. My mother wanted me to be a doctor, my father (who was an A-Grade motor mechanic) expressed a preference for me to become a ladies' hairdresser. I guess that paying for my mother's weekly hairdresser visits in the heyday of complex 1950's & 60's permed and bouffed-up beehives led him to conclude this to be a certain way of gaining great wealth. The conditions imposed on me to obtain their reluctant consent to my photography preference (after first trying to scare me off by offering me as a free assistant to the photographer who had his studio next to my Father's service station during my summer holidays at age 15) were that I was to achieve passes in all my subjects to qualify for the various scholarships that would be necessary to pay the fees to complete both 12th year graduation at school and then to qualify for entry to, and pay the fees for the three year tertiary course in photography at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (now renamed RMIT University). I think they thought I'd fail to meet those conditions, and also that they didn't want me to change my mind mid-stream and become what my Father referred to disparagingly as a “professional student”. The fact that I'm now at the tail end of a 46-year full-time involvement in photography is my polite middle finger extended to them for their lack of confidence in my resolve, I guess, along with my undying gratitude that they stuck to their word and never tried to talk me out of it or interfere after the decision was affirmed. Question 2. If you could go back in time to photograph one historic event what would you choose and why? Easy question for me to answer: the trial and execution of Jesus Christ. The connotations and repercussions of what accurate colour photographs of that event would have would make anything else that comes to mind trivial by comparison for the effect it might have on Western Civilisation. My bet is that in the very least there'd be a lot of artists repainting blonde hair very dark brown/black, white skin a lot, lot darker and blue eyes brown, aside from anything else that may eventuate. Question 3. Who's work in photography has influenced your style the most? This is a difficult one for me to answer, but in all honesty I have to say that there is no-one in particular that comes to mind. While there are many photographers whose work I greatly admire, to say that their work has consciously influenced the way I take photographs now would be inaccurate. I've always pretty much done my own thing, which has over the years most definitely cost me in monetary terms, but if “Photographer” is the way I define myself, then I really do just take photographs the way I see fit, and not by deliberately amalgamating styles or techniques of others to do so. That said, I can list the following photographers who I admire most: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helmut Newton, Ansel Adams, Matthew Brady, Sally Mann, Carol Jerrems, Wolfgang Sievers, Diane Arbus, Jock Sturgess – these were the names that immediately came to mind, so I'll run with those. Probably most notable with this list is that there is no-one in that lot who is known primarily for working in colour, nor anyone who is currently at the peak of their working life (most being deceased), and that most worked large format. Read that perhaps as a disapproval of the volumes of pumped-up colour digital crap we are bombarded with daily these days if you will, for my ongoing disdain for the banal way digital as a rule renders B&W, and the approach many people now take to photographing in B&W, which is often just an originally-intended colour shot with the colour removed. I suppose I also really like and identify with the way these listed people saw the world, the way they went about recording and interpreting that through photographs, and their in-general disregard for photography as being a money-making device, but rather as being a means of expression. If that is defined as an “influence”, well that's also fine by me. Sure they all also made a living from photography, but I'd hazard that the photos they took that pleased them (and their followers) were mostly not taken with making money as being the primary objective. I guess that's been my approach as well, then, and while I'm not in the same league as these people artistically, my original motive for taking photographs was also never primarily the making of money, although that has figured large overall as it is also been my business by default. In fact it's true to point out that when I have photographed with income as a primary goal, I've usually been disappointed both from a personal satisfaction point of view and in the results obtained. Obviously, then, as a career photographer, I've endured a lot of dissatisfaction and disappointment! I can't think of any advertisement, wedding, event or other commissioned job that has left me anywhere near as satisfied as have done almost any of the myriad photos I have taken over the years that I either dreamt up or stumbled upon in my own time, and then taken in my own way for no-one other than myself as the primary audience. Walhalla, Victoria, Cemetery, 1973, Hasselblad 500C/M, Carl Zeiss 50/4 Lens. Lake Eildon, Victoria, 1983 drought. Nagaoka 5x4 Field Camera, Schneider 210/9 G-Claron Process Lens. Growling Swallet, Florentine Valley, Tasmania, 2011. Nikon D3s, 50/1.8 lens. 615 photographs in multi-row, stitched panorama, final print 8 feet long x 42" high. Elizabeth Debicki, Actor, scouting a film location , J Ward, disused Willow Court Mental Asylum, New Norfolk,Tasmania. 2015. Fuji X-T1, 56/1.2 lens. Gordon Dam, Tasmania, 2016 drought, Fuji X-T1, 100-400/4.5-5.6 lens. Question 4. Where do you see professional photography in 10 years time? I have a history of picking this sort of thing accurately (I remember describing tethered studio photography linked direct to pre-press output to my boss in 1974), but equally I have had an uncanny knack of completely failing to get in on the ground floor myself before everyone else jumped on the band wagon (the huge amounts of money usually needed to do so in the early stages being perhaps a prominent player, here). For what it's worth, then, my pick for 10 years hence will have VR as being a prime driver of the business, with a completely separate and much, much smaller parallel field running gallery-type, boutique level stills-photography-as-art-collectibles businesses, accompanied by a dedicated band of amateurs trying to crack the fields in any way they can. Whatever is left will probably have been consumed by whatever the Internet has evolved into. VR, I think, will eventually completely upend the advertising, news, wedding, portrait and fashion photography world in a way that hasn't upset the apple cart since.... well.... photography itself did. Question 5. What advice would you give somebody starting out a career in photography today? Quit and become a ladies' hairdresser. Or, failing that, get heavy and involved with VR now, and adopt advancements early. Footnote: I asked Alan to provide a selfie so that we can see the man behind the answers. He did so in fine style! View full article
  47. 7 points
    We do indeed have an incredible time here ... Below are a few of my images but please be aware that they are edited on a very small laptop with a crappy screen. I will repost them once I am back home on a decent screen. The stories to the images also come along with the later postings... Cheers Chris Here you go #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9
  48. 7 points
    I am a Nikon user, which was just the luck of the draw. Of course I have the requisite lenses, like the triumvirate, Nikon 14-24mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm lenses, but I seldom use them. Why is not hard to explain. While they are remarkable lenses in their own way, none of them are highly corrected. Somewhere along my journey of photography, I began to see the difference in lenses and ceased to find satisfaction in the ordinary degree of lens correction. Too bad for my pocketbook! In the process of searching for what I originally called ultimate “sharpness” in lenses, which of course I initially assumed (falsely) was a just matter of better resolution, I gradually realized that resolution alone was not the answer. So I then fell into deciding that acutance (micro-contrast) made all the difference in what I was searching for. That held my attention for a while. Micro-contrast is very satisfying (and important) indeed. But then, very gradually, like the sun coming up, it dawned on me that the icing on the cake, the tip of the top, so to speak, was not just resolution and not just acutance, but lens correction, you know, all the hideous fringing we try to ignore or do away with. Somehow, perhaps almost subliminally, I could see the difference just by looking at photographs taken with highly-corrected (APO) lenses. And that discovery started me on my journey of finding highly-corrected lenses. I have written extensively about the virtues of apochromatic (APO) lenses, those lenses that have been corrected for the various aberrations, etc. Unfortunately, Nikon does not have many highly-corrected lenses in their current offerings. So I found myself wandering off-campus into other brands, lenses from Leica, Voigtlander, Zeiss, and so on. Of course, many of these lenses did not fit the Nikon mount, so in my search for APO lenses I found myself (with help from experts) rigging various mounts, searching for helicoids, and converting lenses to the Nikon F-mount standard. To recapitulate, I first gravitated to higher-resolution cameras (Nikon D3x), and then to those without AA (low-pass) filters (Nikon D800E, D810), D7100) which improved micro-contrast, and finally to apochromatic (highly-corrected) lenses. These three steps together brought me what I was looking for in my original quest for “sharpness,” in particular that last step, APO lenses. Pretty soon I wasn’t using Nikon lenses for much of anything other than family photos and a few other things. Instead I was using highly-corrected lenses like the Coastal Optics APO 60mm f/4 macro (forensic lens), the Leica Elmarit-R 100mm f/2.8 APO macro, and most of all the Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO-Lanthar lens. This last lens, the Voigtlander 125mm was, for my work, the perfect macro lens. It was fast, had a focus throw (lens barrel) of a whopping 630 degrees or so, went to 1:1, and was highly corrected. At that time I knew of no other lens that had all those qualities. Of course I had a pile of Nikon macro lenses (200mm Micro-Nikkor, 70-180mm Zoom Micro-Nikkor, many Micro-Nikkor 105s, etc.), but they all were not well corrected. Then, with the help of a few lens experts, I fell down the rabbit-hole into the world of exotic industrial lenses. Now here Nikon shines! This group includes lenses specially made to view computer monitors (CRT-Nikkor-O), transfer Hollywood films (Printing Nikkors), reproduce whatever (Repro Nikkor), and grace photo-enlargers (El Nikkors). And it was not just Nikon, but incredible industrial lenses can be found from Zeiss and many others. In fact, the world of fine enlarger lenses has barely been touched so far. Much research remains to be done, with incredible bargains available to those who do it. And these industrial lenses really are exotic. Some are very fast, like the Repro-Nikkor, with a wide f/stop of f/1.0 and no focusing mechanism. Another is the 55mm CRT Nikkor-O (oscilloscope) at f/1.2. And the enlarger lens El Nikkor 105mm APO lens f/5.6, with its marvelous almost 3D qualities. I could go on, pointing out lenses like the classic four lenses for the Nikon Multiphot machine (19mm f/2.8, 35mm f/4.5, 65mm f/4.5, and 120mm f/6.s) or the Zeiss Luminars, the Leitz Photars, etc. Years ago I learned about many of the lenses from the brilliant lensman Bjørn Rørslett at this site: http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_spec.html Most of these industrial lenses are a major PITA when it comes to mounts. Most are none-standard, so I have a whole box of adaptors, helicoids, and several bellows to help them out. And they are not walk-around lenses either; most don’t go to infinity, some only work at one distance, like 1:1, and so on. Why bother? “Bother,” because within their limited range, they offer some incredible opportunities for photographers. At least I think so. And in the midst of all of these exotic lenses, along comes Zeiss with their Otus line of APO lenses, which opens up another vast doorway to photographers. I had a number of Zeiss lenses prior to the Otus series, lenses like the Zeiss Macro-Planar macros, the 100mm and 50mm, and others. While the Makro-Planar macros were very sharp, they also were very not color-corrected, so their resulting photos were too “contrasty” and color-fringy for my work. However, the new Zeiss Otus APO line (55mm, 85mm, and 135mm) are just of incredible quality when it comes to correction. Although they are not made for close-up, I am making them work close because the results are worth it. I use small amounts of extension to bring them close, although as a rule I never use extension. Anyway, those are some thoughts about the value and beauty of specialized lenses. I would love to hear about some of the special lenses readers use, if you have time. I have many free articles, books, videos on lenses and close-up photography for those who want to learn more or see examples. You kind of have to dig around a bit on the site. Look under Macro-Stop, but also “Free e-books” and Articles: MacroStop.com This image, taken yesterday, was taken with the Nikon D810, a bellows, and the El Nikkor APO 105mm f/5.6 enlarger lens, one of the Nikkor exotic industrials.
  49. 7 points
    My contribution is from the Moab area that Carolyn loved as a B&W landscape photographer can truly be absorbed and consumed by that magical light and atmosphere. She will be missed. Corona Arch
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