Alan7140

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Alan7140 last won the day on 24 April

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About Alan7140

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  • Birthday 07/01/53

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    Tasmania, Australia
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    Photography, Guitar
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    Fuji X-T2
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    23/1.4
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  1. Today was ANZAC Day, the date that Australian and New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli as part of the British-led assault on Turkey in 1915. While unsuccessful and involving much loss of life over the months that the battles ensued, it was the first major conflict Australian troops had been involved in since the Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901. As such it has become the Day Australia remembers its soldiers in all wars, and is marked by dawn memorial services taking place in most towns and cities in Australia, usually at the town's war memorial (which most towns and cities have). Today I was at the service at Gretna, Tasmania for the Dawn Service which started promptly at 6:00am, well before it started to get light. It was during the laying of the wreaths at the memorial that I took this one: As the poem that is always read at theses services goes: "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them." I thought this photo expressed that rather well.
  2. Thanks, Erv.
  3. If only they would say that, Mike, because that's the truth of it. Instead they call these abominable burn-offs "regeneration burns", and prattle on about the "science" that native Australian vegetation needs fire in order for seeds to germinate successfully in a warm ash bed. It's true that eucalyptus and wattle seeds are triggered by a fire event in nature, but it's equally true that they don't need fire to do so. I've grown several eucalyptus trees from seed with nothing but cold, damp soil. The firestorm that these idiots provoke by dropping napalm from a helicopter creates fire of such intensity that its equivalent is rare in natural circumstances, but is deliberately so in that along with providing this "warm seed bed" (sounds almost inviting and benign, but that's the aim of propaganda), it kills any seeds already in place from before the clearfelling (particularly the rainforest species which are slow growing and of minimal bulk commercial value) so that Forestry can reseed the "warm seed bed" with single species, fast growing eucalyptus seeds that they derive the quickest return from. Combine this totally unnecessary burning with the more justifiable "fuel reduction burns" which are designed to reduce fuel loads and thus the intensity of summer fires (they lit one of those today not 10km from me), and you get an atmosphere that sets of asthma attacks and other respiratory reactions (particularly in the young and the elderly), lasts for days and leaves everyone with sore throats and smarting eyes at the very least. Bear in mind that it is illegal for private citizens in towns to light backyard incinerators; as well if a private home wood-heater is observed being too smoky there are heavy fines dished out, yet this piss-ant Forestry industry (which has made a loss of $475 million over 22 years and never turned a real profit in that time) and employs only around 2,000 people at best gets free rein to cut down public forests and create as much smoke and pollution when and where they feel like it without any course of action against this through legal channels being available to anyone who objects. Thinking that only third world countries are corrupt is a mistake, too, because when it comes to logging and Forestry, this lot are a shining example as to how to engage in first world corruption and nepotism and apparently get away with it. The State government has even enacted laws that make it illegal to criticise or denigrate the Government Business Enterprise of Forestry (if that's what one could actually call what is in fact a legislated welfare operation) in an attempt to silence dissent. Thankfully Australia does have a constitution that gives people both nominated and implied freedoms, and each time the Tasmanian government has tried to prosecute anyone under this and similar laws the High Court has backed appeals by those convicted and dismissed the laws as unconstitutional. That doesn't srop the government continually trying to get their ways by introducing new laws, though. The last such case against former Senator Bob Brown was thrown out on appeal with the Judge actually referring to the drafting of the particular law as having been "Monty Pythonesque" in its incompetence.
  4. It's listed as my favourite lens under my Avatar, Hugh - my guess is that's where you saw it written, so no need to see the optometrist just yet....
  5. Evry six months or so members of the local rural community hold a "morning tea" at a rotating selection of farm properties, where people are invited to bring money, food, goods,and plants that they have for sale or raffle to raise funds for the continued operation of the Red Cross services in the area. While there I couldn't help notice the reducing numbers since I first started going to these events, along with the increasing amount of white hair and frailty amongst the participants. one of the participants checking out the plant she's just bought (with the farmer/owner of the property standing behind) Raylee (the farmer's wife and 42 year veteran member of Red Cross) draws the raffle tickets (she's a decades-long sufferer of MS, but still active in her '70's) ...and Carol, another Red Cross member, local farmer and Justice of the Peace announces the winner: I guess as farms become increasingly amalgamated and automated, the reduction in population this brings will see this sort of community gathering disappear in the not too distant future. In the past few years a cherry growing corporation has been buying up local farms and running them with transient and casual labour, so the end of this sort of thing might happen sooner rather than later in my community.
  6. Actually it was taken with the Sigma sd-Q-H using an "incompatible" Sigma 70/2.8 macro lens (on account of that was the only camera I had with me at the time, and, according to the gods of photography, this was then the best camera to be using ). I was actually at that location with a completely different purpose in mind when this amorous pair hopped over my boot as I walked through the long grass, and I thought it unusual enough to see to be worth trying a shot, even if it meant taking it at the apparently decreed as prohibited for Sigma speed of 400 ISO. They were pretty small as hoppers go - less than two inches long for the larger one.
  7. A cave opening on the precipitous hill overlooking Askrigg Creek.
  8. The still days of Autumn are upon us in Tasmania, where the loss-making forestry industry delights in making the air impossible to breathe for the rest of the State by taking the lazy way out and burning all the rubbish they created during the summer's clearfelling forest destruction they quaintly refer to as "harvesting". (Taken from 30km away as the crow flies, as measured on Google Maps, so simple geometry indicates that the smoke trail shown in the photo is 42km long, but in real terms it carried on for probably four or five times that distance.) And as a friend pointed out "...and on Earth Day, too". The forestry attitude to the people is a rather not funny "We fart in your general direction".
  9. Awwww.... isn't it cute how the big one carries the little one around? (yeah, yeah, I know - just kidding, of course! :D)
  10. Like I said, Mike, each to his own. No law that says one must be liked more than another, if at all, it's just that you did leave the gate open by saying "I’m still waiting for someone to tell me the point of B/W!".
  11. Well this is a bit of a hijack, but its also something I'm passionate about, so, with apologies to Merlin's thread: Ansel Adams most certainly had access to, and used, colour. Taken by him in 1953, you tell me what looks better, an A.A. of Yosemite in B&W, or this bland thing (even if it is in the Smithsonian collection)? Ansel took many B&W photos after this, believe it! Julia M.C. worked at a time when hand colouring of photos was already an integral part of the business. I have a couple of stereo Daguerreotypes taken by Antoine Claudet at his studio at 107 Regent Street Quadrant, London between 1854 and 1856 which predate her active period (1864-75) and which have had extremely competent and beautifully applied colour pigment added to them - ergo colour in photography has been there almost since the beginning. A right English Rose if ever there was one I've copied and produced this as a 16x20 hand-coloured photo and it's been hanging over my mantlepiece since 1988, (coincidentally genealogy names her as also being Julia Cameron, but not the J.C. of photographic fame, unfortunately) : I recently reproduced a local "barn find" for a local family of what turned out to be an original Frederick Frith salted paper photograph that had Frith's patented "chromatype" process applied - a process which was in fact just him drawing on his life previous to photography as a silhouette and painting artist to provide a colour image that was as realistic as he could get using mixed tempra of watercolour, greasy pastel and oil paint. The photo is of a local doctor whose well documented history in the area and the family connections of descendant generations still living in the area enabled me to positively identify it as perhaps the best Frith Chromatype in existence (which was/is still in its original burl walnut frame), and furthermore through location of both the photographer and subject I could positively date it as being done in 1856. The fact is the people I named originally all had the choice of making colour photographs one way or another, but deliberately opted for the B&W result. All of these people also were advanced in photography or worked at it full time - processing was not a problem for them as with any business it is just part of the operational expense. Indeed, Ansel Adams became famous for promoting the Zone System of B&W photographic technique which involved reading and calculating exposure and modifying development to produce consistent results aimed at giving a decent print on a grade 2 paper no matter how contrasty or how flat the original scene might have been. As I said, B&W is an abstract form of the art. Colour is an attempt at reproducing realism. The two are just as different in objective and result as are photo-realistic painting (or drawing), and abstract art. Colour photography can also be used to produce abstract results, of course, but its primary use is the replication of the world as we see it. As I said, we don't see in B&W, therefore the end result is by definition an abstraction of reality. Because B&W removes us from reality it is the better medium for expressing such things as emotion or feelings as the familiarity and distraction of colour is absent. Anthony has more or less just confirmed what I've been saying for all the years of digital photography became the norm - B&W has been treated as a colour photograph with the colour removed in nearly all cases, and the results have been, to put it bluntly, shit. Take a photograph with the intention that it be B&W and you're on the right track, take a colour photo and then contemplate what it might look like in B&W and the plot's well and truly lost, I reckon. It's no secret throgh my posts on this forum and its predecessor that I have been trying over those digital disaster years to get a decent B&W result with digital equipment. First I bought a D7000 and shot at 6400 ISO for a so-so monochrome result, then the Sigma Foveon courtesy of my original DP1 and DP3 cameras got me closer to the mark, and my latest sd Q-H has got me closer still with its ability to produce pixel-for-pixel monochrome from a single sensor layer with no colour interpolation at all and its removable IR-cut filter, the absence of which obliterates any hope of a normal colour result, but even so it's also a fact that I have recently started to use B&W film and have been buying old film cameras and lenses again to properly take photos from the outset in B&W once more. Even if the 120 Kiev-60 camera costs me over $1 every time I press the shutter button, it's worth it. Most of my 47 year career involved taking B&W photos on my own time out of choice anyway, even though throughout I've had access to the most up-to-date colour processes and equipment available to me. Even with that long experience with B&W I'm nowhere near the level of those who have excelled (such as those mentioned above), but that isn't going to stop me trying. As far as my own deliberate, non-commercial work goes into the future, I will be concentrating almost exclusively on B&W photography. Colour is for happy snaps and occasions that need accurate recording of events and the like only, as far as I'm concerned. B&W is for expression. Each to his/her own, I guess, but my heart and soul has always been with the B&W image. Just one that comes to hand to illustrate that I kid you not, I took this in 1986 with a 5x4 camera, a Rodenstock 65mm Grandagon lens and T-Max 100 film when I most certainly had full access to colour. If I had been one of today's modern digital landscape cowboys, I would have put a Lee grad filter on the lens and turned the scene into an Armageddon skied, over-saturated, eye-watering, in-your-face drama of a scene to save it from being boring and insipid in "natural" colour, instead of the perfect peace and tranquillity that I both felt and saw in the simple rural scene which unfiltered B&W transmits superbly.
  12. in no particular order.... Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, Alfred Stiechen, Julia Margaret Cameron, Irving Penn, Sally Mann...... Taking colour out of the equation renders a subject in its tonal form, so it's an abstraction, in other words. We don't see in B&W, nor does pure B&W exist in nature other than in the rarest of circumstances, which is why B&W is an extremely difficult thing to master properly. Looking at any one of the photographs by those in the above list will quickly demonstrate that skill having been mastered.
  13. So fussy! Here's a lifetime supply so you can choose a colour to suit your mood: Sparkly Fuji button pads
  14. Spot on timing. Nicely done.
  15. Wonderful photographs. I also like this genre as it helps develop observation skills when finding subjects that most people would pass by unnoticed, and then turning them into fascinating photographs that hold a viewer's attention..