Archive for January 8th, 2005

I’m tempted to give up photography

I have just been to a professional journalist-photographer’s web blog. And it depressed me terribly. Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t because the photographs were awful. Far from it.

They were absolutely fannnnnnnnnnnnnnntastic! And I know that, no matter how long I spend taking photographs, I will never be anywhere in that class.

I was a professional in the sixties but this was taking portraiture in a studio. Where everything is to hand and everything was nice and comfortable.

I urge you to visit his site if you are at all interested in photography or like looking at exciting photographs. The pretty girl in an RAF fighter plane was very good and when you read the blurb below you learn that this slip of a girl is counted amongst the RAFs top 1% of their fighter pilots.

The link? It’s just below, under my “sign-off”.


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My new Minolta digital SLR

Well, I am finally getting used to my D7 and my 5600HSS flash gun that allows flash at all speeds to 1/4,000th of a second. I have got a neat bounce diffuser from Sto-fen in the States – they are just under $20 each, and each diffuser is made for a particular flashgun. I have just ordered a different type which gives a better light from camera to subject from the same source and both have a use in a photographer’s box of tricks.

One of the things I have noted with my new digital SLR is that you have to relearn “focussing”. It is not quite so simple as a film SLR or an ordinary digicam.

First of all, the blanket focussing is not as reliable and I have now set my focussing permanently on “spot focussing”. Since I have done this my sharper images have increased from 1 in ten to 19 in 20. Also I find that depth of field seems tighter but that may just be because this is Winter in the UK.

Unfortunately, apart from being short-sighted, I do suffer from astigmatism so it is impossible for me to use manual focussing.

However, with a little bit of extra care I am getting better photographs…

Focussed on the head of the man with the white shirt. – photo by Andrew Taylor

With the original 6MPxls copy I magnified the head 8 times and although blury, you could still just about see that it was pretty well focussed.

My wife and I are friends of the Church Farmhouse Museum and the photograph was taken at the day before yesterday’s “twelth Night” party.

What with the boat show in the morning and the 12th night party in the evening I think I shot about 100 photographs. But with the winter weather, there is not a lot of encouragement to swanee around photographing! Especially when digital cameras are more prone to the elements than film cameras.


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