Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Attitude to Photography

Originally posted at Photo.Net ...

I strongly disagree with Robert K ... after all what is the point of paying for a camera which is very capable of quickly getting the answer for you and then working in manual .. really quite illogical [ ignoring the fact that 'simple' cameras' are not made these days ]

NO ... my attitude is that I try and hope I recognise situations where I need to work in manual and do so ... a very small proportion of the shots I take ... the rest of the time I give the camera its head to use a horse riding term:-)

A second attitude is that I aim to obtain a file which will be suitable to be turned into the final product in editing. I believe I am a disciple of Ansell Adams with this as I read recently. He used a darkroom I use a computer. Which enables me to do so much more much quicker than ever I did in the fume room

I shot Manual out of neccessity for perhaps fifty years and luxuriate in the help the modern camera gives me, has given me the past decade :-)

I remember back when I bought my first 'automation', it just estimated the exposure, nothing else. The 'experts' of the time said it would never work .... in fact the only bad exposure I got was when I once thought I knew better and over rode the camera ... LOL
That was back in the sixties with just one of the many cameras I have owned and used and only in the last decade have I got truely clever cameras with digital which enables me to concentrate of the image rather than the technicalities for most images.

Obviously for a newbie, and this forum is for them, I strongly advise that they learn the technicalities and practice them until when they are needed they can use them to over ride their gear. But do not discard the help the geeks at the factory have organised for you to get good results which builds your confidence in the very complicated activity called photography. The essence of which is getting images with meaning not operating a machine.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Colorado ... the future for the States?

Because of error on Kiwiblog it has not appeared ....

Taking Colorado as an example ... it was a Republican stronghold from the year dot .... now has two Democratic senators and a Democratic Governor .... this as a result of a change in ethnicity of the voters .... no wonder the Republicans are depriving some groups of the right to vote.

One can hope that this is a sign of the future for America ... judging from the Republican's negativity in recent times ... that hopefully the wild west is in the past and the country is moving towards responsibility in government.

In thinking about this one should remember that National in NZ equates roughly to Democrats in the States.

How dumb can you get?

In my city we have a recycling system with yellow wheelie bins and blue buckets. Glass goes in the Blue and metal cans paper plastic in the Yellow. Alternate weeks a truck comes around equiped to empty the buckets and the next week comes the vehicle with hoist to empty Yellow.

Next door there are two flats and one of the occupiers came around to ask me about the recycling and also the black bags for rubbish [every week]. Next day or so I went to City Hall and got a 'rubbish calendar' for each and put it in their letterboxes. That was last week ....

This morning what do I see ... both yellow and a pair of blues beside the kerb ... not empty of course becuase the flat idiots had a party and have filled the blue with metal beer cans and this week it is 'blue week' so the yellow is left untouched.

The mentality of some people ???? You try to help them and .....

The Dancers

A pretty mundane location but putting a couple of close-ups together I think make something.

Cannot make this site work but you can view it at ... on the front page.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

2WD !!!

Following a vehicle I was intrigued to notice a small sign on it "2WD". That sort of vehicle is quite common of course but in this case it was a motorcycle and side car and I wonder if it was just a joke on the owner's part or if in actual fact the sidecar's wheel was connected to the drive wheel of the bike.
It sped off ahead of me so I will never find out :(

Help for a tyro

Instead of trying to be a 'photographer' why don't you simply be a 'snap shooter' and use the camera in full automatics. There will still be a few pitfalls even with this like how steady you hold the camera but if you get a run of good photos it should give you confidence in yourself and your gear. For people shots it probably has a face recognition mode which might be an option for you. When I bought a new camera recently, despite sixty years in this game, I set it to full automatic for the first days as I got the hang of it. Even in poor light auto ISO should adjust to keep things about right for you. Personally I now usually work at 400 ISO as I dislike autoISO and find it gives me an exposure to cope with most daylight situations.

Having found that the camera and you can take good shots then is the time to start playing with settings ... just one at a time to see what it will do for you in A or S mode [ Av or Tv] M is a long way down the track ...... otherwise the unlikely situation is back to the shop to check out the gear.

I hesitate to suggest this but it comes down to the 'photographer v. snapshooter' with regard to you trying to put the background out of focus with a large aperture but if you have a reasonably good editor it is so easy to do this in PP I never bother about trying to do it in-camera. I simply duplicate the file, blur the top copy/layer and then erase from it the areas I want to be sharp by revealing the sharp version underneath. Paint.Net or GIMP will do this for you and both are free downloads. Here at PN experienced photographers have told us they normally take portraits at f/5.6 to f/8. Further to Simon H ....imagine how much less DoF at wider apertures :-(

I have an f/1.4 lens but I cannot remember ever using it at that aperture.

For flash you should find the camera has a wonderful brain and will work it out for you if you use the 'on-board' and if when you find it is a bit strong go into the menu and cut the strength back, mine is usually set to minus one stop. The only drawback is that if people are looking directly at the camera you could get red-eye and the camera probably has a setting for this where it fire of several low flashes ahead of taking the photo to make the subject close their pupils. Although I discovered how to do syncro-sunlight work way back when it first became viable [ 1950's ] these days I leave it up to the camera and its on-board.

I used to be a photographer but these days I am happy to be a snap-shooter leaving as much as possible to the camera and I just pick the shots which really is what being a photographer is all about.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I'm BACK !!!!

I never thought I would agree with John Minto BUT really his idea for free puiblic transport could be a winner except for the ideological opposition of the conservatives. As for those who say it wouldn’t work because current transport runs in and out of the city centre the solution is simple with twice the buses there should be enough to operate ‘ring’ routes. I suggested this for Dunedin decades ago in answer to the similar comments. I would think even more viable in Auckland that down here. Actually ring routes feeding rail would be a giant steo forward for both Auckland and Dunedin.

Years ago when $7 of my rates went to subsidising a local bus route past my house I was disgusted at the council becuase I only had 13 buses a day, today it is 19. I would happilly pay twice or three times the ‘bus rate’ to subsidise a service which served …. as it is I only use the buses when my car is in the garage for a WOF or other service need. “It has got to pay” and “people should pay for services” are two of the biggest holdbacks to progress towards a sensible society.