Sunday, 24 February 2013

Fire Hose

During my photo walks around towns, I attempt to walk up and down all streets and alleys in order to get as many different viewpoints as possible.  Often going down alleys yields an interesting picture.  In this case the light caught my attention and how it raised the texture of the wall and how black the shadows where.  Once again the sun at a high angle made the shot.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Fremantle Markets

The markets are a pleasant place to visit and take pictures.  The colours of the fruit and veg. along with the clamour of people make for lively shots  The camera used was the Olympus XZ-1, it's fast lens being helpful in the dim light.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Blue Bike

Most of the time I tend not to point my Olympus cameras toward sources of bright light as this usually results in blown highlights and black shadows.  While I had the 5D II I took the opportunity of trying just that.  The resulting picture has strong shadows and a glow around the outline of the bike that I particularly like.  Note that everything in the frame is pretty much in focus; the aperture used was f11.  I could have opened up the lens to blurr the chairs but there was no need as the subject is well separated by the light and I am a fan of detail!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Abstracts With A 5D II

I had another pleasant walk in Fremantle this morning and took along a Canon 5D II for company.  The lens used was a 24-104 f4, a great walk around lens.  I have seen plenty of files from this camera before but shot very few myself.  As an Olympus user I was curious to see how different the files where when shooting subjects similar to those I have from Olympus equipment.  Needless to say the files are very good; a bit less noise and quite a bit more detail along with the ability to recover blown highlights.  If I had money to spare I would be tempted to have a full frame camera but sadly that is not the case!  So my loan camera must now go back, but we had a pleasant time together.

This first shot is my favourite from the day and it is a scene I have passed many times before but not taken a picture.  Taken later in the day, the sun is high in the sky, the light picking out all the detail in the hull of the submarine.

The next shot is of an access door located in a large shed door.  Here I enjoyed the colours and textures created by age.

Finally a window in one of the sheds, just a shot about geometry and contrasting colours.  I am finding in general, that the less objects in the frame the more I enjoy the composition, less can indeed be more.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Flower Photography

The colours and textures of flowers hold an endless fascination for me.  Capturing bold colours and fine textures at the same time can cause some problems.  The colours tend to saturate wiping out the detail, especially when making adjustments to contrast.  At each stage I tend to wind back the saturation of selected colours to the point that the detail returns.

These pictures where taken with three different cameras as part of my ongoing investigation of my view of what makes a good camera.  The three cameras used where Canon 5d II, Olympus E-3 and Olympus XZ-1.  The Canon was kindly loaned by a friend.  When I compared all the shots I made after editing in PhotoShop, I had difficulty telling which camera took which shot.  Seems to indicate that for good shooting conditions most modern cameras will produce a similar result.

Friday, 8 February 2013

How To Chose A Camera

It is difficult to talk about photography without eventually talking about cameras.  The choice of cameras available today is staggering as is the volume of reviews and opinions.  How can we make sense of all this confusion?

There is no universal right answer when it comes to choosing a camera, it depends on many variables.  I would like to suggest that deciding on what subject you will actually shoot is the first thing to be done; not what you might shoot or could shoot but what realistically is achievable.

To illustrate how this decision process could go I will talk about how I should have made my choices with the benefit of hindsight.  From the pictures I have posted here you can see that my subjects are usually in good light, seldom move very quickly and that I enjoy most things to be in focus in the frame.  Most of my pictures are viewed on a computer or an A4 print. Almost any camera will meet my requirements so an endless list of performance features is not required.

Reviews seem to stress features such as high ISO performance, focus speed, resolution and frame rate to arrive at the "best camera".  However for my needs none of these things are important so those features can be removed from the decision making process.  It turns out that a top end compact does a very good job for me and my recent pictures have been taken with an Olympus XZ-1.

Now I have to confess that my first choice of camera was a DSLR, an Olympus E-3 with some nice lenses.  Then I wanted something a bit smaller so I bought a mirrorless camera, an Olympus E-PL1 with a few odd lenses.  My last choice was the XZ-1.  So how do I chose which camera to take?  It depends on the job in hand but most of the time the XZ-1 wins if I am going to walk a lot, the E-PL1 wins if I need a bit more image quality and the E-3 wins if I need a weatherproof responsive camera.

My conclusion would be that the lightest camera that will do the job wins and if I was left with just the XZ-1 I could complete the majority of my photography.  You don't have to spend a fortune or become a pack horse to enjoy photography.  Each individual will have a specific set of camera performance needs and it is worth sorting those out before buying.

Having said that, if we want a camera that we don't need then that is fine also as long as it gives us pleasure. 

Old and New

Perth has a mixture of architecture of different ages.  I find old buildings less interesting than the new but like a mixture of the two most of all.  The contrasting styles of design and often huge scale differences add variety to the picture.

Huge expanses of glass provide mirrors everywhere.  Both the following shots where taken from less than obvious locations.  To fully explore an area you need to walk everywhere you are allowed and keep looking around.  The view on offer can change quite quickly with small changes in position.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Rust Never Sleeps

Decay is not something I normally photograph but rust has such interesting colours and texture I find it difficult to resist.  Rust streaks caused by rain make attractive patterns also.

The last shot has no rust but the patterns of damaged paint caught my eye.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Machine Abstracts

Machines have played a big part in my life from very early on, so it should be no surprise that I enjoy photographing them.  I favour designs from before around 1970, their appearance is somehow more pleasing.  By isolating part of a machine in a photo we are left with a geometric picture and so the function of the machine becomes unimportant.  It's all about lines, shade and textures.  There is no end to the potential subjects, we just need to look closely at the world around us.

These pictures where made at Rockingham War Memorial.