Friday, 16 December 2011

Canon G11.

Hull Pier, Canon G11.

Well I couldnt resist the temptation, I sold the G7 and bought a G11. I found the G7 a bit to compact for my taste, the G11 has a bit more bulk to it. I have to agree with what iv heard some people say, shooting raw on such a small sensor camera is a waste of time, compared to my SLR's its like night and day! Glad I got the G11 though it has advantages for me over the G7, wider lens, larger lcd screen, even the viewfinder seems a little bigger then on the G7. I prefer using SLR's, carnt beat a real viewfinder in my opinion, but these little cameras have their own advantages aswell. Heres a shot I took with the G11, its one thing looking at images on a screen, but real life prints from these little cameras are amazing!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Impressions of the Canon G7

The Deep/Hull Pier. Taken with my Canon G7

Low Light Test shot with the G7, ISO 80, 10 seconds @ f3.5.

I fancied a decent pocket camera, something I can carry around anytime, incase I see anything interesting when I don’t have my SLR with me; it’s not practical to have an SLR with you all of the time. After a lot of consideration I decided to get the G7, it’s the only G series that doesn’t have the option to shoot in raw, but people in the know say there’s not much to be gained from having the raw ability on such a small sensor camera:

“I have found the RAW option to not be nearly as flexible on a compact camera with the tiny sensor as RAW can be when using larger sensored DSLR's, particularly when it comes to dealing with the noise, which you see at every ISO setting with these cameras. The camera companies do a very good job of getting the best results out of these cameras with their JPEG engines. I often found working with RAW files from compact digicams to not be worth the effort and time compared to what the camera just spits out using the highest quality JPEG setting” – Greg Chappell (From Photo.net)

“Ditto for wasting your time with raw. Compact cameras have so much noise and grit in the images to begin with, unlike SLRs, that there isn't anything to be gained wasting time, money and the environment processing raw files” – Ken Rockwell

I cannot verify this but I did try some noise reduction on an indoor Portrait, no flash at ISO 400 and could not see any difference whatsoever compared to the jpeg with no noise reduction applied, which kind of supports this idea. I was tempted by the G11, still am, but at the end of the day is it worth the extra cost, considering I will be using my SLRs more then the compact, its horses for courses and the G7 fits the bill for what I want, its also more pocketable then the G11. Obviously the jpegs cannot be manipulated as much as raw files from my SLRs, but it has a superb lens and produces great jpegs, if you take the time to get the exposures right it doesn’t need much manipulation anyway, Its best to underexpose a bit, similar to using slide film. I usually just tweak the jpegs a bit in Photoshop or Paint shop pro.

Initially I was reluctant to go digital, but think its great now, most of my reservations were just unfounded bias, I enjoy the digital darkroom, a lot easier dodging and burning for example compared to doing it in the traditional darkroom. Having said that, most people don’t appreciate how good film can be, especially most with no interest in the art of photography, they will probably have poor technique and be at the mercy of high street ‘Snappy Snaps’ for processing!

Digital is ideal for low light images, I did a test shot with the G7, see second image above. As you’re composing the shot via the LCD you can also see in real time what’s going on exposure wise. Something that’s impossible to do with film, the G7 also has an exposure scale visible on the right side of the LCD, but the camera leans towards overexposure, for the test shot above I had to underexpose to get the image looking like what I was actually seeing in reality. Same goes for indoors flash exposure, better to turn the power output down a bit, if you let the camera decide what’s right it blows it out, to much flash. Not tried it for outdoors fill in flash yet, it will take a speedlight but it wouldn’t look or feel right having one on such a small camera. Overall I am very pleased with the G7; it does what it says on the tin. A great little compact!

For indepth reviews and great articles visit Ken Rockwells site @ www.kenrockwell.com


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bingley Five Rise.



I took these two images on a recent visit to Bingley Five Rise Locks, near Bradford, West Yorkshire, U.K., with my Canon 30D and Sigma 18-50 EX Lens. For the Portrait of the boatsman taking a break, while waiting for the okay from the Lock keeper to got up the five Locks, I used the 'creative-aged photo' preset in Lightroom.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Skegness, 13 August, 2011.


I took these images on a recent visit to Skegness, a popular seaside resort on the East Coast of England. All taken with my trusty Canon 10D plus Sigma 18-50 EX Lens, I love the images from the 10D, great tonal range with a film like look. One complaint iv heard about digital is that it doesnt handle extreme high/low light images aswell as film, true, but shooting in Raw I dont think its a problem, as you can alter the exposure in specific areas much easier in the digital darkroom. I made a mistake in taking these images, forgot to check the iso speed, (years of using film) it was on 400, 100 would have been better in the conditions, but the results are okay, I used the noise reduction in Lightroom. I did wonder why I was getting such fast shutter speeds, but never made the connection.





Incidently I recently got a copy of Lightroom 3, but ended up putting Lightroom 2 back on my p.c. I think some of the improvements are a bit gimmicky and I dont think the noise reduction is any better, as they claim. Maybe I got a bad copy, if thats possible?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

HDR or Bust?

I see a lot of images around the web on various sites, where the photographer has used HDR or simply put the saturation or vibrancy sky high, with lots of comments like “brilliant” and “amazing” from people who obviously don’t know to much about photography, and I think to myself well know it’s a decent image but its certainly not amazing or brilliant. For me photography is been creative through the camera, looking for that unusual angle and perspective, trying to capture something different even though there’s nothing new under the sun. I enjoy most Art, but am not much good with a paint brush or drawing etc, which is why I became drawn to photography. Not to say photography isn’t an important medium in its own right. I saw this quote recently in pro photographer magazine – “Great artists deserve a beautiful presentation of their work and photography clearly is the art form of today… for the most part, the most exiting work out there is coming from photography” – John Wood, www.21stphotography.com I am not against a bit of enhancement, its unavoidable especially shooting in raw, but I personally don’t like to sway to far from what could be achieved in the conventional darkroom. Too many photographers are using HDR etc to cover up or enhance what otherwise would be a pretty average image, and in my opinion at the expense of been creative through the lens!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A walk into town


I took these two images during a walk into Hull City centre from where I live. Both taken with my Canon eos 30D and Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX Lens, raw captures processed in adobe lightroom, b/w using Nik Silver Efex. The Top one is an Old Oil Refinary Mill sitting derelict on the Riverside, the other image (just a bit further down river) is Wilmington Bridge, a disused Railway Line/Bridge over the River Hull. Now used by pedestrians and cyclists.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Last roll of film


Heres a couple of scanned prints from that last roll of film, taken with the old Canon eos 50E and my Canon EF 24-85 f3.5/4.5 Lens. Both taken in the Hessle area/Humber Estuary, near Hull, U.K. All digital from now, unless I win the Lottery, then I might buy myself a large format view camera to play with!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Disadvantage of film

Film and digital both have their pros and cons, and iv just realised another disadvantage with film, I have been using an old EOS 50E to use up some rolls of good Fuji reala film, before it gets to out of date, I took 28 shots on a 36 roll, so now I have to wait till I use the remaining frames before I can get it processed, now with digital it doesnt matter if I take 3 or 300 images, I can offload them onto my p.c. and start producing images straight away, another plus for me. While I still like film, esp for b/w, with programes like photoshop and Nik Silver Efex excellent b/w images can be had from digital. (Some people say you can achieve truer blacks with digital) Its so much easier, faster and less messy aswell working in the digital darkroom. I must admit I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed using digital and how intuiative I found it, as I had several reservations about it. But after actualy trying it (iv been using digital about 3 years now) my reservations turned out to be unfounded bias. I simply dont understand these die hards who condem it, without even trying it! People talk about images been manipulated, I can sympathise with that view to a certain extent but its in the practioners hands, (and people have been manipulating images in the Darkroom since photography begun) I personaly dont do anything in the digital Darkroom that could not be done in the wet Darkroom, its simply cleaner and easier, and I dont have a problem with using tools that makes life easier.

"Condemnation without Investigation is the height of ignorance" - Albert Einstein.

"I eagerly await new concepts and processes. I beleive that the electronic image will be the next major advance. Such systems will have their own inherent and inescapable structural characteristics, and the artist and functional practitioner will again strive to comprehend and control them" - Ansel Adams forward to his book 'The Negative' published January 1980.

I read this quote recently by photographer Barry Lategan, (the man who gave Twiggy her now iconic name) "Digital photography hasnt changed the way I see and look at things, it has accelerated the result" I totally agree!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Spurn Light House

Heres another one from Spurn Point, (East Yorkshire Coast/Humber Estuary) Taken with my Canon 10D 6.3mp, Check out the megapixel myth, I had a 12x18inch print done of this and its impressive quality, sure I could print a lot larger. Using a Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX Lens. Raw capture, iso 100 @ f8, processed in Lightroom, b/w using Silver Efex pro.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Equipment

While it always helps to have good equipment, as I said in one of my earlier posts at the end of the day its the person behind the camera that matters. Iv noticed on some forums an obsession with equipment, even more so in this digital age. Its as if people are anxiously waiting for the next bit of kit to come out, as if its going to make them a better photographer? I found this excellent article which illustrates the point in a more substantive way on Ken Rockwells site, check it out Here.