Saturday, July 28, 2012

Melbourne Open House 2012..

Today was a day to get some great shots around Melbourne, and I did..


Open House Melbourne was run today, and I had a ball. Yes there were A LOT of places I never got to, but that's what next year is for. 


I managed to get only to 3 buildings today, mainly because I made a mistake with one (it was closed and I ended up like 6k away from one of the others). 


Next year I will be taking the whole weekend off so I can get to a lot more places, and hopefully I will be back on the bike enough to be able to ride between more of the places. That way I can cover more ground. 

I'm even planning on traveling a little lighter as well.

Please take a look at the flickr collection

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flinders Street Station Tunnel...

This is just a small capture I made on the way home from getting my hair cut today. 


It's very Zombie Apocalypse.. 

I suppose sometimes this is how people see these tunnels. Cold and lonely, with just enough scariness to get you to walk just that little bit faster.   

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8.... Bow Down to it's AWESOMENESS

I have just become a "Nikon Nerd" today. Well I have always been a bit of a Nikon Nerd, but I entered the realm of UBER NERD today..
Yerp... I'm now the owner of just over 2K worth of probably the best glass in ALL THE WORLD!

The 24-70mm would have to be best regarded as a "Bread n' Butter" lens for most photographers Pro or Amateur. It covers the focal lengths for 90% of photography done today. Yes you might need a 12-24mm for Landscapes and Indoor Architecture shots; and the boys and girls shooting Sport and Wildlife will want a 70-200mm for those frame filling action works; but this lens will do pretty much anything you could want in between those two "specialty" styles of shooting.

I would argue that you could ask every photographer shooting now and I think almost everyone would say that if they had to choose 1 lens focal length, this would be it.

The nuts and bolts of this lens.. 24-70mm zoom (so on an APSC it would be 36-105mm) at a constant f2.8; 0.38m min Focusing Distance; Nano Coating for less flare (show ya later); Silent Wave Motor Focus; and heaps of other BLAH BLAH and WAH WAH....

So what's the reality... THIS IS FANTASTIC!!! I have owned a lot of stuff over the years, and this makes most everything look like Camel Piss!! This thing pulls your pants down and kicks you so hard in the privates, you ask for another to make sure that was the right thing to do. It is FACE SLAPPINGLY sharp!! I just cant get over it.


Just think, if your name isn't Limit or Full your out of focus!!! This lens is INSANE!! OK even I will admit that the Auto Focus is out by about 3-4mm but DAM!!


By the time you hit f8, it's in focus edge to edge (pretty much) and PIN SHARP!! 


Now you can see just in the bottom right of frame there is just a little bit of Flare. But lets be realistic, im pointing the lens pretty much in the sun behind the cloud!! 


So from zoomed all the way in at 70 or pulled out to 24mm, this lens out shoots anything I think I have seen ever!!

Again this lens is not for the feint hearten, as I said earlier it's going to set you back the better part of 2k. But it is worth EVERY PENNY!! You can forgive the Barrel Distortion and Pincushion (Photoshop will fix it later) because the lens is just SO GOOD!!! SOOOOO clean and crisp, with lovely color and tone. If I had to rate it you would say 4.5 out of 5 just because of the distortion, but that's being pretty harsh.

You can see all my test shots here with a lot more to come..

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sometimes you just have to get THAT CLOSE...


Yep sometimes you really do have to get that close.

Looking into peoples eyes, gives you a window into everything they are thinking. What do you think she is thinking?? 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Not street, but very sweet....

I do love shooting my kids on occasions. They can be wonderful subjects, or nightmares. 

This is my eldest daughter shot on a Nikon F4S using Ilford FP4 100ISO film. I have to say that I buggered the shot a little as her jacket is in focus, but her face is a bit soft and out of focus. But I still really like it and think it works really well. She is quite shy and this image brings that out with her face very soft.

She will be SHATTERED once she sees this on the net.. Teenagers.......

CR Kennedy....... Your VERY VERY UNWELCOME..

If your the owner of a Sigma Lens and need it serviced at CR Kennedy, I'm just giving you a warning.

Throw the lens away and either buy the proper NikonCanon, or what ever fits the camera your using. I know I'm probably one of a very very small crowd of people that have had a problem, but I'm far from going to be the last. Now as I have a pretty big soap box to stand on, I'm about to get up there and roar.

1) When I took my camera and lens into them for re-calibration and checking (as it has never really been sharp even right down to f8), the service technicians (or that's who I think they were) told me about a week and it really shouldn't take much longer.
2) So after almost a week I planned on popping in to collect my camera and newly calibrated lens but was informed it was not done yet and it should be ready very early the next week and I should call Tuesday.
3)Tuesday of the next week (so 2 weeks for a 1 week check) the camera still hasn't been done (even though it was "started" a week ago) and to call Thursday for a very accurate time as to when it will be finished.
4) The call is placed on Thursday and I'm told it should be ready Friday and I should call to check and make sure so it can be collected.
5) Call Friday morning and it's redirected straight to the Sydney Office. The lady on the other end of the phone informs me that Melbourne is relocating to a new warehouse and won't be contactable till Monday afternoon Tuesday Morning and she can email them any questions I might have.
6) Call Monday making sure they understand that if my camera is not ready I don't really care anymore I just need it back. I have lost 2 bookings and untold dollars and that I'm at the point where some form of reimbursement  might be in order for the money I have lost unable to work. I'm also informed that the lens calibration has started and it should be ready Tuesday.
7) Tuesday I call and I'm told it will be finished and ready to collect Wednesday. When prompted as to a time for collection I was told I should call prior, as there are no guarantee's. I then explained yet again what was happening and the lengths I would go, we came to an agreement that they would ship my camera to me overnight via courier. I was also told they would call and or email me the tracking number.
8) Wednesday Morning and after not receiving a call or email with the tracking number I call and receive the number and check online to see where it is, and before I could even enter the password the delivery man arrives and my camera and lens finally made it back into my hands. After 20-30 test shots it looks absolutely no different. So it took 3 weeks for my camera and lens to be calibrated, checked, and fine tuned for the images to look no different.

What's the morale of this story? Well there are a couple.

1) DON'T SKIMP ON EQUIPMENT!! This is the first and last time I will say this. I was in a bit of a pickle at the time and need a lens FAST. This was the only one available so I went and bought it WITHOUT USING IT FIRST!! Go to the stores and try out the gear, If I had of tested it first, I would have never bought it.

2) THE CUSTOMER COMES FIRST! Yep I have burnt 1 or 2 bridges in my time photographically and when I worked in retail. Sometimes things just never go right and you do have to be that guy or gal that bails at the last minuet and screw's the pooch. I have always tried to give enough time so people can find alternatives. But to have a company lie and misinform me as much as they did, that's some of the worst customer service ever.

OK they never changed me for the work on the camera or the shipping, but I think that's the least they could do. I must admit though, I will never buy anything from Sigma again, or anything that is related to the CR Kennedy company's again. If I can ABSOLUTELY make sure of it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just a touch of some new work.... Enjoy

Abbotsford Convent9

I have FINALLY had some time to get a few rolls of film I have been sitting on developed and scanned. 

A lot of the images are from around Abbotsford Convent and the surrounds, but there were also a few out of my Holga as well. 

Abbotsford Convent15

So feel free to pop over to my and take a look.

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's almost nice outside... Beautiful clouds I must say!!

Sometimes iPhoneography can give me the impression that I almost don't need a camera. 

These pictures from the like of Hipstamatic and Instagram are really making and taking photography to a different level. We have access to these cameras 24/7, and the images are able to be shared at the same rate. I have found a new found fondness for my iPhone since my DSLR has been getting serviced (more on that later). 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Film Photography back in Vogue... It NEVER LEFT US!!

ABC Radio National had an interesting little blog/podcast today on Film Photography. 

Film Photography Back In Vogue is an "interesting" look into the world of film photography of today, compared to say 15 years ago. It's all a bit wired coming form the "mouth of babes" as well.

At the grand old age of 41 (yeah I know) I have known film for a long time, and this Digital Thing is still pretty new to me. I still manage a small darkroom in my house developing my own Black and White film and might even hit out a few prints next year if I can get the gear on board.

But to almost claim that film is "New" or in a "Revival" is almost ludicrous.

Kodak started in 1888 (or there about's as that was the first camera from them) and FujiFilm have been on the ground and running for almost 80 years. These are probably two of the most common names in film, and the most recognized. With over 100years of history, why would we think Film to be a new medium?

What we lack now is the Master Printer. The Master Printer would take a negative from you with the changes you wanted made, and print an image that would make you smile. The knowledge and technical skill in printing an image from a negative has been all but lost in most instances. A lot of the chemicals are even quite hard to get and can be quite toxic if used incorrectly. There was talk of photographers and their assistants (in the 60's and 70's) popping amphetamines and drinking some of the chemicals (yes DRINKING). Mind you the prints these men were striking were AMAZING. They could recoil the the White and control the Dark in a wondrous ballet of Alchemy.

In this world of perfection, sanitized images of pure sharpness and clarity can bore us. We need to not go back, but reignite the passion for our "Hands On" technical aspect. We rely to much on Digital Mediums and have lost the tactile aspect that is associated with photography. Yes I agree that there is a resurgence in Film, and younger photographers are finding something more "organic" in the use.

But the reality is that film is soft and lovely. There is a "by gone era" feel the images take on. It takes a little more technical knowledge to shoot, but the image that you see is something to take your breath away. Modern Masters (Joel would giggle at being Modern) of photography like MeyerowitzCrewdson, and Wall  are all avid film shooters. Regardless of format, people should be looking to shoot and develop there own Black and White film. It's a great feeling to make something, to take the photo and create the negative, then have a way to print the image. This is what art really is.

Yes Digital has its place. I still love my digital camera for a lot of my shooting it works. But there really is something soft and special about film.

I implore you all to go out there and open your minds. Get a film camera and teach yourself to develop the film. It's really satisfying.