May 17
Choosing a beginner’s Camera
‘I’d like to buy a proper camera, what should I get?’ – This is one of the more commonly asked questions for anyone who is known to be a photographer. I have two standard answers in the form of two further questions: How much do you want to spend? What is it that you cannot do with your current camera?
May 03
Learning Curve
I’m on a learning curve that has suddenly steepened. A few weeks ago a 24mm PC-e lens arrived along with a determination to achieve control over it. This morning was another instalment, beginning at 4.30 (which is frankly getting ridiculous…) and concluding with more thoughts about selling it.
Teacher or Sharer?
I’ve recently experienced a relatively dramatic upsurge in enquiries for workshops relating to either photographing or processing. Simultaneously there has been a noticeable increase in visitors to this website. Finally and in some ways most surprising of all has been the growing realisation that many of those visitors have been reading these blog posts. I plan and think in words and pictures. I use diagrams and text to organise my thoughts (usually with pencil and paper) and while the blog has always been open, it has served as a way of enabling thinking rather than of specifically sharing or pontificating. I’ve been a subscriber to the principle of Social Constructionism for many years now. The core of this for me is the belief that learning, rather than a competitive process where the ‘best learner’  wins, is an undertaking that is best performed by a group. This may be a small study group or scaled to the whole of society/humanity. Simply, work together, share and we all learn more. In writing the above I am trying to make a point. When I write about what I have learned, it is to share that learning and perhaps facilitate the learning of someone […]
JetPack
I’ve experienced a bit of an epiphany this week. Following a number of chance interactions it seems that people have been looking at my website and on at least a few occasions, actually reading it. Despite the substantial amount of work out in, it still comes as a bit of a surprise. Part of the reason for this surprise is that for the last two years, every single print sale or workshop has come from either Facebook or Twitter; buyers and clients have only gone to the website after their initial interest has been confirmed. The immediate consequence
Goldilocks again
I suspect the Goldilocks concept is quite deeply ingrained within me. In essence it represents the view that for any given purpose, no single item will suffice and at least three will be required. This seems to work for all manner of things – for any task one solution will be too big/heavy, one too small and one just right. Vary the task or the context and one of the others becomes perfect.
Sleeklens Photoshop Actions
Recently I was sent a set of PS Actions for evaluation. They were sent free on the basis that I would try them and write a review. I’ve had the opportunity to try most if not all of the many options that they offer. First I should point out that the use of actions does not sit particularly comfortably with my normal way of working; I don’t even create my own presets and tend to process each image ‘longhand’ and from scratch. From the start, the install is straightforward
Chrulaiste
  This is a view I’ve wanted to experience for many years now. I first saw a picture from here on Facebook 7 or 8 years ago and set about finding the location. Since that time, every visit to the glen has been associated with at least one reason why I couldn’t make a visit to the viewpoint work. Finally in January this year I managed to bring all the necessary parts (including most importantly the weather) together and made the ascent early one morning with Garry Smith and Richard Hunter.
An X-T2 Wishlist
            More or less on time, Fuji announced the much anticipated X-Pro 2. While many were engaged with this event others of us noted that it was the hoped for stepping stone on the way to our hoped for X-T2 camera. Our own instinct, supplemented by the usual (Industry spnsored…) rumour mill is that the successor to the X-T1 will emerge later this year, we hope in June or thereabouts. Despite the praise lavished on the rangefinder versions, their ‘Pro’ designation and price point at the top of the range, I preferred my XT to the XPro. It felt a little like the impact that the OM1 and OM2 made on the full size pro bodies in the 70’s. I’m pretty happy with the x-T1 but it does have a combination of niggles, annoyances and some limitations. What then is my own personal wishlist for the XT? Sensor: We have the 24MP sensor in the XPro, this is a given now I would say. Performace: If the XT matches the Pro the results should be perfectly acceptable Battery Life: I want greater battery life but it would seem that Fuji are guiding us to make […]
Gloves…
I am perhaps far too interested in gloves, I may seek treatment….. I own a lot of gloves and have owned a vast number of pairs over the last 40 years or so. Those of us who spend a lot of time in the mountains have lots of gloves. Photographers have lots of gloves. I’m not sure whether photographers who spend time in the mountains have those numbers added together or multiplied.
Competitions
After what seemed a very long wait, I received my shortlist email. I have learned a few lessons over the past week
Horses for Courses
There is no single answer to the question of which is the best camera nor of which camera should I pick up on the way out. Like cars, motorbikes, campervans etc. There is only the best choice for that occasion. As with tripods I tend to think initially in terms of small, medium and large. These are relevant in terms of other considerations such as distance being walked, height gained, other kit being carried and whether the focus of the day is predominantly photography or whether it is more  case of having a camera with you on the off chance.
Early days
In the house where I was a small child there were always family photograph albums. What made them slightly different was that I knew most of them had been taken, developed and printed by my father. At maybe 7 or 8 years old
Big Move
    Its been a while but at last its time to move from the old hand crafted website to a more modern looking responsive site based on the ubiquitous WordPress. Having ‘grown up’ writing my sites by hand it is a challenge to have to bend and stretch an existing product into shape.
Style Guru
I was paid a very kind compliment today regarding a recently made photograph. The kind observation was that it was very much in the style of a very famous landscape photographer- a genuine household name. This got me thinking about a question that has vexed me for a very long time. What is my style? The sub question is inevitably, ‘and should I have one?’ There are many photographers including most (though not all) of the best who have an almost instantly recognisable style.