Have you noticed that social photographs in newspapers and magazines all look pretty much the same?
The subjects usually groupings of 2, 3 or 4 people, looking into the camera, most often with a glass in their hands and wearing a cheesy smile and if they have been to modelling school, a hand on hip sideways look.
When working for Playboy at their head office in Chicago, many decades ago, as head of marketing and PR, I issued a directive to the many photographers supplying social pics of VIP’s in the many Playboy Clubs around the USA, that I would not publish photos where subjects were looking at the camera with a smile. I wanted to have photos with a bit of action, with a bit of pizzazz, showing subjects doing something, engaged in conversation, not the boring photos that we see so often, also photos that showed the ambience of the event. Pictures that showed the locale, the food, the drink service and much more. In movies, these types of shots are called cutaways and are rarely seen in publications, let’s change all that.
I was recently invited to Water Polo by the Sea at the Bondi Icebergs, it was a truly fantastic event, loads of beautiful people, lots of great food and sensational drinks, what more could anyone wish for. The women and men, were dressed to the nines, most wore fantastic outfits and everywhere I looked there was a photo opportunity.
I must admit that I committed a cardinal mistake – I did not think it was going to be such a great event with so many photo opportunities and I did not bring the spare battery for my digital camera. After taking over 300 photographs, my battery power was starting to run low. Lesson: always carry a spare battery, one never knows when one might need it.
Memory is never really a problem as I always use 8 gig memory cards that deliver well over 1000 photographs at the highest resolution. When travelling, I take at least six 8 gig memory cards, enabling me to shoot lots of pictures.
The motto is being prepared, always take an extra battery and spare memory cards, as well as keeping a spare one in your wallet or purse.
So here are a few of the many photographs I took at Water Polo by the Sea, they show some interesting people and give you an idea of what the event was all about.
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As well as a lens cap all larger camera owners should invest in a UV or Skylight filter. They not only improve image quality slightly, but offer great lens protection when not using a lens cap. Canon now offers pinch lens caps that allow you to pinch from the center of the cap instead of along the edges. The new lens caps will be rolled out across Canon’s lens line-up beginning in January 2013. I would love to see an extra lens cap supplied at time of purchase. I am always misplacing mine.
In the mean time, there’s sure to be some great deals on older Nikon models as as they near their end-of-life.
I am looking forward to testing this camera as I am always on the lookout for high quality cameras that are lightweight for my overseas excursions. Less is often more.
I like the 4/3rds format due to the smaller camera size, but miss the larger sensor. I believe this camera is extremely good in its video mode and sorts a stereo microphone with provision for a plug in external mike.
The photo below was taken by me in the picturesque town of Honfleur in France while on a cruise last year. Technical Details: Nikon D70 1/400sec at f10 ISO 1/320 set on Auto, Quality L.
In my travels around the world I run into many amateur photographers, mainly using point-and-shoot cameras. As amateurs, most usually set their cameras on automatic at all times and in doing so, they miss out on some great photo opportunities.
I must admit that I leave my camera on automatic probably 90% of the time, but there are those times one must be ready to switch to manual controls to get those pictures that really stand out.
Locking focus and exposure can be accomplished very easily while still leaving one’s camera in the automatic mode, this is achieved by selecting the area of the picture one wants to focus on and the exposure area and holding down the shutter release button halfway. Keeping the button half depressed, frame the picture and take the photograph by depressing the shutter fully.
See the photograph of the class of lemonade in which I have selected focus on the glass, notice how it makes a picture stand out, or at least I think so.
Keep your camera handy at all times: I was walking through the grounds of my hotel in Waikiki and noticed this bride waiting to have a photograph taken by a professional. I swung
my camera around and took the photo within two or three seconds, it turned out very well.
On my main camera, macro is automatic and when one focuses at fairly close distance the camera automatically selects the macro mode: I find it very handy for photographing food on my travels.
The moral of the story is read your cameras instruction manual and learn how to work some of your cameras manual settings, you’re find you will take better pictures.
Just remember, it’s not the camera that takes good photographs, its the photographer.
I have just returned from a wonderful cruise on the new to our shores, Carnival Spirit, and am preparing for another two day cruise tomorrow on the same ship after its Aussification. During the cruise from Honolulu to Sydney via Tahiti and Fiji I took over 1,500 photographs on board, here are some of them. Most of the time my trusty Olympus OMD was set on Automatic with some periods where it was set in P mode at around 4000 ASA. It will take me some time to go through these, but at first quick look they came out pretty well.
A point of interest was Carnival Spirit’s photo department. They had at least four photographers on duty each night taking portraits as well as informal photos around the ship. Also a full time videographer that was making a ship’s video for passengers to purchase. Americans love their family portraits, I wonder if Australians will purchase as many photos on board as their North American counterparts. I was very impressed at the multitude of backgrounds offered, as well as green screen backgrounds in which almost any background could be superimposed. These deluxe portraits sold for around $20 with other informal photos costing a lot less. Photos were offered in many sizes as well as on canvas and mounted in books.
Although I took an external flash, I did not use it once, opting to use a higher ASA rating to give a more natural look. With the enormous ASA ranges available on modern cameras, the use of flash is rarely necessary.
Photographing food is becoming more popular and I saw several fellow passengers photographing their dishes at meal times. I was once on a cruise where the American couple sitting opposite us said “Don’t you have this kind of food in Australia?” as I dutifully photographed each dish served to me.
I use my camera as a diary. As a travel writer it saves me taking copious notes and brings back memories of each meal. I even photograph tickets and bills on each trip, this serves as an ideal way to keep records, especially if you wish to justify tax deductions. When traveling keep your camera with you at all times, it must be Murphy’s Law, but every time I leave my camera behind, usually, a great photo opportunity is missed.
Finally the long-rumored D600 – a full-frame DSLR aimed at enthusiasts, and I am sure professionals as well, with a price around $2500 for body only. It will also come packaged with a 24 to 85 lens for under $3500. For a full frame with all the bells and whistles, this is great value.
I managed to get my hands on one at Paxtons, one of my favourite camera stores and the largest family owned independent retailer in Australia. The D600 is significantly cheaper than its big brother the D800, and in fact every other current full-frame DSLR, so I may have to re-think my recent change to 4/3rd format. I have over a dozen lenses from my old Nikon film cameras that I thought will fit, but apparently not so some of my older lenses. So I would suggest you check to see if your lenses will work on the D600.
How wonderful to put on a lens that says 20mm and it actually is 20mm. The camera is a work of art and in spite of the fact that I really don’t need a full frame, I wonder if I can restrain myself from buying one.
The D600 offers similar build quality and operational ergonomics as the popular DX-format D7000, this is hugely significant. It’s full frame, but not only that, it matches or exceeds the pixel count of every other full-frame DSLR except the D800, it seems to be a camera that all enthusiasts and many professionals will lust after. I’ve already started lusting. Previously a full frame SLR cost many thousands of dollars, now it is within the range, although not cheap, for those enthusiasts wanting the best without breaking the bank who will undoubtly buy one.
LETS LOOK AT VIDEO and COMPETITION
Both the Canon EOS 6D and the Nikon D600 are offering full-frame sensors, but Nikon has the higher resolution device in the shape of its 24.3 million pixel device. Canon has 20.2 megapixels sensor.
Using more pixels can increase the chance of image noise, but a higher count is helpful if you want to crop into an image and retain high quality. Although the Canon EOS 5D Mark III offers an impressive 61 point autofocus system, the Canon EOS 6D doesn’t fare anywhere near as well, with just an 11 point system. This is fewer than the 19 points found on the APS-C sensored Canon EOS 7D, and just two more than the Canon EOS 60D.
Nikon, on the other hand, has included substantially more AF points, with 39 on the Nikon D600. However, there’s something else that needs to be considered with these cameras. Canon claims that the EOS 6D is able to focus all the down to -3EV, while the Nikon D600 can only manage -1EV. This could make a big difference to low light and night time shooting.
Both the Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D600 come with latest generation processors. Canon, however, has the edge when it comes to sensitivity settings, offering native speeds of ISO 100-25,600, expandable to ISO 50-102,400. Meanwhile, the D600′s native settings are ISO 100-6400, expandable to 50-25,600.
I’m biased being a Nikon man through and through, both cameras offer great features. You be the judge.
PHOTO: Michael Zitser, Marcia Paxton and John Paxton. Paxtons Photographic Pty Ltd (Sydney,NSW)
As an old TV and film producer and Director, I started my career as a cameraman at channel Nine.. My love of photography has been mainly in the still arena, but apart from shooting professional film productions, where I used mainly Arriflex and Panavision cameras, my amateur pursuits were limited to 3 chip pro/amateur cameras. In this area most enthusiastic amateurs are limited by size and price.
Although I have not been able to get my hands on this camera yet, I felt I should report this camera that I believe will revolutionise smaller budget productions and give amateurs the opportunity to duplicate high-end professional quality. Achieve the look of a feature film on a small budget with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera! With a2.5K CMOS image sensor delivering 13 stops of dynamic range, and an EF-compatible lens mount, amazing high quality movie footage from a compact and affordable body is now possible. Recording uncompressed Cinema DNG RAW and industry-standard Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD file formats directly to 2.5” SSD drives*, and sporting a 5” LCD Touch Screen with easy metadata entry, you can get the shots and edits you want – on-time and on-budget.
Standard connections include 3Gb/s SDI out, mic/line in, 12V-30V external power, headphone out, LANC and Thunderbolt^. Furthermore, Davinci Resolve grading software is included! The Blackmagic is perfect for the budding indie filmmaker or seasoned pro looking for an impressive-yet-compact cinematic solution.
This is a body only kit and does not include a lens.,high quality lenses from different manufacturers are available for under a thousand dollars. A compatible lens is required to shoot video footage. Mac Thunderbolt will output 10 bit 4:2:2 1920×1080 video. The camera should be able to capture RAW from Thunderbolt in a future firmware update. I can’t wait to get my hands on this camera. John Pond
TECHNICAL DETAILS: Courtesy Digital Camera warehouse 1300 356 220
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Went to a preview of this exhibition at Sydney Art Gallery. The first comprehensive exhibition in Australia of the work of Eugène Atget (1857–1927) will showcase over 200 photographs primarily from the more than 4000-strong collection of Musée Carnavalet, Paris, with the important inclusion of Atget’s work, as compiled by Man Ray, from the collection of George Eastman House, Rochester, USA.
The photographs offer a portrait of the city of Paris and its outskirts and clearly reveal the evolution of Atget’s work. Atget did not train as a photographer and only turned to it to try to earn a living, having been unsuccessful in other fields. He started out in the provinces but soon arrived in Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. Atget was considered a commercial photographer who sold what he called ‘documents for artists’, ie, photographs of landscapes, close-up shots, genre scenes and other details that painters could use as reference. As soon as Atget turned his attention to photographing the streets of Paris, his work attracted the attention of leading institutions such as Musée Carnavalet and the Bibliothèque Nationale, which became his principal clients.
The Art Gallery of NSW is the only Australian venue. The exhibition is jointly organised by Fundación Mapfre, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Musée Carnavalet-Histoire de Paris, and Paris Musées. Although very interesting due to the subject matter, I do not feel the prints were that outstanding, from a photographic point of view. John Pond
On view Admission $10.00, $8.00 concession 24 Aug – 4 Nov 2012 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney