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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

3 great tips for mobile photography - whats yours?

The iPhone has probably changed photography forever. Its so portable and easy to take great pictures on the run when you don't have 'gear' hanging around your neck or shoulders. My 3 tips for using the iPhone to take great pictures are:

  1. Remember to hold it steady & compose the shot
  2. Download ProCamera - its just sooooo good
  3. Download Snapseed for edits on the fly - unbeatable value
Below are a few differently proceed pictures of the same shot taken today. Anyone with a little imagination and creativity can produce great photos on the run. Seriously this is just so very easy. Let me know what your tips are. Enjoy.

Monday, April 29, 2013

iPhone 4 still rocks for street photography

I cannot believe how good the iPhone 4 is for most types of photography, especially just street pics on the go. Besides the fact that it is a computer as well, the convenience is just so cool. But how often do we forget that we don't need expensive camera gear to take great photos. Yep, been there done that! Now I love expensive camera gear, and if I had an eternal budget, I'd be buying Leica's and full frame dslrs like there was no tomorrow. Back to reality. My favourite app on the iPhone 4 is ProCamera, which allows you a huge amount of control from your phone. Set focus and exposure points, timer, histogram etc etc - just check it out on iTunes. Its great. Easy to use too. Here's a few random shot from my whereabouts today. These are straight from the iPhone 4 without any processing using ProCamera. Enjoy.

Graffiti in East Sydney - I like the brick contrast
Same photo as above with Nik software neutral density and sharpening

Table number in Lane Cove - virtually no light

Cafe in Lane Cove - again its dark which you can tell from the camera shutter speed blurring the cafe worker 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Canon 60d and Sigma 85 f1.4 capture weekend sport

There is much said about the Sigma 85 f1.4 being a great portrait lens, which is true, but depending on your distance from the action, it's also a handy lens to capture weekend sports. The lens is a prime lens, fixed focal length with no zoom. The 1.4 aperture allows the lens to capture lots of light allowing for fast shutter speeds at most apertures. I always use mine with a hood and uv filter to protect the lens from accidental bumps and knocks. I know different people have different views on Sigma lenses, but I've generally thought that these are great. I own the 30mm 1.4, 17-55 2.8, 70-200 2.8 and extender tube. Occasionally the compatibility with Canon cameras means you can get either front or back focussing issues, which in Australia the distributors fix for free. Optically they are neck and neck with native brands. Just my experience, others may disagree. The Canon 60d was my step up dslr from the Canon 400d, which was also a great camera - it still is. I shot sports on the 60d with the centre focal point selected and use the AF button on the back to keep continuous focus to get more actions shots that are keepers. These were all shot jpeg and processed slightly in Snapseed on the iPad. The day was very contrasty and bright, so excuse the shadows. Enjoy.

Cooper in action



Friday, April 26, 2013

Olympus TG1 a great waterproof camera

Last Christmas I took the Olympus TG1 on holidays to Broadbeach for the convenience of taking some in and underwater shots. I usually take the Canon S95 down to the beach and try as best a possible to avoid sand and water, but you also miss many shots being so careful. Not with the TG1, it just goes where you go and is one tough camera. The quality of the images is fair, and probably on par with the Canon S95. If anything they are a little flatter than the Canon, but yell, I can take this in the ocean and the pool! Enjoy.

Cooper & Oliver make sandcastles

Cooper aqua

Oliver aqua

How passionate are you about photography?

I met a great guitarist today in Hyde Park named Gavin. I'd walked past him a few times a week on my way to the city, and he is always playing and creating as life strolls by. Well today I decided to talk with him about his playing and technique as I too play the guitar, just not that well. It turns out he used to work in Holland as an engineer, but felt so strongly about his guitar playing that he gave everything up to play and busk on the streets. Now that's passion and commitment. Even though he is an amazing player, all he kept saying is, "I have so much more to learn". And he claims to have only taken up the instrument in the last 6 years. I recorded a short clip with his permission for you all to enjoy below, and to think about what passion is about. Are we all taking our photography to a level like this? I'm not. Funnily enough whilst I was shooting this on my iPhone 4 there was a photographer with a Nikon d800e taking shots, good to see. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

x100s turning day into night with flash

Yes the x100s syncs to 1/4000th of a second. Why? Well unless you are shooting extremely fast kids on a regular basis with a flash gun, you can use this feature to turn day into night to get some very interesting affects. This is a simple demonstration using a small child's bike, but the shots you can get from portraits is stunning. Maybe I'll do a post on this soon. So what gear am I using beside the x100s? to trigger the flash I'm using a Wein Sync-Link Flash Trigger that is easily mountable on the hot shoe  and takes 2 AA batteries with a simple on/off switch. This sends a IR pulse to the slave flash of your choice - not sure if its TTL. The flash I chose is the Yongnuo YN 460-II as its acts as a slave and its very inexpensive. I'm very happy with this flash and actually find it better than my Canon equivalent because its easily switched in slave mode - I use S1 mode. Switch the x100s flash into C mode and the Wein will fire the flash - and sync up to 1/4000th of a second. Importantly turn on your ND filter - it acts to darken the scene and trick the camera to get the night affect. Yeah! Enjoy.

x100s with Wein Sync Link and Yongnuo flash
Wein Sync Link - uses IR pulse to fire external flash in salve mode
Yongnuo YN 460-II flash in S1 slave mode
Reference shot in full sun Program mode

Shutter priority f2 iso 320 nd filter 1/4000th

Manual f2 iso 500 nd filter 1/4000th

manual f2 iso 800 nd filter 1/4000th

Manual f4 iso 800 nd filter 1/4000th

Manual f4 iso 1000 nd filter 1/4000th

x100s with Nik software - OMG!

Well I thought I'd try the x100s with Nik Software, so I downloaded their free trial, went and found some architectural subject matter. See for yourself what happened. Yes that's right, amazingly sharp and high definition pictures. Nik Software and the x100s seem to be made for each other. I especially love Silver Efex Pro 2 and its B&W rendering. Enjoy.

St Marys Catherdral Sydney - x100s f8 1/800 iso 200, Nik software tonal contrast
Crooped from above shot

St Marys Catherdral Sydney - x100s f8 1/800 iso 200, Nik software tonal contrast - sharpened

Cropped from above

Saturday, April 13, 2013

X100s still rocks with Perfectly Clear

Ok more pics from home but this time I've been using the jpegs straight from the camera with Perfectly Clear app on the iPad. Now comparing this camera with a dslr is a little difficult, however I still think a dslr with a good prime lens will produce better shots if used correctly, but not by much. In fact the results are very close. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

X100s at the Art Gallery NSW

Today I had a spare hour so took a stroll to the art gallery to try out the x100s. All pictures were taken without a flash ISO between 400 and 3200, not that you could tell. Used a mixture of B&W and colour. All jpegs, no raw required. Enjoy.

Monday, April 8, 2013

X100s creates stunning jpegs

Well this camera just continues to amaze me. Here are some simple snaps at home in colour and B&W. All have had minimal editing in Snapseed on the iPad. It would seem that the quality rivals that of many full frame cameras and/or expensive prime lenses. Enjoy.