Back to Manual Everything Camera

I have ‘transferrrrred’ my D2X to somebody who needs it more for making a living.

I am now left with my FM2N and 28 2.8 AIS. I think those two are all I need at the moment. Although I am drooooolllliiiingg to have this ….

In the past two weeks I also bought heaps of Xtol developer, stop bath, fixer and wetting agent, used stainless steel developing tank (small cap is missing. d*mn !), changing bag, a few reloadable 135 cartridges, 20 rolls of Tri-X, 100 ft of PanF, a bulk loader and a film retriever.

… by now you can see a newbie in this darkroom world…

I hope I will enjoy the slow and painful process of this new world…

Afternoon Series (2) – Beneath The Sky

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D2X + 17-35 AFS

Today’s Photo

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“Yep, Missed Those Events…”

Photographically, not much that I did for the last six months. I missed a lot of great events. Local football club celebrated their first winning in 34 years. Such a great atmosphere when all of the football enthusiasts flooded the city to watch the game and witnessed their team won and spent the whole weekend having such an extrodinary jubilation around the city. The activity, the uniform and all their other atributes as well as the emotion that radiated to the air would have given fantastic objects.

Missed that one.

The Airbus A380 visited the city a couple of weeks ago. It only spent one night before it flew again to Manilla. And I live only five kilometers from the airport. Would it be fantastic to sit just outside the border at the end of the runway and get the photo of the plane took off, don’t you think? I am a fan of aircraft technology and A380 is a truly the next big thing after the Boeing 747 and the Concorde back in 1960’s.

Missed that one as well.

Lunar eclipse. There is a lot of good spots here especially in the mountain that has relatively clean air where you will have more than great probability of taking picture of the eclipse successfully. That does not guarantee success, though. You still need to have a good degree of understanding on how to photograph night sky objects (that I am lack of, to be honest).

Missed that since I was not successful enough to obtain a tripod, at that time.

But despite the missed opportunities above, I did not miss any chance of photographing my kids. They grow up everyday. Everyday seems the same day, yet they are very different. I am grateful I am given such an opportunity of taking care of the children. And have the luxury of having them frozen in either film or jpeg file. As claimed early on in my blog, I am not a photographer. I am a father who photographs my kids. A lot.

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The New E-3 from Olympus

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Olympus just released their new E-3. Hurray. With their 4/3 system. The body mounted antishake undoubtedly is the only selling point they have. They claim the fastest autofocus in the world. Now that might be true, but in many of our heads, Nikon and Canon definetely own that teritorry. Live View? Probably a selling point, for bug shooters with macro lens.

Despite the ‘antishake’ and the ‘fastest AF in the world’ feature they are proud of, the price they set in USD 1500-ish only acknowledge that they realize the 4/3 sensor size just cannot match the APS-C format, let alone full frame. Olie realizes that 4/3 is a turn off. If I can go with a bigger sensor with the same price, can I get one good reason why I should go with smaller one?

In a glance :

Cool stuff: body image stabilizer (antishake), not too pricey (?). Turn Offs: 4/3 sensor size.

PS: Luminance Sensor is a nice small touch, though.

Photography 101: Flash Tips

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The easiest way to have sufficient light for your picture is using flash. Flash is there to give more light so that your film or sensor can record what is in front of your lens. Usually the flash you have is the one built in your camera or the one that you attach on your camera’s hotshoe. However using flash is also considered as the easiest way to ruin your picture. Deer on the headlight, slightly over exposed subject with dark background, is the most common result of using the flash indoor when ambient lighting is too dark.

This article is to explain a little bit principle about using flash to beginner photographer (that includes me !). Those principles are, especially in a quite dim ambient lighting :

1) Aperture dictates how much the light from flash will get into your film or sensor.
The larger the diaphragm opening (the smaller the aperture number) the more the light getting through to your film or sensor. And vise versa.

2) Speed dictates how much the light from ambient will get into your film or sensor.
The slower the speed the more the light from ambient that gets through the film or sensor and vise versa.

Example:

Let’s say you are in a relatively dark ambient lighting: outside in a city street during the night (where light is present from the street and other lamps but quite dim) and you want to take a picture of your friend standing somewhere there. Using your flash set in manual just for an experiment. In this scenario your friend will be lit entirely by flash (presumably he is in flash reach) therefore the exposure of your friend face and body will depend on the light coming from the flash. Meanwhile his (or her) background exposure will depend on the ambient lighting. you can see the result on your LCD for each result by varying different aperture and speed.

With the exception of studio photography that we all know that flash is used almost all the time (only sometimes they use window light), good photo should always look natural, therefore the presence of artificial light should be hard to detect at least by untrained eye. And this means that wherever there is already a main light (e.g. sun, lamps, etc.) we should only use flash as a supplement of whatever main light in that very location and timing. One example is filling the shadow in a bright sunny day, however not to “over fill” it so that the picture looks boringly flat. Lighten the shadow moderately to create an effect of still having the shadow but the detail in the shadow is preserved. Now that sounds difficult, but with digital nowadays you can always experiment and having the result instantly.

The more difficult than shadow fill during sunny day is to deal with room lighting that is not bright enough to guarantee enough speed to secure the subject from movement blur. The idea is to balance a room lighting with our flash, again, not to overtake the room lighting that creates a flat and overexposed subject that does not blend in with the actual atmosphere. It is difficult because mainly room lighting has different color than our flash. Most of the time you have either incandescent lamp or fluorescent lamp which both case does not match with your flash light color. In photographic terms it is called color temperature. One way of matching the color temperature of your flash with the lamp is to have a color correction filter attached to your flash. That way your flash light will not be like one that comes from nowhere.

I myself find it very difficult to match ambient lighting with the flash. Especially when you do not have the correct filter with you. The situation usually leads to not to use the flash at all and pump up the ISO setting to gain more speed. One other compromise option is to use ‘slow’ mode in your flash where you can use your a bit of flash to adequately lighten up the subject just to secure the reasonable exposure — and hopefully freeze the movement — and drag the speed to still allow the ambient lighting to be recorded properly. You need to experiment the speed to create the preferred effect in your film or sensor. You might want to use tripod as well however handheld will usually deliver background lighting effect that you might also like.

However, I always love what the natures provides. Probably that would answer why my flash is sitting for the last four months. 

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Small Digital Camera With Good Short Shutter Lag

Besides the FM3D, I am waiting for small pcoket digital camera with good short shutter lag for street photography. Do you have any recommendation?

The Sigma DP1 is very very appealing. However the slow lens with max aperture of f4 is quite dissapointing. And there is no real review out there about this camera.

The other one is Ricoh GRD with its fix 28mm equiv. with f2.4. But the picture it produces is not very impressive, is it?

Well, probably I need to wait longer for the FM3D. And I also can use my own 28mm f2.8AIS on it. But when?