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Category Archives: Reviews
The Lomography Petzval lens is a relatively new lens inspired by the past but designed to work with modern Nikon and Canon Digital SLRs. It’s totally manual and the images it produces have a dream like quality to them which is down to the super shallow depth of field and circular bokeh (blurring). Anything in the centre of frame will be highlighted by the circular bokeh and blurring patten. The lens is the equivalent of an 85mm on a full frame camera (like any Canon 5D) and its maximum aperture is f/2.2.
The roots of this new lens lies in the original Petzval lens designed by Joseph Petzval in 1840, and although Lomography’s Petzval is technically a little different from the original, they’ve definitely nailed the 1840’s aesthetic. In August 2013 Lomography ran a successful Kickstater campaign to fund the manufacturing of a new version of the Petzval, they smashed their $100,000 funding goal 13 times over. After the Kickstarter backers receive their lenses Lomography are selling them to anyone who wants one.
Nick Hedges was commissioned by the housing charity Shelter to document the harsh living conditions that people in poverty where forced to live in from 1968 – 1972. The work was used to help Shelter better campaign for those in poverty. To protect the anonymity of the people depicted the images have been used in a very limited way up and till now, this is the first public showing of the work since it was created over forty years ago.
Since November 2013 I’ve been using a Samsung Galaxy NX The first interchangeable lens camera to run the Android operating system. A common feature on new cameras is wireless connectivity that enables them to connect to phones or tablets to transfer photos so that images can then be posted online. Having a combination of Android and wireless connectivity cuts out the middle man, you can shoot pictures then use them in whatever Android app takes your fancy. You might think having full blown Android on a camera might get in the way of shooting, sure you could miss a photo op by playing angry birds, but no matter what app you’re using you can get into camera mode with one press of the shutter button. The build quality is really sturdy, it feels as small as it possibly could be while accommodating the large touch screen and large removable battery.
Since Dubble’s launch in October 2013 they have not rested on there laurels. The Dubble development team have been updating their app and boasted that they’ve now Dubbled three quarters of a million images in their first six months.
In case you did not read my original review of Dubble it’s an iOS app that pairs your photos with another user’s photo randomly to create a double exposed image. When first released it was a very stable app that did it’s core function very well, namely doubling your images with other peoples. I found it a little frustrating that when you found an image or user you liked there was no way to fav it, this has now changed with the addition of likes and other social features.
A little run down of the photo books I’ve acquired, most of which I got by attending photographer’s talks and book launches which means I get to pick up rare photography books and don’t have to pay postage. Some of the books are readily available on amazon while others will be a little harder to get hold of.
If this leaves you hungry for more check out my other photo book recommendations in these blog posts: Three recently acquired photographic publications by Jim Mortram, MiniClick and Tom Groves and Three recently acquired photo books by Maciej Dakowicz, Martin Parr and Sam Hiscox
As far as camera accessories go a camera strap is not as sexy as a prime lens with an über wide aperture or a carbon fibre tripod. But if your camera, lens and flash combination is above a certain weight a comfortable camera strap is a must. I find it quite surprising that straps that come with high end DSLRs are really cheap, uncomfortable and tend to be more of a camera advert than a strap.
Film swapping is something that has been going on in the analog / film side of photography for a some time. Film swappers shoot film and then send it to someone else, who will then run the already exposed film through their camera. This doubling up makes for 36 exposures of serendipitous goodness. The beauty is that neither party knows what they’re gonna get.
With the release of Dubble for the iPhone we can all experience a bit of photographic serendipity with our iPhone photos. The app is used to snap photos or upload them from the photo library, and once the image is in Dubble it will randomly superimpose it with other peoples’ images. Continue reading
I was invited to the Castle Leslie Estate in Ireland to experience the Olympus OM-D E-M1. The E-M1 is Olympus’s new Micro Four Thirds camera that is aimed at professionals, it is not a replacement for the E-M5 but will be sold along side it. Currently the E-M1 body only is £1,299 on amazon UK and the E-M5 body only is £730.
I only spent about 12 hours with the E-M1 which I don’t feel was long enough to really get to know it. But it is very similar to the older E-M5 which I had about a month with and got to know a little better.