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Tech Podcast Network

SCL Photo Podcast 42: Battle Eye

SCL PodcastQuick review of "Battle Eye, A History Of Combat Photography", by Norman B. Moyes.

(And a bit about my new Canon 350d / Rebel XT!)

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Download / listen to the mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Did I say it was free?)

Download / listen to the LOW BANDWIDTH mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Again, free!)

"Battle Eye" On

One Of My First 350d / Rebel XT Pics (Taken At Stokes Bay):

Cheers, Rob.

First Photo's From My "New" Canon EOS 350d / Rebel XT dSLR


Got a few shots in today, nothing special, but it felt great to have the 350d firing away. Lens isn't the sharpest (it's the one of my old 50e Film SLR), and the sensor needs cleaning, but it's a good start.

I have to say that this camera is a lot more complicated than my Fujifilm S5700 / S700 - and I miss the "camera shake" warning icon, but it's going to be a great learning experience, and I can't wait to try some long (ie over 4 seconds!) exposures!

Anyway, you can see the rest over this rather small set over on Flickr.

Cheers, Rob.


Decision Made, Heart Rules Head!

The rot set in when I started to shoot with my Minolta SRT101 35mm Film SLR. It was just the feel of the thing - the weight, the view-finder, the presence of a larger camera.

I fooled myself into thinking that shooting with old Film SLR's, bought for a song at the local car boot sales, would somehow negate the need I felt in my photography for taking the next step, that it was a substitute for what I really wanted to do.

I should have known what I was doing when I bought the Canon 50e a couple of months ago. I wasn't buying it for the body, which itself was excellent, I was buying it for the lens. Because I knew that with an EF mount Canon lens in my collection there was always the possibility of buying a digital back.

I don't need another camera. My Fuji S5700 S700 is enough for most situations. Image quality, in good light, is superb. Focal range is unsurpassed for its price, shooting from Super-Macro to Super-Telephoto. With the ability to sync with it's flash at shutter speeds up to 1/1000th of a second, auto-bracketing, live view, grid-lines, and all the modes of a much more expensive camera, I'm worried that I could be disappointed with anything else. I didn't ask much of the little Fuji, and it has given so much.

But that clawing desire was still there - call it greed if you will. It's not about the camera, I know that's true. I've shot film, used compacts years old, and challenged myself to take better and better images, trying to improve my post processing skills along the way too.

I don't think I'm even close to exploring the full potential of the superb Fujifilm S5700, I'm just really scratching the surface, but every now and then I'd get out my 50e (empty of film), turn it on, and marvel at the speed of the auto-focus, the continuous shooting and the depth of field.

Then I had to decide on my budget, which was low, and what I had was only thanks to the generosity of my darling wife, Suzanne. This would be a one-off purchase, no more lenses for a long time, money is too tight. Should I go new, or second hand? Take the risk with an older, worn, but maybe a better value for money model rather than a shiny new model with a guarantee?

Then there's the make and model. Canon. Nikon. Sony. Pentax. Olympus. I knew I'd be locked into a lens system for the foreseeable future, because lenses, glass, are where it's at. I have one Canon lens, no Nikon glass, some Minolta stuff that won't work with the new Sony dSLR's, and a handful of M42 lenses that could work with a Nikon or Canon with an adapter, albeit in a much restricted manner.

I said my budget was low - but I had some requirements. Auto-bracketing. Fast start up. Not too many mega-pixels (my computers too slow to do the rendering), and great picture quality.

I spent hours on DPreview looking at sample images, coming to the conclusion that most dSLRs are very similar in their output, and in most cases, and in good light, not that much better (if at all) than my Fujifilm S5700.

But heart ruled head, the decision had to be made, I wanted something even if I didn't really need it.

To justify this outlay, I'm going to add some personal caveats that I may well share in the future, lets just say for now that I've made myself (and God) some strong promises.

My apologies to the film lovers, and those who thought I'd stick with a compact digital.

Today I ordered a second hand Canon EOS 350d.

Cheers, Rob.


SCL Photo Podcast 41: Black And White HDR's

SCL PodcastMy flavour of the month, black and white high dynamic range photography...

Less of a tutorial and more of an impassioned plea for everyone to try it out at least once!

Subscribe on Itunes. (Will open Itunes, then you need to click on the "subscribe" button.) (Free)

Subscribe with other Podcatchers. (Google Reader, etc) (For Free)

Download / listen to the mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Did I say it was free?)

Download / listen to the LOW BANDWIDTH mp3. (Right-click then "save target as" / "save link as".) (Again, free!)

My HDR Tutorials.

My Current Black and White Method.

Example Of A B&W HDR:
Moat View Towards Keep

Cheers, Rob.

Why I Love Photography...

Spider vs Bee

You know me, I'm a landscape kinda guy, but while working in the Garden I heard a frantic buzzing from the bushes.

After a quick look, I dashed inside, grabbed my Fujifilm S5700, punched it into aperture priority, f3.5, forced flash and macro mode.

After 4 or 5 frames my concience took over and I rescued the Bee, laid her on the grass and watched as she cleaned herself off and flew away.

Looking at it big I find it quite chilling, especially the way the web is clinging to the Bee's body....

Cheers, Rob.