Monday, 16 December 2013

Out of Office is on

 

 
We are currently taking a little break and will be back in the very near futre.  All the best for Christmas and the New Year.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Pixel In-Profile: Features Editor, Liam Loughlin

Getting Wet at Niagra
In the normal flow of things, next up in our ‘In Profile’ section would be Bob Singleton. But as Bob is away in Nepal at present, trekking around Mount Everest, you have the new kid on Pixel’s block.
           
I’ve always had a keen interest in photography, which probably grew from my Dad’s interest in the subject. My sister and I used to watch images my Dad had taken from around the world, on the slide projector which I’m pretty sure he still owns. I can still remember as a child, trying to work out how my Dad got to the moon to take photos of the earth and Neil Armstrong. Not realising, as a very young age, that you could buy slides of major events.

Setting Sun in Memphis

My first venture into taking photos, was during my time in secondary school while studying for a GCSE in Photography. Our photography teacher, Mr Fleming, was a really good photographer and regularly had work published in cycling magazines. The school had its own fully working dark room, where we were taught how to develop our own shots. The smell of photographic chemicals always takes me back to my school days.  

After leaving school, academic studies took over my spare time, along with regular trips to Old Trafford to watch United. Photography drifted away and wasn’t
Race Concentration
really in my thoughts for a number of years. At the age of 21 I purchased my first ever camera, a Canon T50, which was very quickly upgraded to a Nikon F50 with two lenses. I struggled with film photography for a while and was always disappointed with the results. But I did what most people have done, read lots of books and learned a bit more about what I was doing. Before long my images started to improve and I also started to try different aspects of photography.


Tommy Hill at Oulton Park
In 2006 I made my first steps into proper digital photography, with the purchase of my Nikon D50. The freedom to see what you had taken straight away was great, and let me experiment with my photography on a new level. This year I purchased a second hand Nikon D300, and the two bodies now travel with me most of the time. Recently, they have been Memphis, Nashville & Niagara Falls and both have done a great job. My kit bag usual consists of the D50 & D300, along with 50mm prime lens, 18-70mm zoom and a 70-300mm zoom. Along with the lenses and bodies, I have various filters and a flash gun.
shooting in

The Lowry Outlet Mall
My photography, like Lee’s, can’t be pigeon holed into a certain genre as I take shots of everything and anything. I’ve tried to include some different types of shots in this article, so you can get a feel of the sort of shots I do. I enjoy viewing shots you don’t always see, and have been inspired by people like Chris McVeigh and Carl Warner.  I do have a big love of motorsport and enjoy trying to photograph fast things as they whizz pass me. A lot of people think it’s just a case of pressing the shutter and hoping you get one shot out of a sequence, but it does take some effort and practice to get it right. There are plans for another trip to Silverstone next year for our 3rd MotoGP trip, as I need to get some shots of Valentino Rossi back on his Yamaha.

South Stacks Lighthouse
Inspired by Lee, I have been looking into projects and have made a start on a project about roads which will start to appear over the next few months.

We are constantly looking to highlight the work of Pennine Lancashire Photographers.  If you would like your work featured on our website and in our magazine why not drop us an email and someone will get back to you.
  

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Nikon sues Polaroid camera manufacturer

Sakar, the company that manufactures Polaroid digital cameras is being taken to court by Nikon amid rows of patent infringement.

The company based in New Jersey, USA launched the Polaroid iM1836 at the CES Show with industry commentators alleging that the interchangeable lens camera looked incredibly close to that of the Nikon 1 J series cameras.

In a statement released by Nikon yesterday they said 'Although Nikon has negotiated with Sakar to amicably resolve this problem, we could not reach an agreement.'

'Consequently, Nikon has decided to initiate the lawsuit by necessity.'


Monday, 14 October 2013

New feature announcement

This morning we have added a new feature to our website.

Regular visitors will notice that some of the items on the right hand side of the page have changed and we have included a poll.

In coming months we are looking at making Pixel more interactive and changes to the website are planned.  Watch this space for more information.

Friday, 11 October 2013

What makes good street photography

Picture by Peter Turnley
The term street photography is given to any image that is taken in a place where the general public has access to.  This may or may not be a street.  It can be just as easily a park, shopping centre or even a barbers shop.  Generally, it is anywhere where the general public have access to. 

Candid is another term that is often used to describe street photography.  In other words it is a photograph taken of someone without them knowing.

Picture by Martin Parr
I have to admit I do have issues with the terms street photography and candid much preferring something like public area documentary photography as a more apt description of this genre of our art form.

As someone that has a genuine love of photography I look at a lot of pictures, both of amateurs and professionals alike.  I do actively look at other peoples work on Flickr, I read other photography journals, magazines, blogs and websites.  I constantly search out photographs that inspire me or teach me something about the world I live in.  As a result I do see a lot of street photography.  What I see sometimes worries me.

Picture by Nick Turpin
Firstly, it is the way that some photographers go about taking a ‘street photograph’.

I have seen people walking around town centres with a nice DSLR around their neck.  Out of the front pokes a huge telephoto lens and you just know what they are up to.  Sure enough a few minutes later you see the said person poking the lens round the corner and snapping away that the full range of the lens.

Picture by Robert Doisneau
I do have issue with this for the simple reason it feels, well, a little icky.  It feels like we have gone back to the stereotype of photographers being dirty old men in rain macs, spying on people or even that of the paparazzi.

For me, Street Photography has to be up close, almost intimate.  Have a look at the work of Vivian Maier for instance.  Her shots of New York often are often shot a few feet away from the subject and beautifully composed.  Again look at the new book from Peter Turnley, French Kiss – A Love Letter to Paris.  There are some extremely intimate images in that collection but are shot close up.  Also, Martin Parr’s Last Resort offers a fantastic insight in to documenting life.  Although often misinterpreted as sarcastic The Last Resort tells the tale of New Brighton in the 1980’s as it was.  His choice of camera, lens, film and flash all add up to the overall feel that the camera is almost in the face of its subjects.

Secondly, I see a lot of pictures of people just walking down the street.  While this maybe valid to document the fashion of the time, I find it difficult to see what the point of the image is.  Likewise to a similar shot of people walking past a wall of graffiti art.  It is neither one thing nor another.  If you want to document the graffiti then that is fine.  Document it.  Shoot the whole piece sympathetically.  Avoid Photoshop tricks like colour popping etc.  Avoid distractions.

Good street photography is all about the moment, those little coincidences that happen, a look, a kiss or even something funny.  A master at this is Nick Turpin.  He has an uncanny knack of finding the unusual and again, it is all done up close and personal.

Of course there are other fine examples of street photography by the masters Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klien and Bill Brandt.


This is what I think, what about you?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Flickr Street Photography Competition Announced

Flickr, the photography blog website has launched a competition.  ‘In the Street: Europe in detail’ is a contest based on street photography.

The best three pictures from the UK will feature in the Flickr Calendar 2014 alongside three images from Germany, France and Spain respectively.

Prizes also include a £500 voucher to spend on photography related items.

The contest is open for entry until 20th October with winners being announced on the 19th November.  To enter visit the Flickr group page.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Pixel In-Profile: Editor, Lee Johnson

Over the next few weeks we will be starting up our In-Profile section on the website and the editorial team thought it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves and our photography (because we do as well as talk!) as way for our readers to get to know us.  First up is editor, Lee Johnson.

My brother and I with our cameras.  Photo by my Grandad, 
Jack Stephenson.
I began taking photographs when I was about seven years old.  During our summer holidays my brother and I would go on coach trips with my grandparents. 

There would be many a very early morning when we would be standing at the pick up point waiting for the coach to arrive while the excitement of our journey built through the sleep and yawns.

I can always remember two things accompanying us on our trips.  One was a green sports bag that my Gran carried.  This bag was capable and did carry everything (including the kitchen sink).  The other was my Grandad’s Russian range finder camera.  Fascinated with it, I was always trying to get hold of it and have a go.  I didn’t get anywhere near it until I was about 25!

That Christmas a present under the tree included a little box.  Ripping the paper off, I found to my delight a box containing a 110 camera, a film cartridge and a flash cube.  I was off!

I went through several cameras (including disc a disc camera) until I was about 11 years old.  I was asked what I wanted for Christmas and the response was a proper camera.

One of the handwritten sheets written for me
by my Grandad.
That year, my present was a second hand Zenith 11.  It didn’t matter it was second hand, it was perfect.  My Grandad included a Christmas card containing a couple of handwritten sheets of paper with notes on aperture, shutter speeds and film.  I loved that camera!

By the time I was 18, I had amassed a bit of kit by saving up and buying second hand gear.  I have to admit most of it wasn’t very good quality but the point was I was taking pictures.  So eventually, I had acquired a 300mm lens, 2x teleconvertor, a tripod, a flash gun and a 20mm lens all of which I still have.

Finally, my Russian brick gave up and I went on the look for another.  By this time they had become quite hard to find and I came across a Pracktica MTL3 that also had the M42 lens mount.  This camera was luxury!  It had a light meter built in to the viewfinder.  I was up and running again.

Jack, shot on my trusty
Russian brick.
About the same time I bought an APS compact which I have to admit was fantastic for when I was up on the hills.

It was about 2001 when I had my first flirtation with digital.  I bought a Sony Mavica.  This was a compact camera that took 3.5” diskettes.  You could ten images to a disk.  So while it was as convenient as modern digital it was as restrictive as film as you still had bulky disks to carry round with you.  At least 35mm film fit in your pocket!

I very quickly returned to film.  This time however, I began playing with Photoshop and this opened a whole new world!  I was taking photographs on film and then once developed I was scanning them in to Photoshop and playing.  It wasn’t long before I was colour popping, creating montages and all sorts.

I went fully digital a few years later with several compacts and a Fujifilm prosumer.  About four years ago I bought my first DSLR and have enjoyed every minute of it!

Me!
That being said, I do still enjoy shooting on film.  My kit bag now consists of: Pentax K-x (DSLR), Pentax K1000 (35mm film), Olympus Trip 35 (film), Fujifilm compact digital, 18-55mm digital lens, 55-300mm digital lens, 20mm prime lens, 50mm, prime lens, 135mm prime lens.


I think I would describe my photography as eclectic.  I take a wide range of subjects my favourites being street photography, documentary, wildlife and landscape.  I do tend to set myself a project on a yearly basis as I find that this helps me focus my attention on producing something that has more impact than a single image.


We are constantly looking to highlight the work of Pennine Lancashire Photographers.  If you would like your work featured on our website and in our magazine why not drop us an email and someone will get back to you.


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Pentax Ricoh Launch the K-3



Designed for top performance, the K-3 provides an array of outstanding features, including high-resolution image reproduction with approximately 24 effective megapixels; a 27-point AF system; high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 8.3 images per second; high-precision exposure control with a newly designed 86,000 pixel RGB light-metering sensor; a new, large, high-resolution LCD monitor; and an optical viewfinder with the largest, brightness subject image in its class.

The new anti-aliasing simulator — a highly innovative function developed specifically for the K-3 — allows the user to effectively minimise moiré without the installation of an optical anti-aliasing filter in the camera, providing a choice of filtered or filter-free shooting for a given scene or subject.

The K-3 also offers greatly-enhanced movie-recording features and smartphone-accessible functions. The time-proven dustproof, weather-resistant body construction ensures dependable, flawless performance in the field.

The PENTAX K-3 Premium Silver Edition* will also be simultaneously launched—but in a limited run of just 2,000 units around the world. This limited-edition model has a silver body and silver grip, making it a perfect match for the silver versions of the high-performance Limited-series lenses, designed for unrivalled image rendition. This special package also includes an exclusive leather strap and a spare battery.

* The specifications of this limited-edition model are identical to those of the PENTAX K-3.



Main Features

1. High-resolution images produced by a brand-new sensor with approximately 24 effective megapixels and a new imaging engine

The K-3 is equipped with a new APS-C-size CMOS image sensor (23.5mm×15.6mm) with approximately 24 effective megapixels. By coupling this sensor with a newly developed PRIME III imaging engine with high-efficiency noise and image processing capacities and an anti-aliasing filter-free design, the K-3 delivers high-resolution, fine-gradation images. It also offers a top sensitivity of ISO 51200, for taking detailed images under poor lighting conditions, and to simplify handheld shooting of nightscapes.

2. PENTAX-original SR mechanism to reduce moiré as effectively as an optical anti-aliasing filter
(1) In-body SR mechanism

The K-3 features a PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism that can be used with any compatible PENTAX interchangeable lens.** Thanks to the addition of an SR-dedicated servo controller and an increase in the magnetic force driving the SR unit, this mechanism assures more stable, effective camera-shake compensation than ever before.

(2)The World’s-first***, innovative anti-aliasing simulator function
Newly developed for the K-3, the anti-aliasing simulator**** applies microscopic vibrations to the image sensor unit at the subpixel level during image exposure, generating the same level of moiré-reduction effect as an optical anti-aliasing filter. Unlike an optical anti-aliasing filter that always creates an identical result, this innovative simulator allows the user not only to switch the anti-aliasing filter effect on and off, but also to adjust the level of the effect. This allows the user to set the ideal effect for a particular scene or subject.
(3)User-assisting shooting functions

The SR unit’s flexible design, which tilts the image sensor unit in all directions, is one reason why the K-3 can offer a host of handy shooting functions, including auto level compensation, image-composition fine-adjustment, and ASTRO TRACER, which simplifies advanced astronomical photography in combination with the optional O-GPS1 GPS Unit.

** Lenses compatible with this mechanism:  K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2-, and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses, (with adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with adapter). Some functions may not be available with all lenses.

*** World’s first as an interchangeable-lenscamera to carry this functionality as of October 2013. (Based on RICOH IMAGING COMPANY’s research)

**** This function is most effective with a shutter speed of 1/1000 second or slower. This function is not available during HDR shooting.

3. Newly designed SAFOX 11 AF module with 27 auto focus points

The K-3 features a new SAFOX 11 AF module with an expanded image-area coverage using 27 AF sensors (25 cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). The centre sensor and two sensors just above and below it are designed to detect the light flux of an F2.8 lens, making it easy to obtain pinpoint focus on the subject when using a large-aperture lens. This newly developed AF module is highly light-sensitive and covers a wide AF working range of –3EV to +18EV. Since the AF module takes data from RGB light sensors into calculation to optimise AF operation, the K-3 also provides such advanced functions as high-accuracy auto-focusing during the shooting of fast-moving subjects, and the zone-select AF mode to automatically select the best possible in-focus point within a designated nine-sensor zone.

4. High-precision exposure control with a new PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System

The K-3 is equipped with newly introduced PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System that consists of approximately 86,000 pixel RGB light-metering sensor and improved algorithm, which allows it to not only control the exposure with extreme accuracy, but also to utilise the data taken in by the light-metering sensor to further enhance the accuracy of auto-focusing and white balance adjustment.. This has expanded the measurable minimum luminance level to as low as –3EV. By detecting the type of scene or subject using the light sensor, the K-3 can not only select the exposure settings that are more consistent with the photographer’s creative intentions, but can also make more precise distinction between  the main subject and the background to improve the accuracy of flash discharge level.

5. High-speed continuous shooting with a maximum speed of approximately 8.3 images per second

The K-3 continuously records as many as 22 images in the RAW format or 60 images in the JPEG format in a single sequence, at a maximum speed of approximately 8.3 images per second. This has been made possible through the use of several innovative technologies, including a high-speed, high-accuracy control mechanism that regulates the shutter, mirror and diaphragm independently; a damper mechanism that effectively minimizes mirror shock; and a high-speed data transmission system incorporated in the PRIME III imaging engine.


6. Optical viewfinder with new optics, to provide a nearly 100% field of view and a larger, brighter viewfinder image

The K-3’s glass prism has been treated with a new coating designed to improve reflection, resulting in a much brighter viewfinder image. The eyepiece optics have been completely redesigned to assure an approximately 0.95-times viewfinder magnification to provide a broader image field, making it easier for the photographer to confirm the subject’s focusing status and compose the image.

7. Full HD movie recording with creative tools

The K-3 captures beautiful Full HD movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60i/30P frame rate) in the H.264 recording format, which assures flawless, high-quality movies even with fast moving subjects. It also comes equipped with a stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection and a headphone terminal. The user can even adjust the audio recording level manually and monitor sound levels during microphone recording. In addition to a variety of creative special-effect modes,the K-3 also provides an upgraded interval movie mode, which captures a series of 4K-resolution movie clips (3840 x 2160 pixels) at a fixed interval.
  
8. Smartphone-support functions

By installing the optional FLU CARD FOR PENTAX 16GB memory card in the K-3, the user can release the K-3’s shutter, check the live-view image, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a smartphone.

9. Large, easy-to-view 3.2-inch LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots

l,The K-3 features a newly designed 3.2-inch high-resolution LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots (in a 3:2 aspect ratio) on its back panel. In addition to its wide-view design, this monitor also features a protective tempered-glass front panel for added durability, and a unique construction in which the air space between LCD layers is eliminated, effectively reducing the reflection and dispersion of the light to improve visibility during outdoor shooting. During playback, the K-3 even allows the user to check recorded images at life-size magnification.

10. Compact, solid body with dustproof, weather-resistant construction; perfect for outdoor shooting

The K-3’s exterior casing is made of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy. Thanks to the inclusion of 92 special sealed parts in the body, it boasts a dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant construction, assuring solid operation at temperatures as low as -10°C. It also features a dependable, durable shutter unit that can handle some 200,000 shutter releases. Despite all these features, the K-3 has been designed to be compact and manoeuverable, assuring exceptional operability when shooting outdoors.

11. Other features

·         Dual SD card slots for memory card flexibility (compatible with SDXC UHS-1 speed class in SDR104 bus speed mode)
·         DRII (Dust Removal II) mechanism for effective elimination of dust on the image sensor using ultrasonic vibration
·         HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode with RAW-format data filing
·         PENTAX-invented hyper control system for quick, accurate response to the photographer’s creative intentions
·         Mode dial with a choice of lock mechanism engagement (ON or OFF)
·         Redesigned, resized grip for steady, comfortable hold of the camera
·         Compensation of various parameters: lens distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, brightness level at image-field edges, and fringe effect (available in RAW-format processing only)
·         Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN memory cards
·         Compatibility with USB3.0-standard interface accessories, with HDMI (type D) terminal
·         Newly designed Digital Camera Utility 5 software included, to provide upgraded programs and enhanced overall performance

Optional Accessories

D-BG5 Battery Grip

Exclusively designed for the PENTAX K-3, this optional battery grip accepts six AA-size batteries as well as the standard lithium-ion rechargeable battery. It provides an extra set of shutter-release, AE-lock, AF, ISO, exposure-compensation and green buttons, as well as a preview lever and dual electronic dials to facilitate vertical-position shooting. It features the same dustproof, weather-resistant construction as the K-3 body.

O-FC1 FLU CARD FOR PENTAX 16GB

Newly developed for the PENTAX K-3, this SDHC memory card offers wireless LAN connection to a compatible smartphone. Via a designated Web browser, the user can inspect a live-view image, release the K-3’s shutter, shift the AF sensor point, and check images recorded on the card using the smartphone screen.

O-ST1401 Camera Strap

This versatile camera strap measures four centimetres wide and 50 centimetres long — a very functional length when the photographer wants to wrap it around a hand or wrist. It comes with a PENTAX logo, in a choice of black or red.

Note: Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice.

RRP
K-3 body - £1,099.99
K-3 single + DA L 18-55mm WR - £1,199.99       
K-3 body + DA L 18-55mm WR & DA L 50-200mm WR - £1,349.99
K-3 Premium + DA 18-135mm WR - £1,449.99
K3 Silver Limited Edition - £1,399.99

The K-3 is available from November 2013.


Nikon relases details of the new D610

Nikon today announces the latest addition to its formidable line-up of FX format (full-frame) D-SLRs, the Nikon D610.

An exciting option for those who are ready to take the next step in their photographic journey, this 24.3-megapixel D-SLR allows keen photographers to develop their skills and define their style whilst enjoying the superiour image quality that comes with the FX-format sensor.

Full frame, full detail, full freedom: The 24.3-megapixel FX-format image sensor captures every detail with lifelike sharpness, and continuous shooting speeds have increased to 6 frames-per-second (as compared to the camera's predecessor, the Nikon D600). Nikon's new Quiet Release burst mode allows you to shoot in near-silence at 3 fps, and a robust, lightweight build allows photographers to explore the advantages of full-frame in any environment. Combined with the optical prowess of NIKKOR lenses, the Nikon D610 is a superb option to explore new realms of creativity.

Hiro Sebata, Product Manager for Professional Products, Nikon UK, says: "We're excited about the creative possibilities this camera has to offer thanks to its fast, powerful processing and impressive feature set that includes ‘quiet shooting' for when you need it most.

"Plus, its solid yet lightweight design and stunning image quality makes this camera a serious choice for photographers looking to step into full-frame photography."

The full perspective: Exceptional depth and detail

For those ready to take their photography to the next level, the D610's 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor will open up new worlds of photographic depth and detail. From true wide-angle to super telephoto, the sensor captures every element with lifelike sharpness at up to 6 fps. Offering outstanding levels of detail and tonal range, plus superb low-light capability, the Nikon D610 captures images that are sharp, and video quality is impressive even at higher ISO settings. The ISO range goes from 100-6400, and is extendable up to 25,600 (equivalent) or down to 50 (equivalent) for maximum flexibility in all lighting conditions, whether shooting still images or video.

Always fast and quiet when necessary

Faster than its predecessor, the Nikon D610 shoots up to 6 frames-per-second (6 fps) in both FX and DX formats, making it easier than ever to capture fast-moving subjects. For situations when silence is key, Nikon's new Quiet Release burst mode reduces the sound of the camera's mirror return mechanism, so it's easier to capture elusive subjects, such as wildlife, at up to 3 fps.

Pro Nikon image technology

The Nikon D610 is packed with technology inherited from Nikon's professional D-SLRs, including the same EXPEED 3 image processor and AF sensitivity as Nikon's flagship D4.

Highly sensitive autofocus system: The Nikon D610's Multi-CAM 4800 39-point AF system boasts AF sensitivity inherited from Nikon's flagship D4, enabling superior subject acquisition in any light. Compatible with lenses up to f/8 combined open aperture, and sensitive down to -2 EV (ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F), the AF system achieves sharp shots even under moonlight. Coverage is individually selectable or configurable 9-, 21-, and 39-point settings, and AF modes such as dynamic-area AF and 3D-tracking maintain focus on even the smallest subjects, however unpredictable their movements may be. Simplified selection of AF modes such as AF-A, AF-S, and AF-C is possible without taking your eye away from the viewfinder.

Advanced Scene Recognition with 2,016-pixel RGB sensor: The Nikon D610's Advanced Scene Recognition system incorporates Nikon's renowned 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor that meticulously analyses each scene for outstanding accuracy. It can detect human faces with startling exactness through the optical viewfinder, and recognise a scene's colours and brightness with unprecedented precision. This level of detailed scene analysis is also utilised to support more accurate autofocus; auto exposure and i-TTL flash exposure results in a diverse range of compositional and lighting situations.

EXPEED 3 image processing: Equipped with the same image-processing engine as Nikon's flagship D4, the Nikon D610 makes light work of data-rich tasks without sacrificing speed and quality. The 16-bit image processing offers richer colours and tones than ever before, delivering smooth gradations with abundant detail and tone all the way up the scale to pure white, even when shooting in JPEG.

Full-frame D-Movies: Broadcast quality video

Designed to ensure large-format movie shooting at its best, the Nikon D610 features the same multi-area Full HD D-Movie as found in Nikon's acclaimed D800. Since the camera offers a wide variety of movie applications, a comprehensive variety of frame rates, and convenient custom controls-which enable full control over live view operation when filming-photographers can move from inspiring stills to broadcast quality video with ease.

Frame rates: Full HD (1080p) movies can be recorded in 30p, 25p, and 24p, with 60p, 50p, and 25p options at 720p. Full HD movie clips can be up to approximately 29 minutes 59 seconds long.

Multi-area mode: Full HD (1080p) recording is possible in both FX and DX formats, enabling exceptional freedom of expression.
High-fidelity audio control: With the Nikon D610, movies sound as good as they look. A microphone jack allows use of an external stereo microphone for crisp sound recording, and there is an audio out for external headphones.
Uncompressed HDMI output: The Nikon D610 offers the possibility to transmit an uncompressed live video stream at 1080p to external recorders, and output will automatically drop to 1080i if an external monitor is detected. The uncompressed data is output at the designated image size and frame rate, and is clean of the information overlay that can be simultaneously displayed on the camera's TFT monitor.

In-camera creative tools

A range of creative and practical in-camera tools enable photographers to make the most of every shooting opportunity and take full advantage of the creative freedom that full-frame FX-format photography affords.
They include: Time-lapse shooting: Create time-lapse photography through simple menu operations, with no need for elaborate calculations and editing. Easily save images as movie files and view slow action in fast playback, with playback rates from 24 to 36,000 times faster than normal.  Use interval timer shooting to trigger the shutter at preset intervals.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode: shoots one overexposed and one underexposed frame in a single shutter release. The range can be widened by up to ±3 EV for different looks, full of saturation and tonal gradation, while the smoothness of the edg­e where the two exposures meet can be adjusted for a more natural appearance.

Picture Controls: Customise the look of your stills and videos by fine-tuning parameters such as sharpness, saturation, and hue. This feature can be directly accessed via a dedicated button.
Scene modes: 19 scene modes optimise settings such as shutter speed, ISO, and aperture for superior results every time. An ideal way to quickly capture perfect shots.

In-camera editing: Menus include an array of useful features, encompassing options to correct red-eye and colour balance, as well as D-Lighting, RAW processing, and resize options. Filter effects include Skylight, Cross screen, Miniature, Colour outline, Colour sketch, and Selective colour. Quick retouch options include distortion control, perspective control, straighten, and fisheye. There is also an movie editing feature that enables the start and end point of movie clips to be designated in order to save them more efficiently.

Full-frame freedom

With the Nikon D610, it's possible to capture and share the full perspective from anywhere using Nikon's wireless mobile adapter for wireless image transfer. Double SD card slots provide multiple options for recording and storing large files - it's possible to write RAW and JPEG data to separate cards, copy from one card to another, and select a slot according to the remaining capacity during video shooting.

Wi-Fi: Nikon's optional WU-1b Mobile Adapter allows images to be transferred directly to any smartphone or tablet, and enables the camera to be controlled remotely via the smart device. A great way to easily share high-quality images, preview shots on a larger screen, or experiment with full-frame self-portraits.

Efficient power management: A reworking of the D800's circuits now enables approximately 900 shots[1] of still image shooting or approximately 60 minutes of movie live view.[2] All on one charge of a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL15.

Storage media: High-speed dual SD card slots support SDXC and UHS-I memory cards.

Full-frame strength

Built to withstand severe conditions, the lightweight Nikon D610 boasts the same robust build and responsive handling as its predecessor. Durable magnesium alloy is used for the camera's top and rear frames, and the camera is weather-sealed to the same degree as Nikon's professional D800 SLR, ensuring enhanced resistance to moisture and dust. The camera's fast response, reliable operation, and conveniently placed buttons and controls enable smooth, comfortable handling and the flexibility to respond quickly to even unexpected shooting opportunities.

Fast response: Start-up is approximately 0.13 s[3], shutter release time lag is minimised to approximately 0.052 s3, with continuous shooting capability of approximately 6 fps capability in FX and DX formats.

High-precision, high-durability shutter: The shutter unit has been tested to 150,000 cycles of release to prove durability and precision. It boasts a speed range of 1/4000 to 30 s; and features an intelligent self-diagnostic shutter monitor and a drive unit designed to reduce the demand on power when the shutter is raised for extended periods during movie shooting.   

Precision 8 cm (3.2-in.), approx. 921k-dot, wide-viewing-angle LCD monitor with automatic monitor brightness control: Delivers bright, crisp image playback with wide colour reproduction capacity. LCD brightness is automatically adjusted according to the viewing environment.
Glass prism optical viewfinder: With approximately 100% frame coverage and 0.7x magnification (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0m-1).

Dual-axis electronic virtual horizon: Offers accurate confirmation of level shooting by letting you check the LCD monitor, or the viewfinder, for both the camera's position in relation to the horizontal plane and its pitch (forward or rear rotation).

The NIKKOR advantage

Whatever your ideas, experience, or creative vision, Nikon's legendary NIKKOR lenses represent the only true option for complete FX-format integrity. Pair the Nikon D610 with a NIKKOR lens, and you have the optical power to draw out the full potential of the camera's 24.3-megapixel sensor. The NIKKOR name has become synonymous with high-performance and unrivalled image quality, and 2013 marks the 80th anniversary of NIKKOR as well as the year in which the total production of NIKKOR lenses reached 80 million. With more than 80 types of lenses in their current line-up, Nikon ensures photographers have every chance to make the most of the FX sensor's incredible properties, including stunningly shallow depth of field-a feature that allows for beautiful bokeh effects when paired with a fast NIKKOR prime lens.

Optional accessories

Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D14: Accommodates a variety of batteries including AA-sized batteries of various types and Nikon's Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL15 (see specifications). The MB-D14 has its own dedicated shutter-release button and command dials for more comfortable composition when shooting with the camera in vertical orientation.

Creative Lighting System: Compatible with Nikon's creative lighting system, the D610 supports the use of powerful and versatile i-TTL Speedlight flash units such as the professional SB-910 or the easy-to-use SB-700.

Capture NX 2-fast, powerful and creative image processing: To accommodate the imaging power of the D610's 24.3-megapixel sensor, the latest Capture NX 2 is faster than before and boasts full 64-bit compatibility.


Camera Control Pro 2-versatile remote camera controls: The software offers numerous improvements to make the D610's Live View operation exceptionally smooth. Aside from controlling exposure mode, shutter speed, and aperture, creative controls include remote start and stop for movie shooting and switching between Live View for stills and movies.'

Monday, 7 October 2013

More exhibition news!

Friend of Pixel, Graham Dean has opened an exhibition at Stewards Gallery, Clitheroe Castle.

The exhibition displays over 40 pieces of Graham’s spanning his photographic journey and unique view point.

For a sneak preview of the exhibition visit Graham’s online catalogue.

The exhibition runs until 19th January 2014.  For information regarding the opening time please visit Clitheroe Castles webpage.

Italy’s Secret Heart revealed in new photo exhibition

Penne & Gran Sasso.  Picture: Bernard Styan
A little known region of Italy will be under the spotlight from this Saturday 12 October when a new photo exhibition opens at Colne’s Italian deli, La Dolce Vita.

Abruzzo - Italy's Secret Heart is a colourful exhibition of photographs by Lancastrian Bernard Styan.

The launch of the exhibition coincides with a special tasting of olive oils from Abruzzo, led by Bernard and his wife Jan.

Olives.  Picture: Bernard Styan
Abruzzo is a green region of olive groves between the mountains and the sea, two hours east of Rome.
Bernard said:  “We fell in love with Abruzzo and bought an apartment within the walls of the ancient city of Penne six years ago.

“I hope my photographs of this beautiful area will encourage people from Lancashire to go and see a part of Italy far from the tourist hotspots,” he said.

Sarah Lee and Sara Mumby run the deli and its upstairs foto galleria and have just returned from a working holiday in Abruzzo with Jan and Bernard.

Sarah said:  “We were really taken by the place and Bernard has captured its essence with this evocative exhibition.  It’s like being back in Italy.

The pictures include ones of the huge mountain Gran Sasso which rises behind Penne.
Gran Sasso lends its name to an olive oil people will get the chance to taste on Saturday 12 October which has won the five leaf award of excellence.

Sara said:  “Anyone interested in a taste of Abruzzo and hearing more about the region should call on (01282) 866008 for a ticket or pop into the deli and coffee shop at 40 Albert Road Colne.

The tasting includes a garlic infused olive oil called L’Assassino – or The Assassin, and a hot chilli infused oil called L’Inferno as well as high quality balsamic vinegars from Modena.

The tasting includes a garlic infused olive oil called L’Assassino – or The Assassin, and a hot chilli infused oil called L’Inferno as well as high quality balsamic vinegars from Modena.

Tickets include a glass of sparkling Prosecco, artisan bread and other home-made Italian snacks.

Friday, 4 October 2013

TV Reality Show Aims to Find Britain's Best Photographer

The first reality TV show aimed at photographers is set to go in to production in early 2014 it has been reported.

The show with the working title 'Back To Front' is due to put a call out for potential contestants during October and is open to photographers of any skill level.

Backed by the RPS, 'Back To Front' will be a fashion based show with 11 contestants and a 'wild card'.  In true reality TV tradition the contestants will complete a challenge each week and then will be voted off after a judge has examined their photograph.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Pop Culture Photographer Harry Goodwin Dies

picture courtesy V&A Channel
Celebrity and music photographer, Harry Goodwin has died at the age of 89 it has been confirmed.

Goodwin was most famous for his images of pop stars.  He worked on the British music show Top of the Pops from 1964 and created iconic portraits of stars such as Pete Townsand, Jimi Hendrix, Sir Paul McCartney to name a few.

Goodwin died in Trafford General Hospital, Manchester after a short illness.

Harry's images can be seen on his website here.

RPS has new president

image
Derek Birch (left) with former 
President Roy Robertson.  
Picture - RPS
The Royal Photographic Society has a new president it has been announced.

Former Kodak scientist, Derek Brich who helped develop both film and photography papers has taken the reigns for a three year role within the prestigious Society.

Birch, who aims to boost the Societies educational role by developing 'online learning', said 'The Society has much to offer all photographers, as well as supporting all aspects of imaging more widely.'

'During my term as president I would like to build on the work of my predecessors and further enhance the Society's educational role through online learning and to expand the membership, which will allow us to more fully realise our founding aim of promoting photography.'

Birch worked for Kodak for 33 years retiring in 2006.  Since then he has been an active member of the RPS's Imaging Science Group.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Telling the story

As modern photographers, and in particular digital photographers, it is easy to capture one image that tells a story.  You only need to look at Facebook, Flickr, or any other site that hosts photographs.  If you open a newspaper or read an online news site the chances are that sooner or later you will come across a photograph that was taken not by a professional photojournalist but by someone with a half decent camera phone.

Camera club photographers are well adapted at this.  However, this obsession to capture that one competition winning image can often be to the detriment of a better story that could be told over a series of images.

The photo essay is very much like a written essay but with fewer words and (hopefully) a lot of quality images.  It is a blend of art, journalism and story telling that are combined in a structure that conveys the story to the viewer.

Washing anyone?
The final collection of images will contribute to the story and will also play a part in evoking a sense of theme and emotion while still being artistically and compositionally strong, informative and educational.  Creating the photo essay can be extremely demanding and challenging but done well the finished result can be rewarding and powerful.

A photo essay can take one of two basic forms:  The narrative form is an essay that starts at a particular point in time and follows the story via a sequence of events or actions.  These types of essays tend to follow a chronological order.  Example of these may be following a group of children through their first year of school or through some religious rite of passage such as confirmation; a behind the scenes essay on the organisation and delivery of an event or something a bit more challenging; following someone dealing with depression.

The other type of essay is a thematic one.  This type of essay is one that
focuses on a central theme this maybe homelessness in Pennine Lancashire; environmental projects or religion in your local area.  The thematic essay is one that presents images relevant to that theme.

Occasionally, and it is extremely rare, a photo essay may take on both forms at the same time.  There is nothing wrong with this as long as the essay tells the story that you want to get across.

The Five Elements


Regardless of what your photo essay is going to be about there has to be certain elements to the project in order to make it work.

The Story – In producing the photo essay the story is one of the most important aspects of the project.  The photographs should provide a narrative that includes a beginning, a middle and an end.

A Range of Photographs – The essay should have a range of photographs that help strengthen the story.  Consider images that set the scene; images of little details that help increase the overall impact and/or portraits of people that are part of the story.

Order – The photographs should follow an order that helps deliver the story fluidly and easily to the viewer in an interesting sequence.

Feeling – The photographs should have a ‘feel’ to them.  Whether this is informative where you, the photographer, are giving information about a particular subject or emotive where some of the photographs evoke emotion with the viewer.  This can be uplifting or upsetting.  The latter type of images can be extremely powerful.

Captions – Captions can be an essay author’s best friend.  They can help carry the story through in short sentences and ensure that the viewer understands what is going on.

Before you Press the Shutter


Life's a beach

A photo essay is as much about your skills as a story teller as it is about the photographs that tell the story.  There is (or should be) quite a bit of work that goes in to the project before you even touch a camera.

The first thing to think about is the subject.  What is your essay going to be about?  This may seem easier than it actually is.

A photo essay requires a lot of work so it’s important to ensure that your outcome is achievable.  For instance you may decide to undertake an essay about Modern Religious Practices in Pennine Lancashire.  Fantastic, you have an interesting and engaging subject.  However, when you start looking in to the subject you suddenly find that there are more different religions practicing in East Lancashire than you first thought.  They all have different festivals, they all have different places of worship.  You’re project has just gone from a twelve month time span to ten years.

So, when you are planning your essay take in to careful consideration the length of the project and the amount of work required.

Ensure you are clear on what the story is.  Will people find it interesting?  Will you find it interesting?  Is there a story to be told?  A clearly defined story will have greater longevity and a wider audience.

Once your ideas begin to form then this is the point to hit the books and internet.  Again, this is something that may not be necessary (depending on your project), but if you are going to interact with people or your subject has an informative angle then you at least need to know what you are talking about.  You don’t need to hold a PhD in the chosen subject you just need an understanding.  The more work you put in at this stage the closer you will feel to your essay and more informed the finished product will be.

Have a look at what other photographers are doing.  Do a flickr search and join groups.  You can be almost guaranteed that someone else has attempted the same subject matter as you somewhere before.  Don’t forget to ask questions!

Think about how you want the project to look and how it’s going to be presented.  Also think about how you process the image.  Do you want something a little retro looking, ultra modern or something obscure like 3D?


The whole idea is to set yourself a little challenge through a project and fall in love with photography all over again.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

SOICHIRO KORIYAMA

SOICHIRO KORIYAMA PHOTOGRAPHY




We all remember the earthquake and tsunami. We watched in horror as nuclear reactors began to melt down.


Japanese photographer Soichiro Koriyama's new book brings us face-to-face with the reality of that blighted land with a series of dark and forbidding images.

I think that the book is only available in Japanese but fortunately the images are available on the photographers website.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Make it simple

Recently on The Online Photographer a debate was taking place.  The subject of which was basically why don’t camera manufacturers make a simple camera that is of good quality design, affordable, produces reasonable images and is notable by its distinct lack of program modes, video and other adornments that never get used.  It would appear that people want a camera that is as simple as those found on mobile phones.

Personally, I want a mobile phone to be a mobile phone and I want a camera to be a camera, after all that is what I bought a mobile phone for and I’ve bought various cameras (compacts and SLR’s included).

The strength of opinion demonstrates that there is a need for a piece of technology that fills this niche.  If there weren’t then this debate wouldn’t be taking place.  However, there is also another issue here and that is one of which of which camera, we as photographers, choose to do a particular job.

Let’s take the landscape photographer as a point in case.  Generally, this photographer purchases a full frame sensor DSLR, a couple of nice heavy lenses, a set of very expensive filters and a lovely tripod that weighs more than the brick of the camera.  He/She then spends half a morning puffing and panting up a hill to spend twenty minutes to an hour setting up to spend five minutes catching sunrise.  This is if they haven’t broken their leg trying to find their way up a mountain in the dark!

There is an alternative to this.  That is a high end compact camera.  These cameras are ideal for landscape photographers.  They’ll fit in a pocket, the majority will shoot in RAW, they have functions like self timers and some will even emulate Fuji Velvia film.  The other benefit is that due to the lens and sensor set up the resulting image will be sharp from front to back.  Of course, you can still use a tripod however, as the camera is smaller and lighter you only need a smaller and lighter tripod.  The RAW capability also means that you can add a graduated filter in Lightroom (or other software) later.

Image by Nick Turpin
Another example is street photography.  The good street/documentary photographers get close to their subjects without using telephoto lenses.  Excellent examples of this include Nick Turpin and Martin Parr’s Last Resort.  The end result is a lot more intimate and a much more telling story.  The photographer also has the advantage that he/she is less likely to get stopped using a compact type camera than when using a DSLR.

Of course there are exceptions to this.  Some wildlife photography and sports photography would be difficult with a compact camera but there are still opportunities even in this field.

I think Fujifilm was really close with its X-Series cameras.  They are nicely designed but still have too many refinements and are expensive.  I do believe there is a need for the simple camera, possibly something on the lines of an Olympus Trip 35 but I also think that as photographers that we need to consider our equipment choices more carefully instead of going for the obvious.

Oh!  Hang on, I must go, my camera is ringing!

Monday, 16 September 2013

What is it about film?

Hovis anyone? - Photograph by Lee Johnson
A little while ago I decided I was going to run a roll of film through my old Pracktica MTL3 35mm SLR.

You see, for quite a few years the MTL3 had been confined to its case, up in the attic while my digital cameras took pride of place either in my pocket or over my shoulder.  I had become aware that I was getting a little stale, creatively speaking.  I was constantly shooting, processing images, posting and shooting again but for some reason, some of the shine was wearing thin.

Please, don't get me wrong.  I love digital photography.  It allows me to attempt shots that I wouldn't dream of trying with a film camera.  I wouldn't dream of giving up with digital.

Anyway, the resulting images from the first roll of film were posted on my Flickr account (look for the images tagged MTL3).

Wash your duvet - Lee Johnson
In the same box was a roll of Boots own brand 400 colour film.  It was ten years out of date but I decided I was going to shoot with it anyway.  I decided that I was going to shoot a mini project on launderettes (the full story on this will be in the next issue of Pixel).

It was at this point I found something very interesting happening.  I was loving photography again.  No, not just photography, I was loving shooting photographs on film again.

Shortly after completing the launderettes I acquired a Pentax K1000 outfit and it just confirmed what I had found.  I love shooting on film.

I've been so inspired by this that I'm looking in to other aspects of film photography.

What is it about film that I love?

This is a random thought and it's one that I'm putting down on screen without thinking it through properly but for me, film photography is about creating something tangible; something you can hold; something real.  It is a physical thing from pressing the shutter to holding the print.  It feels crafted and worked.  I have to admit, I probably put more work in to a digital image file and I will always shoot digital;  I still love digital and I'm not against digital but somehow for me, it feels virtual.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

And now for something completely different!

Our friends at La Dolce Vita are holding a wine tasting evening tonight (details below).  The also have a new exhibition in the Galleria.

Wine Tasting evening
Sat 7 Sept 6.30pm & 8pm
Sample eight different Italian wines from different regions with Wine2You’s Keith Morton.
A friendly informal tasting, with home-made Italian food to sample from our new menu

Tel (01282) 866008 for tickets or call in at La Dolce Vita deli Italia, 40 Albert Rd, Colne.

Tickets are £15.95 including lots of delicious Italian nibbles.