Showing posts from August, 2015

the awesome desi civera

I have a lot of respect for artists, especially painters.  Painting is a slow and meticulous process. Often you already have the image of what you're creating in your head, but you are just taking your time in bringing it to life.  I do a bit of painting myself, but nothing of the quality of the stuff I see around the streets of London.  Sometimes I'd see a piece of artwork and wonder who created it, how, when, why, and so on. 
This is why I was extremely pleased to catch Desi Civera in the act. Well, actually, she'd just finished this work when I arrived. I was totally blown away by the work. I was also impressed by her kind polite personality.  What an awesome artist.

Check out her work here:
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olympus trip 35

It took long enough, but I finally got to try out the famous Olympus Trip 35. Having used the Olympus 35 RC, RD and SP, the Trip felt both familiar and strange at first.  Familiar because of the form factor and size of the camera - it felt just like the RC in the hand.  It has the classic metal and black 1970's compact camera/rangefinder design.  The 40mm f2.8 lens also sits somewhere between the RC and RD range. That's about it.
I took the Trip on a, er, trip to picturesque Eastbourne sometime this summer to test it out.  The first thing I missed was the rangefinder - there is none. Instead, it is a zone-focus camera with icons to guide you, or actual distances if you know what you're doing. I used the icons.
I had problems nailing focus at first, especially just after shooting something closer up, and then forgetting to adjust the focus for something far away. Yes the camera is fully auto, but it is NOT focus-free. I often forgot that and treated it like a focus-free pl…

purple drama

Some more photos from the reverse alchemy roll. I remember watching these three coots play.  One of them started getting ignored by the other two, and eventually swam away.  Not long after, one of the two left also left abruptly, leaving just one in absolute solitude.
I'm quite sure I am projecting human emotions unto birds, but the whole affair played out like some kind of broken friendship drama to me.  

the coffee cup test

I'm sure I'm not the only one that loves taking photos of coffee cups, preferably with coffee in them. I don't know why this is. Something about coffee just wants to be photographed. Is it because a lot of photography lovers (creatives generally) spend a lot of time in cafes?  No idea.

For me, it's one of the subjects for testing out a new lens, or a new camera. Here is the one I took with the Spotmatic and Super-Takmar f1.4 lens.

lanzarote part 2

Teguise.  It's a tranquil, charming little town in the middle of Lanzarote.  Six days of the week the town is a peaceful, extremely quiet place.  On Sunday it becomes one of the busiest market towns in Europe. Thousands of traders, tens of thousands of visitors and a few animals descend on Teguise from around 9 am to 2 pm - The Tequise Sunday Market.

I learnt that in fact Teguise was the old capital of Lanzarote. It made sense to me as it has some of the oldest buildings on the island.  Apparently it is also referred to as "la Villa".  The architecture is also really beautiful. Intricate carvings can be seen around the doors and windows of many buildings dating back to the 17th century.
Another thing that happens on Sundays is the town becomes extremely colourful. Like everywhere else on Lanzarote, most of the buildings are whitewashed with either blue, green or unpainted wooden doors and windows. On market day however, you get pink, red, lilac, indigo, violet, purple, …

go barefoot

Nowadays we have become so disconnected from the planet.  Not only in terms of the bigger picture of what we're doing to the environment, but actually literally.  We hardly ever touch the earth, unlike our ancestors who were in almost constant contact with it.  We wear shoes all the time, we live in highly sanitised environments, many on high-rise buildings from which we can get into a car and drive around on cemented/paved/tarred roads to other buildings.
I've read about many articles about the effect this is having on us - some based on clear science, some on spirituality. What ever the case may be, I find it at least therapeutic to just take off my shoes and walk barefoot on some grass.  It does make me feel quite literally grounded.

world photography day

Happy World Photography day. Today I'm out and about with this gem, the Olympus OM-1. I'm already an Olympus lover, but I'd only been using oly rangefinders.  I have to say I've quickly fallen in love with the OM-1.  The first roll is still in there, 8 frames to go I believe, but that wont be the case for long.  Heck, I've got another roll waiting to go in straight away.
Enjoy photography. Take photos, love the gear. I feel privileged to be alive in the days when these cameras (and the freedom to use them) are available to us in such abundance.

lanzarote part 1

Where has summer gone?!  Apart from it being mid-August already, it seems this summer has really zoomed by.  Time is moving so quickly. I was looking at my photo books I've made so far this year, and realised I hadn't shared any of the actual Lanzarote photos with you the awesome folk of the Internet.  Many of these photos are in the Blurb book I spoke about in this post.  
The camera I had with me was the Olympus 35 RD. I opted for this camera because of it's size and versatility. There was going to be a lot of cycling and walking, so I needed something light and portable, while having a nice sharp lens that renders colours well. The photo below was shot wide open (f/1.7) indoors. Who can resist a mirror selfie? 

Lanzarote was one of my summer travels, and boy has it stuck with me. It's a volcanic Spanish island in the Atlantic ocean off the western coast of Africa. It's such a unique place that one can't help being carried away at times with it's beauty.

helios-44-2 breathes new life into my rebel

Having been predominantly shooting fully manual film cameras for a while now, I had become a little bored with my Canon 350D.  I know it can be set to fully manual as well, but for whatever reason, I just wasn't that excited about using it that much anymore.  It was too easy to use, and the kit lens is basically rubbish.
To be fair though, it is quite an old DSLR (11 years or so now), so it hasn't got most of the bells and whistles present in today's cameras.  So it is sort of vintage in its own right.  Still though, there's vintage and there's vintage.
Normally when I fancy a bit of instant gratification in the form of digital photography, I'd reach for my iPhone, or my Sony NEX 5n.  Having recently lost the Sony however, I've been forced to dust off the Canon.  I found an M42 adaptor and swapped out the kit lens for the Helios-44-2 ; the kit lens from my Zenit-E.
What a difference it made. Sure, there was no autofocus or shutter priority, but I usually m…

asahi pentax spotmatic take 3

Can you believe it's almost mid August?  Before you know it, Autumn will be upon us. Like many people in the northern hemisphere, I've been doing some travelling, and taking lots of photos. Consequently I've got a bit of a backlog of rolls to develop. 
I do also have many photos developed but yet to be sorted out. Many of them are from the plastic film point and shoot cameras I've been playing with all summer. Some have been total disasters, but some have really surprised me. The Olympus cameras are really kicking butt with their Zuiko lenses.
Meanwhile here are some photos from the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic with the legendary Takumar f1.4 lens taken while casually walking from Holborn to St. Paul's Cathedral in London.  I really love the handling of this camera now.  I'm usually a rangefinder style guy, but the Spotmatic, and the Zenit-E before it, have really kept me loving SLRs too.
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