Where is my DSLR?

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This was taken a while back when I want to Kaohsiung, Tainan.  It was actually taken after my breakfast, I left my DSLR in the room and I only had my point & shoot with me.  The view and light was excellent and so I just shot the photo in Panorama mode in the Sony DC (it was a TX-10), the result was pretty pleasing.

I did some post processing adding some noise and tweaked with some curves to get the film effect.

As cliche as it is, the best camera is the camera you have with you; of course you can say you will return to the place 30 mins later, a day later, a week later…  but it will never be the same, so shoot it when you see it.  Even your camera on your smartphone will suffice…

Enjoy!

TL

Hide and Seek

You see the pictures and videos from National Geographic and Animal Planet, and kinda take them for granted.  Once I gave it a go during my trip, I realise it is one of the more challenging shots to take.

Actually I should count myself lucky to actually see a cheetah attempting to hunt an impala.  Although it was a failed attempt, it was already very exciting to me.  According to the local guides, it is rare to see such feat.

Technically it is difficult to focus on both animals at the correct angle.  Just like the photo above, I had to shoot behind the cheetah, forcing only one of the subjects in focus.  I think I used f5.6 for the shot, yet with my trusty 5D mark II, the focusing speed and the limited AF points really make it difficult to focus.  This frame really made me understand the limitations of my gear.

The other realisation for me is that an excellent wildlife shot (especially a picture of hunting) requires a lot of good planning, study of animals, patience and luck.

Give it a go if you have the chance!

TL

 

At the Beach… and afterwards

I took a lot of photos along the beach in To Wo Sha last month.  It was quite a fruitful photo trip with a friend.  It was the first time I properly go out and shoot with my fish eye zoom (Canon EF8-15 f4L).

With the ultra wide angle and the intended distortions, composition becomes different from the norm when using a wide or a standard lens.  More things will be captured and you need to be very careful to avoid or include things you want.  Peripheral vision becomes necessary.  It will come with a lot of practice, so shoot more.

For this blog I want to share some tips of taking care of your gear, rather than photo skills.  Especially after a long day hot day at the beach, your lens and camera will be covered in salty moist air, and maybe some small sand blowing onto your precious class.  If you did some lens changes there may also be some which went into the camera body.  So you must remember to use your dust blower to clean your lens, the body with a dry cloth, and the sensor/mirror to make sure everything is kept properly, otherwise the salt and moisture will corrode your gear which can be rather costly.  The gear should also be placed into a moisture controlled container.  There are a lot of choices in the market, for simple seal plastic box with some dehydration packs, to electric ones which cost around HKD1000 (depending on volume).  These will keep your camera dry and in top form, and is a must for anyone serious about photography.  Go get one!

TL

Film in 2012

Back in February, I found my dad’s Nikon F3 camera and started playing with it.  After a months time, I have finally finished a full roll of 36 frames, and collected the developed negatives today!   For the past few years I was able to see the shots I have taken immediately on the camera’s LCD screen, and they can also be examined closely back at home on my computer at day end.  It is truly a special feeling when you have the anticipation of not knowing how well the photos will come out, and have to wait for a few days for development before getting the negatives back; the sensation of holding negatives in hand is just like bringing myself back in time, maybe 15 years back where all cameras just use film.

The above photo was taken by the Nikon F3 with a 50mm f1.2 lens, using Lomography’s ISO400 B&W lady grey film.  It has then been scanned directly from negative to digital.  The scanned quality is not perfect, and the resolution is rather low, but somehow it feels different from DSLR outputs.  Maybe its the low quality which gives it the “retro” feel, or maybe its just my own experience which makes it look different (or just a photo taken by a low quality digital camera with basic sensor!?)

My point is even though I have been shooting with DSLRs for quite sometime now, I am always able to learn new skills and tricks when going back to SLR working with film: the manual focusing lens, the confidence of shooting a few frames in your mind without the “luxury” of checking the result immediately etc.  I highly encourage DSLR shooters to find a film camera to experience how photographers shoot back in the 80s.  The feeling of waiting for the photos to be developed (unless you have your own darkroom) is certainly very interesting.  You may not like it, buy there is no harm in trying!

TL

My DSLR Gears

My Canon Gear

Here is time again to showoff my collection 🙂

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Grip
  • Canon EOS 50D
  • Canon BG-E6 Battery Grip
  • Canon EF 35mm f/2
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
  • Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM
  • Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L USM Fisheye
  • Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
  • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
  • Canon Speedlite 430EX II
  • Canon Speedlite 580EX II
  • Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2
  • Kenko 1.4X PRO 300 Canon Teleconverter DGX
  • 新玩具初體驗

    二月十三日,星期一,陰天

    在心靈相通的情況下,昨天我收到了9筒不同的菲林作禮物,很開心。決定藉著今天的休假帶新玩具出外走走。其實昨晚我已經急不及待把Lomography B/W Lady Grey (ISO400)的菲林放入F3裡了。 今天外出第一站是要為F3買電,找偏我家附近的商場,在沖印店中買到了整個商場裡面最後的兩粒LR44電池,F3正式復活!

    把拍照模式調教到Auto,開機之後望進Eye Piece裡見到兩個數字,快門跟光圈,非常興奮。但是奇怪的是無論在任何的光陰處,快門依然保留在1/80… 我心裡一沈,會不會因為F3被為棄了20多年,測光表已經壞掉呢?立刻用手機上網找答案。原來這是F3的setting,如果frame counter還未到1,快門會停留在1/80來確保攝影者用的曝光是正確的。到了尖沙嘴,我對F3的基本操作已經掌握了。

    今天帶了5D2+F3出外,本來想把它們作比較,但是不經不覺只顧研究新玩具,5D都只是用來拍片,都是擇日重賽吧。今天用F3拍了10張照片,還有26張才能沖印,很期待看到成品呢!(希望F3的機身沒有漏光啦!)

    TL (aka SSJ)

    相機留在家裡?

    image

    對上班一族來說,要每天帶著DSLR上班實在是吃力,幾乎可以說是不可能。我自己也面對同樣的情況,可是每天都有可能在身邊發現有趣的情境,如何是好呢?

    其實這個問題不單為擁有DSLR的攝影者帶來頭痛,它也同樣地為正考慮購買DSLR的人帶來疑問。

    對我而言,拍出好的照片不一定要用DSLR。很多時候我會帶一部DC,甚至乎用手機拍攝,反而得到更有趣的照片。找到,看到和捕捉到己自想得到的作品才是最重要的。

    所以很多人問我用甚麼品牌的相機比較好,或是買哪支鏡頭適合。我覺得無論用手機,DC,無鏡廂還是DSLR, 只要是可靠耐用便足夠(當然專業的就另作別論),有一對敏銳的眼睛跟豐富的想像力才是創造好作品的條件。

    TL

    “新”玩具?

    幾年前當爸爸得知我買了一部新DSLR (Canon 450D) 的時候,他說他也有一部SLR寄放在加拿大親戚的家裡,一部Nikon F3。當時的我不認識這部專業級的機皇,但是因為希望有機會嘗試機械相機的手感,所以要求了親戚如果有機會回港的時候把相機帶回來。

    昨天,這部F3回來了。我懷著興奮的心情打開了Nikon原裝的相機袋,發覺裡面不單裝了F3機身,還有當時Nikkor最快的鏡皇50mm f1.2定焦鏡頭跟43-86mm f3.5變焦鏡頭。所有設備看起來都跟新的沒兩樣,鏡頭沒有發霉,機身一條花痕也霉有。

    其實F3是一部手動+半自動相機,也即是說它可以做到我們現在的Av mode功能,以一部1980出產的相機來說真的走在時代的尖端。而1981年出產的Nikkor 50mm f1.2 到現在也是Nikkor 系列裡面光圈最大的鏡頭,它們結合起來就變成當時頂級的配搭。拿上手的一刻便可以感受到它的重量,全金屬機身給與了耐用的信心。對於習慣了光圈在機身調教的我來說,在鏡頭調教光圈是另外一種感受。因為沒有為它準備電池,所以昨晚只可以用機械快門,但是快門的聲音很棒,不能用現代的機種來比較。

    當我買到了適用的電磁跟菲林之後,就可以嘗試用這部上代機皇來拍照,再在這裡分享用後感,敬請留意!

    TL