Editorial

Peter Flower

First of all, apologies to those who have little interest in the technology of the cameras that they use. This edition of the Newsletter has a number of articles associated with this topic. However, there is a reason for this. We want to address the reasoning behind our choice of camera equipment, and to point the way that newer technology might affect decisions for any additional or replacement kit.

The type of photography that has the maximum interest for you (e.g. landscape, portraiture, nature, sports, macro etc) will normally influence the type of camera that you buy. As someone who does not concentrate on any particular genre I naturally want something that gives me the best of all worlds. Something light and compact, with a sensor giving high dynamic range, superb definition and ability to work in low light conditions; a zoom lens with a minimum 15x range starting at 24mm equivalent and maximum aperture of f/1.4, combined with close-focus capability; a variety of lightning-fast focus options; accurate light metering and sensing of different colour temperatures; 20 frames per second shooting capability (with follow-focus of course); and many more. Needless to say the technology, good as it is, fails to satisfy my desires! The result is the dilemma facing all of us, whether we need two, or more, cameras to cover the majority of our requirements.

In the days of film I think that it is right to say that enthusiast photographers in the society used an SLR as their first camera, backed up by a compact camera, very often of the fixed-lens type. What is more, as explained in the following article, there was often a tendency to stick with the same manufacturer. This is no longer the case. Photographers are increasingly finding that a mix of DSLR and smaller camera from different companies suit their requirements better. There is evidence of this within the membership of our society. A significant number are known to have a mix of equipment makes, added to by the use of cameras on smartphones as carry-around kit!

The article by Pete Welch is an illustration of the dilemmas that he encountered, and his solution which was very different to previous experience in the same situation.

Don Morley, with his wide experience of photography and noted attitude to quality imagery, expressed his enthusiasm for the latest digital technology. These days he principally uses Leica and Fujifilm cameras, both of which have class-leading capabilities.

Looking forward there have been a number of important announcements about future prospects. Readers of previous Newsletters will know about the speculation that Canon and Nikon are almost ready to introduce high-end mirrorless models. Canon's M5 is at last a model to compete with its DSLR EOS 80D as can be seen from this web link -

https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/mirrorless-cameras/mirrorless-vs-dslr/

Techman's Canon report also contains the latest comments on its strategy, including potential for mirrorless models. Meanwhile, Nikon has no comparable cameras to compete in this sector.

As reported previously, sales of compact cameras have been decimated by the advances in smartphone technology. This is no wonder when you read about the Huawei P20 Pro smartphone in a later article.

Looking Back and Forward

Peter Flower

The choice of photographic equipment can be influenced by a wide range of factors. In many cases much will depend upon the relative popularity of cameras at the time that the first purchase is made. Members who were 'serious' about their photography and purchased in the days of film will likely have decided upon one of the leading SLR models of that era. Canon and Nikon were the leading manufacturers, but makes such as Pentax, Olympus and Minolta were also highly regarded. Rangefinder models with exchangeable lenses from various companies were an important alternative option. From those early decisions it is often the case that brand loyalty leads to future replacements. In this situation the investment in lenses can be an important factor.

With the transition to digital models the incentive to stay with a make that is familiar and protected the investment in lenses and accessories could be important. It was at this stage that certain makers were slow in providing digital replacement models. Ignoring the wide range of compact cameras that flooded the market from 1996 onwards it was only Kodak, Canon and Nikon who had serious entries in the digital market place in that decade. It wasn't until after the millennium that other makers such as the Contax N Digital (2000), Fujifilm S2 Pro with Nikon lens! (2002), Sigma SD9 (2002), Olympus E-1 (2003) and Pentax *ist D (2003), Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (2004), Epson R-D1 (2004), Samsung GX-1S, GX-1L and GX-10 (2006 – a re-badging of Pentax models), Panasonic DMC-L1 (2006) and Sony DSLR-A100 (2006, with Minolta-fit lenses) joined them.

Sadly, the Contax model's life was a short one. A link was forged between Minolta and Sony, resulting in the Minolta brand disappearing and the resultant cameras appearing as the new Sony A-range. Pentax also joined Samsung, with Samsung able to supply their valuable electronic experience. It is also important to note that the Olympus and Panasonic models were the original 4/3 (four thirds) models, but ones which retained optical viewfinders. It wasn't until September 2008 that the Panasonic G1 arrived, the world's first electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens camera. This introduced the Micro Four Thirds standard, complete with a new lens mount, shared with Olympus which introduced its first model, the PEN E-P1 (without viewfinder) in June 2009.

The result of the lengthy delay in other manufacturers entering the professional and enthusiast sector of the digital market gave Canon and Nikon a significant advantage. It is only now that the likes of Sony with their a7 and a9 series of full-frame mirrorless cameras are posing any sort of threat to these companies. In the APS-C sector Fujifilm and Sony have also made significant inroads, whilst Olympus and Panasonic are increasing popular with their micro 4/3 cameras.

These cameras, being mirrorless, have a significant size advantage. The top models in the range have all the features that enable them to compete on equal terms with the long-established DSLRs from Nikon and Canon. They are worthy of serious consideration if new purchases are in mind. As stated elsewhere it seems likely that Nikon and Canon will finally introduce significant models in the mirrorless range. In this respect 2018 could well witness some exciting announcements.

Saturday Natter – Denbies Vineyard – 3 March 2018

Report by Peter Flower

Although it had been bitterly cold, with wind chill factor adding to the discomfort, in the previous few days it looked as though we would miss the worst weather conditions that were affecting other parts of the country. However, there was talk of calling off this event when we experienced a significant snow-fall in the lead-up to Saturday. As if by magic there was a significant thaw overnight between Friday and Saturday with the result that all the roads were clear. The result was that the turnout of members was as strong as ever.

It is not unusual for members to bring along their camera kit. On this occasion Phil Johns brought along an elderly camera that aroused a great measure of interest, especially with Don Morley, this being an old Leica camera. Don promised to identify the particular model and age if Phil emailed him the serial numbers of body and lens.

Phil emailed me later with these comments

Hi Peter. Regarding the Leica I had with me at the last Denbies meet up, I had bought the camera probably in the early 80's and didn't use it much at the time - it's been in the cupboard for 30 odd years. The Panasonic Lumix TZ100 I'm now using reminded me a little of the old Leica - similar shape, extending lens (also Leica on the Lumix) which is why I thought to get it out again.

I was never sure of the age of the camera. At Don Morley's suggestion I emailed him the serial numbers and he kindly looked them up for me. He was able to confirm the model is a 111C, which is what I thought. The camera body dates from 1949/50 but the Summar lens (5cm) is apparently quite early, being made in 1934. An interesting combination, to quote Don.

© Peter Flower - Leica 3C 1949-50 Serial No. 483888. L ens Summar 5cm f/2 Serial No. 22743

Note: The value of Phil's camera is not in the same league as that of the ultra-rare Leica 0-series No. 122 recently auctioned, as reported in a later article!

Another interesting topic discussed was that centred around Pete Welch's return from his recent holiday to Ecuador (including Galapagos) and Colombia. Pete's choice of equipment was interesting, and I subsequently asked him to write an article on this subject. The full details are contained in the following article.

Photographs by Lester Hicks

Pete Welch – Choice of cameras for an extended holiday

Pete Welch

Over the last couple of years my wife and I have been going away for a 5-6 week self-organised holiday mid-January up until March. Last year it was Central America; this year it was Ecuador (including Galapagos) and Colombia. We travel light, with one case each that at a pinch could go on-board as cabin baggage. This year during this period we stayed in 22 different hostels or hotels, and as well as flights (both international and local) we took 8 long bus journeys combined with numerous taxis and boats, so travelling light was deemed essential.

This made it difficult to decide what camera stuff to take. After all, these trips are intended as holidays and not photo expeditions. Over the years the stuff taken has been pared down. Initially it was a Canon DSLR with all the lenses and a tripod, but the adage of ‘The best camera is the one you have with you’ held true and often I’d end up using my phone to take the pictures.

Thinking I’d ‘go smaller’ last year I took an Olympus OMD5 micro 4/3 camera along with me together with a 14-150mm zoom and a 45mm prime as well as a Sony RX100 Mk.1 pocket camera with a 1” sensor (as well as a monopod and a small tripod). I always seemed to have the wrong camera with me while out and about. The Sony didn’t have the reach but was pocketable. The Olympus with zoom had the reach but wasn’t pocketable. I ended up using the Sony mostly and taking the Olympus out only if I was going to ‘take some proper photos today’.

This year I knew I wanted to take photos underwater. In the past I’ve used a Canon G7 with underwater housing for this, then later a Canon D10 (until it let me down). This year my underwater camera was a 1” cube from GoPro that takes amazing underwater pictures.

While in Galapagos we got talking to a fellow traveller about the camera stuff he’d brought with him. He told me that he had a Nikon D700 , 20-70mm, 50mm and 70-200 mm lenses. When I asked if he’d taken any really good shots he said he hadn’t taken a single shot and it was still in his luggage. (He’d been travelling for 3 weeks )

One other issue was the areas we travelled through. Not to put too fine a point on it but some places were a bit dodgy. We were constantly being told where NOT to go by hotel receptionists as they drew interesting places to visit on hotel maps they provided. On two occasions I was advised not to get my phone out in a public place for fear of it being taken. I think I would have felt uneasy having a big camera swinging around my neck during this trip.

Photograph Pete Welch with added text

This photograph shows the kit I took travelling this time:

iPhone 6s

GoPro Hero session (and float) mainly used in photo mode

Lumix DMC-TZ100 (10 x optical zoom, 1” sensor, F2.8-5.9 Leica lens)

Lumix DMC-LX100 (3 x optical zoom, 4/3 sensor, F1.7-2.8 Leica lens)

Wall charger, iPhone lightning cable, micro USB cable, 4 camera batteries, spare memory cards

Monopod (Velbon ultra L50, with monopod walking stick knob) and tiny tripod

I need not have bothered with the LX100, although it’s a lovely camera. It’s not really pocketable and so more often than not it got left back at the hotel. I used it a couple of times at dusk and dawn usually from the hotel window.

It’s hard to get shallow depth of field with this lot of course, but not impossible. I found that most shots were taken during the day when lots of light was about so f/2.8 was not really limiting, though an ISO of 3200 rendered pretty good results on the TZ100. The cameras all come with apps that allowed full communication with the iPhone, so I could transfer pictures to the iCloud as required or use the phone as a remote control, plus having access to editing apps like Snapseed.

The TZ100 battery can be charged up in camera without the use of a separate charger and it shares batteries with the LX100. The monopod doubled up as a walking pole but was used to prevent camera shake on long shots with the TZ100 which otherwise might have been an issue at the time.

The GoPro hasn’t got a viewfinder and needs charging internally via USB cable but WOW it takes good underwater shots. Swimming with it is easy and it takes up almost no space in your luggage.

© Pete Welch

In future this list (possibly without the LX100) will be my travel camera kit. I have come to realise that its impractical to have a ‘one kit fits all’ approach. There are times when my new Nikon D810 ‘house brick’ makes sense to use and times when it doesn’t but the holiday experience proved that I had made an almost perfect choice give the constraints of our travel arrangements. The cameras gave me options in just about any scenario, without any significant limitations. I was well satisfied with the photographs that I was able to take as a record of this extended trip.

Some of the other photographs taken are shown below.

© Pete Welch

© Pete Welch

These were taken with the Panasonic TZ100. This not only has a 10x zoom ratio but is able to 'extend' this with the additional 4x digital zoom. There are examples where I took a close up of the preceding photo (and show the zoom capability). The zoom becomes essential if you can't physically get any closer (Butterfly and Iguana illustrate this, one being halfway toward the ceiling the other being on the other side of a fence. In the case of the (***) starred image, this was halfway across a lava field. The sunset speaks for itself. None of these pictures would satisfy a 'pixel peeper' but I find most to be sharp enough for my use.

© Pete Welch

Sony a7 III camera

Techman

 

On 27 February 2018 Sony announced this new model, an image-stabilized 24 megapixel full frame mirrorless camera that incorporates many of the features and improvements brought in with the a9 and a7R III. Primary among these are the introduction of a BSI sensor, along with the larger capacity 'Z' battery, AF joystick and the EyeAF feature that impressed so much on the 42 megapixel model.

The 24 megapixel sensor is a BSI design but doesn't gain the super-fast readout of the a9's more sophisticated 'stacked CMOS' sensor. This means it can't match the a9's top shooting speed of 20fps and doesn't offer that camera's "anti-distortion shutter." The a7 III's fully electronic shutter takes around 1/18th of a second, rather than the roughly 1/160th of a second that the a9 takes. The company says the AF system is derived from the one in the a9 and performs twice as fast as the one on the a7 II. Its 693 phase detection AF points offer 93% frame coverage and are supported by 425 contrast-detection AF points. The 5-axis in-body stabilisation unit gives a 5-step shutter speed advantage.

The camera (body only) is priced at £1999, or £2199 with a 28-70mm kit lens.

Jack Thomas – final farewell

Peter Flower

In Newsletter 103 we published a tribute to Jack who had recently died. The following article contains additional comments and some messages that I received from Steve Lawrenson and Carol Hicks. At that time I said that the records were incomplete. I had additional photographs that I had taken as a result of my conversations with Jack, but did not publish them because I was uncertain about the identity of people in them. I also needed to clarify the facts behind some of the scribbled note that I made at that time. As a result of email conversations with Helen, one of Jack's daughters, I am now able to add further to the details in my original report.

Additional Notes

His work at Monotype, near Gatwick, (starting in 1939) was associated with their printing presses. He said that this involved tool-making. It seems that this was regarded as a reserved occupation, explaining why he did not join the Army until 1945. At that time National Service was in operation. He was called up on 1 November 1945, initially going to Catterick (square bashing?) and joining the Royal Artillery. It seems that after regular service he was in the R.E.M.E. Territorial Army reserve.

Sailing seems to have started in 1970. I also have notes about Crawley Mariners, Feldbridge, at this date. In 1976 there is a note – Weir Wood instructor and that at the time of our initial meeting (2006) he was now a Senior Instructor.

He had 5 daughters who were born between 1951 and 1961.

I don't have any comprehensive record of his time in Reigate PS but there were undated notes about him being Vice President for two years and then President.

Regarding his wood-turning, I remember an occasion when we were having a summer garden party at Reg Seale's house. At this time Reg and John Carless were getting guidance from Jack. They showed a number of wooden bodies (from a variety of woods) that had been made to install fountain pen mechanisms. This project seems to be dated 1986/7.

Steve Lawrenson sent me this further comment -

In your other note you mentioned that Jack had instructed several members of the Society in the art of wood-turning to the point where they were able to produce pens. Jack of course was much more proficient than that and produced some of the most complex and precise turned work that I've ever seen. It was quite remarkable even for someone with his background in engineering and toolmaking. The same could be said of his photography. In his later years he rarely entered our competitions but when he did you could be sure that the entry was well composed and technically perfect.

In my contact with Helen facts were confirmed about the following photographs.

© Jack Thomas original, rephotographed by Peter Flower

Helen commented - It’s me! I know this photo. My sisters used to sing to me ‘ there was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good, and when she was bad she was horrid’!!

What is intriguing, it was obviously sent out to Prague for some exhibition, as can be seen by the label on the back.

The following photographs were taken of pages in an album.

Photographs of originals by Peter Flower

Helen confirmed that snapshots included her Mum and Dad and her sister.

Photograph of original by Peter Flower

Helen said - all of us girls are in this shot - I have the white bonnet, sitting with one of my sisters who is pointing.

Email from Carol Hicks 28 Feb 2018 -

Hi Peter and Jill

I have now managed to speak to one of the family, and if you did not know already, to say they read your newsletter last night, and were very impressed. They said Jack always had a camera with him when they were able to take him out, and even when he had broken his hip and had to use a crutch, they took him on one of his last outings to photograph autumn colours. He used his crutch as a tripod and took a series of what they described as a wonderful series of images. His camera was very important to him.

Best wishes, Carol

Email from Carol Hicks 6 March 2018

Hi Peter

There wasn’t a lot of opportunity to get a photo of Jack’s coffin – attached is the best I could do.

© Carol Hicks

Several current and former members of RPS were present at Jack’s funeral Mass at St Joseph’s Catholic Church today, 6 March. Lots of Jack’s family attended, including Marion, his eldest daughter who lives in America. She delivered a very fine eulogy, painting a lively picture of Jack from his early days, and emphasising his many hobbies, including photography.

Best wishes

Carol

Sue Bishop

Peter Flower

Reading the Amateur Photographer edition of 24 March 2018 I came upon an article by Sue. This was one of a number on the topic of macro photography, and in particular on the subject of flowers. Her name is not one that is necessarily familiar to newer members, but many years ago she was a member of our society. However, Sue who specialises in flower and landscape photography is better known for a number of books that she has published as well as exhibitions that have been held. She is perhaps even better known for the foundation in 1994 of the company Light & Land together with Charlie Waite. This is a company which runs photographic tours to destinations all over the world and is rated the most successful company of its kind in the UK.

Colleen Slater

Coincidentally, in the same issue I spotted some familiar-looking images. It was only when I looked at them in detail and then the name of the article's author that I realised the reason why. Many of them were in fact the same as ones that I had published in my report (Newsletter 101) on Colleen's talk that she gave to us on 11 December 2017.

Payment for photography in the media

There has been significant publicity in recent weeks on the subject of payment for photographs published in newspapers and other publications. The NUJ (National Union of Journalists) has made complaints on this topic. It is almost certain that readers will be aware of the decline in photographers directly employed. Taking the Surrey Mirror as an example, years ago there would have been credits for the individual photographers. This is no longer the case. A recent email from Ian Hunt addressed this subject.

Email from Ian Hunt – 2 March 2018

Hi Peter,

The piece on page seven of this week's Amateur Photographer got my attention: 'Local Papers in club photos row'. It's interesting that the NUJ have taken up the cudgels to encourage Newspaper Groups to pay amateur photographers whose work probably makes up a reasonable chunk of publications these days.....

I wonder if 'Newsquest' and others, namely 'Trinity Mirror' Group which owns Surrey Mirror and myriad other local newspapers across the UK will take note, or if they'll play the declining print circulations/sales/ advertising revenue argument to avoid paying a going rate? I'm not sure how much it helps the professional photographers' case. In both cases it would help with the ever escalating cost of kit etc,.

Book publishers (that I've encountered when chatting with authors) adopt the same 'no budget for pictures' but happy to give a picture credit policy. A free copy of a book with one's pictures in it hardly seems sufficient return for the effort put in. None of these commercial organisations appreciate the rising cost of kit including computers.

An evening with Don Morley – 5th March 2018

Report by Lester Hicks

Faced with yet another last-minute cancellation by a booked presenter, our resourceful Programme Secretary Paul Renaut called on veteran Society Member Don Morley to fill the gap. Don rose to the challenge, and in under a day put together another impressive programme based on his long experience as an award-winning national and international news and sports photographer.

In the first half of the evening Don dug into his huge press archive, still earning him royalties, to give us a glimpse of some of the people and places he covered when working in Fleet Street. Faces from the past included Harold Wilson, the Kinks, Malcolm Muggeridge, Harry H. Corbett, the Redgrave Family en masse, a youthful Ian Paisley, Olga Korbut and Charlotte Rampling.

© Don Morley - Winston Spencer-Churchill, standing for parliament for first time and for Moss Side Manchester 1960's; John Pertwee as Dr Who early 1960's; Sir Michael Redgrave and family opening The Redgrave Theatre Farnham C1970; Malcolm Muggeridge at home (No flash, not allowed on the Guardian) so just sat him down near the table light. C1970

Events and places included the Berlin Wall of the 1960s (Don’s shot of the Wall alongside the overgrown and unused steps down to the Stadtmitte U-bahn station near Checkpoint Charlie was perhaps one of his most evocative), his images of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre used worldwide, and the aftermath of the IRA bomb at the Old Bailey in 1973.

© Don Morley - Berlin Wall near Checkpoint Charlie 1960's; Aftermath of IRA attack on Old Bailey 1973

Fascinating, too, was Don’s listing on the duty schedule of staff photographers allocated to cover Winston Churchill’s funeral in January 1965.

After the break Don turned to his personal archive, bringing out as one would expect some significant moments in motorcycle racing, before moving on to candid street and location shots from outings with the U3A Photographic Group led by Steve Lawrenson, and other jaunts, again often with Steve.

© Don Morley - Frankie Chili World Champs M/C Monza 1980's; A shot I took during the Rugby Seminar I did for the club 2/3 years back at Old Reigatians

Into this he wove something of a master-class in street and action photography; the need to avoid conflicting backgrounds, how to pan to get the moving object sharp (enough) and the background blurred, rather than the converse, and the danger of autofocus in picking up the foreground rather then the chosen object. His advice; pre-set on Manual to the range you expect to use.

© Don Morley - Autumn Colour; Hunstanton Beach Huts (Fuji X-Pro2); Last man away, Lulworth Cove (Leica)

But despite the pitfalls Don remained full of praise for the capabilities of the best modern digital cameras in achieving results, hard if not impossible to achieve in past generations of cameras and film processing.

© Don Morley - The Old Cloth Hall and town square area Ypres at night. This entire area was totally destroyed during WW1, then rebuilt brick by brick. Winston Churchill wanted it to be left as it was as a war memorial at the war's end but the people of Ypres voted to rebuild it..

These two shots are why I will never go back to film. I was walking round with the Fuji set to 'P' for programme snapping away hand held, no tripod and as if it was daylight. What freedom!

An enjoyable evening ended with a nostalgic highly personal look at Brooklands and its motoring and aviation heritage. Thanks go to Don for stepping in so effectively, and to Paul for competently managing at short notice yet another crisis in delivering this season’s programme.

Editor's Note: The photograph descriptions listed after each collage of pictures were supplied by Don. Some of these included his comments about the equipment used or the circumstances in which they were taken. It was interesting to see some of the images taken during his long professional career, just a few from his extensive archive of photographs which continue to be in demand by publishers of books and modern magazines. Don also included a significant remark about the status of the latest digital camera equipment. For a long time during the transition from film-based photography to digital the new technology struggled to equal the excellence of film. However, as Don stated, there is no doubt that the convenience of use and quality of digital images available from the latest cameras is superb.

Just a reminder from the past – the Chatham Challenge of 14 July 2007 which took place at the Bluebell Railway, organised by Don, was the last one to use slide film!!

Comment on digital v film

Peter Flower

It took quite some time for digital imagery to match that of film. Low pixel counts on the sensors (starting from less than 1 megapixel !) and their electronic 'noise' struggled to match the quality of established 35mm films. This is no longer the case, as Don expressed in his comments above. The Fujifilm camera that he used has an APS-C sensor, smaller than the 35mm frame size, and yet much more capable in so many respects.

Perhaps even more impressive is the comparison between Super-8mm cine film and the small 1/2.3” sensor found in many compact digital cameras. Many years ago I took cine with this size film which has frames only slightly smaller than the digital sensor. I can tell you that the image quality on a single film frame is pretty poor, and it is only the movement that makes the image acceptable. In comparison the digital is far superior, either as a single image or used to take video.

Huawei P20 Pro smartphone camera with triple Leica lenses (Top Marks in DxO tests)

Peter Flower

DxOMark is a company performing the trusted industry standard tests for camera and lens image quality. As such it tests both conventional camera equipment as well as the cameras in smartphones. The company has recently published its test report on the Hauwei smartphone camera, comparing it with those in the latest Apple iPhone X, the Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. In this test the P20 has achieved the highest rating. With its DxOMark score of 109 it ranks a full ten points ahead of the Samsung. DxO comments “We are used to every new smartphone camera generation being slightly better than the previous one, but looking at the images and test results from the P20 Pro, it seems Huawei has skipped one or two generations. The results are simply that good. The P20 Pro’s triple camera set-up is the biggest innovation we have seen in mobile imaging for quite some time and is a real game changer.” Individual scores are given for photo and video performance. In this the Photo category scored 114 against 104 for the Galaxy and 101 for the iPhone.

This image shows the three-lens Leica installation on the Huawei P20 Pro

The combination of lenses with different focal lengths and sensors for colour and monochrome enable the clever software algorithms to provide high quality images. These give the ability to provide such features as differential focus (giving background blur) and limited telephoto with small loss of definition that normally goes with digital zoom on other cameras. Some benefit also comes from the 1/1.7-inch image sensor, larger than that fitted in most smartphones.

The following examples of night shots taken with three of the smartphones may not show on your device, but I can assure you that the superiority of the Huawei P20 clearly shows on a full-size monitor.

The main picture was from the P20. The crops from a small area show the P20, iPhone and Galaxy detail. Images courtesy of D P review and DxOMark.

The smartphones mentioned are far from cheap devices but their portability and convenience pose yet a further threat to conventional cameras.

Note: For the benefit of those who struggle with pronunciation of the name for this Chinese company – the answer is Wah-way.

Double Bill evening – 12 March 2018

Peter Flower

There were two items on the menu for this evening's events. The reports follow -

Creative Evening

Paul Renaut had supplied the four photographs that could be used as the basis for creation of imaginative images and Jill Flower had organised the assembly of these for showing on the evening. The images were projected in sequence by author, with them giving an explanation of the techniques involved in the creation of each image. Members of the audience were then invited to cast a vote for their favourite image. The overall winner was Sarah Healy, one of our newer members.

Her winning image plus a few of the others are shown in the following collage.

Sarah's winning image is shown top left

Les Dyson - It's a square world

Peter Flower

I'm not aware that there was a title for Les's talk, but the fact that all of his images appeared in square format gave me this idea. As was to be expected, the images that had been taken on Apple iPad or iPhone and then manipulated with a variety of apps were highly entertaining. Many of them reflected Les's quirky sense of humour and were accompanied by the expected humorous comments that we have come to expect from him.

The first few images were of a bubble car that Les had owned briefly some long time ago. The showing of these had been prompted by comments that I made in the previous Newsletter on the topic of various three-wheeler bubble cars. In this case it was of his 1965 49cc Peel Trident shown alongside the family Austin A40, at the garage site that doubled as a dairy and pet food abattoir! Les commented that this car went up to the top of the Blackpool Tower.....in the lift. (A similar situation can be viewed in the later 'Coffee Break' article) I have added two photographs from an internet source to show the car in greater detail, and how an earlier model could be lifted easily to change direction!

Photographs by Les Dyson and from an internet source

Les uses a variety of applications to edit his images. These were shown in the screen-shot of his iPhone.

Photograph by Les Dyson

The apps include Photo Booth (only there because Apple include it), Instagram, Flickr, Camera+, Snapseed, SimplyB&W, DashOfColorHD, Layout, Hipstamatic, Enlight, Slow Shutter, Fused, Repix, Glaze, Lightroom CC, Adobe Sketch and MotionBlurEffect.

Some examples of the transformations that can be made are shown below.

© Les Dyson's comment - 'Heads up' is the version of the H & M mannequin as in my One a Day file. 'In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king' is from the Creative show.

© Les Dyson's comments - 'Making contact' is obviously Portsmouth Snapseed double exposure. 'Flower market' is a Glaze oil painting with the original image superimposed in Snapseed to change the opacity of the oil painting and to add some detail back into the new image.

Most members will be aware that Les is currently participating in the 100 day challenge of taking a photograph each day to display on Facebook. This is the second event on this subject, an earlier one having been run last year. Les was so taken with this idea that he has in fact been running his own 'photo a day' continuously since that time. However, he did admit that he cheated! Although one was published each day it had not necessarily had been taken on the day, which is the real challenge.

Les made the observation that the use of the iPhone made the taking of photographs unobtrusive. People tended to be unaware of photographs being taken. This fact is fairly obvious from the number of images that he has produced based on the Belfry Shopping Centre, as will be seen from these examples of previously published photographs.

© Les Dyson

The Belfry Centre takes a pretty dim view of photography, as I found out when involved in a photography project run by Jill for the local YMCA. I was with some young people taking photographs for a project which was based in a cycle shop which the YMCA then ran in the centre. Suddenly the sky went dark, the reason being that it had been obscured by a huge security man looming over me, demanding to know what we were doing. We were told in no uncertain terms that, however innocent, photography on their private domain was not allowed.

In addition to the coffee shops of Redhill, Les obviously has an attraction for the derelict and run-down buildings in the town. It could be said that his photographs are not good PR for the town, but on the other hand his imaginative manipulation of images can make it seem quite an attractive place!

As always, Les provided a wealth of interesting images to view, together with a humorous commentary. This completed a fun evening for the members.

Note: The Peel P50 was a single-seater model, preceding the Trident 2-seater model that Les owned. It was listed in the 2010 Guinness World Records as the smallest production car ever made. It had no reverse gear, but a handle at the rear allowed the very lightweight car to be manoeuvred physically when required. A fun video from 'Top Gear' can be viewed in the following.

Coffee Break

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJfSS0ZXYdo

Canon

Techman

A number of interesting announcements , including one from Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai in a Corporate Strategy Conference on 6 March 2018, gave an indication of the company's strategy. To quote - “Within existing businesses, there are market areas that are growing, such as colour devices in MFDs and laser printers, and mirrorless in cameras. In these segments, by launching differentiated products that only we can provide, we will stimulate the market, grow our sales, and secure additional market share. For example, in our core camera business, in addition to our overwhelming share of the DSLR market, we will go on the offensive and work to expand our sales in the mirrorless camera market, which is exhibiting remarkable growth. This will allow us to reach our goal of 50% market share of the entire interchangeable-lens camera market.”

Web site Canon Rumors commented on 23 March 2018 that "a full frame mirrorless camera is well into its development cycle," and is in fact being used by "select Canon pro photographers" in the field.

During an interview at CP+ 2018 a Canon executive said: “In accordance with the full line-up strategy, we will be tackling [the mid-range and high-end mirrorless market] going forward. When asked if it was "realistic" to expect a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera within a year, the tongue-in-cheek response was “That would be nice, wouldn't it?”

Greenwich evening – 17 March 2018

Peter Flower

An extra special event had been organised by Stephen Hewes, but having heard advance warning of heavy snowfall he decided to cancel. Jill and I had already booked a hotel in Greenwich for that evening because of arrangements to meet our daughters there the following day. It has to be said that the 'London at twilight' theme would not have worked out as planned, but the heavy snowfall that evening did provide some interesting images.

© Peter Flower

High-priced Leica

10 March 2018

A private collector in Asia just bought her or himself the most expensive camera ever sold at auction. This was for an ultra-rare Leica 0-series no. 122 for the mind-boggling price of €2.4 million (approximately $2.97M USD, or £2.15M)—a sum reached when you combine the hammer price of €2 million with the €400,000 premium.

The auction took place on Saturday at the famed WestLicht auction house in Vienna, where Leica majority owner and chairman of the board Andreas Kaufmann was there to watch the record be set.

The Disabled Photographers' Society at Photo Show, NEC Birmingham 17th/20th March 2018

Report by Nick Rogers

As I was at the show to help CNP Safaris with responsibility for transporting their stand, it also gave me the opportunity to take our members' unwanted camera equipment to the charity. They use the show to raise awareness of the charity but also to raise funds by selling second hand equipment. It is the charity's main source of income for the whole year so it is extremely important to their existence.

The Disabled Photographers' Society offer members equipment, advice and contact to like-minded people, organising competitions and experiences.

Each year the charity arrive at the show, nervous that they will not have enough equipment to last the four days. But each year visitors and other exhibitors continue to surprise them with their generosity and this year included the generosity of our members with our donations being gratefully received. I took two banana boxes and two camera bags full of equipment, and by adding these to the other donations the charity had another successful show.

The show

The show itself was hopeful of beating the 2017 average daily attendance of 8,000 per day, but may have ended just short of this target due to the poor weather experienced on the Sunday, reducing the expected Sunday numbers by half.

Numerous new cameras, lenses and equipment were on show from over 200 exhibitors. In addition to over 100 masterclasses and talks the show also included the successful images from a range of of competitions.

Viewing other photographers images always inspires me to continually want to improve. The motorbike ones, while not being technically the superior images of the show, stood out as a panel for me and made me stop to take the time to appreciate them and try to work out how they had been taken and edited.

CNP Stand

I found working on the CNP Stand very rewarding this year. As my knowledge increases I find I am more able to point people in the right direction when asking for advice about wildlife equipment, in addition to discussing wildlife photographic holidays. I enjoy sharing ideas and experiences so am very likely to attend again next year, and will be happy to continue to take any unwanted equipment to the charity.

As you can see from the pictures everything sells, so all donations are gratefully received.

© Nick Rogers - Handover, items for sale and photograph of the stand

© Nick Rogers - CNP stand, motorcycle competition images

And finally . . . . . . . .

Intensely watching the birdie!

Image from internet source – acknowledgement to FunnyModo