Dateline 11 July 2016

Dave Lyon

PF

Congratulations are due to Dave who recently informed me that he had just gained EFIAP and BPE2* distinctions. Also there was the news that his print Faces in the storm had been accepted for exhibit in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Readers of the Newsletter will know that this photograph was one used in our panel of four photographs which came a very close second in the recent Albany Cup inter-club competition.

Jill and I visited the Royal Academy on 30 June and were able to see Dave's print on display. In the close-up of the print you will see no less than 22 red dots along the bottom of the frame. These represent sales so far! Dave will be busy in the lightroom producing prints!

© Faces in the storm – Dave Lyons

Exhibition photographs – Peter Flower

Sigma sd Quattro

Techman

In Newsletter 78 I gave news of two new models. These were not immediately available for sale but the company has now announced pricing and availability for one of them, its sd Quattro mirrorless camera, and a bundle including the camera with a 30mm F1.4 Art lens. It has also announced another product, the EF-630 external flash. (There is no news of the sd Quattro H model) The sd Quattro is a mirrorless camera with an APS-C-size Foveon sensor (which Sigma claims is 'equivalent' to 39 megapixels), hybrid autofocus system, 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder and 'Super-Fine Detail' mode that combines seven exposures into one for high dynamic range. Prices at Park Cameras are £799 body only, or £999.99 for camera complete with 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art lens. (As an interesting aside, the prices in the States are $799 and $999, which even allowing for recent currency depreciation seems inappropriate in comparison) The EF-630 external flash will initially be available for Sigma cameras, with Nikon and Canon versions to follow. The flash covers a range of 24-200mm (and can go down to 17mm via its built-in wide panel), supports high speed sync and offers an easy-to-use interface via its dot matrix display.

Not Many People Know That

PF

2009 - Kodak's single-use camera recycling program reached the milestone of recycling 1.5 billion cameras, including both Kodak and competitive models.

 

Ansel Adams – Famous Photograph 'Moonrise, Hernandez'

Peter Flower

There are so many iconic photographs by Ansel Adams and it is likely that many are familiar to readers. However, perhaps the one with this title is the most well-known. In recent research I came across a fascinating story about how it came to be taken, and the way that the final dramatic appearance of the print was created.

Adams' son Michael recently explained in an interview with Marc Silber of Advancing Your Photography how the events unfolded the day the photo was taken. Riding along with his father, he remembers how Ansel caught sight of the moon rising over the landscape and pulled the car over to take the photo. In a video you will hear Michael and Ansel Adams himself explain how the image was created, thanks to some quick thinking when a light meter couldn't be found. The resulting image is, of course, a classic. The video can be seen at -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_Ar5ZPuKUM

If you are interested a rather longer video, also containing the above details, includes information about some other famous prints, like 'Face of Half Dome', Ansel Adams' studio and his darkroom. I was fascinated by his huge horizontal enlarger and vertical screen to hold the paper, both of which ran on tracks for adjustment. The link is -

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

 

Another Polaroid Postscript

Peter Flower

In a previous article (Newsletter 81) I mentioned the costly failure of Polavision, the instant cine film system. However, the process utilised in this was subsequently adapted by Polaroid in 1983 for use with 35mm films. This enabled the photographer to get almost instant processing of colour slides as well as a number of other film types. It has to be remembered that at the time most colour transparency films had to be sent away to a photo lab for processing, resulting in a significant delay before the the images could be seen. The Polaroid system was very elegant and simple to use. The film came in a conventional cassette, loaded into the camera in the normal way. Films came in lengths of 12 or 36 exposures. After rewinding the film into the cassette, preferably leaving the leader outside, it was then loaded into the Polaroid AutoProcessor. (If you accidentally rewound the leader into the cassette Polaroid even provided a little gizmo that enabled you to retrieve it)

These pictures show the machine with its simple illustrated instructions on the outside, and the way that the processing pack, containing the chemicals, and film were loaded. The time to get from an exposed undeveloped film to a fully developed film ready for mounting varied from between two and five minutes, depending on the type of film. With each film, in addition to the appropriate chemical cartridge, there was a supply of slide mounts which were very simple to use. A small device guillotined the film and located it in position for the cardboard foldable mounts.

This system had particular attraction for business users as well as amateur photographers. For example, there was special high-contrast film to reproduce subjects like graphs or diagrams which could be used in business presentations.

 

Saturday Natter – Denbies Vineyard – 2 July 2016

Peter Flower

Just a small group of six members attended this time, but in some respects this was an advantage because we were all close together and could discuss common topics. These ranged from the possible choice of a new camera, especially a reasonably light one for travel purposes, to discussion of particular features on cameras which had been brought along. What became obvious was that it was extremely difficult to find any model that ticked all the right boxes. There seemed to be a desire to obtain a model that was both lighter but still retained the range of controls that were desired for serious photography. It was acknowledged that reduction in size, and especially extensive zoom ranges, required smaller sensors which could compromise image quality. It was interesting to analyse the camera types actually owned by the six people present. Purely by chance there was an equal split between those relying on DSLRs (two Nikons and one Canon) and those with lighter models (Sony and Panasonic bridge cameras, plus a Panasonic CSC mirrorless one).

On a different topic, Ian Hunt mentioned his experience of supplying photographs (unpaid) to the Surrey Mirror and some other publications. The days of the press employing their own staff photographers appears almost at an end. This can be attributed to the decline in revenue, but possibly also to the fact that so many people with smartphones are in a position to capture incidents and are all too willing to see their photos in print or any media.

I also informed the others of Dave Lyon's success in having his print Faces in the storm accepted for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. Jill and I had visited this exhibition and seen Dave's print on display. I showed them a photograph of this exhibit. Below the picture was an impressive row of red dots, indicating the number of sales so far. When the new season opens I think that there will be quite a few members who hope that the drinks will be on Dave!

© Photograph by Peter Flower

This photograph of Ian Hunt was taken at the event. I was experimenting with a Canon EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens mounted via an adapter on my Panasonic GX8 camera. This lens retains a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range. The enlarged image shows the quality plus the very shallow depth of field that this combination gives.

 

Comment

Along with other events scheduled for the the period between the society's formal programme the Saturday Natters have been a great success. They have provided the opportunity for members to socialise in a way that is not possible during the regular Monday evening meetings. It has been a pleasure having more time getting to know other members at these events. From discussions that I have had I know that other members appreciate this social aspect as well. Our thanks should go out to John Fisher who instituted the Saturday Natter idea. Also to Stephen Hewes who was largely responsible for organising the summer schedule of extra events, together with members like Clare Taylor, Grahame Singleton and Carol Hicks who have also been involved.

 

Gatton Park afternoon tea and garden visit – 3 July 2016

Report by Lester Hicks

13 members met up at the annual Gatton Country Fair on 3rd July as an alternative to the traditional summer Garden Party. There were plenty of opportunities for photography, especially welcome for those currently taking part in the 100 day Challenge. Apart from the park landscaped by Capability Brown in his 300th anniversary year, there were vintage cars, Newfoundland Rescue Dogs at the Engine Pond, punting on the Serpentine Lake, a jazz band, Punch and Judy and two excellent falconry flying displays, as well as all the traditional stalls. The weather was warm, dry and even fairly sunny, which is saying something in what passes for summer 2016.

We all enjoyed tea in the hall with pleasant background music by a harpist. There was also a display by a local artist who creates his pictures using an iPad, very much in the style of Hockney. Throughout the afternoon Jill Flower ran a games challenge, much enjoyed by children, who were invited to 'Splat the rat' and engage in duck racing. (The rain guttering for the latter came courtesy of Stephen Hewes!)

© Photographs Carol Hicks, Peter Flower, Lester Hicks, Jill Flower, Stephen Hewes, Jill Flower

Hasselblad X1D

Peter Flower

I wrote in the previous Newsletter about this significant new camera. I gave comparison figures of weight and size to some existing camera models from other companies. However, the real significance of these figures is really brought home by an image which I found on the web. Photography News editor Will Cheung got his hands on the Hasselblad X1D and was able to compare it side-by-side with a Nikon full-frame DSLR . It shows the medium format body to be smaller than the DSLR.

Acknowledgement to Will Cheung and Absolute Photo

The DP Review web site featured pre-production samples of photographs taken with this camera. A loupe could be applied to each picture which could be moved around, like a magnifying glass, to show the definition obtained in even greater detail. The following image shows how this appears, as an example of the detail contained.

Acknowledgement to DP Review

This is a very interesting article on that web site and you can play with this feature at the following link -

http://www.dpreview.com/news/4962516765/hasselblad-x1d-pre-production-samples

 

Fuji announcements – the new X-T2 camera and firmware update to X-Pro 2

Techman

As Photokina, the most significant show in the photographic calendar, approaches it is to be expected that new camera announcements will increase. We have already had the one from Hasselblad and this has been rapidly followed by the latest from Fuji. The most significant is the X-T2 model.

Fujifilm X-T2 and new EF-X500 flash unit

This introduces many noticeable improvements over the preceding model (X-T1). The most significant are the sensor and and focus capabilities. A 24.3 megapixel sensor combined with X-Processor Pro image processor is the same as found in the Fuji X Pro2. Added is the capability of 4K video capture, the first Fujifilm camera to boast this feature. With the high-speed processor and the use of improved algorithms, the X-T2 now refocuses more frequently, enabling predictive AF of advanced accuracy. The autofocus system (AF) increases the overall single AF points to 325, and the number of Zone focusing points to 91 (expanded from 49 in previous models). Approximately 40% of the imaging area (the centre area containing 49 focusing points) is covered with phase detection autofocus pixels to form a fast and precise phase detection autofocus area that can be used in a variety of scenes. Photographers will enjoy accurate focusing is all shooting situations, even in low light with a -3EV.

Prices are £1399 body only or £1649 kit with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens. Availability is expected in September.

Fujifilm has announced new firmware for its X-Pro2 mirrorless camera which, most notably, updates the autofocus algorithm to be in-line with the just-announced X-T2. The company promises better AF speed and accuracy. The firmware update also improves parallax correction when using the OVF and adds support for the new EF-X500 external flash. X-Pro2 owners will be able to get the new firmware this October.

 

Project Photo 100 – Progress Report

Peter Flower

At the time of writing this project is at the mid-sixty mark. There continues to be a steady flow of excellent images. Some of the more recent ones, chosen at random, are shown below.

© Photographs Peter Flower, Les Dyson, Carol Hicks, Grahame Singleton, Jill Flower

© Photographs Peter Welch, Lester Hicks, Paul Renaut, Rosemary Calliman, Mick Higgs, Stephen Hewes

All the images can be viewed on the Flickr site Reigate PS 100 Days



And finally . . . . . . . . .

No comment !!

 

 

STOP PRESS – 12 July 2016

PF

The following photographs that I had requested from Ian Hunt arrived too late for inclusion in the Newsletter when it was published.

I particularly requested the night-time shot of the Flying Scotsman at Redhill for the benefit of our lady members who I know to be avid steam train enthusiasts! The three 'Where's Wally' characters were captured by Ian as they rode through Merstham on 19 June in the LB BHF bike ride. The harpist was the one mentioned in the article on the Gatton Country Fair.

© Photographs by Ian Hunt