Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Professor Irving Speaks - An introduction to film cameras

I've been playing with this animation software for a few weeks. Because I'm a shy sort of person this could be a wonderful way for me to blog. The inspiration for this little film came last week when I was trying to buy a roll of 120 film. I visited a store that was part of a national chain of camera shops. Of the eight customer advisers, only one had heard of medium format.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hen House

Hen House - Photograph by Tim Irving
Hen House - Tim Irving
It has been incredibly misty around the east of England for the past few days, with the usual consequences, cancelled flights, long delays on the roads etc. The light during a misty morning is absolutely beautiful and transforms the mundane into something special, so I'm scouting for likely subjects during the day and returning to photograph them the next morning. On Friday I returned to my favourite hens in their misty, moody surroundings.

I've mentioned in a pervious post that chickens are difficult creatures to photograph. They are nervous, skittish and quick. They also follow each other around which is very annoying, so an isolated hen is soon joined by others, thus ruining any careful composition. The biggest problem is getting down to their level, which in this weather would involve kneeling in wet grass.

I solved the problem in two simple ways (a pincer movement). I'm sure you can't wait to hear!
  1. I used a camera with a waist level viewfinder, which allowed me to view the hens at their level.
  2. I gained the hens confidence by flicking lentils into the field. 
I would normally have used 400 ASA film for such a dull day, but I couldn't buy any locally. So I used 100 ASA film, 1/30th at f/3.5.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Fuji X10

The Strand - Tim Irving
Walking around the shops yesterday, I was gob smacked to see the new Fuji X10 camera with a price of £499. I know it's nearly Christmas and the camera has just been launched, but £500 for a pocket digital camera with a sensor the size of a postage stamp! I must be losing touch with reality. If you already have one of these cameras, well good luck to you. It will be junk in a couple of years or sooner, because digital cameras nose dive in value after they are launched. I just looked up the Nikon V1, launched in October. This camera has fallen from £879 to £684 in four weeks.

I considered why anyone would buy this camera at this price and failed to come up with a good reason. The Fuji X10 wont improve anyone's photography. How can it, it's just a camera. This camera wont make the owner see more creatively. It wont help anyone to win more competitions. No, this camera (and a lot of others), at this price, doesn't make sense to me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


conkers. Photograph by Tim Irving
Yes conkers! The seeds of the Horse Chestnut tree.


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