Let's face it, the camera on the iPhone is pretty poor but just because you wouldn't really want to use it to take photos doesn't mean that the iPhone is useless for photography. Thanks to the PhotoBuddy App, the iPhone is actually an incredibly useful photographic tool. Why? Because PhotoBuddy lets you work out Depth of Field Calculations, Flash Calculations, Exposure Calculations, Calculate Sunrise & Sunset Times and Phases of the Moon and a whole lot more.
We have just returned from a quick trip to Ireland to visit my father-in-law where he lives in Ballyhahill in Southern Ireland. Although the prime reason for the visit was for my wife to see her dad I hoped to be able to get some photography time so took my camera and a selection of lenses. Unfortunately the weather was dreadful almost every day with torrential rain and grey sky's making everything look dull and cold when in fact Ireland is anything but.
Saturday August 30th saw the start of the Shoreham Airshow 2008. As I had previously attended the 2004 show I was very much looking forward to this one, however the weather in August has been nothing short of awful and so there was a big question mark over weather we would bother to go as the £20 each entrance fee was too much to loose if it were to just rain all day.
When I bought my first DSLR, a Canon EOS-10D, I had a Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. With the 10D's ASPC sized sensor this meant that the widest focal length I had was 38mm which, lets face it, isn't exactly wide. Although I don't often shoot what would be considered to be landscapes in the traditional sense of the word, i.e. rolling hills or rocky cliffs under a dramatic sky, it quite quickly became evident that I needed a wide angle lens.
Following on from my recent trip to Marwell Zoo I recently visited Whipsnade Zoo which is part of the Zoological Society of London. Whipsnade, in Bedfordshire, is home to a wide range of animals from big cats like Lions & Cheetahs to Elephants, Rhino's, Brown Bears, Lemur's, Penguins and a whole host of other mammals, insects and reptiles. Being that the zoo is spread out over a large area the animal enclosures range from large to very large yet whilst keeping the needs of the animals first it also means that the visitor and the photographer can get excellent and unblocked views of these animals. Here is how I got on.
On the 18th November 2007 Marwell Zoo in Hampshire celebrated a rare birth, that or a female Amur Leopard cub. With less than 35 of these beautiful animals left in the wild this was clearly big news. It was perhaps even bigger news when on 29th February 2008 the zoo announced that the cub would be put into the Leopards area and be visible to visitors for the first time. Seeing this on the news we decided to take a trip to the zoo the next day.
I've been to Marwell several times before but it's always nice to revisit it and to try to get some more photos of the animals. How did I get on?
Back in March 2007 I wrote this article where I compared the RAW processing of Photoshop, Lightroom 1.0, Aperture 1.5 and Capture One 3.7. The results of that test was that Aperture produced the best results but that overall Capture One was the best RAW editor. The disadvantage of Capture One of course is the fact that it has no file management capabilities which led to the conclusion that, if you had a Mac, Aperture was the best choice if you needed file management as well as RAW processing.
2007 wasn't exactly what you would call a good year for us, both of us had been very stressed with work and the start of the year saw me hurt my back and be off work and house bound for 4 months. Feeling very stressed and frustrated we decided that we needed to get away. Neither of us are what you would call 'beach people', I get very bored sitting on a beach doing nothing and so our usual type of holiday is to go and tour around like we have done in places like Tuscany or to visit a city like Rome and do a lot of sightseeing.
I have often been asked to take photo's of people by friends and family but have never really felt that comfortable doing it because I didn't have the equipment to take the kind of portrait shots that I wanted to take. Up until now I've always 'just' used either natural light or flash along with a reflector and you can certainly get some fantastic results using just that but I wanted to do a bit more than that so I've built myself a small home studio. Here is how I did it.
Digital cameras are more popular than ever and if you own one the chances are that you will have used or at least read about the RAW format especially as most new digital cameras now support this format along with more traditional formats like JPEG or TIFF. Much has been written about the advantages of RAW and so I won't spend any time explaining these benefits or how RAW works and instead will just summarise with the fact that with RAW you can unleash the full potential of your camera and retain maximum control over your photos from adjusting exposure and white balance etc after you have taken the photo to working with vastly greater tonal ranges and greater creative control over colour balances and the like.