Lastolite have recently launched the Ezybox - Hotshoe which is a collapsible softbox that you can use with a speedlite turning your battery operated flashgun into a studio light, albeit a small one. If you have used flash you will know how harsh it can be and a softbox does just what it sounds like, it softens the light to give more pleasing results which is useful for most kinds of photography from still life to macro, portraits and small groups etc.
If you own a Digital SLR at some point you will look at your photos and wonder why there are little black spots in the same position on some of them. Often people think that it's a mark either on or inside their lenses - which it's possible it could be but if you have multiple lenses it's very easy to rule this out, whilst I've even heard of some people thinking that the sensor on their camera has been damaged and have sent it off for repair.
In 99% of these cases the cause of these black marks is simply dust on the sensor. Even if you don't currently have any marks on your photos there is still a very good chance that you have dust on your sensor too. To see if you have try this simple test.
Every month Digital Camera Magazine have a feature in the magazine called Readers Day where one of the readers is taught how to shoot a specific subject or genre. Suggestions for readers days can be made by writing to the magazine direct or by responding to a specific thread in their user forum.
This thread was started by Ben Birchall who is the Technique Editor at the magazine and the person who typically runs the readers day and it was in this thread that I said that I would like help on how to photograph forests.
In April 2004 I had my first photo published in the Hotshots section of Digital Camera Magazine which was this photo of Brighton's Palace Pier that I took one weekend in March. This was one the most rewarding shots I've taken as I could see exactly the shot I wanted to create before I even took my camera out of the bag.
In May 2004, for the second month in a row, Digital Camera Magazine published another one of my photographs in the Hotshots section of the magazine, this time of a Swan resting. This shot was taken whilst on a 'photo meet' organised through a photography forum I was a member of at the British Wildlife Center in Kent.