Wednesday, 1 December 2010

My reputation was saved by a ZSD.

Last week I was looking through some of my old press stuff from the days in the early eighties when I freelanced in London for some twelve different publications.

Looking at the images bought back many memories of various jobs and situations etc, which I'm quite happy to share here (even the embarrassing ones).

One job in particular sprang to mind. I was asked to provide pictures in  colour for Hello magazine and black and white for the City of London Recorder newspaper.

The job itself was to photograph the Queen visiting the New Royal Mint premises.

On the day of the visit, I arrived in plenty of time and secured myself a good vantage point. The photo pass that I was issued only allowed me to photograph the Queen outside.  The indoor shots would be taken by another photographer

I was using my Canon A1 and the T90.The A1 was loaded with Ilford HP5 black and white film rated at 400 and the T90 was filled with Ektachrome 400 slide film. My reasons for the film in each camera was that I wanted to use the spot metering capability in the T90 to make sure that I was exposing correctly for the skin tones. Essential with unforgiving slide film.  The black and white, I would develop myself later as the newspaper was only printed once a week.

I opened the back of the A1 and threaded the film tongue into the take up spool, wound one frame on and then closed the back. I then fired off a couple  more frames until the mechanical counter showed number one in the small window.  Then I opened the back of the T90 and laid the tongue of the Ektachrome film against the take up spool. I closed the door and heard the film being automatically loaded. Thus set, I waited for The Queen to arrive.

HM always attracts a good crowd and I shot lots of pics of her with her subjects alternating between the two cameras. My window of opportunity was however all too brief and before a few minutes had passed, the Queen had gone inside.

I looked at the film counters on both cameras. The A1 had made 27 images and the T90 was nearly full with 34 frames gone. I put both cameras back in my bag and drove to Joe's Basement in Wardour Street SOHO to have the slide film developed. Joe's was a photolab that was open 24 hours a day. You could go in at one o'clock in the morning, hand in your slide film and have it back two hours later. They also did push processing, printing, mounting and lots of other photography related things.

I gave my film over the counter at 11:00 o'clock and was told that it would be ready by one. This was ideal because I had an appointment to hand in the best slides to the magazine at two thirty.

This meant I could go home, get some lunch, come back and pick up the slides then take them to the magazine with plenty of time to spare.

When I got home, I took the A1 from my bag and went to rewind the film. I pushed in the tiny film release button and lifted the lever on the film spool to begin the process.

Normally, for a thirty six exposure film, I would have to turn the handle about thirty or so times until it went slack, indicating that the film was back safely inside the cannister. This time however I felt the tension loosen after about two turns!

Shock!

Horror!

This could only mean one thing. The film had not gone through the camera. I had no black and white images for the newspaper. I felt sick. In the photography world, you are only as good as your last job. I had made a stupid amateur mistake and would be a laughing stock. No-one would employ a freelancer who didn't check if his film was loaded. What could I do? I began to formulate excuses but each one sounded more absurd that the previous one.

Then I had an epiphany. A simple solution came to me. I remembered that a couple of months  previously, I had bought myself an Ohnar Zoom Slide duplicator (ZSD) from Jessops photoshop on Tottenham Court road. This was a tube, containing a fixed focus lens at f22 that fitted on the front of an SLR and enabled the user to insert a slide at the front end in order to take a picture of the resuting image. There were two types. A fixed focal length and a zoom version. I had paid about £25 for the zoom version.

 Zoom slide duplicator. Image by Delgibo on Flickr


It was now nearly time for me to pick up the slides from Joe's. I grabbed my T90 , the ZSD and a roll of HP5 then made my way to Wardour Street. The slides were in my possession at one fifteen.

At about one thirty,  I made my way to one of the sit down cubicles in the mens toilet at Hello magazine. The next half an hour or so, saw me sitting on the toilet with my camera, ZSD attached,  pointed at a light bulb. I fed the best slides into the ZSD, zoomed in to crop and pressed the shutter, thus making a black and white copy of each colour image.

At two twenty five, I was able to hand over the colour images to the picture editor at Hello magazine.

That evening, I processed and printed the black and white images and handed the pics to my editor.


 Colour image from T90
Black and white copy from ZSD

 Ektachrome original

HP5 copy from ZSD


Reputation intact. Until next time that is!   ;o)






Monday, 15 November 2010

Always check and double check...

T'was way back in the eighties. I was stringing in London and providing images for some twelve different newspapers and magazines.

One particular day found me at a function for the Restricted Growth Asociation (RGA) . It was a standard job. Just get some pics of The Duchess of Gloucester with the children. I was also told that the children were not to be identified.

Bang on time, the Duchess arrived with the normal entourage including the Mayor of London and associated members of the RGA board.

I shot away with my Canon A1 and a Vivitar 283 flash (which incidentally I still have).

The duchess was being shown around by a gentleman who was also affected with restricted growth.

I took my pictures and made sure the include the aforementioned gentleman.

Afterwards, I went to take my notebook out of my bag but discovered that I had left it in my motorbike locker. Still. I knew the Lord mayor's details as I'd photographed him several times previously. Same for the Duchess of Gloucester. All I had to do was memorise the short gentleman's name and I could leave.

I approached one of the Duchess' ladies in waiting and enquired as to the name of the gentleman. She told me.

"Really?" I asked.
"Yes" she replied. "Easy to remember eh?"
"Yes" I answered and left to do another couple of jobs.

I finally got around to developing the film later that night but blame it on the fumes of the D76 developing fluid because I had a mental blank as to the correct name of the man in the photos when suddenly it came back! It certainly was an easy enough to remember name.

I left the pictures on the desk of my picture editor with the names and captioning details of everyone involved and went home to bed. right and early the next morning, I went into the newspaper offices and got talking to
the picture editor.

"Tom. Are you sure about the names on this picture?"
"Yes. Why do you ask? Is there a problem?"
"Well I think that you may have made a mistake on this gentleman's name"
"Which one?" I asked
"The chap standing by the Duchess. The short gentleman"
"Oh." I replied. "I asked his name and of of the entourage told me he is called "Winston
Churchill" that's easy enough to remember"
"You absolutely sure?" he again asked
"Like I said, it's easy enough to remember. Check it out if you want"

 Not Winston Churchill

It's a good thing that he did because when it finally appeared in print, he was given the correct name of " William Shakespeare! "



Thursday, 21 October 2010

62 degrees!!

An interesting problem presented itself last week when I was on location in the small town / village of Horn on the shore of lake Constance.

My brief was to photograph the Spa area of a luxurious hotel. The spa area has recently undergone a complete refurbishment and my friend, the lighting designer, Renato De Toffol, asked me to provide images of the finished lighting.

I arrived early and scouted the location which comprised indoor pool with a lake view, a sauna and a massage area. Due to the fact that the whole complex was still in use, I had to wait until ten in the evening to begin shooting to ensure that all the guests had gone.

After a meal in the restaurant, I collected my gear and gear from my car and bought it inside. I attached my 17 - 40 zoom to a 5d body and entered the pool area. Condensation formed all over the camera and lens immediately due to the warm humid temperature in the pool area compared to the outside.


I didn't want to wipe the lens with a cloth in case it left smear marks.  Normally, I would have left it in the pool area to acclimatise but there was no time. The cleaning crew were anxious to begin work and there was lots to photograph.

Seeing an open fire nearby, I had an idea. I held the camera pointing lens first at the flames from about 50 cm (about 19 inches)away. After about three and a half minutes, the lens had cleared and I could start shooting.



The pool area with fire

After the pool area we moved to the sauna area. I opened the door of the main sauna and a wave of very hot and dry air hit me. I looked at the LED temperature readout on the wall. It was 80 degrees. That's 176 degrees Fahrenheit!!

As I was still dressed in jeans and a T-Shirt, I decided to cool the room a little before beginning my shoot. I tried opening and closing the door to try and "waft" the air out, but the building manager came and told me not to as it would trigger the fire alarms. The temperature was now somewhat "cooler" at 62 degrees. That's 143 fahrenheit.   :o)

 Somewhat warm

There was no other option but to go in and work through the heat. I set up my tripod and the sweat immediately began running down my back, my legs and dripped off my nose. The lighting in the sauna was quite dim and it was a struggle to focus. Even the built in autofocus was finding it difficult. Eventually I found that an exposure time of 13 seconds at f13 was just about right for the conditions with the ISO set at 400.

 The finished image. 13 sec at f13 at 62 degrees.



When I finished the sauna shoot my clothes were wet through and luckily that was the end of the shoot and I could get myself back to my hotel for a shower and a well earned sleep.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Seeing your work on the internet etc is all well and good, but nothing beats seeing it printed on dead trees!!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Photography in the evening

T'was a full day of photography yesterday.

I spent the morning photographing a new lighting set up at Zaugg AG, a large construction company based in Rohrbach.

The afternoon and evening were spent about 10 kilometers (six miles) away surprisingly enough, in a another construction firm also with new premises by the name of Koenig.

Of particular importance to us was the exterior lighting provided by the company for whom I work, Regent lighting.

Dusk is the best time to photograph "night time" images as you sill get detail in the sky. Unfortunately, you only have about 20 minutes to a half an hour before it gets completely black and featureless.

Luckily, darkness is coming earlier as we draw towards the end of the year and that meant that dusk (or Dämmerung as it's called in German) is earlier. I took some twilight photos for Regent earlier this year and had to wait until a quarter to ten for it to start to get dark. Last night I began at a quarter to eight.

Luckily I have a standard exposure which I use for twilight shots. I set the exposure to 2.5 seconds at f10 and bracket one and a half f/stops each side. Then I combine all three later into a HDR which I DON'T (most of the time) Tone-Map.

Here's a picture I took of my EOS 5 on the tripod. I used my new Samsung Galaxy phone to test it^s night time capabilities.

 Taken with the Samsung Galaxy

This image however is the finished HDR picture.

Taken at 20:04 in the evening

 That's it for now. Have a great weekend.

Tom




Tuesday, 21 September 2010

You learn something new everyday.

I'd previously seen a group of old cars (mostly Citroen 2CV's) in a village called Hauenstein and made a mental note to return and take a few snaps.
This is where the village is located


I returned last weekend with the express intention of doing something new.

I've experimented with HDR's, I've tried black and white and done lots of other stuff besides but looking at the old cars I felt that they deserved something a little different. But what?

Then I cast my mind back to my days of shooting slide film. (I actually still shoot transparency but it's for the firm). One method I used to experiment with was combining an unsharp image with a sharp one.

Simply put. Take the first image (on a tripod) about one and a half to two stops overexposed and the second image out of focus at about one stop or so overexposed. The processed slides would then be mounted over one another in a slide frame and give a sort of "dreamy effect" when projected. 

 Before the Orton effect.

There's a lot of trial and error involved with getting the right amount of unsharpness. I didn't want too much. Just a hint.

  After the Orton effect.

Here are two more before and after images.



Obviously, this technique isn't confined to colour images. You can also use it with sepia as seen here:




So what is this technique called? I hadn't a clue until I came across this link which explains how to do it digitally, It's called the "Orton" effect.


Ive submitted my pictures for Google Earth so you should be able to see them soon as a part of my collection here:


That's all for now. Please feel free to leave a comment.













Monday, 13 September 2010

Two years in the making...

As I mentioned previously, I always have a sketchbook with photo ideas or poses to try out.

One such idea came to me several years ago. I have an apartment in a quiet village with a great view from the kitchen window.

When I first moved in I would look out of the window at the changing seasons. I decided two years ago to document it. Naturally I couldn't set a tripod up permanently in the kitchen so I tried to make the process of photographing the same view as simple as possible.

I always used a full frame camera fitted with the same lens (my 17 - 40 Canon zoom) set at the widest setting.
The camera was always manually set for focus and exposure and I used the histogram to prevent any clipping.

The middle focussing point of the lens always covered the middle of three trees that you can see in the centre of the image.

The reason it took two years was because I had to wait until conditions were perfect, including a nice sky (except for the winter shot). As this was a spare time project, I wasn't always at home when conditions were right so I had to wait until the next year!

Anyway, it's now done and I'm personally pleased with the end result.

What do you think?


Till next time.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Walzwerk, Münchenstein.

I documented a business seminar held by the company for which I work, last Wednesday. During the breaks I ventured outside and recorded some of the surrounding area. Very interesting for me and I'm definitely going back to do some serious HDR stuff at a later date.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Solothurn project

These images were all made last weekend as part of a private project in Solothurn which has the finest Baroque architecture in Switzerland.



They were all taken in and around St Ursus cathedral.



More details to follow.


Thursday, 26 August 2010

I'm a Philistine...

I'm on two weeks holiday at the moment but I still went into work today.


"Why?" I hear you ask?


Well after my series of nine photoshoots in Lausanne last week, I came home and began my holidays but the images were still stored on my camera's memory-cards. I am of the opinion that the images don't really exist until there are at least two copies of them. So With this in mind, I backed them up first to my laptop and again to an external drive.


Today I popped into work and transferred them to my work's machine which will later (when I return in two weeks time) be mirrored onto another external drive. Only then will I feel safe  :)


Now a couple of things about the Lausanne job. Nine jobs may sound like a lot but everything was meticulously planned and apart from one or two small run-ins with over zealous security staff, it all went really well.


One of the jobs was at the Giannada foundation who's owner is Léonard Giannada. Mr Giannada is a generous benefactor whose altruistic endeavours support the arts and the less fortunate in our society.


The Foundation's art gallery (where I did my photography) is built on the site of a Celtic temple which has been left largely undisturbed. The light levels inside the gallery (where I did my photography) ranged from bright to very dark. For this reason, I shot three exposures of everything which I'll convert later using HDR. That way I'll be sure to get details visible in the highlights and the shadows.


The park outside the gallery houses sculptures and installations by artists such as Chagall, Miró, Moore and many others whom I must confess, I have never heard of. One online dictionary defines "Philistine" (apart from the ancient people who lived along the coast of Canaan (present-day Palestine and Syria)), as "a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits". I think that's me.


I just don't understand modern art. For me, an artwork (specifically sculptures and paintings) must resemble something. 


Squiggles, stripes and splashes do absolutely nothing for me. Give me Constable, a Turner or even a Van Gogh and I'll look at it. Picasso's and other modern art stuff leave me cold. 


It's all above my head as I cannot understand it. Or maybe it's akin to the Hans Christian Andersen tale of " The Emperor's New Clothes "


Wandering through the sculpture park, I found myself drawn to one particular sculpture by the "French Sculptor and Assemblage Artist" Cesar.


It was a bronze recreation of a thumb! Yes. That's right. A THUMB!


It's called "Pouce" (Thumb)


Did you ever (as a child), see the cartoon of an artist busily painting at his easel? He had the brush in his right hand and has his left arm extended with his thumb raised? The painting on the cartoon artist's canvas is that of a thumb  :) Well that's what this massive bronze sculpture reminded me of.  :)


I can see where the idea came from


One of my evening jobs in Lausanne was to photograph some LED street lights supplied by the company for whom I work, which illuminate the way to Lausanne cathedral. I've chosen this one to show you. I used the HDR procedure to give more details.





As always, I value your comments and emails. If you have a photographic subject that you'd like me to cover then please get in touch.


That's it for now.

Friday, 20 August 2010

I'm bushed

As mentioned yesterday, I'm now in the beautiful city of Lausanne. It's been a long day but very productive.

I've shot nine projects for Regent Lighting (the company I work for). Everything from the Lausanne public transport command centre to a small art gallery.

Everything has gone smoothly thanks to careful and meticulous planning. My images have been backed up and I'm now ready for bed.

I'll leave you with this image taken earlier in the art gallery. It shows me trying to figureout how to get the ceilng AND the floor in the same pic.(it was a very small gallery!)


Thankfully, my lovely 17 - 40 at the wide setting came to the rescue and gives an impresson of space.
Good night

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Preparation

... Busily preparing for a two day architectural shoot in Lausanne.
Two DSLR's, two wide-angles, hot-shoe spirit level and tripod.
Stay tuned.

My camera family tree. The FD era. Part 0ne

I was looking through the cameras for sale on Ricardo.ch which is a Swiss version of Ebay.

Just looking. But one particular camera body caught my eye. It was the “legendary“ Canon  T90. Designed by famous Italian designer Luigi Colani. The last professional level manual-focus camera from Canon, and the last professional camera to use the Canon FD lens mount.

It was a beautiful camera then and it still looks futuristic today. This got me thinking about other cameras I have owned over the years and what I thought of them.

The first camera I ever used was a Halina Paulette electric. It belonged to my dad and he loaned me it when I went on holiday to South Africa with the school. I must have been about 13 or 14 years old.

Image by "Just Curt" on Flickr


I was living in Rhodesia at the time and because of sanctions on that country, film was expensive and hard to come by. My dad loaded it with a 24 exposure roll of 35mm. Enough for two weeks holiday.

He ran me through the basics of using the distance scale on the lens, then using the needle in the viewfinder together with the aperture and shutter speed rings on the lens, how to set the exposure.

I had a great holiday and was the only of our group of about thirty boys to have a camera.

Fast forward to 1979. I was in England, it was Christmas and my folks asked me what I wanted for a present. I chose a Russian Zenit E camera. I think that my only criteria for choosing this camera were because my dad told me that “you can change the lenses without fogging the film”. Technical stuff indeed.
Zenit E with Industar 50mm f3.5
My camera was equipped (as in the above example) with an Industar 50mm f3.5 lens. As with the Halina, you had to use match needle metering to set the exposure. First you would focus with the lens set to its widest (f3.5) aperture, Then  select a suitable shutter speed and turn the aperture ring on the lens until the needle hovered in the middle of the display. At first I thought that the darkening of the lens was a special effect to give a “night time” feel to the pictures. It was useful however because it taught me better than any book can about the relationship between shutter speed and aperture.

The Zenit was built like a tank. I bought myself some additional lenses, a 35mm and a 135mm and my fate was sealed. I was hooked.

I began to photograph anything and everything. From sports events to friend’s portraits. At sports events, it would take me 11 seconds to change lenses. The lenses in question had a 42 mm screw thread mount.

As my interest in photography grew, I began to devour anything I could about photography. I took books from the library, I bought books on the subject (some of which I still have), I spent all my spare money on photographic magazines. I also shot almost exclusively in Black and White. I joined a local camera club and picked up hints and tips to feed my growing hunger for photographic knowledge.

As my interest grew, so did my desire to have a ”better“ camera. One day, I saw an advert from the electronics shop, Dixons, for a Chinon CM-3 camera with powerwinder. I went to the shop and played around with a demo model and immediately fell in love with it. 

  


Again, as I was out of work and trying to freelance, my wonderful parents helped me with the purchase of the camera. This camera was the business!! It had a traffic light system of light metering plus the enormous advantage of not having to stop the lens down before taking a picture. All you had to do was focus, and then turn the lens aperture ring until the middle green LED lit up. However, the biggest kick for me was the powerwinder. This was Chinon’s name for an autowinder. It had controls on it such as an intervalometer  which allowed the taking of pictures every 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30 seconds and you could tell it how many frames you wanted exposed 4, 8, 12, 16, 24. Heady stuff for an impressionable photojunkie such as myself.

For a while I used the Zenit and the Chinon side by side as they both had the same M42 lens mount. Eventually though I picked up another Chinon and sold the Zenit. Now I felt really professional!

I began to take more and more pictures. My work improved and one day a ballet dancer friend of mine asked me to photograph her for an upcoming production. I remember photographing her in the sitting room of a derelict house with a stocking stretched over my lens to give a soft focus effect. She was pleased with the results and they went on display (with my name of course) in the front window of the local bank.

I began to receive bookings for weddings and other types of social photography from people who had seen the images and the work slowly started to increase in volume.

Although freelancing can be interesting, I was constantly looking for something a bit more stable so I answered an advert in the back on one of the photographic magazines for a portrait photographer wanted in Stuttgart, Germany.

I had forgotten all about it until a month or two later I received a phone call from the studio owner telling me that he loved the example pictures that  had sent him and would I like to come over to Germany to work for him.

The job in Germany wasn’t quite what I expected (or was led to believe). It involved door to door canvassing from Monday to Friday on American army bases in (what was then) West Germany.

Days were spent cold calling and trying to make appointments to come back in the evening to persuade the family to book a portrait session. Saturdays and Sundays were taken up with photographing the family’s who had booked us.

This wasn’t quite what I had in mind so after a few months I quit. I didn’t however want to go back to the UK with my tail between my legs so I decided to stay in Stuttgart. In order to save money (for film of course ?), I slept for three days in a row in a youth hostel (the maximum time allowed) followed by a couple of days in my car. Alternating between the two. This lasted for two months until one day, a friend told me that the photographer at the local army base was going back to the States. I decided to try my luck and went for an interview.

I was taken on as an (civilian) American Army photographer based at the Public Affairs Office. This was 1982.

  

This was a fantastic time for me. I was photographing everything from portraits, sports days, military manoeuvres, medal presentations and newspaper stuff to send back to the states. I sold my two Chinons and treated myself to a new Canon AE1.



The AE1 was shutter priority or manual. I preferred shutter priority as I favoured action photography. My work camera (the camera supplied for my job), was an original Canon F1




This came in a metal case with lots of accessories including hoods, finders etc. It (like my first Zenit) was built to take knocks. I was in camera heaven. They also thoughtfully supplied a 35mm and a 135 mm which also fitted my AE1.

My quest for more photography experiences led me two years later to quit the job and fly to South Africa on spec.

Before I left the Army job I was presented with an official commendation by the US government for my photographic work.

I immediately found a job in South Africa doing progress photos at a paper mill owned by SAPPI Fine Papers which was bang in the middle of the bush at a place called Ngodwana. It was a six month contract and I loved it. Again it was a new experience. I also had to attend a video making course.

When the contract finished, I found work in Johannesburg with the Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM). Another great job with interesting people. Varied and interesting work including regular flights over the bush in a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter and all sorts on other photography including forensics, portraits, progress stuff etc.

Best of all, they had a fully stocked photo equipment cupboard.




I was issued with two Nikon F3’s and a selection of lenses plus a Metz 60 series flash gun. 



Unfortunately the F3’s weren’t up to the job. In six months I went through six bodies. Just little things like the metering wouldn’t meter or the flash synch wouldn’t fire the flash or readings would show false information etc. I went back to using my own Canon and as a treat I bought myself a Canon A1 with the Motor drive MA. The Motor drive added bulk to the body but improved the handling especially when shooting vertically. One particular feature that I loved was that when shooting in single frame advance, you could immediately change to high speed advance simply my pushing in a small white button that fell naturally under your little finger.


My time at ESCOM came to an end due to my “itchy feet” syndrome and I moved to the UK. London in particular. After a spell as a photolab manager I decided to freelance in London. I was doing everything from door-stepping to breaking news, demos and the inevitable “grip ‘n grin” pics.

It was around this time that the T90 (as mentioned at the beginning of this article), appeared on the market. So I sold my beloved AE1 and purchased the Colani designed masterpiece.



It was small, Light, all curved design with six integrated motors to handle rewind, film advance, shutter cocking etc. The amazing thing was that all this came from only FOUR penlight batteries!!

I loved it so much that I sold the A1 and bought another T90 body.

But the FD lens mount era was drawing to a close. It was 1987 and something big was stirring in the world of Canon photography.....

Tune in later for part two

Till then. Keep shooting.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Streetparade was a disappointment this year...

I've just finished photographing the 19th Street parade as mentioned in one of my previous posts.

After a break of two years I was really looking forward attending again. I was disappointed and I'll tell you why.

Normally (well, in previous years actually), there has been a massive party held in the Zürich main station. As soon as you disembarked from the train, there was the thud of Bass from the massive loudspeakers echoing through the giant hall.

This year there was nothing. Just people milling around. I took a few pics with my colleague Sindhoor and then we made our way to the Parade itself.

Walking down the main street towards the parade route I was struck by how "quiet" it was in comparison to my previous visits. The people as always were in a happy mood and willing to pose for pictures but there just didn't seem to be that "vibe" from previous years.

I had warned in my previous post that taking a rucksack would be a bad idea due to the crush of people attending but the reality was different. Sindhoor had a rucksack and experienced no problems whatsoever with mobility. There were open spaces everywhere. I could've swung my camera around by the strap and not hit anyone in some of the places.

There were several stages throughout the parade area. Normally they are populated by very attractive dancers. I was dismayed to see that this years crop (with only one or two exceptions) were lethargic and distanced.

Also a first for me this year was seeing the amount of drunk / drugged ravers. Now I know that rave parties and drug culture are inextricably linked, but previously they weren't too visible. This year I had them walking into me, I saw them falling over. I watched them try to focus their eyes when talkng to their companions. One couple behind me kept snorting what I can only assume was cocaine through a twenty Franc note every four or five minutes after which he'd unroll the note, lick it clean and then carry on dancing. I took this one surreptitiously over my shoulder. I've made him anonymous with a suitably trippy mask.



One group were just sat in the middle of the pavement with a cigarette rolling machine and a plentiful supply of marijuana.



Lastly, the Lovemobies themselves. I know that it takes quite a while for the Lovemobiles to make their way along the route and maybe the dancers onboard are tired by that time but of the first five mobiles that I saw, there were hardly anyone dancing. Most of the people onboard were jusr drinking, chatting amongst themselves or leaning on the railings and looking into the crowd.

At around five o'clock it began to rain heavily so I called it a day and made my way home.

I'm not saying that the parade was a complete let down but there wasn't the atmosphere of  previous years. Sindhoor enjoyed it and he got some great images with his new camera. Me? I  "only" took around 300 images. I didn't even fill one memorycard. That would have been unheard of previously.

Maybe it will be better next year. Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm getting jaded and spoiled by the experiences of previous years.


I'll leave you with this image. It's a crop from one of the pics on my site and shows me reflected in one of the girls' sunglasses.



Till next time. Take care.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Anyone got a rock?





At the moment I'm in a field of beautiful yellow sunflowers which contrast against the deep blue sky. I want to use my 17 mm with a polariser filter but I can't get the UV filter off the front.  Using both filters together on such a wide lens will darken the corners of the frame ( vignetting ) I've tried everything except hitting it with a stone!

Looks like I'll shoot anyway and see if I can correct it later.

Image courtesy of the crappy iPhone camera