A home for the things I think are worthy of sharing. Will largely be photography based.

Archive for March, 2012

A blog post about me!

eanjewellery Cufflinks

…. well kind of.

I took some jewellry photos for my friend Ellie a few years ago and as she’s back into it and blogging – has done a blog about yours truly – Check out Ellie’s Jewellery blog here.

eanjewellery Cufflinks

Ameoba Cufflinks - Silver and Enamel

Lighting stuff like jewellery can be tricky. Stuff you have to keep an eye on:

  • White Balance – be sure everything is of the right colour. A Grey card helps.
  • White background is light, but
  • Silver Jewellery is still visible and shinning, or
  • If on Black – contrast is sufficient.
  • You don’t see obvious light source reflections (soften them using something like a light tent).
  • You don’t see reflections of yourself/kit/room

Will do a post about it and light tents etc sometime, but this is just a quickie for now.

Oh and go buy Ellie’s lovely enamel/silver jewellery. (My sister has had one of her necklaces in the past 🙂 )

New toy – Wacom Intuos 5

Intuos 5 touch - small

My new purchase:

Although I don’t really do retouching* on the majority of my photography, such as events, I have got into it with studio shoots – be it portraits or product shots. A higher standard of image is expected so will go into this level of detail.

When doing this I have on occasion felt that using the mouse hasn’t been the best option and so for a while I’ve thought about trying out a pen tablet. THE name in these is Wacom. They have all kinds of pen tablets from small “fun” tablets up to screen displays that will work as direct editing tools. Being the cheapskate that I am I’ve only been really considering their small fun range – the “Bamboo” range.

However……. Going to Focus on Imaging show last week and being disappointed at not buying anything I wanted (Lens savings weren’t very good; Monitors were out of my price range; background paper not of the size I wanted) I rather succumbed to an impulse to buy one of their new Intuos 5 range  – this is the pro level tablet. Although it was suggested to me that I really should be going for the “Medium” size tablet – I was rather swayed by the prices:

Medium – £329

Small – £166 (down from £199)

Also – the main selling point at the show – they were packaging them with a free wireless kit (usual price £35).

So the above pictures pen-tablet is now sitting on my desk 🙂 Here’s the whole Intuos 5 range which was only introduced at the beginning of the month:

(Yes mine’s the small one)

And the publicity video:

This weekend was mostly spent learning the ins and outs of using it. Mostly how to use the express keys (aka buttons), stylus and adjustment wheel. Have yet to use it properly on retouching but quite possibly this evening sometime. I’ll try to do an update post sometime.

Thought I’d put together a table to compare the “small” tablets currently available in the UK.

Some stats I collected

Bamboo-Pen Bamboo – Pen + touch Fun – pen + touch Intuos 5 Small
Active Area(mm) 147×92 147×92 217×137 157×98
Resolution (lpi) 2540 2540 2540 5080
Pressure levels 1024 1024 1024 2048
Buttons 0 4 0? 6+wheel
Price £48 £75 £90 £166 (£199)

This is soon to change though as Wacom have replaced the existing Bamboo models with the Connect, Capture and Create models in the US – which I assume will be available in Europe in a bit.

*Retouching : What I consider retouching is where you replace specific pixels or only part of the picture – such as cleaning up skin blemishes. For events I usually don’t do this – just lighten/darken/etc the picture as a whole. Usually refer to this as just “editing”. I don’t know if this is a universal definition – but it is mine.

Focus on imaging – cameraworld prices

More Focus on imaging 2012 prices – this time cameraworld,nothing I want is V cheap.

Click on images for a larger picture.

Sigma lens prices - cameraworld

Focus on imaging – Jacob prices

Some prices for you. Hope this WordPress app uploads the full images. Edit: It didn’t but they’ve been uploaded. Clicm on picture for the full size.

Canon Camera prices at focus on imaging

Sigma Lens Prices at focus on imaging

Nikon Lens prices at Focus on imaging

Nikon camera prices at focus on imaging

Sigma lens prices

Canon lens prices

Focus on Imaging 2012 – preview

Focus on Imaging 2012 started today.

This is the UK’s biggest Photography trade show/fair. It’s at Birmingham NEC and started today (Sunday 4th) and goes on until Wednesday (7th March). Practically all the main photography manufacturers have a stall there and also a lot of other interesting stalls also – retailers, magazines, smaller manufacturers, trade agencies, societies, Universities etc. If you’re a big photography fan then it’s a must at least once – especially if considering buying some equipment.

Here’s a list of exhibitors.

But as well as stalls trying to sell you stuff there are other things of interest – here’s the show’s What’s On page.

Talks, demo’s, workshops etc. Unlike other trade fair which have separate paid for seminars – these talks are fairly small, but also free. I’ve been to a few in the past e.g. on Nikon Speedlights and they certainly can still be interesting. Here’s a list of all the talks.

Here’s the Floorplan PDF.

With a quick preview picture:


Deals : usually there are some good deals to be had at the show and this is why I’m going this year – I’m hoping to buy a Full Frame lens cheaply before I hopefully upgrade to the Nikon D800. I will try to blog prices here – but as I’m only going on Tuesday – it may be a bit late for most I’m afraid. Should still be interesting though. Although – I have seen someone mention that they bought a Nikon 16-35 from the Jacobs stall for £850 – that’s their normal shop price! Although purchasing a lens is my main purpose for going it has been more than a year since I last went – so it should be an interesting day out anyway.

Other things I’m hoping to try/buy:

  • Try a production D800 (already tried a demo one)
  • Take some photos with my own card on both D800 and D700 to compare
  • Look at Computer monitors – I’m thinking of buying a new 24″ monitor
  • Try some Wacom tablets
  • Maybe buy some 1.72m wide Colorama backdrop paper.
  • And generally just geek out 😉