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

Bits of interest

Perfect Effects 8 for free

We all love free stuff right ? ūüôā

This happened before – but has come back up. ¬†OnOne are giving their Perfect Effects 8 software away for free until May 12th. Worth getting it even if you don’t use just now.

I downloaded it last time and not used it really (Also have Nik Color Effex) but may do later when I have more time to play with it.

Go HERE: http://www.ononesoftware.com/landing/pe8offer/

Perfect Effects

Selling two Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 OS Nikon mount lenses

Recently spotted a good deal on a known/main retailers website for these so bought a couple extra to sell on. (I won’t say how much I paid)


Sigma lenses have a 3 year warranty

Received them on  6th May Рso 3 year warranty will be from that point.

UK stock. I will include printed receipt from the retailer.


Price each : £680 (usually ~ £830)

Listed on eBay at £720 but would prefer to avoid eBay fees  (To check feedback : ebay UK : dafeo).

Payment via PayPal


UK special delivery included

Rest of Europe – postage will be additional – ask for a quote.

I will not post out of Europe.


Inspiration to do your own thing, have your own style

I’ve posted some videos in the past that inspire in various kinds of ways – creativity, technical, to actually just go DO something rather than think about it – etc.

Just come across this one which I thought I’d share.

It’s by Ryan Brenzier who’s a photographer I follow – usually for technical reasons.
Its inspiring in terms of business a bit – but more so for encouraging the viewer to find their own style and pursue that – whatever it is. When developing in something like photography I think there’s a lot of personal pressure to be like someone else or to produce work like someone else, either a peer or hero. This shows that it’s likely a lot more productive to develop one’s own style instead.

Taken from Ryan Brezier’s blog post.

Nikon NPU vs NPS

Nikon NPU

Have just come a cropper of something regarding Nikon Professional scheme which is partially my fault but I think could be made clearer. Thought I’d highlight it to avoid others doing the same.

I’ve been a member of a/the Nikon UK professional scheme for several years. I’ve never really used it other than getting the Nikon Professional publication which I’ve enjoyed. However sending my camera in for a Warranty repair recently I’ve tried to use one of these services only to find out it didn’t apply in my case.

I knew that for Nikon worldwide the requirements were different from that of the UK scheme – but I’ve come to realise that they are actually different schemes and have different names.


Nikon Professional Services (UK + Worldwide)

Nikon NPS


In essence to be a member you need to be “anyone engaged as a full-time professional photographer” and have a number of equipment – “you need to own at least 6 pieces of professional equipment from the list below, 2 of which should be professional camera bodies.

I knew that this last part was different – but didn’t realise the schemes were different.


Nikon Professional User (UK)

Nikon NPU


Having the requirements of: “you need to own at least¬†two¬†pieces of equipment form the Nikon Professional body and lens range, one of which should be a camera body.”

So a lot less. I own six pieces from the list – but the D200 has now been downgraded (was included originally) and so only my D800 counts as a professional body.

Different benefits of both schemes:


  • Membership Card
  • Nikon Pro Magazine
  • Notice of new Products
  • Invitation to Seminars
  • Discount training
  • Freefone Technical Support

  • Membership card
  • Nikon Pro Magazine
  • Notice of new products
  • Invitation to Seminars
  • Discount training
  • Freefone Technical Report
  • Priority allocation scheme
  • Support Depots at major events
  • International support
  • Pro-track express service
  • Loan equipment if service repaired

You can see there is a fair difference – and it was these two highlighted items (pro-track express service & loan equipment) that I had hoped

The lists of professional Products

UK : http://www.nikon.co.uk/sites/npsapplication/productlist.aspx

US: http://nikonpro.com/Renewal-NPS-Equipment-List.pdf

They seem to differ slightly – not sure if the UK list is just slightly out of date – I would have expected the D600 to be on UK list. Maybe the DF on both.

Photography Show 2014 – Prices

Calumet Nikon lenses

Some prices from The Photography Show – 2014.

Only had the phone to photograph these so resolution is a bit off.

In past years I’ve heard that prices are negotiable – so try to haggle ūüėČ

On the whole I was disappointed with the deals so only bought a memory card and some printer paper samples.



Cameraworld Sigma Cameraworks Sigma Cameraworld Nikon CameraWorld Canon Cameraworld Canon


(Sorry – only got the Nikon lens prices)

Calumet Nikon lenses

London Camera Exchange

London Camera Exchange - Canon Prices London Camera Exchange - Nikon - Prices London Camera Exchange - Sigma Prices

Example of the woeful savings:

On the Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR ii:
Calumet Р£6
Cameraworld Р£0

World Press Photo Awards 2014

Interesting World Press Photo awards winner:


Winner of the 2014 Word Press Photo Awards

Winner of the 2014 Word Press Photo Awards

As an interesting side note – some people have complained because the winner and the chairman of the judges are both founding members of the VII image library. However World Press Photo organisation seem to be sticking to their decision (See HERE).

Photo Ireland Festival

In my new day job (Still IT within a photography related business) I sometimes have E-mails about photography events coming across my Inbox.¬†Although I subscribe to lots of other photography related blogs – not many seem to cover such events – so I think I’ll start to post some of these here. I don’t have any involvement in them – just think it’s nice to share ūüôā

First up :

PhotoIreland Festival 2014

When : 01-31 July 2014

Where: Ireland …. well obviously ūüėČ …. Dublin I think

Web : http://photoireland.org/

Twitter : @PhotoIreland

Photo Ireland Festival

It seems to be a series of talks, exhibitions, competitions and such like throught July. See their website for mroe details.

Inspirational photography + creative videos

Just come across another few inspirational videos.

This is a series by Smugmug on YouTube designed to do exactly that i.e.  inspire.

I prefer this one:

But from the Von Wong video I like the quote :

“I think if you start doing the stuff that you love, and you start sharing the stuff that you love, ¬†then sooner or later people will start hiring you to do the stuff that you love”

Focus on Imaging is dead – long live The Photography Show

The Photography Show

Just found out that another company has taken up the baton of what used to be Focus on Imaging. Was sad when I heard that Focus on Imaging was to end as it was the biggest photography trade fair of it’s type in the UK – so it’s good news to hear it’s actually going to continue.

1st to 4th March at Birmingham NEC Р£13/15


The Photography Show

From what I’ve heard it should be the same – just run by a different company.

Some details links:

Whats On



Twitter: @ukphotoshow


Professional Photography Magazine – 5 issues for ¬£5

Just received a newsletter email with an offer of magazine subscription Р5 magazines for £5 inc postage!

Love a bargain so I’ve gone for it – and I’m organised enough to cancel it before the end ūüėČ

On the whole Professional Photography magazine isn’t really for me as it contains too much on marketing, business and so on – topics that may well interest a full time pro more. However for ¬£1 an issue – I might as well.

The offer also applies to Photography Monthly and other magazines from subscriptionsave.co.uk

Thought I’d pass on the offer.


Promo Code: MMMBW01S

SWPP Convention + Trade Fair : London 17-19 Jan

Just a quick head’s up about the upcoming SWPP (now renamed “The Societies” Convention/trade fair in London in January.

The Convention (Where there are classes etc) is on 15-20th Jan

The Trade fair is on 17-19 Jan.

SWPP Convention


The Trade fair is free if you register to go before 24th December. There are a few talks for free at the fair – but they’re mostly sponsored by manufacturers trying to sell their equipment.


With the sad demise of Focus on Imaging trade fair this is actually one of the largest Photography fairs around now. Is a shame as Focus on Imaging was so much larger and a much more open space.

As such the SWPP is one of the few photography shows where you can walk around and geek out at photography equipment however not all the main manufacturers will be there. Also as the SWPP originates from Wedding photography there is quite a high percentage of items such as albums and frames to re-sell to customers. I would say that SWPP gets rather crammed at the weekends – but it’s at a new venue now.¬†In the past it’s been at Novotel¬†in Hammersmith – but this year it’s moving to¬†Hilton London Metropole Hotel near Edgware road. I really hope this is a bigger venue!

There’s a list of Exhibitors. Canon is there – but no Nikon – but that’s usual.

I wouldn’t expect to buy big stuff and get much money off – but it’s a handy place to buy accessories and save a little/postage. I usually buy some kind of light modifier or clamps etc.¬†There is also a gallery there – competition winners from the SWPP/”The Societies” competitions – but I tend to find most of them very clich√© or cheesy.

Further details can be found at the SWPP convention website.


Personal work + the creative spark

Both on this blog and in person I’ve been thinking and discussing personal projects a lot. As you may have seen – my last blog post I’ve started along the path of doing a personal project myself, the first that I can truly call a “project”.

Part of this also ties into my admiration for freelancers – having never gone it out alone I find the whole prospect rather daunting – not that I’m thinking about it seriously – but it is a consideration from time to time. E.g. A Retoucher friend, Hazel Nelson, has recently gone freelance. If you need any work done – go ask her.

So when I happened across this video just now it struck a chord – it shows someone wanting to move to doing different work but in the same industry and how he went about it – with passion – and investing time in it. If you really have the passion for it and want to do something it’s worth giving it a damn good go. Thought I’d post the video to share.

Just subscribed to the lynda vimeo channel.

Tim Hetherington Documentary

Browsing through one of the usual free London papers last week I spotted a piece reviewing a new Documentary about the War Photographer Tim Hetherington.

Most people into photography and quite a few others will be aware of him by now – he was the British Photographer who was killed while covering the Syrian conflict. He was the co director/videographer of the Restrepo film.

This documentary-film is called : “Which way is the Front line from here : The life and time of Tim Heatherington” and is by HBO.


The review seemed to be quite favourable – as have other reviews I can find.

I’ve not seen it yet and can’t find any UK showing times – so sounds like it’s something we’ll have to watch online or buy.

Correction: Just found it’s showing in Peckham and Romford:¬†http://goo.gl/O3IaSR Which in a way is lucky – as I live in Peckham! BUT it seems to start 16:00 – and I don’t finish work until 17:30 – darn. It’s only on today (Wednesday) and Thursday. SO back to the online/purchase option.

HBO have it on their website, but not sure if it will be available outside of the UK.

Amazon has the DVD for £12.15.

The Documentary has a Facebook Page which may have more information later.


Here’s the trailer:

New Nikon UK Cashback

Nikon UK have launched a new cashback deal – and for a change they fainally have some decent stuff in there not just low end SLR-lens bundles! Finally. Canon always seem to have better cashback deals with a full range of lenses etc.



Having a D800 I’d only really consider FX lenses.

The 70-200mm f2.8 VR II is a lens I’ve considered for a while – I already have a Sigma 70-200 but it’s an old model and has no VR. But then I don’t use it very often so not sure I can justify the expense. ¬£160 cashback makes it a bit more appealing.

Cashback is on items bought between today (16th October) and 26th Jan. Claims have to be in by 24th Feb. See the link above.



Cashback Value














DX Lens

35mm F1.8


40mm F2.8


55-200MM nonVR


55-200MM VR


55-300mm VR




18-140mm VR


18-200mm VR II


18-300mm VR


FX Lens

70-300MM VR




28-300mm VR




70-200MM VR II









Nikon 1











EDG 7 x 42 DCF
EDG 8 x 42 DCF
EDG 10 x 42 DCF
EDG 8 x 32 DCF
EDG 10 x 32 DCF


Interesting videos on filmmaking

Although I’ve not really recorded much/any video yet – as I have a Video capable DSLR and we do some video at work (my day job) I now keep an eye on some video stuff and read some video blogs.

Thought I’d share a feed/channel/etc which I’ve found particularly inromative – which is Film Maker IQ on Vimeo.

Here are a few of the video’s I’ve particularly liked.
Some are on practicalities of film making now, while others show the history of some of the technologies used over time and how they’ve shaped what we use today. All very interesting. Some are a bit technical, but then I’m quite a technical person.
Thought worth sharing.

Introduction to Colour in Digital Filmmaking

The History and Science of Color Film: From Isaac Newton to the Coen Brothers

The Changing Shape of Cinema: The History of Aspect Ratio

Composition Techniques for Widescreen Aspect Ratios

Interesting talk on remixing and copyright

Another interesting talk about remixing and copyright.

I’d heard of this before – the lawsuit about the Miles Davis photo had made the rounds in the photography news feeds.

He refers to the “Everything is a remix” series of videos I’ve mentioned before.

Fashion blogger photographers

Think I may have posted something very similar before – or it could be on Facebook. Either way this is both curious and interesting: A video on the ever increasing trend in fashion bloggers and photographers.

Obviously there are the very old-school people like Ian Cunningham (see previous post about a film about him) and then more recently it’s been made popular by the likes of The Sartorialist. But it now seems to be exploding!

During London Fashion week I passed a venue where there was a show and there must have been a dozen or so photographers there. Only one or two who looked like pros.

It’s also interesting to see that a couple of people being photographed are rather common in the different situations – as if they in turn follow the photographers!

(Found via PetaPixel)

Canon UK Cashback

I’m not a Canon user (well other than compact and printer) but spotted this and thought I’d share. Partially as it’s been so long since I blogged anything!




Products include:
DSLRs – Casback
¬£65 /‚ā¨80
Lenses & accessories – Cashback
EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 8-15mm f/4L FISHEYE USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Speedlite 600EX-RT
Compact Cameras – Cashback
PowerShot G1 X
PowerShot G15
PowerShot S110
PowerShot SX50 HS
Camcorders – Cashback
Printers – Cashback

Joey L. : Varansai : “Beyond”

Just watched Joey L.’s free¬†on-line¬†documentary : Varanasi, India: “Beyond”

(Please watch it in HD full screen, not in this little window)

Its partly about Varanasi and the Sadu’s but also partially about their journey and photography/cinematography.

Other than the fact that I think Joey L. is amazingly talented there are a few things that I really like in the documentary :

The fact that they don’t storm in to taking photos – they take a little time to get to know people and get their trust first and have a brief relationship – which I guess when most of us go on holiday we don’t have the luxury of time.

And also the fact that although his equipment is top-notch (e.g. digial medium format) – the setup is relatively simple but gets stunning results. Must be very careful in matching the flash to the ambient light.

Don McCullin film


There seem to be quite a few Photographer based Documentaries in the works at the moment!

Just seen (via Photo Archive News) that there’s one about Don McCullin showing in London at the moment! May go and see. Although there are a few conflict photography films I have on DVD but yet to watch e.g. Bang Bang Club.

I only realised that Don McCullin was still alive a year or so ago. Since then I’ve :

– Been to see his exhibition at the Imperial war museum which was very impressive – including his famous Nikon which stopped a bullet.


– Just got his autobiography this Christmas (but not read yet) : “Unreasonable Behaviour: An Autobiography”.



– And also realised I’ve lived a couple of streets away from where he grew up in Finsbury Park


Anyway – I have lot of respect for the guy – not just because of photography skill – but how he talks with compassion and emotion about how, what and why he photographed and also the effect it had on him.

Here’s a trailer:

It’s currently showing at the Curzon in Soho. ¬†It looks like it’s showing up to an including Jan 17th. ICA is also showing – but ending same day.


The Many Lives of William Klein

Recently come across this iPlayer showing of an episode of the “imagine…” series on BBC which is about William Klein and thought I’d share. (UK only unless you’re going through a proxy))

On the whole I don’t know much of well known photographers and hadn’t heard of William Klein before either. But apparently he was listed as No 25 in Professional Photographers 100 most influential photographers.

Anyway – this is well worth a watch if you’re into photography and in particular 50s street photography from New York or fashion photography of the same era. It’s a testament to the strength of doing things your own way. His comments can be quite cutting and to the point but in not too unpleasant a way – quite funny infact. You can tell from a few of the scenes that he really likes people of all kinds ….. other than fools of course ūüėČ



Lytro geekery

Although not a massive geek in things IT and only a bit in Photography the whole Lytro thing does get the inspiration/geek mojo going – exciting science.

Just seen that Lytro are introducing new software to do “stuff” that is fairly cool:

Although not hugely amazing in terms of being able to walk around a scene or anything like that – it is still rather cool.

If you’re not aware of Lytro – it’s the camera where you can change focus after taking the picture! There are plenty of examples on their YouTube page. When it was first announced I thought – oh – it’ll only be a fad. And I still think it’s a little bit of a fad and will unlikely have a place in “serious” photography or at least for a while yet – mostly as you need a special viewer to use the pictures fully – but I now think it’s rather cool and fun. The “cool” bit is the geeky science behind it – the “light field” technology. As I understand it : when recording the light hitting the sensor (as normal digital cameras do) they can also measure in what direction all the light was travelling in – be it photons or pixels. And with this data – then can calculate where the light would be a bit earlier or later and so mathematically alter where the virtual sensor is – thus changing focal point. I assume that this perspective addition is similar but different mathematics.

When announced I was expecting them to be massive and expensive – but they’re actually quite small – compact camera size!


They’reselling for $499 and $399 so ~ ¬£250 and ¬£320.
Am I tempted to get one – well a little, just for the geekery. Will I ?¬†Probably¬†not, although not new at full price…. Seeing as they don’t currently have an outlet/distributor in the UK I guess 2nd hand ones won’t be available in the UK for a while yet.

New Sigma lens can be connected to a Computer!

Bit of a geek-out post this!

Sigma have announced a new 35mm f/1.4 lens. Priced at $899

Nothing massively interesting there Рalthough I would have hoped it would be cheaper Рmind you РNikon 35mm f/1.4G is £1299!

BUT the funky-doo-dah thing is that you can buy an optional part that allows you to connect the lens to a computer! Not to take photos of course ,as this would need an imaging chip – but to update the lens itself! i.e. adjust the internal lenses, updating firmware etc! Some cameras have micro-adjustment settings to fine-tune them per lens – but this means you can do it directly to the lens without including the camera – which I guess should mean that it will be optimized for all cameras. I didn’t even know lenses had firmware! Updating is done via the software Sigma optimization Pro.


(Via PetaPixel)

Materials Council – Super Brands, London Design Festival

Materials Council

Yesterday I did a job for Brad and Ian at Materials Council and Architronic at their stand at the Super Brands London exhibition – part of the London Design Festival. It involved photographing their stand and the surrounding area in the morning before the public turned up and then coming back in the evening for the opening reception.


Photography geekyness wise it’s not overly difficult however there were some areas to keep an eye on. The exhibition is called “Whiter than White” where the Materials Council is displaying some of its white materials. So the areas to keep an eye out are :

White Balance – With mixed lighting (white light panels above, and more orange¬†Tungsten¬†not far away) then white balance is something to keep a close eye on, especially since the title of the display has the word “White” in it – wouldn’t be great if everything was orange! The obvious get-out for this is to shoot RAW and choose the White Balance later in post production – so this is what I did.

Exposure РWhen you get a viewfinder full of white Рand if on some camera automated exposure mode there is the danger that the camera will under expose the white to get it averaged out for middle gray. There are different techniques to counter this Рand I used a mix depending on  the scenario. When steadily photographing the white material Рgoing up and down the display I switched the camera to manual and set the exposure myself. The lighting on the display was fairly even so this was made possible. At other times when moving around photographing people around the display etc РI generally used Aperture Priority set to 2.8 for nice shallow depth of field, but set the camera to exposure compensation of +1/3. This could on occasion be not enough, or too much Рbut since I was shooting RAW this gives more leave-way to change the exposure later on.

With post production the trick is to get the material to be white, but not blow-out the details. Also while shooting and editing the old term of “expose to the right” applies i.e. exposing so that the historgram sides to the right – more white, but without over exposing. ¬†The point of this is that making things darker in photoshop etc tends to be better than making them lighter – as noise etc becomes more evident then.

Here’s a quick selection of the opening night. Got in rather late but edited a quick few for their newsletter today.

if you’re wandering about the Gin – then they were the sponsors of the Architronic areas (presentation area turned bar for the reception)

Materials Council Coverage of the opening day.

I took a few pictures of some of the areas – and will upload a couple of pictures later on.

In collaboration with Super Brands London Рthe Tent London show is going on at the same time in another part of the venue РThe Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. I was quite surprised to see this as it was upstairs and a LOT bigger than I expected Рit was huge.  As far as I can tell РSuper Brands was for the larger more established designer companies, and then Tent was for the smaller companies Рeither starting out or still relatively small scale.

Unfortunately – as I was working I didn’t really have the time to photograph them but there’s plenty to see.

If you’re into interior or furniture/fittings design and free over the weekend – I highly suggest going. Mind you – open House London is also on this weekend. Entrance for Super Brands/Tent London is ¬£8 in advance or ¬£10 on the door for adults. Less for kids etc.