Merlin Maddock’s Workshop…….

D600A-0396-EditMy friend and neighbour Merlin has a huge challenge/project going on for the last couple of months to attempt to build a replica of a plane built in about 1904 here in the Garw valley.

D600A-0385-EditI have had the pleasure of trying to document the building of the said plane as the project has been progressing. Sadly Merlin’s health has slowed him up greatly but his determination is a pleasure to witness.D600A-0401-EditI love popping next door to his workshop and exploring all his quirky, interesting pieces dotted about.D600A-0393-Edit-2Hopefully this project will see the light next year and I will be there to see the finale :)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-21366975

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D600A-0411-EditThanks for looking…. comments welcomed

Tamron 35-70mm f3.5 macro testing with my Olympus OM2n and some HP5……..

OM2n-HP5022-EditThe other week I came across an Olympus OM10 in a local car boot sale. As I already have my original OM10 I didn’t really need another but it did have a nice looking Tamron 35-70mm zoom with it and a Manual adapter so I asked the seller if he would sell me them as I didn’t need the camera and he agreed to £10 which was a bargain and after paying he said I may as well take the camera for free as he has had no interest so double win.OM2n-HP5007Today was the 1st time using it on my OM2n and it worked great, 35-70 is a very handy focal length spread and f3.5 throughout was also useful.OM2n-HP5006It’s not the sharpest lens ever in fact its a little soft until you get to f8 but to be honest I really don’t mind as as a walk around lens its far more useful than being stuck with my 50mm.OM2n-HP5021 OM2n-HP5019 OM2n-HP5018 OM2n-HP5012-Edit OM2n-HP5002All in all for £10 I am well pleased and this lens will be permanently on my OM2n.

Thanks for looking………

Mamiya C3 testing ………

img009-2I recently picked up a Mamiya C3 and 65mm lens with the hope of using it for a bit of Street shooting as it has a 65mm lens which is approx 40mm ish in 35 mm terms.

I shot a trial roll of expired Ilford Delta 3200 in poor light it must be said  to see what I got and after scanning the negs I got 12 frames all out of focus mainly back focussed.

I put it down to wide apertures/slow shutter-speed and not a very bright viewfinder.

Next I tried my last roll of Delta 3200 but this time on a tripod in better light and to my horror they were all back focussed just like the 1st roll.

After a bit of advice I checked the lens were mounted flush and also removed the focus screen and noticed that it had 2 quite thick card shims propping up the front of the screen. So I removed one of them and the screen seemed to sit a little more flush to the body.

All these images were shot using this configuration on Ilford Delta 400 and even though they were not all totally spot on they were far better than the 1st 2 rolls.

I may remove the other shim and replace with a slightly thinner one and see if it works.

I love using this camera it is a lovely piece of kit and hopefully I can get some good images eventually :)

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Mamiya 645 & some Fujichrome Velvia 100F …………

img005-EditSlide film has been a bit of a hit or miss for me over the years, back in the pre digital days I tried and mostly failed with most of my attempts at shooting slides.

Most probably as the subject matter I seemed to shoot was not really suited to the medium and I never really found the appeal that others did.

img004Since getting into medium format I decided to give slide film another bash so bought a few packs of both Fujichrome Velvia 100f and Provia 100f.

I shot some Velvia a while back and cross processed it with some interesting results which can be seen on my other blog http://usingfilm.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/cross-processed-velvia-100/

But this time I had it processed E6 at AG photolab http://www.ag-photolab.co.uk/

img010I was quite pleased with the resultant scans even though my exposure was a bit over on most of the frames, I’m not sure if it was the Mamiya meter as it has been fine on negative film but I know that slide film is not very forgiving.

Nevertheless I am going to try another roll when the weather is right and this time meter with my Sekonic meter just to see.

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Thanks for looking…. feel free to comment

Click on an image to view larger ……..

The Streets of London with the Fuji X-Pro1 …………

Xpro1-1321-EditWe have just got back from a few days in London which was a present for my 50th from the better half.

It was a few days of excessive eating and drinking with a little bit of walking and photography, in fact we really blended in with the 1000’s of typical tourists.Xpro1-1348-EditI shot all the time with my Fuji X-Pro and the XF 18mm f2 except for a few of the night shots where I used the XF 18-55 f2.8 and then processed them with SilverEfex as I felt the B&W contrasty feel gave the look I was after.Xpro1-1275-EditI shot both day and night and the X-Pro performed great, I really love this camera the quality of the raw files is top notch even at iso 3200.Xpro1-1286-EditStreet photography is so easy in a place like London, nobody seems to mind you shooting not that has ever stopped me but I could spend hours just walking and shooting.

Next time I am going to shoot some film as well…Xpro1-1265-EditIt was an enjoyable few days and even though I shot less than 100 frames nearly all were keepers (I shot quite a few on my iPhone too).10593185_10152786039942580_8803011122617625181_n

Please Click on an image below to view larger…………………..

Thanks for looking

 

My 1st ever Photo workshop for my 50th Birthday…………….

D600A-3740AI turned 50 years of age 2 weeks ago and part of my present from my wife was a Photography Workshop run by Nigel Forster of Creative Photography Wales.

It was a Brecon Beacons Heritage & Landscape course,  As I have never been on a workshop before I didn’t really know what to expect but after meeting Nigel at his home I was put at ease from the off.D600A-3690AWe visited 4 locations during the day ……The Guardian at Six Bells, Blaenavon Ironworks, Big Pit and lastly we walked up to Llangattock Escarpment giving stunning views over the beautiful welsh landscape.D600A-3847AThe Workshop ran from 9:30 til 7:30 and was a great day at locations that I have never visited before.

All images were shot on my Nikon D600 with the 24-85mm and processed in Lightroom.

Some links related to this workshop

http://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/leisure/14674.asp

http://www.countryfile.com/days-out/llangattock-escarpment-brecon-beacons

http://www.creativephotographywales.com/index.php

Thanks for looking…. click on an image to view larger

Bridgend Show with my Fuji X-Pro & 35mm f1.4………

Fuji Xpro1-1155-Edit-EditPopped along to the Bridgend Show on Sunday with just the X-Pro 1 and 35mm f1.4 with the intention to shoot as much as I could as near wide open as I could but it was rather bright and sunny so managed f2.0 -f4.0 and the camera and lens performed superbly.

All images shot Raw and processed in Adobe Lightroom 5 using the Adobe Fuji camera profiles, quite pleased with the colours but still not as sharp as with Capture One Pro but getting there.

Click on an image to view larger …….

Thanks for looking :)

D600 and Capture One Pro …….

D600A_0027 1Since getting my D600 and also my Fuji X-Pro1 I have noticed a pronounced slowdown in the performance of Lightroom 5.

Also Lightroom does not get the best out of my Fuji Raw files which tend to be soft and flat unless I spend extra time processing them.

After reading a lot of advice on the web I thought I would give Capture One Pro a trial run just to see if there is any improvement.D600A_0020Straight away the speed increase was 10 fold, the import and rendering of previews were very impressive with my 24meg D600 raw files.

Also the default rendering that Capture One gives the images was very pleasing.

D600A_0012I opened the “Merlin Stone” Raw image at the top of this post in Camera Raw after seeing the Capture One version and was so impressed with the depth in the colours and the sharpness of the image.

I could not get Camera Raw to render anywhere near what I got from Capture One.D600A_0002I get emails from PhaseOne quite regularly with money off offers to purchase their software and as soon as I get the next one I will be investing in this, the learning curve is quite steep as I have used both Lightroom and Aperture for ages but PhaseOne has loads of tutorial videos on their Youtube channel so I have plenty of viewing to do :)

D600A_0058 D600A_0048I am looking forward to seeing the difference I can achieve with my Fuji Raw files next if the D600 images are anything to go by I will be very pleased.

Thanks for looking

Click on an image to view larger……

1st ever roll of Fomapan 100 …….

NikonF80_Fomapan010My favorite film is ilford HP5, I also shoot Delta 400 and T-Max 400 but after reading quite a few posts on the internet and recommendations from some fellow Twitter photographers I bought 5 rolls of 35mm Fomapan 100.

NikonF80_Fomapan037I shot it at box speed and processed it in Ilfotec HC at 1+9 dilution and the results were very pleasing.

The images shot in bright sunshine where lovely and contrasty with plenty of detail in both Shadow and Highlights while the one’s shot in low natural light almost glowed while still holding detail.NikonF80_Fomapan026I am extremely pleased with this film and after reading more on the web I will be getting some Rodinol next as this seems to give even better results.

Please click on an image to view larger …….

Thanks for looking, comment most welcomed :)

Fuji X-E1 & 18-55mm on the streets of Aberystwyth ……

Fuji X-E1-0174-EditLast weekend we went to Aberystwyth to pick up Amy for the summer and in between all the carrying/cleaning and throwing out bin bags I managed a walk along the seafront to see where her next terms accommodation will be and took the X-E1 with the new zoom instead of the primes.

It’s very handy to be able to zoom slightly especially if I see a shot and have to get it quick, its not so good when attempting shooting from the hip as I got far more missed shots than I did when I tried it with the 18mm prime.

Click on an image to view larger ……….