Feb 12 2016

Canon Classic 120

CanonClassic120-8690

For a point and shoot camera I really like the look of the Canon Classic 120.  There is no doubt that they made an effort to evoke the feeling of rangefinders like the Canon QL17 and maybe even a little bit of the Demi from the mid 1960′s but it contains as advanced electronics as existed for point and shoot cameras in 1999.  The autofocus is touted as being able to focus on subjects not positioned in the center of the frame and that it uses a hybrid active and passive autofocus.  What this means is that the autofocus sensor is augmented in low light by a second system that sends out an infrared beam and determines the distance using this.  This is what Canon had to say about it

Active/passive hybrid 3-point dual AI-AF. AF working range: 0.6m – infinity (normal mode), minimum focusing distance of 0.43 – 0.58m (close-up mode). Focusing point selection: 3-point AF, manual selection of center-point AF. AF modes: one-shot AF, servo AF mode. AF in-focus indicator: The green LED lights when subject is in-focus, or blinks as a too-close warning. Prefocus.

And translated into something a little more understandable

It focuses good.  It focuses from arms length to those mountains in the distance when not set to macro and down to one and a half size twelve feet in macro.  You can select the center focus point.  It can focus on one point and lock while you press the shutter.  It can continue to try to focus as you waste film in servo mode.  A little green light comes on if it thinks its done good and flashes if its bad.  You can point the camera at something press the shutter half way and hold it there and then recompose the picture with the same focus setting or as they concisely say ‘Prefocus’.

The cameras biggest drawbacks are its need for two expensive CR2 batteries and its slow f10.9 aperture at 120mm.

 


Feb 7 2016

Harrison Hot Springs

LG-H812When I visit a place and I mean practically any place I like to take pictures no matter what the circumstances.  This time I found myself spending 5 days in Harrison Hotsprings B.C.  The trick was I was occupied from sunrise until long after sunset pretty much everyday as well as the draw of soaking in the warm water.  Even under these circumstances a little lunch time walk here and a pre dinner one there coupled with a late night excursion produced a few images.  After all if I didn’t have pictures how would I demonstrate I was ever there.  These images are from my Pentax K-3 with the Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM and the PENTAX-DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR lenses and also a few from my LG G4 cell phone.  The film pictures will just have to wait.


Jan 30 2016

Olympus RC with Kodak Ektar 100

_K3_2690_K3_2689Since my first foray with the Olympus RC with some terrible film I have fed it some more delicious Kodak Ektar 100.  And the results as expected are far better and give a good indication of the cameras ability.  Shooting manually provides the control that allows the camera to shine.  Lets be honest older exposure systems of this age are not that great but using the readings from an accurate meter (ie a digital camera histogram) allows you to select the best combination for the conditions.  The five element 42mm lens is very good across the frame and is a terrific focal length to have in combination with another camera with something like a 28mm lens.  It sits neatly between the more common 35mm and 50mm focal lengths and because of its small size it doesn’t take up much room.


Jan 24 2016

A Terrible Beauty – Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr (The Reach Gallery Abbotsford)

Do not miss this!

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Edward Burtynsky, Mount Edziza Provincial Park #4, Northern British Columbia, Canada

Running from Jan 21, 2016 to April 10, 2016 at the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford is the traveling exhibition ‘A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr’ curated and pulled from the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery.  There are eighteen large scale photographs from Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky that span multiple series from 1983 to 2012.  There are also six paintings by Emily Carr that speak to similar themes of the human impact on the environment.  In particular Emily Carr’s Loggers’ Culls, 1935 and Above the Gravel Pit, 1937 show our early impact on the British Columbia landscape.  Burtynsky’s work although it begins in British Columbia with Homesteads and Railcuts soon moves on to a more global view with works from series such as Quarries & oil. 
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Emily Carr, Loggers’ Culls, 1935 oil on canvas

 

Emily Carr helped to shape our perceptions of the British Columbia landscape, in particular the coastal forests, however today an artist seeking out those same settings is confronted with something more like what Burtynsky presents to us, a landscape shaped and altered by human activity.

The impact of the Burtynsky photographs are aided by their physical scale.  They are large, with a focus that extends from foreground to background.  With the photographic visual language cue of focus depth removed the viewer is forced to interpret the scale of the scene through its content.  This can be somewhat jarring as you come to terms with thousands of burning tires in ‘Burning Tire Pile #1 Near Stockton California’ or uncounted circuit boards filling the landscape ‘China Recycling #9, Circuit Boards, Guiy, Guangdong Provice, China 2004′ or the more flattened scenery of  recent works from the series ‘Water’ . 

I could continue to try to write about this but my efforts would always fall short of standing in front of these works in person. The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford has free admission and seeing this exhibition is well worth the trip for anyone located in the Fraser Valley and beyond.

Amusingly I visited on a day where they were hosting a Family Literacy day celebration which filled the gallery with activity and the cacophony of tiny voices.  Your visit is likely to be much quieter.


Jan 23 2016

I visited Calgary and all I saw was the tower

An amusing look at Calgary Alberta with a bow[sic] to the Calgary Tower which makes its appearance through out.
The quality of the Blurb premium magazine is great and its nice to have a tangible representation of a photographic story.  There is a mix of images from various film and digital cameras.


Jan 21 2016

Kodak Portra 400 with the Yashica T4

_K3_2656I had this film developed at the local store but I think their chemicals may have been weak.  The negatives are much thinner than I anticipated and there is a definite colour shift that I haven’t had before from this camera or film.  That said the images turned out okay and I don’t mind the look but it re-enforces why I develop my own c41 now (Home Developing C41) .  I have no explanation for the double exposure that occurred mid roll other than to say the film didn’t advance between pictures. (Your welcome for that obvious observation)  Of the cameras in the series of Zeiss lens equipped Yashica point and shoots the T4 is certainly the best of the lot.  It’s a pretty easy chain of cameras to follow there is the Yashica T AF with a f3.5 35mm lens then the T2 the T3 and the T4 with some minor variants.    The T4 has better autofocus than the T/T2 and less vignetting than the T3  and its the most compact of the bunch. However the T3 has a faster f2.8 lens and they are more readily available and affordable than the T4.

 


Jan 15 2016

Ideas of Breath

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Nicole and Allison
Perhaps you’re an artist that creates just for the pleasure of it, or you hope to affect the world or maybe your reasons lie somewhere in between. In any case having your work in front of other people can be an affirmation that you’re achieving your aim. While having an online audience to share with is nice there is something special about being in the presence of art and other people viewing it. All you need to do is bring your art to the closest gallery and hang it up…what that’s not how it works? Maybe that’s how it works online but in the physical world it takes planning and hard work by dedicated people who love art.
Rather than talk about my work I would like to thank those hard working art lovers that provide opportunities for other artist to experience the joy of having their work seen. In this case I wanted to thank Allison and Nicole of Latent Image Magazine for putting together ‘Ideas of Breath’.
The call for submissions described it like this ‘We want to see what you create when you pull a theme apart, rather than construct one. Let the stream of consciousness take control and work around what the title Ideas of Breath means to you.’
The resulting show pulls together different artists and ideas in a wonderful way going places no one artist could do.
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Ideas of Breath runs until Feb 8 at the Ayden gallery in Vancouver.


Jan 7 2016

Canon Z180u

_K3_2691_K3_2692The defining feature of this camera has to be that 38-180mm focal length lens.  A lens that I might point out has an aperture of f12.9  at the long end.  Doing a little math in the form of a word problem.

Q: On a nice clear day Little Suzy has a Canon Z180 loaded with 400 ASA film and wants to take a picture of her friend Phil who is off in the distance on the edge of the woods looking like a hipster lumberjack.  If Suzy zooms to 180mm how much motion blur will the picture have?

A:  As Phil is in the shade of the woods and has a dark beard the light is likely to be around EV 11 so the camera would select a shutter speed of around 1/60 of a second or about 2 stops too slow for that focal length on 35mm film resulting in just enough blur to make you say ‘Ugggg where is my digital camera and is that a squirrel attacking Phils face’

I also don’t think that the focusing is quite up to the zoom factor of the lens as it seems to miss focus more than less ambitious zoom models.

One thing about one camera:  You can set the flash to always be off through this simple method.  With the camera off hold down the timer button then press the flash button, CF 1-0 will show on the LCD (That’s custom function 1 – off) press the zoom in button once to select CF 2-0 now press the flash button to set it to CF 2-1 (Custom function 2 – on) , turn the camera on to finish the setting.  Now when you turn the camera off it will remember the shooting and flash mode so you can disable the flash and keep it that way.  Super easy, Ugggg where is my digital camera?


Jan 1 2016

A little bit of wimsy

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I went to a train and hobby show to look for a couple props for an image I was thinking of creating but I wasn’t there very long before I realized the fun photo opportunity all the different train set ups presented.  I had a camera with me as I always do (the Pentax K-01) and what turned out to be the ideal lens for the situation the DFA 100 Macro.  There were a surprising amount of little vignettes that were a lot like the things I look to photograph in the real world.  I’ve added some grain and processing to mimic out of date film to aid in the illusion.  It was fun and not at all serious and most of the credit should go to all the people that created them.


Dec 28 2015

Fuji S Autofocus

_K3_2698Every once and a while I try a camera so bad that I have to ask myself whether I should destroy it to spare any other poor soul from its awfulness.  In this case I present to you the Fuji S which I can only assume stands for (S)hit.  It’s not that I had high expectations for this camera that were dashed.  It’s cheap plastic materials and 125gram weight ease that notion from your mind.  No it’s the fact that it offers a 26mm lens which is unique enough to stir attention but it turned out to be as soft as a flaming marshmallow.  The lens is made from 3 elements in three groups and has a maximum aperture of  f5.6.  The shutter speed is fixed at 1/70 second which is fast enough but if it doesn’t vary and the aperture doesn’t vary then essentially the exposure doesn’t vary. The camera does take AAA batteries which is nice.  Fuji has made some incredible cameras over the years so when they produce something like this 2004 abomination it seems out of step.  So if your holding a roll of film in one hand and a Fuji S in the other do yourself a favour and recycle the camera and put the film into something more worthy like a Fuji Dl Super Mini or if you need 26mm a Canon Sure Shot BF-10 which will give you that and shutter speeds from 1/250 second to 1/40 second to boot.