So today I had more of a play with the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L series Macro Lens, its basically a lens that can magnify objects close up and give you a view of something that the human eye might not necessarily be able to see. Now the lens RRP is around £900 which for a Canon L series Lens isn’t really too bad, its like of a mid price lens and something that I think every photographer should at least have access too, its a great lens to have a play with and is the perfect lens to just pull out the camera bag one day and mix your photography game up abit
For this review I decided to do it as fair as possible, so I set up some lights and created a kind of mini studio, with a black bounce board and a magic arm to hold up the object. My plan was then to tether my laptop to the camera and after each shot go through the image and work out if I was happy with the point of focus. I wanted an object that had different textures and something that no matter how close you could get you would always discover more and more detail, my object of choice was trimmings off the plants out the front of the office.
My idea was to shoot with both a high ISO and also bring the ISO right down and use the shutter speed to control the light, and because I was using a Tripod I could now minimise camera shake. for those that don’t know the ISO is basically something that you make higher for low light conditions and decrease for well lite shots, my idea was to use a high ISO and a fast shutter speed to see how that effected the shot, and I definitely lost detail when close up and in full Macro mode, it made the shots a lot more “grainy” but once I lowered both the ISO and shutter speed, I noticed that my photos were a lot smoother and the level of detail had gone up ten fold. I was now capturing light in even the darkest areas of each photo but because I was shooting with an amazing lens, I could pull focus on the areas I wanted too and blur completely out areas I didn’t think added anything to the photo.
I also have to agree with canon that an aperture of 2.8 is probably right and thing lower and the depth of field would become way to shallow. At the same time I wouldn’t mind seeing what a 100mm macro would look like with an aperture of f1.8, I know that would be very shallow but that mixed with something like a medium format camera would mean you could see even more than the human eye. Anyone out there heard of a f1.8 100mm macro?
All in all this is a great and lens and something that really mixes up not just my photography game but photography in general. Its a lens that I would love to add permanently to my lens collection and something that I think will help me to improve the overall look of my future photos.
Yesterday was not a photo friendly day and by that I mean that the whole day until the evening was pretty much one big 9 hour fail. I decided yesterday morning that it was time I put that ikea light we brought a few months ago up, well that light is now in the bin, I dont know who designs lights at ikea but who ever you are, just make it simple but yet effective, don’t just say “hang it on a hook” because that is not a clever idea.
After fighting with this light for a good 2 hours, I was now on my way to John lewis with my tail between my legs, looking for a new light fitting. I did manage to get one, how ever it quickly became apparent that in order to put a light up, you need to know a thing or two about electrics. Long story short, the light is sitting in my wardrobe waiting for an electrician aka Amys dad to put it up but some people out there would be proud of me because at the same time as buying the light I also got a floor lamp, just incase my plan didnt work. So we arent just sitting in darkness, we can still see. Thats what you call future proofing yourself (I have just read this back and realised how boring this all sounds).
After fighting with the flats lighting, we then headed out to meet some of our friends and went to some place in Brixton called, Brixton Jam. its kind of like a disco night at a club, to be honest im not really sure what else happened but I do know that we didn’t get home till like 5am, which is probably the latest Amy and me have ever got home. I know, I know, its a crazy life we both lead.
I think the plan for today is to head over to Notting hill this morning and grab some coffee, and have a pretty chilled out day before I head off to work this evening. So I will be taking my camera and hopefully get some pretty cool photos of possibly my favourite part of London.
heres my photos from yesterday, all photos were taken on an Iphone.
This morning Ive been having a little look at my stats and all those things about my posts to see what it is that you actually read and what you guys think is terrible and after nearly 12 months of these posts it’s becoming pretty clear what kind of posts do well and what kind of ones just suck. so today my plan is to try and understand how I can keep these posts up and think of interesting techniques and ideas to keep you guys engaged.
I know that some days aren’t going to be as interesting or education than others but thats just the way of the world, each day I am trying to take good photos and keep them interesting and when I started this how 3 photos a day challenge, I never realised how important the writing aspect would become, its now more important than the photos in a way, I need to keep the writing interesting, and use it to explain my photos and my reasons behind them.
Now I could of just post three photos on instagram each day for a whole year, but that would of been easy in my eyes and would probably been so I could build instagram followers. I wanted to push myself and give myself something to dedicate my life too each day for a whole year, no days off and that is what Im pushing myself todo, learning about media management, camera management, learning to think editorially and most of all finding a photo in anything and spotting a good bit of light and just taking the best possible photo. and if you think about it, at the end of the year Im going to having something that not that many people have, and something that did cost that much money to start.
so after than little ramble of mine, how was yesterday? well, I wasn’t out and about or even travelling anywhere, I was just in a studio and then the pub. So taking photos can become generic and I could of just posted three photos of a pint but while I am having some down time, I realised that in the back of my mind I was thinking about photos and ” if that shot will work” and that made me happy, because it was the first time I had realised that my brain is now automatically thinking about photography and lighting, how cool is that!
right I need to get dressed and leave for work any minute now, so sorry to end this post really quickly but I really need to get a move on. heres my photos from yesterday, I hope you like them.
So today Im at the Baftas working not partying I should mention, my plan was probably to show you some photos from before my day, during it and after. but then something happened that I really didnt expect, it was my walk to work. I did what I always do when im at the Royal Albert Hall, I get off at Lancaster Gate and walk through Hyde Park to the stage door. Nothing crazy.
Well this morning as I got off at Lancaster Gate and noticed that the sun was just coming up, it was roughly 7:35 or something (My call time was 7:30 so I was running a but late) As I entered into Hyde park it was unbelievable, the sun was hitting the sides of everything and the water was still, it was literally magical. I felt like I had just walked onto a set of a feature film which was going to win a BAFTA for its lighting, I instantly when for my 5d and then realised I had left my beautiful camera at home, my only choice was to pull out the iphone, and my god Im happy i did. For some reason it just feels right that I took these photos on my Iphone, it gives the photos a feel of just an average londoner walking through the park if that makes any sense. No special lens used, no expensive camera, just amazing light and a bog standard 29mm f2.9 iphone lens. Im definetly a fan of mobile phone cameras and the photography they are capable of.
If I was to give people one top tip about using a phone to get good shots, it would be not to worry about how good the Iphone X is and how amazing the camera is, Im pretty happy with my Iphone 6s right now and definitely don’t think that for an extra £50 a month the Iphone x will improve my photos that much. If you was to buy an Iphone X on an £80 a month contract, then over the course of 24 months you would spend an extra £1200 on the phone, that means that for the same price you could get a Sony RX100 or Fuji X100f and still have cash left over, now trust me they are some powerful pocket rockets. I personally think Iphone X is over rated, its good but its not life changing. With camera sensors I just think that each sensor model creates its own feel and vibe, at the moment I love the iphone 6s picture quality, thats not to say in a few months or years ill be in love with the iphone X, because I probably will be.
its now coming to the end of my dinner break at work, so Ill stop the rant and if you were hoping to see a photo of my at the BAFTA’s heres one from a few years ago.
A few months ago amy brought some tickets to see the Kooks play in Brighton, they are a band Ive wanted to see for ages and something which I’ve been excited for since she told me we were going. but before we can go to an amazing gig we had to do something that turns girls like amy into monsters / dictators, I’m talking about is IKEA. Yesterday we had to venture over to the warehouse of nightmares and shop till my credit card pops.
I saw a side to amy which scared me and it happened in the cushion department, we were trying to work out what colours go with what pattern and what fabric would work with the sofa. I never new that cushion shopping was a thing, I just thought they came with a sofa and that was it. who wrong I was. cushion shopping involves panic attacks and a lot of tongue bitting. Apparently my opinions will be taken into consideration but in the end they will be ignored, she even let me pick a cushion that she chose.
After cushion gate has finished it was time to hit the road and head down to Brighton and meet some good old chums and put the whole ikea experience behind us. the kooks smash it they were literally amazing the lead singer is a guy called Luke Pritchard and he knows a thing or two about performing and somehow have managed to hold down a top spot in British indie music since their album Inside in inside out was released in 2006. what was amazing about the show for me was when the blue curtain came down and he performed an acoustic set, for some reason when you bring the curtain down mid set it really makes the gig feel intimate. if you have the chance to see the Kooks definitely get down to a gig, tonight they are playing in Cardiff and if I could get down there I would.
As I spent the day running round doing a million and one things, all my photos were taken on my phone.
P.s Amy thanks for taking me around Ikea, you’ve given me the interior design bug and also for getting the Kooks tickets!!!!!
its here, that time I never thought would come. I put it to the back of my head and tried not to think about it, im talking about the time of year when it gets dark at 4 in the afternoon. today I spent the whole day in an office, I know I said I would try and get out of my lunch hour and some cool kind of project but I wasn’t expecting 6pm to come around so quick. and then I left work and it was pitch dark and I hadnt taken a single photo. lucky I had a quick thought and decided to run with it so here I am.
Positive thoughts josh Positive thoughts.
This time of year is pretty good for taking photos late at night, for one reason everyone looks like a character from some 1940’s black and white film. its a mixuter between the winter clothing like a long jacket, hat or dark clothing together with the lighting or really lack of light which creates these cool silhouettes as people walk or cycle along the road. I think its because all of a sudden a random office communter on their way home to sit on the sofa and eat a packed of chocolate digestives now looks like some under cover detective casing out a suspect or they look like the suspect and move around in the dark to go unnoticed. taking all this in mind when walking home my goal was to try and get a photo of what I thought the detective, the suspect and then “the guy caught up in the middle of all this” would look like.
I have no idea if this makes sense to anyone readings this but it makes sense in my head and thats kind of all that matters right. I know it helps if I get my point across but as long as you like my photos thats all that really matters.
Today is the last day of me doing my first mini photo project, Cool Unknown American. Im not really sure how much is unknown or how much everyone knows, but my plan was just to show the inner workings on America on a whistle stop tour of America these past few days. Im about to have a really busy few days, so I think its probably best is I go for a five part project.
I’m currently sat in someone’s garage as the temperature hits 95 degrees, its pretty hot and there’s no air con but that will no break me.
With these posts its always tough to figure out what to write about and with photos, Ive always wanted to let my photos do the talking and just let people read each image and take away from it what they please. That’s not really the case, if you can take a good photo that seems to be about 60% of it, the other 40% is your writing. How well you can capture and write about that photo. That’s what I’ve learnt about this project, my photos are only doing a percentage of the work, I need to explain the reason behind the photos and what I think. Maybe its time for a new shake up of this blog, change the layout and my angle. I’m coming up to the 6 month mark in 11 days and the past 171 days have taught me a lot.
Two of the photos you see below are from previous days, one is of this incredible sunset we saw over the Illinois river on the drive from St.louis to Chicago. It was like a 6 hour drive, on the same straight road of like 200 miles, we got bored half way through and turned off on to the old route 66, this photo was taken just after we joined back on the highway across over the river and then were met by this crazy sunset. I love taking photos of sunsets, they never get boring. my favourite part about this photo is the reflection off the river in the back ground, it makes it feel like mid west america to me.
The other photo is from the VW car meet, this guy was standing up on the flat bed trying to sell things I think. I dont know why, I just thought it was a good photo opportunity so i took it. that car meet was one of those moments that will stand out for me on this trip. I just happened to look out of my hotel window and saw all this craziness happening across the road, so grabbed my camera and just started taking photos. nothing was planned, it just all seemed to fall into place.
anyway I’ve just eaten way to much Chicago deep pan pizza to keep me full or the next week, so heres my three photos. enjoy.
When I first started this how photo project thing, I was thinking Im going to carry my 5d around with me everywhere shoot raw photos on a 24-105mm lens and probably a 1×1 light panel just for good measure. turns out that so of the time that can actually do more harm than good, a lot of the time if I pull out my 5d it gets to much attention, and people freeze up, don’t want there picture take and think i’m some kind of pap.
thats when the Iphone comes in handly. If like me you have a point and shoot and you put the lens in water, so now it take about 2 hours to start up properly and your in a bit of a limbo at the moment, waiting for your next camera, then I dont think you can go wrong with the iphone its the perfect camera for a blog. If you are really up against it for time, you can take photos, edit them and post them all from a phone. Im trying not todo that at the moment because I want to learn more about Adobe software, but if I have no time then the iphone is a life saver.