1 Nov 2009

Another from Pretoria Botanical Gardens waterfall

Nikon F65, Nikon 50mm F1.8, polarizing filter, Fuji Superia 200 iso cheap consumer film, 8 second exposure, on a tripod. Developed by cheap, junky local lab and scanned by me on a CanoScan 5600F :-) . Edited with the Gimp.

30 Oct 2009

Pretoria Botanical Gardens Waterfall

Nikon F801s, Nikon 50mm F1.8, polarizing filter, Ilford XP2 Super 400 C41 process B&W film, 4 second exposure, on a tripod. Developed by cheap, junky local lab and scanned by me on a CanoScan 5600F :-) . Edited with the Gimp.

25 Oct 2009

Krummy Camera Review

Time for another totally useless camera review.

I went to our local Hospice charity shop a few weeks ago and came across a Kodak VR35 for the bargain price of R15 (US$2). I figured it would be fun to try it out and see if it had any life left in it, and so today I am going to review this little horror... umm, I mean gem:

It came with a cloth carry case and the handy carry strap that you can see in the picture above, and even has an external flash mount. I loaded it with a roll of Fuji Superia 400 and hit the road. (and yes, I really did leave the price tag on)

Here are a few sample images:

With some strong light from a skylight above it actually has some promise, aside from the fact that the focus is non existent. This thing is fuzzier than a Holga!

Serious light falloff, out of focus, a landscape photographers nightmare... and fringe artists dream!

This was the only shot with some focus in it, which suggests that it must have a sweet spot somewhere in it's focal range.

Just when I thought the camera was a total waste of my hard earned cash I discovered a wonderful feature that I could not have hoped or dreamed for! Check out the fabulous lens flare on these:

You simply can't do that on any dslr or slr! This camera is great at this one application and it does it in a totally outstanding way! Money can't buy a lens from Nikon or Canon that can do this very special effect, and for so cheap too!

So if you want a camera that is a bargain hunters dream, with the built in lens flare feature, and with the added benefit of extra security (who would want to steal this?), then this is the camera for you! It scores 10 out of 10 on the Krummy Camera scale!

Until my next Krummy Camera review, happy shooting!

PS: if anyone in South Africa would like to recieve this Kodak VR35 absolutly free, then you are welcome to contact me and arrange to pick it up.

Small relapses in the "new" South Africa

While post apartheid South Africa has been a miracle of forgiveness and reconciliation, there are still some elements of our society who harbour prejudice deep within their hearts and especially with the aid of a few beers it can sometimes burst through the façade as seen here with this group of young drunken white louts and their obvious contempt towards the black vendor.

I took this photo while at the Aardklop Cultural Festival in Potchefstroom, a smaller town in the Northwest Province. The festival just seemed to be an excuse for wanton drunkenness and crude behaviour. I won't be back.

Thank God that overall the majority of South Africans of all races have set aside their differences and live in a state of harmony that still astounds me! And just to set the record straight, there are also a similar minority of loud black voices who harbour the same prejudices against white people. I pray they will eventually change and get with the program, or simply shut up.

Taken with a Nikon F801s, Nikon 50mm F1.8, Ilford XP2 Super 400 C41 process B&W film, developed and extremely badly scanned by my crummy local lab. Edited with the Gimp.

18 Oct 2009

Hartbeespoort Dam Wall

The western entrance to the dam wall which has a single lane road across the top. The arch serves as a decorative entrance to the wall itself and at the other end the road goes through a short tunnel cut through the mountain. Completed in 1923

Nikon F801s, Nikon 50mm F1.8, Ilford XP2 Super 400 C41 process B&W film, developed and extremely badly scanned by my crummy local lab. Edited with the Gimp.

Hartbeespoort Dam Wall Railing

Nikon F801s, Nikon 50mm F1.8, Ilford XP2 Super 400 C41 process B&W film, developed and extremely badly scanned by my crummy local lab. Edited with the Gimp.

13 Oct 2009

Abstract Art From Film

The bokeh from my 50mm f1.8 Nikkor is just simply wonderful!

Nikon F801s, Nikon 50mm F1.8D, Fuji Superia 200 iso cheap consumer film, developed and extremely badly scanned by my crummy local lab. Edited with the Gimp.

4 Oct 2009

Featured Blog - My Vintage Cameras

One of my favourite blogs is by someone called Kathleen Johnson. She is an avid film shooter with medium format and 35mm cameras, including a Holga. Her "Faith on Film" series is really worth a look.

You can find her blog here: My Vintage Cameras
My favourite photo on her blog is here: Cactus
She has an interesting perspective on blur here: Embrace The Blur
A very interesting technique here: Experimental Methods, Whole Roll: Single Subject

...and shes one of the nicest people I have "met" in Blog Land.

Tell her I say hi!

Potchefstroom Post Office

24 Sept 2009

Life is Fragile

Be thankful every day for health, life and happiness, it all hangs on a very thin thread.

24 Aug 2009

What is a Photophile?

Ever wondered what a photophile might be? I didn't, but I found out anyway:


a.,n. (organism) loving light.

This is from here: http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/dictionaries/difficultwords/data/d0009983.html

That got me to thinking about photography, and how we capture light and preserve it in one format or the other. Then I got to thinking some more, not something I do too often, and it struck me how we, as photographers, have a great responsibility towards humankind to record what we see in such a way that it can be preserved for generations to come.

We need to capture our moments in time with due diligence and reverence for posterity, with the weight of responsibility pressing us to become masters of our art and "get it right" in the best way possible so that people in the future can look at what we have preserved and feel and experience the emotions, beauty of creation, and frail human spirit that is displayed in front of their eyes.

All that combined with imprinting our own artistic fingerprint into this incredible art we call photography, and we can realise why there are so few real artists of the medium out there that catch the eye and stand out from the rest of the happy snap crowd.

One day I hope to attain to the kind of photography that make the elite few stand tall, people like Henri Cartier Bresson, Ansel Adams, John Sevigny, Roger Ballen, Alfred Eisensteadt, Dorothea Lange, Edward Steichen, etc. Folks who dedicated themselves to the pursuit of that one momentous slice of the human spirit and creation that moves us to feelings that emanate from deep within our souls, and stir us to look at our world with different eyes.

Now you can see why I try not to think too often! ;-)

20 Jul 2009

Horizontal Vines

Nikon F801s, Quantaray 35-80mm zoom lens, 2 years expired Agfa black and white film.

3 May 2009

Klerksdorp Dam

I took these last year and thought I already posted them, but look as I might, I can't find them on this blog... let me know if you find any of them.

12 Apr 2009

Why you shouldn't buy that R10 000 digital camera

I just bought this great Nikon F65 slr camera, complete with a very nice mid range zoom, tripod and camera bag for only R600 (US$59)!
Almost everybody on the planet is going digital crazy and flogging fantastic cameras like this for next to nothing. It was first released by Nikon in 2001, so it has all the latest slr tech built in, like full matrix metering, fast auto focus, full compatibility with the latest VR lenses and iTTL flash units, etc. Get one and you will have gotten the bargain of the year! It takes great pics and will only be limited by your own ability.

The following were taken with the F65, on cheap Fuji 200 ISO consumer film, developed and badly scanned by my local lab:

I have to get my own scanner, the lab over exposes everything they scan... and very crummy resolution etc. as well. I fixed these a bit with the Gimp.

Ken Rockwell has a good review of the F65 here.
Nikon has a page on it here.
Bought the camera here.

My question once again is: why spend R10 000 on a new digital camera when you can get a great film camera for so much less money? The end result, a photographic print or scanned image, will be exactly the same anyway... unless you scan at any lab in the Centurion Mall.

1 Feb 2009

The Elgro River Lodge

Just got back from a few days at the Elgro River Lodge, and I can highly recommend it! Check out their website here: http://elgroriverlodge.co.za/

9 Jan 2009

The Union Buildings

Possibly my favourite building in South Africa, well done Sir Herbert Baker!