Interesting Weekend…

Been quite an active time these past few days – everything started with the concert of Marta Ren & the Groovelets at the Cri’Art in Auch. She’s Portuguese, as are the rest of her group, and sings in English. A BIG voice, loads of talent, and the concert was very good – but I think the thing that surprised me the most was to find her behind the wheel of the van they had rented to drive to Auch from Barcelona!

I met another photographer at the concert – he had made the trip from Bayonne on the West coast, and judging by his Facebook page after the concert, wasn’t too impressed with our smoke machine…can’t please everybody – interestingly for me, he’s only published one photo of the concert…

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, and a good excuse to visit Toulouse where the latest photo exhibition is now showing at the Chateau d’Eau. The only interesting part was in Gallery Two where Romain Laurendeau was showing « Bab El Oued » a very powerful series of B&W images photographed in Algeria.

We also visited the Augustins Museum – something neither of us had ever done! Beautiful building and very interesting/photogenic exhibits.

On Monday I had a rendezvous with La Mondiale Générale – a circus company in residence here in Auch. Nice people and interesting elements which will all go towards the spectacle « Le Gros Sabordage » in the not too distant future…

All in all, a full weekend!


Once upon a time there was a photographer who didn’t know much about photography, and despite being surrounded by people who knew a lot more than him, ignored what he saw and blindly went his way creating really boring photographs.

One day, the photographer was at en event with a large number of other photographers. He made his photos, and when he got home and looked at what he had made that day, realized that in virtually every image there were other people – he didn’t want to see these people in his photographs, but he just went on, as usual, blaming everyone else for ruining his images.

This of course didn’t stop him publishing both his photographs and his criticisms. This made some of the people who looked at his photographs laugh, and one of them made a very pertinent remark (completely lost on the man who had made the photograph of course) – he said « If you don’t like what you see, why don’t you choose a different viewpoint? » And to prove his point he simply cropped the original image.

Moral:  try to look at every situation from various viewpoints.

Wish List

This is what is at the top of my wish list for 2017.
The IRIX 11mm f/4 Firefly

Albeit a manual focus lens, it’s the angle of view which interests me – 126° and it’s designed for full format cameras. Nikon and Canon mounts will be available and the lens should start shipping in April. (For info, my 14-24mm NIKON has a field of view of 114°-84°)

Down to the nitty-gritty – the price. There will be two versions – the « Firefly » (the cheapest, composite body etc.) and the « Blackstone » (more expensive, metal body etc.) – optically they are identical. In the US they can be pre-ordered for $575 and $774 – unsure exactly what the final €uro price will be, but tests seem to indicate that the lenses are very well corrected, and any corrections not taken into account in the design can be ‘adjusted’ in Photoshop/Lightroom.

Update: The current French price at launch is 635€

Being a fan of extreme wide angle lenses, this seems an obvious ‘next step’…

It’s back!

Yes, the blog page is back – this will be the place to find the most recent images – a sort of Instagram, hence the new name…

This first image was taken inside the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux – the whole internal structure is in wood, and very photogenic…

The building itself is shaped like a wine decanter, and the wooden structure is clad in metal and plexiglass sheets.

It is in the same area as the Bassin à Flots where the huge German wartime submarine base stands, and also my favorite bridge, the Pont Chaban Delmas, which can be seen in the background of this last image.


Weekend away with just one lens?

Yes, and it works! For once, instead of the backpack and choice of lenses, this last weekend away was really simple: one camera, one lens.

We had decided to visit Marseille and knowing my love for wide angle lenses, I chose the 12-24 Nikkor mounted on the D500 – the results are great – see for yourselves – and it was particularly nice not to have a bag to carry – just a camera.

Here’s a couple of examples from this weekend:




Wonderful city – loads to see….

The Nikon Battery Saga….

nikon-enel15-jpgStrange things seem to be happening with older versions of the EN-EL15 battery (D800, D750, D610 etc.) with the D500 camera and, for once, Nikon are doing something about it.

The problem seems to be that with the launch of the D500 Nikon decided to modify certain calculations performed in the battery electronics and as such, only the more recent batteries would show correct charging values on the D500 – this is the only camera body effected. It’s easy to check if your battery will have potential problems – on the battery label « Li-ion » is printed just above the serial number. If this is « Li-ion20 » you don’t have a problem – any other number is an earlier battery could exhibit problems with the D500.

The solution is actually quite radical – anyone with proof of ownership of a D500 (A bill, for example) can simply send their EN-EL15 to Nikon who replace them free of charge. ALL their EN-EL15 batteries – I have 5, so I contacted the SAV at Nikon France and they reassured me that, yes, I could send ’em all in for replacement. This is actually quite handy as some of my batteries date from 2011 and any battery gets old…so now I have 5 brand new batteries dating from 2016.

Medium Format News…

hasselblad_h6d_100cThis is the new 100 megapixel Hasselblad – it’s called the H6D and costs 35,000€ – yes, thirty five thousand. This is what you get when you’re paid humongous amounts of money to produce wall sized photos.

I too would like to bring my Hasselblads up-to-date – sadly I don’t have a spare 35,000€ so I’ll have to settle for one of these  – it fits on the older Hasselblad bodies, and ‘only’ costs 7500€ – a snip, I hear you saying.

Well yes, but I’m far from having 7500€ to spare so I think it’s time to launch a Kickstarter and get me some dosh…

Clip it all together and it looks like this503 cfv

Well it seems it actually can…

At the moment we have planes mysteriously dropping out of the skies, hairy f**kwits in Syria killing people by throwing them into vats of nitric acid and what are people most keen on reading about? Kim and/or Kylie f**king Kardashian and who’s got the most deformed arse, lips, both.

Frankly we deserve this rubbish – I mean seriously, we simply cannot be interested in this, can we? Rhetorical question – as yes, a staggering number of people actually seem to be interested, but I can’t quite understand why.

K2 (Which actually started life as the name for a mountain – go figure…) is billed as a ‘star’, and an ‘International’ one too. Why? Possibly because the has quite a number of planets orbiting around her…I can’t think of any other reason. I mean, she isn’t really useful either – what does she do? Aside from take pictures of her blown-up lips, not much. I suppose you could use her to park your bike if she was kneeling down…but even so I’m not really sure I’d want to.

It’s all very frustrating….

Can it actually get any worse?

kkOf course, the subject of this rant is the one and only Kim Kardashian – she’s the one standing in the way of a nice shot of a white Range Rover in this recent picture.

Don’t be mistaken, the ‘strings’ on her legs are designed to expand as she tries to put on under-sized jeans… this strange person is supposed to be a style icon, and I suppose for her grumpy husband she’s the bees knees, but for the rest of the world she’s the only person who can make Balmain or Gucci look like a dustbin liner.

She’s made millions, principally due to a ‘sex’ tape from several years ago, but I’m not clear what she’s supposed to do – you know, like how useful is she? Is she worth copying? Should we model our lives around her ideas/lifestyle/enormous bottom?

My other favourite, Justin Case, sorry, Blieber trys to sing, so I suppose, to some extent, this ‘justifies’ his worth, but this totally disproportioned ‘person’ does nothing aside from taking pictures of herself pouting. Give her credit though, she actually managed to sell a few copies of a book of her ‘pouts’ – so who’s crazy now?

Helping the Blind

Leica-M-D-Typ-262-cameraFirstly I must state that I have a huge respect for blind people, and the people who help them – as a photographer I understand how crushing it must be to lose a sense, and can only imagine what it must be like to try to live in todays complicated world.

This said, I do think that it’s a bit of a piss-take on the part of Leica to bring out the Leica M-D (Typ 262) This is a ‘modern’ digital rangefinder with a state-of-the-art full frame 24mp sensor – but it seems it has been designed for a minority group – the blind.

So why am I led to think this? Well, when I’ve taken my picture and I take the camera away from my eye to have a look at the result on the rear screen, well, I can’t – they forgot to build one in. You would be forgiven for thinking that for the price of 5900€ (Body only) they could have included a screen, but no – Leica have decided, in their wisdom, that ‘real’ (Ken Rockwell?) and / or blind photographers don’t need a screen.

Is it any wonder that these people are in a ‘niche’ market…?