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A case for HDR?

Posted 21st October 2010 at 06:23 PM by John Perriment

I stopped today whilst passing a vinyard, attracted by the strong backlighting and the translucence this gave to the vines and the trees beyond. However, the shadows and highlights that I wanted to preserve were way beyond the dynamic range of the camera, especially as I was saving as JPEG.

I tried recovering these in pp using highlight and shadow adjustment on the best balanced JPEG from my bracketed sequence, but I've still introduced some noise in the shadows (albeit cleaned up...
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It Only Takes A Minute, Girl

Posted 20th October 2010 at 11:06 PM by John Perriment

Despite my well-intentioned resolution, I left the house today without my E-PL1. It's no excuse but my daughter had a doctor's appointment and I was in a hurry. As you might guess, on the way home I saw numerous photo opportunities. In the high street there was the comical sight of two people desperately trying to load an implausibly large sofa into an impossibly small car and on the drive home there were any number of autumnal trees backlit by the low, late afternoon sun.

Once home,...
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Don't be afraid of the dark

Posted 17th October 2010 at 09:08 AM by John Perriment

Thankfully it's now the time of year in the UK where we can comfortably wear fleece jackets again, with pockets big enough to slip in an E-PL1 and Panny 20mm. I grabbed this shot of our local high street tonight while on my way to collect a chinese take-away, mainly to test the camera at high ISO.



ISO 1600, 1/8th sec @ f4, no in-camera noise reduction but Dfine 2.0 applied...
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Pursuit of perfection - Holy Grail or lost cause?

Posted 12th October 2010 at 11:50 PM by John Perriment

In my last blog entry I discussed the notion that perfection in nature, although much sought-after, is not necessary and that we should accept flawed beauty as individuality. Following on from that I'd like to question the desire many of us have to achieve perfection in our photography, which can become almost an obsession – a Holy Grail.

There is nothing wrong in trying to better ourselves, of course, producing the best quality work that we can and striving to improve, but it can...
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Flawed Beauty

Posted 6th October 2010 at 11:49 AM by John Perriment

Photographers naturally posses a desire to capture beauty in nature and strive to produce images that display it to perfection. We all want the perfect sunrise, perfect waterfall or perfect vista. When it come to smaller details we are no less demanding. Nothing in nature is more beautiful than a flower but we cannot photograph any old flower, it has to be a perfect specimen.

The same with leaves. Yesterday I spent a pleasant hour in a local park searching for fallen leaves, not...
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Back to the Future for MFT

Posted 17th March 2010 at 01:17 AM by John Perriment

Micro Four Thirds is not so much a new format in digital photography (“standard” Four Thirds using the same sized sensor has been around for a number of years) as a new concept, and one which is taking the world of photography by storm. So much, in fact, that it has already spawned a number of imitations from Ricoh, Samsung and Sony – using different sized sensors but all broadly based on the same concept, and others are bound to follow. For now, though, MFT remains the undisputed leading format...
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Photographer's Responsibilities

Posted 8th March 2010 at 01:25 AM by John Perriment

We've discussed photographer's rights a lot just lately, but there is another side of the coin – photographer's responsibilities.

Yesterday I went to a show put on by a local dancing school and very professional and entertaining it was, too. Before the show started the audience were asked to refrain from flash photography as it could annoy others in the audience and also interfere with the filming that was taking place to produce a DVD of the performance. I didn't have my camera anyway,...
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Perfect Camera in a Perfect World

Posted 21st February 2010 at 08:23 PM by John Perriment

In a perfect world, when digital SLRs first became feasible, the major manufacturers would have all got together to produce the perfect camera system. It would have had the 4/3 sized sensor and retained the 4:3 aspect ratio. Canon and Nikon would have worked on the focusing, sensor IQ, noise control and shutter mechanisms. Fuji would have been responsible for optimizing the dynamic range of the sensor. Olympus would have provided the innovation for dust reduction, live view, in-body image stabilization,...
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Set to conquer the world

Posted 10th February 2010 at 11:40 PM by John Perriment

Looking around other forums it is apparent that Micro 4/3 is buiding up a real head of steam. People are buying into the format for any number of reasons but they are all agreed on two things; they love the small size and are impressed, even surprised, at the image quality.

There are compact users who have longed for better quality but did not want the inconvenience of carting a DSLR around. Many rangefinder enthusiasts have bought into the concept (some experiencing digital for the...
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Simply a matter of progress?

Posted 21st January 2010 at 12:39 AM by John Perriment

We take it for granted that technology improves our lives and that anything new is progress and that all progress is good. Usually this is true; how many times have you heard people, in an illogical time warp of nostalgia, reminisce that “They don't make cars like they used to.” This invariably stirs my memory of plastic seats, a heater only on de-luxe models and a constant battle against rust in the wings and sills. Much as I, too, have fond memories of my Anglia 105E and Vauxhall Viva, I can't...
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Letter to Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, Home Secretary

Posted 13th January 2010 at 05:34 PM by John Perriment

Following my earlier letter to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, here's a letter I've now sent to the Home Secretary:-

Dear Mr Johnson,


I am writing to you in your capacity as Home Secretary to express my satisfaction at yesterday's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that the current indiscriminate use by police of Stop and Search powers under Section 44 of the Counter Terrorism Act is illegal.

However, I am extremely disappointed
...
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When you feel strongly about something....

Posted 13th January 2010 at 12:22 PM by John Perriment

Sometimes in life we encounter issues and injustices that we feel strongly about. But, other than voice our opinions to anyone who will listen, what do we actually do?

The answer, in my case at least, is very little or nothing. Take the issue of photographer's rights, for example. I did attend the gathering of photographers outside New Scotland Yard last February, but since then all I've done is huff and puff on various forums.

Today, however, I felt that it was time...
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Unattractive Landscapes

Posted 5th January 2010 at 12:38 AM by John Perriment

Some photographers are lucky. They live in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the Lake District where they cannot fail to regularly take masterpieces as a matter of course. Those of us unfortunate to live in more mundane areas are destined to stomp around complaining we have nothing worth photographing whilst dreaming our lives away planning the next trip to some real scenary.

But wait a moment, isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? Don't we, as photographers, have a creative...
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High Expectations, Low Rewards

Posted 13th October 2009 at 02:01 AM by John Perriment

We have high expectations of Nature. We love to photograph landscapes, flowers, trees and, in the autumn, fallen leaves. But we always want to find a pristine example, the perfect specimen, before we press the shutter.

If we have a snowfall we want to capture the virgin snow before anyone, or anything, has walked on it. We expect a beautiful scene to be free of electricity pylons and other man made intrusions. To warrant the attention of our lens a flower must be perfect in every...
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'Ullo John! Gotta New Tripod?

Posted 10th October 2009 at 11:23 PM by John Perriment

You only need one camera, but a boy can never have too many tripods. Or so it seems with me! I already have a Benbo Mk1, which is incredibly robust, sturdy and flexible, a Benbo Trekker, which shares many of the qualities of it's bigger brother but is smaller and lighter, a Gitzo 106, which is very compact and lightweight and a Kennet of uncertain vintage which extends to about 10 feet, for which you also need a step ladder. With this selection I can cover anything from looking over a nine foot...
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I Couldn't Bring Myself To Do It!

Posted 9th October 2009 at 09:30 PM by John Perriment

I took my complete Bronica system to town today, the first time it's been out of the house for over a year. The plan was to see how much trade-in allowance Cameraworld would give me against, for example, an E-P1 and/or a 9-18mm ZD for my E3.

But it didn't happen. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I had a look in the shop, of course and it was full of goodies. Yes, they had the E-P1 with both 14-42mm and 17mm lenses. They also had the GF1 with 20mm and EVF – what a combination...
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Twee Or Reality?

Posted 6th October 2009 at 08:09 PM by John Perriment

A few days ago I visited a local art exhibition. I always find this a rewarding experience on several levels. Not only is it an opportunity to admire the work of some very talented local artists, it's also a valuable exercise in sharing their vision and interpretation of familiar local scenes and, through their eyes, discovering new locations that have hitherto passed me by.

Looking closely at the work of several artists, I was struck by their diligence at recording every feature...
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Women wanted!

Posted 5th October 2009 at 03:24 PM by John Perriment

Why are there so few women photographers? At all levels. I was prompted to consider this question by a very amusing article (more of a rant, actually) by Ann Toon in the latest issue of Outdoor Photography magazine. Ann is a very successful nature photographer in her own right (in her own right...see, I'm only on the fourth sentence and already I'm being patronising, if unintentionally) and one half of a photographic partnership with her husband Steve.

She recounts how it is often...
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Autumn In Miniature

Posted 2nd October 2009 at 09:34 PM by John Perriment

Yesterday's picture on my blog was taken several days ago in bright sunlight. Not long afterwards the cloud rolled in again, making views that included the sky rather unattractive. It was time to look closer to my feet and I came across this little grouping of bramble leaves in various stages of colour change. I felt they were a miniature representation of Autumn and the colours seemed particularly vibrant in the soft, even light.

I used my 70-300mm lens, which offers excellent magnification...
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Does Four Thirds Have A Better Aspect Than Other Formats?

Posted 1st October 2009 at 09:10 PM by John Perriment

Andy raised a point about image aspect ratios in a comment on Ian's Daily Hints and Tips Blog yesterday. One particular feature that makes Four Thirds DSLRs unique is the image aspect ratio. In common with most compacts the ratio is 4:3 (not the reason for the name of the format, just a co-incidence). However, all other DSLR formats and systems are 3:2 in line with the old 135 (35mm) film format. The question is, does it matter?

The answer is bound to be subjective, but to me it is...
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The Changing Landscape

Posted 30th September 2009 at 05:28 PM by John Perriment

About a week ago I posted a picture of old sea defences at Spurn Point, to illustrate my comments about the advantages of using a tripod. http://fourthirds-user.com/forum/blog.php?b=14

That photograph was taken in October 2008. My friend whom I was with at the time, David Williams, emailed me the picture reproduced below a couple of days ago to show how much the scene has changed since I took that photograph. His version was taken in May this year. I was shocked to see how radically...
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Beats Working For A Living!

Posted 29th September 2009 at 10:53 PM by John Perriment

Some regulars on the Forum will be aware that for a few years I've been suffering from Parkinson's Disease and, more recently, depression. I won't bore you all with the details of how that has affected me, but if anyone really wants to know here's a link to a very long post I made on the Parkinson's Forum (where I'm known as “Innominate”) http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/pdsforu...rky-depressive

The effect on my photography has...
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The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Blogger

Posted 28th September 2009 at 07:41 PM by John Perriment

I've been blogging for about a week now but in many ways it seems a lot longer, not least because prior to that I only had a vague notion about the concept of a blog. In this Internet savvy age that might seem a little naïve but I do tend only to acquaint myself with aspects of the modern age, or indeed any age, that interest me or directly affect me. A bit like Homosexuality or Christianity, really. I know they both go on and I have no axe to grind with either, but their relevance has passed me...
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A Pocket Full Of Pixels

Posted 27th September 2009 at 08:22 PM by John Perriment




As DSLR owners we often tend to dismiss digital compacts as inferior cameras that are hardly worth carrying, due to their compromised image quality caused by the tiny sensor. It's true that at high ISO IQ can leave a lot to be desired, but keep to around 100 ISO in good light and the quality can be...
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Working The Light

Posted 25th September 2009 at 04:58 PM by John Perriment

What a lovely day it's been. As I walked my daughter to school this morning I rejoiced in the gentle warmth of the autumn sun on my face, tempered by the slightest cool breeze, and couldn't but notice how clean and fresh everything looked, washed by the crisp morning light. I just knew I had to get out to take a picture. It was a bit illogical, because the sky was that insipid, milky blue that unfortunately often contrives to ruin the potential of such promising days in terms of landscape photography....
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Here's One For Ian

Posted 25th September 2009 at 01:46 AM by John Perriment

Well, once again I'm up ridiculously late so before I finally do go to bed I might as well post today's entry to my blog.

Ian recently revealed on the forum that he keeps chickens and that reminded me of this shot, which I took in May 2008 in Norfolk.

We had a holiday cottage for a week, next door to a smallholding from which poultry of various breeds regularly came a visiting to our garden. The owner seemed to take the concept of freerange to a whole new art form as...
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Portrait Of A Place

Posted 24th September 2009 at 09:40 PM by John Perriment

When you shoot a landscape in many ways it's like taking a portrait of a person. You can choose to show either its good side or its bad side, capture its mood, portray its personality and include enough visual clues to tell the viewer a bit about what goes on there. Rather than just aim to capture a beautiful scene, why not try to make your subject more interesting by attempting to show its true character, by taking a portrait of the place?

A couple of years ago I spent a week exploring...
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Improve Your Landscapes With A Tripod

Posted 23rd September 2009 at 08:27 PM by John Perriment

If someone asks me the quickest way to improve their landscape photography I enquire if they always use a tripod. If they don't, that's the answer. The popular assumption is that you only need a tripod if the shutter speed falls below the level that you can hand hold with sharp results. This is certainly true, but is just one of the advantages of this remarkable and versatile three-legged friend.

Look at this picture, for example:-

...
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Land, Light and Location

Posted 22nd September 2009 at 09:56 PM by John Perriment

Yesterday, in my very first blog entry, I questioned how I would be using this new media and what I had to offer. The very first comment I received, from zzlipps, was in the form of a request that I share some of my landscape techniques. I must admit that is one area of photography where I have done relatively well in the past and it is a subject dear to my heart, so it's probably as good a place as any to start.

The common misconception is that in order to get spectacular landscapes...
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Bloggin' All Over The World

Posted 21st September 2009 at 10:04 PM by John Perriment
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Oh here we are and here we are and here we go
All aboard and we're hittin' the road
Here we go
Bloggin' all over the world!


All I can say is I'd better hold on tight, I'm frightened I might fall off!

Being a little naïve about these things I'm not totally sure about the difference between a forum post and a blog entry. As I understand it, I should still use the forum when I want to start a discussion but use my blog when I want to keep the focus...
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