Sunday, 24 August 2014

Budapest-Croatia-Dalmatian Coast 2015

Image: Andrea Boldizsar

Budapest-Croatia-Dalmatian Coast 2015

Photography and Cultural Tour

Information Evening: Wed 27 Aug 2014 6.30pm


Friday, 22 August 2014

Is your Photography Teacher robbing you of Your Creativity

Would you book a flight on a passenger airline flown by an amateur pilot?
Would you choose a heart surgeon who had done a one-day course in triple bypasses?

Probably not.

'It's a matter of life and death' you'd say. However, choose the wrong photography teacher and you will only lose money and waster time. 

Or worse .... your creativity may wither and die on the vine.

Recently I sat in on a 'Beginner's Class' run by a professional photographer with numerous international accolades and a prestigious reputation. (I can vouch for the fact she is a highly skilled and passionate photographer.)

But .....

In the first 15 minutes of session one of her 'Beginner's Course' she had numerous formulae on a screen visual explaining the relationship between focal length, aperture and the diameter of the opening of the diaphragm. Half of the audience of 60 people had compacts and wanted to know how to switch their camera on. The one's with DSLRs were scratching their heads. Three hours later not one member of the audience had taken a single picture. (I was checking sunset and last light times on my iPhone app and calculating if I had enough time to fit in a beer before dinner.)

Perhaps her advertising should have read


Here are some sample snippets from photography teachers, schools and shops:

Perfect portraits - how to get Perfect Portraits every shot
(lead article in well-known magazine)
I'd enrol in this course myself if it delivered that outcome.

Become an expert on your DSLR in just two hours
(sign in camera shop window)

How to use a DSLR like a Pro Photographer
1. Read the camera manual
(Online course in photography)

How to make money from photography
(You pay $295 to find out)

Digital Photography revealed in plain simple English
(online course)

How YOU can start your Photography Business, generate 6 figures in your first year and live your passion for photography everyday!
Do those six figures include cents?

Photograhing Humpback Whales (sic)
(authors haven't yet discovered spellcheck)

Nikon School – Enroll now (sic)
tut tut Nikon

Outback Dessert Odyssey Photography Tour
For photographers with a sweet tooth

How to become a professional photographer
Tip 1: Focus on your photograph  
     That sounds perfectly reasonable

Karl Taylor Photography Masterclass
Our starter photography course inlcudes (sic) our "Introduction to Photography Course", "Travel & Landscape Photography Course" & "Advanced Digital Photogaphy (sic) Course
Sounds a little ambitious for a starter course
I wonder if Lesson 1 is how to spell Photography

Creativity in Photography: Learning how to see
I usually open my eyes
     I'm not sure if this includes a free white stick and seeing-eye dog

We would love to teach you how to take fantastic photos
I like this one!


* Kate assisted me shooting the RSPCA Dog Calendar. She told me I was taking boring photos of dogs. So Kate rubbed a rag on a  cat to make the dogs' tongues loll and we practised a whooping whistle to make their ears stand to attention.

'Ammo' - half dog, half dingo was rescued, almost dead by 17 year old Mark. Geraldton W. Australia 

Here are some thoughts on how to avoid being voted the world's most boring photographer 2014
Click HERE to see the video.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Are film cameras dead - or just in a coma?

Kiwi girl in Cappadoccia, Turkey. Nikon D90
Did you think film cameras were dead?
Admit it. The last time you checked Aunty Nance's Kodak Retinette 1A, it wasn't breathing, was it. There's a rumour circulating that film cameras aren't dead at all, not quite; they've been on life support for a few years. But they are just coming out of their decade-long camera coma.


That secretive  scrambling noise coming from the shed or the spare room mightn't be a burglar. It could be your grandson or granddaughter looking for your old Box Brownie or Pentax K1000. Gen Ys are getting interested in old things - not you, but old cameras and film  It makes a change - let's put down the X Box and pick up the K Box. (The Kodak Box Brownie)

Pentax 67 is a little like a 35mm SLR on steroids

The owner of my local camera shop, Camera House in Fremantle, reports a surprising surge in high school students bringing in rolls of exposed film; returning filled with anticipation and excitement to pore over those strange orange negatives. The delayed reward makes an interesting shift away Gen Ys demand for 24/7 instant satisfaction  Maybe film isn't dead after all. Maybe its just been on life support or in a deep trance awaiting the kiss of a beautiful princess. Perhaps you could turn your sleeping film camera into a handsome, virile carrier of mass inspiration.

Farmer's wife, Toodyay. Pentax 67.

Is film forever? Possibly not. But I suspect that film might be more 'forever' than digital.  I haven't lost too many negs in 50 plus years but I've certainly lost a  few digital images. There's something reassuring about looking at and touching an image as a negative. Its even better to turn over an old black and white print and read the inscription on the back in faded handwriting.

If you don't own a film camera, here's a good place to start. Here's a list of tested, tried and true cameras. The ones marked + are medium format and are capable of producing scanned digital images 200MB-500MB. Now, you don't get that in a digital camera.

My thirteen top film cameras (not in any particular order) 

  • Nikon F3
  • Nikon F100*
  • Canon FTb*
  • Canon AE-1
  • Pentax 67* +
  • Pentax K1000
  • Rollei 35S
  • Leica M6
  • Hasselblad SWC +
  • Rolleiflex TLR +
  • Olympus A11
  • Ricoh GR1
  • Yashica Mat 124G* +

+ medium format 120 roll film
* cameras I own and use

Are you an explorer and adventurer?
Exploring Film Cameras is the next best thing to being a  focus puller on the set of  The African Queen alongside Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.