I don’t know what it was like in Germany, but for the last two weeks, we’ve had typical London weather „down here“. When you’re stuck at work, the sun is shining and the birds are singing while bathing in light made of pure gold. As soon as it’s time for lunch, it’s raining cats and dogs. Back in the office, it starts all over again. Outside the light that screams to be photographed, inside neon light. And it stays like this until shortly before quitting time, when the apocalyptic mood takes over again. Instead of “golden hour” and photographing on my way home, it’s time for “happy hour” with colleagues at the bar. When the factual autumn in the midst of the calendric summer was finally over, I had to wipe a perceived kilo of dust off my 18-35/1.8 and SD1M, before I could go out to take pictures again. ;) Continue reading →
Arthur Tress, born in November 1940, was only in his twenties when he discovered his fascination for nightmares, especially the ones children have. He got the idea of photographically dealing with this topic when he attended a lesson in The Touchstone Center, founded by Richard Lewis, who he collaborated with during that time. In this lesson, children were asked to write essays about and sketch pictures of their dreams. The interesting bit about Tress’ project is a certain similarity to bugbears and horror movie scenes. Considering the fact that he brought his project into being at the end of the 60ies, it becomes clear where some film makers got their ideas from. ;)
Again, it’s time to celebrate yet another milestone. 500,000 views is such a nice, round number, and I think this is a great accomplishment for a hobby blog that is run just for the fun of it. :) Please don’t hold it against me if I reply to your comments with a slight delay. If I did this for a living, as for instance Mister Steve Huff, it would be easy for me to sit by my computer all day long and reply to comments in real-time. The way it is, though, “real life” takes priority.
New DP2 Quattro sample images and reviews are published on a daily basis, but we mustn’t forget that Sigma is, above all, a lens manufacturer, and that many new lenses are currently being worked on in Aizu. ;) Several days ago, Sigma-Rumors posted a list of all lenses and cameras that are rumored to be in the pipeline. The interesting thing about this list is not the lenses and cameras per se (Sigma fans are long familiar with such rumors), but rather the specification of probability offered by the SR admin. As one would expect, the persistent rumor centering on a full frame camera that has been going around for a perceived eternity now is being classified as highly improbable with 0%. ;) Rumors about the Micro 4/3 camera by Sigma turned out to be wrong with the announcement of the Quattro. However, the question remains whether Sigma will leave it at the 3 DPs or whether one or two further focal lengths are being worked on. The SR admin deems further DPs likely, but I am not so sure about that.
We as photographers know that an increase in megapixels hardly ever results in a higher, practically usable image quality. Especially for tiny sensors, such as the ones found in affordable compact cameras and smart phones, higher megapixels lead to a decrease in image quality (lower color depth, more noise etc.). As researchers of the TU Berlin and the Telekom Innovation Laboratories demonstrated on the latter’s 10-year celebration, it is possible to use the front camera of a smart phone to read reflections of the smart phone screen in one’s eyes or even more easily on one’s glasses, if the user has any. Also, as heise.de reports, the back camera lets you scan fingerprints of the user when grabbing the smart phone. The higher resolving the camera, the easier it may be misused for espionage activities. When spying on someone, noise and color depth are of little importance, anyway. ;)
Do you remember the „devilishly attractive“ and by now widely known criminal Jeremy Meeks I covered here? When his mug shot circulated all over the internet two weeks ago, some jesters came up with the idea of photoshopping a Calvin Klein ad from it. This and other montages made decision-makers in at least one modeling agency (Blaze Models in Los Angeles) realize Meeks’ potential. According to latest news, the U.S. American criminal is being represented by Gina Rodriguez of GR Media, who also takes care of other internet celebrities such as Patricia Krentcil (also known as Tan Mom). Meeks is said to have already signed the modeling contract with Blaze Models in the amount of $30.000.
Less than a week since the last post about the DP2 Quattro and already the first RAWs/X3Fs, comparisons with the Merrill and additional JPG samples have been published. You can download the X3Fs on the Japanese blog shin3.asablo.jp (red links), on ephotozine.com and on the Blog of one of the Fotogenerell regular readers (Jean Pierre). There is already a DP2Q group on Flickr with almost 100 photos. A Flickr user Aztore has upload many sample images, while „Charlie Brown“, another Flickr user, has uploaded two comparison images of the DP2Q (link) and the DP2M (link). You can find more comparison images of the Q and the M throughout the entire aperture range (from f/2.8 to f/11) over on maros-notebook.txt-nifty.com. Furthermore Sigma has released an update to SPP 6, the Version 6.0.1, which is supposedly just as buggy as the 6th version. I, however, can neither confirm nor deny that, since SPP 6 is running reasonably well on my Windows 7 PC and I haven’t installed 6.0.1 yet.
I can’t imagine a life without technology, which surrounds us and makes our lives easier and more enjoyable. For me it would be even harder to go without my social contacts and a steady daily routine. Some people however can not only imagine such an existence, but find it even more desirable than the one of human beings in the 21st century. Between 2010 and 2013, while hitchhiking through Europe, photographer Antoine Bruy has documented the lives of those very few who have turned their backs on civilization. He met all of the photographed people by chance, while taking a break from “real life” and traveling aimlessly. Most of the time he would stay for days or weeks at a time, helping people to till a field or raise farm animals. He traveled from Spain in the West to Rumania in the East and despite cultural differences the improvised houses of those living in the wild looked very similar and all of them were making their living from agriculture.
On my last photo walk, during which I once more had my 18-35mm f/1.8 Art with me, one thing became clear to me. Namely that the high light gathering power at the wide angle end can be useful in situations other than low light. Before I bought the lens I was thinking that, not being such a huge fan of focal lengths shorter than 50mm (full frame equivalent), I wouldn’t be able to profit from it. Meanwhile it became clear to me that I like using the f/1.8 aperture at the WA end, especially in combination with the short minimum focusing distance of just 28cm. It makes a difference whether you are shooting with 18mm or with 35mm from a longer distance. Thanks to f/1.8 you can blur the background in both cases, but the image taken with 18mm is going to have a distinctly different look. Stretched out, deformed, less usual and with a less abrupt bokeh. This kind of look suits some motifs much better than the “flatter” rendering of the 35mm focal length. IMO the one in the first photo is one such motif. Continue reading →
Today morning the Japanese website DC.Watch has published the first review of the Sigma DP2 Quattro. According to the test the build quality and write speeds have been improved considerably. The well-known 30/2.8 lens, which was inherited from the DP2 Merrill, has no difficulties exhausting the potential of the new sensor. The sharpness is supposedly top notch even wide open, just like with the Merrill. The shortest shutter speeds of 1/1250s at f2/.8 and 1/1600 at f/4 remain unchanged with the Quattro. I don’t know whether the AF is faster or not, sadly Google’s translator fails completely at translating the section of the article where they discuss the AF. But even if you don’t want to torture yourself with Google’s translation, you should definitely skim through the review. The samples DC.Watch has published are in my opinion the best yet (neither oversharpened nor taken at f/13). Speaking of f/13, the aperture series shows the distinct effect of diffraction at f/11 and f/16. The JPGs look really good, the JPG engine has apparently been improved considerably. The new sensor architecture, however, doesn’t seem to improve noise performance that much. There is maybe a one stop improvement.