Tuesday, 7 April 2020

A few nights away...... last month

Before the Covid-19 lockdown, we were lucky to get in a few days away at Coffs Harbour.

I took away my Pentax A3 (35mm film camera) with a couple of films (Fuji Superia 100 and a Focal 100 colour).  I also took along the Canon 90D, the latest DSLR acquisition.

Well, I got through the roll of Fuji but the roll of Focal is still half finished in the Pentax so, what you will see here is the product of the 90D.

My previous DSLR was a 600D, so I was eager to check out the differences between that and the new 90D.   I found the 90D programme and menu slightly different but once I had determined what was where it was easy to flick between changes.

I am really liking the LCD on the top of the camera that means I don't really have to flip open the back LCD screen at all to view settings.

The one thing I was slightly disappointed in was the multi focus.  I had been using spot focus on the 600D and was interested in how the multi focus mode would turn out.  The photos I took using multi focus were actually slightly out of focus.  Perhaps there may have been some operator error there?  I do intend to persevere with it to try and figure out why it is considered useful though.  Anyway, I switched to spot focus and things improved immensely.  After years of shooting with many different cameras,  I really am intrigued as to why we need 45 focus points!

One thing I really love about the 90D is that the sensor is almost twice the resolution of the 600D.  I can tell the difference in looking at the photos on the screen.  I am not sure if the larger resolution would be the cause of this but photos taken with a shallow DOF have a softer bokeh than I used to get with the 600D.  This also helps with photo cropping in that a decent sized photo still remains after the original has been cropped.

We also visited some lovely small towns in that area.  The most memorable being Urunga.  Urunga has a long boardwalk up to the river mouth where the Kalang and Bellinger Rivers meet and flow out to sea.  As we walked along this boardwalk, we saw 10s of thousands of beautifully blue Soldier Crabs in the mangroves.  Urunga also has the nicest looking caravan park we have ever seen!  We also visited Glenreagh, Woolgoolga, Corindi Beach and, Bellingen.  So many great little towns that we wanted to check out!

We had a great time away but returned to a mad world of grocery magpies (panic shopping and hoarders) and social distancing.  We did a little grocery shopping and remained home for about 12 days before I had to return to work (emergency service essential worker).

Unfortunately, due to Covid - 19, social distancing and closure of some businesses, I am unable to get any film from this trip developed and scanned as yet but, that's a story for another time.  I have a few  other films awaiting development too.  Busting at the bit to get them developed and scanned as well!

Take care in these mad times everyone!

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All Rights Reserved

Sunset Surfing - Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia.

Sunset on the Marina - Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia.

The Fishing Fleet - Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia.

Marina Sunset - Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia.

Abandoned Railway Station - Glenreagh, NSW, Australia.

What a beautiful spot this is - Corindi Beach, NSW, Australia.

Soldier Crabs - Urunga, NSW, Australia.

Surfers at the Headland - Woolgoolga, NSW, Australia.

Above & Below - Memorial Hall, Bellingen, NSW, Australia.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Quick trip to Brisbane.

Hit Brissy up last weekend.  My Niece was getting married and it was a family get together that I did not want to miss out on!  She looked beautiful and it was such a lovely wedding.  Food was great.

I still get a little homesick when I visit Brisbane (although I am from Beaudesert - down the Mt Lindesay Hwy) and see the family.  There is something about Brisbane; the Queenslander houses, Ponciana trees in blossom, sub tropical plants that grow just about anywhere; I get all sentimental!

I did have a Minolta X-700 35mm film camera in my bag with an AGFA B&W film but decided to replace it with my new Canon 90D and give it a go.  It's a larger camera than the 600D but still a comfortable fit in my hand, I just have to get my head around some new dials and slightly different menu set out.  The LCD display on top is a good indicator of settings rather than using the rear LCD display which I have to play with when using live view for tripod mounted shots.

The lens I used for these shots is a Tamron 10-24mm.

The Brisbane River was a dirty brown colour.  After recent large scale bushfires burning across virtually the majority of Australia, a lot of land was bare and many trees had fallen.  The heat wave and dry spell that brought on these fires was broken  by a series of storms and heavy rains that fell across the eastern coast of Australia.  Before we knew it, the bushfires had been doused and replaced by floods! All of the bare topsoil and fire debris is now being washed down river systems.

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All Rights Reserved

Taken from the Terrace Bar of the Emporium Hotel in Brisbane.  2 photos stitched to make the Pano.
Edited in Nik Collection Color Efex Pro and Lightroom

Beautiful Fig Trees along the Clem Jones Promendade on South Bank.  A lovely place for a walk.
Not far from the walkway on the left and through the park, are a lot of cafes and eateries with
some amazing food, coffee and, of course, licensed premises for a tipple or two!

On this particular day, the gardeners were trimming the Bougainvillea growing on the massive
trellis that lines 'The Arbour' walk on South Bank.  The whole area is just a paradise!

One place I always like to get to when in Brisbane is the lookout at Mount Coot-Tha.  It overlooks
the majority of Brisbane.  It hasn't changed much from what I remember as a kid.  The older
building there that used to be for take away and sit down meals is being renovated and
soon to become a restaurant.  Will definitely have to visit that of a night!

Friday, 14 February 2020

Slow couple of months for my Photography

The last couple of months have been excruciatingly slow for my photography.   I put it down to 3 things; the weather, Christmas and, renovations!

Let's start with the weather.  If you have been living under a rock the past few months, you may not know that Australia has had the hottest spring & summer on record.  That plus the biggest bushfires seen in years that burned nearly 114,000 square kilometres (larger than many sovereign countries).  A nasty side effect of these bushfires was the vast amounts of thick, choking smoke that just hung in the air for days and days on end.  Mind you, that smoke made for some great Sunrises and Sunsets that I have seen on various photography pages but, it played havoc with my seasonal asthma and so I hibernated inside in the air conditioning through all those weeks.  Also, when the temperatures soared into the mid 40s and remained there for days on end, it was not good to go out wandering around for prolonged lengths of time!

Christmas was also something else that bit into my time for any photography.  I worked over most of Christmas and New Year and on my days off spent my time renovating!  Just before Christmas we had to say goodbye to our beautiful Barney; constant companion and all round intelligent, good dog. He had Pancreatic Cancer and was pretty crook.  The prognosis was very grim.  That broke our hearts.

Prior to all this happening, we had decided in late November, to get floating floorboards in the living areas of our house.  What a great idea!  We figured we would lift the carpet and tiles ourselves.  Carpet was a breeze.  Lifting tiles is an entirely different kettle of fish!  It was the most back breaking, dusty job I have ever done!  Tile and Mortar dust from one end of the house to the other; fine dust that found its way through every nook and cranny into drawers and cupboards alike.  The cleanup took ages and we are still finding dust in places that you wouldn't believe!


The floorboards are down now and all that crap we went through was totally worth it!

So, as you can see, I have not had any extra time to get out and about with cameras!

I am, however, prepared for my next jaunt!  I have a AGFA APX 100 B&W loaded into my Minolta X-700 with a 50mm f1.8 lens. It's seems a while since I shot a roll of black and white.  I have taken a few on that roll already and looking forward to putting it into the lab.  
I also have a Fuji Velvia 50 loaded into the film back of my Bronica ETRSI.  This is a daylight slide film with which I hope to capture some Sunsets and Sunrises.  I'll have to do a little planning before taking that out; slide film does not have the exposure latitude of a negative film.  I may have to take a variable ND filter along with me to get a nice even exposure.

I also purchased a new DSLR just a couple of weeks ago.  I have had my Canon 600D for some years now and had some concern over how many shutter activations it has had.  I didn't want that camera to up and die on me leaving me in the lurch.  I had considered a full frame camera but, couldn't justify the price of one of those considering that my photography is only a hobby.  I then looked at the Canon 80D which was receiving some pretty good reviews on line.  Whilst I was familiarising myself  with that camera, I read that the Canon 800D was actually a new model and had a newer sensor system than the 80D.  That was interesting!   Now I would have been happy with either of those cameras.  One thing that I was a little disconcerted about was the release date of these cameras; the 80D in 2016 and the 800D in 2017.  I didn't particularly want to end up with a camera that had sat on a warehouse shelf for a number of years.  I had considered going rogue and getting a totally different brand of camera but, I have a number of lenses now that I can use on Canon Cameras and it was more practical to buy Canon for that reason.  

I finally settled on a Canon 90D.  A new release from Canon and therefore less warehouse shelf time. Plus it has the LCD screen on the top right hand side of the camera for easy reference.  It also has the Digic 9 32.5 Mp sensor.  More than one third higher resolution than the 80D or 800D and (almost) twice the size of my 600D 18Mp sensor.

I have played around with it at home and it has some great features.  Can't wait to get it out there for a decent trial!

Lo and Behold, after our blazing hot, fiery Spring and Summer that seemed to burn all the way down the east coast of Australia, we are now getting storms and rain.  The rain is great but; we are getting so much of it now that some of those areas that were burning are now flooded, and more rain coming!  The countryside has greened up beautifully around Newcastle, giving me even more reason to get out and about on a Photo Safari!

Monday, 2 December 2019

Newcastle on Film - K-Mart Branded Focal 100 35mm Film

I have written about this film before.  To refresh your memories, Focal was the house re-brand name for all things photography for Kmart.  No, they didn't make things themselves but they took other branded products to sell and re-branded them under a Kmart name.  They had cameras, lenses, camera accessories and, film.   For example, the Focal 1000 TLX 35mm film camera was a re-branded Ricoh Singlex TLS 35mm camera.

Because the Focal products were re-branded for Kmart, I am not sure what original brand their Focal 100 film must have been.  It was produced by 3M Ferrania in Italy and production ceased in the early 1990s.  It has kept very well in the freezer as you can see.  I shot this film at box speed, even though I suspect it's expiry date was 2006-ish.

My Canon EOS 300V was the camera I used to shoot this roll.  I can't find an exact release date but did find some forums in 2003 that were discussing the new release of this camera.  So, it appears that this film camera was made after the release of the Canon D30, a 3.1 Megapixel camera which (according to Wikipedia) was Canon's first 'home grown digital SLR'.

Now, I do have a digital camera; a Canon 600D (also known as the Canon Rebel T3i - I think!).  The 35mm Canon 300V is very similar in the way it operates except; it uses film.  I have some EF lenses that I can use with my 600D but, the best thing in my opinion, is that I can also use them on the 300V.  
These photos were taken, using my Canon EF 50mm f1.8 and Canon EF 85mm f1.8.  I think it's great that I can interchange these lenses with the older film camera!

Also, I can use my Canon 430 EX II flash with the film camera as well as my set of Cokin Filters!

Ok, so my next project is already loaded into a Minolta X-700; a roll of AGFA Photo APX 100 Pro.  A black and white film, I have already tried and it turned out wonderfully!  Watch this space!

These photos are Copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography.
All Rights Reserved.

Port Wine Magnolia from our garden.  Such a beautiful fragrance when in flower!
Taken with the Canon EF 85mm f1.8 lens.

Flowers from our back garden.  Taken with the Canon EF 85mm f1.8 lens with the aperture wide open!

James Fletcher Park - Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Looking over to the Obelisk - Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Great spot for lunch or a quiet coffee!  James Fletcher Park - Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Birds eye view - James Fletcher Park, Newcastle, Australia.

Welcome to Newcastle, Australia!  A coal ship almost dwarves the buildings as
it enters Newcastle Harbour.  From this perspective, the ship is a decent size but, when
walking down on the footpath below, the ship is the same size as most of the
buildings along the foreshore!

I don't know where this cat comes from but I took photos of it a couple of months ago as well.
It must live locally; it appears to be well looked after!
Newcastle, Australia

Taken at the start of spring, Garfield Gardens all prepared and planting completed for a
burst of colour!   Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Lovely colours of the Sunrise.  Beach at Newcastle, Australia.

Beautiful warm colour early in the morning!  Beach at Newcastle, Australia.

Who has never played the clowns at a fair or market day?  Market Day at
Maitland, NSW, Australia.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Sunrise with Fujicolor Superia 100 (expired 2006)

I hate getting caught out with a camera that has about 3 - 4 exposures left on a roll when I could still carry on shooting!  About half way through the roll of Kodak Ektar 100 I spoke of in my last post, I figured I should get another roll out of the fridge and throw it in my camera bag as a precautionary measure.

The roll I chose was the closest one I could get my hands on.  As it turns out, it was an expired (2006)  Fujicolor Superia 100 with 24 exposures.  Now although this roll was in the fridge, it had been in the freezer for years and as with previous rolls, I shot it as box speed because freezing film keeps it fresh!

The one thing I really wanted to do with this roll was to capture the early morning light along the coast of Newcastle; it had been so long since I had been up and about at Sunrise!  Taking photos at Sunrise is one thing;  getting out of bed early in the morning early enough for a coffee and a half hour trip into the beach is another.  So I compromised.

I waited until I had finished a nightshift!

Usually after night work, I am so totally ready to get home and dive into bed but, on this particular beautiful morning the Sun was shining, the sea breeze was so refreshing and as I walked out of the building I felt invigorated!  I drove about 5 minutes down to the ANZAC Memorial Walk where I managed to get a couple of photos.  This Memorial Walk is a 160 metre cliff top walking bridge that has great views of the coastline.  It is adorned with steel silhouettes of Soldiers and engraved with almost 11,000 names of Newcastle and Hunter Valley men and women who enlisted in World War 1.

From there I went down the hill to the Merewether Ocean Baths and, although the Sun had been up about 30-40 minutes already, there was still that early morning light feel; low on the horizon, long shadows and good reflections off the still water.

That whole area along there, Bar Beach, Merewether Beach, was so busy with early morning risers going through their rituals of walking or running or just sitting at the coffee shop near the beach having an early morning cuppa.

After I finished there and was making my way back to the car, I had to get one shot of the fit people running up and down the 'stairs of death' at Merewether.  It's a good workout but, as I walked up them to get to the car park and they were passing me up and down, I was feeling totally inadequate!

Other photos I got out of this roll were of our dog Rocky making himself comfortable on our bed, a few shipping photos of Port Hunter and some more Sunrise photos taken whilst I was walking down the hill of Watt Street on the way to work one morning.

These were shot on my Minolta Dynax 40 with a Minolta AF 28-100mm f3.5 zoom lens.

All photos are Copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography
All Rights Reserved

Above and Below.  Taken using f5.6 with a shutter speed of about 1/30sec.  I was a bit concerned that at that speed there may have been some movement but, very 
happy when I saw how sharp they turned out!

I am so happy with the colour I am getting from this expired film as these 
Sunrise photos (above & below) as I walked to work one morning, attest to!

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Kodak Ektar 100 - Konica-Minolta Dynax 40

The Konica-Minolta Dynax 40 is a landmark camera in my collection.  It was my first eBay purchase.

I bought it before the 're-surgence' of film photography started to push up the price of vintage cameras for a massive AU$30 plus postage!  It was in perfect condition and seriously; what a bargain!

A 35mm SLR, it was introduced in 2004 as a consumer level camera.  In some other countries it was sold as the Dynax 30, Maxxum 50 or a-50.  It boasts pre-programmed settings for portrait, landscape, night portrait, macro and sports modes.  It also comes with aperture and shutter priority, and full manual mode.  It has a pop-up flash but also a hotshoe for external flash units.  Flash is synched at 1/90 sec and shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/2000 sec.

It came with the standard auto focus kit lens 28-100mm f3.5-5.6.  It offers 4 focus points, spot, left hand side, right hand side and the combination of all those three to give a good focus spread.

Apart from a Pentax point and shoot, it is the lightest camera in my collection and is a great size that can fit into my man bag easily.

I have been shooting with a lot of expired film recently and wanted to get back into something that was not past its use by date!  I had 2 rolls of Kodak Ektar tucked away in the fridge door!

I am usually never without a camera!  When I go for a walk during a work break; my camera is in my hand.  If there is something happening like the town show, a street festival, car show, I always have a camera handy.

I don't really need to talk about the lovely Kodak Ektar 100; so much has been written about that film that, if you haven't heard of it then you can't be a really serious film lover!

Some of these are taken at my favourite lunch time hangout, Newcastle Beach.  Others are taken further north at Nobbys Beach.  Kim & I visited the quaint village of Broke in the Hunter Valley for the Broke Village Fair in late September where there was lots of yummy food stalls, live music, some Cosplay artists and, some very nice vintage motorcycles and cars.  There was also a ton of dry dirt just hanging in the air thanks to a current drought the country is experiencing; really fine dirt that puffed up into the air with every footstep.  The night photos are from a work break safari around Newcastle at a very late nightshift hour.

My preference for shooting is Aperture Priority.  I know how to shoot in manual mode but I like that when using Aperture Priority I can control Depth of Field and trust that the camera will work out the rest.  I also don't have to spend time mucking around with the light meter; I can get a quicker shot in. I also prefer to shoot at box speed, unless I am shooting an expired film.  It takes some of the worry out of how a film might turn out.  Film Photography is expensive enough at times to be caught experimenting and nothing to show for it!

If you see something you like, it might be for sale!  Contact me!

All photos copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography
All Rights Reserved

Nobbys Beach, Newcastle, Australia.

Ocean Baths, Newcastle, Australia.

Ocean Baths Pumphouse, Newcastle, Australia.
A much loved and very much photographed Newcastle icon!

Newcastle Beach looking over toward the Canoe Pool and the facade of the Ocean Baths
 on the left.   Newcastle, Australia

Late night Promenade, Newcastle Beach, Australia.

East End Hub - Newcastle, Australia

A few nights away...... last month

Before the Covid-19 lockdown, we were lucky to get in a few days away at Coffs Harbour. I took away my Pentax A3 (35mm film camera) wi...