Sunday, 18 November 2018

Minolta XD-7 - the return of the light leak!

Well, for those of you who follow my blog regularly (does anyone follow my blog regularly??), you may remember a post I put up in April this year about a light leak in my Minolta XD-7 .

At the time I had replaced the door seals but not the hinge seal because I didn't want any pressure put on the hinge that might break it.  Anyway, it turns out that I did have to put a hinge seal on because I was getting a light leak from the hinge side of the door.

So, with the hinge seal installed I loaded up with a roll of Ilford XP2 Super 400 and crossed my fingers.  Well, disappointingly, the seal did not work.  I had used a soft foam material and, unfortunately, even when compressed by the closed door it was too porous to stop the light from coming in.

Of course, when I saw that I hadn't defeated the light leak, I was very disappointed.  Not all exposures were affected by the light leak though; I think that depending upon how I held the camera,  the angle to the Sun, and if I was shooting on a bright sunny day may have determined how much light got in through the door hinge.

So, I figured I would hunt around for something else to seal the camera with and, shopping around I found the (hopefully) perfect seal material in a craft shop.  It is a soft rubbery foam that is about 2mm thick.  It is not porous at all so hopefully not even the smallest amount of light will get through.  I replaced the porous foam all around the door and hinge this time.  The camera door is a little tight to close but I am hoping this is the sign of a good seal around the edges, especially the hinge.

The film that I used this time around was an Ilford XP2 Super 400.  It is a black and white Chromogenic Film.  That means to say that it is developed in C41 Colour Film Developer.  Not many of them left in the market from what I believe.  This film was gifted to me by a friend and was a little over 10 years past its expiry date.  You can shoot film that is past its expiry date, there is just some small adjustments to be made to the camera settings.  As per general rule of thumb, expired film should be shot at minus 1 stop of exposure for every 10 years expired.  Or it can be pushed through the development stage.  I always opt for the underexposure whilst shooting.  To achieve the underexposure, I shot this film at ISO200, and not the box speed of 400.

This was a very low contrast film and so I made some small contrast adjustments in Lightroom.  Mind you, that was the only adjustment required.  The film is wonderfully sharp and for an ISO400 film, I was happy that it did not display a heavy grain that can be found in some films.

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

Saturday, 3 November 2018

New Zealand Christmas Bush & Bees

We have 3 beautiful New Zealand Christmas Bush trees in our front yard.   Thanks to the very welcome rain we had a few weeks ago, they are in full bloom now.

They look beautiful but seriously, they are not doing my hay fever or asthma any favours!

The local bees are in Heaven!

Photographing bees on flowers is always a little difficult; it's easy to catch them on the flower but I like to try and catch them in flight.  They are pretty quick though and it can be difficult to focus and get a sharp photo.  I did initially start to shoot in AI Focus mode (made for moving objects) but, the bees were just too quick.  Also, the flowers were moving a lot in the breeze which kept confusing the focus.  I switched to One Shot focus using a single focus point and this worked much better.

I shot with my  Canon 600D.  Initially, I put on my EF 85mm f1.8 prime lens; I thought it would give a lovely depth of field and that f1.8 is pretty fast!  Trouble was, on the APSC camera, the 85mm is equivalent to a 135mm and so I had to stand back a little too far, which made focussing on a small bee a little difficult.

So, I swapped over to my trusty kit lens EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 zoom.  This was much better.  I was able to zoom out to get the location of the subject bee, then zoom in to get up much closer! Once zoomed in, and having the larger subject in the view finder, focusing was easier.  Shooting at the fastest aperture available (because it does change when zooming in and out)  I got some great shots.  

I think the compromise with using this kit lens was that (in my opinion) the photos could have been a little sharper.  Compared to the 85mm, I also think that the background bokeh from the kit lens, when zoomed right in, is more pleasing to the eye.  Maybe I need to get a dedicated macro lens?

Still, I think that these turned out pretty good!

All photos Copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography
All Rights Reserved

Shot with the 55-250 zoom @ ƒ/5.61/500250 mmISO400

Shot with the 55-250mm zoom @ ƒ/51/640131 mmISO400

Shot with the 55-250mm zoom @ ƒ/51/640131 mmISO400

Shot with the 55-250mm zoom @ ƒ/5.61/640187 mmISO400

Shot with the 55-250mm zoom @ ƒ/5.61/320229 mmISO400

Shot with the 55-250mm zoom @ ƒ/5.61/500250 mmISO400

Shot with the 55-250mm zoom @ ƒ/5.61/500194 mmISO400

Shot with the 55-250mm zoom @ ƒ/5.61/400250 mmISO400

Shot with the 55-250mm zoom @ ƒ/5.61/400250 mmISO400

Shot with the 85mm prime @ ƒ/1.81/400085 mmISO400

Shot with the 85mm prime @ ƒ/1.81/400085 mmISO400

Thursday, 18 October 2018

What happens to my blog now?.........

So, for those who may not have heard the news, Google will be phasing out Google+ over the next 10 months or so.

There have been stories floating around about the media giants answer to the social media question and how it never stood a chance against Facebook.  Google has said that the reason for closing was the slow adoption by the public of it's social media experiment.  Google is well known for dumping it's babies when they don't grow according to the expected growth chart!

The biggest reason for this action though, is that there was a security breach in Google at the beginning of the year which went unreported.  This breach gave access to personal accounts and private data of hundreds of thousands of users!

I originally went with Google+ because it was said that it was great for photographers.  High resolution photos could be uploaded to G+ at no charge and stored under my Google account without any restriction on storage space.

This worked in really well with my Photography Blog as well.  If I were to upload photos directly into my Blog story, there was a storage limit for them in my Google account.  However, if I uploaded my photos to Google+ where there was no storage limit, I can them import them into my Blog!

This method also gave me the bonus of a free online backup for my photos.

After a few years, photos loaded up to Google+ were taken out and swapped over to the new Google Photos section within my main Google account.  I still have the luxury of loading photos to this Google Photos account with unlimited storage and can still import photos from there to my Blog.  When that happened however, I did lose all viewing stats for my photos that had been on Google+ (at the last count, within 3 years I'd had over 4.5 million views and climbing on my photos in Google+).  A lot of interest in my photography! 

At about the same time, Google linked my Google+ profile with my Blog profile.  This was when the stats for my Blog started to climb.  All of the 1700 followers I had for my Google+ profile were now following my Blog.  When I posted on my Blog, it automatically entered as a status update and link onto Google+

Alas, I have no idea anymore how my photography is performing on line.

Once I had heard about the data breach on Google+ and that it would be closed in 10 months anyway, I made the decision to delete my Google+ profile straight up.  If there was any question about my personal details being compromised (and covered up!) then I wanted out.  

I still have Google Photos and my Blog but, Google+ was the lynchpin and interface with the wider public.

I have considered exporting my Blog from Google to other host sites (Word Press, Tumblr, even Wix now offers free blog hosting!)  Problem is that they all seem to have photo upload and storage limits that, in the future, may make things a little difficult.  I have considered having my own website (there are many web hosting sites).  That, however, would cost me to set up and also incurs a regular upkeep fee.  That would be fine if I were advertising and making money from my photography but, as a hobbyist photographer who shoots film, I am already in the red!  Ha ha!  If I go to another host site, I will also lose any search engine optimisation that I have on my current Blog that has accumulated over the years. 

I often wonder where I am going with my photography.  At the moment it is a wonderfully distracting hobby that gets me out and about; recording new places and meeting new people.  I have always said that making a business out of it would take away the spontaneity of the whole experience. 

Unfortunately, being a photographer these days (whether a business or hobby) includes a heavy reliance on social media to get your work out there. 

Praktica LTL3 and CineStill 50D

If you follow my blog, you will know that I wrote a piece at the beginning of the year about problems I had with age fogging on CineStill 50D.

Not wanting to leave it at that, I thought I should give it another try and see how it turned out.

One of my recent purchases was a Praktica LTL3.  A 35mm film camera that came with a Carl Zeiss 50mm f2.8 lens.

I gave it a good clean and loaded the film.

I figured that if the CineStill 50D came out age fogged again it didn't really matter, after all, I was simply testing out a new camera.


The film came out good..........   the Praktica had light leaks!    

Some are not as bad as others but still.....  I guess you can't win 'em all!

All photos Copyright ©Life with Jordy Photography
All Rights Reserved

Friday, 5 October 2018

Newcastle China Festival - 2018

The Newcastle China Street Festival is one of many programmed events during the Newcastle China Week.  The Street Festival is a celebration of Chinese Culture.  China Week consists of a Business Forum, Night Hawker Food Markets, the Street Festival and, stage and theatre productions to bring a greater understanding of the Chinese culture to the people of Newcastle.

A street festival is a great opportunity for a photographer to get out there amongst the people.  I find that people are more willing to have their photos taken at a street festival than they are about having them taken at other times when they are just going about their daily business.  

I took my Canon 600D with me. I had intended to shoot with my 50mm prime but, I decided to change to a Tamron 18-270mm f3.5 zoom as it gave me a lot more leeway with my shooting.   The Tamron has done an excellent job as you will see.  I shot in Aperture Priority mode which allowed me to have a quicker response to those unique moments that are gone in seconds.

For these photos, I edited in Lightroom using Nik Collection Plug-ins;  Colour Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro.

Photos copyright © Life with Jordy Photography.
All Rights Reserved.

I always enjoy running into a fellow photographer and having
a conversation about what gear we are both using!

Minolta XD-7 - the return of the light leak!

Well, for those of you who follow my blog regularly (does anyone follow my blog regularly??), you may remember a post I put up in April th...