Tag Archives: photography

It’s a start

As you may recall, I have been trying to get photographic work with the British model railway press for a while. Despite contacting editors, I’ve only had one proper response, and no direct work as yet of course.

I’m not sure how Barry Norman came across my photos of Vic Burles’ beautiful ScaleSeven West Country class light pacific, but he asked me if I could send him versions for publication. I was happy to do that.

Img_3956

I haven’t been paid for them, but I didn’t expect the images to appear in print when I took them. I know that’s not the attitude, but if you know Wild Swan Publications then you’ll understand. It’s not a mistake I plan to make again.

Anyway, front cover and supporting images reproduced inside MRJ 213 at large sizes. It’s a start. Model Railway Journal is a respected journal, and hopefully my images will begin to get some attention in other publishing organisations.

I would link to Wild Swan, MRJ and Barry, but Wild Swan doesn’t really feel the need to move into the late 20th century with all that interweb and electronic mail nonsense.

Related: Looking for work and a plea

Have I been a bit quiet?

I have been rather quiet for a while, apart from the occasional flurry of links to various things that catch my eye. I haven’t been updating the blog with reports from my real life, mainly because I have been a little too busy to get around to it.

So, here’s an update.

I finally got through to a model railway magazine editor. He liked my model photograpy, but couldn’t promise any work. Right there is the story of my life. Promises, promises, promises. Still, it was a step forward, and I have now contacted one other editor with the same pitch. If I get any work from either source, I will be pleasantly surprised. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

I have had a small web site job for the significant other of a friend. I am currently waiting for them to get back to me with their thoughts on what I have done so far. That reminds me I had better chase them up—may make a phone call instead of email.

Another potentially long-running freelance job is beginning to rumble into life. I’m not entirely sure what I will be expected to do at this stage, or how much I will be paid. I guess I ought to find out sooner rather than later. 

While there’s nothing concrete, then, things are beginning to look a little brighter round here. This is a Good Thing.

Meanwhile, I am finding myself engrossed on the modelling workbench, busily building three commissioned 7mm scale railway coaches. You may recall I built a coach for a friend last year. He asked me if I’d build some more for him, so I have three BR Mark 1 corridor seconds on the go. 

I built one kit to see how the thing went together, and to work out what modifications I might need or want to do before I embarked on the other two. I got that first coach to a stage where it was all but complete, aside from paint and final details, and then set about the other two in a batch. Some of the work is fiddly, and some is fiddly and tedious, but it keeps me quiet and occupied, doing constructive things with my hands.

Perhaps I go beyond the call of duty—certainly beyond what my friend is paying me to build these kits for him—but I enjoy the details. I also consider these models as portfolio pieces I can use to perhaps get more work in this field. It’s not a field that will make me rich, but I think there’s a niche for me somwhere.

I am nearing the point where I will want to break out the airbrush and get paint on the models. Sadly, my spray booth is in a garden shed, and the weather of late round here has been a bit cold for that kind of environment. I think I will have to rig up a spray booth in our loft workshop, where it may be cold but at least I have access to electricity, heating and hot drinks!

That’s what’s been going on round here for the past few weeks. I just wish some of the things I am supposed to be involved in would firm up and give me some regular income again. 

Breakfast 366 – January – a set on Flickr

Those lucky souls without Flash-enabled devices can click here.

Well, I have made it through the first month of my 366 Breakfast project. Thirty-one images of the first meal of my day. Thrilling, isn’t it?

I am finding it hard to come up with different angles on the same subject, but that is the whole point of the exercise. Being restricted to the same subject matter every day means I have to try and be more creative about things in order to keep it interesting.

The question is whether this restricted subject matter can be strung out for another 335 days without driving me insane!

Thanks to everyone who has commented on or made favourites of January’s efforts. The comments encourage me to continue, and to improve on the subject matter. Onwards into February!

New Shiny Announced!

World goes bonkers!

Anyone with even just a passing interest in digital photography can’t have failed to spot the rumour mills and industry monitors grinding into life this past few weeks. New DSLRs are very much in the news, if you care about such things.

Canon announced a new professional flagship model, the EOS-1D X, back in October 2011. Aimed at replacing the current top-flight DSLR models they produce, it’s slated for release sometime in 2012. I won’t bore you with the technical details. If they interest you, they’re on the press release and everywhere else!

Nikon, meanwhile, has just unveiled their D3 series replacement, the FX-format D4. I can’t immediately find official release dates, but again, if you are sufficiently interested in the technical stuff, it’s in the press release and everywhere else!

These press releases are timed to hit the CES 2012 shindig in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. The Consumer & Electronics Show is one of the biggest international gadget-fests going, and everyone who is anyone in the technology world will be there. Except Apple, but there you go. That’s an entirely other story.

So why do I bring you this earth-shattering news? Am I being sucked into the technolust vortex? Will Snaptophobic end up as just another technoblog, regurgitating press releases about every new gadget or software without even pausing to breathe?

No. Not a chance.

If I am completely honest I have never been free of the vortex, but I find the effort needed to get incredibly excited about new gear has waned in proportion with my age and bank balance! Yes, I am interested in it, but only in a peripheral kind of way. Being a Canonista, the new EOS-1D X is interesting, but it’s so far beyond my budget that I can effectively ignore it. It’s a camera that may be of interest to me if I were a professional photographer and it was to be my key tool, but as I am not a professional and I already have a camera that’s more than adequate for my needs, I won’t be letting myself be sucked too deeply into the vortex.

With Nikon’s announcement, there will now be an inevitable increase in the Cankon/Niknon fanbois crowing over features that trump their arch nemesis. This is partly why I haven’t bothered you with the technical features of each new camera, because they are really irrelevant to you and me. The kind of people who will find that sort of information at all of real interest are those who are not—in my opinion, I hasten to add—real photographers. 

So, while the baying over megapixel counts, burst frame rates, astronomical ISO levels, focus points and other geeky stuff begins to inexorably grow in volume, remember this: it’s not about the gear.

The camera is just a tool, a means to an end. Some of my best images were taken using a 35mm film camera that cost £20. Learn to use the tool you have, and make great pictures. If you can afford one of the new shinies, or can justify one for your work, go to it with my blessings. If you just want to leave it in idiot mode, slung round your neck as techo-jewellery … words fail me.

No, really, they do. 

New Toy

Newtoy

Peering at the back of a camera while it’s pointed at something out of your line of sight is no fun. Making critical focus and exposure adjustments is not easy to do, either. Sharing any resulting video footage or still images beyond a couple of people peering over your shoulder is, well, awkward at best.

That’s why I have acquired a neat little 7in widescreen HD compatible video monitor. It attaches to my EOS 7D by an HDMI cable, and lets me see the LiveView screen without getting a crick in my neck. 

Of course, adjustments still have to be made on the camera, but it’s a lot simpler when you have a larger, clearer screen to look at.

This model supports all manner of pro level features, such as component video as well as HDMI. What attracted my attention was the use of battery adaptors that will let me use the Sony camcorder batteries we have about the place. That means I don’t have to rely on mains power or lugging the laptop on location if I don’t want to.

I am very pleased with it. Best Beloved bought it for my birthday—which isn’t until later in the year, but we do silly things like that sometimes!

Expect more fun short films to appear from my fertile brain over the coming months!