Early Cameras

The majority of photographs on this site are digital, as my photographic skills were not very well developed in the film era, but there is a an all-film gallery of Boats of Deal (my home town) taken since I have ventured back into that fascinating medium during 2020.

Nikon FM3A
Nikon FM3A Film Camera

Most of the earlier pictures on this site were shot with a Nikon D300, with a few taken on the Nikon D40X, which was my first DSLR.  There are no shots at all from my first digital camera, which was a Canon Digital IXUS, an evolution of the APS film version I used for some years. The D300 gave long service and I was loath to replace it, but eventually it was both battered and long in the tooth and I sought a new body.  After some unhappy experiences with an early D600, I moved to the Nikon Df, which I had a long and happy relationship with. I still love both the looks and the external controls of the Df.

The Next Generation

After a lot of thought, I’ve bought into the new Nikon mirrorless system with the Z7, which I am extremely impressed with.  I bought it with the 24-70mm kit lens (which is small and light) and the  FTZ converter for my F-mount lenses. That was quite an investment, but I traded in my less used F-mount lenses to help pay the bill at T4 Cameras in Witney, who gave me a very fair deal.  I have since acquired the 35mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.8 native lens, which are excellent.  Of my old F-mount lenses, I use the 85mm f1.8 most – it works works really well via the converter. This wasn’t my first mirrorless camera, as when I needed to travel really light (which used to be quite often), I used the astonishing Leica Q, with its 28mm f1.7 prime lens. I’ve had it for a few years and it is incredibly tough and takes amazing pictures.

Equipment

I carry as little equipment as I can.  Typically all I carry is a spare battery, a mini blower, two spare memory cards and a high quality circular polarizer. For night and long exposure shots I use the ultra light weight Gitzo Traveler tripod.  I also use a ‘black glass’ ND filter for daytime long exposures.

Back to Film

During the lockdown of 2020 I used the money I would have spent on travel and going out on film cameras. The best purchase I made was a Nikon F100. For under £300 in mint condition it was incredible value and was the camera that I really got me back into film. I’ve now got a small collection and really enjoying shooting with different types of cameras from different eras going back to the 1950s. I usually fit a yellow filter when I am shooting black and white film.

Software and Workflow

I shoot in raw format and use Lightroom Classic as a library and for raw conversion.   The photos are all stored in Drop Box. I use PhotoShop and for editing the JPEGs making use of quite a lot of Photoshop actions created during lessons I took to make post processing quicker. Mono conversion is with Silver Efex.

Hardware

My post processing workhorse is an ageing 5K i7 based iMac with the fastest optional AMD Radeon GPU available at the time.  The GPU makes a big difference when running Silver Efex  for monochrome conversion.  Backups are to local Apple Time Machine drive.

Web Site

I use WordPress for the site with the Master Slider plugin for the galleries and ShortPixel for image optimisation, amongst others.  WPEngine hosting and my WP template are by Elementary Digital