photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Revenge of the Fungii

Unwelcome guests

in Hasselblad XPan , Thursday, December 27, 2012

I got a unwelcome blast from the past this evening when preparing my XPan gear for it’s trip Southwards. I decided to give the lenses a quick clean, and while doing so, I saw this inside the 30mm…


The white specks are fungi growing inside the lens. This is bad news, and has happened to me before: see my rant from 2003, The IKEA of camera manufacturers.

So is this a chronic fault of this lens ? Whatever, this time it’s going to have to live with it at least until February. In any case my local dealer has long since closed shop, and it would probably have to go to Leica Switzerland (no bad thing from a customer service point of view, but not cheap either). If any XPan owners reading this have any similar experience, and in particular, short term damage limitation advice (stick in the oven?), please, please get in touch.


Season’s Greetings

et joyeux noel

A bit late, but better than never.

I’d like to wish all readers and visitors to snowhenge a belated happy Christmas, and a wonderful 2013. I’ve been rushing around a wet and windswept Belgium for the last few days, so there’s been little activity in these parts.

Drm 2012 12 21 drm 20121221 2056

Bruges, a few days ago.

It’s been an interesting year, for me, with quite a few changes, and maybe some more to come. And in a couple of days we’ll leaving for Argentina, then a few weeks later Antarctica by way of Ushuaia. And I still haven’t finished packing yet.

I’ve managed to get quite a lot of photography done this year, and I feel I’ve made some progress too. After a few bad-tempered isolationist rants against the web in general earlier this year, I’m feeling considerably more positive and open now. What I haven’t really managed to do is to find a way to get more of my stuff out into the world, but I’ve got a few ideas on how to improve that.

Thanks to you, for reading this - according to my statistics about 99% of visitors here leave no comment, but that’s fine. Et je ne comprends pas pourquoi, mais le pays duquel vient ici le plus grand hombre d’internautes est la France. Go figure.

So, Bonne Année, bonne santé, and hope to see you around.



Hi ho, hi ho

{categories limit="1"}in {category_name} {/categories}, Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Off to work we go. Not such a bad place to live, Lugano. Not all that many people’s daily commutes have this sort of view.

Ricoh GRD4. Straight out of the camera.



Is this a good photo ?

Flickr seems to think it is

{categories limit="1"}in {category_name} {/categories}, Friday, December 14, 2012

Is this photo any good?


Apparently it is. It seems to have been selected for the exalted status of “Explore” on Flickr, which is something I’ve never given much attention to. However, this raises it’s visibility, and therefore it gets many more visits, more comments, more favourites than ninety percent of the photos I post.

I posted it as part of by sort-of 1 photo a day Antarctic Archive project. To me it is at best a curiosity, and it completely falls apart at anything larger than the size I posted it at. It was taken centuries ago, with a Canon FT-QL camera, I think a 50mm f1.4 lens, and one of these screw-in fisheye lenses that were big when flares were in fashion the first time around. I guess the first, and probably last, reaction of anybody now is that it came straight out of Instagram. Or a Holga. But there’s no post-processing at all beyond cleaning up the scan. The file wouldn’t even take sharpening. It is totally soft, the composition isn’t even considered. Any serious landscape photographer would be embarassed to be asked to venture an opinion on it.

It has an atmosphere to it, and an eerie sort of feel. It seems to touch a nerve. It’s hardly a typical Antarctic landscape shot. At best, it’s a collection of mistakes which somehow summed up turn into something interesting.

But is it a good photo? I guess I’m not qualified to be the judge of that.


The Inevitable

Proud owner of a Sigma DP2 Merrill

{categories limit="1"}in {category_name} {/categories}, Monday, December 10, 2012

Well I cracked. I bought a Sigma DP2 Merrill. So I now have, er, 5 cameras. And a few “backups”. Better than spending it on booze I suppose. Anyway, the DP2M has been written about to death all over the place. Suffice it to say that it is everything I expected it to be, for better and for worse. So far the photos seem pretty good, and yes, I got the “wow!” reaction when I first zoomed in. Somebody somewhere compared it conceptually to the big Fuji rangefinders: I used to have a 670GW, which I regret selling, and yes, the DP2M seems to occupy a similar niche - fantastic when all appropriate ducks are in a row, totally useless otherwise.

It’s not so easy to live without a viewfinder, so I’ve ordered the Sigma clip-on. I’m not entirely sure how useful it will be without any information display. Same as the Ricoh GRD I suppose.

The Sigma PhotoPro software, in my opinion, is nowhere near as awful as it is reported to be. It does what it is supposed to do, and has some more the adequate exposure controls. The exposure balance tool is an interesting idea which I don’t think I’ve seen elsewhere. The DP2M (and DP1M) is not easy to find in Switzerland, but I got mine at a low price with amazingly fast delivery from Digitech in Zürich.

And now for some pretty pictures from my first wander around:

Drm 2012 12 08 SDI0029

Drm 2012 12 08 SDI0020

Drm 2012 12 08 SDI0061

more to come…


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