photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

XPan R.I.P.

in General Rants , Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Totally unbelievable news reported here on ePhotozine: Due to EU regulations on lead in electronic circuitry, Hasselblad (or, to be more accurate, Fuji) are discontinuing the XPan camera with immediate effect. Massive SUVs belching out fumes and devouring fuel at an incredible rate whilst taking the kiddies to school and back are, however, still perfectly ok. Wasting enormous amounts of resources moving the EU parliamentary bodies between Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, still perfectly ok - well we wouldn't want the French to feel insecure, would we ? Whatever. I'm sure it will push up the resale value....
Posted in General Rants on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 03:47 PM • PermalinkComments (0)

Off Sick

in General Rants , Thursday, September 29, 2005
Well, I'm sitting at home with my right forearm in plaster, after emergency surgery on Monday night to an infected cut on my right thumb. My fault for not going to the doctor earlier, but a remarkable piece of incompetence by a bunch of morons in a hospital in a certain southern Swiss city didn't help. Fortunately their colleagues in Zürich are somewhat more skilled. Anyway, once I'd figured out how to type with my left hand only, I used some of my enforced downtime to (slowly) fix a few things on this site. First, I've started to cull the photo galleries, which were getting too big. I'll try to improve the quality / quantity ratio. Next, I revised the photo links page to bring it up to date. It is now database driven and hopefully more interesting. A few other changes are sprinkled about...I hope they work!
Posted in General Rants on Thursday, September 29, 2005 at 04:30 PM • PermalinkComments (0)

Everybody’s going to Iceland

in General Rants , Tuesday, July 26, 2005
It seems like Iceland is the place to be right now. Although visitor numbers are down this year - quite substantially apparently - everybody seems to be going there. Colin Jago, who I have corresponded with, was apparently there at the same time as I was, and I live in fear of the wonderful photos that Alessandra will inevitably bring back. A quick search for somewhere I might be able to hire an Imacon scanner here in Zuerich led me to yet another Iceland link - this time this rather unique view from Klaus Hoffmann, which really captures something special (I had to copy the thumbnail because I can't link to it - it is in a frame here. It is NOT my photo!)


© Klaus Hoffmann

From my part I returned this time with about 1400 photos from the Olympus E-1, and 9 rolls of Velvia from the Xpan - these I'm quite pleased with. Many people have told me they like my panoramic work, so I tried to concentrate a bit more on it. Luchiana came back with over 1500 photos from her Panasonic Lumix LMC-5, which worked pretty well.

I've spent the last days tracing the reason why I couldn't connect to my database server anymore, which stopped me actually publishing any of this yet. I discovered finally a new "feature" kindly provided by my ISP was the reason... So, soon.
Posted in General Rants on Tuesday, July 26, 2005 at 03:13 PM • PermalinkComments (0)

Velkomin til Islands

in General Rants , Monday, June 27, 2005
Iceland beckons again in the coming weeks. I don't know if this should be in the photography section or somewhere else, as photography is not by any means the main point of the journey. I am absolutely captivated by Iceland, the nature, the culture and the people, and have been trying to teach myself some Icelandic when I really should be learning German. It is maybe significant that when I was in high school, maybe 15 or 16, and we had to produce a multimedia presentation (quite something in itself, for 1976-ish), I picked the mythic Ultima Thule of Pytheas of Massilia as my subject. It was quite something, all teenage significant intonations set to Pink Floyd's Echoes. I remember that my classmate's judgements were mixed. Some liked it, some were not so happy with the decadant anglophile rock music. Funny how things come back to you. Anyway, Iceland 2005 should be a less frantic experience than 2004. We're going to spend time in Skaftafell National Park, drop by Jokulsarlon, and head across the Highlands to Myvatn by way of Askja. Maybe head back by way of Kerlingjafoll. Sure, I have packed cameras, the usual E-1 and Xpan combination, but the laptop will stay at home, in favour of a new Epson P2000 for backups. But if I was given the choice between not going and no photography, the cameras would stay at home. I guess some nice photos might emerge, but for now I don't really mind... [Posted from the scene with hblogger 2.0]
Posted in General Rants on Monday, June 27, 2005 at 03:46 PM • PermalinkComments (0)

Andy Rouse…photographer ?

Some time ago I wrote a brief but complimentary entry about Andy Rouse. I'm beginning to wonder if he isn't actually being a bit of a pillock, to be honest.

in General Rants , Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Some time ago I wrote a brief but complimentary entry about Andy Rouse. I'm beginning to wonder if he isn't actually being a bit of a pillock, to be honest. He's now heavily involved in Pixmantec's mega-hyped RawShooter, intially as a endorser, he uses nothing else (in which case I can understand if his sales are dropping off), but now apparently as a core member of the company - from Pixmantec's latest mailing: "Many of you will know Andy Rouse by his reputation as a wildlife photographer but few will know that before this career path he was a software marketer. This, coupled with his knowledge of RAW workflow and his digital profile in the press, has led to him working for Pixmantec as our Marketing Director." Ok, but why do I think this makes him a pillock ? First because he is seriously undermining any claim he may have to impartiality, and since he does a fair amount of product reviewing, this matters. Amateur phtographers presumeably are supposed to feel comfortable that a product endorsed by Andy Rouse is a good one, rather than one in which he has a financial stake. Second, because he's associating himself with a product which is still unproven, relying on Rent-A-Quotes from fellow hacks like Martin Evening (author of the most over-rated Photoshop book ever, IMHO), is a shameless rip off of another product (CaptureOne) which Andy used to, no, sorry, still does endorse ("C1 is my product of choice" -- at least get your ducks in a row, Andy), and which is so firmly entrenched in the Microsoft camp that their newsletter states: "Be aware that links in Pixmantec NEWS may only function when using Microsoft Internet Explorer." (why ? so the embedded spyware can run properly ?) A startup tech company like Pixmantec, even when it has another company (PhaseOne) to do their R&D for them, needs totally dedicated top-flight marketing (I know this from very painful recent experience). I cannot see how a pro wildlife photographer can supply this. And why does Andy Rouse matter ? Because he is arguably one of the very best wildlife photographers working today (personally I'd put him in the top 3, and joining one of his workshops is a recurring daydream), not because he used to be one of the UK's army of mindless corporate IT suits. Although his recent writings on Nature Photography Network indicate that his creativity is alive and well, I'd seriously examine my priorities if I was him. Have I actually used RawShooter ? Nope. I'm a Mac user, and it doesn't run on Macs. I upgraded to Microsoft VirtualPC 7 expressly to try it, and it didn't work. Why not ? Dunno, CaptureOne works fine under VPC7 emulation, so I cannot see any good reason, save poor design, why RawShooter couldn't. I'd get out and do some photography if I were you, Andy.
Posted in General Rants on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 10:33 PM • PermalinkComments (6)
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