The Bees Knees – and other photos

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I have used both Nikon and Canon in the past, my own cameras being Nikon, but work cameras tending to be Canon, and for me it’s a little bit like the MAC vs PC argument, where I choose the software over the operating system, ie, if it has Photoshop on I’m happy, but with Cameras I find it’s the glass that makes it.

BEES_01

Boats_Cromer04

BEES_06

All of the above are Nikon images and they are beautiful…

Below are just a couple from my incredibly newly upgraded to Canon… my question is this, would you know which was which if I didn’t tell you?

BeesKnees.jpg

EatonParkCan_08.jpg

Or maybe it’s the other way round…

Playful politics in Photoshop

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Couldn’t resist a quick play in photoshop as the image of Theresa May as the ultimate baddy!

TM_WWoE

My Eaton Park Project

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As mentioned in an earlier post, I am currently taking daily photographs of Eaton Park.

I ride through everyday and one time I just stopped to take a breath and realised what a lovely place it is. I know that sounds silly in a way, but I was quite stressed out at the time and decided that instead of head down rushing to work, I should actually open my eyes and take a look around, at how lucky I was to need to go through this beautiful park.

So much goes on here, the park run that half of my family do, the community events, the friendly spaces, the visually stunning pond that prompted me to start taking photos for me again, allowing me to pause for a moment at the start of a hectic day.

There and then I decided to undertake a year long commitment to taking a photo in exactly the same spot everyday, the idea of a year long timelapse project wasn’t daunting, but all sorts of problems popped up.

How can I make sure it’s the same place, the same angle, all of the different exposures, what about days I miss, what’s my focus, what will change, will it be visually interesting enough…

But I started taking a photo of the pond, it usually has a glorious reflection in it, the pretty little building at the end of the boating pond can be seen in the distance and the angles are pleasing, plus the trees lining it will give us seasonal interest.

EatonPark_01

November 10th 2016, the first official Eaton Park Project image.

I tried to use the columns as markers and keep the building in the distance central, 5 months later and my most recent image below

Eaton park project

I have also very recently added another view to my daily capture, I wanted to add in another aspect in the park, and I remembered how spectacularly the trees in the centre ring looked when they came into full blossom, so in readiness for that, Ive added this view.

Eaton blossom

A surprising thing to come out of this project is now I’m noticing more and more of the Council workers looking after the park day after day whatever the weather, I’d never realised how much they put into making it such a lovely place to visit.

I’m starting to think about extra shots I’ll need and what will bring the final film together, so am researching the Park, and looking at the community events that take place now.

http://friendsofeatonpark.co.uk/history/

The above image is from the friends of eaton park and I will hope to get in touch with them when I am a little further along in my project.

I will also need to contact – Picture Norfolk, Norfolk Heritage Centre, Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, The Forum – as they hold archive photographs.

A quick search on their site got me these results

I’m thinking very much in moving my images, but should I consider video too, or will that detract from the impact of the long-term timelapse…

Link to my Flickr set where I try and upload monthly. https://flic.kr/s/aHskVqLFQF

Watch this space as the project develops.

ps, occasionally I am unable to take a ‘clean’ image, but I will keep them in as they are part of the parks character…

Eaton park project

Kodak Ektra – first look, image comparison & review

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My Kodak Ektra arrived on Friday and I have been trying to get to know this camera first, phone second, device as much as possible.

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Kodak Ektra top buttons, including strap attachment

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Ektra leather case and packing

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Ektra – fresh out of the box

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Ektra’s on-screen keyboard

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Ektra’s proprietary charging lead…

Apart from the proprietary lead (why, why, why) it’s a fairly nice device, it’s lighter than it looks and much lighter than my Sony Z5.

It has a very thick and chunky form factor and whilst the divine luxury case also adds to the bulk it really focuses on the camera aspect, but is also part of the drawback, because as soon as you put the case on, it becomes unwieldy as a phone…

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Taking a phone call with this case becomes a farce – see above – I’m not sure what to do, talk through the leather, speak into the case, undo the other clip and let the case dangle… I really don’t know, my best fix – use bluetooth headphones!

In Use

In use, it’s really quick and snappy, opening apps is fairly quick, I currently have a Sony Z5 which is no slouch in the data stakes, but this seems slightly faster.

I miss not having finger print recognition and also the security of having a little waterproof protection is becoming standard these days, but not on the Kodak (?)

One big bug with the case though – it covers up the charging port, this is really, really annoying as the case is a snug fit – you really need to force the phone out and quite a few times I’ve wondered if my phone is just going to fly across the room as I exert so much pressure to extract it from the confines of it’s cosy case… and the more I have to pull it in and out of the case the less safe my phone will be in the case…

Using the Camera

The big deal on this phone is the camera… With a sharp double click on the beautifully styled ‘K’ button on the top side, the camera app pops open from any situation.

I like the on screen dial and the amount of control you can have in manual, but, on this first look review, I have barely touched on the Manual control, and have been playing with all of the other Auto options.

I like what I see, but I have reservations about the lack of feedback when I press either the on screen virtual button, or the dedicated shutter button – did the picture take, can I move? – only when the preview popped up, did I feel secure that the photo actually saved. On my Z5 as soon as you click, a wheel appears, to show it’s saving then when that’s gone you know it’s saved.

Maybe this is something I will get used too..

Also why can I only take 21mp images in the 4:3 aspect ratio? If I want to take a 16:9 it drops to only 16Mp… (Obviously cutting into the image)

Comparison Images from flickr

All images are taken with Auto settings.

Ektra Lake view (below)

Kodak Ektra Tests

Z5 Lake View (below)

Comparison Z5 images

– Kodak Ektra – Tree (below)

Kodak Ektra test shots

z5 Comparison tree (below)

Z5 comparisons

Kodak Ektra Homepride man (below)

Kodak Ektra test shots

Z5 Homepride Man (below)

Z5 comparisons

Kodak Ektra – Wreath (below)

Kodak Ektra test shots

Z5 Wreath (below)

Z5 comparisons

Kodak Ektra Lake Landscape taken in 16:9 ratio (below)

Kodak Ektra Tests

Kodak Ektra Lake Landscape 4:3 (below)

Kodak Ektra test 4:3

Z5 Landscape (below)

Comparison Z5 images

In Conclusion

 

I do like the images that the Ektra is producing, and the pin sharpness just edges it in some of the demo images above, so it is better than my Z5 in that respect. But, it’s thicker, bulkier and the case spoils the phone aspect… hmmm…

I miss the fingerprint recognition, but is it forgivable for better images…

It functions as a mobile device nicely, speedy apps, quick to launch camera, nice keyboard, swype texting as standard.

I have had this phone for just 3 days, but will be moving more in-depth over the coming days and moving to Manual mode, whilst trying to get along with the awkward case and the charging problems that brings…

I will also pit it against my carry camera of choice, the fuji X30…

to be continued…

 

Kodak Ektra – a perfect match?

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Christmas is coming early!

I have been following the development of this new camera phone from Kodak, and today I got my pre-order notification.

I already have a fantastic camera on my phone (it’s a Sony Z5) but really wanted to check out this innovative and rather cool looking kodak offering.

Pre-ordering gives me the free case, and I chose the natty Tan version, it should arrive by mid-december and I will be giving it a thorough workout as I have started a project cataloguing the seasons in my local park that I just happen to pass through every morning.

eatonpark_tutt3043

https://www.flickr.com/photos/traceytutt/

eatonpark_09

Currently I am employing my Sony Phone or my portable on the go Fuji x30, but I’m always on the lookout for what could be a perfect combination of snapper and phone.

Full specs don’t seem to be out for the kodak, like full physical specs, but the data numbers are in.

Spec Details
Camera 21MP main camera with Kodak non-reflective lens coating. Aperture f2.0.

Optical Image Stabilization and Auto Focus.

13MP front-facing camera.

Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) & HDR Imaging.

4K Video Capture.

Internal Leading Helio X-20 Decacore Processor

3000 mAh battery

3GB RAM

32GB Memory, expandable with MicroSD cards

4K Video Capture.

I will be interested to see how it feels in hand, being quite a bit thicker and I’ve also gleaned that the internal camera may well be the same as my current Sony… watch this space…

ueabroad_11

 

Photography Comparison D90 D7000 X30 Part 1 – ISO

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For a long while I have wanted to compare my D7000 with a D90, and as I am in the process of producing a simple photography elearning package to explain Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to compare them side by side for quality and noise handling at extreme iso.

The D90, a classic and fantastic camera since 2008. Used with my 17-55mm f2.8 portrait lens.

The D90, a classic and fantastic DSLR camera since 2008. Used with my 17-55mm f2.8 portrait lens.

D7000

D7000 (2010) using a 50mm prime lens

The Fujifilm X30

The Fujifilm X30 (2014) a capable and portable camera which you can take full manual control of.

Recently I have brought an Fuji X30 to be my always carry camera, so thought I’d add that in too…

I could list all of the stats and specs, but if you want that in-depth number crunching check out the great reviews on dpreview..

D90 http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond90

D7000 http://www.dpreview.com/products/nikon/slrs/nikon_d7000

X30 http://www.dpreview.com/products/fujifilm/compacts/fujifilm_x30

Starting with ISO the photos I have taken are really quite revealing…

D90 ISO comparison

Comparing the ISO handling of the D90, a lot of digital grain comes in at 3200 (top left) compare to ISO 400 (bottom right)

The D90 really takes an excellent picture, but it’s ISO quality when you ramp it up to the top of it’s numbered range is pretty bad, the digital grain is very present and I would find this unacceptable, even at 1600 the grain is too obvious.

D7000 ISO comparison, using both the 50mm and 17-55mm lens

D7000 ISO comparison, using both the 50mm and 17-55mm lens

The D7000 has fantastic control of grain, even at 3200 the resulting image is acceptable to use, the only problem with this image is I have got the focus slightly wrong, but there’s not a dot of grain to bother the image… very impressive. I used both lenses just in case it made any difference as I used the 50mm on the D90.

The Fuji X30 ISO comparison

The Fuji X30 ISO comparison

The X30 did surprisingly well too (even with it’s smaller sensor), although it has handled the grain in a different way, it seems somehow smoother, perhaps more blurry at the 3200 end, which isn’t too bad a thing.

On this occasion the D7000 has it on ISO and this from a camera that’s 5 years old, I remember when I bought it I tested it’s ISO against my other work camera, the Canon 5D and it excelled at low light performance in those tests too…

I would be very interested to check out the new D7200 alongside these cameras, but my budget only goes so far!

All of these images are straight jpegs from the camera with no alteration, and no in camera enhancement, put into photoshop so I can compare them directly side by side.

I will be using these sets of images to explain ISO in an elearning package I’m putting together for my students currently, it takes a bit of time to setup, but will be well worth it..

Next comes the Aperture control… but that’s for another post!

Dubai 360 – interactive 360 degree timelapse experiences

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Dubai 360

http://dubai360.com/

This amazing project is employing 360 timelapse imagery into interactive experiences available from anywhere in the world.  (a project launched by Sheikh Hamdan back in August)

Fascinating…

Dubai360 was shot with four perfectly synchronized Canon 1Dx cameras.

Lenses on the cameras were Canon EF 8-15mm f4 L USM fisheye zooms.

Over 88,000 photographs were taken over the course of the 30 hours of shooting, with one set of photographs being taken every 5 seconds.
22K Panoramas. These photographs were then stitched using Kolor Autopano Video into 22,000 separate panoramas to create the source frames for the video you can experience above.
and for the ultimate wow, look at this footage of Sheikh Hamdan standing on top of the Burj

For everyone who's wondering what the view is like at the top! #BurjKhalifa #MyDubai #MyView

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