Traveling light

Posted in Alcoy, Castles, Crusades, Festival, knights, Leica, lumix lx7, medieval, moods, Moors, photo, photoblog, Photography, road trip, Spain, technology, tourism, writing on November 17th, 2013 by wabisabipix

P1010836I took the opportunity of shooting a few pictures with only a lumix LX7 camera the latest incarnation of the LX series of cameras which has proved very popular with professional photographers because of its high speed 24mm Leica Summilux f1.4 zoom lens. DSC07462 (2) It is a great option for carrying just one small camera that has a quality that you can rely on even in the lowest of light conditions. I was particularly impressed by its great ability to shoot rapidly at 5 frames per second with full follow focus at f1.4 and also its wide range of special effects filters ranging from soft focus to HDR and the exposures always seemed to be spot on finding that sweet spot almost every time. It truly is a pocket Swiss Army Knife of a camera. The pictures shown are of the walled castle town Alcoy near Alicante in Spain.

Alcoy is famous for the yearly festival held in April every year celebrating the historical event in which St George and his Crusader knights who according to legend are said to have swept into the town through the cliff arches that form the center stage of the town and defeated the occupying Moors in april 1276.

Alcoy is also said to have been the home town of Federico Borrell García the falling soldier in the famous image of a “falling soldier” captured in his dying moments by Photojournalist Robert Capa during the Spanish Civil War. He is said to have worked in the Alcoy textile mills and was part of the Alcoy Militia

 

  la glorieta Federico Borrell García is seen pictured at the La Glorieta Park in Alcoy in this article,www.photographers.it/articoli/cd_capa/img/taino.pdf and this is the band stand and park today.  

P1010443                                                                                                              P1010822                                                                                                                                      A view of Alcoy during sunset. P1010826 A few examples of the LX7 built in HDR effect showing the arches where Saint George as legend says                                                                     rescued the town from the Moors P1010684 P1010704 Two pictures one day apart showing the Saint Jordi Bridge during an unusual weather front in the region. P1010785 A mural of Saint George a popular historical figure in the region. P1010655 Doves flying in the Plaza De Dins. P1010650   P1010060 alcoy 3 The Town hall in Alcoy. P1010593     P1010657The Saragata Cafe ,great coffee, food and service located in the Plaza de Dins. Check out the Spanish omelette rolls for breakfast.   P1010616     P1010619       P1010625The plaza De Dins P1010434   San Mauro Watch TowerP1010440

For more on Federico Borrell García see this excellent and well illustrated article (in Spanish):

www.photographers.it/articoli/cd_capa/img/taino.pdf

Colour photographs copyright:Kerry Davies.

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Retro Cool?

Posted in classic, cool, Leica, Nikon, Nikon Df, photo, photoblog, Photography, photojournalism, retro, Uncategorized on November 7th, 2013 by wabisabipix

This is the new Nikon Df camera with a newly designed 50mm f1.8 lens.

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After its much much publicised entrance with several teaser adverts it clearly attempts to merge the design of a classic FM2 or F3 body with that of a modern SLR in an attempt to capture the kudos of the film days in a almost £3000 package.

My first impression was one of fascination and interest and seeing that mirror box shape reminded me of the days when film was the only option.

The question I couldn’t help but ask questions of however was Nikons marketing ploy of “retro”.

What is truly “retro”?

We live in an age when digital cameras are upgraded every year or two.

Does any camera really last long enough to become truly classic any longer?

In this time when press photographers are having their livelihoods stripped away by a dying newspaper industry it leaves me questioning their pricing.

If camera producers truly wanted to create a classic retro camera would it not make sense to make maximum effort to create a quality example of perfect engineering with quality parts and optics at a reasonable price with perhaps a replaceable sensor that can be replaced with each technological update.

In the 1990’s I clearly remember the cost of professional bodies such as the Nikon F4 and the Canon Eos1 being in the region of £1200.These cameras would last a decade or more if treated properly.

The one thing that remained true was the use of film.

These days camera’s now cost 3 times that cost.The new Df is priced on the region of £2800.

The current workhorse cameras the D4 and D3 offer more features on the face of it and they will soon become obsolete for the next  wonder sensor that turns up and relegates those metal bodies to mere paperweights sitting on a bookshelf gathering dust.

The retro looks only last a short time as a novelty jewellery item, before becoming common place and ending up among other equally identical faux retro bodies looking like they popped out of a plastic 3D printer. These are now living in a used camera shop at less than quarter of the value you paid for them.

What is truly retro?

To me a truly retro camera has to be a film camera.

It is a film camera that will be your constant companion for a decade or more,something that will live with you and your family and be there for all of your experiences,the highs and the lows. It will wear and age with dignity and those experiences will show themselves as worn brass corners where those years of mileage have rubbed away at the paintwork like an ancient stone pathway.

Its gears will be of fine mechanical quality and the shutter and aperture dials will click with a reassuring quality that work as well as the first day it was bought even though a decade has passed.

The focussing screen should enable a bright view of what it being photographed, even in low light,  the image will snap into focus with a diamond cut clarity.The experience should leave you with the feeling of an artist bringing all the elements of a painting into sharp focus in a simple but exquisite frame.

Its lenses will produce a creamy bokeh that renders an  image with a unique fluidic quality, possessed of a character that enhances reality, giving an almost 3D quality .The lens will have distance markings and Hyper focal positions clearly marked to facilitate the pre-setting of focus quicker than the fastest auto focus could manage.

It will have a timer switch which whirs like a quality swiss watch.

The wind on  mechanism will be whisper silent.

Its shutter will produce a muffled unobtrusive inaudible click making it possible for the photographer to blend in to the background unseen.

It will become something you truly trust and covet.

I use Nikon pro cameras for my day to day press work and rely on them ,but for me what is truly retro?

Strangely almost half the cost of the new Nikon “retro” consumer camera  that to me meets the definition of this is……

What is truly retro?

KD_LEICA_M6_1

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