RED BULL GIVES YOU WINGS:THE RED BULL AIR RACE 2014

Posted in air race, aviation, britain, competiton, cool, England, europe, photo, photoblog, Photography, red bull air race championships, technology, thriller, tourism, travel, unusual, writing on August 15th, 2014 by wabisabipix

Copyright-Kerry Davies-No Unauthorised reproduction. Usually Ascot with its iconic Grandstand is the venue for horse racing diary events throughout the year but on the 16th and 17th of August it was the venue for the Red bull Air Racing World Championships, an entirely different high octane action sport like motor racing in the sky.It showcases the skills of elite pilots from around the world in very nimble tiny planes that tear around the race course,very much like aerial jockeys ducking and diving between huge inflatable obstacles and missing by the skin of their teeth.I witnessed the practice session on Friday 15th 2014 and I must say,it is certainly a hair raising event.In between storm clouds and blue skies,the light was certainly quite something and a 300mm Nikon lens made it all the more dramatic.

Also present were an RAF Chinook carrying out manoeuvres nobody would believe possible with an aircraft of this size,dropping,climbing and virtually nose down vertical,quite remarkable!

There were also Breitling Wing Walkers and a fantastic rare display from Spitfire MH434,the Spitfire of the late Ray Hanna, probably the most famous remaining Spitfire in the air today,with a list of wartime actions and movie roles to its name.

More on MH434 here:http://www.mh434.com/history/index.html

 

All Images copyright Kerry Davies/No unauthorised reproduction.

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PAINSHILL PARK:HAVING A BLAST WITH THE NAPOLEONIC ASSOCIATION.

Posted in age of elegance, britain, cannon, cavaliers, cool, drama, England, english village, enthusiasts, equine sport, europe, feature, film location, Film set, folk, forts, french, fringe, hussars, legends, london, lumix lx7, moods, muskets, myths, Napoleonic, Napoleonic association, napoleonic wars, nature, news, Nikon, painshill park, photo, photoblog, Photography, photojournalism, re-enactment, redcoats, relax, renactment, road trip, skirmish, surrey, swords, tourism, travel, unusual, vintage, Wales, walking, walks, warhorse, waterloo, writing on May 25th, 2014 by wabisabipix

The May bank holiday on sunday 25th 2014 certainly went off with a bang as the Napoleonic Association of re-enactors http://www.napoleonicassociation.org blitzed the Painshill Park near Cobham in Surrey http://www.painshill.co.uk with the thunder of hooves and the crack of muskets and cannon fire. An incredibly authentic experience of the “age of elegance”,they delve deep into all aspects of the period delivering an enthralling battlefield skirmish and other camp and entertainment experiences along the way. You have to blink twice to remind yourself that we are in fact still in the 21st century and cannot help but feel that these were in fact more elegant times. This group clearly eat,sleep and live this colourful period in history and provide a great insight to onlookers who ever wondered what it would have been like to live in these times. I can still smell those camp fires! Now where did I put that musket!

More images can be viewed at: http://www.surreypix.co.uk/p393250091 Copyright Kerry Davies /All rights reserved.

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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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