Sunday, 28 December 2008

A belated Christmas Greeting

I have been trying to take some time off over the Christmas period so that is why this Christmas greeting is coming a little late. But anyway Happy Christmas to you all and here's to hoping you all have a great and prosperous New Year filled with photographic goodness. Read more...

Monday, 22 December 2008

Great Ocean Road Landscape Workshop

We are pleased to announce the details for our latest addition to the Field Workshop Series, the Great Ocean Road Landscape Field Workshop. Quite a mouthful but this adventure, to one of the most scenic regions of the world is going to be a fantastic opportunity to develop your camera and digital darkroom skills. We will spend most of our time out in the field shooting the coast and cliff lines of the Ship Wreck Coast and the forests and waterfalls of the Otway Ranges learning the skills needed to capture professional looking images and when we are not shooting we will be looking at how to process the images in the digital darkroom to maximise the quality of your prints.
For more details have a look here

Great Ocean Road Field Workshop

or download the PDF brochure

If you are keen you had better be quick as there are only five places left, and this is the first public announcement! Hope to see you there. Read more...

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Nikon D3x

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 24 hours you will no doubt be aware that Nikon has released details of the new D3x, a 24MP upgrade to the fantastic D3. Already I have had a number of emails asking "Should I get a D3?" This is a question I cannot answer as I do not know if it will fit in with your style of shooting and workflow. Will I be getting one? Well I am not sure. Regular readers of this blog and workshop participants will know that I place the amount of mega pixels well down the list of desired features of a camera. First comes quality of pixels, which I am sure will be very high quality pixels in the D3x, that is why we had to wait for so long. Next comes other features like FPS, good (low) noise at high ISO, both which are not as good as the D3 and last is the amount of MP. If everthing else was equal I would choose the higher MP camera but before that the other factors are more important for me and my shooting. The advantage of the 24 MP D3x is in the detail. Having all that resolution means I can crop panoramas from a single frame image and easily print them one meter wide and as for high resolution stitched panoramas, well they will be killer when stitching six images together and printing them one meter high! So will I get one? Possibly. The D3is awesome. The file quality at high ISOs has opened a whole new world of photographic possibilities and the higher resolution of the D3x will open more doors too. I won't get a chance to get my hands on one until after Christmas but will let you know what I think (and if I will keep it) once I do. Read more...

Monday, 1 December 2008

More tips on selecting a tripod and head

Further on my two previous posts on choosing a tripod, How to Save Money When Buying a Tripod and More on Tripods here are a few more suggestions on models currently and easily available in Australia. Personally I love my Gitzo 3540XLS and the BH-55 head but not everyone has over a grand to spend on a camera support. Fortunately you can achieve similar results with half the cash. Remembering that the important things to look for in a tripod and head setup are that it extends to head height and gets close to the cround for macro work. And that it is easy to use and light enough that you will take it with you. So here are a few suggestions...


  • Manftotto 055. There are Five different versions of the same set of legs differing in materials used for construction and centre column set up. Have a look at the 055XB (Aluminium) or 055MF4 (Mag Fibre).
  • The MT 8271 from Giotto is a remarkable carbon fibre tripod offering simliar features to the Gitzo in a not quite as nicely finished package. It is amazingly cheep but I don't know how well they will last 3 or 4 years down the line like the Manfrotto and Gitzo counterparts.
  • My favourite is the BH-55 from Really Right Stuff but if you aren't looking to support four kilograms of camera and glass the little brother the BH-40 is a great alternative.
  • Manfrotto offer a couple of alternatives. The Hydrostatic range is superb and will support anything you care to throw at it. You can chose an arca-swiss compatable plate for it or purchase a Wimberly or RRS plate to use if you wish to use acra swiss plates (and you should)
  • The MIDI ballhead range (Not to be confused with the MINI, which is no good for our applications) is a good cheaper lighter alternative to the Hydrostatic heads. I don't like the camera attachment plates on this range and they cannot be changed to an Arca-Swiss plate but it is a good alternative especially if you don't have and never plan on getting any lenses with tripod mounts. If you do or ever will get lenses with tripod mounts then you should consider getting an Arca-Swiss compatable head.
Hope this helps a bit

Craig