A lot of the images on this blog are from my phone. While it has not replaced my DSLR it has become my everyday carry but it does have limitations when it comes to lenses. When I saw this article on Boing Boing for a cheap set of clip on lenses it got me thinking about whether or not it was worth the trouble. Looking over to my left I noticed a similar but larger set of accessory lenses from one of my oldest digital cameras a Kodak DX3900 that I no longer use but have held onto since 2003.


I figured these lenses were probably slightly better quality but I lacked a way to attach them. That said, I figured I could try freelensing using my phone instead of risking getting the sensor on my DSLR covered in dust. This way I could have some fun until I worked out how to attach them or gave in and a bought a cheap clip on set.

Enter my trusty studio assistant Edwood. A simple two light setup on my desk resulted in these images.

This was a quick and dirty test of different combinations. I tried stacking the macro lenses onto the wide and tele but had difficulty focussing. The macro was probably the standout for me but overall the lenses are too big to freehold and really impractical for use outdoors. The results are also a little soft but I could probably improve on that if had more control over aperture.

I’m now sold on the idea of getting some add-on lenses though and having something universal rather than for a specific phone makes sense.  I would also like to see if there are telephoto options so I think I will see what else is out there.

A selection from 2014

Ever watch a series on television and there is an episode made up almost entirely of bits from previous episodes?

Yep, that’s what this is. I went back through the year to find some images my most recent followers may have missed and to remind myself of what I got up to.

For those of you who have stuck around, thanks.


Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

A rushed update for this week as the semester grinds on and work is due. I decided to outsource my workload related anxiety to Edwood and as you can see he is a bit dark on me at present…

There is always times for looking at photos though. Here is this week’s selection.

Portraits made by Diego Arroyo

Some gorgeous photos of Japan through the seasons by Yoshi Shimamura  aka knulp

Listening to…  Lake Street Dive 



Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

A new semester begins this week and it feels like I will never get to read anything that isn’t for work or study. Roll on June 2015.

Distressed and deserted buildings by Bas van der Poel

Hideaki Hamada works with what he has to hand, including his children.

JoeyL is a young man with a passion to document tribes and societies that are disappearing all over the world.

Listening to…  I get stuck on themes pretty easily and yes, it’s another fusion clip that has me thinking I really must work harder to level up.

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

The lull before the storm of a new semester is here and the break I had planned has been taken up by work demands. I did finally get to have a decent look through the McCurry book though.

Portraits of Sudanese emigres by Mike Mellia. There are also portfolios of commercial work.

Listening to more fusion…  This time classical meets pub rock as the 2Cellos take on AC/DC. It’s Cello but not as you know it.


Working with Edwood

Working with Edwood

It was a case of “plan A” falling apart this weekend.

I had hoped to capture a dramatic sky at sunrise on my morning walk but it was dull and void of interest, the light was flat and perhaps I was too. The recent spate of hot days have sapped my focus and the strong North winds make the outdoors unpleasant.

Then there are the fires nearby today. I can see and smell the smoke from my window and I’m hoping that it gets no closer. One was headed directly towards us but a wind change turned it away.

I decided that I would do some lighting experiments with my assistant Edwood. (By experiments, I mean mucking around to keep my mind off things…)

The lighting is basic. Manual flash powered down to 1/16 power with small diffuser, about arms length from the subject. Camera less than a hand’s span away. 1/60 sec shutter with apertures between f16 and f22. Edwood was posed on a post that let me light from beneath for some drama.

These small scale lighting set-ups can be scaled up and are a good way to learn the limits of equipment and to understand the quality and direction of light.

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

Another paper due this week so my attention has been diverted elsewhere. My assistant Edwood is busy reading too.

Direction & Quality of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography Anywhere  by Neil van Niekerk has joined the growing number of books waiting to be read.

This will give you an idea why I bought this book.

It would have been better if I had studied photography. At least there would have been pictures in the texts… 18 months and four subjects to go…

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

A dilemma this week, brought on by the need to buy a present for someone I don’t know well enough. I knew he was into photography but that work and family had drained his enthusiasm. So I thought a well chosen book could inspire and motivate a return to the medium.

With this in mind I scoured the bookshops. Initially I thought of getting Untold Story the larger companion to the Steve McCurry book I mentioned in a previous post but I also saw a book by Michael Freeman that I had placed on my wish list some time back called The Photographers Eye. This is a boxed set that includes the a graphic guide and I thought it would also make a great gift.

I walked out of the store with both books, unable to decide. Eventually I kept the Freeman and he got the McCurry. Now Untold Story is on my wish list and my unread pile got a little higher…

Other things I have seen recently;

Industrial images from Christian Pearson. Love the scale of people in these images.

Portraiture from Guillaume Kayacan.

Listening to…  Christmas Muzak. It drowns out everything else this time of year!