About this Blog

Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Confusing Circles and Airy Disks: A relatively simple explanation of depth of field and hyperfocal focusing

After much searching of the internet and reading of photographic textbooks (the dense kind that have little if any pictures) I discovered I’m absolutely clueless as to how to actually calculate hyperfocal distance and little better at understanding it. My goal then became to reverse this if at all possible. This tutorial then is my attempt to wade through what I saw as rather complex math and distil it into something that makes sense to other mathematical luddites like me. I’ll start the article with the simple stuff, and move on to the more complicated matters after. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

An Obsession With Decay

Photographers have a strange affinity with ruins. Some of the earliest daguerreotypes are of some of what we consider famous ruins now - the likes of the Parthenon - or of decrepit farm houses. Early photographs were used as a historical status quo image, creating a record of historical architecture, as was the case with the 1851 ‘Heliographic Mission’. This was an official mission to record historical buildings, many of which were in a state of ruin and which were earmarked for restoration or were in the actual process of restoration. Prominent photographers of the day, Hippolyte Bayard, Gustave le Gray, Edourad Baldus and Mestral were involved in this technical exercise. At this point the definition of “photography as art” was still in its nascent stages. This would form more thoroughly as the Calotype became more prominent in use.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Subject and Story in Landscape Photography

One of the most popular genres of photography has been, since the very emergence of photography, landscape photography. As a record of places visited to the creation of prints intended to be hung on walls as art, landscape photography consumes the attention of not only enthusiast photographers, but also of the general picture viewing consumers. Landscape images greet us the moment we boot up our computers and often grace the screens of the devices that we choose to carry in our briefcases and pockets. The array of bright colours and startling compositions has meant that for much of the landscape imagery that is produced there is a certain sense of, ‘meh’ that has now become the standard response to what was once considered incredible imagery. Why is that?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Is the Upgrade to Nik Efex II worthwhile?

The Nik collection has a fairly storied history to date. It began when Nikon decided to let go the Nik team and their proprietary software based on what they called ‘u-points’. The u-point technology underpinned Nikon’s RAW developer, Capture NX2. This was a fantastic - albeit slow - RAW developer that could arguably get the best results of any programme from Nikon RAW files. As an independent software developer Nik brought out the Nik collection, also based on their u-point technology. The full collection cost a whopping US$500, but you could also buy each of the independent apps for about $99 (if memory serves me correctly). In particular, their Color Efex, Silver Efex, HDR Efex and Viveza were quickly recognised as some of the best plugin apps in the industry. Then in 2012 Google bought Nik and effectively killed off Capture NX2 as Nikon lost their stake in Nik. Google also drove the price for the full collection down to $150, then to $99, and finally offered it for free!