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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Tale of Two Plates - Sirui L-Brackets vs. The Competition

Several years ago I was introduced to the value of an L-plate on my camera. Since then my cameras have rarely gone a day without an L-plate attached firmly to their base. To the uninitiated the plate seems a little silly, so let me briefly outline their usefulness: 

The Power of the Polaroid

Here’s a very quick tip for travel photographers. Get a polaroid camera. Well, nowadays it’s more likely to be an Instax camera to be honest. Either way get an instant camera for your travels. It’s the passport you never knew you had.

Years ago, when I was still pretending to be an academic, an ethnographer in particular, I used to carry a Fujifilm Instax 200 Wide camera with me whenever I went on a fieldwork trip. The ‘film’ was expensive for me as a student, but I always found that it was an incredible ice-breaker on meeting people that I wanted to interview. If it wasn’t an ice-breaker it was a fantastic memento of our meeting. As I did return trips to the fieldwork site in the Caprivi, I would often be met by past interviewees with wide smiles and the mention that they still had the photograph that I had given them the previous year. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Laowa 12mm Ultra wide lens review

long exposure image with Laowa 12mm

The Laowa 'Zero-D' 12mm f2.8 lens has become something more than just a Kickstarter project. It is now available at several brick and mortar stores around the world, and not just online and on eBay. After backing the original project I received my lens in the first quarter of 2017. Since then it has become a mainstay of my bag for commercial and industrial work. I love the lens, but isn't everyone's taste. I recently put together a review for Landscapegear.co.za as they are now the official distributors for Laowa in South Africa. 

As an added bonus, if you pick up this lens in the next two weeks, you can get the Nisi 100mm filter older as a bundle with a R1000 discount. This is phenomenal value, and the filter holder outperforms the original Venus Optics holder in every measurable way. Plus, it includes a circular polarizer that doesn't vignette! 

Click through to read the full review on Landscapegear's blog.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Filters, Photoshop, and Reality - Is it Real and Does it Really Matter?

An image from a series of limestone outcrops on the western shore of Madagascar. Purists would look at the relative paucity of post-production and claim that the image is somehow more real (although detractors of neutral density filters might claim otherwise), yet the black and white, almost infra-red view of the image is quite far from the lived visual reality.

Depending on where, or who, you are reading, perceived reality seems to matter a lot. Looking through some image forums on the internet I came across a fairly large trove of vitriol towards images that were perceived as ‘unreal’ by the viewers. An image by a fairly well known American landscape photographer seemed to arouse a surprisingly amount of ire amongst armchair photographers the world over. These screen grabs were taken from the image in question:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Composing The Winelands

This is a photographic workshop that will combine the genre’s of landscape, product and commercial lifestyle photography into what has become known as ‘Wine Imagery’: something quite unique to the South African wine region, known as The Boland.

The Boland is the heart of the greater South African wine region, and the town of Stellenbosch is at the very heart of this exquisite wine region.

And what better location to base ourselves while we aim to produce a range of images, from landscapes of the endless rows of vineyards and mountains, the colourful details and textures, to the wine barrels in the cellar. As well as the product images of individual wine bottles and the commercial lifestyle images of select wine-farm staff, in the vines and in the cellar.

Read more at Composing the Winelands...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Photographing with the family

Photographers can be an odd brood. They are difficult to travel with, period. Unless of course they are traveling with other photographers (although tripod rage is a real thing). Pity the poor traveler who has to put up with a group of photographers when they themselves are armed with nothing more than a smartphone. Be prepared for long waits if you happen to be one of those (usually persevering and patient spouses). What about a photographer’s family though. It’s one thing to be constantly the subject of a trained lens, it’s another to have to hang about while mom or dad grapple with a tripod and a set of filters as the light fades. So how do you as a photographer handle it?