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.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Balancing ISO

Off the bat I'm going to state - and this is important - I am a HUGE fan of low ISO work. When you are wanting clarity, acuity and the best possible pixels with which to work base ISO (i.e. the lowest ISO on your camera, disregarding Nikon's 'Lo' settings) is the best possible place to start. BUT, photographic exposure is always, always, about compromise. It is simply impossible to have a fast shutter speed, tiny aperture and zero noise all on the same exposure (unless you have the sun strapped to your shoulder, which is unlikely unless you are the Egyptian God Ra). So there has to be some sort of compromise somewhere. 

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Monday, January 21, 2013

A Thanda Start To The Year

It's been an unusually slow start to the year for me as I've just returned from a post Christmas family jaunt to visit...family. So now back to the real world of photography, teaching and more photography :)

The spiders are back! Thanda at this time of year is a veritable of entangled web of spiders. This is not for arachnophic among us, something we continually forget to warn our photography students about (mea culpa - it is not intentional, I promise). Driving down tracks one is forced to duck and lunge out of the path of Garden and Golden Orb Web Spiders, or occasional lone Bark Spider or Kite Spider. They are everywhere, and although hey are all pretty much harmless, it is not a nice feeling when a miniature Shelob waltzes up your neck. Well, not so miniature I guess. They are huge. Bigger for the aforementioned fear of eight-legged creepy crawlies. But boy, do they make interesting photographic material!  
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Friday, January 4, 2013

The Future of the Profession

A lot of people talk about photography as a career and how it is an eroding profession. Some photographers talk about the race to the bottom of the barrel in regards to image and shoot-for-hire pricing. Others discuss the difficulty in finding work when anyone with a camera seems to be in on the act and advertising their services as a professional. Many bemoan the apparent ease with which the general public can ‘play photographer’, and worse, that the old client has the same perceptions, thinking that Matthew in accounts owns a DSLR so he can shoot the next advertising campaign. This is, in case nobody noticed, the negative perception of photography as a career. I’m not in this camp, but I am a realist in the sense that I can recognize that photography has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, and as with all things that change, if you don’t learn to ride the rampaging bull you are going to fall off.

Right now we live in an incredibly exciting period for photography. The equipment that is on offer is unparalleled in it’s ability to finely record detail and tonal range. We can do things that was previously unimagined. Looking back over the last year we see the introduction of a 36mp 35mm format camera that blows away anything that we could have done with film (in terms of resolution with that format size camera). Even the price, which is admittedly high, is still lower than comparable film medium format cameras of the 15 years ago. Then there are the advances in lighting. Going into a studio one hardly sees wired cabling anymore. We can put lights anywhere the imagination gives us whim to. And Photoshop lends an imaginative hand allowing us to craft our visions in ways that were previously impossible. I can work an event now with strobes in each corner of the room and choose to fire all of them, some of them or none of them. I can even adjust their output without physically touching the flashes or even going near them. Then, when I get back to the studio I’m able to transform images from the humdrum into something exciting by pulling and adjusting tones globally and locally, all without visibly affecting image quality. Add to this the fact that the internet allows us to disseminate our work and communicate with others across the globe and the only entrance requirement is access to a computer and bandwidth. That access is allowing us to learn from others without physically making contact with them. The voluminous information available on the internet means that there are more and more photographers who are able to teach themselves the intricacies of the camera and light. But it’s also introduced a growing trend that has influenced the photographic community as a whole; the cult of photography. 

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