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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Creating Movement with the CamRanger and MP-360 Robotic Head

Increasingly I find myself drawn to time-lapse photography. The inner geek in me seems to revel in the technical aspects and there’s something about creating a moving narrative that I find really compelling. As such, I have enjoyed using tools like the Triggertrap which have made creating time-lapses really simple. I noticed when the CamRanger came out that it too offered time-lapse as a setting, but the cost and the fact that it didn’t offer me anything that I couldn’t already do kept my interest to a lukewarm state. That changed when I heard about the CamRanger PT-Hub & MP-360 kit.

The companion video to this review is available on this link: https://vimeo.com/126256722 The video is shot to demonstrate what the CamRanger and MP-360 Head are capable of producing.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Connectivity of the Camera

It is often said that photography is a solitary pursuit. After all, a stills photographer only needs herself and a camera to be able to create an image. More so the case if the subject is a still-life, a landscape, or a building. A colleague’s recent images (see interview with Myllo Menorah) had me questioning this ‘given’ that one creates images in solitude. The idea is that, like the hermit artist, the photographer needs to be alone to contemplate the world through a lens. Then there is the fact that looking through a lens can distance the photographer from the reality in front of them. I wrote about this in Looking At the World Through a Lens. A lot of photographers I have known have been loners and often quite shy. Others, including myself, have used the camera as a shield between themselves as the real world as well as other people. So why on earth would I talk about the connectivity of the camera?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Wandering The Wild Coast

The spectacular waterfall at Waterfall Bluff in the early morning light.

The Wild Coast is an incredible and scenically rugged portion of South Africa’s coastline that runs south from the border of Kwazulu-Natal into the Eastern Cape Province; along the south-east coast of the country. This rarely visited region offers some of the most breath-taking coastal cliffs imaginable, as well as authentic rural African vistas. Nick van de Wiel of Tailor Made Safaris and I have teamed up again to offer a fantastic 8 night adventure in three superb locations along the Wild Coast. The photography workshop offers two skilled and passionate photography instructors in a very small group setting, ensuring that guest photographers get the fullest advantages of prime scenic locations and one-on-one tuition and guidance. 

The workshop takes place between the 20th to the 28th of June and only has space for 6 photographers. There are currently 4 spaces left!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Basic Workflow To LRTimelapse

Example clip and companion video available on this link
There is a growing interest in timelapse amongst stills photographers around the world. Thanks to digital and the abilities of RAW capture we are now able to create incredible sequences of footage with astounding clarity and detail. The problem of course is that stills cameras were never designed to do video in terms of ramping exposures. Essentially when we capture a single frame the exposure is for that one frame. Take a second frame with a slightly different exposure and it comes out ever so slightly lighter or darker. This is fine if you are shooting only stills images, not so good if you have 300 still images that you want to join together into a piece of video footage called a Time-lapse.

Enter Gunther Wagner’s incredible piece of software called LRTimelapse. The software is designed to work in conjunction with Adobe Lightroom or Bridge, but as the name suggests, it works best with Lightroom (and is compatible all the way from LR4 through to CC/6). At first I avoided the software as it is not cheap, but soon relented and my time-lapse clips improved as a result.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Running With a Camera - The merits of the venerable Sony NEX-5n

There's an adage that goes along the lines of: the best camera is the one that you have with you! Never a truer word was spoken. The irony of course is that we have cameras with us on a near permanent basis but we hardly ever use them properly and when we do, we never look at the photographs again. I'm referring to the ubiquitous cellphone and its narcissistic selfie-making propensities. Ah, but the image quality isn't as good I hear you say. It probably isn't, but it is good enough most of the time. Still, you are preaching to the devout when you say that the cellphone isn't good enough. So what is?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Enter the Cloud (Lightroom goes CC)

An example from the HDR merge feature in the new Lightroom CC. It seems to keep ghosting to a minimum and was fairly simple to create. This images was v=created from 3 separate exposures and rendered in b&w in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro.
Adobe unveiled the latest incarnation of their Lightroom software last month with the announcement and rollout of Lightroom CC, aka Lightroom 6. That Lightroom is part of Adobe’s subscription based Creative Cloud is not necessarily new - Lightroom 5 was included in the CC package - but that Lightroom is now too predominantly offered as a cloud-based application is new, and is significant. Already the internet forums are abuzz with how difficult it actually is to buy the standalone software dubbed Lightroom 6. At every opportunity Adobe tries to get the user to opt in to their monthly subscription package. More on this further down though.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Why Ansel Matters

About a year ago I was reading an interview with a rising landscape photographer whose work was really quite eye-catching. A comment of his grabbed my attention when he quite proudly pointed out that he didn’t even know who Ansel Adams is (quite clearly he did otherwise he wouldn’t have actually known the name to start with). For some reason it irked me and I didn’t really know why. It might have had something to do with a similar comment that photographers place on a pedestal certain other well-known photographers, and if you don’t know and understand their body of work, then you cannot possibly be an artist in your own right.