The anxious look

A young woman looks around anxiously in the crowd filled St. Patrick’s Street before she crosses at the traffic lights.

I was standing on one of the new marble blocks shooting a scene across the road when I saw the gathering crowd below me at the traffic lights. I saw the glance and quick as a flash I got the shot. It was originally slightly blurry but a little bit of b/w conversion and a duplicate layer with a touch of blur set to screen mode created a nice effect.

  • I like this: Looking up.
  • David J. Nightingale of Chromasia fame announced that another baby is on the way for him and his wife. Congratulations on that, and on going into the photography full time!
  • I never knew there was so much trouble over Photo.net.
  • 10 Dollar camera?
  • Legoize any image. That’s definitely something I’ll try out! (via)

Buildings in the sky

I live in a city where the tallest building is one that will be 17 floors high so when I travel to far off lands it’s always great to see tall skyscrapers looming over the streets.

This might bear a striking resemblance to a previous image but it is a different one and was one of my entries in the Patterns Around Us competition at my local camera club.

I have another 3 or 4 similar images but I’m not going to bore you to death by posting all of them unless I can come up with a nice montage effect or something. I’ll have to think about it.

Parking for the Guinness

Look up for unusual perspectives on ordinary scenes. I was quite happy with this image of a lamppost in Parnell Place, Cork when I took it. The signs are clearly visible and the upside-down Guinness logo catches the eye!

You have to wonder, what’s more important, Guinness or parking?

White and Red

Tourists in the town of Dingle walk along a street in late September.

I love the contrast between white and red and yet the two houses mirror each other in other ways. This was another entry in the Mallow Camera Club’s Patterns Around Us competition.

The cat’s in the cradle

Michelle looks out from her home at the dreary wet day ahead and the annoying photographer in the doorway. A few seconds later she scampered off under the bushes but was back when I disappeared.

Cats love their comfort and Michelle is no exception. She’s spoilt rotten like most house cats and never has a worry in the world!

This is one of my first shots with my shiny new Canon 50mm f1.8 lens. It was delivered while I was at the conference on Wednesday and I’m very impressed already. It’s horribly sharp and fast. The shallow depth of field offered by an aperture of f1.8 is beautiful and falls off from the sharp in-focus bits really nicely.

Alcatraz Flowers

The entrance to Alcatraz Prison is up a series of steps near these flowers. I love how they catch the light while the background is in the shade of the prison.

After yesterday’s flood of posts it’s nice to get back to the one-a-day habit although I wonder why Technorati hasn’t picked up on my IT@Cork2006 tag yet. Grrr.

It seems that they haven’t looked at my feed or updated their records of my posts yet because if you look under Canon 20d several of the posts I made yesterday show up. Not this one just yet. I guess there are lots of blogs out there!

Temporary Dwelling Prohibited

A Cork County Council warning sign looms overhead at Garretstown Beach, Co. Cork. Luckily I had left the caravan at home and the rubbish was in the bin!

This photo shows one of the disadvantages of shooting in Jpeg – it can’t cope with the subtle shades of blue in the sky, although the ugly bands of colour are made worse by my vignetting of the image afterwards. Oops.

In other news, I ordered Bibble Labs Pro RAW conversion version using a discount code on The Digital Photography Show. The nice thing is, I can use the Pro edition on Linux and the Mac, which will be useful. It’s also a great piece of software and will encourage me to shoot more RAW images.

I also ordered the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens from warehouseexpress.com (via) who were reasonably priced. Hopefully I’ll get that in the next few days and in time to shoot the IT@Cork conference in a week’s time. Eddie Hobbs and various people from the online world will be speaking there and I hope to get some goot shots.

Nikon D40 tips the scales in Canon vs Nikon fight

nikon_d40.jpg The recently announced Nikon D40 could be the camera that wins over the hearts and minds of a whole new generation of DSLR owners and it’s being released right before the Christmas buying season.

Why? For two reasons, price and brand. There are a number of digital SLR cameras in the sub $500 range; the Pentax K100D and Olympus E300 among them but the Nikon brand of digital cameras is better known. Canon don’t have any current camera to compete at this price range, yet.

What camera will parents buy their offspring this Christmas? The more expensive Canon 400D or the Nikon D40? I think it’s a no-brainer which camera they’ll buy. The Nikon is the perfect “starter camera” for junior. It’s relatively cheap, looks professionally black, makes the click sound when you take a photo like “real cameras” do and you can use other Nikon lenses. What is there not to like?

Well, the Nikon D40 is great but for the price there have been compromises made. The DP Review preview of the camera compares it favourably to the Nikon D50, emphasising the extra features the cheaper camera has. The biggest drawback is an issue with lenses. It can’t auto-focus with traditional Nikon lenses because it doesn’t have an internal focus drive motor. This is arguably worse than the Canon limitation on EF-S lenses. At least Canon EF-S cameras can take advantage of proper Canon lenses.

Perhaps the biggest negative on the D40 is that it doesn’t have an internal focus drive motor and hence no mechanical focus drive pin, instead it only has CPU contacts which means it can only Auto Focus with AF-S and AF-I lenses (those with built-in focus motors). Indeed our ‘standard’ lens the Nikkor 50 mm F1.8D (and the F1.4D) are manual focus only on the D40. The images below show the difference between the mount on the D40 and D80, the D80 has a mechanical focus drive pin at about the 7 o’clock position.

Canon need a sub-$500 DSLR to compete. Once you’re hooked on a brand of camera it’s much easier to stick with that brand. The controls will be familiar, you can use the same lenses, you visit the same online discussion boards.

Personally, I think it’s great that DSLR technology is so cheap. It’s not that long ago that the only digital SLR was priced beyond the budgets of anyone but the professionals. Isn’t Moore’s Law great?

Ken Rockwell has a great review of the Nikon D40. I think he likes it:

First impressions are:

Super-duper light weight = too much fun!

No walking stick

It’s a good thing nobody in this picture needs help walking or getting about! Is that sign really saying walking sticks aren’t allowed?
It could be one of the following too, what do you think?

  • No backpackers
  • No mountaineers or hikers
  • No round headed people
  • Or possibly even “people with bags on their back are not allowed to climb over this barrier.” Better leave the bags in town guys!

Picture taken on Alcatraz Island, San Francisco.