Monday, April 29, 2013

Bergsig, a slice of Heaven

Bergsig Eco Estate, Bela Bela. A weekend in a SA bush Heaven. The host, Hendrik, made everything possible that the weekend got remembered in more than one way ! Mo, Steve, and Herman did some wonderful braais, spit braais, potjie and breakfasts ! The Bush Camp, located at a high point on the land was where the last three days unfolded in the (fast) approaching winter

3 cameras, 4 different films : Leica Minilux, Nikon 28Ti, iPhone 5 .. Portra 100, Ferrania Solaris FG+ 200, Fuji 400X, Lomography X-Pro Chrome 100. You can find out which image is which (camera/film), but i purposefully decided to mix them together and not specifically elaborate on the gear - they are equally dear to me now and all very honest to light, color and the moments in motion.

I was very tempted to post the images below in their B&W versions, converted using Ilford HPS 800 simulation - they look that good in B&W! But in order to avoid bad language used together with my name, and in attempt to preserve as much as possible the feeling of the bush and the light upon us there, i opted for the original color images.

Without further ado, may i present mostly portraits of elephants, giraffes and people (Hendrik might disagree with 'people' ;-|), which tell a story (i hope) of all of us together in the wonderful Bergsig !

To be continued in the coming weekend ;-)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A thought on form and content

The subjects of assessment quality and information presentation do not seize to fascinate me .. I am one of those very few or very many who believe that form should not follow content - they should walk / run together

There are 5 dimensions id like to define for the purpose of this slice of thought :

1st  Dimension : Free format text, sentences. Bullets or no bullets. Personal interpretation reigns. Qualitative, subjective - are key words here

2nd Dimension : simple dashboard, tabular presentation with row and columns with single meaning at any point in time. Quantitative, closed for manipulation (from this dimension onwards)

3rd Dimension : "Complex" dashboard - a dashboard where color and color keys have meaning, defined symbols. Few cells here can equal a page or a few - in 1st above. A cell can tell a story ..

4th Dimension : 3rd Dimension +  timeline with history

5th Dimension : 3rd of 4th +  What-ifs / scenarios. The future view. Input parameters

I came to this realisation today : How many people are stuck in the 1st and getting progressively confused as they move up the numbers .. I feel im stuck in 2nd - 3rd, and do not understand well 1st, in fact getting frustrated and stressed if i have to work in the 1st dimension. 2nd is starting to make me happy ..

These are quick thoughts which will vanish as the snow last winter, tomorrow - when im on my way to  the bush, so wanted to quickly put them down now. You might find something to ponder about here .. i might come back and expand this subject which i still find fascinating and little explored (by me).


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quick thoughts after phone cameras review

Interesting look at capabilities of 4 cameras, excluding tools, just looking at in internal camera SW .. I never had great results with the internal iPhone camera : limiting, boring, and uncreative in my view :

It's reassuring for me - i'd buy the iPhone again today after reading this review and seeing the low light images :

"The iPhone 5 is still a good option for mobile photographers, with good detail capture and pleasant image rendition in both bright and lower light. However, we were not impressed by the blown highlights in both our sunlight and flash portraits. The Apple device also tends to select very slow shutter speeds in low light which, given the lack of an optical image stabilization system, can lead to shaky images."

i shoot the iphone always with flash off and with EV-0.66 - -1.33 .. Precisely for the blown highlights. I feel i have remedied the issue to a large extent - in the end, images  come out very much as with narrow latitude (underexposed) slide film and acceptable gradation (for what the iPhone is).

Then with KitCam (in the iPhone) i have virtually NO blurred or fuzzy shots ! Even in difficult light.. From a moving car - i used to get 30 - 50% discards with Hipstamatic, and now 0 - 10% - with KitCam. Focus is instantaneous - i actually do not think of it at all while shooting, unless i want to change the focus point or spot meter. And all this is without the anti-shake enabled there - they must be doing something internally.

What this review does not mention is how well do the different images respond to post - processing : NR and sharpening in particular, with the view of detail recovery (somehow). The type of noise.The camera tools. The focus speeds. In my case, tools like Hipstamatic and KitCam enable the iPhone's magic. Are same (Hipstamatic, KitCam) available on the other platforms? Take the camera tools off my iPhone and im back to the LX5 or film only "in a flash" .

And finally, here's is something i came across, which echoes my feelings about iPhone 5 and application importance very well :

To be continued ..


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On working hard

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do
~Jerome K. Jerome

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Summer-fall into Winter

9 April. Again this year - the time of 'in-between seasons' .. Im not sure if it's summer still, if it's fall, or it's time to get the fireplace going. The sun is lower to the north, twilight is early, it's crisp and wonderful. And peaceful.

This is when i take out the LX5 for a walk in the garden, to see if she sees what i see. She fails me not.. She's a love in the making once again.

There will be visitors this time of the year