Friday, 31 July 2009

NIKKOR 18-200MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II AF-S DX Lens

This lens could well be the perfect companion for the newly launched D3000 DSLR body from Nikon?

This flexible 11.1x Vibration Reduction ‘superzoom’ NIKKOR lens replaces the popular AF-S DX VR Zoom NIKKOR 18-200MM F/3.5-5.6G IF-ED to offer improved functionality and image quality.

Robert Cristina, Manager Professional Products, Nikon Europe says: “The 11.1x zoom ratio and beautifully balanced design make it ideal for anyone on the move and travelling light. The latest modifications in the new 18-200 come as a result of valuable feedback from customers.”

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II incorporates an all new zoom mechanism to prevent what is sometimes referred to as ‘zoom creep’ (the lens moves under its own weight when tilted). A new zoom lock switch keeps the lens compact when being carried as well. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II also features an improved Super Integrated Coating, an exclusive multi-layer lens element coating which reduces ghost and flare, ensuring improved image quality and contrast.

The lens features Nikon’s exclusive Vibration Reduction (VRII), giving users the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops* slower than would otherwise be possible, thereby minimizing image blur caused by camera shake. The optical VR system also stabilises the viewfinder image enabling more accurate autofocus acquisition and framing to make it ideal for shooting in low light conditions without a tripod.

*As determined in Nikon performance tests.


Focal length: 18-200 mm
Max/min aperture: f/3.5-5.6G
Lens construction: ED glass and aspherical lens elements
Picture angle: 76°-8°
No. diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)
Closest focusing distance: 0.5 m/1.6 ft.
Filter/attachment size: 72mm
Diameter x length: Approximately 77 x 96.5 mm/3.0 x 3.8 in.
Weight: Approximately 565 g/19.9oz

Park Cameras are taking pre-orders for delivery expected at the end of August.

Nikon D3000

And here it is, the latest offering from the Nikon DSLR stable.

The new D3000 model is packed with user friendly, intuitive features which have been designed to guide DSLR first timers towards capturing professional looking images at the click of a button.

Jordi Brinkman, Product Manager for Nikon Europe says: “The D3000 dispels the view that DSLR cameras are complicated and makes taking great pictures simpler than ever before. You can really concentrate on having fun with photography and the Guide mode helps you to get the best results with the minimum of fuss.”

The new intelligent Guide mode demystifies the often complex world of digital SLR photography by helping DSLR first timers to get the most from their images by recommending the appropriate settings for their subject or scene. The visual demonstrations help you to pre-visualise the end result and teach you how to improve your photography skills by clearly identifying the settings used to achieve the image. Once you have mastered the basic skills you can take your photography to the next level by testing out the more creative options within the guide mode.

If you're new to DSLR photography, then this may be the camera for you.

I've noticed that Park Cameras are taking pre-orders with delivery anticipated for the end of August.

And the Winner is...

Ben & I had great trouble selecting the winning image for submission to Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk competition, but after much deliberation (mainly because no one saw fit to bribe or attempt to bribe us!) we chose "Pleasure" by Nick Eastham. Well done Nick. We can't wait to see where this image goes with the worldwide judging.

"Pleasure" Copyright Nick Eastham 2009

To be fair to all the other photo walkers, we're also giving a local prize of a UK Photo Walks polo shirt the best image i.e. one that appeals to us, from the Brighton 2009 Flickr group. If you've got a favourite image from the day, please let us know via a comment below, it would be good to see who likes what.


Thursday, 30 July 2009

Pros and Cons

We were contacted by a client today who are in the process of having their website updated by a design business with a "professional" photographer in-house. Normally, they would use our studio for all their work, due to the fact it's technical glassware. The website designers were very insistent that our client use their in-house photographer for the website pack shots. They were very surprised by the results this "professional" delivered, but not in a positive way. Apparently, the photographer was shown one of our images and said it would be no trouble to emulate the same style! I've taken a look at the website of the "professional" and quite frankly there's nothing there to show any competence as a professional at any level, in any disipline. In this case a con, not a pro.

On another note, someone sent me a link to a local pro website as they are waiting for a response to an urgent enquiry by email - they have load of pack shots and wanted a comparative price. I suggested that if this guy is a pro then he'll pick up the message on his iPhone and respond accordingly. On the contact page there is no telephone number or address, I reckon he must be working at his real job today!

If you're a business looking for a photographer make sure any photographers you contact exhibit work on their website that's relevant to your needs. Judge their competence by what they show. If there isn't any relevent work, buyer beware!

Unfortunately, clients who know no better can quite easily be sold a sub-standard product. The web's a great place to search, but there's no guarantee the person you find can deliver images to the required standard on time and on budget.

Inexpensive digital cameras are great, but just because someone has a digital camera and website, it doesn't make them a professional photographer. Someone said to me the other day that someone must be a professional as he's got a website - I've got a blow lamp and pipe grips but I don't sell my services as a plumber and heating engineer.



Monday, 27 July 2009

Small Business Marketing

In these difficult times many of us will receive more and more unsolicited letters or junk mail through our doors. Many people will recycle these without taking a second glance - STOP, take a look, you may be missing valuable opportunities.

Today I received two letters from local businesses, both looking to generate more business. Instead of recycling, I telephoned each sender to thank them, which straight away opened the conversation. I was honest with both as the services they were offering I already have reliable suppliers, but mentioned I would refer them should the opportunity arise. Having made the effort to contact these people this gave me a brief opportunity to do my pitch.

In the current climate we need to take and make every opportunity to market our businesses. These businesses have made the effort to contact me, I'll now keep in contact with them. Who knows where it could lead in the future.

Remember, some of the most cost-effective business you develop could be right on your doorstep. I know everyone goes on about the value of your website and social marketing, but it doesn't hurt to pick up the 'phone or write a letter!


Monday, Monday

Welcome to the week. Since the Brighton Worldwide Photo Walk on the 18th July, things around here haven't stopped. The school holidays have started and I took a few days off to prepare for some new additions to the family - four Wellsummer hens at the bottom of the garden. I know the kids will love caring for these fowl and we'll all benefit when the start producing fresh eggs.

UK Photo Walks are well under way with some exciting days out being planned. I'm currently busy scouting locations which will enable you to create some stunning images under the expert guidance of working professional photographers.

The UK Photo Walks website is now on line and being updated regularly. Do visit it now at if you'd like to be updated with news of forthcoming walks do email me via the link on the website.

The weather in the UK isn't looking too hot, literally! Looks like rain for the best part of the week. I've plenty to keep me occupied in the studio.

Have a great week.


Sunday, 19 July 2009

Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk 2009 - Brighton

What can I say? A terrific day. Great weather and a fabulous bunch of photographers. A big thank you to all that participated and for making it such a great day.

Here's the group before we started, and they were still smiling
nearly 2 hours later when we reached Brighton beach

I've just taken a look at the walks Flickr pool and there are already some great images to view. I have to say that I'm suitably impressed with the images I've seen so far. When it comes to selecting the image we will have a tough decision!

Watching him, watching him. Um!

I was lucky enough to have one of my daughters with me, who as it happens also had my Canon G10 with her. Here's one of her images.

Who needs Raybans?

I look forward to seeing more contributions from Saturday soon. Don't forget we need your submissions no later than 12 noon on Saturday 25th July, this is earlier than stated on the Worldwide Photo Walk website, but Ben & I need time to make our decision based around our other commitments!



Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Bogen Imaging Webinar

Bogen Imaging, Inc. in the US are hosting a free webinar Adventure Sports Photography: Roundtable with Adventure Photographer Michael Clark on Friday 17th July at 19:00 hr (7:00 PM) BST.

Even if you're not an adventure photographer this will be a great opportunity to learn from others, be inspired by their images and maybe pick up some hints and tips along the way.

See you there.


Sunday, 5 July 2009

Worldwide Photo Walk, Brighton - Update

I've spent some time refining the route today and will post a map and other useful information in the near future.

I took the opportunity to take my Lensbaby for a walk, here are two of the frames I created:

The Royal Pavilion, the iconic Brighton landmark built for George IV

One of the rides on Brighton Pier, panned with the action -
no Photoshop motion blur, just the Lensbaby adding that something extra!

Must go now as it's Sunday and I should be with my family.



Friday, 3 July 2009

Coming soon...

I've had another great week which has meant neglecting my blog. Watch this space for something I'm working on - making movies with stills cameras. And no, we're not using the Canon EOS 5D Mk II HD video facility! I must continue dowloading thousands of stills files that will make a movie with the expert touch of a professional editor.

Have a good weekend.