Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Manchester Canon Powershot G10

I was in Manchester recently to meet up with an old mate and take in a gig at he the Albert Hall.

I was travelling light with just a shoulder bag so chucked the Canon G10 in as my camera for the trip.

Manchester as a city fascinates me, the centre is modern and trendy with beautiful people dashing about clutching a coffee to go in one hand and a smartphone in the other. Then, walk down a side street and suddenly the hi-tech glass and steel architecture has disappeared and you are faced with a derelict victorian warehouse, long abandoned.

Canon Powershot G10

Canon Powershot G10
While we were there the Conservative party were having their annual conference. On Sunday before we got our trains back we sat enjoying a coffee outside the conference centre entrance watching the various protesters, among the most interesting was this John Bull character.

Canon Powershot G10
These images were converted from RAW in Tonality then sent to Lr for lens correction and export to jpg for inclusion in this blog.

Soar y Mynydd

When in West Wales recently, we took a diversion out into the wilds beyond Tregaron to look at to Soar y Mynydd, what is said to be the most isolated chapel in Wales.

This tiny Calvinist Methodist chapel is located nine miles up a single track mountain road, on the way we found this long disused telephone box. Even before the mobile phone I would not have thought there was much call for a phone box out here.

Canon 5DII, Canon 24-70mm L f2.8

Canon 5DII, Canon 24-70mm L f2.8

Canon 5DII, Canon 24-70mm L f2.8
A few miles on from here lies Soar y Mynydd chapel.

Canon 5DII, Canon 24-70mm L f2.8

Canon 5DII, Canon 85mm L f1.8
I've been playing with an App called Tonality which is Mac only and I picked up from the App store. It looks a lot like Lr but minus the cataloging and has presets like Silver EFX pro. The USP over these two Apps is that Tonality can edit with layers, so effects can be built up. It reads RAW files from both my Canon and Fuji cameras, and can export as a TIFF into Lr and Ps. It also works as plug in on Apple Photos. Files are exported in the usual formats from jpg, psd and even OpenEXR.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Are we there yet?

Back in the 1970's we lived on Anglesey in North Wales. At some stage during the summer we would visit my Mamgu and Tadcu (grandparents on my father's side) in Llandysul in West Wales.

When the time came the four of us would climb aboard the family car, variously through the years a Wolsley Hornet, Austin 1100 or Morris Marina, and set off on the all-day epic that was the drive to Llandysul.

As can be seen from this Google Maps image, today it should take just over 3 hours. Admittedly the road has improved in a couple of areas during the last 40 odd years but not to the extent that would make more than 20 - 25 minutes difference over the whole journey.

During the ensuing 8 plus hours I would be in the back seat of our various cars with my younger sister, sat on British Leyland's finest molten PVC upholstery, being smoked like a pair of Kippers by two chain smoking parents. 

To gage how far we had travelled, and how far was yet to travel, my sister and me had various landmarks that we looked for on the way.

The first, after what seemed an age perched in on the back seat were the "Hairy Trees" on the side of the road as it runs alongside Llyn Cwellyn all of 20 miles from our home.

This odd growth on the trees seems to have become far less common since then, when I went back to photograph these I was able to find only one "Hairy Tree".

The next landmark was Trawsfyndd Nuclear Power Station, around 35 agonising miles from our house. Now decommissioned, the radioactive waste is stored on site and will be here for the next 300 years.

Through Dolgellau, turn right at the Cross Foxes Hotel and towards Corris. High above the A487 on the Tal y Llyn pass is the Devils Pulpit.

Its now four hours into the journey, and as we approach the halfway mark, my sister and me have inhaled the equivalent of 10 cigarettes each, and eaten far too many dusty Smith & Kendon travel sweets than is healthy. The inside of the car is cooled to a slightly more bearable 25 degrees C as we wind our way along the tree shaded road on the approach to Machynlleth, as we pass the impressive clock tower we know that there would be a stop within the next 40 minutes or so.

The road became pretty twisty after Machynlleth and therefore slow. Eventually the next landmark appeared, the waterwheel of Dyfi Furnace at Furnace. This site was once used for iron ore smelting, the waterwheel powering the bellows. Abandoned in the early 1800's it looked in very poor condition when we used to drive past. In 2011 when taking our daughter to university in Aber it was nice to see it had been renovated.

The next 3 miles seemed to take an eternity before the welcome site of the Cletwr Cafe in Tre'r ddol came into view. Here we would at last get out of the car and get some fresh air. 

The inside of the Cletwr was festooned with myriad Bossons chalkware character heads, various grimacing Pirates, Fishermen and Gypsies staring at us as we enjoyed a Fanta and toasted teacake. 
The Cletwr has only recently re-opened as, not just a cafe but also village shop selling local produce as well as newspapers.

After this welcome break we all climbed back into the mobile oven our car had become whilst parked.

The next landmark would be a long way off. We always bypassed Aberystwyth taking a diversion to Llanbadarn Fawr. We continued along the coast road.
When trying to locate these landmarks for this blog, I failed to find the WW2 Pillbox in Ffostrasol. It is in this area that the biggest road improvements have been made and it was just not visible. I have since tried looking on Google maps but can't locate it. As we passed this remnant of Britain's defence against German invasion from Eire (as it was then called) we were told our uncle Gerald did night shifts in it when in the Home Guard.
By now it was only a short distance to our destination, Plygyrhiw, our Mamgu and Tadcu's house in Llandysul. 

It was usually dark when we arrived so after brief greetings and a cup of tea it was off to bed. And that is a whole load of other stories.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Canon G10 Macro

The Canon G10 was handy when again the evening light hit the vase of fading Sunflowers on our window ledge.

I used the G10 set to macro and simply knocked off some shots without really looking at the screen, just relying on the focus confirmation beep.

I was rather pleased with these two abstract images.

Processed from RAW in Lr, Ps and EFX-Pro.

Canon Powershot G10 in Macro mode

Canon Powershot G10 in Macro mode

Friday, 18 September 2015

Olympus Pen E1 rediscovered

If you have read this blog from the start, or were just drunk, or bored and read it all in one sitting once you had scrolled down 20 pages in a Google search, then you will know I have an Olympus Pen E1.

I liked the Pen but it was kidnapped and taken to China by my daughter and spent 12 months there with her.

Its now back, as is my daughter, and its been lying around in the the house, much like her, after she used it to take photos of some stuff she was putting on eBay.

This evening the setting sun hit a vase of Sunflowers that we have and so I grabbed the Pen as it was handy and got some images before I lost the light.

I used the standard Olympus Zuiko 14-42mm lens and when I looked at the images on the monitor I was really impressed. The Pen was set to jpg capture so no RAW conversion here.

Olympus Pen EP-L1/Zuiko 14-42

Olympus Pen EP-L1/Zuiko 14-42

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Canon G10 Aberystwyth

I finally got to take the Canon G10 somewhere other than back and forth to work in my manbag.

I rode to Aberystwyth recently to view the Phillip Griffiths exhibition in the National Library in Aberystwyth, which is well worth a visit.

I only have s small seat bag that attaches to the pillion seat so no space for my Fuji X-Pro1 never mind the Canon 5DII. So I chucked in the G10.

It was a quick overnight stay so not a great deal of time to explore Aber photographically so these images were taken on the way to the exhibition.

I shot RAW and jpg and these images were processed from the RAW files.

In decent light the G10 can produce the goods, as light falls and you push the ISO above 800 the noise gets too much. 

Convert the images to BW and the ISO can be pushed much higher and the noise, to me, looks quite nice. i'll post some BW converted images in another post.

Images processed in Lr, Ps and EFX Pro as usual.

Canon G10 processed from RAW in Lr, Ps and EFX Pro

Canon G10 processed from RAW in Lr, Ps and EFX Pro

Canon G10 processed from RAW in Lr, Ps and EFX Pro

Canon G10 processed from RAW in Lr, Ps and EFX Pro

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

iPhone 6 camera and Photos App for editing

I was in York last weekend and came across the York Scooter Club displaying some of their Mod style Scooters.

As I walked past I grabbed some shots using my iPhone 6. I then edited these in the Photos App on my iMac just to see what it was like.

As a simple quick photo editor is works well; I used the enhance function and then applied a Chrome filter and a bit of cropping. In one image I used the Healing Tool.

iPhone 6, edited in Photos

iPhone 6, edited in Photos

iPhone 6, edited in Photos

iPhone 6, edited in Photos