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View from the Carrot Room

Images, reviews and general ramblings about film and digital photography

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Photography

Transition from tester/reviewer back to Photographer

A couple of years ago I embarked on a journey with the intent to document the small collection of cameras I had, as more or less a personal project. As I progressed the collection grew and the end of the process rather than getting closer seemed to extend into the distance. In the last few months I have reached a point where I don’t feel I have to complete this exercise and I have reduced my collection down to the ones I want to keep and use and am slowly selling off those that don’t meet my criteria of Voigtländer or beautiful or useful.

Building 201 Voigtlander Prominent

So I now have before me (and upon me) a struggle to change the way I shoot and write. For me “struggle” appears to be the right word. I seem to have slipped into a process of shooting purely to test the particular camera I was using and less so looking for really good images that I would be proud of. That is not to say that I didn’t take good pictures I am quite happy with a lot that I have taken over the last year or so. It is just now that I am back to taking photos for their own sake I feel like I have forgotten somewhat where I left off.

Railing Voigtlander Prominent

Continue reading “Transition from tester/reviewer back to Photographer”

Cameras: Nikon 1 V1

I have no real idea why I bought this; it was completely on a whim.  I have a perfectly good (better) digital camera that I love so this really is a mystery.

It happened in a kind of blur… I read a couple of reviews and then fatally checked out that auction site…  some days later a package arrived on my doorstep.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Apart from my Nikonos underwater cameras I have never been a Nikon owner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I guess what interested me about this camera was the look it has; very simple minimalist lines (a sleek black slightly round cube).  Continue reading “Cameras: Nikon 1 V1”

Stepping out

Over the last few years I have enjoyed writing this blog and also posting my photos online, it feels good to share my thoughts and work. But all too easily one can get used to this kind of life with everything online and, apart from going out to take photos, not really mixing in the real world.

Even the going out and shooting for me for the most part is a solitary exercise. Of course I go on trips and visits with my Fiancee and I take photos, but even then it’s usually me taking my pictures and other times it is just me doing a photo walk.

So recently I have been actively seeking out opportunities to meet and spend time with other photographers; real in the flesh people – I know, shocking. Continue reading “Stepping out”

Themes and styles – a journey

I have read a few articles recently about photography styles and also had a couple of conversations about influences and what my photography is.  It is something that lately I seem to struggle with and it relates to my current photography confusion.

One post I read suggested that to find your ‘style’ make a collection of all your favourite images by trolling the web then analyse any commonality.  Where there are common themes, try to put some words describing what it is about those images and Hey Presto! you have you style.

This is interesting but I decided an amendment to this approach is to look at my own work and determine any common themes there first.

So I have scanned through the last 12 years of digital images in my archive and have indeed found some common themes.  Continue reading “Themes and styles – a journey”

This is hard

Ugh

This year does not seem to be going as I expected/hoped it would. A combination of my daughter’s surgery battle and wedding planning not to mention various DIY challenges have meant I haven’t had time to think properly about this blog or progress the projects I intended.  I’ve also been distracted by a couple of new acquisitions along the way.

The result of this has been patchy posting and posts which probably haven’t entertained, informed or shined in any way.

Reviewer or creator?

Continue reading “This is hard”

I’m not recommending you do this

I’m not exactly sure why I am posting this, maybe as a warning to others… I love spreadsheets.  I know it’s sad but I find them incredibly useful… and, as in this case perhaps, sometimes sobering.
I recently compiled a spreadsheet of all the cameras I have and have had (as far as I remember).  I listed the purchase price and status etc etc. yeah I know I’m setting myself up here but here are some interesting facts.  Well I say interesting, I thought so but it is highly possible that it no one else will.

Continue reading “I’m not recommending you do this”

Which would you save?

This post is aimed mostly at the those of you who have collected a number of cameras and switch between them.

Here’s the question;

If you could only keep one camera/lens combination which would it be?

Let’s put a little detail behind that; say that for some reason (for example a cataclysmic event happens)  you have to pack you bags and leave your home taking only one camera with you with no expectation of ever coming back.  What would you choose and why?  I’m assuming you already have loved ones and important things covered and in reality picking a camera might be the last thing on your mind, but anyway…

I have already narrowed down what I think is my favourite; 35mm rangefinder, 35mm SLR, Medium format, TLR and also my favourite digital but if I had to leave almost all my cameras behind I would be left with a difficult choice. Continue reading “Which would you save?”

February is Green

This is the second installment of my series featuring different colours for each month; see first edition here.

Surprisingly (to me) I struggled with green this month as I tried to avoid just taking picture of plants and I couldn’t find much of interest otherwise.

Here is my selection of green things; Continue reading “February is Green”

I just can’t help myself

I think I am beyond help.

Just as I am saying I have enough cameras and I need to prune the collection; suddenly I am buying another camera and not even a Voigtländer.

Why do we do it? (Using “we” here in the hope that you there reading this are of the same disposition, please don’t enlighten me if you are not and leave me to my blissful ignorance and happiness that I am not alone in this crazy pursuit.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I just can’t help myself, I can’t resist an interesting camera at a reasonable price. And I just can’t help looking either. Sometimes I try to kid myself that I’m only looking for specific cameras and that I am sticking to the one brand or a defined thing that I need yet I suddenly get and urge and ‘DING’ PayPal takes a hit. Continue reading “I just can’t help myself”

Thoughts following recent visit to photo exhibition: Cuba Is

I had been meaning to visit a photo exhibition in LA which has been open for a few months at the Annenberg Space for Photography.  The exhibition showcases work done by photographers in Cuba.
At the beginning of this month I finally made it down there and I wasn’t disappointed.   It’s a very interesting exhibition and if you go, I recommend you take the time to catch the documentary which introduces the photographers and what they work on.  The space itself is not huge, just large enough for events such as this and it’s free too.
I use exhibitions like this and also books to take inspiration and help me think about my own photography; and hopefully grow.  This one struck a cord with me probably because of where I am now in my journey.

Continue reading “Thoughts following recent visit to photo exhibition: Cuba Is”

5 golden rules for photography

I have been (over) thinking my photography lately and been reading a lot from (and about) other photographers.

As a result, based on my own experiences I have I have put together these 5 things to think about when taking and sharing photographs.

As I said this list comes from me sometimes overthinking things especially when I am at a popular location; here’s how it goes…

So here you are at that classic landmark or location and you have your camera in your hand.  You lift your hand, compose and snap!  There you go, you now have an image of say, the Golden Gate Bridge, for example.  Before you press that button though maybe you should ask yourself a question;

  Why am I taking this picture? Continue reading “5 golden rules for photography”

What is a Photographer?

I read a couple of articles recently that opened up on this question in one way or another.  Many articles in the media of late refer to people who take pictures as photographers (usually it seems when they are doing something bad).  Are all these people ‘photographers’?

Camera use used to be limited to a narrow section of society that could be bothered with the highly technical operation of a this instrument and thus the term photographer referred to those people.

These days however, everyone (almost) has a camera that they use on a regular basis (in the form of a phone) and a huge number have a fairly sophisticated camera that they use on vacations etc.  Do these people qualify to be called photographers?  Is the term photographer a special tag for a certain type of camera user? Continue reading “What is a Photographer?”

Stairwell 1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Joshua Tree camping trip – Pt 1: Wall Street Mill Trail

Last weekend was Labour Day weekend here in the USA which means we get an extra day off (if you are in the UK this would be described as a Bank Holiday Weekend).

We decided to take our 1969 Travel Trailer (Caravan) for it’s first trip following the sprucing up we gave it earlier in the summer and decided on an area we have enjoyed before; Joshua Tree. This time we would be camping and we were also to be joined by some friends for the weekend. Continue reading “Joshua Tree camping trip – Pt 1: Wall Street Mill Trail”

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