Archived entries for Photography

Hundreds and Thousands

Hundreds And Thousands by Caro Wallis

I took lots of photos recently at my daughter’s birthday party. Over 100 of them, actually. It’s the same story with recent holidays and trips out. A long weekend to France, 139 photos. Last year’s holiday to Menorca, nearly 240 photos. The challenge is sorting through them all, especially choosing which ones you’d like to print. Not to mention backing them up all up – a typical batch of photos from when we went to the Ardennes comes close to 1GB, and that’s from a relatively short trip.

When digital photography first became popular, it was a big selling point that you could shoot as many photos as you wanted, click click click. Which is still extremely useful for all sort of reasons. Great for being able to capture live events, or for press photography, or just for experimenting with different techniques. Nothing like as expensive or time-consuming as all that would be if you used film.

To get myself back into editing, sorting and printing, however, I think I’m going to try an experiment by limiting the number of photos I take to the old 24 or 36 photos that you used to get with each roll of film. The prospect of sorting through 20 or so photos is much more appealing than sitting down to a folder with over ten times the number of images to work through.

What are your thoughts? Do you also feel like you’re sometimes overloaded with images?

[Image: Hundreds And Thousands by Caro Wallis licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Fun with 35mm film

I’ve had a lot of fun over the last week playing with some old-school 35mm film cameras, which remind me of the very first proper camera I used, my Dad’s old Nikon F-301. Using a film camera again reminds me of the patience you had to have when using film, the way you could set the camera up before each shot but have no idea until later on whether the settings had done the trick. No instant preview. No delete button. Not a histogram in sight.

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[Image: Wikipedia/Red Boes

The different characteristics of film: “sunny” Kodachrome 200, “serious” Ilford Delta Black & White 400. At university, I spent a while in my first term in the darkroom on campus, trying to develop some black and white negatives. I can still remember the thrill of seeing the image appear onto the paper as if by magic.

I experimented with slide film, doing a photo shoot in Exeter Cathedral on a bright winter’s day. The challenge of getting it all right, because slide film is brutally honest about where you’ve not exposed properly. Getting the slides back in the post and marvelling at how real the images looked.

You can find all sorts of old 35mm SLR cameras on eBay these days. The flagship Nikon F100 is being sold for a tenth of its original price. I love digital, the convenience of “developing”, editing and printing digital photos, and the ability to share and discuss your hobby with others around the world. With 35mm film, though, there’s a chance to step back a bit and appreciate the history of how we got here in the first place. Next time you’re second-hand shopping, why not grab a bargain film camera and enjoy a bit of old-school photo shoots yourself?

View from the train

I get a commuter train in the morning, from where I live, Waterloo, to Brussels, the city where I work. It’s a very pleasant 20 minute train ride, and on these winter mornings there are some wonderful views across the fields and forests as the sun rises.

The above photo was taken on my way to the train station, but what I’d really love to do is get a snapshot of the view from the train itself. One of the problems with the commuter train is that you can’t open any of the windows, like you could on the older trains.

Fortunately, the train home is a less busy one and you can indeed open the windows, which allowed me to capture the evening sky as the sun goes down.

Winter sunset 12/12/12

Perhaps the windows on the morning trains are sealed shut for health and safety reasons, which reminds me of a leaflet we used to get given by the British Transport Police about railway safety, written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Roald Dahl's Guide to Railway Safety Image: quentinblake.com
[Image: www.quentinblake.com]

SPOT on Denmark

SPOT on Denmark

Here are some new photos from this year’s SPOT on Denmark event, a concert which bring differents Danish music to Brussels. You can see the photos in the photo gallery and for more information about the event, visit The Rocking Factory. Enjoy!

From Sitting in Seminars to Sipping Champagne

European Parliament

 

Quite a busy first few days of properly getting stuck into my traineeship! The general atmosphere at the moment is hectic, with a police presence everywhere because it is the first meeting this year of the European Council (the Heads of State/Government of the Member States) on the 8th-9th March.

 

I drafted, as my first task, an article from a 27-page report on corporate social responsibility, and I’ve also produced my first genuine piece of work, a summary about the (slightly lighter, 17-page) report about the role of local authorities in the development process. I’ve been to a couple of introductory meetings, and also to an equal opportunities award ceremony, then on Wednesday afternoon I went to a three-hour seminar for journalists on Women Politicians and the Media. Wednesday evening, there was a nice social gathering for all the new stagiaires (work experience people) at a bar near the Parliament, and it was a great to chat with people of the same age, from all over Europe (I was only there for a couple of hours but had a good talk – sometimes in French, sometime in English – with a couple of Italians, a German, a Spaniard and a man from Finland).

The multilingualism is something which is particularly noticeable in the canteen at lunchtime. If you stop for a while, and just listen to the general buzz of conversation going on around the room, it’s almost impossible to make out what any individual is saying; anyone who might want to try and get a snatch of Parliament gossip would have a pretty tough job.

Today was International Women’s Day, so after registering at the Parliament’s library this morning I joined a small gathering in our building, where we had champagne and bread with olives and tomatoes as our own little celebration of the event. My champagne glass kept getting re-filled as I was talking to people, so in the end I’d had about three or four glasses of champagne and was feeling much more light-headed than when I entered the room!

My supervisor clearly has my best interests at heart, and, perhaps having anticipated my eager acceptance of champagne before midday, had already thought of a cunning plan to bring me back down to earth.

“If you could proof-read this before this afternoon” he said, handing me the Briefing document for next week’s Plenary Session. It was 40 pages long.

 

(By the way….you can find my article here.)



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