- London, Geotagged. Which bits of London get photographed the most? Eric Fisher has collected data from a couple of photo sharing sites to create a map overlay which reveals London’s most photographed areas.
- The Battlefield Pinhole Camera records photographs on three strips of film roll simultaneously. Pretty cool. The site has a writeup on how to make one yourself if you’re in the DIY mood.
- findexif.com If you need to check the EXIF of an online image on the fly, tell findexif the URL and it extracts the info for you. No download required.
- Things We Love. Mediastorm has posted a new selection of their favourite multimedia projects out there, including some breathtaking short films.
Last week I posted photographs from London Zoo that I took in October, this time I would like to share with you a short film I made in the same zoo last weekend. The trip was organized by the Photography and Modelling Society. I had about four hours during which I could shoot. Some of my favourite enclosures, including the rainforest indoor area, were closed to the public, and somehow I ended up shooting birds more than anything else.
Around 20 minutes before we had to catch the train the delivery guy showed up with my new LCDVF as well! I had been thinking about buying a Zacuto Z-Finder, but since they are sold out pretty much everywhere and cost 2-3 times as much I had ordered the LCDVF from lcdvf.pl. (The buying part was a bit tricky since the payment instructions got lost in translation, but I called them up, got everything sorted out and had the parcel within four days.) I might write a short review of the LCDVF, but in a nutshell, I prefer it’s 2x magnification to the 3x of the Zacuto (which I tried briefly at The Flash Center), and the magnet mount they use seems like a good solution to me. Having the LCDVF with me was really helpful for focusing, especially as most of the animals kept running or flying around. The experience is definitely very different from shooting stills! I had taken my tripod with the Manfrotto 808 head with me. There really would have been no way around a tripod, at least for the telephoto scenes: I used the EF 70-200 2.8L IS lens with both the Kenko 1.5x and Canon 2x Extenders on it, giving me an effective focal length of 210-600mm, and without the IS the footage would have been fairly shaky even on the tripod.
For the wide angle shots I used the Canon EF 24-70 2.8L which was attached to a shoulder mount. This helps to distribute the weight of the camera a bit, but I had to find out that it’s not very practical to use it whilst carrying a backpack.
Unfortunately Canon won’t release the new firmware for the 5DMkII until later this week, so I still had to shoot at 30p rather than 24p. I hope the video doesn’t look too choppy! I also think that I’ll have to invest into some kind of external microphone sometime soon if I ever want to make anything that isn’t overlaid with music. Here I mixed the song with the ambient sounds, but I was fairly limited even with that, since the camera picks up the noise from the IS as well as the wind and the noise when I touch the camera.
If you’re interested in the music, the album by Denis Richard can be downloaded from Jamendo.
A day after having visited the London Aquarium, Alison and I went to see the London Zoo. I had been there quickly once during a DPC get-together, but this was my first opportunity to actually explore the zoo properly.
The photos above were all taken with a Canon EOS 5DMkII and EF 70-200 2.8L IS lens, handheld.
Mouse-over the photos to see the name of the animal on the photo. I can't ID the owl on the third picture, if someone can help me there please leave a comment.
I visited the London Aquarium and decided to film a bit rather than take photographs. I lost quite a few takes because somebody bumped into me while I was filming… The place was really packed with people.
The video is CC-BY-SA.
My friend Ollie had to go to the University College London for an interview. Since a) you don't pay £16 (or £24 if like me you leave your railcard at home...) to go to London for half an hour and b) it's no fun to visit London on your own, I went along and we visited the National Gallery and the British Museum. In the National Gallery I had fun reverse engineering the lighting techniques of the masters, and I got told off for taking a picture of the cupula in the entrance hall when we were leaving (I had asked one of the wardens about photography restrictions earlier and what he said sounded like no photography of the paintings was allowed.) In the British Museum photography is fine, but it's also one of those places that's been photographed to death so it's difficult to take something new there.
While Ollie went to his interview I visited Jacobs Digital Photo & Video where they had a pretty good deal on Manfrotto 5001B Nanos (I have no idea what the difference between those and the 001Bs which they replace is, they look the same to me). I had also planned a visit to The Flash Centre but by the time we got there they were closed. So we went to a pub instead.
Back in March Alison, her cousin Lucy and I got up at 4am to take four London buses and reach Richmond Park before sunrise. My excellent sense of orientation got us there at 6.30 or so, a few minutes after the sun kissed the horizon.
It was good fun, albeit a bit cold. (Since lithium-ion batteries don't like the cold very much, it's a good idea to keep them warm and close to your body.) Richmond Park belongs to the royal family, and it's a massive park (for my humble circumstances) in which deer can roam about freely. No fences between them and you. I remember that last time I went there with some photogs from DPChallenge we got a bit too close for the animal's taste and one or two young bucks decided to attack us. No close encounters this time though.
I was a bit annoyed at someone else however: we had sneaked up to the group which you can see in the first picture and stayed at a distance (70-200 lens on the long end with 2x multiplier and crop sensor = 640mm effective focal distance) so as not to disturb the animals. Halfway through the two bucks fighting some random guy just walked right up to them with his camcorder and scared them away. Well done.
It was a really nice day in the end, and I didn't fall into any of the lakes or rivers which is always a bonus.
[Update:] Here are some photos which show what happened to me last time I went to Richmond - and why it's a good idea to keep your distance. One by Alan Jager and one by Manic.
I couldn't very well live two hours away from London for three years and not go there to take some photographs at night. Alison and I took a ride on the London Eye, then walked along the river waiting for the sun to set. The HDRs have been combined using Photomatix Pro 3. The zoomable hi-res panorama of the Tower Bridge below has been stitched using PTGui and is presented here using PSCS3's Zoomify plugin, integrated into WordPress using the Kimili flash plugin.
Once again a bunch of crazy photographers met to walk around London in the rain and take pictures. This time the get-together had a slightly more international feel: Olivier and I represented Luxembourg (we're used to the rain and the cold). Alison and Mikey from the Photography and Modelling Society represented Bermuda and Barbados, respectively (they're not used to temperatures below 15°C). The four of us who are or have been studying in the UK met up with Natalya, Andi, Robert, Dain and Matthew. Some of their photos can be found in the DPChallenge.com forums, here. Apart from taking photos, by walking about three miles we also contributed to the Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours.
Related links: International Brain Tumor Alliance, Rose McGill, Digital Photography Challenge.
Once again users of DP Challenge met in London. Once again, it rained. This time I had a few more people from the UKC Photography and Modeling Society with me: Kristel, Charlotte, Ibi and his friend Dan. We walked from the London Eye past Westminster to Trafalgar Square, then to Buckingham Palace and back to the Southwark. Here is another group shot by Mark Simms. And here is one of me by Deb Fort.
For the photos that everyone else took check out the DPC forum photo thread.
Once again dpchallenge.com users met up in London to hang out and take photographs. This was the eleventh get-together held in London and quite a few photographers and one model, Elika, from the UKC Photographers and Models Society braved the pouring rain.
This was the first time I got to use my new Peleng 8mm Fisheye; I apologize if I used it a bit too much.
The forum thread with everyone else's pictures is here, and here are links to the attending photographers' user pages on DPC: DainMcgowan, booboo_goon, Mr_Pants, MAK, Ecce Signum, Hanae, Simms, Talj, Moe (who doesn't seem to have a profile), and myself, gloda.