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Fenfotos

I am an amateur photographer based in England. My main interests are photographing the English countryside, gardens and flowers. But, for various reasons, not the least the pandemic, I now photograph mainly flowers.
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  • Commented on 'Objectivity in Photography'

    Quite by coincidence, I was thinking about what I want from a photograph when I came across this topic. I had just come to the conclusion, that, more and more, I tend to award images that intrigue me, make me think, or arouse an emotional response. In short, the longer an image keeps my interest, the more it pleases me. This tends to the more abstract end of the spectrum.

    But as others have said, it is all very personnel. My attitudes are almost certainly a result of my being a person on the run from science. I spent a lifetime in science, taking the world apart, and examining in great, objective, detail. I decided I needed to look at the world in a more visceral and irrational fashion. But it has taken a long time for me to begin to leave science behind.
    • 15 May 2022 2:28PM
  • Commented on 'My work or Yours'

    It is commonplace advice to review one's own work every so often, like at the end of a year, to understand what your photography is all about, what inspires you, what you could do better, etc. I was wondering if it could be more helpful to review the photographs that you have given UA's to in the last year? Does it give you a better idea of what you are trying achieve? More ideas that you haven't thought of? A deeper insight into what you really want from a good photograph?
    • 18 Mar 2022 2:26PM
  • Commented on 'What photobooks are you currently reading, looking at'

    I'm currently reading Tim Walker 'Beautiful Things'. Fashion photography is definitely not my scene. But the creativity in Tim's work is so amazing. I feel so inspired, but wondering how any of this can translate into my own practice.

    I came across Tim Walker on the Photo London site. On the site are digital magazines that highlight the works of individual photographers as well as talks by photographers. The site is free, you just have to register to get full access.
    • 18 Mar 2022 2:19PM
  • Commented on 'Laptop'

    I cannot recommend a particular laptop, without knowing what you want to use it for. It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of matching your requirements to the machine you are buying.

    In terms of processor power and memory needed, the pecking order is:
    games
    graphics software (inc photo editors)
    office software
    web surfing

    Search the net and find the recommended configuration for which ever software you use that is highest in that order. The software suppliers site will give you minimum requirements, try to find recommendations from a user or guru which are likely to be realistic. Then look at the laptops that match those requirements. As a starter my desktop runs Adobe CC2018 quite happily has an intel i5 chip and 16gb memory. This would be a mid range laptop.

    Don't overbuy memory. My machine does not run out of memory even when processing a focus stack of 25 images.

    Other things to think about:

    Screen size. Personally when I am photo editing, I want the biggest screen I can afford.
    Connectivity: How many USB ports do you need? When I go on holiday, I take my laptop with me. At the end of a day's shoot, I like to get my images onto the hard drive and backed up to another device as well. So ideally this needs at least 2 usb ports, one to connect to the camera, and one to an external hard drive.
    Card reader. Do you need one to download your images, or use the camera's USB connection (see above)
    Hard drive. How much space do you need? Where do you keep your images? On cloud storage or on a hard drive? I have fifteen years worth of images (including a not inconsiderable number of .psd files) occupying just under 1TB.
    Service and support. What's on offer?

    Finally, of course, what is your budget?

    Hope this is helpful
    Peter











    • 13 Mar 2022 4:35PM
  • Commented on 'Anyone else having a hiatus at the moment?'

    I don't think the times have helped. The pandemic has been depressing enough. Then, the weather this year, when it hasn't been blowing an icy blast, it been cold saturating rain (and I hate cold rain with a vengeance), and we've been plodding around in slippery mud. On top of which, is the war in Ukraine. So, I have been up and down, and probably more down than up. I only got my camera out seven times in February, which is the lowest ever in twenty years, except April 2020, when we were not allowed out. But I have been going through my archives and enjoying the memories of some happier times. What's more, the sun has been out at least half of today. So hoping for better tomorrow!
    • 11 Mar 2022 6:25PM
  • Commented on 'Firefox and ePHOTOzine'

    Tianshi_angie thanks for that, I'll bear it in mind when I do finally get my act together. Always good to go on recommedation.

    BTW, I've just had a look at your portfolio. You've got some very impressive stuff there. I particularly liked your last post of Freesias.
    • 11 Mar 2022 1:58PM
  • Commented on 'Firefox and ePHOTOzine'


    Quote:My machine is at least as old as yours if not a bit older, but when I bought it I realised that it would be with me as long as I could keep it going and so with that in my mind I did go for fairly high specs (at the time) but it has been well worth it. I run the Adobe software with no problems at all and everything else I need is running perfectly well. I doubt if it could run Windows 11 but then that does not bother me as this version of Windows(10) is, to me, already a bit of a pain as it seems to think that the computer belongs to Windows and not me!


    There's a cautionary tale here. I bought my PC in November 2014, and Windows 10 came out in July 2015, and yet is incompatible with Windows 10. So, either ASUS were unaware of the impending release (unlikely!), or I, inadvertently, purchased a machine that was end-of-life. To be fair to myself, one of the reasons for my sloth in upgrading, is that I have been waiting for the dust to settle around Windows 11, and the teething problems to be sorted out.

    The spec of the machine is fine and runs everything, including Adobe, fine. The real irony here is, that I am stuck on Adobe CC2018, as later versions require Windows 10, or Windows 7. So, if I had an even older machine, I could upgrade Photoshop!
    • 11 Mar 2022 7:01AM
  • Commented on 'Firefox and ePHOTOzine'

    Thanks for the comments. Yes, it does seem likely that the OS is the problem. And my computer is geriatric - it is over seven years old, which I find quite amazing - and too old for an operating system upgrade. I have been thinking about an upgrade for about eighteen months now, even identified which machine I want, but somehow never got round to doing anything about it. The present beast does everything I want it to, and I can live without using Firefox for ePhotozine. Strangely enough, twenty plus years in the IT industry has left me somewhat less than starry eyed about getting the latest. Maybe, by the end of the year (I said that in 2020!).
    • 10 Mar 2022 2:24PM
  • Commented on 'Firefox and ePHOTOzine'

    I don't know whether this is right forum for this. But, I was wondering does anyone else have issues accessing ePhotozine using Firefox. On my PC (Windows 8) it seems to have a habit of freezing, which doesn't happen on Chrome, and I tend to have more tabs open on Chrome than Firefox.
    • 9 Mar 2022 6:47PM
  • Commented on 'Daily Competition: 25-02-2022 - Creative Lighting'

    • 25 Feb 2022 2:08PM
  • Commented on 'Why only 1 photo upload per day?'

    I too think the one-a-day limit is a plus for the gallery. If the number of photographers viewing the gallery is the same, then the more adventurous images will actually reach the wider audience that they need. When I first joined EPZ in 2015, it seemed that images only received comments etc after the first two hours. Now, I get comments on my photographs for about a day.

    As a personal preference, I would rather be presented with less images, and have time to give each image the attention it deserves.(Again something that helps images outside the main stream.) As pointed out above, if the photographer really cannot decide between images, then versions are available.
    • 3 Feb 2022 2:06PM
  • Commented on 'E-M5 Mk III focus stacking vs focus bracketing for close-ups'

    That's useful to know. I use an EM5 mark II and did not realize until the other day that it offered focus stacking (presumbably after I did an upgrade). I use focus bracketing almost exclusively for close ups, and, like you, I have found that more often than not, I need a lot more than 8. Also, like you, I have found they blend extremely well in Photoshop.

    On a related topic, I have started using Olympus Capture and a tethered laptop for this kind of work. The advantage is that I find on the LCD it can be quite difficult to accurately pinpoint the closest focus point on the small screen, as I need to scroll around the image. On my laptop, the image is large enought to tell what is in focus while viewing the whole image.

    • 16 Dec 2020 7:28PM
  • Commented on 'Photo Stacking'

    Thanks for that. Yes, I am working indoors with a tripod. I will take your advice and be led by my lens.
    • 22 Feb 2019 6:02PM
  • Commented on 'Photo Stacking'

    I have just started doing quite of a lot of photo stacking to get depth of field in the macros of flowers I am taking. I wonder if anyone has any views on the balance between high aperture and a few steps, or low aperture and more steps - eg is it better to take 5 images at f8, or 10 images at f4?
    • 22 Feb 2019 2:38PM
  • Commented on 'touch screen camera'


    Quote:I tried to get on with it on my olympus omd e10 mark ii but in the end had to turn it off it was driving me crackers kept moving the focus point each time i held it up to the viewfinder


    I've used an Olympus for a couple of years now, firstly a PEN PL5 and now more lately an EM5 MK2. I love using the touch screen particularly for setting the focus point. I agree it is cumbersome when using the viewfinder, but with the camera on a tripod and using the LCD screen for composing the shot, its great. I find it particularly good for close up shots, and when I have my camera somewhere close to ground level. Personally, I would not want to go back to camera without the facility.
    • 18 Aug 2017 2:35PM
  • Commented on 'Workflow Photoshop'

    Alan

    My first reaction is that you need to decide which software you want to use for what. I use an Olympus EM-5 camera and shoot in raw. I use the Olympus viewer (the equivalent to Canon DPP) to review my images, but never for editing them. I use GIMP (an alternative to Photoshop) for all editing, regardless of whether I could have done it using the Olympus viewer.

    I don't fully understand why you are ending up with dozens of half finished images. Are you taking them so far in DPP so you get an idea of what they will look like? Or do you get so far and decide you don't like the result? If the latter, delete the half processed original, but make sure you keep the unaltered raw file for any future attempts.

    One way round part processing in DPP to get an idea of what the finished image may look like is to set your camera to record both the raw and jpeg versions. That way you get to see what the image could look like, but still have all the advantages of being able to process a raw file. Interestingly, I am currently trying to improve my black and white photography, and this is exactly the approach I am taking. I have set my camera to record in monochrome and save both the raw and the jpeg. The jpeg tells me what the finished image could look like, and I still have the raw (which retains all its colours of course) for processing.

    Hope this helps.



    • 7 Aug 2017 6:51PM
  • Commented on 'My Blog'

    I've been a member of this site since last February, and have only just found this forum.

    For the last eighteen months or so, I have been photographing my local country park (all 92 acres of it), and publishing the photographs in my blog Milton Country Park Through the Year.

    It started when I challenged myself to find something to photograph in mid-February, and I am still finding subjects to take nearly two years on. In fact, I now have enough material to see the blog through to the end of its second year.

    I have always been a fan of photographing locally, and this exercise has proved to me how much you can find if you spend the time looking, even in a place that is not a photographer's honey pot.

    Enjoy my blog!

    • 2 Dec 2016 6:16PM
  • Commented on 'which software do you use?'

    I use GIMP. When I started digital photography, about 9 years ago, I didn't know that it was something I wanted to keep up. GIMP is free, so I tried it as a taster. I'm still using it, as it does everything I want to do. OK it's querky and the learning curve is steep, but it suits me and paying megabucks for some bit of software would not improve my images one iota. The sad fact is the limiting factor is neither the camera or the software that I use but me!

    • 7 Nov 2016 4:45PM
  • Commented on 'Wifi remote control'

    Has anyone any experience in using wifi remote control with Olympus cameras. I have an EM5 MkII, and am thinking of buying a tablet. I was wondering what experience anyone has of using an Olympus wifi for remote control? How functional is it? Is there live view? If so, can you zoom in from the tablet?

    Thanks for your help
    • 8 Oct 2016 7:52PM
  • Commented on 'Sensor no longer in coming around in 2023 onward'

    Folks, get this in proportion. One manufacturer is pulling out of the market, it ain't the end of the world. If the market is there, then someone else will move in to fill the gap. And why the angst about everybody using mobile phones to take photographs? That doesn't make everybody a photographer, any more than my writing this comment makes me a writer, or if I, God forbid, cooked the Sunday roast would make me a cook. All it really means, that if we want to be recognized as a photographer, we have got to produced photographs better than the rest with their mobile phones. But that's what we all try to do anyway, so what's really changed? And if we want a real challenge, then use the mobile phone and still produce a better photograph!
    • 18 Aug 2016 7:05PM
  • Commented on 'the importance of the optical viewfinder in every day photography'

    I have a Olympus PL5 for which I bought an EVF. I find the viewfinder invaluable when I am using a telephoto lens and hand holding the camera - pressing the camera against my face gives that extra stability that is just not there when using the LCD alone. Having said that, the big downside of using the EVF is that I lose the touch-screen selection of focussing point. As has already been mentioned, the EVF is invaluable in bright sunlight: I can see what I'm taking!
    • 13 Aug 2016 6:11PM
  • Commented on 'Unique views'

    I always find the stupid question worth asking, because it is surprising how many times the stupid question is not so stupid after all.
    • 11 Aug 2016 5:05PM
  • Commented on 'Holga 120PC and Holga Pin hole lens'

    Thanks for your replies. I've decided to get a Holga pin hole lens for my Olympus. At 17, it isn't much of a risk.


    • 8 Aug 2016 7:21PM
  • Commented on 'Holga 120PC and Holga Pin hole lens'

    Does anyone know if the Holga 120PC camera has a tripod mount? The Lomography says not, but the review I read said 'put it on a tripod'. Did the reviewer just fail to mention he had to make something so it would fit on a tripod?

    Does anyone have any experience with the Holga pin hole lens for digital cameras? I would use it on my Olympus PL5 or EM5-Mk2. But I would be interested to here from anyone who have tried using these lens on any camera.
    • 7 Aug 2016 2:30PM
  • Commented on 'whats your photography bugbear'

    I have the same problem with bright grey overcast skies. I also bracket plus or minus 1F stop as routine, but even then it is quite often not enough. My Olympus EM5 does an in camera HDR of four shots - the results are good but not that convincing. You could always build up a library of stock sky shots and do a straight forward replacement - it's not something I've ever done, but have talked to a couple of guys who take just that approach.
    • 27 Jul 2016 7:06PM
  • Commented on 'Budget Tripod recommendations?'

    I have a memoire 20 that I bought from PCWorld for under thirty pounds. It is the best investment I have ever made. It folds down to about 35cm and is small enough and light enough to carry in a rucksack. I use it for an Olympus EM5 mk2. For me, it has made the difference between using a tripod and not - I now use a tripod all the time. Two drawbacks: a) with a ball head, it makes doing a panorama challenging; b) the rubber feet have a tendency to fall off, but a touch of superglue solves that.
    • 25 Jul 2016 2:22PM
  • Commented on 'Do too many people treat photography as a sport?'


    Quote:That's what doesn't make sense, unless photography is a sport and it's not just about the final image


    From my experience of camera clubs, for a lot of members photography is a sport and it is all about getting the points and winning a trophy. I have sat through one presentation where I was invited by the speaker to appreciate any given photograph solely in terms of how well it had fared in this competition or that competition. Content and aesthetics of the image never got a look in. Admittedly an extreme case, but it does indicate that the sport mentality is alive and kicking. It takes all sorts!
    • 28 Jun 2016 2:41PM
  • Commented on 'Do too many people treat photography as a sport?'

    The final image (or portfolio of images) should be everything. Why should you judge a photograph by the effort required to produce it, when you would never begin to question the work a composer put in to write a symphony, or for that matter the effort an artist put into an oil painting? Do you think more of less of an oil painting by JDM Turner knowing that he was tied to the mast of ship to get first experience of a storm at sea? The conditions under which a shot was taken is interesting background for anybody, and the technical stuff of interest to fellow photographers, but, in my view, do not alter my appreciation (or otherwise) of the final result.

    As far as cheating is concerned, you only cheat if you make a claim about how the photograph was obtained. A picture of a tiger in a zoo can be an excellent picture of a tiger; cheating only comes in if you claim it was taken in the wild. Plagiarism is of course cheating. There is nothing cheating about using unattended cameras provided we all know that it how it was done. After all, NASA's magnificent pictures from outer space are not beginning to be accepted as 'Art'.

    As far as camera clubs are concerned, they run competitions and competitions have to have rules. To an extent those rules will always be arbitrary, and may be there for reasons other than the aesthetic appeal of the image eg to ensure all natural history pictures were taken in the natural environment and not in a zoo.

    In short, for me, the final image is everything and I only become interested in the conditions of its production if I like the image in the first place.

    • 27 Jun 2016 2:47PM
  • Commented on 'Which to get : OMD EM-5 or EM-10 ???'

    I bought the EM5 mark II. A major factor in my decision was the fully articulated screen. I do a lot of photography at low / ground level, or in other difficult positions and have found this feature invaluable. The High definition mode is super but only usable on a still subject.
    • 9 Jun 2016 2:56PM
  • Commented on 'Which photo stitching programme is best please?'

    I don't do much in panoramic work, but to stitch a vertical panorama of trees Hugin struggled, ICE handled it beautifully.
    • 2 Jun 2016 4:06PM