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magicaxeman

Welcome to my portfolio

I hope you enjoy looking at the photographs I take.

All my recent images (Since dec 2008) have been taken from my bed, all my bird shots are taken shooting through my double glazed window.
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Profile
  • Commented on 'Creative Block.'

    Sorry to hear your news Elaine.. I hope they get everything sorted for you and your back on your feet soon.

    As for your image its damn good as is.. maybe just import it into adobe camera raw and add a touch more contrast and a little bit on the blacks slider, just to give it a little more punch and a touch more glassiness to the water.
    But I wouldnt do anything major to it, as said its damn good as is and I'd be happy to have it on my wall.
    • 26 Mar 2013 2:45AM
  • Commented on 'Disabled photography'

    I'm sorry to hear that oldmalt,

    I'm severely disabled and bed bound hours a day and I too suffer weakness in my arms and hands along with constant pain the result of which was that I could no longer manage my DSLR outfit.

    I really didnt want to compromise on image quality and spent a long time looking at everything on the market.

    The solution for me was Fuji, namely in my case the X-Pro1, it ticked all the boxes and with an all up weight well below that of my old Canon outfit was ideal.

    I would suggest having a look at their range as there's also the X-E1 and if you can manage with a fixed 35mm equivalent lens the superb X100/X100s.

    All are light weight, easy to handle and have optical/electronic viewfinders but have an image quality thats outstanding, in fact the X-Pro1 is way better than the Canon outfit I had.

    With the rest of your kit as well it pays to take a good look at it and optomise it for your current abilities for instance replacing heavier tripods with ultra light carbon fibre ones, getting a good camera bag thats easy to carry as well as reducing the amount of gear you do carry.

    One work around for tripod use would be to use a gimbal head for airshows as when set correctly its easy to track moving objects with one.

    I understand what you mean about needing to hold the camera to your eye, our arms naturally tuck to our sides forming a natural tripod that helps steady things.

    I should add that I tried all the other routes, micro 4/3rds, compact camera's etc but they didnt give me the results I wanted, it being especially hard as I'm stuck in here in low light all the time.

    All the best.. Ian
    • 26 Mar 2013 2:38AM
  • Commented on 'Quality Compact?'

    I would back up sea hawk on the suggestion for a camera that shoots raw, it really can make a big difference to your shots
    • 4 Jul 2012 2:48AM
  • Commented on 'Choosing the Best Camera - What really to consider?'


    Quote:
    - for astrophotography, I use a Canon 600d, impossible with something else (or a CCD camera)



    I'm not sure if your english is incorrect or not but a cooled CCD camera will outperform any DSLR hands down for astrophotography, especially on deep sky objects and the small sensor in the webcam type astro cams again out performs for planetary work due to the high crop factor with the sensor, this allows you to get away without using a barlow lens or to just use a 2x or 3x and not have to do much cropping on the image.

    This image was a mosaic of images shot with a lowly 1.3 MP camera.

    On the subject of camera's for photography its horses for courses, I couldn't get my bird images with either a compact or a bridge, I know because I've tried both, and whilst they have their uses they dont meet my needs for detail and low light photography.
    • 4 Jul 2012 2:44AM
  • Commented on 'Which one ARGH!!!!'

    If you settle for less than the D7000 your going to regret it later, you might be able to justify a different decision but it wont change the fact that a few weeks in when the excitement of the new camera has faded a little you'll be looking at it and still wondering if you made the right decision.
    • 4 Jul 2012 2:32AM
  • Commented on 'Canon EOS 650D and Nikon D3200 - Has the game changed?'

    The only problem here is though the D3200 is nikons entry level DSLR, the 650D is NOT canon's entry level DSLR, that tag belongs to the 1100D, the 650D is up a notch in the consumer market and should be compared to the D7000 as its predecessor was always put up against the D90 which the D7000 replaced.

    But yes the manufacturers have upped their game lately and this can only be good for us, its a shame though about the 60D which missed the mark with its plastic body parts instead of the usual metal from that range and omitting some of the custom functions such as micro focus adjustment was a bad move
    • 4 Jul 2012 2:29AM
  • Commented on 'dslr or micro 4/3'

    I actually went from M43 (panny G1) to the canon 500D.
    The canon blows the panny out of the water IQ wise, its cheaper on lenses and can be just as compact and light if you watch the weight of lenses.
    Partner it with the excellent little 50mm F1.8 for walking around, low light and portraits, you then have an ultra light DSLR that will fit in a jacket pocket.

    Even adding something like the tamron 17-50 F2.8 it still remains a light weight camera and lens.

    The one thing I found with the panasonic was the lack of options lens wise and the expense!! My tamron 17-50 F2.8 cost me 300, the panasonic equivalent would cost nearly 1000.
    I even tried the leica 45mm F2.8 that costs over 600 on mine and it was still beaten by the 500D and cheap 90 50mm F1.8 when it came to IQ.
    • 22 Nov 2010 5:53PM
  • Commented on 'Holiday time - only 1 lens....'

    With the best will in the world your not going to cover it all with one lens, ideally what you want is a 17-200 F2.8, but it doesn't exist.

    There are options but the best thing you can do is work out which focal length you will use most, exif data from others trip photo's is handy here, a few hours on the net will at least tell you what focal lengths others are using when over there.

    I would also add that it can be really dim in some of the back streets and markets so do yourself a favour and throw 90 at a 50mm F1.8, it will really come in handy in low light conditions.
    • 23 Sep 2010 2:55AM
  • Commented on 'No-one ordered one of these yet?'

    Q: how do you wreck a perfectly good leica?

    A: stick it in a butt ugly designer case and charge 20K for the privilege.
    • 23 Sep 2010 2:44AM
  • Commented on '7d with built-in wireless flash -v - Canon ST-E2'

    I use the ST-E2 along with a 580 ex, 430 ex and Nissin Di 622 flashguns, mine cost me 100 second hand including the postage.

    I dont as a rule use a gun on the camera and don't want to, nor do I want Ettl cords everywhere, I find with mine I can run the 580 in my main softbox, the 430 in another as fill and the Di 622 on the background, the ST-E2 triggers the lot absolutely fine and the wireless ettl works with all as well.

    For me this is ideal as I am bedbound so have to rely on the subject moving the lights for me, so it makes my set up, light, easy to use and move and still works a treat.

    So in short unless your going to use a gun on camera, or are happy with leads running, grab a second hand unit when one comes up for sale.
    • 23 Sep 2010 2:40AM
  • Commented on 'What new Panasonic did you get?'

    I dont get that lucky, but I treated myself to an older model, the G1, I dont want video or touch screens so stayed away from the G2.
    I also grabbed a 45-200 while I was at it and have sold my telescopes so may go for the 45mm macro to finish the kit off
    • 28 Jun 2010 7:17PM
  • Commented on 'Four Third Lenses ??'

    Go to this link, there's a compatibility list there that covers most 4/3rds lenses.

    Panasonic compatibility
    • 28 Jun 2010 7:15PM
  • Commented on 'Processing for Web vs Processing for Print'

    One thing I found handy was to create a set of actions so I could automate a batch process when saving files.

    I now have save for web, save for print and save for photosite actions.

    I can then resize them automatically and save them to a predetermined folder with a click of the mouse.

    It's not worth it for just one image, but when you have 10 or more open it really speeds things up
    • 26 Jun 2010 7:34PM
  • Commented on 'photoshop tools'

    Excluding "open" for me it would be duplicate layer, I automatically create a new layer straight after opening a file and only ever work on duplicate layers, it just makes things so much easier should I not like how things are going.
    • 26 Jun 2010 7:27PM
  • Commented on 'Beware of Pirate copies! CS5 upgrading... not!'

    This was the point I was going to mention, with student editions you have to be able to prove you're a student otherwise you're once again left with useless software.

    I really would pursue Amazon over this one and get them to chase the seller for a refund at the very least.

    Also always get an Adobe account and register your software, that way you find out very quickly whether its genuine or not.
    • 26 Jun 2010 7:24PM
  • Commented on 'Dilemma'

    Panasonic G1 and 45-200 but you still wont get the macro, alternatively the canon G11 but then your limited on zoom range.
    • 26 Jun 2010 6:57PM
  • Commented on 'Macro lens for Lumix G1'

    The cheapest option is to get a M43 to pentax adaptor (29.99 on a certain auction site) then look out for a second hand PK, PKA or PKAF mount macro lens such as the old cosina etc.

    The cheapest straight option is the M43 -43 adaptor and an olympus 35mm F3.5 macro, but you will only get manual focus on it and its still going to cost you over 300
    • 26 Jun 2010 6:35PM
  • Commented on 'G11 or ?'

    I have both the Canon G11 and the Panasonic G1.

    I can honestly say if it wasn't for the fact that I wanted more telephoto range and interchangeable lenses (macro as well) I would have stuck exclusively to the G11.

    I think canon finally got it right with this one, and if they can take the current G11 and convert it to a micro four thirds camera they are going to have a market leader that would challenge a few DSLR's

    The build quality is better on the Canon, but image wise it just and I do mean only just looses out to the G1.
    • 26 Jun 2010 6:27PM
  • Commented on 'Sharpening'

    One of the neatest little sharpening plug ins I have come across is the crispimage one
    Here
    Ive found it can be used very discretely to just add a hint of "pop" to an image.. but that little bit really can make a difference.
    Its free to try and cheap to buy.
    They also do a freeware noise reduction plug in that works well calle de noise..
    • 8 Nov 2007 2:01AM
  • Commented on 'Macro - Stacking technique'

    Actually we use a similar type of software in astrophotgraphy for stacking images called registax.. its freeware and though im not sure if it will work on your macro images its worth a go..
    Just google registax for the download site.
    • 8 Nov 2007 1:52AM
  • Commented on 'Motion blur filter problems'

    Defiantly switch off all programs not needed at start up in msconfig, run something like cc cleaner..you will be suprised at the muck it clears out.

    I found CS to be very memory hungry and thats on a similar system to yours but running 2GB of ram.
    But then I often find when processing an image I can be dealing with files of the size mack indicated.
    A seperate physical drive for the scratch disc can really help speed things up as well.. something I did a long time ago so I run one drive with my operating system and day to day stuff on it.. and another physical drive thats partitioned to use as a data drive and scratch disc.
    I ended up reverting back to PS7 and ditching CS
    • 8 Nov 2007 1:49AM
  • Commented on 'Photoshop DVDs on ebay'

    you tube is worth a look as well, Ive often come across videos of guys demonstrating their skills.
    • 8 Nov 2007 1:24AM
  • Commented on 'Digiscoping???'

    One final note.. avoid the maksutov type of scope for camera use as its long focal length means its very slow, often having a maximum apeture of around F13 at best.. often a lot smaller than that.
    As such you wouldnt be able to achieve the shutter speeds you need for wildlife etc.
    • 8 Nov 2007 1:21AM
  • Commented on 'Digiscoping???'

    As someone who does this to a degree.. (Astrophotography)
    the system I use is a T mount with a 1.25 eyepiece nose piece and a short extension tube.

    I would seriously recommend having a look at the william optics ZS66 APO scope as its ideal for both astro and wildlife.. doesnt weigh to much and can be attached to a standard tripod.
    It also has a nifty built in rigid hood and a dual speed crayford microfocuser making focusing a doddle to get spot on.
    A zs66 will give you a 66mm apeture with a focal length of 388mm @ f 5.9.
    Use of a field flattener/reducer can open it up to an f 4 roughly.
    of course if your camera has an APS sized sensor we need to multiply things up so you would have effectively a 620mm f5.9 APO lens
    If you dont find the APO has enough contrast then it may be worth looking at the older petzval ZS66, its design incorporates what is effectively a field flattener and it has slightly more contrast on terrestrial images, though there is a trade off as its a semi apo so you can get some CA on brightly lit objects.. in the APO there is no discernable CA at all, even on really brightly lit or back lit subjects.

    wiliam optics here

    The 80mm is definatly to heavy to lug around but the 66mm along with a decent tripod like either the horizon heavy duty or one of the larger velbon sherpa's will be fine.

    If you go the spotting scope route then try to make sure you can get a 1.25" eyepiece converter to fit it, then just get the T ring and nosepiece for your canon and you can shoot in manual.
    The digiscoping adaptors you have been looking at are really for using with digital compact camera's and not DSLR's, they couple to the eyepiece and use eyepiece projection as opposed to turning the scope into a large lens as the other method does.
    Ps Ian King is a nice guy he will go out of his way to help and all his prices include lightning fast delivery.

    Edit** I just noticed your in Germany so it may be worth looking at the scopos 66mm APO from teleskope service if you cant find a william optics dealer there, its a clone of the WO ZS66mm just not quite as good IMHO.
    • 8 Nov 2007 1:07AM
  • Commented on 'Lens Upgrade Time.... But what!'

    If your interested in going for a macro go for the Tamron SP 90 DI.. its a cracking lens..

    I use mine for portraits, macro, astrophotography and even landscape where I want to get a closer view.
    In fact to be honest mine spends most of its time on the camera.
    • 8 Nov 2007 12:48AM
  • Commented on 'Best software for altering tone of multiple images??'

    Autofx mystical tone tint and colour
    • 23 Oct 2007 6:11PM
  • Commented on 'Rip Off Britain'


    Quote:Quote:Quote:Hmm,

    You quoted the legislation as:
    Quote:no longer being able to shoot "vermin" (like woodpidgeons) without giving them audible warning firstyet link to something that says:
    Quote:The directive orders that these species should be shot only as a last resort after other methods of frightening them away have been tried. Which is patently not the same thing. I read that as you can shoot them if a scarecrow doesn't work.

    Love the use of "Losers" for anyone who happens not to agree with your views...charming.Defra guidlines on shooting vermin are quite clear, and depend to a degree on your situation.
    A farmer/small holder wont run into any issue's letting people shoot any vermin on their property, and in some cases have a legal obligation to ensure certain vermin such as rabbits are controlled.
    In your own garden things are different, and other tactics need to be tried first.
    I myself shoot rats on my property as I will not risk poison getting put down and affecting the bank voles or birds of prey that feed on the rats, mice and voles.
    I also have magpies, woodpigeon, collared doves and the occasional stray feral pigeon.
    The only one I shoot are the ferals as they pose a disease threat to the other wildlife, TB is pretty much endemic in thier population and I dont want it spreading to the local wildlife.
    It's clear under the terms of the DEFRA general liscence that I am legally allowed to shoot them if they pose such threat as long as its done in a legal manner, ie ensuring I have solid backstops and that any pellets can't travel beyond my boundries.
    In fact the local firearms officer is fine with it.There are so many problems with this post (and its quoted post) that it's hard to know where to begin.

    The "local firearms officer is fine with it" because he couldn't give a monkey's about you shooting pigeons - not his role. He just needs to be sure you're of sound mind, have a valid reason for owning a firearm and keep your guns locked up.

    The "DEFRA general liscense (sic)" etc, is subordinate to EU law. That's the way it works now. This just happens to be a law that isn't "gold-plated" and has joined all the other laws that our local Govt makes that are simply unenforced.

    As for that Personal abuse removed by modertor...pleasse refrain from abusing each other or the thread will be locked who says that I'm misquoting the law, I'm not. "Audible warning" appears to be insufficient grounds for shooting them. It's much wider than that - so it's much worse than I said.

    We've ceded legislation to the EU, codgers. Wake up.

    BTW - you can't shoot Collared Doves.



    Sorry but you are wrong.. DEFRA has not ceeded to the EU, just updated its vermin lists inline with those protected species going on the list and coming off it.
    For instance sparrows have been removed as have starlings in england.

    Btw you can shoot collared doves they are classified as an alien species as well as vermin and are on the defra lists/general license.
    I do not own a firearm. I dont need the police's permission to shoot on my own property with a legally held air rifle, but because I am a responsible shooter I let them know what Im doing, it saves call outs to them by the media hyped gun barmy public who think everyone in camo gear or carrying a gun shapped item is a terrorist.
    I dont have to have it locked up, but because Im responsible I make sure my gun is locked up, that my gp is happy I am healthy enough in mind and body to shoot and I also have full public liability insurance.

    As a shooter I have to be up on the legislation because half the time even the police arent, of course its also my responsibility for me to know and adhere to any rules or regulations surrounding my conduct, equipment and prey.

    Please check out the defra site for further details of what is and isnt legal quarry and the terms under which they may be shot as vermin.
    But as said please also bear in mind that they are not hard and fast rules when it comes to "other methods first" it depends on the situation, area and crop/disease risk.


    DEFRA site vermin

    Footnote* the warning having to be issued before loosing a clay pidgeon trap is a health and safety rule, not a rule of law.
    • 19 Oct 2007 8:52PM
  • Commented on 'Lost my brother yesterday'

    We had a very similar thing with my little brother a few years ago..
    Mum just phoned one sunday and said " he finaly did it Ian, he's gone"

    It absoloutly floored me.
    It takes a long time to get used to, and even now I half expect him to bounce through the door shouting "ha ha got ya!!"
    • 18 Oct 2007 10:08PM
  • Commented on 'Terrorist threat foiled'

    The police seem to be under the mistaken belief that you need permission to video or photograph them, but you dont.
    In fact there is a classic clip on youtube that demonstrates this..
    Video here
    • 18 Oct 2007 10:03PM
  • Commented on 'Rip Off Britain'


    Quote:Hmm,

    You quoted the legislation as:
    Quote:no longer being able to shoot "vermin" (like woodpidgeons) without giving them audible warning firstyet link to something that says:
    Quote:The directive orders that these species should be shot only as a last resort after other methods of frightening them away have been tried. Which is patently not the same thing. I read that as you can shoot them if a scarecrow doesn't work.

    Love the use of "Losers" for anyone who happens not to agree with your views...charming.



    Defra guidlines on shooting vermin are quite clear, and depend to a degree on your situation.
    A farmer/small holder wont run into any issue's letting people shoot any vermin on their property, and in some cases have a legal obligation to ensure certain vermin such as rabbits are controlled.
    In your own garden things are different, and other tactics need to be tried first.
    I myself shoot rats on my property as I will not risk poison getting put down and affecting the bank voles or birds of prey that feed on the rats, mice and voles.
    I also have magpies, woodpigeon, collared doves and the occasional stray feral pigeon.
    The only one I shoot are the ferals as they pose a disease threat to the other wildlife, TB is pretty much endemic in thier population and I dont want it spreading to the local wildlife.
    It's clear under the terms of the DEFRA general liscence that I am legally allowed to shoot them if they pose such threat as long as its done in a legal manner, ie ensuring I have solid backstops and that any pellets can't travel beyond my boundries.
    In fact the local firearms officer is fine with it.
    • 18 Oct 2007 9:39PM