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Friday, 31 May 2013

I Know It WAS the Blood

I Know It WAS the Blood...



"There's something about the Blood of Jesus that can make a man or woman free today."
I said, "There's something about the Blood of Jesus that can make a man or woman free today."
Ohhh, I said, "There's something about the Blood of Jesus that can make a man or woman, a child or anybody, free today."

A Holy Communion still life:
Camera: Nikon D700 with Nikon 20-300mm Lens. ISO 100, F/11.0, 2 sec exposure. Tripod mounted.

I know it was the Blood: Listen to this amazing recording as you contemplate this wonder that Jesus gave to all who would follow Him.

"As often as you gather together, do this in remembrance of me"



Friday, 17 May 2013

Blue, Blue Cornflowers:

The magical magic of the Blue, Blue Cornflower.







I'll never forget the first time that I saw a cornflower in a wild field in Scotland. It's an amazing little plant, that I first thought was a thistle without spikes. They are of course a lot bluer than thistles. I love thistles too of course...

In years gone by you could see whole fields of cornflowers where they used to grow, like poppies do today, amongst the harvest. Now, because of all the fuss about yields etc, farmers have almost eradicated the native British wild cornflowers. However, in some places they still do manage to survive. You can find them on the edges of fields of wheat, on the cliff-tops and in the gardens of those who treasure their blue beauty.

It was so wonderful when we moved into our house here in London in 2008 to discover a small clump of them in the garden, since then I've taken the seeds each year and spread them around, now my garden is full of stunning beautiful blue cornflowers.

They are so easy to grow and come back stronger every year, almost like lovable weeds. They are hardy annuals and put down roots in the autumn and they can survive the coldest of winters, they keep on producing amazing blue flowers all summer long, you can cut them back and they'll bloom again.

Wouldn't it be great if we could see fields in the countryside full of these magical blue, blue beauties?

Cornflower Capture: These images were captured on a bright cloudy morning, just perfect for flowers, because the sky acts like a massive softbox.

TIP: If there is no cloud cover you can produce your own softbox with a see through reflector or a large piece of white paper.


More from my morning venture into the garden.







Art Prints



Fuji HS50exr Review Continued.

Peace, Perfect Peace.

I'm discovering more really cool features on the Fujifilm HS50exr every day. Yesterday I found that the Black and White is soooo nifty and gives wonderful smooth tones.

Video shot with Fujifilm Finepix HS50exr camera.

One day a very wealthy businessman observed a fisherman sitting relaxing by his boat. He asked the man if he was a fisherman, the man said "Yes". He then asked him why he was not fishing. The fisherman replied, "I've caught all the fish I need for today." The Business man asked him why he didn't catch more fish than he needed. The fisherman asked "What would I do with the extra fish?" The businessman said, "You could sell them and make more money, buy a bigger boat, get stronger nets, go out deeper and get even more fish and more money when you sell them. Soon you'll have enough to buy more boats and have a fleet of fishing boats and be rich just like me" The fisherman then asked, "Then what would I do?" The Business man said, "Then you could relax, take life easy, put your feet up and enjoy life". The fisherman said, "What do you think I'm doing now?"

Contentment: Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  

The Fujifilm Finepix HS50exr may not be the best camera on the market today. It doesn't even come close in quality to even the most basic DSLR, however, what it lacks in image quality, it more than makes up for in ease of use, almost instant focusing, awesome zoom reach (bringing the most distant objects soooooo close, you can almost touch them.)... and amazing picture taking pleasure with the tiltable rear LCD screen. Couple all that with outstanding film simulation modes and effects and you've got a great little travel camera with an arsenal of photographic potential in one body. You don't need extra lenses. You don't need a kit bag full of gear. You don't need anything else but a smart, intelligent camera that thinks for you in an emergency. You'll get the shot!

Click Here for more of my Hand's-On Review
Click Here for more on my Key Features of fuji HS50exr.

Peace in my garden in South London, 16th May 2013, in the late afternoon sunshine: 

Fujifilm Finepix HS50exr: 1/850th sec, f/4.5, ISO 400, Handheld.


Fujifilm Finepix HS50exr: 1/800th sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, handheld. 

Peace, Perfect Peace, is the gift of Christ the Lord.




Sunday, 12 May 2013

It's NOT ready yet

My Grandchildren Playing.
I'm posting the video again on Youtube, seems much better quality than on Blogger upload.

It's Not Ready Yet!

I was taking a few candid shots of my grandchildren Ami and Leila with my new Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Camera yesterday and decided to try out the film modes. I'm not really into film, more of an arty photographer, but with each new iteration of a camera comes some new features that you've just got to try.

Here they are: They were busy making "Mushroom Salad" A strange mixture of grass and pebbles... you've got to have a child's imagination to play this game.

The quality of the video here, for some strange reason, is not the same as it is on my Facebook Page. I'll try and figure that out???

video
Each and every time I see this video I can't help but laugh out loud.

Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR Hands on Review.

The Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Review.


Updated 3rd July 2013:

See what the Fujifilm Finepix HS50exr can deliver when taken out on the streets of London. Here you'll see some amazing colourful candids of the wonderful people in Camden Market, Camden Lock, The London Underground, Kings Cross Station (Marvellous NEW architecture) and Brick Lane. I'm getting more excited by this little camera every day. Click on Don's post here. 


WOW! My Fuji HS50 arrived yesterday and I've been having some fun playing with it.

27th June 2013: Updated with some 1000mm shots of foxes playing in my garden. It so good to have a little camera always ready to capture those wonderful moments. It always by my side now. I'll still be using my D700 for serious work, but for fun, family and foxes the fujifilm HS50 EXR is perfect. Check out the Foxy Pictures Here.
Check out some more Fox Cub Pics here.

Updated my review with a Movie Here


Fujifilm Fine Pix HS50 Specs and Stats


The great day has arrived, I've just got my hands on my brand new FujiFilm HS50 EXR Camera. After unpacking and charging the battery, putting on the strap, lens hood and attaching the lens cap, I'm ready to give it a good thorough testing.

First impressions: It's very light. I'm used to lugging my D700 around all day, and in comparison the Fuji HS50 feels like a feather. It'll be great for travel photography.

After the battery was fully charged which only took a few minutes as it had obviously been charged up before packing, I placed it in the camera. Oh I forgot to mention I also ordered the newest 16GB Fuji HS SD Card to go with it.

A B&W from the Fuji HS50exr:


Comparison:
I thought I'd just test my brand new Fujifilm Finepix HS50exr and compare it with my old Nikon D40x camera. I was amazed, surprise and not very impressed with the fuji cameras performance.

Here I set both cameras to their best setting: Both in RAW mode at ISO 100 and f/8.00.

First the Fujifilm image:
Fujifilm HS50exr Camera made in 2013: ISO100 f/8.0 RAW. Tripod Mounted. Available Light.

Next the Nikon D40x image:
Nikon D40x Camera made in 2007. ISO100 f/8.0 Tripod Mounted, Available Light. Basic 18-55mm Lens.
Here is a Close Up Crop of the Images
First Fujifilm HS50exr image:
Next the Nikon D40x Crop:

You don't have to be a pixel peeper to see the old Nikon wins hands down.

I wanted to be as fare to the Fujifilm as I could possible be, so I did the test again, trying my hardest to get the best quality from the camera. Here is my second attempt with the Fuji and Nikon again.

Fujifilm Finepix HS50exr Camera:
Fujifilm Finepix HS50exr. ISO 100, f/8.0, Tripod Mounted. 
Nikon D40x Camera:
Nikon D40x Camera: ISO 100, f/8.0, Tripod Mounted. 
The Nikon's ten megapixels do seem to produce a much better image than the sixteen megapixels of the brand new Fujifilm HS50exr's. This reveals to me that even over time, with all the supposed advances in sensor technology, that sensor size really does matter when it comes to quality. I'm now going to take a shot with my Nikon D700 just to compare with the Old Nikon D40x to see if there is any difference. Remember the D700 is also over five years old and I've had it since new, it's taken thousands of shots.

D700 Pictures:
Nikon D700, ISO 100, f/8.0, Tripod Mounted.



However, apart from image quality what does the Fujifilm HS50exr have in it's favour? More later.

Why not visit Don's Zazzle Store for great products.


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Key Features of Fujifilm Finepix HS50 Camera

The Fujifilm Finepix HS50 EXR Review: 

Key Camera Features. 

by Don Davis Photography.
May 2013.
About this Review: I'm not a technical expert, but a photographer and I'll be relating my experience of this camera from that perspective. Experience, I've been a enthusiast photographer since 1982 when I first purchased an SLR camera and developed my negatives and exposed them in a makeshift darkroom at home. All that has moved on since the invention of the Digital Camera and now I'm developing in Lightroom, instead of a Darkroom, tweaking in Photoshop instead of dodging and burning.


Fujifilm Finepic HS50 EXR... The amazing features on the Fujifilm Finepix HS50 EXR will blow you away, because there are just so many amazing things you can do with this brilliant little camera from Fuji. I'm discovering more all the time and will share them here with you here. Let me just say at the outset I'm really impressed with some awesome features, but also disappointed in some respects with the quality of images captured.  

16 megapixels: First it's a massive 16 megapixel optical zoom camera. You only really need about 6 megapixels for a great image, so with all those extra MPs you can crop away to your heart's content. For more detailed information about the sensor and the science behind it click here (Fuji EXR CMOS SENSOR). However  do the claims of the science and spiel deliver in the real world of everyday photography? 

42x Zoom. Equivalent to 24mm to 1000mm. WOW!
All-in-one-lens with no electronic interpretation, and you can also get some more electronic zoom as well.  That's truly amazing. Imagine a 1000mm lens on a Nikon or Canon camera, they'd weigh a ton and cost the earth, but it's right here on this tiny camera from Fuji.... Does the Lens on the HS50 EXR deliver? You can be the judge of that when you check out the pics here to see just how much it zooms...
I've been amazed at how quickly this camera focuses at the 1000mm setting, it's near instant every time, even in quite low light. 

3" inch LCD (Vari-Angled). You can swivel and twist and use it to view the scene over the heads of the crowd or down low in the ground without getting muddy. Brilliant. It's also adjustable brightness so you can see the screen in the brightest sunlight. Those 920.000 dots make the pictures on the LCD amazing too. Now you can get the images from weird angles without getting yourself in a knot to do so. 

ISO Range: 100-12,800. As you'll see in my test shots, there is an incredible amount of noise from the tiny sensor in this camera, and it begins as low as ISO 400, but that's OK, because at least you'll never miss a shot. Noise adds character. However, in my tests, this camera doesn't live up to it's claims. The software producing the images in the camera has a strange way of smudging. So, in theory, you could use this camera almost in the dark and still see an image, but don't expect the same quality as you can get from a DSLR (My old Nikon D40x from 2006,  produced seven years ago, and Nikon D700 from 2008, five years old now, are even better in low light than this Fuji Bridge Camera.) However you'll also see that for normal outdoor shooting at ISO 100-200 the image quality is stunning.

So the useful ISO range for quality, noise free shots is only ISO 100-200, from there you'll get noise and lots of it or strange smudges if you use the EXR software. 

Movies: You can record stunning Full HD Movies at 1080p @60fps Frames Per Second.  There are other movie modes, I really liked the fast frame mode, which when viewed back produces a slow motion movie. The grandchildren loved watching themselves dancing in slow motion.

MovieGrandchildren Playing.

360 Sweep Panorama: With an intelligent and brilliant sweep panoramic setting amazing vistas are sure to be captured. 

Q Button: (Quick Selector Menu) With this button and the selector wheel you can quickly set almost any parameter on the camera for the mode you are in. This is one of the features I really like.

SP1 and SP2 Settings: (Even my Nikon D700 can't do this.) It remembers the setting for say Landscapes or Portraits and with one quick twist of the mode selector you are all set up for your favourite in a moment. Best of all, the camera remembers what you've set even when you turn it off or take the battery out. 
















Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Arts and Crafts Movement

Standen Estate: East Sussex, England.
Arts and Crafts: William Morris.
Bank Holiday Monday 6th May 2013 Visit.




You can see all the images (Large) by clicking one and scrolling through them.

My wife and I had a wonderful day out yesterday at the Standen Estate, owned by the National Trust. We arrived early and had to wait for 15 mins before they opened the gates. However, as we were the first to arrive for Bank Holiday Monday, we also got to see the whole place and had it to ourselves for a while, that's why there are only a few people in the pictures at first. As the day progressed, there were hundreds of people arriving and by the time we were leaving there was a line of cars half a mile long, waiting to get in. I'm so glad my wife prompted me to get ready and on our way out of London before everyone else got out of bed.

Standen House: The House is decorated throughout in the Arts and Crafts Style. There are William Morris textiles everywhere; Fabrics, Tiles, Wallpaper. Even the electrics are the original fixtures and fittings from the 1920s...







 










Standen Estate Gardens: The Gardens were a treasure: All made up of little compartment gardens and each turn is an adventure in itself. I loved the views overlooking the reservoir in the valley below and would definitely love to visit in the early morning light.











For more information on the history of Stenden House and Estate visit the National Trust web site. 

Photography For Don

I am passionate, my wife would say "obsessed", with all kinds of photography. When I am behind the camera looking through the eye-piece, I feel like I am in the right place, no matter where I am. Photography allows me to be still and just focus on what's in front of me. Everything else around me just fades away and what unfolds before me is all that I am aware of. I am in the moment, and when that happens, sometimes something magical occurs. My Breathing slows down, troubles fade away, calmness washes over me, all is at peace. When finally I press the shutter: Boom:- Peace, Happiness, Elation, Excitement and Joy. It all builds up to that moment. No wonder this photography is what I love to do. For me PHOTOGRAPHY is not just taking a picture, it is the elation of the emotional experience that I seek. It doesn't happen every time, but occasionally people who view my artwork also experience it too. It's important to me that others know what has happened to produce the artwork they are submersed in and can share something of the boom of the moment.

Don's Photography Fine Art

At Don's Fine Art site you'll discover many great works and they are always great quality.
Art Prints

Don's RedBubble Portfolio


See Something on this blog that's not available on my Fine Art sites? Contact me and I'll let you have them.







Thursday, 2 May 2013

Chelsea Bridge Sunrise: London

A Sunrise To Remember.


Chelsea Bridge from Battersea Bridge on the River Thames in London. 


Planning an early morning rise to greet the Sunrise is one thing, but actually getting your head off the pillow and out the door is another. For me there really is nothing quite like that sacrifice, but there's also the anticipation and dread that goes along with it. That's because, here in London, we never really know what the weather is going to be like. Oh we can look at the outlook on the BBC forecasts to see what they've said it's going to be like, but I can't tell you the number of times that I've gotten up and out only to be disappointed by the complete opposite of what had been promised.

Today when I crawled out of bed I felt those same feelings of excitement and trepidation. I'd prepared well; the forecast was for clear skies and light wind. I'd planned to be at Battersea bridge in time to welcome the sun and I knew the exact spot that I'd be standing, all thanks to Google maps and the Photographer's Ephemeris program. The rest, as they say, was in God's hands and my skill as a photographer. Praise God! Because today the weather didn't disappoint, the sky was clear and apart from a slight breeze not too bad.

My kit for today was simple: Nikon D700 Camera, Gitzo Tripod, 28-300mm and 16-35mm Nikon Lenses. 16Gb Compact Flash Card and a few filtres if I needed them.

I knew it would be quite cold, so I put on a big wooly jumper, jacket and warm clothing. However, I made the mistake of forgetting a hat and gloves which I'd later regret, because the wind was stronger and colder on Battersea Bridge than I'd imagined. However, braving the early morning cold is just one of the things that makes these early morning sorties into the heart of London memorable, hopefully  I'll remember them next time.

In London Be Careful Parking: Parking my car was a problem though, I knew that if I'd parked carelessly, even at that time of the day, I could be clamped or towed away. After driving around for a while I found a spot next to Battersea Park just down from Chelsea Bridge. It was good because I made a mental note to take some close-up shots of Chelsea Bridge on the way back to the car after the sunrise shots. The distance from Chelsea Bridge to Battersea Bridge is only a couple of hundred yards, so was glad that I didn't have to lug camera gear too far.

Finding my spot was easy and it was a delight to walk along the Thames path, I was the only soul out at that time of the day, but that didn't last long as morning joggers began to emerge from their luxury flats close by. I got into position on Battersea bridge at about 5.10am ready for the sunrise at 5.30am. They sky was already quite bright and I could see the beginnings of the orange glow in the sky, I knew it was going to be a good clear shot. I think I would have prefered a bit more cloud in the sky, but never mind.

Camera Settings: Far too often I've forgotten that I'd been shooting in some weird ISO setting only to get home and find a great landscape shot has been ruined by my stupidity. So now I always double check every setting on the camera; ISO, f stop, focusing mode switch, area focusing mode switch, metering mode switch. Also when using the camera on a tripod you won't need lens stabilization so turn it off. Also just check that I'm shooting in RAW, that's so I can recover as much detail from every shot. JPG compresses the files and data is lost.

Here are some of the shots

Click images to see them much larger.

What surprised me today was just how much the colours have changed as the sun got higher in the sky.









Sunrises or Sunsets???

I find both are equally inspiring, but for me a Sunrise is best: Because there is a sense of excitement building, birds begin singing, the city slowly begins to wake and there is the anticipation of a brand new day dawning.

Sunset on the other hand is lovely with warmer colours and a feeling of everything is going to be OK as we curl up in our beds and relax with fond memories and visually calming dreams.

Photography: 

I am passionate, my wife would say "obsessed", with all kinds of photography. When I am behind the camera looking through the eye-piece, I feel like I am in the right place, no matter where I am. Photography allows me to be still and just focus on what's in front of me. Everything else around me just fades away and what unfolds before me is all that I am aware of. I am in the moment, and when that happens, sometimes something magical occurs. My Breathing slows down, troubles fade away, calmness washes over me, all is at peace. When finally I press the shutter: Boom:- Peace, Happiness, Elation, Excitement and Joy. It all builds up to that moment. No wonder this photography is what I love to do. For me PHOTOGRAPHY is not just taking a picture, it is the elation of the emotional experience that I seek. It doesn't happen every time, but occasionally people who view my artwork also experience it too. It's important to me that others know what has happened to produce the artwork they are submersed in and can share something of the boom of the moment.



Find some on my Fine Art portfolio to purchase here.

Art Prints

Find more on my Redbubble portfolio here.






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