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fenfotos’s latest blog : black and white squares 6


Black and White Squares 6

25 Oct 2021 2:31PM  
Views : 50
Unique : 45

This week our Sunday walk was through Milton village to Milton Country park.


I did not expect to be writing anything this week, as we had our granddaughter staying with us for the weekend. So, it was very much a case of snatching photos for this blog, as and when I could, in between pushing swings; saving fellow pedestrians from a five year old on a bike who thought she was in the Tour de France; and taking photographs for the the family album.

One problem I thought I might have, was switching my Panasonic TZ70 between the normal aperture priority, colour, four by three mode and ‘dynamic monochrome’ square image mode. In the event, this was not a problem – just a quick turn on the mode wheel did the trick.

What was more of a problem, was switching thinking. For instance, I routinely expose to the right as far as I dare. For this blog, using images straight out of the camera, exposure has to be balanced. Inattention to this, resulted in my first picture being far more high key than I would like. But to be fair, I would not have noticed this relief in the plaster, had I not been bending down to the granddaughter as it is only about three feet above the ground. The relief is on the exterior plaster work on the seventeenth century Queen Anne’s Lodge in Milton village.


This next image is a close up of the carving on a new wooden sculpture at the main entrance to the park. First impressions, are that the sculpture offers lots of opportunity for abstract close ups, which I will investigate on a less pressurised day.


If I was dissatisfied with the exposure of my first image, I was really happy with the tones in this third image of variegated ivy. I would have thought I had done well with this result if I had converted from a raw photograph.


Similarly, I have tried many times to photograph the dens which are now such a feature of our woodlands. They tend to be in various states of disrepair and always look interesting. But I have always found it difficult to get a good separation between the den and its background which is invariably cluttered. I think that that separation has been achieved rather well in this image, and as such it probably represents one of my best attempts at capturing this subject.


Finally, when I set out on Sunday, I thought that I could photograph some birds. Milton Country Park consists of disused gravel pits filled with water which support a fair population of birds. But the swans stayed resolutely in the middle of the pits, and buried their heads in the water. The ducks which normally come swimming up to investigate any ball I throw in for the dog to fetch, uncharacteristically scattered at the mere sight of the family pet. There was no sign of the herons, grebes and kingfishers. So, I tried taking pictures of gulls in flight. This was about the best.

The TZ70 is not the fastest camera for focusing, and by the time the AF had locked in, the bird had long since gone. I am amazed that the bird is as sharp as it is, but the camera probably focused on the clouds, which were a sufficient distance away to give the required depth of field.

Milton country park

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fenfotos’s latest blog : another grey day


Another Grey Day

17 Oct 2021 6:43PM  
Views : 263
Unique : 255

Today was yet another grey day. Not quite so bad as last week, when the rain set in almost as soon as we set off on the walk, and I got no usable photographs at all. I did do a little better this week.


I am still without my Olympus. I am told that it may take a month to repair. So, once again, I am using my Panasonic TZ70, which has made today a real getting to know my equipment day.

I am often quite curious as to why designers make the decisions they do, when the logic of the decision is not at all obvious. For instance, the TZ70 has a ‘Dynamic Monochrome’ mode, which I use for this project. If I use this mode, I have no control over when the flash will fire. I fancied trying daylight flash in the gloom, so tried to set the camera so the flash always fired. This would potentially have made some interesting shots with a highly illuminated foreground against a dark background. I would have thought such a shot was dynamic. But I am denied any such control. Why? The same mode also seems to accentuate the contrast. To get a decent monochrome from a lot of the images I took today, I would definitely need to go back to the raw file and do the conversion myself.

On the plus side, the TZ70 has a tiny sensor ( I believe the crop factor is over 5), which gives great depth of field, which is ideal for macro work. My lead image of a teasel head is a fine example of this.

Perhaps, not surprisingly, given the prevailing lighting conditions, all my successful shots today were made keeping the camera very close to the subject.


This next shot is of some late flowering dandelions. It is the kind of situation that interests me – the different shapes and textures in the undergrowth. Here, the nettles contrast nicely with the grass, while the dandelions themselves provide focus. For someone like me, who is interested in natural history, this is a picture of ecology in action, as the three plants fight it out, each having its own strategy for hogging the light, inhibiting other competing plants, and dealing with marauding herbivores. I have thought of making a false colour image, such as NASA images of a distant planet. I haven’t yet tried though.


This image is also all about differing textures. This field was just a mass of hawkweed (I think). Now late in the season, there are just a few flowers left among the grey feathery seed heads.


When I first set out, I intended to photograph fungi. But it wasn’t until nearly the end of the walk that I found any. I liked this one with a strong contrast in both lightness and texture to the surrounding ivy.


My final image if of an inkcap toadstool. Taking this picture made me really miss the fully articulated screen of my Olympus. Not being able (or willing) to lie down on the boggy ground, this image was made with quite a lot of guess work. This is also a nice illustration of the depth of field with the TZ70, sharpness extends for inches beyond the fungus.

Overall, I feel this has been my most successful foray yet.

Dof depth of field
Teasel Head

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fenfotos’s latest blog : a grey day in autumn


A Grey Day in Autumn

3 Oct 2021 7:17PM  
Views : 81
Unique : 77

Back on home soil, my walk today was around Quy Fen. Right from the start, things did not look promising. It was a dull day, beneath an undifferentiated grey sky. If it were not for this blog, quite frankly, I would have left my camera at home.

I start off with probably the shot of the day of some ivy. The maturing ivy flower heads provide a nice contrast against the dark foliage.


However, it was a day that tested my self imposed constraints of square, black and white images straight out of camera to breaking point. This picture of umbellifer (?hemlock) seed heads against the grey sky is acceptable, but would definitely be improved with more contrast.


Much more substantial post processing is required to make the most of this image of an ivy flower head.


As this version of the same image shows, this is undoubtedly a colour photograph. This version was produced with a minimal conversion from the raw file, and without the use of any local controls.


In general, I think the lack of colour is going to make it very difficult to produce good straight out of camera images during autumn. Autumn is the season of colour in the countryside – with the woods and hedgerows full of reds, oranges and yellows in the berries and the leaves. Of course, without filters (I don’t have any) or post processing, reds tend to show with the same tonality as the greens, and berries in particular just disappear.

For these maple keys, the monochrome is almost unreadable, whereas the colour version is quite clear.



I started this blog to test my ability to produce good monochrome images straight out of camera in a square format. In two cases, I have had to resort to colour images to produce an acceptable result. In one of these cases – the maple keys – it would take far more processing of the black and white image than I am capable of, to create a create an acceptable result. I know a bad workman always blames his tools, and maybe, I’m a bad workman. But equally, a SOOC image is only ever going to be as good as the subject in front of the camera. A photograph still has plenty of tools available, but for a black and white image, if there is little or not difference in tonality across the image, then the photograph is always going to be poor without further processing.

One other point of interest is the difference between handling of raw files between cameras. My Olympus E-M5 has unfortunately developed a fault, and I am waiting to find someone to repair it. So I have used my Panasonic TZ70 today. With both cameras set to monochrome, an image ratio of 1:1, and to save both JPG and RAW, both give me a black and white and a colour image. However, the raw file from the Olympus has the native 4:3 aspect ratio, whereas the Panasonic, the raw file has the square ratio of the JPG.


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fenfotos’s latest blog : squares week 2


Squares Week 2

19 Sep 2021 7:18PM  
Views : 84
Unique : 77

I think I must have had quite a lot of beginner’s luck last week, because, this Sunday, I really struggled with the challenge I have set myself: square, black and white images, straight out of camera. Producing images straight out of camera is rather cruelly exposing my lack of expertise, and how much I rely on post processing to create good images. So despite taking more images, I still only finished with six that I am in the least bit confident of making public.


The pick for me was this flower. I don’t know what it is and cannot find it in any of my books of wild flowers, so I suspect it may be an escapee. Its a subject that fits the square format well, and the only post processing I would normally do is lose the additional white flowers on the left hand side.

It is strange using a square format. If I come across a subject that is clearly upright, I still rotate the camera, which with a square frame makes no difference at all! This has meant that at times, I simply could not get a good composition without cropping, which for the purposes of this blog I have renounced. But, by and large, I have found I have been using my feet far more often and getting a much tighter crop in camera than I would have done in the past.


Unfortunately, I could not get any closer to these cow parsley seed heads, because of a ditch and bramble bushes. Ideally, I would have done some gardening and got rid of the second seed head in the background. Alternatively, of course, I could have removed it in Photoshop. That is a pity, because I like the basic image.


Without post processing, I have way of mitigating extreme contrast. The swan swimming down the river could certainly do with attention to the shadows and highlights.


I find shooting monochrome is a great help in getting a good composition – it brings out the fundamental architecture of an image, which can be obscured by colours. Also in taking photographs in a green English countryside, the whole image is defined by luminosity and not colour, like this picture of bryony. A lot of the bryony I spotted was a necklace of red berries weaving through the hawthorn hedges, but without filters (which I haven’t got) they come out almost exactly the same shade of grey as the surrounding leaves and were completely lost.


The wood I walked through is on National Trust land, and has proved a prime location for den making. This particular one is one of the larger ones, and stands out well against the backlit foliage of the trees. Again, post processing, I would have cloned out the long horizontal branch.


Finally is this beech nut, which almost certainly would be better in colour. As a monochrome image, it needs work doing on the tonality. I would also clone out the bright spot in the top right, and work on the clarity and texture of the nut itself.


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fenfotos’s latest blog : black and white squares


Black and White Squares

12 Sep 2021 2:14PM  
Views : 158
Unique : 150

I have set myself a challenge: to take photographs on our Sunday morning dog walk and post them on this blog straight out of camera. I have a sort of half idea that I would like to use a film camera, but I not sure how good any of my photographs would be without RawTherapee and Photoshop. So this posting SOOC could quickly prove to be a bad idea. We’ll see.

One of things I am aware of is that almost all the images I post are cropped, and often radically – which points to sloppy composition and/or not getting close enough. So for this mornings walk, I set the aspect ratio on my camera to square. And to add to the challenge, to take monochrome images as well. So with monochrome square images, I am well out of my comfort zone.

So here are the most promising six images from this morning:

Starting off with a pretty view alongside the lode.


Then came across this comma sitting on some brambles. I have never taken a monochrome image of a butterfly before. I am quite pleased with this, and may well see what I can do with further processing. Certainly one of my favourites from this morning.


Mayweed growing on a field margin. Nice and dramatic.


Equally dramatic is this meadowsweet on the bankside. Probably another image I will process further.


For years, I have been taking images in a series I think of as ‘touched by light’, which is really about sunlight playing in the woods and in the undergrowth.


And finally a view into the woods. This one probably should be in colour as the light area on the ground are actually light brown beech leaves that have fallen off.


Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read this. I would ask one favour. If you feel that the images I am showing are not to the standard you would expect on this site, and my publishing SOOC photos can be categorised as ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’, please let me know, so I can save myself any further embarassment.


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Honor Magic3 Series with dedicated Monochrome camera

Honor Magic3 Series with dedicated Monochrome camera

Honor has announced a brand new range of premium smartphones, the Honor Magic3 series, with a strong focus on the cameras, including a 64MP Monochrome camera on all models, great for those who are interested in monochrome photography.

Honor Magic3 Blue Hour

The Honor Magic3, shown above, starts the range with a 50MP f/1.9 wide-angle camera, a 13MP f/2.2 ultra wide (13mm), and a 64MP f/1.8 monochrome camera. The camera uses Laser focus for rapid focus.

Honor Magic3 Series

Honor Magic3 Series (Magic3 Pro, above)

The Honor Magic3 Pro features the same cameras as the Magic3, but with additional cameras, including a 64MP f/3.5 periscope 3.5x telephoto camera with OIS, equivalent to 90mm. With this, the camera offers a 10x hybrid zoom, as well as a 100x superzoom option. There’s an 8×8 dTOF laser focus system on this model, and the Pro +.

The Honor Magic3 Pro + is the ultra premium model of the range, with a ceramic back. It features a 50MP f/1.9 wide-angle camera with OIS using a larger 1/1.28inch Sony IMX700 sensor, with ISO up to ISO409600.

There’s also a 64MP f/2.4 ultra-wide camera with 1/2inch sensor (11mm equivalent), a 64MP f/3.5 telephoto camera with OIS (90mm equivalent), and a dedicated 64MP f/1.8 monochrome camera. You’ll also find a 13MP ultra-wide camera on the front, with a 3D depth camera, and 3D ToF face unlock.

All models use a Multi-spectrum colour temperature sensor, with a smart AWB algorithm, for improved colour reproduction.

George Zhao, CEO of HONOR Device Co, Ltd, presenting the Honor Magic3 Pro+

George Zhao, CEO of HONOR Device Co, Ltd, presenting the Honor Magic3 Pro+

“HONOR has always showcased our most innovative ideas through the HONOR Magic Series, and the HONOR Magic3 Series continues this legacy,” said George Zhao, CEO of HONOR Device Co, Ltd. “Representing HONOR’s vision for the future of mobile technology, we are proud of the industry partnerships we’ve forged which have helped in the development of this ground-breaking new smartphone as well as the continued efforts from our R&D team to reintroduce HONOR to the global market, in a never-before-seen display of exceptional technology.”

Magic-Log Video Recording

4K 60fps video recording includes 10-bit “Magic-log” with 8 different 3D LUT built in, developed by IMAX, so you can customise the look of video recorded. There are 3 omni-directional microphones with AudioZoom to direct sound recording, and stereo speakers are built-in.

Smartphone that delivers a Cinematic Videography Experience
The HONOR Magic3 Series is the first ever IMAX® ENHANCED smartphone. It also comes with AI film effects[1] to enable professional movie-grade color solutions. The HONOR Magic3 Series enables Magic-Log and cinematic Level 3D LUT (Look Up Table) video capabilities. Commonly used to shoot professional movies, the log format allows users to enhance their videos with cinematic color tones and stunning visuals in HDR clarity. The cinematic 3D LUTs help users create color hues fit for the cinema.

Giving users more freedom to control and adjust colors without compromising image accuracy, HONOR has partnered with renowned Hollywood colorist, Bryan Mamahan, to co-create eight exclusive LUTs inspired by classic movies. Harnessing the power of AI, the HONOR Magic3 Series recommends the LUT based on the shooting scenario[2], ensuring content creators can take their movie making skills to the next level. The Magic3 Series can capture 4K HDR content and has three omni-directional microphones for clear audio capture, further ensuring enhanced picture and sound quality for cinema ready content. [1] [2] Requires OTA upgrade

All three smartphones use the same 6.76inch OLED screen, with a 120Hz refresh rate, 1.07 billion colours, DCI-P3 wide-colour gamut, HDR10+ certification, colour accuracy of DeltaE<0.8, and an 89 (degree) super curved sides.

The Magic3 Pro and Pro+ are both IP68 certified for dust and water protection, of over 1m for up to 30 minutes, with the Magic3 IP54 certified.

All models use a 4600mAh battery, and support 66W high-speed charging, with the Magic3 Pro and Pro+ supporting wireless reverse charging, letting you charge other devices from the phone.

Honor Magic3 Pro+ Sample Photos

1/3800s, f/1.9, ISO200, Landscape

1/3800s, f/1.9, ISO200, Landscape

1/7002s, f/1.9, ISO200, Portrait

1/7002s, f/1.9, ISO200, Portrait

Honor Magic3 Pro Sample Photos

1/3800s, f/1.9, ISO100, Landscape

1/3800s, f/1.9, ISO100, Landscape

1/800s, f/2.2, ISO100, Ultra-wide-angle camera

1/800s, f/2.2, ISO100, Ultra-wide-angle camera

Honor Magic3 Series Pricing and Availability

The Magic3 will be available for €899 with 8+256GB in Golden Hour, Blue Hour, black, and white colour versions. The Magic3 Pro will be available for €1099 with 8+256GB in Golden Hour, Black, and White colour versions. And finally, the Magic3 Pro+ will be available for €1499 in Ceramic Black or Ceramic White versions.

The smartphones will be available in China initially, with worldwide release to be announced at a later date. All smartphones released in the global market (outside China) will be released with access to Google Mobile services.

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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : where i started – monochrome film

johnriley1uk's latest blog : cool activities on the streets of manchester

Where I started – Monochrome Film

27 Aug 2020 12:25AM  
Views : 195
Unique : 138

When I commandeered my first camera, my Granny’s Junior 620 Box Brownie, there was little choice. I bought Kodak Verichrome Pan film and the chemist had it processed and printed to En-print size. As a 9-year-old I could afford one film a year on holiday, maybe two, with just 8 shots per film. Things moved along as I got older and I splashed out £6.50 for a 35mm format Halina 35, complete with its almost immovable controls, no meter and really everything pretty much stacked against me. My first darkroom livened things up a bit and I moved to a 35mm rangefinder – the Konica Auto S2. Getting better all the time.

But my photography clicked in when I moved to SLR cameras. First of all the Zenit B, but eventually my first Pentax, the SP1000 with a Super Takumar 55mm f2 lens. Never looked back after that, and a whole new world opened up, one with endless information to find and with endless skills to strive for. We never learn everything there is to learn about photography, but we do get better.

So today I’m going to look at some scans of early camera club prints, made after I joined ADAPS about a million years ago. All monochrome as few people could afford the time or cost of producing colour.







Anglesey Cottages

Derelict Farmhouse

Evening at Arneside

Leuven Town Hall

The Meeting

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