Beverley Minster

Not so much one of my favourite photo locations, but certainly, if I had to pick one of my absolute favourite places to be, then Beverley Minster would be near, if not at, the top of my list.

Beverley Minster
Inside Beverley Minster, looking toward the organ

When one thinks of grand churches in the area, places like Lincoln Cathedral and York Minster come to mind, which is a shame, because Beverley Minster is a real gem. However, I’d have to admit that the main reason is because I grew up in Beverley and the Minster has always been a special place for me.

WW1 Cenotaph
The East Yorkshire Regiment Cenotaph, remembering the fallen of the First World War. My Great Grandfather's name is written here.

This was the first time I visited in order to photograph it and for a small charge, you can get a photography permit. I arrived early on, so there weren’t many visitors or weddings going on, but it is still an active church and usually there is something going on. Being winter, and early morning meant very little light, so that presented a challenge. Sometimes ISO 3200 just wasn’t enough. Sometimes I wish I had a D3s. But I don’t 😉

The Minster
Beverley Minster on a cold, grey winter's day

A really enjoyable morning, soaking up the atmosphere and awe of the place.

More images on my flickr stream.


Autumn in the Garden

Some random pics taken in the garden over the last couple of months. The garden is an almost perpetual work in progress, which means there are plenty of piles of rubble, plant cuttings and all sorts of shots like these.

The first three make for a nice black and white conversion, but the last one works best in colour. Slightly over-processed to bring out the colour of the iron goose that we found buried under a patch of overgrown hedge.

Spider Web
Spider's web on a climbing frame
Rock Garden
bramble cuttings
Wild Bramble cuttings
old mother goose
Old Mother Goose

Can Kodak save itself?

The news for Kodak is not looking good.  They managed to sell part of their business to raise cash, but I wonder how long they can keep things going. They are making a loss, and it seems they’re printer business is the only area with real growth. 

Kodak however could do one thing to turn things around. Stop focusing your business on compact cameras and get into the system camera business, and they don;t even need to create a CSC, or mirrorless or whatever they’re calling them these days (My personal favourite is Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens – that’s a good acronym.) All Kodak have to do is retro fit a manual focus camera with Pentax K mount. (I’d go with something like the ME-Super). Slap a good APS-C  sized sensor in it, and you have a manual focus digital SLR with access to cheap and plentiful PK mount lenses. Now that would be fantastic. Price it the same as an entry level Digital SLR and it would fly off the shelves.

Next you fit one with a full frame sensor and charge more and with all the hype, Kodak become relevant as an imaging company once more. Fuji have kind of caught the vision for this with the X100 and the X10. The X100 was a gamble, but it is one that seems to have gone down well with photographers. Their next gamble will be the new mirrorless system and it will be interesting to see if Fuji can pull it off. 

Only time will tell if Kodak pull a rabbit out of the fiscal hat in the next year or two, but one thing is for sure, I don’t see them creating the killer camera.


Rule 24: Mistakes Don’t have to be Mistakes

Mistakes don’t have to be mistakes, everything is subjective – a mistake to one person is actually a piece of art to someone elseRobert Rodriguez – 10 minute film school.

The River Wharfe
The River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey

Never really appreciated that quote until recently when I forgot to switch my lens to auto-focus. The in-focus image was rubbish, but I really like this.

Just wish I could say the same about all my mistakes 😉

Bonfire Night

Never photographed fireworks before, so this was a bit of an experiment. I like these, but I think they could be better.

realising I needed much shorter shutter speeds, I started to add a few zoom blurs into the mix. I like the effect, but the highlights are blown out.


Always wanted to try this. Shame the top got cropped!
A shorter shutter speed reminds you that these little fireworks are little explosions. I love the way the sparks bounce around in the frame.

A fun night, and the photography was part of the fun. can’t wait for next year.

The Hundred Greatest Cameras – sort of

A certain magazine has put together a list of the hundred greatest cameras ever made. Interestingly, the Sony NEX-7 is sitting pretty at number 78, which I find interesting since it’s not available yet. What’s that all about?

Now I may have missed them, but there were some notable cameras missing. Most notable absentees were the EOS film range. Not a 3, 5, 50E, 30 or 1 in sight. I find that truly odd as the EOS 3 was widely considered to be about the finest film auto-focus SLR ever. I would have had that in my top 100, even my top 10.

My personal favourite though will always be the Pentax MZ-5n. I loved this camera and without doubt is the best Pentax I ever owned. Pentax made some lousy auto-focus cameras, but the MZ-5n wasn’t one of them. Reliable metering, reliable (if noisy) auto-focus and a shutter speed dial all wrapped up in a lightweight and compact body. It was a joy to use and never failed to produce the goods. For me, that makes it a great camera.

Everyone has their preference and everyone will have their favourite, but the fact that so many digital cameras were in the list is quite telling. Could it be that we already have a generation of photographers who have never used film? Who have never  manually focused a prime lens? Never used a thumb wind?

So what would be your greatest camera?