Don’t Look, Don’t Look, Don’t Look, Don’t Look…

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Aww, damn. I looked.

Unlook, unlook, unlook…

It is like this when you have been in the business for a while. When you go out to see a sight that needs to be photographed and other people are there taking pictures as well, you must concentrate all your attention on the subject at hand and don’t start watching the other camera users. If you do you just get cynical or silly.

Because while there are many pathways that lead up the mountain, some of them are strewn with goat poop and mobile phones. And some people are hard pressed to decide which to use to take pictures.

A case in point was a recent visit to a hot rod show. Bright blazing day and the more experienced had flashes on board to throw some fill into the shadows. Few leaf-shuttered cameras evident so the synch speeds and light ratios would have been anyone’s guess but at least you could say we tried. The mobile phones and the goat poopers were doing their own thing when an experienced hand went by…with the flash pointed up to bounce fill of a clear blue sky. It was a good flash – it went off every single time…

At the doll house exhibition most of the camera users were just depending upon the hall lighting for illumination, rather than supplementing it. The Cannington Exhibition hall is lit by industrial halogen arc atomic kerosene pitch pine torches that have the colour temperature of a large blackhead. They are relatives of lightning as they never strike a sensor twice in the same spot. Yet only three of the keen miniaturists, myself included, were using flash. Again, one was pointed to the rafters…

At least I did have a chance to admire one chap’s sensible choice of a Sigma ring-light setup. It was on small DSLR and surrounded a small zoom – perfect geometry for the dollhouse displays that can sometimes be set rather deeply in frames. I hope he was rewarded with good colour – the builders really do a marvellous job with their hobby.

I must say, though, that the number of times that I have seen lens hoods firmly reversed over their lenses, even in the bright sun, makes me wonder if the users really do understand what the oddly-shaped piece of plastic is for. I excuse those who use them indoors because I frequently do it to prevent stray light flare from badly placed studio lights. Better safe than sitting at the computer trying to PS something back to life.

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