About Me

Sok Sobi. I enjoy taking pictures of people and places, particular interest in Landscape, People and Travel photography. Pictures and stories that bring Social Awareness and the potential for long term social change or policy are important to me. I use Canon Digital Cameras (EOS 1Ds,1D Mk1,2,4 plus Powershot G11) with a selection of Canon lenses, the 24-105 IS f4L being my favourite at present. I use Lightroom & Photoshop Elements to edit my work. Canon equipment and lenses give me just what I need, reliability and high IQ. I am now living and working in Cambodia, South East Asia, using Phnom Penh as a base to explore the region. I publish stories that are important to me on my blog but always try to give a balanced picture.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Bonus Tip from Laos, Thailand and Cambodia Photo Trek: Be Good for Goodness Sake! | Rick Sammon

Bonus Tip from Laos, Thailand and Cambodia Photo Trek: Be Good for Goodness Sake! | Rick Sammon

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

On the street with a new Camera - Canon Power Shot G11

Whenever you get any new bit of kit it takes a while to learn how to get the best from it. On my recent trip to the UK I unfortunately left my little Sony point and shoot behind when I came back to Phnom Penh so I decided to go and find a new one. Off I headed to the camera store on Monivong where I knew that I could probable get a good deal on the camera I wanted. They didn't have it in stock but would get me one the next day. Service is great but the gear is grey.
I had decided that I wanted a Canon Power Shot G11 admittedly not the smallest of point and shoots but according to the reports I have read is definitely up to scratch IQ wise. So the next day I paid my money and took my camera. Spent the afternoon reading the manual and fiddling with the controls, finding my bearings.
The next morning I was out early to give the camera a walk, ended up doing several miles.

I wanted this camera to carry with me when not possible or desirable to hump a DSLR but the question remained, was it suitable for street work and was the IQ as reported in the photography press up to the standard I require. The above image was taken on the move on Kampuchea Kr am Boulevard. I was using a mode in the camera that allows immediate response from the shutter but you have to use the viewfinder rather than the screen, no noticeable shutter lag, which meant no missed shots a major problem with some P & S.

I wanted to try out the quality of the zoom, and get used to using the controls on the camera, the above image was taken at maximum zoom (x5 optical) and although the focus is a little off (my fault) it is perfectly usable for the net.
The cameras ''low profile'' in comparison to my DSLR's seemed to make me less noticeable to people and I was able to get some good shots whilst walking around the Orussai market. People just were not taking much notice of me at all, just another tourist.

My main concern really was the IQ that the camera is able to produce up to the standards I require. I have made my own judgement about this and I will leave you to make your based on the pictures you see here. I know small JPEG's are not the best indicators of IQ but the RAWs this camera produces are very useful.

I continued on my trip around the market spotting images as I went and trying to be as unobtrusive as possible.

I like the images this camera is able to produce and also that I will be able to take it with me at all times and know that I can get quality images. It will not replace my DSLR's but will certainly compliment them.
© Ian Kydd'Miller 2010

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Photograph Stunning Mountain Scenes

Author: Robin Whalley

There is nothing quite as exhilarating and rewarding as getting back to nature and photographing mountain scenery. Mountains are dramatic, inspiring and provide great photography potential. Whilst you will need to be careful, mountains can be much more accessible and rewarding for the landscape photographer than you realise. Here are some top tips to get you started and hopefully capture those stunning scenes.

Find Accessible locations

Matterhorn, Switzerland

This iconic mountain is the Matterhorn in Switzerland and probably recognised all over the world for its distinctive shape. I would love to have claimed great hardship in capturing this image but I was sat sipping a Cappuccino outside a restaurant at the time. This area like many in European mountain regions is peppered with cable cars making them very accessible to photographers.

Use a Telephoto Lens

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

As with the previous example of the Matterhorn, this image was shot using a telephoto lens. In the Matterhorn example it helped bring the mountain closer to me so requiring less effort on my part. This image from the Torres del Paine area of Patagonia was shot using a 300mm lens to crop in close and make the mountain loom large in the viewfinder. Using a telephoto lens helps emphasise the size of the mountain and make it appear more dramatic. Fill the frame for maximum impact.

Weather Adds Drama

Lake District Storm

Mountains are a great place to experience extremes of weather and whilst this means taking extra care, it can also mean great photo opportunities. I like showery weather best (especially in winter) as this means plenty of changing conditions with dramatic light. Showers that might only last for a few minutes give you many chances to catch that wonderful clearing storm light. In this shot from one of the many ridges in the English Lake District a passing snow shower allows the sun to break through. A few minutes earlier the sky was black and the snow swirling everywhere. Sit it out but be prepared and you will be handsomely rewarded.

Shoot down as well as up

Another aspect to mountain photography that's often forgotten is to shoot down from the tops of mountains into valleys, or towards other mountains. Yes this requires a greater level of fitness in reaching the top of the mountain but the images look completely different. The view in the previous image is one example of shooting down from the mountain.

Get your Feet Muddy but Stay Safe

My final tip is to get your feet muddy. If you stand at the foot of the hills, or shoot from the side of the road you will almost certainly be making compromises. Get yourself into gear and walk into the hills, remembering though that you need to be safe:

  • Try to go with another person so that if you hit problems you can help each other
  • Always have a mobile phone with you. Sometimes you won't get a signal but frequently you get a very good signal. There have been examples recently of Alpine climbers being rescued because they sent a message to someone back home
  • Always have a map and compass and/or GPS and know how to use them
  • Wear/carry the right equipment. It's not just about taking photographs so take food, warm/waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear
  • Try to learn outdoor hill walking skills or go with someone who is experienced
If you stay safe and follow these tips you will enjoy your mountain photography.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/photography-articles/photograph-stunning-mountain-scenes-3229208.html

About the Author

Robin Whalley is a UK based Landscape Photographer whose work has appeared in magazines such as Canon EOS User, Photography Monthly and Outdoor Photography. He has been a finalist in both Photographer of the Year and Landscape Photographer of the Year, where his work has been included in national exhibitions. His Lenscraft website is packed with landscape photography and tutorials to help the aspiring photographer.

Obituary - Sir Norman Wisdom

By Jonathan Margolis

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A prodigious comedic and musical talent, Norman Wisdom was for a while in the early 1960s Britain's highest- earning performer. His career spanned music hall, West End musicals, pantomime, cabaret, TV, Broadway and Hollywood – but for many people, he was most famous for being over nearly three decades the undisputed comedy favourite of Stalinist Albania.
It was not only the harmless vulnerability of the character Wisdom played in 19 films that made him "safe" and uncontroversial enough to be an officially approved entertainer in Albania and other former communist countries, such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union. He was actually touted by the regimes in such countries – albeit without particularly wanting to be – as a political icon, a depiction of the exploited worker against the ruling classes, the underdog who triumphs against capitalist evil.
The put-upon character Wisdom achieved such fame for had its roots in Scarborough in 1948, where he was playing in variety while living in his touring caravan on a site outside the town. Looking for something new to wear on stage, he happened to buy an ill-fitting suit and cap in a secondhand shop. With his diminutive physique and this pathetic outfit, he invented a chirpy comedy character he called The Gump, described as "the successful failure", a cheerful fool who somehow wins through, and thus walks the thin line between pathos and comedy.
Although The Gump – both the character and increasingly threadbare suit and cap, which Wisdom wore with the brim turned back – were to make him immensely wealthy over the decades to come, pathos was far from an affectation for Norman Wisdom. His successful career came about despite an appalling childhood. "I was born in very sorry circumstances. Both my parents were very sorry," he was fond of saying. But in his case, it was true. Wisdom's friends over the years have compared him to Oliver Twist, something which almost underplays the Dickensian nature of his early years.
Born in 1915 to Frederick, a chauffeur and Maude, a dressmaker, Wisdom had an older brother, Fred, and the family lived in a one-bed flat, which due to his father's job had a shiny Daimler outside. The marriage was unhappy, and when Wisdom was nine his mother left for a man in Willesden, and thus failed to get custody of her children – who were effectively left to their own devices while their father took jobs in Scotland and Ceylon. When he returned from these trips he was often physically violent towards his sons.
"It was either steal or starve," remembered Wisdom, who out of necessity became resourceful to the point of desperation. His money-making scams included trying to get run over by cyclists on Bayswater Road, after a lady cyclist who had genuinely crashed into him gave him sixpence.
Eventually, Wisdom Snr sent the two boys to live with guardians in Hertfordshire, an arrangement which collapsed through a combination of the boys' bad behaviour and their father failing to pay their rent. The brothers were then split up, and Norman grew up in Deal in Kent. At 14 he went to the Labour Exchange and took the first of a succession of jobs in London hotels before walking to Wales with a fellow hotel worker with the idea of working in the mines.
Once there, the friend deserted him and Wisdom got a job as cabin boy on a cargo ship bound for Argentina. On board he learned how to box and also to shadow box, a skill which would later feature in his stage routine. Many years later, Muhammad Ali would be one of his biggest fans.
Several lows followed Wisdom's return to England. The first was what he deemed the worst day of his life, when he returned from sea and spent Christmas Day in a hostel on his own. The second was when he tracked down his father, who had found another partner and simply told him to "get out". Wisdom never saw him again. Better moments came when he was reunited with his mother and, later, his brother Fred, whom he stopped by coincidence in the street to ask for directions on the way to find him.
Aged 14, at 4ft 10in and 5st 9lb, Wisdom joined the army, towards whom he retained a deep gratitude for teaching him discipline, giving him food and a surrogate for the family he never had. He became a band boy for the 8th Hussars and was posted to Lucknow in India, where he spent five years.
Later he would say these were the happiest days of his life. It was in India that he developed his comedy routine – shadow boxing and tap dancing – through being the camp jester. He also took up music and dropped his Cockney accent.
Returning to England in 1938, he met his first wife, Doreen, who worked in a chip shop, and married her in 1939. The marriage was to end swiftly when Doreen was unfaithful. Wisdom never told anyone about the marriage until the publication of his autobiography, Don't Laugh at Me, in 1992.
When the Second World War started Wisdom joined the Royal Corps of Signals and its dance band, playing saxophone. After a charity concert in Cheltenham, the actor Rex Harrison came backstage and told Wisdom he would be mad not to go professional.
When the war finished, Wisdom was 30 and desperate to get into showbusiness. His first appearance was atCollins Music Hall in Islington, a slot he got by shadowing the theatre manager for three weeks until he had worn him down. The resultant show was a mixture of mime, musical instruments and singing.
In 1953, the Gump character, having been invented for variety, in which Wisdom had been doing a double turn for five years with the conjuror David Nixon, helped launch Wisdom in his first film, Trouble in Store. This broke all box office records and earned Wisdom £5,000, a Bafta and a chart topping record, "Don't Laugh At Me 'Cos I'm A Clown".
Wisdom signed a seven-year film contract with Rank Organisation. During the 1950s he worked so hard that he would be at the film studios at 5.30am for a 12-hour day and then go to the London Palladium for two shows finishing at 11pm. After signing autographs he would arrive home at 1am. He ended up in hospital suffering from malnutrition; with this punishing schedule, he had forgotten to eat.
At the height of Wisdom's fame, the 1962 film A Stitch in Time took more money in its first two weeks than the James Bond film of the same year, From Russia With Love. Wisdom's fame was now spreading abroad. In 1965, at a film festival in Argentina, he was awarded the Golden Flame Award for The Most Popular Artist of All Nations. Wisdom's stage musical, Walking Happy, won him a New York Critics' award, and Richard Rogers cast him in Androcles and the Lion alongside Noël Coward in a TV special for NBC.
He also toured the world with Tony Fayne, his comedic sparring partner, visiting many parts of Africa, Iran, Malaysia, Australia and Canada. He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy in 1991, and in 1995 finally made it to Albania after the fall of communism. He was greeted there by adoring crowds, for whom his films had been the only bright spot in four decades of Enver Hoxha's isolationist rule. In 1998, the Barbican held a retrospective of Wisdom's work. Then aged 83, he was there, singing, dancing and falling about as he had throughout his career.
However despite his natural comedic prowess, Wisdom also yearned to do "real acting", once complaining that he would give "half my right arm" to play the deaf-mute in Ryan's Daughter. In 1981 he took part in Going Gently, a moving two-handed BBC TV play set in a terminal cancer ward. Wisdom said: "All I can say is when he [the director, Stephen Frears] said 'Cut!' there was a silence that seemed to go on for ever. Looking around, I saw tears in the cameraman's eyes. Frears just walked over, and without a word ruffled my hair."
Wisdom also played a gangster who crosses the Mafia in the 1991 film Double X, and enjoyed a stint in the long-running BBC comedy The Last Of The Summer Wine. He played a vicar in a short film, Expresso, in 2007. His one great unfulfilled ambition was to write and star in a film about Benny Lynch, the flyweight champion in 1935 who was found dead and destitute in a gutter 11 years later at the age of 33.
Wisdom's phenomenal physical fitness meant that he could still accept such roles into his late seventies. Well into his eighties, he astonished journalists who visited his home in the Isle of Man by suddenly standing up from his seat, dropping to the floor and turning several somersaults. (He would also let them wear and be photographed in what he said was his original Gump cap, but seemed suspiciously new when the author saw and was photographed in it.) In 2000, Wisdom brought out a fitness video aimed at youngsters in their sixties.
In his personal life, Wisdom wasunlucky. In 1947, eight years after his short-lived marriage, he met andmarried a chorus girl, Freda Simpson. They lived in a caravan parked off the Barnet by-pass. However, after 22 years of marriage, Wisdom, flush with success on Broadway, came home to find that Freda had left him for someone he described as "tall and good-looking". Wisdom's two children, Nick and Jackie, then aged 12 and 11, chose to stay with their father. Wisdom never married again.
Wisdom was a prolific songwriter and admitted that his songs had the common themes of love and loneliness, which he conceded was a reflection of both the Gump character he had created and a bit of himself, too.
In 1995 he was granted an OBEand went to collect it in morning suit and the Gump cap. He was no stranger to Royalty, having been a guestperformer at Windsor Castle andbeing told by a lady-in-waiting that the Queen found it difficult to keep a straight face when he was around. Wisdom and the cap made another visit to Buckingham Palace in 2000 to accept a knighthood.
A relentlessly jolly man, who never admitted to so much as a scintilla of depression, Norman Wisdom was proudest of two things in his life. That Charlie Chaplin once designated him the comedian who would follow in his footsteps – and the fact that he never raised his voice to anyone during his whole career.
Norman Wisdom, actor and comedian: born 4 February 1915; married 1939 Doreen Brett (marriage dissolved), 1947 Freda Simpson (marriage dissolved, died 1992; one son, one daughter); OBE 1995, Kt 2000; died Ballasalla, Isle of Man 4 October 2010.

Craigslist Prostitutes and the Future of Prostitution

Author: Andrew Hallinan

As most people know by now, Craigslist has removed the "adult services" section of their website from the home page.  And that action has brought about much debate.  But what about one of the oldest questions in regard to this vocation: should prostitution be legalized?

A particular study reported by The Washington Post found this out…

1. Men's first instinct isn't to look to prostitutes when they desire sex.  On the flip side of that coin, up to 40% of prostitution arrangements don't end with sex.  Some have called this the "Pretty Woman" theory.  However, from a legal standpoint, the 40% of these transactions still present many legal suspicions and hairy predicaments for law enforcement and legal counsel because it is so difficult to prove intent of any of these business dealings.

2. Even though, as mentioned, Craigslist has removed their front-page access to "adult services" (some say it has simply been re-named and moved to a less visible section of the website, but that's another article, for another time), it is still considered to be faster and simpler to find a prostitute online than to cruise areas of town traditionally used.  This shift from street corner to webpage has been steady in the past 10 years and some experts say the number of prostitutes walking the street in search of work has decreased by 50% in some cities since 1999.

3. Apparently, smaller numbers of prostitutes are also drug addicts.  In many ways prostitution has become a higher-end, more self-respecting arena and many women offering their services play by their own rules now.  While these women still find their inspiration from Mae West, they are more lady-like in their appearance and mannerisms, more likely to stick up for themselves, and all around, being less likely to fit the "traditional" image of a prostitute.  In relation to the question posed at the beginning of this article ("should prostitution be legalized?"), those who are not addicted to an illegal, mind or mood altering substance are less likely to cause trouble.

4. Popular tv and mainstream media, particularly the many popular "Law & Order" shows, give a pretty accurate depiction of law enforcement's attitude and treatment toward prostitutes.  The portrayal of the doubtful cooperation of cops and prostitutes working together to catch the "bad guy" may be more accurate than many people think.  Some even go as far as to say that the police and law enforcement are actually those most empathetic toward prostitutes as they are often known for directing women towards shelters where they know the lady will find a good meal and a safe place.

5. But in regards to Craigslist, specifically, there is no evidence that their removal of access to  "adult services" will affect the prostitution industry.  As mentioned in point #2, regardless of whether or not the adult services section may still be available in a different section and re-named on the community website, there is no evidence that Craigslist has the corner market on prostitution.  Therefore, regardless of what it does with its site, there are too many other websites and options out in the world for Craigslist to begin to be able to affect the availability of these services.  One study found that up to 80% of phone calls made to prostitutes from an ad on Craigslist actually never ended with a face to face meeting or the exchange of money for services.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/womens-issues-articles/craigslist-prostitutes-and-the-future-of-prostitution-3409594.html

About the Author
We invite you to view more about Craigslist Prostitutes by visiting our website.   Or, find out how to learn Morse Code by visiting our site Learn Morse Code.

Hauntings of The Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, England

Author: Paul hussey

Many years ago I worked at RN Hospital Haslar, England and as its history is very interesting I thought I would write about it's fun history. The Royal Hospital Haslar began as a Royal Navy hospital in 1753. It has a long and distinguished history in the medical care of service personnel in peacetime and in war. The buildings were designed by Theodore Jacobsen and built from 1746 and completed in 1762. St Luke's Chapel was added in 1762 and later still, a landing stage was added so troops could reach the hospital directly from ships. Haslar was the biggest hospital and the largest brick building in England when it was built. The hospital included an asylum for sailors with psychiatric disorders and an early superintending psychiatrist was the phrenologist, William Scott, a member of the influential Edinburgh Phrenological Society. James Lind at Haslar Hospital 1758-1774 played a large part in discovering a cure for scurvy, not least through his pioneering use of a double blind trial of vitamin C supplements.
Ghosts of RNH Haslar
A lot of poltergeist activity has been reported in the galley. According to a clairvoyant who worked in the hospital there are three ghosts occupying the kitchen area and many more around the hospital.
1) Michael Connelly, an Irishman who apparently likes the cooking. 'Michael' apparently like to let the galley workers know that they are there. It has been reported that all the files in the office have been tipped on the floor several times by unexplained means, and witnesses have claimed that the taps have turned on by themselves. The radio has apparently turned itself down.
2) An angry man called Derek who appears to have died from stab wounds. 'Derek' and The evening supervisor has reported that cutlery has been thrown around and it has also been claimed by witnesses that the kettle has switched itself on and that doors have opened by themselves
3) A woman called Margaret who haunts the spiral staircase. She is believed to have tripped over something before the stairs were built and died as a result. One of the Wardroom stewards claimed to have met 'Margaret' a few years ago walking up the spiral staircase. She said she met an elderly woman coming down and, thinking she was lost the steward asked her if she needed some help. However, the woman had vanished.
4) There is also a spirit who inhabits the old Senior Rates Mess. Several people have claimed that some parts of the galley are bitterly cold where the rest of it is warm; another favourite trick of all the ghosts is leaving puddles of water on the floor. Many members of the galley staff have claimed to have heard tapping on the window of the chef's office, which has encouraged them to leave for the public restaurant in a hurry.
5) Several members of staff have reported seeing the figure of a man in the corridor outside the galley. One claims to have seen a man look in the door (she went to ask if he was lost but when she got there there was nobody in sight).
6) Another reports having seen the reflection of an older man in the window (he turned around to ask if the man was looking for something, again nobody could be seen). Many people have complained that this corridor gets bitterly cold even when all the windows are shut and the heaters are on.
7) In F Block which used to be the lunatic asylum - the galley, which is opposite, used to be the yard where those in the asylum had their exercise and this area is claimed to be a 'psychic hotspot.
8) Outside the Operating Theatre's Staff have claimed to experience a sensation of being followed and most have reported a feeling of fear while being in this area. Staff members have claimed to hear footsteps as they have walked down the corridor and have admitted that they have quickened their pace while walking alone along it. Most members of the nursing staff choose to take the long route from B block to E block in order to avoid it.
A clairvoyant has claimed that the spirit residing in the corridor died because of a botched operation - an emergency procedure (as he was in immense pain), probably to save him from a blood clot. A hole was drilled in his left temple to relieve the pressure but he died in the corridor. It is claimed that he can only rest once the operation is repeated and the new patient dies. The original spirit is attempting to guide the other man's spirit back to his body. This is supposedly because there was nobody around to help him when he died.
9) In the Children's Ward A member of staff claims to have seen the ghost of a little girl who runs around the top floor of D Block. A large number of children were killed in a fire in this part of the building, but nothing specific is known about this tragedy. The area is now closed as the paediatric department has moved to another hospital.
10) In the Cellar's where I used to use to cut across the hospital (which are now closed), but before that, they were used as a short cut to the X-Ray department. In the days before anaesthetic the cellars accommodated the operating theatres and housed the insane; it has been reported that you can still hear screams and the rattling of chains. During the Second World War the cellars were once again used as operating theatres and as wards during the height of air raids.
11) In the Canada Block the money used to build this accommodation block was raised by the 'Women of Canada' during the Great War. It has been claimed that many spirits supposedly inhabit Canada Block along with unexplained noises and lights turning on and off. The ghost that most have reported seeing is that of a nurse who hanged herself during the First World War. Just to add to this, Canada Block is also built in the site of the original hospital graveyard.
12) Near St. Lukes Church an MoD Police officer described a ghost he'd witnessed while on a night patrol at St. Luke's church at Haslar Hospital. He'd seen an elderly woman walking towards the church, but when he returned less than a minute later, she had disappeared. An hour later, the hospital mortician told him about the body he'd dealt with earlier that day. The description matched that of the woman the police officer had seen.
With its history of pain and distress its not surprising that Haslar is haunted by distressed spirits.
Interesting Facts about RNH Haslar
a) In 1902 the hospital became known as the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar (abbreviated to RNH Haslar).b) In the 1940s, RNH Haslar set up the country's first 'blood bank' to help treat wounded soldiers from the Second World War.c) In 1966 the remit of the hospital expanded to serve all three services - the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.d) In 1996 the hospital again became known as the Royal Hospital Haslar.e) In 2001 the provision of acute healthcare within Royal Hospital Haslar was transferred from the Defence Secondary Care Agency to the NHS Trust. The Royal Hospital was the last MOD-owned acute hospital in the UK. The change from military control to the NHS, and the complete closure of the hospital have been the subject of considerable local controversy.f) The last military-run ward was ward E5, a planned orthopaedic surgery ward. The ward encompasses 21 beds in small 'rooms', and is run by the military staff with some NHS colleagues; the ward manager is a serving military officer. The ward is served by both military and NHS doctors; the ancillary staff are non-military.g) The ward E5 closed in 2009 along with the rest of the site and military staff will move to new posts within MDHU Portsmouth or other units around the country.
h) To mark the handover of control to the civilian NHS trust, the military medical staff marched out of RH Haslar in 2007, exercising the unit's rights of the freedom of Gosport.i) The staff consisted of Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Army led by a band of the Royal Marines. The Gosport citizens are said to deeply saddened by the closure of Haslar and there are campaigns to keep the hospital open. Gosport politicians cite that that the UK is the only country in the Western world not to have a dedicated Military hospital, run by and for its military staff - who understand the needs and ideology of the service person. At present, most casualties from conflicts return to Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham.
J) The grounds are said to contain the bodies of at least 20,000 service personnel.
In 2001 Haslar was designated a Grade II listed historic park. Several of the buildings are listed.
Please visit my Funny Animal Art Prints Collection @ http://www.fabprints.com
My other website is called Directory of British Icons: http://fabprints.webs.com
The Chinese call Britain 'The Island of Hero's' which I think sums up what we British are all about. We British are inquisitive and competitive and are always looking over the horizon to the next adventure and discovery.
Copyright © 2010 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/journalism-articles/hauntings-of-the-royal-naval-hospital-haslar-england-3362073.html

About the Author My family tree has been traced back to the early Kings of England from the 7th Century AD. I am also a direct descendent of Sir Christopher Wren which has given me an interest in English History and Icons which is great fun to research.
I have recently decided to write articles on my favourite subjects: English Sports, English History, English Icons, English Discoveries and English Inventions.
At present I have written over 100 articles which I call "An Englishman's Favourite Bits Of England" in various Volumes.
Please visit my Blogs page http://Bloggs.Resourcez.Com where I have listed all my articles to date.
Copyright © 2010 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.

A Canon EF-S Macro 60mm Lens Review - The One and Only EF-S Macro

Author: Wayne Rasku

Not every photographer is a professional. Of this I am guilty.But I really like my Canon EOS 30D. And, although my camera is not a pro dslr camera, I have obtained some genuinely excellent pictures with it. I have also earned some awards on various websites as "photograph of the day".Looking for lenses for my own Canon dslr led me to consider the Canon EF-S macro lens selection. I find that EF-S lenses perform really well, basically due to the fact they are designed specifically for my variety of digital camera. In the event you own a Canon Rebel, virtually any model, or any of the XXD Canon cameras, you are able to use these particular lenses on your dslr camera.The technological innovation has been particularly geared toward digital cameras with a APS-C sensor (this is the sensor that is in the entry-level to mid-level digital slr cameras referred to above).To my surprise, there is simply one Canon EF-S macro lens available. It is the 60mm f/2.8 USM lens, and it is a dedicated macro lens. You can take pictures of really small objects, bugs, flowers, and all manner of little things. Close-up photography is the main contributing factor for why I actually moved from a digital compact to my very first Canon Rebel.So, acquiring a macro lens for my Rebel was huge on my priority list. I checked out the complete lineup of lenses, a few of which cost as high as the camera itself... I couldn't afford them.I settled on the Canon EF-S 60mm lens soon after reading the reviews and individual comments concerning it. I have never been sorry about that choice. I think of this lens my very best one, not merely because of the macro photos it creates, but additionally due to the fact it manages other sorts of images well, too. As an example, whenever I would like to snap a portrait of one of the grandkids, the Canon EF-S macro lens is my alternative. The focal length is perfect for taking portraits with professional quality.I fool around with product shots in my garage where I set up a very crude light-box, and the 60mm macro is my lens for that, too.It does not handle landscapes very well, and on trips to the ball park, there will probably be a different lens on my Canon DSLR, but in all, I find that the Canon EF-S macro lens manages most of my heavy work with wonderful success.In addition, if I decide to upgrade to a better camera (I have my eye on a Canon 7D, and negotiations on terms with my better half have begun), the EF-S lenses will do just fine.As you can tell, I am a big fan of macro photography. And in my personal experience, I found that the Canon 60mm has truly performed the job beautifully. It has an exceptional wide aperture of f/2.8 to provide fast shutter speeds for those elusive bugs and butterflies. It also yields a wonderful blurred background, the aim of a decent close-up image. The USM (ultra sonic motor) provides quick focus, again, nailing the bug shots with a very good "keeper" rate.I would not be reluctant to recommend a Canon EF-S macro 60mm lens to virtually any Canon camera owner. It is an amazing lens.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/digital-photography-articles/a-canon-ef-s-macro-60mm-lens-review-the-one-and-only-ef-s-macro-3340824.html

About the AuthorI love photography and all things related to it. Cameras, camera gear, and image editing software fascinate me, so I am either buying the newest piece of equipment (or software) or researching my next purchase. Go to www.canoneoslenses.org/macro-canon-lens/ for a much better look.

7 Photography tips when going on a vacation

Author: Kevin Mason

Planning to go on a family vacation? Here are 7 simple photography tips to help you make the vacation a memorable one.

1 - Always have the camera fully charged. Before starting off from your house make sure that the camera or the camcorder is fully charged and ready to use when you reach your destination. Don't forget to pack the battery charger with the camera. If you have a tripod pack that also as its very useful when taking close up videos.

2 - Keep the camera handy in a carry case around your neck. If you are anticipating some ‘action', be ready to capture it. You wouldn't want to miss out on a great picture just because you forgot to take off the lens cover or the camera wasn't in the correct mode.

3 - Keep it natural. Rather than having people staring in the camera with an artificial smile, take pictures when they are their natural self. The pictures will come out better and look more natural. Also instead of leveling up the camera from the front and keeping the subject in the centre of the viewfinder, try using different angles. When photographing children, catch them when they are unaware and engaged in their natural activities. This will help you get great photos.

4 - Take as many photos as possible. You don't want to realize later that in what could have been your best photos, someone's eyes were closed or there was a stranger in the background. With today's digital cameras, you can immediately delete whatever images you don't want to keep.

5 - Don't focus on scene at the expense of the family. At times you'll come across scenes that will simply take your breath away - beaches, mountains, monuments whatever. Give equal attention to the backdrop and the people in it. It should not look as if the people in the picture are there for the sake of it. Later you can take photos of the backdrop separately.

6 - For panoramic views take a series of smaller pictures and then stitch them together using various free tools that you can download from the internet. No technical knowledge is needed for this and these tools come with easy to use instructions. You can stitch these pictures horizontally and vertically and this will provide an end result which is far superior to the individual images.
and last but not the least

7 - Store your photos online and offline. Be sure to take prints of the best photos. Also store these online at any of the various websites that allow you to store your photos for free. You can also add captions to your photos. By making it publicly accessible, you can share these photos with anyone you want to.
 Follow these simple tips and make your vacation a memorable one.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/photography-articles/7-photography-tips-when-going-on-a-vacation-3249618.html

About the AuthorKevin Mason invites you to check the latest and best hd camcorders for amateur as well as professional photographers. Also get great photography tips at http://www.hdcamcorderpro.co.uk

Tips for Beginers

Author: ausbattery

Digital cameras are one of the greatest inventions of modern times. We are so fortunate to have this modern convenience called Digital Photography. To be able to capture a precious moment or beautiful scene at the click of a button, is something we should not take for granted. Many beginners find digital photography rather challenging and rightly so. Today, more and more digital cameras are being created and it seems like the more digital cameras they make, the more difficult they become to use. I own a Canon Powershot S3 IS. I purchased this digital camera about a year ago and I still haven't utilized all of the awesome little features this camera has to offer. Now you may not want or even need a camera with tons of features. It really depends on the type of pictures you plan on taking. Regardless of the camera you own or are planning to own, you should have a well rounded knowledge of digital photography. I hope the following 20 tips for taking digital photography will prove to be useful in your quest for taking better photographs.

1. Know your camera. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not taking time to learn about the features of your camera. Don't be lazy. Read your instruction manual.

2. When shooting sunny outdoor shots, try adjusting your white balance setting from auto to cloudy. The auto setting will make your shots appear too cold. When you change it to cloudy, it will increase the warmth of your pictures.

3. If you are looking for superior image quality, the ability to use a variety of lenses and print large high quality photos, then considering a Digital SLR Camera.

4. Use your flash outdoors. Sometimes, even on a sunny day outdoors, there is still a need for a flash. If the sun is directly over head or behind your subject, this can cause dark shadows to appear on the face. The flash will help lighten the subjects face.

5. Sometimes simply turning your camera and taking vertical shots can make a world of difference. Experiment more with vertical picture taking.

6. Do not put your subjects directly in the center of your shot. Move your subject off center to inject more life into your photos.

7. Learn how to hold your digital camera. One of the most common problems beginners face is the shaking of the camera because they are not holding it properly. Of course, the best way to avoid shaking the camera is to use a tripod. If you don't have a tripod, then you should be holding your camera with two hands. Put one hand on the right hand side of your camera where you actually snap the photo and the other hand will support the weight of your camera. Depending on the camera, your left hand will either be positioned on the bottom or around your lens.

8. Learn about the "Rule of Thirds". This is a well known principle of photographic composition that every beginner should become familiar with. Do a search online and you will find many tutorials on this subject. 9. Look at other photographers work. Just spending time studying the work of other photographers can provide loads of inspiration.

10. Join online photography communities. Get active and ask questions.

11. Do not compare your photography to anyone else.

12. Do not copy the work of other photographers. Try and develop your own unique style.

13. Do not leave your batteries in your camera if you don't plan on using your camera for long periods of time. Some batteries run the risk of leaking and this can damage your camera.

14. Subscribe to a good photography magazine. Read books on photography. Join a good photo forum like http://photographyatnewenglandmoments.com/index.php

15. Find experienced photographers to go out on shoots with.

16. Post your photographs in online forums. Learn to accept criticism. http://photographyatnewenglandmoments.com/index.php

17. Try taking your pictures in RAW format. RAW is a powerful option available in today's digital cameras where no in-camera processing takes place. This allows you to do all processing using your favorite image editing software.

18. Don't buy the most expensive photography equipment right away. Practice and learn about photography using cheaper equipment first. After you have been taking pictures for a while, you will then know what kind of equipment you will need.

19. Invest in a tripod. Some of us have very shaky hands. If you can't stop the shakes, then get a tripod. It will make a world of difference.

20. If you are not able to carry your equipment with you everywhere, make sure you have a note pad handy. This way if you find a nice shot, you can write it down and visit that location at a later date.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/photography-articles/20-beginner-tips-for-taking-digital-photography-3271602.html

About the Authorwww.aus-battery.com  is an operated online retailer of high-quality electronics accessories, specialising in laptop battery and laptop ac adapter, battery chargers, camera batteries, camcorder batteries, power tool batteries and mobile phone batteries. Battery company has quickly grown to one of the top online Australian retailers of electronics accessories, offering generic product brands that provide the same quality as the big brand names but at half the price. Now at www.aus-battery.com, we offer customers a wide selection of products at unbeatable prices, together with personalised customer service and fast shipping for our customers.

Facebook Upgrades

Author: bohdan

Facebook, which is one of the world's largest photo-sharing sites (in addition to being the leader among social networks), is rolling out some marked improvements to its Photos product.
These updates include hi-res photos, photo-download links, bulk tagging options and an elegant lightbox interface for viewing pictures and images from anywhere on ones site.
The lightbox in particular reminds us of similar features recently rolled out by Flickr; and some of these improvements, such as hi-res and downloading capabilities, are what have prevented Facebook from serious competition with Flickr as a photo-sharing destination.
In the recent past, Facebook photos were best for capturing memories of places, people and events through small images and mobile snapshots; however, these changes allow a whole new class of image-sharing, up to and including photography, modeling and graphic design portfolios.
With its 500 million users around the world, Facebook is now poised to take over the photo-sharing market.
Beginning today and rolling out to all users soon, you will be able to upload and download hi-res photos up to 2048 pixels wide or high -- that's large enough for print-quality images. (Currently, Facebook only displays 720 pixels; larger photos simply get resized.) Each photo will come with a link to download the JPEG file, as well.
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The site's new bulk tagging options will allow the uploading individual to temporarily group images and tag friends by simply clicking on thumbnails.
Another interesting change is Facebook's lightbox UI, which strongly and clearly puts the focus on images.
Starting soon, any time you click on an image anywhere on Facebook, be it in an album or in your News Feed or on a friend's Wall, you'll see a black box hovering over the rest of the screen with some minimal navigation controls and relevant social features, allowing you to concentrate completely on the image at hand.
While we don't love the ads in place here, we do realize that hosting hi-res photos costs a lot more and will attract a lot more usage -- both from uploading parties and from viewing individuals -- all of which puts more strain on Facebook's servers. We'll sacrifice an ad-free experience for higher quality photos.
What do you think about these changes? Do you think Facebook -- which already competes with Twitter as a status service, Google as an advertiser, and every major social network as a digital hub for friends -- will soon be competing with Flickr for the photos of pros and amateurs alike?
For More: Click Here for Latest Tecgnology 2011

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/photography-articles/facebook-upgrades-photos-look-out-flickr-3392516.html

About the AuthorFinding a special interest in technology and reading about news online - That's all about me in a nut-shell

Reflect Your Lifestyle Through Lifestyle Photography

Author: Neo Optic

A picture is worth a thousand words. In an appealing and artistic way images speak volumes. It frames people with an improved and affluent life experience. Lifestyle is a way of life reflecting a person's behavior, social relations, lifestyle, dress etc. Lifestyle photography takes all these into account and beyond. Modern Lifestyle Photography arrests life as it happens and therefore includes all - shots of people eating out at a restaurant, family on a holiday, or simply amateurs playing golf at a resort. For years Professional photographers throughout the world and specially photographers in Norwich have captured the serendipity, have pressed the shutter at the exact moment.
Gone are the days of boring family pictures. The cold, posed pictures and bland background do little to appeal the senses. Nowadays, families by and large move away from conventional posed photography. Instead of sitting in a boring studio and ending up with a heap of similar looking pictures they prefer to be clicked while playing together in their front yard. Also outdoor provides stimulus for children. Trees to climb, water to splatter, dogs or seagulls to play with evoke natural expressions in children. Digital photography has further opened the doors to modern lifestyle photograph though lights can pose a problem at times. Photographers capture the moment without thought for composition or lighting or any of the other elements. Digital cameras provide instant feedback and let the photographer know if the shot is perfect one. It is also a cost effective option compared to extremely expensive film camera!
Photography is no child's play. The demand for good photography will always be high - whether it is lifestyle, corporate or wedding photography. A professional portrait is a valuable item - an heirloom that will be cherished for generations. But often people make the mistake of selecting their photographer without researching. By making a good decision on your photographer, you will be more likely to be satisfied with the result of your investment. There are several stores online as well as in the real world that offer excellent lifestyle photograph. Due to the availability of several online portals specializing in life style photography making a choice has become easy. Many of the photographers based in Norwich specialize in lifestyle photography. Silvestri studio is one such portal where customers get value for money. Based in Norwich the online portal understands your requirements and put their best effort to satisfy you.
Picture frames filled with memorable prints create an amazing piece for years to come. Moreover, Life photography has now become the most common images to be used in advertising and web design as it sets them apart and give them an edge over their competitors. Therefore, Lifestyle Photography is in vogue and is used for promotions of lifestyle products and services such as hotels, restaurants, day spas etc. So, just choose one of the best photographers. Capture the moment, the fun and joy that makes life so beautiful and preserve it forever through life style photography.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/photography-articles/reflect-your-lifestyle-through-lifestyle-photography-3400659.html

About the AuthorSamantha Stephens is a professional photographer and likes to write about Norwich photography. She is specifically interested in portrait photography including boudoir photography and bridal photography.

Friday, 8 October 2010

RAW JPEG and TIFF by Bob Atkins


There seems to be a lot of confusion among some new digital camera owners about exactly what the difference is between RAW, JPEG and TIFF files. This article is intended to be a very basic guide to these file types and how they are related in a typical digital camera.

First some basics

The digital sensor in the majority of digital cameras is what is known as a BAYER PATTERN sensor. This relates to the arrangement of red, green and blue sensitive areas. A typical sensor looks like this:
bayersensor2.jpg (27066 bytes)
Each pixel in the sensor responds to either red, green or blue light and there are 2 green sensitive pixels for each red and blue pixel. There are more green pixels because the eye is more sensitive to green, so the green channel is the most important. The sensor measures the intensity of light falling on it. The green pixels measure the green light, the red the red and the blue the blue. The readout form the sensor is of the form color:intensity for each individual pixel, where color can be red, green or blue and intensity runs from 0 to 4095 (for a 12-bit sensor)
A conventional digital image has pixels which can be red, green, blue of any one of millions of other colors, so to generate such an image from the data output by the sensor, a significant amount of signal processing is required. This processing is called Bayer interpolation because it must interpolate (i.e. calculate) what the color of each pixel should be. The color and intensity of each pixel is calculated based on the relative strengths of the red, green and blue channel data from all the neighboring pixels. Each pixel in the converted image now has three parameters: red:intensity, blue:intensity and green:intensity. In the end the calculated image looks something like this:
image.gif (11881 bytes)

RAW data

RAW data (which Nikon call NEF data) is the output from each of the original red, green and blue sensitive pixels of the image sensor, after being read out of the array by the array electronics and passing through an analog to digital converter. The readout electronics collect and amplify the sensor data and it's at this point that "ISO" (relative sensor speed) is set. If readout is done with little amplification, that corresponds to a low ISO (say ISO 100), while if the data is read out with a lot of amplification, that corresponds to a high ISO setting (say ISO 3200). As far as I know, RAW isn't an acronym, it doesn't stand for anything, it just means raw, unprocessed, data.
Now one of two things can be done with the RAW data. It can be stored on the memory card, or it can be further processed to yield a JPEG image. The diagram below shows the processes involved:
Flowchart1.gif (8759 bytes)
If the data is stored as a JPEG file, it goes through the Bayer interpolation, is modified by in camera set parameters such as white balance, saturation, sharpness, contrast etc, is subject to JPEG compression and then stored. The advantage of saving JPEG data is that the file size is smaller and the file can be directly read by many programs or even sent directly to a printer. The disadvantage is that there is a quality loss, the amount of loss depending on how much compression is used. The more compression, the smaller the file but the lower the image quality. Lightly compressed JPEG files can save a significant amount of space and lose very little quality. For more on JPEG compression seehttp://www.photo.net/learn/jpeg/index.html

RAW to JPEG or TIFF conversion

If you save the RAW data, you can then convert it to a viewable JPEG or TIFF file at a later time on a PC. The process is shown in the diagram below:
Flowchart2.gif (7658 bytes)
You'll see this is pretty similar to the first diagram, except now you're doing all the processing on a PC rather than in the camera. Since it's on a PC you can now pick whatever white balance, contrast, saturation, sharpness etc. you want. So here's the first advantage of saving RAW data. You can change many of the shooting parameters AFTER exposure. You can't change the exposure (obviously) and you can't change the ISO, but you can change many other parameters.
A second advantage of shooting a RAW file is that you can also perform the conversion to an 8-bit or 16-bit TIFF file. TIFF files are larger than JPEG files, but they retain the full quality of the image. They can be compressed or uncompressed, but the compression scheme is lossless, meaning that although the file gets a little smaller, no information is lost. This is a tricky concept for some people, but here's a simple example of lossless compression. Take this string of digits:
Is there a way to store this that doesn't lose any digits, but takes less space? The answer is yes. One way would be as follows
Here the string 33333 has been replaced by 3[5] - meaning a string of 5 3s, and the string 888888 has been replaced by 8[6] - meaning a string of 6 8s. You've stored the same exact data, but the "compressed" version takes up less space. This is similar (but not identical) to the way lossless TIFF compression is done.
I said above that the data could be stored as an 8 or 16-bit TIFF file. RAW data from most high end digital camera contains 12 bit data, which means that there can be 4096 different intensity levels for each pixel. In an 8-bit file (such as a JPEG), each pixel can have one of 256 different intensity levels. Actually 256 levels is enough, and all printing is done at the 8 bit level, so you might ask what the point is of having 12 bit data. The answer is that it allows you to perform a greater range of manipulation to the image without degrading the quality. You can adjust curves and levels to a greater extent, then convert back to 8-bit data for printing. If you want to access all 12 bits of the original RAW file, you can convert to a 16-bit TIFF file. Why not a 12-bit TIFF file? Because there's no such thing! Actually what you do is put the 12 bit data in a 16 bit container. It's a bit like putting a quart of liquid in a gallon jug, you get to keep all the liquid but you have some free space. Putting the 12 bit data in a 8 bit file is like pouring that quart of liquid into a pint container. It won't all fit so you have to throw some away.

When to shoot RAW, when to shoot JPEG?

The main reason to shoot JPEG is that you get more shots on a memory card and it's faster, both in camera and afterwards. If you shoot RAW files you have to then convert them to TIFF or JPEG on a PC before you can view or print them. If you have hundreds of images, this can take some time. If you know you have the correct exposure and white balance as well as the optimum camera set parameters, then a high quality JPEG will give you a print just as good as one from a converted RAW file, so you may as well shoot JPEG.
You shoot RAW when you expect to have to do some post exposure processing. If you're not sure about exposure or white balance, or if you want to maintain the maximum possible allowable post exposure processing, then you'll want to shoot RAW files, convert to 16-bit TIFF, do all your processing, then convert to 8-bit files for printing. You lose nothing by shooting RAW except for time and the number of images you can fit on a memory card.
Note that some cameras can store a JPEG image along with the RAW file. This is the best of both worlds, you have a JPEG image which you can quickly extract from the file, but you also have the RAW data which you can later convert and process if theres a problem with the JPEG. The disadvantage is, of course, that this takes up even more storage space. Many cameras also store a small "thumbnail" along with the RAW file which can be read and displayed quickly without having to do a full RAW conversion just to see what's in the file.