A wonderful thing about working in the Old School Gallery is the many conversations we have with the folks who visit; whether it’s the American lady who suddenly recited three Robert Frost poems, or the ex RAF Nimrod pilot who told me tales of flying over the North Atlantic, or the Chinese film maker recently returned from Tibet. We learn so much in these conversations and hopefully give a little back on the subject of art, crafts and photography.
A recurring conversation concerns Sigma’s “secret” cameras with their magic Foveon sensors. The trigger is the overheard debate between customers, discussing whether an image is a photograph or painting. It quickly moves on to the vibrant colours and immense detail, even in the far distance … and that brings us to the technical bit about Bayer sensors and Foveon sensors, micro-contrast, photons and wavelengths.
If the technical bit doesn’t kill the customer off they invariably buy the print! … And one camera club member liked the print so much he returned to say he’d bought the camera!
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the top selling photographs in the gallery are taken by the Sigma DP0 Quattro. It offers something different from Bayer sensored cameras that the buying public seem to be instinctively drawn to, unbiased and unburdened by any technical knowledge or heavyweight marketing budgets. And as a photographer it provides me with a distinctive, unique, tool with which to capture the stunning scenery that surrounds our tiny village in upper Swaledale.
It’s been nearly two months since I last troubled this blog. Life has been fairly hectic of late (which I’ll save for a future post), but one background project that has now, finally, reached completion has been to turn my EBC blog posts into a book; not a book “available to the public from all good retailers and bookshops” you understand, though that would be nice, but instead a personal, tangible, memento of the trip, that can sit proudly alongside my other books on photography on the shelf in the downstairs loo.
Given that the base material was already contained in the blog posts, it’s taken an inordinate amount of time and effort – rewriting and expanding the text, designing layouts, spell checking, selecting images, captioning images, lining up, etc. – and the proof reading has sent me goggle-eyed, but now its done, and ordered and being printed somewhere in the world I know not where, I’m quietly satisfied with the final product and, like a kid waiting for Christmas, can’t wait for it to be delivered.
For those interested I chose the Blurb website which uses the BookWright application to create the book. There are already many, many websites that list the pros and cons of book printing sites (which I used to choose Blurb) so I’m not going to cover that here, but once I got to grips with both the BookWright application and the Blurb website (and it did take a little time) the process became pretty straight forward and flexible. My biggest problem was proof reading (always my Achilles heal) and I’m still sporting errorrs know!
If you’re interested in seeing what the finished book looks like follow the link below and click on Preview. Be careful not to click on Add to Cart or you’ll become noticeably poorer!
Twelve favourite images from 2016; an unforgettable year of travel that took us to Norway’s Lofoten Islands, the Isle of Harris in Scotland, and the Himalaya of Nepal, but begins with two shots of my home county of Yorkshire, England.
In order taken … click on a the image to see the bigger picture …
1. Hole of Horcum, North York Moors, England. Shot in the winter on the drive home from Whitby, East to West across the North York Moors, and perhaps the only photo of the Hole of Horcum that doesn’t feature the Hole.
2. Saltburn Pier, North Yorkshire, England A flip of a coin decision somewhere in the Winter desolation of the North York Moors took us to Saltburn, and a perfect sunset as the tide receded. When your lucks in …
3. Utakleiv Beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway. A million photographers on the beach sent me stomping up the sand in search of solitude and a clear shot. All I found was a pile of lumpy old rocks!
4. Olstind, Lofoten, Norway. Leaving it as late as ever it became a race against the storm, wading through two foot deep snow to find a spot that pointed up the valley. We won by five minutes!
5. Pipework, The RERF, Leeds. An odd shot to throw in, but an image that perhaps only the Merrill with its extraordinary tonal range could take, and the culmination of a year long project to photograph the build.
6. Boat & House, Isle of Harris, Scotland. A mouldy old boat, a broken down croft and a dull, wet, miserable day; anywhere else awful, on the isle of Harris, wonderful.
7. The Gloaming, Isle of Harris, Scotland. The rooftops of Northton silhouetted against the bay, then out over the sea to the mountains of Harris. Not such a bad midnight view.
8. Soul Machine, Wakefield, England. Discovered in the middle of a farmyard machinery graveyard on a local walk, the truck has seen better days, but wears it’s scars with dignity and soul.
9. Himalayan Mountain Stream, Nepal. A rock, water and time, combine to create an example of nature’s perfection.
10. Himalaya Trail, Nepal. A line of Mani stones stretches along a tree-lined, sandy trail, overlooked by the sacred mountain of Kumbila shrouded by cloud ; a microcosm of everything I loved about Nepal.
11. Suspension Bridge, Nepal: A texture and detail of Nepal; the polished slats of a metal footbridge suspended 30 meters above the turbulent, mountain river, captured in Foveon detail by the Sigma DP3 Merrill.
12. Mountain Sunrise, Nepal. Not many things are worth climbing out of a nice, warm bed for, but this was one; truly a jewel on a crown.
Stop the Press! News has arrived of the price and release date of the Sigma SD Quattro H, the big brother of the SD Quattro, with a its APS-H size Foveon X3 Quattro, 51 megapixel sensor.
The Sigma SD Quattro H will retail at £1,499.99 and it’s due to arrive in UK shops in January, not quite in time for your Christmas stocking, but close enough to use the excuse of a late Christmas present to yourself.
But the surprise news, and real festive treat for all long suffering Sigma users, is that the H will capture RAW in DNG format!!! (see extract below). Whether you’re a fan of SPP or not this has got to broaden the appeal of the camera, and if those clever people at Sigma can do this for the H …
DNG format In addition to SIGMA’s original RAW format (X3F), DNG (Digital Negative) format is available.DNG is the RAW image data that is developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated. DNG file makes it possible to develop images on other softwares, which gives more choices of expression.
Read the full press release herePress Release that has just been emailed to Technical Editors and Magazines.
In a post specifically for Sigma enthusiasts I’ve collated the shots of the EBC trek taken with the DP3 into one post, so you don’t need to look at that horrible Sony thing 🙂
With a weight limit of 15kg, and the Sony already in the bag, I had to choose from one of my three Sigmas as the second camera. The Merrill DP3 was the obvious choice given its focal length, but more than that I’ve always been blown away by the DP3’s resolution and sharpness, and of course that Foveon look.
All shots were taken at ISO100 as it the Foveon way, all were handheld.