Category Archives: Canon

St Helens

St Helens is a small beach/boat harbour/fishing spot on the western side of Corio Bay in my home town of Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

On a recent morning visit home I noticed the heavy overcast and subdued light as I drove past, so a quick stop and a wander around with the Canon 5d3 between rain showers and I had a handful of interesting images.

St Helens, Geelong, Victoria, AustraliaSt Helens, Geelong, Victoria, AustraliaSt Helens, Geelong, Victoria, AustraliaSt Helens, Geelong, Victoria, AustraliaSt Helens, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Also posted in discussion

Photographing Freeplay

I recently had some fun photographing the events at the Freeplay independent games festival held in Melbourne, Australia.

The events I photographed took place in an auditorium at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), a theatre at the State Library of Victoria, an exhibition space in the State Library and a dimly lit bar where the awards presentation was held.

The lighting conditions varied from marginal, lit by spotlights of various strengths and colours to almost pitch black lit by dull red spots (the bar).

The white balance was non-existent, depending on where the speakers were standing, what was being displayed on the screen behind them and whether or not they were using a tablet for reading notes.

Mare Sheppard of Metanet Software Inc.

This was an excellent chance to try out the low level response and focusing of the new 5D Mark 3 which had arrived a week or so earlier.

The first surprise was the focusing, much, much faster than the original 5D I had been using prior to this. It was grabbing focus as fast as I could press the shutter button, even in the dimly lit bar there was no lag or focus hunting.

Morgan Jaffit of Defiant Development.

The low level performance was brilliant, it can practically see in the dark and this came in very handy in the bar for the awards night. Sure the files have some noise, but this cleaned up to an acceptable level for the conditions. I’ve never shot an image at ISO 25600 before. This gave me 1/80 at f4.5 and combined with a monopod I was able to document the evening and capture not only the presenters and award recipients, but also the visuals on the screen behind them. See more of the images at the Freeplay galleries.

Paul Callaghan, director of Freeplay



Also posted in discussion, equipment

Back to Square One…

Well, not really square one, but back to where everything should be. A number of photographic issues arose out of and following our recent move. Not everything was caused by the move, but I decided it was time to sort everything out and get back to a known standard.

So, the camera and lenses have had a thorough clean, the camera’s forward focussing issue has been fixed and the body has been calibrated to the lenses. The camera’s software has been updated to the current version. The biggest issue was the scratch on the focussing screen, the screen has been replaced and the prism has been cleaned.

The printer has been in for a service and clean and is now back to factory specification.

The monitor has been re-calibrated and all colour settings in Photoshop have been checked.

All I have to do now is get some talent and I should be good to go.

Also posted in Uncategorized


At the moment, it seems inevitable that still photography and video photography will merge, or at least get closer together. In an essay on the Luminous Landscape site, Chris Sanderson talks about his experience using the Canon 5Dii in video mode.

In the article he makes this statement “I am a videographer first and a stills photographer second.” And to me this is a vital point in the discussion about the convergence of still photography and videography.

I am still photographer first and a videographer never.

Still photography and videography require different skills sets and, I think, different ways of viewing the world. I see in still images, I want to interpret the world with still images. I am not interested in moving pictures nor am I interested in learning the skills needed to take and edit watchable video.

Sanderson also says “…the video portion of the 5Dii’s functionality appears to be an afterthought, video handling and implementation are rudimentary.” Well, at least that is a plus. Video hasn’t taken over the camera. I want a still camera to feel, be held and operate like a still camera. I don’t want to have to work around video controls. I can live with a still camera that has a video function as long as I never have to see it.

But I would prefer that Canon spent the extra cost of the video functions on something important, like getting the autofocus to work properly every time or providing weather proofing and a solution to the condensation problem.

At the moment the 5Dii is a viable replacement for my 5D when it eventually needs replacing. But if Canon keeps going down this path, the model after the 5Dii might not be.

Also posted in equipment