Thoughtfactory’s image-text blog

an experimental image-text blog based in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia

Posts for Tag: Sony NEX-7

Archives: leaves, bark, light

This picture of  leaves, bark, and light is from the archives --late December 2018. The leaves and bark were  in the  local  reserve  just across the road  from my studio in Encounter Bay.  

This macro image was made with my  old mirrorless  Sony NEX-7 digital camera which had been outfitted with  a Voigtlander close up adapter and an old  35mm Leica M lens. The combination had only been put together a  few weeks earlier.  My fingers were crossed: would it work smoothly? Would it allow me to forget the tech and concentrate on making photos, just as I could with a Leica M  film camera?  

Though the Sony NEX-7  is very basic and old tech -- it is not full frame and it is not good in low light --- it still functions well within these limitations. This is one way to keep an old digital camera (circa 2011) going--as a second walk around camera to the camera that replaced it --a mirrorless Sony A7 R111, a  Novoflex adaptor and a 35mm  Leica M lens.   

photography and social media

Though  I currently use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word of what I’m doing with my photography I have realised that I have been cutting back on being engaged in social media. My growing dissatisfaction with social media is  one part of the deep background  changes that are currently happening in the  culture of  photography. 

I post regularly on  Facebook (here and here)  and Twitter  (here). It's  basically drop and run.  I only comment now and again  on posts by friends,  or in a couple of groups where there  is still a minimal sense of online community.  I then leave social media alone.  My reason  is that I don't really like Facebook and  its algorithms, and I detest, if not loathe,  its business model approach to the way it collects, stores, or analyzes its users’ data. Facebook is an advertising business that tracks people first and foremost; it is a Big Tech company that aims to become the operating system of our lives.

This  kind of negative reaction to social media is  probably quite common.  Joel Colberg, for instance,  has an interesting post on  what is happening in photography and social media. His argument  is  that  social media has  had a  destructive impact on the public sphere of online photography.  I agree with him  and so  I suspect would many other artists.  

fragments of light abstractions

Even though my leg is still infected  and I need to continue with the course of  antibiotics,  I am able to move around a little more freely now that the stitches have been taken out and the skin healed. 

After returning home from the  5 day sojourn in the Flinders Medical Centre I have  limited myself to walking  down Solway Crescent to the Encounter Bay  boat ramp. At  sunrise the boat ramp is  a hive of activity now that the channel has been dredged. Some  boats are already returning at 6am--presumably they have dashed out to check their cray (rock lobster) pots, whilst others are going out for a days recreational fishing with their friends.  

I have limited myself to photographing the head and tail lights of the parked 4 wheel drives,  then I sit at a table for a while watching the boats come and go in the morning sun before returning home for breakfast before I begin to edit  this post.  In the late afternoon I repeat the  walk. Since this  walk is not long enough  to exercise  the poodles Suzanne has been walking them  in the morning and the afternoon.  

mix and match

This image of quartz and seaweed is in the littoral zone  of  the southern coast of  the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. This is where I now live,  and the coast is a part of my dally walks in all kinds of weather.  I always take a camera  with me on these walks.

 The image  is a  handheld macro photo made whilst I was on an early morning poodlewalk with Kayla. The picture  was made just before I went on the Wentworth photocamp for the Mallee Routes project, and it was  before the autumn rains came and the weather turned cold.  

Most of the subject matter along this  coast is  in the detail rather  the broad or panoramic landscape or seascape  views. From what I can see the latter is  what most of the  photographers  visiting the coast tend to concentrate on.  I had been  frustrated in the past because  I  didn't have equipment  to  do this kind of close-up work whilst on the daily walks. I had  a tripod and a medium format film camera and  it  was cumbersome  to carry,  and difficult to use.  So  much of the detail is situated in difficult spots that make the use of a tripod impractical. So I used the iPhone. 

macro revisited

In the light of the considerations in  this  previous post   about the limitations of the Sony a7 R111 and the point and shoot Olympus XZ-1  I went ahead and ordered the  Voigtlander VM/E Close Focus Adapter. As mentioned in the earlier post, this adaptor enables me  to use  my Leica M lenses on the  old Sony NEX 7, thereby giving me with the capability to do macro photography  whilst I am on  the  poodlewalks.  

 I  used a Summicron 35m f.2 lens that was on my old Leica M4, and so I was able to put together a macro camera without outlaying too much money.   I had purchased the M4 in Melbourne in  the 1970s, but it  is badly damaged and not functional.  

Petrel Cove: am

This was made  on an early morning poodlewalk as Kayla and I  set out for an open air  photoshoot,  then a walk along the rocks along the coast.  It was made in the warm  weather  just before before the cold, windy  wet conditions set in.

People were out and about in the sub tropical weather: surfing, fishing, sun baking, playing. I had some photos of saltt ponds amongst the granite rocks lined up, then the weather changed and everyone disappeared. 

Petrel Cove: open air studio

Another behind the camera photo of an early morning still life photoshoot near Petrel Cove: 

This open studio set up had been previously scoped with my digital camera. I scoped a number of different locations  to see which worked the best. I plan to do a 5x4  photoshoot with the baby Sinar F2 late this afternoon if the conditions remain overcast.  

at Moorook

The November Mallee photocamp was  based at Morgan, which is located  in the corner where the Murray River  turns to flow south. The mallee scrub is being cleared and replaced with  irrigated agriculture. 

 Whilst there I  spent an afternoon photographing along the southern  bank of the River Murray at  Moorook. This hamlet  is between Kingston-on-the Murray  and Loxton on the Sturt Highway, and  so it is a part of the Riverland region in South Australia. 

I had briefly photographed along this stretch in the 1980s  (in  black and white)  and then  around 2004 (in colour). I remembered photographing along this stretch of the  river as I drove past it on my to Loxton to do some research in the Loxton public library. I did some scoping on my return to Morgan from Loxton. 

on location: Petrel Cove

It took me three  attempts  over three days to photograph this rock pool at Petrel Cove:

My  historical baby Linhof camera--an old   Linhof Technika 70 --- had a mechanical problem  on the first morning as the locking mechanism wouldn't lock  the downturned folding camera bed so I could not focus;  the second morning it was raining; the third morning things finally came together. 

digital b+w photography

It is rare for me to convert my digital photos into black and white. I nearly always use medium format film  for my black and white  photography of the details along both the coast and the landscape of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. I avoid the grandiose or the panorama.

However, as  I have no b+w film  at the moment,  and the spare film back for the Rolleiflex SL66 that I used  to use for  my b+w  broke when I was in Queenstown earlier this year and cannot be repaired, I  have done  a quick conversion of  a  digital colour image  into black and white using  Adobe's Lightroom.

I dislike the way that Lightroom converts colour digital files into black and white files.  The  tonal richness disappears and the image becomes rather drab and flat. There is no punch to them.  

So, like many others, I've been  using the Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin software to process my digital black and white images in Lightroom.  I was happy with what I was using,  and I didn't bother  looking for alternative software  because I rarely  converted my digital photos into black and white. Digital black and white photography  didn't really appeal. 

This is  just a small step into the world of digital black and white photography. Though  I  will eventually buy more black and white film  to  use with the  Linhof Technika 70,   the new iMac (currently running the  High Sierra O/S)  is forcing me  to  think in terms of upgrading my  Sony NEX-7 digital camera to a full frame mirrorless one,  and updating my Adobe post processing software.