New Toy: 38mm Super-Wide Lens for the Diana+

Yesterday I took delivery of a new toy from Lomography. Actually, two new toys, both connected to my Diana+. One of them was the 38mm super-wide lens:

Lomography Diana+ With 38mm Super-Wide Lens

It's a nice little package. Not only do you get the lens, you get a viewfinder (the black gadget you see fixed to the top of the camera) and a bag to keep it all in. The viewfinder is very handy because, as well as still allowing you to compose via the usual viewfinder, the super-wide one has brightlines for the "standard" lens too. This means that you can swap lenses without needing to pop the viewfinder on and off. I think that's a rather nice touch.

The other thing I purchased, more on a whim than with an actual need, was the Canon EOS Diana+ lens adaptor. Now I can use either of the Diana+ lenses I've got on my Canon EOS 400D.

I had hoped to test both toys today but the weather was pretty foul and the light was no good for a bit of messing about. Hopefully I'll get to try them some time soon. Obviously I'll blog about the results when I do.


First Test of the Diana+

Lomography Diana+A couple or so weeks back I finally got the chance to put a roll of Fuji Provia 400X through my new Diana+. It's taken a while to get the images processed (strikes on the part of the Royal Mail partly got in the way, but I was also slow doing the processing at my end too) but I finally have the results up on my website:

Lomography Diana+ Test

I'm very please with the results. I've only published 11 images from the 12 shot, and the one that I've left out was my mistake. I'd attempted to use the Diana+ in its pinhole mode but took a wild guess at the exposure time and got it wrong. From what I could see the image looked from the point of view of how well the pinhole performed, but it was very over-exposed so I decided to leave it out. At some point soon I'll give the pinhole mode another try.


Vodafone push Android Donut to my HTC Magic

I first saw it was heading my way last week and, sure enough, last night, Vodafone pushed Android Donut onto my HTC Magic.

I knew pretty much what to expect in terms of headline features, thanks to this video:

but there's a couple of other things that have changed that I really like.

First off, it seems that screen orientation changes are now much faster. Before, when I changed the orientation of the phone from portrait to landscape (or back) it would take a couple of seconds to sort itself now, now it seems to be a fraction of a second — almost to the point of feeling like an instant change.

Another change, again a speed thing, is that the camera feels much more responsive, and quicker to start up too (although I think the startup time as something to do with the above change). This is a good thing from my point of view given that I use the phone as the camera that populates my photoblog.

The new search facility is really nice in that, now, I don't need to bother with the search gadget on the home screen any more. Until now I had it on the middle part of the home screen taking up a fair amount of space (see right) but, with 1.6, the search tool comes up when you press the hardware search button so there's no need to use the gadget any more. That means I get four "cells" back on home. That's come in very handy.

So far I've only run into one problem after the 1.6 install. It seems that Google Search by Voice is now broken. Any time I try and run it I get a "force close" dialog (I know I'm not the only one too because there are plenty of comments in the Android Market reporting the same problem). That's kind of a shame because the new search facility searches contacts, amongst other things, so it would seem like the two together will work as a voice dial (in fact the video above suggests this too). Doubtless a new version of Search by Voice will turn up in the Android Market real soon.

First Google Wave Gadget: 5x5

Last week I was lucky enough to get an invite to Google Wave (having signed up for an invite back in May when I first saw the Google I/O presentation video). Like most people, I imagine, I spent a couple of days getting to know it, finding contacts I know, waiting for the people I invited to turn up, and also playing around with some of the robots and gadgets that are currently available. By the weekend I was itching to do something about gadget development so I had a quick read of the development tutorial and started to play.

The first couple of gadgets were simply throw-away tests but I finally decided on something a little more "meaty" to try (still rather simple, but something more than just pure "Hello, World!" type testing). I decided to to a Wave-enabled version of my 5x5 puzzle.

The very first version was up and running in no time, but it wasn't terribly use as it didn't save and share state. Not to long later, however, I'd got my head around Wave's shared state system and I had a Wave Gadget version of 5x5 that multiple people could view and interact with.

Here's how it looks inside a Wave:

Nothing too clever, but one step along learning how to code for Wave.

If you're on Wave, and you fancy having a play, just use the add-gadget button and paste this URL into the dialog that pops up:


There's also a version hosted over on GitHub.

Note that I'm still tinkering with it and it could go wrong at any moment. If it does, don't worry, I'll be sure to fix it right away. And, if you want to ask me something about it, I'm davep.org over on Google Wave — feel free to Wave me.


New Toy: Lomography Diana+

I tried to resist. Really, I did. But ever since I got my Holga 120GN there's been a part of me that's kept nagging the rest of me about looking at the Diana+. Just for kicks. Just for extra toy-camera fun.

Last week I cracked:

Lomography Diana+

I just got a new delivery of Fuji Provia 400X so hopefully, in the next week or two, I'll get some time to take it out for a spin and shoot a test roll (sadly this generally means needing to wait for weekends now because weekdays are dark before I finish work).

I'll blog the results when I get them.


New site: www.seen-by.me.uk

Back in May this year I finally cracked and joined the ranks of people who use "smart phones". For a while I was seriously thinking about going for an Apple iPhone (especially after seeing Elizabeth Gordon's early shots with CameraBag) but, in the end, I was tempted by Android and got myself a HTC Magic.

One of the first things I did after I got it, following the lead of Elizabeth Gordon and James Beston, was to get a posterous account. At first I used it as a place to post ad-hoc photos but, pretty soon, I started to treat it as a more (insert hand-waving here) "serious" photoblog.

It's been running for a few months now and I'm rather happy with the content. So much so that I've decided to let it have its own domain: www.seen-by.me.uk.

Also, recently, I finally cracked and won an ongoing battle I've been having with Blurb's Booksmart (the battle is all my own making — I just don't "get" that software) and made a book of the blog: seen by davep v1.1:

A geek and his mob...
By Dave Pearson

The content of the book starts a couple or so months into the blog (hence v1.1 rather than v1.0, there's technical reasons why v1.0 didn't get created first) and ends a couple of weeks ago. At some point I imagine I'll make v1.2. I currently have a copy of the book on order (I only really made it for myself anyway) and will post about it here when it finally turns up.


Recent Holga Photographs

Recently I put another two rolls of Fuji Provia 400X through my Holga 120GN. They've both been processed and scanned (once again thanks to to my friendly Scottish landscape photographer for the scanning) and the results have been uploaded to my site:

Holga Near Billingborough

Holga on Stow Lane

Holga in Bourne Wood

Holga at Wheelgate Park


Second Outing With the Opteka 0.20x Fisheye Conversion Lens

After my very quick test of my new fisheye conversion lens the other night, I was impatient to give it a better test. Last Saturday afternoon had great weather and great skies so I put the fisheye on my EOS 400D and took a walk up to Birthorpe and back.

Here is the result:

Fisheye to Birthorpe


New Toy: Opteka 0.20x Fisheye Conversion Lens

Ever since I got to play with one back in the 1980s (using it on my Zenit 11), I've wanted a fisheye lens of my own. Trouble is, they're generally expensive, especially given the limited use they have.

And then, a couple or so weeks back, while browsing for something else on Amazon, I stumbled on the Opteka 0.20x Fisheye Conversion Lens:

It turned up yesterday and, last night, just as the sun was setting, I managed a very quick walk around the village to give it a quick try:

Opteka 0.20x Fisheye Test

My initial reaction is very favourable. There's very obvious fringing as you move away from the middle of the image (which I expected), but the sweet spot is very sharp and, overall, it's nice and easy to use.

Great little toy that will get more use.


Seen by Me -- An experiment with video slide shows

For a long time now I've wanted to have a go at creating a video slide show. While I did have a quick dabble with Animoto a while back, and while it was fun, it wasn't quite what I had in mind.

I've wanted to be able to take a piece of music, ideally an instrumental, and try and weave my images around it. To this end I've spent some time, over the months, looking for instrumental tracks that I love and which are also licenced in a way that would permit using them as the backing of such a video. That was the really important part, that I was legally permitted to use the music.

And then, last week, one of my favourite singer/songwriters released a couple of instrumental versions of her songs via her newsletter. She also said that anyone was permitted to use the music in other works as long as full and proper credit is given.

One of the tracks was the instrumental of I'm Yours. I *had* to do something with that. And so, last Saturday night, I fired up Windows Movie Maker and started having a dabble.

This is the result:

And please, if you like the music, go visit Marian's website and have a listen to her music. Better still, why not treat yourself to some of her music?

Even better, if you're looking for instrumental tracks that are licenced in a way that let's you use them while passing on the news, why not join her mailing list and keep up with what she's doing?

PS: If you didn't click through to the original song, and you're done watching the video, have a listen to the original here:

<a href="http://mariancall.bandcamp.com/track/im-yours">I'm Yours by Marian Call</a>


First Roll From the Zero Image 2000

Yesterday I finished uploading the results of the first film through my Zero Image 2000. I'm very impressed with what I've got out of it on a first go.


Another film out of the Holga

Thanks to the processing and scanning skills of my friendly Scottish landscape photographer I have the results of the most recent film from my Holga 120GN online:

Soon It Will Be Clear

If I Know One Thing

Flat Bed

Holga South of Birthorpe

Holga in Grantham - 2009-06-06

That was another roll of Ilford HP+ 400 and, once again, I'm very happy with the results. I think I'm probably more keen on sticking with Fuji Provia 400X in the future, mainly because I feel, for some unknown reason, that colour does the Holga more justice.


All Set With the Zero Image 2000

The postie came today, carrying a parcel from 7DayShop:

The main thing being that I've now got some film to use with my Zero Image 2000 so I'm all set for when I've got the time (and the weather is playing ball).

And, as you can see, I found a dinky little case and a nice soft bag to keep it in when I'm wandering about, or when it's in storage waiting for its next outing.

Hopefully the first outing will be real soon.


New Toy: Zero Image 2000

Today I took delivery of a new photographic toy. A Zero Image 2000 pinhole camera:

Zero Image 2000 Boxed
Zero Image 2000 Unboxed
Zero Image 2000 Open

I've been considering a pinhole camera for a while and I'd decided that, given that I already own a couple of medium-format film cameras anyway, a medium-format pinhole was the obvious choice.

I probably won't get to use it for at least a week as I've only just ordered some film for it. I'm really looking forward to trying it out.

Holga in Sleaford and Grantham

Last night I finished processing and uploading images from the latest roll of film through my Holga 120GN. The photographs were taken around Sleaford and Grantham:

Holga Around The Hub

Off Carre Street

No More DIY

Holga in Grantham

Once again I'm really pleased with the results. The Holga really is a great little camera and all kinds of fun to use. The more I use it the more I'm glad I cracked and got one.

And, as always, thanks to go my friendly Scottish landscape photographer for the processing and scanning.


Second Roll of Colour Images From the Holga

Following on from yesterday's set of images, I've now finished processing and uploading the results from the second roll of Fuji Provia 400X through the Holga 120GN:

Orange Swing

Holga Sunsets

Folkingham Road


Somewhere Near Birthorpe

Overall I'm please with the results from both rolls of 400X. I'll be using it, and the Holga, some more at some point soon.


First Colour Images From the Holga 120GN

Holga 120GNI've just finished processing and uploading images taken on the first roll of Fuji Provia 400X that I've put through the Holga 120GN. On the whole the results are okay. Some of the shots were a little over-exposed (I've "rescued" them with a little extreme and "Holgaesque" post-processing) but that's to be expected if you head out in bright sunlight with ISO 400 film (even at f/13). Those with a keen eye will note that there's only 11 images in the sets that follow rather than 12. One of them is a family photo so doesn't go on the site.

Morning Walk In Bourne


Oseby Lane

Industrial Landscape


Find Another Use


Objects In Space

A little departure from the norm for me. A set of photographs, but not taken with any of my cameras. I decided to start a series of still life images using my ageing flatbed scanner as the camera. The result is Objects In Space.


Sunset Walk Last Night

Last night I took the EOS 400D and the Holga 120GN out for a walk up the road to Birthorpe and back. Along the way I managed to capture some fairly dramatic skies. You can see the 400D results over here — you'll have to wait for the Holga results, obviously. :-)


Holga at Belton House

I mentioned last week that, while shooting around Belton House the other weekend, I'd also taken along my Holga 120GN.

One trip to my friendly Scottish landscape photographer later and I have Holga at Belton House.


Feature in the Grantham Journal

It started a week or two ago. Over on twitter I saw Elizabeth Gordon reply to something written by Kevin Day about how he was going to have an article about his photography in his local paper. I added Kevin to my follow list and, later on, caught the pointer to a photograph of the article.

I got to thinking that this was a good idea — local newspapers doing features on local photographers and/or artists in general — and half seriously mentioned it to @GranthamJournal. I got a reply of "yes" (which surprised and delighted me) and "let's do you first" (which surprised and horrified me, in a good way).

Fast forward to today and this is what I find in the paper:

Grantham Journal 2009-04-24

I'm a little freaked to see a photo of me there, and I think I'd have picked a different selection of images if I'd known that they were all going to be reproduced in black and white but, overall, it's a great article, Bob's written some good text to go with it.

It's the first time I've ever had my work shown off like this. While I've had photographs in magazines before (mostly astronomy magazines) this is the first time I've had my general work shown off. It's kind of nice. :-)

Now I'm looking forward to seeing who else is going to be featured in the series.


Recent Photographs

Some photography happened this last weekend. First off, on Saturday, I found myself sat waiting in a car park in Grantham and I had my PowerShot G9 with me so more shots for my Life in a Car Park series happened:

Life in a Car Park #3

On Sunday the weather was really nice so some time was spent in the grounds of Belton House:

Belton House - 2009-04-19

While I Belton I also ran off a roll of Ilford HP5+ 400 in my Holga 120GN. Hopefully I'll get that processed in the next couple or so weeks.

When we got back home I noticed that the blossom on the pear tree in our garden had gone crazy. That was crying out for a shot with my Lensbaby Muse:

Lensbaby Blossom

Finally, later in the afternoon, I decided to take a walk up to Horbling. Partly because I'd not taken any photographs there, but also because I wanted to go find some more shots for the Evidence theme that I'm also toying with at the moment.



Recent Photographs

Last weekend was a long weekend here in the UK and, as normally happens on a bank holiday weekend, the weather was pretty awful (yes, mostly sunny week with rain most of the weekend). However, despite the lousy weather, I did manage to get some photography done:

Three Views of a Structure




Chasing the Fleeting

CRT Assemblage #5