Thursday, 14 April 2011

Because I want to...

For the past nine or so years, I have been driving to and from work during the early months of Spring and have been awestruck by the beautiful blossom visible on (it seems), nearly every tree .

In previous years, I always made a mental note to go and photograph them. Fate however, always conspired against me and I was never able to dedicate sufficient time to the task or perhaps the weather was never optimal.

This year however, was different. We experienced unbelievably beautiful weather with temperatures in the high twenties and cloudless blue skies.

I work full time as a photographer photographing products etc. for the premier lighting company in Switzerland, then at the weekend, I take a sort of "busman's holiday" and make images for myself. Not to sell or anything like that but simply because  want to. I find it therapeutic and relaxing.

I also decided to make use of several accessories etc that don't get out of my cupboard much. Namely my 300mm f4 and a couple of polarising filters.

My son Nicholas came with me and used the Sony Bloggie that I briefly mentioned in a previous post to record some video.

Here are some of the images from the weekend.

Taken after recording the video

Zoomed in

Same scene but from further away.

I had also previously seen a ruined barn from the road which I wanted to photograph. Stephan, my colleague obtained permission from the landowner so we went and recorded it as well.

Ruined barn from a path

I used HDR because the barn is in shadow

The next day, Sunday, I went out alone and made more images .

300mm on my 7d gives 420mm

 Sheep grazing. 7d with 300 mm lens

 17mm + polariser on a 5d

 17mm + polariser on a 5d

I'd be interested in hearing if any other working photographers reading this blog also go out purely for themselves to take pictures. I find that it keeps the passion alive.

Take care.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Spring at last

Out photographing in the wonderfully sunny weather near my home. Nicholas is videoing it for use on my blog.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

In Canon's eyes, I am no longer "professional"

I have been using Canon cameras and lenses since 1982.

They have always served me well and have proved very reliable and long lasting. In fact I've only had problems twice with the same camera when the shutter magnets failed on my old AE1's

When Canon launched their Professional Services division in London back in the early nineties, I immediately signed up. In those days, it wasn't as strictly controlled as it is today and I was able to join
with only two T90 bodies and a number of non L lenses.

I've been a member ever since and now have all my gear including two bodies and three L lenses registered on their website. They promise a quick repair turnaround and the loan of a camera or lens if the repair takes too long.

I've only used their services once, when I had to "doorstep" a prison from several hundred meters away. A quick call to CPS headquarters in London resulted in my being loaned a 500mm f4.5 telephoto.

I haven't used their services since but it's good to know that they are there should I need to.

And that dear reader is the problem. I haven't had a need to use them because my stuff is so reliable. I therefore also have no need to buy the latest and greatest lenses etc because the gear I have is perfectly adequate for what I do.

New from CPS is the fact that you  now have to re-register your gear every year or so. I went to the website to affirm that all my gear was still in my possession and was informed that I was no longer eligible for CPS membership.

"Why was that?" I wondered.

The answer is simple. My beloved 300mm f4L lens is no longer covered. I say beloved, but in truth, I only use it maybe one or twice a year if needed (Like the CPS service centre).

 The offending "no more professional" lens

What annoys me though, is that it (in the eyes of the CPS), is no longer a "professional" lens and I am no longer worthy of Professional Services membership.

Last year alone I took some 3000 images with my Canon stuff. Many of these were used in brochures, catalogues, adverts, product reports and posters etc. I use my gear in a PROFESSIONAL capacity. i.e. I get paid to do it.

In my own (humble) opinion, I think that these instances should be separately examined by Canon because I'm sure that there are plenty of other photographers who, like me, work professionally using Canon products but don't have, want or need the very latest kit.

I am therefore a professional.