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Thursday, 01 September 2022


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Still, this site is named The Online Photographer, not the Online Writer, so it’s comforting to know that there’s an enthusiastic shooter lurking within. And I think it will benefit the writing part.

I take your point that your writing is an important skill for you. But don’t forget that research is an important part of the writing process. If you don’t have something to say writing is pretty pointless. That little Sigma seems to be doing an excellent job at giving you something to write about, so don’t feel guilty about time shooting, just chalk it up as research.

As you say, there are endless ways to render the tones. I want to see more of the boards and ivy:

Click on image for larger version.

I love the recent posts. It has been inspiring to see you so enthused taking photos with this camera. I think I'll head out this weekend with a view to taking some B&W photos.

I've been reading your posts for quite a few years now. I've enjoyed following this new camera, but most of all I've really loved see the photographs you've been taking with it. I'd love to see more of them featured on the site. For me it's an important part of the experience of your writing. Your actual photographic work is an important element alongside the gear, the off-topic posts, etc. and there's been too little of it imho over the years. The occasional, all too rare, featuring of other reader's work has also been really welcome.

As to the production of a book, I think you're setting yourself up to fail. Why not make very small books just for yourself, start small and work up to something so ambitious? Having the work in a personally-produced book form has given me a lot of pleasure. And you don't need to shoot daily - surely it depends on the project. I plan to walk from Burnham-on-Crouch along the River Crouch out to the North Sea on 11 December this year, it will be 11 years since the last time I did so and I plan to make my own book from the photos taken from just those two visits. Small-scale can be just as interesting or charming as large-scale works.

Spend more time out shooting.
You have so much more to tell us when you do.

As a patron of your photography (I have one of your photos hanging on my wall right over my shoulder as I type this) I take exception to your statement that writing is what you're good for.

I won't demand an apology this time, but I think you're good for writing, and photography (and being a fine parent from what I can tell).

And given the very fine conversation I recall having with you in person, there is much more that you are not admitting to being good for.

Don't worry, Mike, the novelty, honeymoon period will wear off. Then you can go back to wanting the rational things like IS, and away from the weird small sample size group think you seem to be stuck in. Just don't spend too much.

This shot shure has great possibilities - the thing for me are the clouds. Wondering how a Grayscale RAW would render compared to conventional RGB… Any chance to get the the appropriate file? This could be kind of a virtual TOP Print of the Month Project…

Colin may have a point. I was thinking, use the same process, scaled down, to come up with 6 good shots that go together. A personal "seeing in sixes," to borrow Brooks Jensen's term. Combine them with your writing. I've been enjoying your detailed descriptions on Flickr.

Regarding your desire for image stabilization and the lack of it in this camera, I have a question. In the camera description at B&H, it says that the camera has "Electronic stabilization".

Out of a combination of ignorance and curiosity, what does Sigma mean by that?

- Tom -

Like many others among your readership, I’ve been really enjoying seeing your work and hearing your obvious delight at going out and making photographs again. It’s a pleasure to be part of vicariously through your blog. Alongside your reader’s print reviews, this is my favourite element of your wonderful blog. Thanks Mike.

In response to Tom's question about electronic stabilization, I did a little digging. Here's an excerpt from Sigma's website . "...the electronic image stabilization corrects camera shake by compositing multiple images in a single release,..." So you actually do have IBIS in this camera. It's just that it's not achieved by wiggling the sensor.

[Yes, but it's JPEG only. It doesn't work with DNG raw files selected. And it can't be used for moving subjects. Still might be useful though, in certain situations. --Mike]

Re the 4:3 thing, there was a point a few years back when, in trying to figure out how best to evolve a certain body of (monochrome) work, that had started via early Micro Four Thirds cameras, into something that benefitted from a larger sensor, I landed on the conclusion that what would work best would be a ‘full-frame’ mirrorless camera that offered a 4:3 aspect ratio mode. At the time, Sony had just been joined by Canon and Nikon in the FF mirrorless club, and Leica was there, too. To my surprise, of the four, only Canon had a 4:3 mode. I rented one, didn’t like it, and ended up waiting months for another option. That option turned out to be the Lumix S1R, and that’s been my go-to high-res camera ever since. More nimble than medium format, with better lens options; a superb EVF, perfect for monochrome composing; really good IBIS; and still 42MP, cropped.

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