Mayday with the A700

As mayday is what the size-conscious call “big” in Hastings I thought I’d take my new Sony A700 out for a proper test drive.

Along with over 20,000 bikers arriving in town for the annual Mayday Run there’s also the Jack In The Green festival. Basically hundreds of people dressing in green and dancing. The normally great photo opportunities were rather spoiled by the cloudy drizzly skies and the awful light.

Anyway, after a ride out of town followed by a very slow ride back in with the crowds of bikes I settled down in George Street for some “people” photography. I was thwarted more than once by my unfamilarity of the controls on my new DSLR but ended up with a few half-decent shots.

I decided to go black-and-white as a reaction against all the green I guess – the guy in this photo had green nosepaint and luminous green nail varnish.

I also took my Pentax Auto 110 SLR out to play for the day – the results of that will end up on my flickr once Jessops have developed the film and I’ve sworn at my scanner a lot…

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Disposable Heroes of Kodakography

Why, after going out and spending hundreds of pounds on a new DSLR body, then reeling off a quick 100 shots – are those shots languishing in Lightroom on my laptop, while the shots from the disposable camera (40 cameras for £20 on ebay) I took later that day are getting flickr love?

Red Chair (by AndyWilson)

Opticians Window (by AndyWilson)

Hastings Old Town (by AndyWilson)

I can only assume I’ve got some inner guilt about spending lots of money on cameras when I’m a huge advocate of “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer” But sometimes the photographer needs helps. Sometimes he needs high-iso sensitivity at the touch of a button, sometimes he craves instant gratification. Of course, when the sun’s out, the sky is blue and f/16 @1/125 is the order of the day – then it’s time for the toy cameras to play.

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Swine Flu Fever

I couldn’t let all of this media hysteria about Swine Flu pass by without spending £1.99 on a pig mask yesterday and spending my lunch hour wandering the streets of Brighton taking photos. Got some very strange looks, some passers by commented “Why would someone do that? He’s probably mad…” – and I won’t even mention the rush of tourist students with camera phones when I attempted a self-portrait with mask in pavilion gardens…

This was also an attempt to use my DSLR more so I can justify upgrading my body from an A100 to a A700. I’m still happier using film, but sometimes I need that instant gratification – but do I need £600s worth?

More swine on my flickr

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If there’s one thing a lot of photographers hate it’s having their photograph taken. My problem is that my internal image of myself is still of the teenage me – – and I still get shocked when I see this old guy staring back at me!

Anyway – this one ain’t bad I guess

Originally uploaded to flickr by IanLand

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Had a play with using my Diana with Instax Back to do something a bit different with the instax film at last night’s Brighton Flickr Meet.

Lomo sell a thing they call a splitzer - which I thought might be fun to use, but I haven’t got one and not really convinced I want to splash out on one either…

So, I used what I had to hand – i.e. an instax shot I took earlier with the Diana that I’d cocked up. The great thing about using instax film with the diana is the opportunity to do things like pinholes and multiple exposures – so I tried covering half the lens with the old shot, taking a photo, covering the other half, taking another photo, then ejecting the film. Multiple exposures without the worry of overexposure! The only tricky bit is actually having enough hands to hold the old shot and the camera, and press the shutter at the same time…

…anyway I liked the results – click through to flickr to see them and more bigger…

LomoLomoKevKev & LissyLoola @ Brighton Flickr Meet (by AndyWilson) Brighton Flickr Meet (by AndyWilson)

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Look behind you!

Stopped at the local Tesco petrol station this morning to fill the bike up so I could make it the 40 miles to work without having to push it. The whole world seemed to be filling up there at 7:45am and there were queues for all the pumps. Anyway, to cut a long story short, a guy in a van in front of me decided he wanted to queue for a different pump. I saw his reversing lights come on and it was obvious he didn’t know I was behind him. I know a lot of car drivers don’t seem to realise it, but bikes don’t have reverse gears, and shuffling 250kg of motorcycle backwards with your feet ain’t going to win races!

Anyway, to cut a short story shorter, I ended up on the ground together with my bike. Luckily neither of us were damaged at all.

And the van driver’s excuse?  “I didn’t see you” Really, no shit,  I thought maybe you  saw me but thought it wouldn’t damage your van! Next time look fucking properly!

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The first click…

Oh well, after years of contemplating a blog I’ve only gone and bleedin’ done it!

Not sure what I’m going to put on here yet – probably mostly photography stuff that people might find interesting, or maybe some rants about the IT industry and how over-complexity is becoming the norm. I might decide to wax slightly-lyrical about the the pleasures of exploring the back-roads of Britain on a motorcycle – or possibly let off steam if I get a speeding ticket.

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