Udo Kieslich PMA 2010 Report MARCH 2010 ISSUE NO. 13 FREE ONLINE
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Professional Portfolio 10 Udo Kieslich
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Sony Bloggie MHS-PM5
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Front Cover Image by: Udo Kieslich
whole year has passed! In March 2009 we
this magazine. This magazine is for you so please
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PhotoComment magazine. The response was astounding. We have had a great time over the past
As you browse through this issue you will find a
12 months, speaking to photogrpahers, reviewing
report on the PMA show held recently. Udo Kieslich
products and researching techniques to bring you an
of the College of Digital Photography shows us his
informative magzine. We hope that we can continue
portfolio. We review a weird camera from Sony that
to improve PhotoComment to make it the best online
can take a 360 degree still or video, sounds cool!
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Become part of the "Afripixel Press Corps" and stand the chance of winning BIG! What would it be like to be a sports photographer, or a press photographer? Do you have what it takes to make that winning image on the front page of the newspaper? Have you ever dreamed of having your images pubished in a glossy magazine?
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New Pentax 645D Medium Format Digital SLR
This month Sony wins a gold medal for the TX-1, Pentax launches a 40 mega pixel Medium Format DSLR and a new lens from Tamron. To keep up to date with the latest news visit our website at http://photocomment.net
entax has announced the launch of the Pentax 645D lens-interchangeable, medium-format digital SLR camera. Thanks to the incorporation of a large image sensor, equal in performance to professional-standard digital camera backs, this high-performance model delivers super-highresolution images with approximately 40 effective megapixels. It also offers outstanding dependability and superb operability and maneuverability to make outdoor shooting effortless and comfortable for
Windbag Pro camera mount
he Windbag Pro is a lightweight Perspex mount which pushes onto a car window’s glass and increases it’s width from 4mm to 90mm. This platform is enhanced by the addition of a suede beanbag which is attached using a wide Velcro strip. The Windbag’s light weight (around 750 g) and relatively small size make it ideal for overseas visitors to bring on Wildlife tours and for locals to keep in their vehicle. Its big advantage however, is the ability to leave it on the window whilst driving, making it instantly available for that once in a lifetime shot. Stop fiddling with tripod ball heads and complicated metal structures that impede driving, or beanbags that take 3 grown men to lift onto the door. Get a Windbag Pro and start ‘going steady’ immediately. Visit www.verygoods.co.za for more information.
International Forum Design Awards (iF) honours Sony
ony’s design prowess has been acknowledged by one of the most highly regarded international design competitions, winning nine iFproduct design awards, including two gold awards. Out of nearly 2,500 entries only 50 are given the coveted gold award for outstanding design. Highlighting the innovation and unique core of Sony’s design, the ZX1 Series BRAVIA television and DSC-TX1 Cyber-shot digital still camera were both awarded gold this year. iF judges praised the winning gold award products, saying, “The Cyber-shot digital camera is extremely thin and delivers to the user not only pure phototaking enjoyment with its minimally designed exterior, but also – thanks to the wide range of available colors – it is like a little piece of jewellery that you can wear and have fun with."
New Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens
amron have announced another advance in their pursuit of high resolution images in the telephoto lens category with the development of a 70-300mm F/4-5.6 telephoto zoom lens featuring image stabilization––VC (Vibration Compensation) and an ultrasonic autofocus drive –– USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive). The SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD highresolution DSLR telephoto zoom lens has been produced for the Nikon mount, with the development of compatible mounts for Canon and Sony to follow. While this new lens is designed for digital SLR cameras, it can be used with both fullframe sensor and AF 35mm cameras with a zoom range of 70-300mm; or with APS-C sensor cameras where the angle of view will change the zoom range equal to 109-465mm. With superior optical performance, Tamron’s own USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) and VC (Vibration Compensation), the SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD (Model A005) provides the performance of a high-end premium telephoto zoom that is appealing to a broad spectrum of photography enthusiasts.
2009 Sony Profoto Awards
ineteen of South Africa’s finest professional photographers, as well as six international photographic experts, formed part of the Sony Profoto Awards judging panel. This prestigious group of influential and talented professionals recently judged over 6,000 images, ranging from wildlife to beauty, fashion and advertising. The 2009 Sony Profoto Awards is a combined effort from Sony South Africa and the Professional Photographers of Southern Africa (PPSA) to promote professional photographers, and to acknowledge their talents and dedication. This is the only competition for professional photographers and photography students in Southern Africa. The Profoto Awards was established in 1988 by the Professional Photographers of Southern Africa (PPSA) for participating professional photographers to submit their work, and be adjudged by their peers. According to the President of the PPSA, Pieter de Ras, these awards have now established themselves as the ultimate showcase for professional photography in Southern Africa. Says De Ras: “These awards would not have been possible if Sony did not have faith in professional photography and the PPSA. We thank them for the two years of fantastic sponsorship, and hope this partnership continues for many years to come.” The winners in the different categories, as well as the Image of the Year and Portfolio of the Year, will be announced at a gala dinner at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on 8 April 2010.
any of you may have followed the various gadget and photography news sites over the past few weeks watching the developments at PMA this year. Sadly as seems to frequently be the case, a PMA in the same year as Photokina can lack the excitement it has in the alternative year, and this year seemed to follow the trend It would appear that much of the show dealt with products already launched at CES and the few brands that did release anything were really just filling in possible gaps in their range that offered little by way of excitement. So what then were the more newsy items:
Sony While there was a lot of excitement at the Sony stand around concept Alpha cameras that may hit the shelves this year, in terms of actual product launched it was the DSC-TX5 and DSC-H55 that were official. The TX5 is pretty much a waterproof (3 meters), shockproof, dustproof, freeze proof... (why not make it bulletproof?) version of the TX1 we reviewed last year. It features the 10mp Exmor R CMOS sensor, sweep panorama etc. The H55 is basically a cut down version of the recently announced HX5. It has a similar body with 10x optical zoom and features a 14mp CCD sensor with no GPS or Compass. The video is also not the Full 1080 AVCHD format found on the bigger HX5.
So what about the concept cameras? Well it looks like Sony will hit the market with a competitor for the Micro Four Thirds Olympus Pen and Panasonic GH type cameras. They are likely to use the larger APS sized sensors while trying to keep the camera body more compact. On top of that the Alpha A700's long overdue replacement is set to shoot AVCHD video. All very exciting but we will likely have to wait until Photokina in October for any official release.
Sigma One manufacture who made a big deal of PMA was Sigma, they used this as an opportunity to update all three of the cameras they produce as well as some of their lenses. Looking briefly at the changes, they announced the DP2s which really is a slight upgrade to the DP2 with improvements in the AF system, layout of controls. The same kind of upgrades apply to the DP1x as well as the benefits of the TRUE II processor that made its way on the DP2 some time back. The SD15 is more of a relaunch than anything else. First revealed at Photokina 2008 the SD15 should now at last hit the shelves and will support SD Cards, utilizing the 14MP Foveon X3 sensor that is in all three of their cameras.While a fantastic concept in sensor design, one just cant help thinking that the Foveon design is falling behind.
Among the lenses released was a Optical Stabilised (OS) version of the 50-500mm EX HSM Lens. The 17-50mm F/2.8 EX and the 70-200mm EX were also both given the OS abreviation. The new lenses released were rather more exciting than updates. The first is an amazing 8-16mm F/4.5-5.6 DC (Digital Crop) ultra-wideangle zoom lens as well as a 85mm F/1.4 EX HSM DG (Full Frame) lens.
Other news to come out of Sigma is that they are working towards a changeable lens compact camera... seems Olympus and Panasonic have really started a new trend. [o]
his month we are lucky enough to feature another of the founders of the College Of Digital Photography.We ask Udo Kieslich about his photogrpahy and what makes him tick. Here’s what he had to say. PC: When did your interest in photography begint? UK: I guess I’ve always enjoyed taking photographs. My folks
bought me a Minolta when I was a kid and ever since then I’ve been snapping away. As my knowledge was very limited my results were pretty average, but I had fun exploring the world through a lens. I only really began to understand the camera properly when I studied photography in 2001. After this the technical stuff began to make more sense, my results
UDO KIESLICH improved somewhat and that’s when the bug really bit as I now had the knowledge to capture a scene the way I imagined it. Haven’t looked back since… PC: What made you decide to start a photographic college? UK: After my studies I started a photographic business with one of my class mates David Randel. Soon afterwards we were frequently asked the question by people around us of “where can I study photography in Johannesburg?” We soon realized that there was a gap in the market as there were very few places to learn photography on a part time basis. And so it all began, where we started sharing our knowledge and passion in photography from our studio in Craighall Park. From there we moved to our current premises in Saxonwold and now have campuses in Fourways, Roodepoort and Pretoria. PC: What is the most important thing you can teach someone about photography? UK: Hmmm, tough one as there a number of fundamental principles that are important to understand in photography. One of the most important things would be to gain an understanding of light – the term “Photography” comes
PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO from the Greek and means to draw or to paint with light, so without light photography would not exist. Where beginners go wrong is that they expect a camera to capture light in the same way as their eyes, but one of the first things we teach our new students is that the camera records light very differently. The camera can only record a much narrower range of contrast than what the eye can see which often results in photographs with very dark shadows or blown out highlights. Learn to
UDO KIESLICH photograph in lower contrast light ie early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is much softer and the colour of the light at these times of day does wonders to enhance the mood in the image . PC: Do you believe that a person must have an “eye” for creating an image or is it a skill that can be learnt? UK: Photography and composition are definitely skills that can be learnt. Some people inherently have a natural eye but for those who believe they don’t have
UDO KIESLICH task of exploring the world with your camera from a dog’s eye level for a few hours – you’ll be amazed at how different and interesting things look from a much lower level. Lastly if that isn’t working, go to Exclusive Books or CNA and browse through the multitude of local and international photography magazines and books, which I find always inspires me to go out and photograph.
a creative bone in their body, don’t stress – these skills can be learnt with lots of practice, which trains the visual eye. PC: What differentiates a professional from a weekend warrior? UK: They have more kit… No, I think the biggest differentiator is that a professional has the correct technical skills, photographic experience and knowledge, and understands how to approach a specific shoot. A professional should have a great understanding of how to use light to shape a subject or enhance a scene. Nowadays it’s also important to have good computer skills and be proficient in a programme like Adobe Photoshop. PC: What advice would you give to a photographer, novice or pro, who may be feeling uninspired? UK: Try photographing something that you don’t normally photograph or experiment with a new creative technique. You can also set yourself the
PC: What is your favourite type of photography? UK: Probably studio work – not people, but rather creative product photography. I also really enjoy painting with light – where you start with a subject in a completely dark room and then start adding different light sources to the scene – both onto the subject and on the background / foreground. Here you can use anything that emits
UDO KIESLICH that all the memory cards have been downloaded and formatted, and lastly I double check the important settings on my camera. If the shoot involves studio lighting then I test each light and make sure that the remote trigger is working as well. PC: In all honesty which do you prefer film or digital? UK: Whatâ€™s film? We did start the College of DIGITAL Photography after all :)
light - a candle, a torch, a laser pointer, zippo fluid, sparklers etc. You can also play around with the colour of light by folding different colours of cellophane gels over the front of a small maglite. PC: How do you prepare for a shoot? UK: I always recheck all the equipment in my camera bag, clean the front and back elements of the lenses, recharge the camera batteries, make sure I have a spare set of batteries for the flash, check
PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO Digital photography is convenient, it’s instant, your learning curve tends to be better as you can instantly pick up on mistakes and it’s cost effective as there are no film and processing costs. I also believe that digital has revolusionised photography in particular with the high ISO settings that are now available on many of the cameras. Some professional models now go up to 102400 ISO which allows you to photograph action while hand holding the camera, without using flash, in very low light. Also the image quality at high ISO’s now far exceeds that of film. Film still has its place if you enjoy long time exposure photography such as photographing star trails where the exposure times can often be 3 to 4 hours long. With a digital camera I wouldn’t recommend exposure times of longer than 20 – 30 minutes as the image begins to get pretty noisy after this. PC: What plans do you have for the future? UK: We would like to expand the College into Cape Town and Durban, and then also look at offering online courses. Then I’m also driving a project called the 7 seconds network which is destined to become a portal for all things photographic, so watch this space! [o]
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ome of you may be raising your eyebrow at this article, partly because of the products name, partly because it looks like a toy and possibly that it is first and foremost a video camera, so why review it in PhotoComment? Well there are a few answers to that question. First off we need to come to grips with the fact that the two formats are on a course of convergence as we have never seen before and there is very little chance of a u-turn. Secondly this little machine shoots 5 mega-pixel still images and while lacking any major controls, it has a gimmicky trick up its sleeve that was just way too cool to ignore. Announced at the CES show in January, the Bloggie
The Bloggie has a swivel lens and a retractable USB Connector
SONY BLOGGIE MHS-PM5 range offers two cameras and the one which has attracted the most interest by far is this little PM5. The reason? It comes with an optional adapter that records a 360 degree circular image of the world, which when brought into the Sony PMB (Picture Motion Browser) software, allows you to unwrap the unusual fish-eye image into one long panoramic that will allow you to see what was happening both in front of you and behind you when you took the picture or recorded your video clip. We have spent some time with this fascinating camera and can think of several practical reasons for it, like estate agents wanting to give a full interior experience on the web, to the simply fun applications of getting a new perspective on skateboarding or daily tasks.
PRODUCT REVIEW We attended the Sony launch at Soccer City and took the PM5 with us on a tour of the spectacular stadium. What a blast. Features & Handling In short the Bloggie MHS-PM5 is a 1080p HD MP4 format video camera that is perfect for posting content onto your blog or You Tube. It lacks any optical zoom but does offer still images at 5mp. The handling could be a bit more user friendly but is still not bad, it is just the toggle switch that upsets things a little. Other than that it is portable and can be always on hand for those moments you feel you just need to share.
SONY BLOGGIE MHS-PM5 dual purpose video cameras – the quality is acceptable but not mind blowing. When you unwrap the 360 degree circular image into a panorama it leaves much to be desired compared to Sony's nifty Sweep Panoramic mode in the new Cyber-shots and in the end if you primarily shoot stills you are better of with a traditional compact, many of which now shoot video on par and some even better. In my mind, this Bloggie is about having fun and for under R2000.00 perhaps it can capture its own unique market. [o]
Conclusion The Bloggie is fun though I think the novelty of the 360 degree lens may be short lived for some. As a very basic video camera it is great, not on par with many of Sony's far more expensive Handycams but that is to be expected. Left: Bloggie fitted with 360° lens
As a still camera – like most
Above: Image taken with 360° lens Below: Same image ‘unwrapped’ by Picture Motion Browser Software
APRIL 2010 - What would you like to see in the next issue? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org - Have you submitted your portfoilio? You could be featured in our next issue! - Whatâ€™s new in the world of photogrpahy?
A source of inspiration?
t is hard to believe that we are one year on from the
beginning of a new, exciting and daunting journey that began with the dream of providing a photographic magazine through an online and innovative format. In the past year PhotoComment has grown in support from readers, advertisers and experience of the staff. One thing I have learnt is that keeping up this Final Comment column can be challenging on a monthly basis particularly when you find yourself spending less and less time behind the camera. This had me thinking though, is PhotoComment a source of inspiration to you? Looking back we taught you how to 'Camera Toss' throwing your camera around while still taking a photo. Later we looked at light sculpting allowing your creativity to run wild in the world of long exposure. Each time we went out there creating these articles we found ourselves having great fun and that was the intention of PhotoComment. Photography began for me as an extension of my love for nature and as time has moved on I have found it to be a fantastic, complimentary hobby to my other hobbies and interests. At times it has been the bread provider when I have dabbled in it professionally, other times it has served as my escape from stress and strains. The key to keeping yourself behind the camera is not to keep so busy that you find your life consumed to much with it as a labour or too much without it in favour. It is our hope as we move into our second year that PhotoComment will continue to support your passion as you have supported us. Go on now, get out and shoot some fun. [o] Send your comments or inspirations to: email@example.com
Image By: Soccer City Stadium - Johannesburg Taken with Sony Bloggie MHS - PM5
South African Based Photographic Magazine. This month we feature Udo Kieslich in our Professional Portfolio. We review the new Sony Bloggie...