Hillman Curtis

This guy was one of my inspirations back in the mid 2000’s, I like what he did and what he said. A true creative who wasn’t afraid to explain his work and inspire others.

Sadly he passed away about 12 months ago at a ‘young’ 51 years, which incidentally is my current age. Makes one think…….

Take a look at Hillman’s work on his website www.hillmancurtis.com and his films on Vimeo.


Hillman Curtis

Hillman Curtis was wonderful……….


Sunny 16

The Sunny 16 Rule for Film Photography Without a Light Meter

I really like this and in the old days of Kodak film they used to put a handy exposure table on the film box with this information on it. But ‘Sunny 16′ is easier to remember.

Here’s the table anyway:

From http://www.guidetofilmphotography.com/sunny-16-exposure.html

Konica Hexar fixed and back in action

Konica Hexar AF

I’m chuffed to bits that I have been able to fix my old Konica Hexar AF after it has been languishing in the cupboard for probably 10 years.

It was purchased second hand from a photo shop in Hereford for £300, which was a lot of money back in the mid 1990s. It came with a Konica flash and my wife gave me a nice leather case as a birthday present.

It was the first auto-focus camera that I had ever used, and was the first rangefinder camera that I had ever purchased. It was quite a change from the Nikon SLRs and Mamiya TLR. The 35mm lens took some getting used to as a normal lens was a 20mm for me at the time, everything was wide, I owned one telephoto lens that never got much use. As a result I guess I didn’t use the Konica Hexar as much as I could, although I did use it to photograph a friend’s wedding as I wanted something small and light that focused itself.

Anyway as time went on, and digital cameras became available, the Hexar, along with my other film cameras, was sideline and over shadowed by the new technology. Also it started to become unreliable, sometimes the shutter wouldn’t fire, and then I got an error message suggesting that the battery was flat. Having gone through a number of new batteries I realised that something was wrong. I contacted Konica, who were still operating then, to arrange a repair but I didn’t get around to sending it.

Recently I was given an old Canon Sureshot film camera that required that same battery as the Hexar. For a bit of fun I thought that I would try it out, using the newly purchased battery. But same problem, same error code. Having looked on the web for other people who had found the same problems I drew a blank, except that someone suggested that you clean the battery contacts with some electrical contact fluid with a q-tip. Having already cleaned these contacts with a file I couldn’t see how this would help.

So as I was in a store I picked up a can of contact cleaner spray, and did what I was not supposed to do, I sprayed the battery compartment!  Big mistake! I didn’t expect to see the fluid appear in the LCD window on top of the camera, nor did I expect it to spew out of the top plate!

To be honest I thought that that would be the end of the camera, although there was no fluid in the lens or film compartment. So after cleaning up as much of the fluid as I could some half an hour later I tried the battery, and low and behold the camera showed some life. So I re-wound the half used film that had been in the camera for about 10 years. The auto-focus and shutter button were not functioning correctly, one in every 5 seemed to work. So I thought a partial success, however after another hour the Konica Hexar was fully back in action. So I just need to try out a test film……….

Is it a Spacecraft, a new form of iPod, the most recent digital camera to come from Sony? No its a SX70!

I’ve never had that much to do with Instant film cameras, other than using them a on a  couple of occasions when my employer asked me to ‘get some photos quick’ and owning a Fuji Instax back for my Diana+.

But you probably already know that Polaroid was a special company way in front their time in terms of technology and design.

My recent purchase of this Polaroid SX70 Model 2 is probably a little late in the day as this camera dates back to the mid 1970’s and the old Polaroid Corporation, together with it’s co-founder Dr Edwin Land, and the manufacturing of film stock have all gone.

I love the design of all things Apple, but the SX70 is something else. It is hard to believe that a company would be so brave as to design, manufacture and market a camera that looks like a book or long cigar box. But not only that this is a SLR (Single Lens Reflex) with a focusing dial, glass wide angle lens and ‘porvair’ covered panels.

As for film, thankfully The Impossible Project are manufacturing film that fits a range of Polaroid cameras. Even if it does not have the same properties as the original films manufactured by Polariod (the old films used some hazardous chemicals and processes).

So now all I have to do is see if this camera still works, and check out the Impossible Project film. Apparently you need to keep the print in the dark for the first 4 minutes after it is ejected from the camera. Then to ensure that it does not fade you need to dry the print out using silica gel in a bag. Dr Land would probably turn in his grave if he knew how difficult his simple process has now become. A case of technology going backwards me thinks!

Website Wire Framing

I found this nice Open Source application that is nice and simple to use with a reasonable set of features in the stand alone version that I am using

The Pencil Project’s unique mission is to build a free and open source tool for making diagrams and GUI prototyping that everyone can use.

Top features:

Built-in stencils for diagraming and prototyping
Multi-page document with background page
Inter-page linkings!
On-screen text editing with rich-text supports
Exporting to HTML, PNG, Openoffice.org document, Word document and PDF.
Undo/redo supports
Installing user-defined stencils and templates
Standard drawing operations: aligning, z-ordering, scaling, rotating…
Adding external objects
Personal Collection
Clipart Browser
Object snapping
Sketchy Stencil
And much more…

Licensing and Versions:

Pencil will always be free as it is released under the GPL version 2 and is available for virtually all platforms that Firefox 4+ can run. The first version of Pencil is tested against GNU/Linux 2.6 (Fedora, Ubuntu and Arch) with GTK+, Windows XP and Windows Vista/7.


Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Confused with all the different resolutions for Apple devices? I found this table which may be useful, even if it is a little old.

I have been converting some videos for YouTube and needed to get the file size down so re-saving them for iPod seems to work fine for me.



Fujifilm X-Pro1

Why didn’t someone else design this years ago? Well done Fujifilm for out Leicaing Leica. With interchangeable lenses, a 16MP APS C size sensor, hybrid optical /electronic viewfinder, a 3″ screen and 3 single focus lenses of 28mm, 50mm and 90mm equiv.

Larger and heavier than many mirrorless cameras with no internal flash but with extended 25,600 ISO, movie mode with full HD at 24fps and focal plane shutter – it has got to be a winner for photojournalism.

Can’t wait to get my hands on one later this year.

Fujifilm X-Pro1

See what the Fujifilm website says about it’s new baby www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/x/fujifilm_x_pro1/product_views/

Read the preview review on DP Review www.dpreview.com/previews/fujifilmxpro1/