This one’s another testing outing – this time with the Sigma 12-14mm lens, which was relatively new in 2004. Of course, this is on a slightly cropped camera body, the 1D Mark II, so it’s effectively more like 16mm – I shot a few on film (remember FILM?!) that day too, just to see what the difference was like. 12mm is quite wide, it turns out!
Funny how many of my lost & found images are from trying out gear – often I’ll get something new, go a bit mad with it testing things, and then move on to using it for work without ever really giving much attention to the test shots. But some of them I really like, now that I do look!
This one is from Waikanae Beach in New Zealand, just north of Wellington, when I first got my hands on the Canon 85L f/1.2 in 2006. I also had a 1Ds Mark II on loan from Canon at the time (while my 1D Mk II was in being serviced), so I was testing both of them at the same time really – and in this case, seeing how well they could track a small moving object…
The Skipper. The Mysterious Lady. The Tiger. A…unicorn? A concert by Melbourne band The Bombay Royale is always an interesting event, so when I heard they were going to open for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings recently, of course I booked right away!
I mean, a group specialising in mid-Seventies Bollywood songs (including their own originals in that style) was always going to be right up my alley – but they really deliver in their shows, not just by being musically tight, or by wearing costumes, but with bonus Bollywood dance lessons mid-show to boot. Change the lightbulb! Pat the dog! Disco drumroll!
Of course I wanted to photograph a little of the show – but not at the expense of dancing. So here are a few from my front-and-centre position, when I wasn’t changing lightbulbs. It’s always worth getting there early!
A little while ago, I had the idea of doing a series of posts of photos I’d found on my hard drives that had, for whatever reason, never seen the light of day – the lost & found photos, some of which I barely even remember taking!
Then, I promptly lost track of that idea. There was one solitary post with the tag ‘Lost And Found‘ on my blog; well, today, I found it. So here we are again, starting fresh! I’ve even found a few more – so I’ll keep posting them on a semi-regular basis, a bit like the Throwback Thursday, but without me in them.
This guy (whose name I’m afraid eludes me, after ten years) was a resident at a B&B in the Wairarapa I quite enjoyed in 2004. As I recall, it was a couple of cabins – well, when I say cabins, I mean train carriages – south of Featherston, not far from Wellington, and a lovely part of the country to visit on a weekend. I always thought he’d make a good book cover. Just putting that out there, really!
I was sad to hear of motorsport writer Eoin Young‘s passing this morning; I can’t claim to have known him long, in terms of his illustrious career, but I first met him twelve years ago when he brought the recently-retired voice of Formula One, Murray Walker, on a book tour of New Zealand. They were a great pair on stage, prompting each others’ memory as needed (with a bit of assistance from his great friend Michael Clark), and made for a very enjoyable event.
I saw Eoin again a few years later at the A1 Grand Prix at Taupo, where he – as an original member of the McLaren Formula 1 team, and Bruce’s own private secretary (even if Bruce couldn’t explain to Eoin what that was meant to be) – was part of the group launching a film project about Bruce’s life, which sadly has yet to be completed.
Eoin was in his element, amongst his old gang - three-time F1 world champions Sir Jack Brabham and Emerson Fittipaldi, world champion John Surtees, drivers Chris Amon and John Watson, former team boss Phil Kerr, mechanics Walter Wilmott and Bruce Harre, and of course many of the McLaren family as well as some of Denny Hulme’s, too. These were his people, his contemporaries, his coworkers and friends. And he was, in his own way, entirely their equal.
Of course, Eoin wrote a number of books about his adventures – including ‘It Beats Working‘ and ‘It Still Beats Working‘, which were his own memoirs of life in the fast lane. I mean, just look at the list of titles next to his name – and yes, I think I’ve got most of them!
So go well, Eoin – and I hope there’s a great Barley Mow in the sky where you and your mates can have a pint, and chat about the old times. I’m sure it still beats working!
p.s. Here’s a great way to remember Eoin – a Road & Track article, circa 1970 - and McLaren have just added a tribute by fellow writer Maurice Hamilton, including this tidbit: “I found this huge house that the agents couldn’t rent and we took that. It became known as The Castle and, when there was an international race as Brands Hatch, we’d have people like Graham Hill, Chris Amon, AJ Foyt and Roger Penske come to the parties. These would go all hours; visits from friendly policemen responding to neighbours’ complaints. Proper parties…“
This weekend saw thousands of Australians take to the streets of cities across the country to protest the Tony Abbott / Liberal coalition government’s cuts to Federal spending in areas like education, health, the public sector, science and the environment, as well as their stance on immigration. Sydney was no exception – and the march, starting and finishing at Hyde Park, featured a brief concert by local band The Jezabels at the conclusion of the event.
I thought it was a good chance to test out the 56mm f/1.2 a bit more, and a few with the 18mm f/2 as well; but I was really enjoying the creativity of some of the signs & costumes people had made – and a few more that were added at the site, too…
Just wanted to say congratulations to Belvoir Theatre for their nominations in this year’s Helpmann Awards for their production of Angels In America, which I photographed for them last year – well, I did Part 1: Millennium Approaches, anyway!
I really loved this production a lot; oddly enough, I wound up seeing Angels two and a half times last year, having booked tickets for the full show at Belvoir before finding out I’d be photographing Part 1 as well, and when I found out it was on in Toronto a month later, I went to see that as well. I know, I got carried away – but honestly, I enjoyed everything about Belvoir’s version better: cast, costumes, set, sound design, lighting, the lot. So, I’m glad to see it make the list this week.
This was one of those times where the only opportunity to capture the show was during a schools matinee with an audience, working from a seat in the theatre without moving around; so it was a perfect time to use my Jacobsen Sound Blimp to make the camera as quiet as possible, and let both the actors and the audience focus on the show.
Here’s a few images from that shoot, including some of Robyn Nevin, who’s also nominated for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role. Best of luck for the awards, everyone!
This one’s pretty self-explanatory – just a frosted window in the Opera House before the show the other night. Not exactly a prime example of how sharp this lens is, but an interesting shot I wanted to grab, anyway!
Lens testing part 1 is here, in case you missed it earlier.
All right, I finally bit the bullet and got the Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 lens I’d been thinking about for six months or so, to replace my 60mm f/2.4 Macro. That’s still a great lens (and I have one spare, if anyone’s looking!), I just prefer something with a little more speed & easy focusability in low light for the kinds of things I tend to use it for. I also just really like shallow depth of field – or at very least, I like having the option if I want it.
I did have the amazing Canon 85L f/1.2 a few years ago now, which almost felt like it was a light source in itself – it seemed to have the ability to actually PUT light onto a person when you could barely see them yourself – but at the time, I had camera bodies with a 1.25x crop (the 1DMkIV) which made it just a little bit too long for a lot of situations. So, I traded to the 50L f/1.2, which is also great – but now I’ve got 5DMkIII bodies, and it’s not quite as long as I’d like. So, this little (and, relatively, quite cheap!) 56mm on a 1.5x crop Fuji sensor will hopefully fill that niche nicely for me.
Ironically, the day I picked this new lens up I got a retweet from Fuji UK saying ‘look how sharp these are!’ – most of them being taken with the 60mm, of course. Well, they’ll be even sharper next time, I’m sure!
The only thing I may miss without the 60mm is this – the fact that it’s a macro lens means it can focus extremely close, so if you want to throw something completely out of focus, it goes REALLY out of focus…
(p.s. for the lens nerds like me, the camera settings in the gallery can be seen by clicking the ‘i’ at the bottom right of the images…)