Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

first off I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you who read these random ramblings of mine, I’ve now reached the landmark of 100 wordpress.com followers and having that support and following has been great. As some of you longer term readers will know I started rambling around on the web in frustration at shoddy customer service and to give poor Mrs Bunny Chow a break from listening to me whining. At the time I’d never even read any blogs and had no idea that this community even existed or dreamed that I could become part of it.

Blogging has become a hobby for me and keeps me out of trouble, I became really down a week or so ago when a close friend began questioning why I would be “doing shit drawings and putting them all over the internet” well my friend I do them because it’s my hobby and I gain pleasure from it and thanks to you good people out here in the blogosphere seem to gain something from my photography and art, I could have retaliated in person and attacked his passions and questioned what led him to do what he does in his free time but I was grown up enough to drop it and remember that art is subjective, just because he might not like what I am doing that’s entirely his right to make that decision and whilst my feelings at the time were deeply deeply hurt and poor Mrs Bunny Chow had to listen to me griping and whining, having allowed myself time to simmer I realise that in reality I would defend to the end his right to his opinions, I may not agree with them but the internet is a wonderful democracy and if he chooses not to enjoy my artistic that’s his prerogative, I’m not going to give up my hobby because it doesn’t float the boat of someone else, be they a real life friend or the occasional internet troll.

Next I’d like to talk about artistic inspiration, it’s a topic I’ve covered a couple of times before in these pages but would like to touch on again inspired by the lovely Patricia over at Pixygiggles who asked about artistic Mojo and how creativity can be commanded, well the simple answer is that it can’t be commanded, well at least not by me, there are plenty of weeks that go by where I battle to keep taking pictures but I keep going. I draw my inspiration and ideas from a variety of sources, Google+ and especially the Project 52 list have thus far inspired at least 34 posts with plenty more to come, Nick and Shannon from www.nickexposed.com and http://seeingspotsphoto.wordpress.com/ have been equally inspiring with their monthly community collaboration projects.

Then there are just people like the aforementioned Patricia who goes out of her way day after day to share her interpretation of the world and what it means to her at any given time, I’ve discovered so many people who inspire me to go out and create on a daily basis, I don’t share every failure with you but I do share plenty of them and do you know what sometimes I cringe but more often I’ll just look back with pride and think I created that, sure I’ve learned a lot about photography in the last year or so and might approach things differently if faced with the same opportunities today but isn’t that what learning is all about, do golfers ever shoot that perfect round and think sod it that’s enough I’ll quit now?

Phew this is turning into something of a rant, deep breath, I started writing today because I wanted to thank all of you who have welcomed me and inspired me to keep going and enjoy myself, at the end of the day this is my little fiefdom but all of you make it a happy little fiefdom so thank-you for being you.

My last little ramble is to ask opinions of phonography and the proliferation of filter apps like instagram and hipstamatic, I keep changing my mind about them, they’re fun, they’re quirky, they’re always in your pocket but the pictures that come out of them are crap, yet it’s that same crapness that I somehow like about them and keep finding myself drawn back to even when editing my photographs from my camera I find myself drawn back to retro feeling editing styles, is this because of the cliché or just because it’s what I’ve always found aesthetically appealing, I’m not sure I can answer that at the moment so I’ll leave the floor open for your thoughts.

The pictures interspersed throughout this post are not new, they’re just a few I’ve chosen because I liked them and felt like sharing them, I’m pretty sure they’ve all been seen in these pages before but if they’re new to you I hope you like them and if you don’t then that’s fine too.

Comment your lives away.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

one of the reasons I decided to expand my camera collection from my excellent FujiHS20EXR is that whilst it does have full manual controls they are hidden away in deep dark recesses and its whole design philosophy is based around let us help you to take brilliant pictures by having lots of set themes that allow you to tell us what you want and then we’ll set the camera up to do just that.

This is the modern way as pioneered by companies like Apple telling us what we want before we know we want it. It’s a brilliant concept and allows mere mortals to do extraordinary things with technology that we would never have dreamed possible just a few years ago.

The difficulty comes in when we decide that we don’t want to take what would normally be deemed an attractive photograph and whilst my Fuji would allow me that manual control it made it as fiddly and awkward as possible. My newly acquired Canon EOS 10D on the other hand was made in a time before the iPhone and whilst it does have fully automated options it will just as happily let you, nay encourage you to push the envelope of accepted dogma and behave like an idiot. It’s like being able to switch off the traction control on a modern car, sure  the car probably knows better and ignoring its advice may mean you kill yourself in a lurid slide of acrid tyre smoke but shouldn’t that be the choice of the consumer not boffins in a lab.

Phew that almost turned into a rant of Mr Bunny Chow of old proportions, you’re really just here to look at some long exposure shots aren’t you.

Right then without further delay Nick of Nick Exposed and Shannon of Seeing Spots set forth another challenge following on from the great success of their Quotography challenge this time challenging us to come up with Long Exposures.

I’ve been exceedingly busy over the last few weeks so haven’t had the opportunity to really push the envelope with a tripod and super steady shots but such is the beauty of the flexibility of the Canon EOS system that I was able to produce some interesting shots none the less.

Cycle Strobe

What’s going on

Racing Corner

Please let me know what you think of them and feel free to leave comment, tips and critique.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

This week I’m going to talk to you a little about technology, which was the suggested theme for this weeks project 52 post.

Things may get a little geeky at points and I apologise for that I’m passionate about a number of geeky things though so you’ll either have to skip this one or put up with it, you never know you might learn something that will be useful in your life. Actually I doubt that you will unless you are slightly geeky.

left to right we have FujiFilm HS20EXR, Canon EOS 10d, Canon EOS 650

I mentioned recently that I’d managed to buy an old Canon EOS 650 film camera but wanted to borrow a lens to ensure that it all worked before investing any further in it, well I put out the shout and an old friend who I’ll call Mr Falkland came through and has leant me not only three of his lenses but his incredibly beautiful Canon EOS 10d semi professional body so that I can have an idea of what the lenses to before wasting valuable time and money on film and shooting blind. I know he’s an occasional reader so thank you Mr Falkland, I am hugely touched that you trust me not to break it. I plan to make the most of your incredibly generous loan and learn as much as I can.

Going into a little more detail about the picture contents included we have my trusty HS20EXR which looks dwarfed in this company, I still love her though, she’s a great camera and hugely flexible. The strap is obviously not original and is a retro look GoTo strap purchased for me by Mrs Bunny Chow as a 4th anniversary present.

Squashed into the middle and barely visible is Mr Falklands EOS10d fitted with a Sigma 30-100mm (I’m working from memory here so could be wrong) lense.

and then finally my Canon EOS650 in this instance fitted with Mr Falklands Sigma 18-30mm wide-angle lens and another GoTo vintage strap bought again by Mrs Bunny Chow.

I’ve not had much opportunity to play with either the loan or film camera as yet but will endeavour to get some shots done over the weekend to share with you all next week. (longer for the film stuff I suspect)

moving on.

The rather poor quality picture was taken with my new phone a HTC One X running Android in its latest Ice Cream Sandwich incarnation then skinned with HTC’s own sense interface. As many of my longer term readers will know I have been an iPhone user for a number of years now and decided to make the switch for a number of reasons which I’m going to list.

  1. I’m a geek and no self-respecting geek is entirely happy with how iOS locks you into doing things they way they see as being the right way.
  2. I couldn’t see enough of an update between the iPhone 4 that I had and the iPhone 4S to justify making the swap but wasn’t prepared to wait for the theoretical iPhone 5.
  3. 3. I wanted to see what all they hype about android was all about and if I’m honest just fancied a change.

So what do I think so far?

Pro’s so far:

  • The huge 4.7inch screen is beautiful to behold and the colours really pop, the iPhone’s retina display still has smaller pixels and deeper blacks though.
  • It’s different, I had an iPhone 3G followed by an iPhone 4 and other than the semi regular iOS updates which were evolutionary not revolutionary I’ve had the same basic concept for four years now or an eon in technological terms.
  • Widgets and live wallpapers are an amusing/fun thing even if not much more useful than a red circle reminding me that I have more emails to check than I have time for.

Con’s so far:

  • The camera on paper at least should offer superior performance to the iPhone with an aperture of f2.0 (smaller number means more light hitting the sensor) and 8mp as opposed to the iPhone 4’s aperture of f2.8 and 5mp. The reality is though that the picture quality from the iPhone’s sensor seems to offer much lower levels of noise (sparkly bits) in low and even medium light levels. This noise is obvious and apparent on the phone’s screen never mind when blown up to its full size on a computer screen. As a camera guy this is a big deal to me and time will tell if software updates and improve this major flaw. 
  • The 4.7 inch screen despite being a beauty to behold is just a tiny bit too big for my hands to comfortably type on single-handed. Not a big deal 90% of the time but if you have lady like hands something to be conscious of before considering one of these.
  • The screen is not as sensitive or as accurate as that of the iPhone, I’m sure that I’ll get used to this one as my friend who’s always been an Android man thinks it’s fine but to me at least it’s still a niggle, the difference is subtle but still there.
  • Despite its quad-core +1 processors, the fact that apps etc continue to run in the background unless you force them to stop means that it’s no faster than iOS the majority of the time. 

I’m still happy with the phone and realise that a lot of my niggles are more things just being different from what I have become accustomed to. Time will tell if they are things that affect my next phone upgrade and whether I go back to iOS or stick with Android in the future, but that day is at least a couple of years away so we’ll have to see how things unfold and where technology has gone by then.

If you’d like to see more of my pictures there are plenty available through my Google+ account, be sure to introduce yourself as not everything is posted publicly.

Next week the suggested theme will be in the Kitchen so as well as taking some pictures for you I may even make an effort to revive the fortunes of www.mrbunnychowcooks.com

Until then

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

For those of you out of the loop Grandma Bunny Chow normally resides in my home country of Zimbabwe and had travelled to the UK as the Zimbabwean representative of Alzheimer’s Disease International at their annual conference. I don’t profess to be an expert on the disease or it’s challenges but I do know that ADI do excellent work in overcoming prejudices and providing support to those suffering from dementia so please do show them support if you ever come into contact with them.

On Saturday afternoon I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to spend an afternoon following my mother and a group of representatives from Alzheimer’s Disease International as they embarked on a walking tour around The City of London.

it was the vibrant colour of these tights that made me decide that I couldn't stick to just black and white

Strictly speaking I wasn’t supposed to be there as I wasn’t part of the party so to speak but they allowed me to follow them around without complaint whist I took pictures of the group, as well as passers-by and The City.

this guy had such knowledge etched into his face

Street photography is a style I greatly admire and one day hope to become proficient in but for this walk it was really just me playing with my camera settings and seeing what worked best. The pictures I have chosen to share in this post are some of the ones I thought worked out best although they vary hugely in style.

just look at that hair

I definitely appreciate any creative input or idea’s from my readers as to what you like and also what you think of when you think street photography, are you all about the gritty black and white or do you prefer to capture the vibrancy and colours of springtime in the metropolis? I know it’s something I’m torn about which is why many of these photo’s work individually but I’m not so sure how well they work as a collective.

I have no idea what she was up to either, she just stopped did this funny move and then carried on without a by your leave or care in the world

anyway I’ve only been waffling on this long so that I can break up the pictures a bit and keep you reading, but I’ll just let the captions do the talking from here on in.

I don't know if this guy had Tourette's syndrome or was just a nutter but he kept marching up and down swearing to himself and muttering threats of intended violence.

Self importance is always an interesting subject

am I casting the next Doctor Who or just being a RayBan fanboy?

no story here I just like this picture

why so serious?

Looking back I'm beginning to think that my walk might have taken place further back in the past than Saturday.

Bob Geldof doing the funky chicken?

Happy Birthday Conita wherever you may be

completely out of context and definitely not street photography but I like the shot and couldn't think of anywhere else to use it.

She's listening intently

I told you Granny Bunny Chow was here, she's also listening intently unlike the bloke in the background who just looks bored.

deep in thought

and back to colour, this guy was just too cool for school

so cool that he deserved two shots

another completely out of context random architecture shot but I liked it so it's here.

so the kids do still skate, last time I got on a skateboard I ended up in a cast (15+ years ago) so have stayed away ever since despite thinking that they always looked cool.

somehow this lady transmagorfed herself from a Parisian cafe in order for me to take her picture.

an attempt at artistic blur

something to smile about

I wonder if they'd noticed that they were sitting in bright sunshine on a beautiful spring day or were just on their way back from Siberia.

 such attitude, makes you wonder if he/she was actually throwing a hissy fit or I was just lucky

well that’s it from me for now, as always I love to hear from you and know what your thoughts are, should I stick to one style or keep flitting between or just give up on the street thing altogether?

Many thanks for looking and TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Good Leap Day to you all dear readers,

today I’d like to talk about the contents of my Camera bag and my uses of those camera’s as well as talk a little about some of my inspirations.

look ma there's a tree

My current camera collection consists of the excellent and versatile Fuji film HS20EXR for those of you who are unfamiliar with it I’ll go into a little detail. It’s what is commonly known as a bridge camera, taking the convenience of a compact camera (no interchangeable lenses) and adding in features of a full-blown D-SLR with full manual controls and an incredible zoom extending all the way out to 30x or 24mm to 720mm in old money. It has many fantastic features that I wanted when looking for a camera to replace my much older stolen Fujifilm S5000 a fantastic little camera in its own right. I could go into huge amounts of detail about all of the things that I love about it but I think it would be more prudent to point you towards the review that initially persuaded me that it was the camera for me. The only other thing I will add is that one of the most powerful deciders for me was the fact that unlike many other camera’s today it still makes use of AA batteries meaning I can have a couple of sets of fully charged high power 2500MaH batteries with me and still be able to just buy disposable’s pretty much anywhere in the world.

Bunny Chow the invincible

The camera that you have seen the most from recently on this site is a fantastic cheap little compact from Canon called the IXUS 107. Technically this is identical to the IXUS 105
in every way except for the fact that it was a limited edition colour (baby blue) and happened to be what was in stock when I was shopping with the insurance vouchers from the earlier mentioned robbery. I have to confess that I didn’t put much research into this camera before purchase, and whilst I am more than happy with the image quality it produces when you consider it’s price and pocketable size it has no manual controls and is happiest if you leave the settings along and let it figure things out for itself. The only thing I tend to adjust is that when I shoot at night I’ll invariably put it into black and white mode as this seems to reduce the noise common to shooting at high ISO in low light.

Lastly but I guess by no means the least I use the camera that is always in my pocket the some what ubiquitous iPhone4. I have been forcing myself to carry the little Canon most of the time but no one can deny the sense behind the quote “the best camera is the one that’s with you” I’m not a die-hard iOS man in fact I’m hoping to jump over to the Android ship as soon as my contract expires but there is a reason why the most used camera over on Flickr is the iPhone, it’s convenient, it takes great snaps right out of the box and there are dozens if not hundreds of Apps for making your pictures look arty without trying too hard. I for one am going to hugely miss Hipstamatic which at the time of writing at least is an iOS exclusive app which uses software to replicate dozens of retro films, lenses, flashes etc. I adore the random nature of what it captures although you can if you choose individually mix and match these elements to exacting specifications I actually like the hit and miss nature of its shake to randomise function.

The Monkey Boy

So there you have it, the contents of my camera bag laid bare for derision and ridicule.

snowlights

Anyway continuing my ramble about camera’s and photography I’d like to make mention of some of the people and websites that blogging has exposed me to. First on the list absolutely has to be the incredibly talented but approachable Nick Mayo of http://nickexposed.com/ he posts pictures and the stories behind those pictures on a daily basis. I’ve learned a lot from him and look forward to learning more.

Next up I’d like to talk about Bellamy Hunt and his incredibly fascinating site http://www.japancamerahunter.com/ Bellamy as you can probably guess from the name of his site runs a business out of Japan seeking out camera’s for clients. He specialises in old film camera’s but the main reason I want to talk about the site is the incredibly fascinating posts Bellamy and his guests write about all aspects of photography and Camera porn in general. They do reviews, suggest idea’s and just speak about their own experiences of what they love with such passion and incredible knowledge that you cannot help but be inspired. 

The last person I’d like to talk about is the incredible Mike Shaw who is not only a blogger over at http://mikefshaw.blogspot.com/ but more importantly for me at least he’s a huge personality over on Google+ you can find his profile here. Mike is an incredible man and incredible photographer, his portraits strike right at the core of human emotion and his landscapes are just beautiful. Mike suffers from depression and shares openly an honestly about this both in his stories and pictures. I really do wish I could understand how someone so compassionate and talented (he has over 700000 followers on G+ at the time of writing) can find the time not only to share his own stories but interact with someone like me. He was even generous enough to share my name amongst others as upcoming inspirational photographers. Wow what an honour, I can tell you that my email and google+ streams nearly exploded on that day, how he keeps up I’ll never know. I will continue to admire and support Mike through his troubles and hope that many of you join me.

This is turning into quite a ramble but I’m not going to apologise it’s what I do I’m afraid, I’ve been thinking about my photography a lot recently during quiet times when I’ve been out walking the dog, I of course would love to throw lots of money at it and buy copies of Photoshop, lightroom etc to go with the Leica rangefinder collection and big professional standard D-SLR with f1.4 prime lenses but of course I know that this won’t improve my eye one jot it will just make me lazy. Why bother chasing fantastic shots when I can just edit them later. Sure if I had the money I might invest in some of the above but I don’t so it’s irrelevant even thinking about it.

technology for the children

Something that I would like to do though is try shooting with lots of different camera’s especially older ones so if any of you out there have an old camera of any description lying unloved in a drawer that you’d like to donate to me I’d be most grateful. I have no prerequisites in this blatant begging process, I don’t care if it’s film or digital working or not, I’m sure that whatever it is I can learn something from it even if it’s just in the taking it apart and seeing how it all works inside because it’s beyond economical repair.

Otherwise how are you my friends of the blogosphere, are you keeping well?

I always love to hear from you and am getting pretty good at being interactive both within these pages and over on my google+ profile where you can not only interact with me but see lots more of my photography than I share here. I tend to post most of my pictures publicly so you don’t even need to sign up until you’re ready.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far.

Take care and until the next time

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

P.S.

The photo’s within the post are a few of the ones of which I’m most proud, and play no real part in the narative, I just like them. If you want to use any of them for personal use then please feel free, I’m happy for them to be published on personal blogs etc. as long as you provide a link back and credit.

As I’m sure many of you are picking up by now I have fallen back in love with photography and spending as much of my limited free time as possible with a camera in hand experimenting and trying to learn more about this fascinating craft.

One of the things that I’m finding toughest though is that I’m too much of a wimp to approach strangers on the street and ask to take their portraits, nor am I brave enough to just take their pictures guerrilla style and not ask at all/ask later. I know that this is what many of the photographers I admire most do but I’m not there yet.

I know you’ve by now seen plenty of my abstracts and nocturnal wanderings but I’ve only had minimal exposure to portraiture away from my own kids and would love to learn more. So with that in mind I’m going to throw my cards on the table and offer myself out to you the public.

I can’t promise you amazing results but if you’d spare me yourselves I’m interested in taking portraits of you, your kids, your pets etc. etc.

For now at least I won’t charge for my time or digital copies of any pictures that you like so if you’re willing to come to me (Croydon, South London) it will be free, gratis, nada.

If you want me to travel or are looking for studio shots or prints then I’ll look to recoup my expenses and nothing more.

Give it some thought people, are your kids at that age where you want to remember them, are your parents getting wrinkly and interesting, do you have a wedding coming up and want some alternative candid shots (please still hire a pro it’s your special day after all) do you just fancy an afternoon having a giggle while I phaff about trying to look moody and cool.

My main passion is for Black and White but will experiment with whatever your needs may be.  

Please pass the word out to your friends and family and get in touch via rantingmrbunnychow@gmail.com and we’ll make a plan.

I look forward to the rush.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

LightBox Tutorial.

this has got to be my next project.

Many thanks to Nick Exposed, you really should check out his blog and some of his daily photo posts.

He’s way more talented than me.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow