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  1. Dave Spencer

    Canon 5D Mark III

    It seems that the D800 lab results are pretty astounding. http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Public ... erformance At the end of the day, none of these factors matter a great deal to the final image, but higher quality kit is a pleasure to work with.
  2. Dave Spencer

    D700 or D800 ??

    With the D700, using the MBD80 battery grip and NiCads I can get around 11 fps. I suspect the D800 would be similar. I have no idea why Nikon sell themselves short on fps figures. By the way, I have no interest in HD video, so I can`t really help you much. Maybe you should stick with the D700...
  3. Dave Spencer

    Got snow?

    I live half way up a hill in N Wales and had squat so far. I like the third pic, George.
  4. Dave Spencer

    Help With Camera Settings

    Quetzalcoatl, I have sent you a PM. Regards, Dave.
  5. Dave Spencer

    New toy - EOS550D, now with photos.

    Is it not better to get the exposure right first time, without having to post process? I occassionally overexpose/underexpose for effect, but there is no substitute for getting it "right" with a camera in your hand, as opposed to a mouse. With modern camera sensors, this should be a relative...
  6. Dave Spencer

    Sagittaria flower

    I love the flow and textures of the grassy look, George. Regards, Dave.
  7. Dave Spencer

    [DISCUSS] Aquascaping and Photography

    GF asked: Personally, I can think of a million and one things I would rather photograph. This probably comes as a result of the genre of photography that I prefer above all else, which is hard hitting B + W photojournalism, such as that carried out by Don McCullin in Biafra or Philip Jones...
  8. Dave Spencer

    Trying to improve my landscapes for my tuscan holiday

    To be honest, they are quite good, John. Having the path leading the eye in the image, and then actually having a point of interest at the end of the path (the tree and the farm) show you have a fairly natural eye for this type of composition. Too many images seems to have lead in lines that...
  9. Dave Spencer

    Photography myths by Paul Timpa

    I agree with most of what he says, although he doesn`t cover the whole full frame/ISO issue very well. Ask anyone who takes wedding pictures in a church where flash is not permitted, whether they prefer the ISO performance of full frame or cropped. Full frame loses out on reach, but comes in to...
  10. Dave Spencer

    Anyone into vintage photography?

    The Minolta X300 was my first camera. It was pretty much manual everything as far as I remember. I treated myself to one when I was posted to Germany, but only used it for a couple of years. The, after that, I never took a picture other than a holiday snap shot again for another twenty years...
  11. Dave Spencer

    Tanks on Film

    Metering green grass usually gives good results, so try it on a green leaf of one of your plants and see what that gives you. Dave.
  12. Dave Spencer

    Studio lighting

    There is no doubt that studio lights are the way to go for this type of photography. The only reason I haven`t bothered with any myself is because I wouldn`t get the use out of them, or would feel a little pressured in to taking portraits to get the usage out of them. Mark`s photos of his tanks...
  13. Dave Spencer

    Which one ?

    One thing to bear in mind is that whilst you may upgrade your camera from time to time, a lens is for life, not just for Christmas. Get it right first time. :thumbup: Dave.
  14. Dave Spencer

    Nikkor Micro 60mm f2.8 AF-S OR Micro 85mm f3.5 AF-S

    PM I wouldn`t say that no VR was a con for the 60mm. A lens of that focal length shouldn`t need it, and plenty of people switch VR off for macro work. I leave my VR switched off for all uses, and only use it when shutter speed dictates its use. Dave.
  15. Dave Spencer

    Nikkor Micro 60mm f2.8 AF-S OR Micro 85mm f3.5 AF-S

    Re: Nikkor Micro 60mm f2.8 AF-S OR 85mm AF-S The 85mm is a bit of an underperformer for a Nikkor prime, assuming you are talking about the f3.5 micro. There are a host of different Nikkor 85mm lenses. The 60mm is considered good, but inferior to the Nikkor 105mm f2.8 micro, which is the one I...
  16. Dave Spencer

    St Kilda International Sea Port

    Nice and dramatic, if a little over processed for me. It seems that you are in an ideal place for real wintry stuff. Dave.
  17. Dave Spencer

    Some recent work (Pic Heavy)

    There are some lovely pics here, John. Dave.
  18. Dave Spencer

    Nikon D3000 Any Good?

    One word of advice, pest control, if I may. Firing off tons of shots (known as spray and pray) really isn`t the best way to learn how to take photographs. Give thought to what you are taking pictures of all the time. Glad to hear you are having fun with the camera, though! Photography is the...
  19. Dave Spencer

    Camera Suggestions

    I would take what Ken Rockwell says with a huge pinch of salt! :? Dave.
  20. Dave Spencer

    Competition Win.

    Sorry for the late reply. I have been away on a course for a few days. George, this was one I already had, and have always been happy with, as it reflects the type of photography I like. I almost never entered it though, despite the fact that the image reflected the topic of the competition...
  21. Dave Spencer

    Competition Win.

    Thanks for the words. John, I shall be donating half to Cancer Reasearch UK (my mother has been through two cases of breast cancer), and arthritis reasearch UK (arthritis was the bane of Alison`s mum`s life. The picture is one I have already posted here. I nearly didn`t send it, as it doesn`t...
  22. Dave Spencer

    Competition Win.

    I have just been told that I won the AEP "Power in a Picture" photography competition. AEP stands for Association of Electricity Producers. T Anyway, I get to donate £1000 to a charity of my choice, I win a camera and two tickets to the FA Cup Final. I also get an expenses paid overnight stop...
  23. Dave Spencer

    Camera Suggestions

    I wasn`t having dig at you, Simon. It just makes me laugh that all these "professionals" like to say the gear isn`t important, when they use nothing but top quality gear. It is a bit like saying the car isn`t important in F1. It may not make the person a better driver, but it makes them faster...
  24. Dave Spencer

    Camera Suggestions

    People love to say that the camera doesn`t matter, yet they all have several grands worth of gear, and wouldn`t dream of using a G series Canon ahead of a full frame, medium or large format. I wouldn`t be swapping my D700 for anything for weddings inside a church, no flash and a 200mm lens...
  25. Dave Spencer

    What would be a great DSLR for fish/aquarium photography?

    Re: What would be a great DSLR for fish/aquarium photography I feel the same about Canon. It is just what you get used to. Both Canon and Nikon, plus everyone else for that matter, have ridiculously complicated menus. I like my current Nikon because I can alter anything I want to without...
  26. Dave Spencer

    What would be a great DSLR for fish/aquarium photography?

    Re: What would be a great DSLR for fish/aquarium photography Buying a camera to photograph tanks is a bit of a narrow view. Photography is a very diverse hobby, so you may want to think of other uses for a camera when making your decision. Ultimately, as Clive says, any one of the cameras you...
  27. Dave Spencer

    Nick Brandt

    Whilst I admire the technical difficulties associated with wild life photography, it is not really a genre that grabs me. This guy, however, takes it to a new level, for me, by stripping away any distractions and putting animals in their environment. http://www.nickbrandt.com/Category.cfm? ...
  28. Dave Spencer

    For You Insecty/Macroey Types.

    Here is something I stumbled across on Flickr. Apparently, there is a lot of tips and advice in his posts. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordv/ Dave.
  29. Dave Spencer

    Macro lens for Nikon D70

    I did some macro work for my company, photographing blade damage on a gas turbine. Even with a tripod and still target, MF was the best method. We all clearly have different methods that work for us, and are prepared to change the way we operate to meet the specific situation, whether it be...
  30. Dave Spencer

    Macro lens for Nikon D70

    Try this, Luis. I haven`t read it, so don`t know if it is of any use. http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d70/ni ... -guide.pdf http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d70/d7 ... .htm#index I can only take Ken Rockwell in small doses. :lol: As for books on how to take photographs, I find them all...
  31. Dave Spencer

    Macro lens for Nikon D70

    I have the AF-S micro Nikkor 105mm 2.8, which is optically beautiful when just used as straight forward prime lens, but it isn`t cheap. Ironically, I have hardly ever used it for macro photography, but manual focussing is usually the order of the day for this type of photography. Try looking...
  32. Dave Spencer

    Showcase of Beautiful Photography - Smashing Magazine

    Mmmm.....all very pretty, but not my kind of thing. Maybe I am a bit snobbish, but overdone HDR leaves me cold. Dave.
  33. Dave Spencer

    Canon 500mm f/4 L

    So that`s why you took the missus to Dubrovnik, you old Latino smoothie. Good to see you enjoying your hard earned, John. That`s what it is for. Dave.
  34. Dave Spencer

    Home Printing

    John, I was on the verge of buying the Canon Pixma Pro 9500 II, or the Epson R2880 (Epson appear to be the choice for B+W) before I decided that I couldn`t justify the cost. Make no mistake John, the running costs of the printers mentioned in this thread will be high, especially if you buy top...
  35. Dave Spencer

    Post Processing - getting rid of distortion

    Of course, the subject is the only thing that really matters with an image. One of the most highly acclaimed images of all time is overexposed with a soft focus. My opinion is that if an image relies on the focus, dynamic range etc. then it will be a good picture at best, but nothing more. How...
  36. Dave Spencer

    Canon 350D

    Bear in mind, Aaron, there is no such thing as a bad histogram. Here is an example from a photography web site. Some of the best photos occur with the camera to your eye, and the shutter button under your index finger, and nothing else. Dave.
  37. Dave Spencer

    Dead camera what to get?

    These disappear on the D300 upwards. :D They are replaced with a button for ISO, WB plus other useful buttons such as bracketing. It is just a shame that I had to spend £1700 for a camera body with a sensor the size of my Minolta X300 from back in the 80s. Dave.
  38. Dave Spencer

    Dead camera what to get?

    Personally, I am really going off modern DSLRs. Companies seem to make them ridiculously overcomplicated, with all their menus and sub menus. Fortunately, my camera has everything I need on some button or wheel somewhere on the outside. This makes it simpler to use than my Nikon D40, which I...
  39. Dave Spencer

    Photographs and Printing

    I have only had a brief look, but it looks like a good place for canvas printing. Good luck! Dave.
  40. Dave Spencer

    Jenny Wren shot

    Aren`t Wrens notoriously difficult to photograph, John? Dave.
  41. Dave Spencer

    Wedding Photographer?

    I will have done a couple by then, although using the title "professional" will be stretching things a bit. Stu Worrall could be one to contact.
  42. Dave Spencer

    Flickr link (help Please)

    Do you mean like the one in my sig, John? Dave.
  43. Dave Spencer

    long tailed tit & goldfinch plus bewick swan in flight

    Re: long tailed tit & goldfinch I remember seeing little groups of Long Tailed Tits in my back garden when I lived near Aylesbury. Lovely little birds with a touch of pink. As soon as I get a chance, I will be stalking Badgers, Jays and Pied Wagtails in my back garden. We also get a lot of...
  44. Dave Spencer

    A Subset of Sublime Subtropic Sunsets

    Nice to have you back, Clive, and good to see you haven`t been wasting your time. :thumbup: Dave.
  45. Dave Spencer

    pearling bubble.

    Having your photos printed opens up a whole new level in image quality. Images that are only seen on a monitor don`t come close to the look of the image once it is printed. I was due to buy a Canon Pixma 9500, but the cost of moving house soon put paid to that. :( I am, however, in the process...
  46. Dave Spencer

    A Genius at Work.

    That is a shame, Steve. I recently saw an exhibition by Philip Jones Griffiths, and seeing the prints is a real treat that isn`t conveyed on a monitor. This is why I am saving up for a quality printer. Dave.
  47. Dave Spencer

    A Genius at Work.

    I find landscape photography quite like aquascaping in a lot of ways. It isn`t too difficult to produce something nice, but quite difficult to elevate the standard above this. The landscape picture market is flooded with some very nice work, as is aquascaping, relatively speaking, but very...
  48. Dave Spencer

    A Genius at Work.

    Here is a little something for you landscape photographers out there: http://www.silberstudios.tv/previous-sh ... dams-home/ Dave.
  49. Dave Spencer

    Best Snow pic

    Love the dog, Sam! Well, having spent all my time driving in the snow to and from work, I finally managed to find the time to capture someting. This is in a field near my home. Dave.
  50. Dave Spencer

    Best Snow pic

    I don`t know about JPEG, but shooting in RAW always produces a colour image for download, even if you have B+W selected in camera. B+W is my preferred medium, but I still shoot colour in camera, and convert later. Whenever I take an image, I take it with B+W in mind. Dave.
  51. Dave Spencer

    Best Snow pic

    Quit all this HDR stuff and start using ND grads you bunch of lazy gets! :lol: That upside down baby seal could possibly make you a few quid Caroline. The eye contact is fantastic. Dave.
  52. Dave Spencer

    Bird pics

    I like this one a lot, John. Dave.
  53. Dave Spencer

    10-20mm lens for full-tank shots?

    It is an awesome lens George, and worth every penny. The 12-24mm is a DX (cropped) lens, so I bought the 14-24mm f2.8 to get the full wide angle benefit of a full frame sensor. It is my most used lens, and one I will use for as long as I am still in to photography. I should have a tank or two to...
  54. Dave Spencer

    Do you ever...

    I have had a few people on Flickr ask to use my photos, but I have never checked on Google to see if anyone is using them without my knowing. Some have been used in PFK and AquaJournal, which are both major and pleasant surprises to me (none of my scapes, though :lol: ). Dave.
  55. Dave Spencer

    Camera Not Working - Canon EOS 300D

    It`s a Canon! :thumbdown: Dave.
  56. Dave Spencer

    My first cover?

    Any chance you can get me a signed copy George, so I can sell it on eBay for a couple of large ones? Congratualtions. Dave.
  57. Dave Spencer

    My First HDR

    Sorry Dan, but I really struggle to appreciate HDR images. :thumbdown: Dave.
  58. Dave Spencer

    My first photo contest

    Nice one squire! I can`t get over the snobbery of some people who still desperately hang on to shooting film. Don`t they know that an awful lot of digital people have converted over from film? Personally, I would never go back to film again, having spent several years working with Ilford FP4...
  59. Dave Spencer

    photo shop

    I use Lightroom 2 and CS3. It`s a shame you are a Mac user, John. Dave.
  60. Dave Spencer

    Holiday Photos

    It would be nice to see more of the spider web in the yellow flower picture. A true photographer would have a spray bottle on him for such an occasion. :lol: Some very nice pics you have there. Dave.
  61. Dave Spencer

    Mullion Cove - handheld landscapes

    JPEGs are used sometimes for ease of use, file size, most programs can handle them and so on. I don`t do a great deal of PS work, partly because I don`t know a great deal about it, but mostly because I don`t enjoy processing pics a great deal. What I have found out is that you can push RAW files...
  62. Dave Spencer

    Mullion Cove - handheld landscapes

    Ten minutes with the lasso tool and using levels on CS3. There sure weren`t many pixels to work with, so some of the tone separation is very blocky, especially in the sky....and you have dirt on your sensor :D . Still, it is not as dirty as mine. :( Dave.
  63. Dave Spencer

    Mullion Cove - handheld landscapes

    This is a prime candidate for a nice moody B+W George. Convert to grayscale, lassoo the sky and adjust the levels to darken it down. I would even consider sticking it on my wall. :thumbup: Haunted hotel on a cliff....good stuff. Dave.
  64. Dave Spencer

    B&W Cornish landscapes

    I like the surfing pic most. It has a lot of interest in it. I am glad I`m not the only one that photographs old wooden gates. Old doors with flaking paint are a favourite of mine, too. :geek: Dave.
  65. Dave Spencer

    Feedback.

    I am very much with you on the power of B+W photography. I recently saw an exhibition of work by Philip Jones Griffiths, and the images would lose an awful lot if they were colour. B+W landscapes or colourful images such as flowers does bring an extra degree of difficulty to taking the image...
  66. Dave Spencer

    Recomendations for online Camera gear.

    Are you after a Canon lens Graeme? What f stop are you looking for? Dave.
  67. Dave Spencer

    PPForums

    It seems to be very car based, Gaz. Are petrol heads the target audience for the forum? Dave.
  68. Dave Spencer

    Waddington Airshow 2009

    AWACS - Airborne Warning And Control System. :D I have flown in four of the aircraft types you have shown - The AWACS, Tristar, Hawk and Chinook. Dave.
  69. Dave Spencer

    Waddington Airshow 2009

    This is called the Rotodome. I have been inside it once or twice. It is not permitted to operate the mission radar on the ground, but we could switch on the IFF and other systems (to complicated for a Sooty like myself to understand), and watch aircraft taking off from Coningsby. I remember...
  70. Dave Spencer

    Plec Pics

    PS7 doesn`t handle RAW files, unfortunately. Try adjusting the colours using Image/Adjustments from the menu at the top of PS7. I used to process my JPEGS on PS7, and it is a fairly powerful program for processing. Since I switched to RAW, I have had to start using CS3. Dave.
  71. Dave Spencer

    Plec Pics

    There are some nice captures, but you need to look at experimenting with the camera`s white balance. All the pictures have a very yellow cast. You may want to try for a sharper focus too. The fish have been nicely framed though. You have far more patience than me for photographing fish tanks...
  72. Dave Spencer

    camera people

    More megapixels is something of a myth. Buy an entry level DSLR from one of the main manufacturers and you will be fine. Dave.
  73. Dave Spencer

    Summer evening walk.

    OK then, "no gear and no idea". :lol: Graeme, you set them up, and I`ll stick them in the back of the net. :lol: Dave.
  74. Dave Spencer

    A Subset of Sublime Subtropic Sunsets

    That`s a terrific series of photos Clive. At the moment, I think I would go for the more subtle colours of the first one, but I`ll have a proper look on my monitor when I get home, instead of relying on this crappy one at work. Dave.
  75. Dave Spencer

    How to shoot HDR?

    That is a decent attempt Aaron! I`m not sure about all those gimmicky houses in your aquascape though. The HM bush to the left looks really healthy. :D Dave.
  76. Dave Spencer

    Shooting tanks with off camera flash?

    Lencarta studio lighting used to be really cheap on eBay, but since they got some really good reviews they have bumped up the prices. Their gear is wireless though. Dave.
  77. Dave Spencer

    Action Photography - Speedway

    1 and 3 are the best IMO. These two actually show the markings of the corner, which help to confirm that the bikers are cornering (as if it wasn`t obvious). There are some nice colours and the main subject is sharp. The focus on the second shot is a little soft. A few judges at the camera club...
  78. Dave Spencer

    The Duchess of Sutherland

    The camera club I am a member of is full of steam enthusiasts. They hire an engine out every year and have all day travelling on it and photographing it. Dave.
  79. Dave Spencer

    Photographic Opportunism.

    Clive, you are a clever bloke. I assume you are aware that if you turn your underwear inside out you can get another month`s worth of wear from them. 8) George, I take it you are a real whizz with the clone stamp and healing tools? Aaron, if you want to get in to photography, and especially...
  80. Dave Spencer

    Photographic Opportunism.

    Cheers George. Even 5 mins on CS3 is a lot for me if I`m not converting to B+W. :oops: Aaron, the first pic is on a misty, dewy morning. Maybe your monitor needs calibrating. :lol: Dave.
  81. Dave Spencer

    Photographic Opportunism.

    Thanks for an excellent critique George. I have some shots that are just the towers and some that are of just the paper mill. The tower shots were OK, but the emissions from the stack interfered with the sky, and the shots of the paper mill in isolation had the power lines running across them...
  82. Dave Spencer

    Photographic Opportunism.

    Cheers Tony and Caroline. The third one is my favourite too. :D I was outside (should have been working) taking the pics and watching the light get more and more dramatic. Once the Sun was below the mill building things died off a bit. Dave. EDIT: Cheers Thomas
  83. Dave Spencer

    Photographic Opportunism.

    Cheers Clive. Isn`t it about time we saw another tank from you, mate? Dave.
  84. Dave Spencer

    Photographic Opportunism.

    Over the past two months I have been at work, with precious little time for aquascaping and photography. There was little I could do about the aquascaping, and a CO2 blunder left me without a tank for the IAPLC. However, I decided to make the most of a bad situation and decided to start...
  85. Dave Spencer

    Nikon D40

    CeeBee, if you take 50 shots and they all work, you are not trying hard enough. We all have hard drives clogged up with rubbish. Dave.
  86. Dave Spencer

    Nikon D40

    Hi CeeBee, I upgraded from my D40, but I still find a use for it. It is nice and small for a DSLR, with a decent sized screen. Dave.
  87. Dave Spencer

    Monitor calibration?

    I have just had a go with the GretagMacbeth Eye One Match 3. The colours didn`t seem to change much, but the brightness of the screen did. Dave.
  88. Dave Spencer

    Moss'gumi

  89. Dave Spencer

    Who needs plants, anyway!?

    The bokeh should be quality, too! Dave.
  90. Dave Spencer

    Who needs plants, anyway!?

    First no CO2, and now no plants. You are in serious danger of being booted of this forum, sir. :lol: Dave.
  91. Dave Spencer

    what photo packages?

    I do the majority of processing in Lightroom 2, plus a bit in CS3. Lightroom 2 is a fantastic programme, in my opinion. Using vibrance saturates the less vibrant colours, but leaves the more vibrant alone, so you don`t lose any detail. Dave.
  92. Dave Spencer

    Restoring an old forge - Photos.

    You are a hard taskmaster, Clive. :lol: Steve, your pics scream B+W to me. Dave.
  93. Dave Spencer

    How to shoot HDR?

    Yes. Aperture priority means that it is the shutter speed being changed. Just wanted to make sure. :D Dave.
  94. Dave Spencer

    How to shoot HDR?

    If you adjust the aperture between each exposure, you are changing the depth of focus. You need this to be the same for all your images, and adjust the exposure via the shutter speed. Dave.
  95. Dave Spencer

    Advice on a camera...

    I agree with Clive. It`s either or either. I now have a Nikon D700, but I still carry my D40 around with me everywhere, as it is so small. If you know a few Nikon users, you may be able to borrow some lenses off them. Dave.
  96. Dave Spencer

    How to shoot HDR?

    Hope I`m not teaching you to suck eggs Aaron, but you are bracketing by shutter speed and not aperture? Dave.
  97. Dave Spencer

    How to shoot HDR?

    Personally, I think a lot of people overdo HDR. For me, the best HDR images leave you wondering whether the image is HDR or just excellent exposure. Photomatix is great for HDR, whereas CS3 is preety poor. Dave.
  98. Dave Spencer

    My new Frogfish :D

    There was a guy on TFF that keeps Frogfish. It was Andywg I think, but he is banned now. Dave.
  99. Dave Spencer

    My new Frogfish :D

    I can`t see the images, but I know Frogfish are seriously awesome fish. Dave.
  100. Dave Spencer

    something a little different - Triptych fish picture

    No need to show off. :lol: Dave.
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