Monday, 30 November 2009

End of the Line

GRD III, f2.8, 2 sec., ISO 200, RAW

Got back to London this morning and back to the rain here. It did stop raining in the afternoon and evening though so I could take a few pictures on my way back.
Since I had the GRD III with me, I decided to use it for some long exposures, these work much better now and are a lot more usable than the smudgy results one gets from the GRD I.
I used a strong sepia photo filter in Photoshop for the image as I did for the one yesterday to give it an older look. I also wanted to have some noise and shot the picture at ISO 200 but added more noise in Photoshop since I felt the ISO 200 noise was not enough.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Night in Geneva

GRD III, f1.9, 1/30, ISO 800, RAW

Did not take many pictures today, have not been in the mood or too inspired. Geneva is nice and has enough photo opportunities but the weather has been a bit dull and grey so not great for photography.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Montreux Weihnachtsmarkt

After it has been a bit grey and raining yesterday the weather was really nice today. I decided to go to Montreux for a day trip, have been to Geneva already a few times so I wanted to see a different place.

The Christmas Market there was very nice and provided some good photo opportunities that I decided to post a series.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Tree Reflection

GRD III, f2.8, 1/310, ISO 64, RAW
Today, I arrived in Geneva for a long weekend.
This picture might not show it but I like it because it's abstract. The cable is a bit annoying but sometimes you can't do anything about this in photography and removing it in Photoshop would be kind of cheating.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Shallow DOF

GRD III, f1.9, 1/40, ISO 64, RAW

A lot of people like big sensors because they can use shallow DOF with all subjects. With small sensors you have to be quite close but can also get some really shallow DOF. The focus here was on the edge of the tiny mushroom. Small sensors also are great at macro, especially the Ricoh cameras.
This picture shows how close you can get and that sometimes the DOF with a small sensor can be too shallow.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Princess

GRD III, f1.9, 1/25, ISO 800, RAW

Did not take many pictures today. The only ones I tok were of this boat on my way home.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Drawn to the Light

GRD III, f1.9, 1/50, ISO 800, RAW

It is getting dark very early here in the UK so I thought I make use of the fast GRD III lens and go out shooting. With the limited usable high ISO of the GRD III however it was not easy and I could not always use ISO 400.

The GRD III has a very fast lens and a new sensor with imporved high ISO but it is still not a very good low light camera due to excessive banding issues at anything over ISO 400. The only way to work around this is to take the RAW file and boost the black levels a lot and make sure all shadow areas are black without details. This is pretty much unacceptable for a camera in this price range and it shows hat the 4 year old GRD I still has the best IQ, especially at high ISO.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

My Umbrella

GRD, f2.4, 1/30, ISO 400, JPG

Well, not really my umbrella but a umbreelly I saw stuck in the bushes. I thought it was quite funny and decided to take a picture of it.

Since Ricoh announced the GXR, I have not written much on it other than my post on the Wordpress blog. There are different reasons for it but the main reason is that I could not really handle one or see one in person so wold not know what to write other than to repeat the press release. The other reason is that the current two modules are not overly exciting for me and I would need to play around with them to get a better feel for them and see the performance myself.

Everyone is talking about the camera and the announcement gave Ricoh more exposure than all of their announcements in recent years put together. This is very good for them as it will expose more people to the excellent Ricoh cameras.

I hope to get a GXR sample from Ricoh soon, until then I will just read what others have to say since I don't know what to speculate other than this could potentially be either one of the most important developments in digital photography or it could fail big time. In the end I believe it all depends on the modules which will be released for it.
Overall I am quite excited though and can't wait to try the GXR myself.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

On Top Of It

GRD, f5, 1/320, ISO 400, JPG b&w

Today's Ricoforum meet-up got postponed but I still managed to have a small meet-up so it was very nice. It is always interesting to meet people in real life and have a chat.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Starry Night

GRD, f4, 4 sec., ISO 200, JPG b&w

The GRD is not really good, or in better words really bad, at long exposures but since I had it with me it was the only choice for this picture. The result is nice but too smeary due to the noise reduction and hot pixel reduction.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Abwood VIII

GRD, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 400, JPG sepia

After taking lots of pictures in Cuba, I did not take that many here. Somehow I don't know what to take pictures of, it feels like I've taken pictures of everything already.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Night Highway

GRD, f2.4, 1/2, ISO 400, JPG b&w

Always tought of taking a long exposure shot of a motorway and today I gave it a try. I think the GRD I did a very good job at this.

If you have posted any comments on my blogs recently, I will answer all of them over the next days, the last days have been busy catching up with everything.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Looking For The Stars

GRD III, f1.9, 1/8, ISO 100, RAW

I went out for a walk and walked around the Greenwich Observatory. I like taking pictures of the big telescope there, the combination of the yellow telescope and white dome look very nice.

Another reminder about the 3rd Ricohforum meet-up this Saturday. If you are around you should join us even if you have no Ricoh camera, we might have some surprises in light of the GXR announcement.

Monday, 16 November 2009

5 Degrees of Cuba

After flying back to London and trying to get things sorted after the holiday I did not have much time for photography. I decided to set myself a challenge by trying to summarize my experience in Cuba with only 5 pictures and no text.
So here they are, let me know what you think and if there is a need for more text.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Real and Fake

LC1, f2.2, 1/15, ISO 400, JPG, 78mm

One last afternoon in Havana before going to the airport and back to London. The trip here in Cuba was great and I will definitely come back, there is still a lot to see here and to take pictures of.

In the coming days I will update my Dropbox Gallery of the trip so do check back there if you want to see more pictures.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Play Another Tune

GRD, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 100, JPG, 40mm

Back in Havana I decided to take it easy and just walk around using the GRD I only. It was good to get a different approach to things but mostly to leave the heavy and bulky LC1 in the hotel.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Back in Time

GRD, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 200, JPG b&w

The architecture of the houses in Vinales is different from other places in Cuba so a trip there is definitely recommended even if not much else is happening.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Valey of Vinales

LC1, f5, 1/640, ISO 100, JPG, 90mm

Today, I went for a horseride around the Valley of Vinales. It was a great trip, the scenery is amazing. We stopped at a local tobacco farmer who made some of the best Mohitos and also showed how Cigars are made. It was a great trip and well worth doing.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Jesus in his Prehistoric Park

GRD, f4.5, 1/250, ISO 400, JPG b&w

Although I initialy planned to stay only in Havana and Trinidad, people kept recommending a visit to Vinales so I decided to take the 8h taxi journey there.
Vinales is a tiny place surrounded by a fantastic valey with a great landscape. It has again a completely different feel from Havana and Trinidad. There is almost nothing happening but if you like hiking or take a hose ride around the valey it's more than worth the stay there.

If you are in Vinales you should also go and visit Jesus in his Prehistoric Park. He is a great talker and knows a lot to make a very worthwile 30 minutes tour of his park.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Ancon Beach

LC1, f5, 1/100, ISO 100, JPG, 62mm

Ok, I find beach holidays a waste of time and don't like sitting at the beach and baking in the sun. Still, I decided that coming to Cuba I should at least see one of the beaches. While the beaches are very nice it was a horrible experience, there is absolutely nothing to do and unless you have one of the all inclusive badges you can not even buy any drinks. I was glad to leave after only 2h and go to see the national park and the waterfall there.
I don't think I will return to a beach anytime soon.

On a different note, Ricoh has today announced the new GXR 'camera'. You can read my thoughts about it here.

Monday, 9 November 2009


LC1, f4.5, 1/50, ISO 100, JPG, 58mm

Trinidad might be small but walking around takes longer than you might think. I took this shot while walking back from a short visit to the tiny airport.

In the end though everyone returns to the Casa de Musica where bands are playing all through the day.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


LC1, f2.8, 1/800, ISO 100, JPG, 90mm

Today, I went for a walk around Trinidad but also went out of it and walked around the great landscape and to an old abandoned school.
Trinidad might be small but there is still a lot to do and see here. It also seems more happening than Havana with clubs everywhere and people partying more. The downside is that due to the small size you keep running into more tourists.

On a different note. There will be another Ricohforum London meetup on the 21st November, you can find all te details here.
If you are around you should definitely come by, there will be a few surprises and with the rumors of a new Ricoh camera being announced in the next days it should be a very interesting meetup.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Cigar Man

LC1, f3.2, 1/50, ISO 100, JPG, 90mm

Arrived in Trinidad after a 6h bus journey but it was more than worth it. Trinidad is a fantastic place, it feels completely different from Havana though.
Just going for a walk around the cobbled streets is great, people are also different and the pace is slower. The buildings are much better preserved than in Havana so it is nicer to take pictures.

If you come to Cuba make sure you visit Trinidad and while here go to the Restaurant Colonial and ask for 'El Bolo'. He is a real character and can tell you a lot about the place, you can also stay at his house near the historic center of Trinidad.

I have updated my Gallery with pictres from Trinidad, you can find it here.

Friday, 6 November 2009

La Moderna Poesia

LC1, f5, 1/1000, ISO 100, JPG, 34mm

This is my favorite shot from today. I saw the name of the place and the girls walking towards it so knew I had to gt the shot. I almost missed it because of the focus lag and focus priority of the LC1. This is really frustrating but otherwise I think the GRD III and LC1 complement each other very well, if only the LC1 would be lighter and smaller.

Before going off to Trinidad tomorrow I went around Old Havana and to the Capitolio today. There is still so muc to take pictures and explore here but Trinidad should provide plentiful opportunities, too.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Standing in the Rain

LC1, f2.4, 1/100, ISO 100, JPG, 90mm

Today I got wet twice, first in the morning while it was raining, and then again in the afternoon while walking along the Malecon to take pictures of the waves.
In both cases my LC1 and GRD III got quite soaked but kept on going without problems.

This was not my favorite picture from today but being in Cuba for a few days already I had to post a picture of a old car and this I really like. My favorite picture is of the old lady in the yellow raincoat that you can see in my Gallery.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


GRD III, f1.9, 1/140, ISO 400, RAW

Walking around Old Havana is great, there is so much to see and take pictures of. Every day it's different and the people are great.
A lot of life happens outside here, the warm weather and lack of anything to do inside means people are always out and socializing.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Under Che

GRD 3, f2.5, 1/189, ISO 100, JPG

Most pictures you see from Cuba are of colorful buildings, nice cars and smiling people smoking cigars on the beach or in a park. This was what I expected when going to Cuba but the reality is different.
People are poor, the cars and buildings are falling apart and while people do smoke cigars it is not something you see all the time. The smiling people from pictures are indeed smiling because they work for the tourism board.

Cuba is a great country with great people but it suffers from Communism as other countries before it but mostly from the US embargo.

Due to the very slow internet connection and limited time to post I will add my text later and only post the pictures in the coming days.
For more pictures look on my Dropbox Gallery.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Early Morning Call

LC1, f5, 1/500, ISO 100, RAW, 90mm

After the limited photography I could do yesterday, I decided to get up early and start wandering around. The light was very good in the morning and it was also more pleasant than later in the day.

Havana is a fantastic place for photography with the old cars, buildings and the colors everywhere but it is also not easy to avoid taking clichee pictures and staying away from the usual tourist snaps. There is almost too much to take pictures of and for street photography I need to get a better feel for the people and the place, at the moment it's a bit more difficult.

This is one of the pictures I took in the morning, I liked the light and at first only wanted a picture of the guy on the phone but the woman walking past made the picture much better.
The LC1 performs great overall but is heavy to carry around and of limited use when speed is required. The harsh light sometimes is very challenging for the cameras though so I really appreciate having live view to help with the exposure.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Arrived in Cuba

LC1, f2, 1/25, ISO 400, RAW, 28mm
After arriving in Cuba I wanted to get out and take pictures, it was dark already but there were still lots of photo opportunities. Unfortunately I had to sit around and try to sort out the hotelroom.
I still managed to take a few pictures while waiting and after finally sorting the room for the night. Still, with the flight taking up most of the day and the waiting around it was not a good day for photography.

Internet is limited and very slow so updating my blog will be done in batches whenever possible.

You can find the full Cuba Gallery here.