Friday 22nd February 2008

This weeks highlights include:

  • Macro Photography

  • Using Reflectors

  • Comparing Nikon Flash Units

  • Prices of Flash Units across suppliers

  • We take  look at the Redwing Horse Sanctuary Visitor Centres

  • We have compiled a list of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and UK National Parks

  • More, more,  more ........

Our major feature this week is taking a look at macro or micro photography which is all about taking things close up. To different people and companies there is a difference of opinion as to when something is a macro photo. Whilst some manufacturers, like Nikon, only label those lenses which can give a 1:1 ratio as macro, other manufacturers will call their lenses macro if they can do at least a 1:3 ratio.

Place your mouse over the picture to see their conversation

Image was taken with Nikon D300 and Nikon 18-200VR lens at 200mm ISO 400 1/400th f10

Getting in close to things can bring about a new perspective on life and how far you macro will give you pictures of things that you may not of realised existed before, like in the article when you see you can photograph the ball bearing mechanism within the end of a pen tip. Read More ......

When photographing very small items like this it is necessary to throw more light onto the subject to be able to allow the camera to function at apertures that give good depth of field, and this can be achieved by using flash.

This week following on from our comparison looks at Nikon cameras and lenses we compare the different Nikon flash units. Giving you details on each model allowing you to make a decision as to which may be right for you and the type of photography you want to do, as well as looking at the macro flash kits, the R1C1 and R1 and the commander which can be used as part of the creative lighting system. Read More ........

And of course to complete this task there is also the Price Comparison for the flash units across suppliers, which has been added to our reference section.  Read here to see which supplier has the best deal. As with all our previous comparisons this one also shows the you need to do your research prior to purchase as each supplier has a different model at the lowest price. Some will surprise you.

Don't forget Camera Images offers One to One courses on Macro and Flash, from their '3 hour' Quick Start Short - Flash to their full day courses looking at Macro to Micro or the Creative Lighting and Flash Course. While for those who have mastered their cameras and controls and want to concentrate on a single narrow area of interest, Photography Skills have a Macro Masterclass which can either concentrate on your current interests or give you a very wide in depth coverage of macro photography. See the Photography Skills website for details.

Of course another way to get light onto a situation is to use reflectors. Reflectors allow you to target your light source onto the subject, whether you are outside and need to focus the sun or flash on the shadow side or indoors using flash and creative lighting and need to target the light. Reflectors allow you to achieve this without the need for multiple flashes beyond what you already have and therefore more economically. They come in a range of shapes, sizes, textures and functions and in this article the different options are explored together with how you might go about using them.  Read More Now ........

Nikon - Camera  Control Pro 2

Announced some time ago its just starting to become available. UK dealers are also starting to list it now. No instruction manuals for it are yet on any of the Nikon websites around the world. 

So far it appears to be listed at around 130 in the UK, versions from the USA are around 94 (97 including postage).  There is no mention on UK dealer websites of an upgrade version, but upgrades from Capture Control Pro are now available in Germany, and the boxes are in English with upgrade on them, so presumably it's just a matter of time. The upgrade from Germany currently costs 43.81 plus 6 postage.

A 30 day trial version has yesterday appeared on the European website. In the information on the trial version it says it can be used and converted to a live version by putting in the serial number from either a full or upgrade package. The upgrade therefore does appear to be going to be made available here.

Camera Control Pro is the software that allows you to connect your camera to a laptop/computer, and both control the camera from the laptop, and see images immediately taken, we use it for training when we have a tethered camera. It can also be used with a radio base on the camera.

Camera Control Pro 2 is an extended and updated version that is also fully compatible with both the D3/D300 DSLR's and the latest radio unit (WT-4). Live previews and multiple camera operations are thought to be possible. More details from

Capture Control Pro 2 Upgrade

This is the upgrade package currently available in Germany but no so far announced here.

Don't forget the FOCUS ON IMAGING SHOW starts on Sunday in halls 9 and 10 at the NEC Birmingham. Four days of photographic heaven where you can get to see what gizmos and gadgets are on offer as well as getting the chance to preview cameras, lenses, printers, software, papers, inks, organisations and magazines available. It is too late to pre-register now but you can still go along it's just 6 entry fee on the day. Read here for a list of highlights to look out for.

This weeks locations are based around the Redwings Horse Sanctuary charity who have three visitor centres in England where you can go and see the horses, ponies, donkey's and some mules and where they have no photo restrictions, other than you have to keep to the paddock walks and not go in the paddocks themselves. We took the opportunity to visit the one closest to us just over the border in Warwickshire near Oxhill. See our featured location on the Oxhill centre for fuller details on what you may find there and some great photographs of their current residents.

We have also managed to put two further lists together of where you can get out and about and photograph in the beautiful UK countryside. These are the UK National Parks, there are 15 throughout the UK, 10 in England, 3 in Wales and 2 in Scotland. See full list here .......

Also we look at Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as designated and protected by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, which protects the countryside. The wilder more dramatic landscapes became National Parks, the softer and more intensively farmed areas became AONB's. There are currently 40 ANOB's in England and Wales and this list covers the 36 currently in England. We hope to add the Welsh entries soon.

In the News This Week

Nikon D60 NOW available in the UK. Park Cameras have announced that they now have the Nikon D60 in stock. They are currently selling it for 439 for the body only or with the AF-S18-55mm II lens for 489, and with the AF-S 18-55VR for 519, all prices include VAT. See their website for more details.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in cooperation with Nikon have announced their 2008 WWT Photography competition. Photographers or all ages are encouraged to submit their images to any of the nine WWT centres around the UK for a chance to win a share of 5000 of Nikon equipment and the winning photos will be published in the WWT's Waterlife magazine. There are three categories WWT Nikon Photo of the Year, WWT Nikon Junior Photo of the Year and WWT Digiscoping Photo of the year. To see competition rules and terms and conditions visit WWT Nikon Photography Competition 2008 , the main rule however, is that all submitted photos must have been taken at one of the nine WWT centres. Closing date is: 8th September 2008.

Transcend have launched a 32GB USB flash pen drive, called the 32GB Jetflash V60. It's about the size of a AA battery and comes in an assortment of bright colours. It comes with its own Jetflash Elite software suite which can be installed to run directly from the Jetflash drive when you plug it into your computer and has a number of time saving data management functions. It is USB2.0 compliant, plug and play, no external power needed and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Following Polaroid's announcement last year that they were no longer going to be making their instant cameras, they have now announced they are no longer going to make the film, but instead concentrate on its new ventures which include a portable printer for mobile phone images and Polaroid-branded digital cameras.

New Digital Photography TV online channel announced this week. A pilot version of a new online TV channel for photographers is now available to view. This pilot edition covers several subjects, is fast moving and informative. There is no announcement yet as to when the service is proposed to start, and we assume from what we have seen that the idea is to have a 30 minute show available each month. This looks like a good idea and if they can keep the pace up they have with the pilot it will be something worth watching. Take a look at It works well on some of our computers and not on others so probably depends on the browser and add-ons that you have installed.

Other pages in this newsletter

Featured LocationRedwings Oxhill Horse Rescue Centre, Warwickshire One of the three Redwing Horse Rescue Centres (a charity) in England. The first of their centres to be established outside Norfolk (their base). It is home to more than 40 horses and ponies and some donkey's. There is a cafe, gift shop and information centre. It is open all year round and visitors are welcome anytime between 10am and 5pm each day. It is a free day out which children particularly will enjoy. There are no photographic restrictions at any of their sites.

Location Guides:    Ada Cole Memorial Stables (Redwings), Essex

                            Caldecott Rescue Centre (Redwings), Norfolk

                            Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

                            UK National Parks

We will be adding more location guides each week.

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