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Most Photogenic Religion and Other Curiosities

September 10th, 2013 No Comments

Our semi-weekly tri-pack takes in a camera, a gallery, and an interesting news post.

Brand New from Olympus

Photography sites are abuzz today with Olympus’s new offering: a 16.1 MP Four-Thirds.  That’s the OM-D E-M1.  The big selling point is super-fast AF, named ‘Dual Fast AF.’  In addition, as long as you have a ‘Regular’ or Micro Four-Thirds lens mounted, the camera can focus on any one of 37 phase-detection focus points or focus by 81 contrast-detection target areas.

The camera has a few other upgrades from the previous model; these include an improved grip and improved EVF.  Philip Ryan has a comprehensive overview in Popular Photography which covers such improvements while Chris Cheesman’s summary in Amateur Photographer touches on the high points, coupled with an insight and a conjecture.

The OM-D E-M1 has a wonderful mix of necessary and customary pro functions plus enthusiast features, such as ‘Art Filters.’

World Photographic Cup

FIFA and ICC, watch out: football and cricket ain’t the only sports in town boasting a World Cup.  Another ‘Federation’ has announced another ‘World Cup’, this one for photogsZoltan Arva-Toth has the scoop on Photography Blog.

The sports model extends to the fact that competition will be by way of national teams!   (Coloured jerseys mandatory? Arva-Toth omits this key information.)  The call for entries has already been met by nineteen countries.  Oz is going to send a team.  (Our insider reports say that Shane Warne is arguing with the AIPP that he should be captain.)

We’ll know whether or not this is a real World Cup on finals day simply by observing the winning team’s behaviour: will they take victory laps and squirt champagne all over the place? 

Most Photogenic Religion

Some religious denominations are just more photogenic than others and the drama of Pentecostalism makes it a strong contender for ‘Most Photogenic Religion.’  Damaso Reyes’s photo-story on Pentecostalism on the Leica Blog is proof of this assertion.  Trances, shakes and wailing are in evidence.  

This gallery is brilliant photojournalism that brings a good few ‘decisive moments.’  Don’t neglect to notice some astute use of light (there’s a photo of a woman and a boy, each in religious fervour, but light is treated or employed very differently in these photographs such that each ‘light’ somehow suits the singular fervour of the subject).  

There’s a funny parallel at work in this photo-story: Reyes explains, “Pentecostals believe in the primacy of the direct relationship between god and the believer.”  Well, his photos get the viewer ‘inside the skin’ of his subjects, thus he creates something of a “primacy of the direct relationship” between his subjects and the viewer.


‘C’ is for Contest, ‘C’ is for Coolpix

November 3rd, 2012 No Comments
Nikon Coolpix series

Nikon Coolpix series (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ‘Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award’ competition is a mouthful of a name – and it has every right to be, as it is brimful with the green stuff.  It has a humongous prize pot of $389,000 and the grand prize itself is a whopping $120,000!

Check out HIPA’s website and see if you think you think you want to try your luck in any of the four categories.

You know there’s going to be lots of intense competition so perhaps you want to try something that’s not quite so competitive but still has a big fat prize?  Try ePhotozine’s Competition which has a daily theme and gives away four Nikon Coolpix cameras per month.  

Did I write “not quite so competitive”?  Oops— scratch that!

Regardless of whether or not you enter either competition, it pays to at least look at the entries, especially winning ones, because the very act of doing so will allow you to learn something.  Because, for most contests, it costs nothing to enter, you may as well match your skills and take a shot at winning . . . say, a Coolpix!   

Talk of Nikon’s Coolpix, is this the new face of that simple, snapshot camera?  

Some ‘enthusiast’ cameras pack in so many useful features and impressive specs that they allow amateur photographers to grow and progress toward the next level.  In similar fashion this Coolpix, the P7700, would allow the novice photographer to grow and progress toward the next level, that of an amateur or enthusiast – but with a different twist:—

The P7700 is not crammed with different exposure modes; rather, it has the four traditional exposure modes from the days of yore (plus a programme mode).  This limitation will let – or make – the serious novice learn the principles of exposure.  It also has interchangeable lenses (of course), a vario-swivel LCD screen, EV compensation, and more useful features.

At the same time, it does have separate dials for ‘Scene Modes’ and ‘Effects’ which too will let the newbie continue on his/her learning curve.  This is a smart design – a smart design for a smart camera series that thoroughly deserves its reputation and popularity.


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One Little Post, So Much Stuff!

October 29th, 2012 No Comments

Even as Fuji not only makes a respectable line of digital cameras but even stamps its own distinct brand identity on them and goes ‘high fashion’, it still supports film! 

In conjunction with two other entities, Fuji has announced a photo contest for students.  Only photographs that have been taken using film may be entered.  Though this contest is open only to photography students in the U.K., it is newsworthy worldwide because of the ‘film’ part.  Film is not dead!

Our HDR post on our sister site got lots of views so here is a collection of beach HDR photographs.  Some are in good taste while others are over the top; some are perfectly realized, others verge on the unnatural.  Enjoy the mini-gallery.

Heard about Hurricane Sandy?  Look at her from space, courtesy of a NASA satellite.  There is sooo much a photographer can learn from this awesome image and it’s so obvious that surely one doesn’t need to belabour the point . . . 

From the space to the earth thence from the earth to the sun:– Here’s a staggering collection of photographs of this year’s solar eclipse.  Among the many wonderful photographs of the eclipse itself is one that works in the eclipse into an image that is a lovely photograph in its own right.

Caution: do not photograph solar eclipses unless you (a) know how to do so safely and (b) know what you’re doing, otherwise you risk permanent blindness.

In closing, the Canon EOS M just launched in the U.S. at a sub-$1000 price and is worth taking a look at.  This APS-C mirrorless has 18 MPs, builtin HDR, Night Scene mode and more sharp features.  

This is one of those cameras that make for a very good starter camera for the beginner yet allow him/her to ‘grow’ as a photographer, not only because of the full complement of appropriate Canon lenses but also because of the advanced features and specs of this EOS.


Two Major Contests and Two *You* Can Enter!

October 25th, 2012 No Comments

Amateurs can not only learn something about the craft by participating in a photo contest, they can ‘measure’ themselves.  So why not enter one?!  You may not win it even if you follow the guidelines I had posted our BPro sister site in National Geographic’s Traveler Contest – How to Win it! but an honourable mention wouldn’t be too bad.

Let’s look at a few contests, two that have just finished and two that are accepting entries. 

Serif’s PhotoPlus Photography Competition is a big one and earlier this month the winning photo was announced.  The winner, C.K. Ng of Indonesia, took home an enviable assortment of first-rate equipment worth £2,000 plus subscriptions to two magazines!

The winning photograph is simply stunning and worth a look (scroll down for a higher res image).  It is one of those unusual situations where a front and centre composition dead-on is the best choice, albeit not without posing a hazard to life and limb.  Some more excellent entries are here.

Staying in Asia – near Russia’s Lake Baikal to be precise – we look at Vladimir Medvedev.  He won top prize and ‘best portfolio’ prize in BBC’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest earlier this year.  

Available online are six of Medvedev’s images (not including a self-portrait).   Mountain goats on a snow-clad hillside and a porcupine against the backdrop of a lake and mountain are two beautiful wildlife photographs.  But continue viewing this mini-portfolio and you’ll be rewarded with a couple of truly breathtaking ‘art photos’.

So now your interest is whetted and you want to enter a photo contest?  Try these two; they’re accepting entries.

You have a good chance of getting somewhere in this contest because it’s awarding 120 recognitions besides nine cash prizes with a top prize of $3,226!  The catch is that you’ll have to be in Shanghai or have photographs of Shanghai’s historic or cultural spots in order to enter it.

Much easier to enter but having virtually nothing for a prize is an intriguing themed contest, In the Dark.  The possibilities are manifold – streetwalkers, city lights, nocturnal animals, night shift workers, graveyards, vampires, werewolves . . . .

Happy Clicking!


Brilliant Prints – Valentines Day Competition – Win your own canvas print

February 1st, 2008 No Comments

To celebrate Valentine’s Day we are launching our first ever competition. They will hopefully become a regular feature of our blog – so make sure you check back regularly!

The Challenge

We have just posted a tutorial that shows how to use the free photo editing program picnik to create your own Valentines Day image.

For our first ever competition we’ll be asking you to create your own Valentine’s Day image (whether you use Picnik or any other photo-editing program). The content, style and effect are all open to your interpretation (as long as you keep within our theme)

Send it to us at and the winning image will be printed on an 11 x 14 inch canvas and express posted to you in times for Valentine’s Day.

The Rules

  1. All images submitted must be your own work
  2. You must consent to having your image posted on this blog in the next competition post. Your images will not be used in any other way.
  3. All entries must be received by February 8th 2008 5pm AEST.
  4. The winner will be contacted by February 10th.
  5. The prize will only be shipped to an Australian address.

Please direct any questions to

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