Using Old Manual Focus Lenses on a DSLR

If you’ve bought your new DSLR with a kit lens, it will do a good ‘general purpose’  job.

However most aren’t that ‘fast’ i.e. they have fairly small minimum apertures (f3.5 to f5.6 for a 15-85mm Canon), so for isolating a subject with narrow depth of field and nice ‘bokeh’ they’re not great.

This post shows a way to get that ‘look’ without spending a fortune.

Shallow Depth of Field – Helios 85mm f2

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Taming a DSLR in the Wild

This post shows one way to set up a DSLR for simple everyday operation which I hope you find useful. I use these settings as a default, changing as required.

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Shooting Gargoyles

This is an odd title for a post I’ll admit. Let me explain.

Funfair Gargoyle + Lensbaby

In need of a photographic theme to run alongside general stock photography, a friend suggested that church gargoyles would be a good subject. As Dorset is packed full of medieval churches, it went into the ‘work in progress’ pile to be added to every time I drove past some likely looking subject.

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Shooting in Autumn Fog

Some days, photography is hard work. On others, the light and weather are truly magical and images present themselves so frequently you can hardly keep up.

One day last year I was lucky to have a free day when really heavy fog covered Dorset and Wiltshire. Photographs of foggy scenes sometimes seem a bit disappointing – there’s never as much fog in the shot as you saw (or at least percieved there to be) and the results aren’t quite what you wanted. However this day was very foggy, lit by some weak sunshine which made all the difference as it filtered through the gloom and gave an eerie diffuse light.

Heading (slowly) up onto the downland with a Canon 60D and the 15-85mm standard zoom, opportunities were everywhere. These are some of the best ones divided into two post processing categories. All shot in raw (as always) and converted with Canon software.

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An Adventure With Expired Film

When inspiration is lacking for shooting stock (this happens frequently), I like to try something different – new processing techniques, Lensbabys, infrared, a different type of film –  anything really.

So this is a short post for anyone who has wanted to see what happens if you shoot expired colour film in a cheap 35mm compact camera. Something of a ‘Lomography’ type experiment but without a Lomo camera I suppose.

Funfair Ride – Distorted Colours

An Hour with a Venetian Mask

Some subjects are just mesmerizing – and Venetian Masks are one of them.

I found one which we bought on honeymoon (several years ago), and ‘put it to one side’ for a wet Sunday afternoon.

Venetian 1

The agency I shoot for always like stuff on the ‘dark side’ of things (they do a lot of crime novel covers), so I tried a few different angles, being especially attracted to light coming in from behind the mask through the eyes. Maybe it was near Halloween….

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Lensbaby Zoneplate vs Pinhole

One Lensbaby lens I haven’t used much is the pinhole, so I thought I’d give it another try for this short post (inspired by

This comes with the Zoneplate on the same attachment, but at f177 the pinhole is probably the ultimate ‘slow’ lens.

Zoneplate Doing it’s Stuff

Since it’s sunny today in Dorset I thought I’d do a comparison of the two. All shots on a Canon 60D, shot in raw with centre weighted metering, and for the comparison, converted to JPEG, auto levels and colour then resized.

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