A young starling from yesterday.
To be honest its rare to see just one out there lately, in fact some days its like a scene from Hitchcock’s birds!!
A shot I took yesterday of a young starling.
No not the digital version, but real bound paper notebooks.
When I bought my X-Pro1 from the UK Fuji store part of the package was a free leather bound A5 notebook.
Until I actually had it in my hands I foolishly dismissed it as just another useless freebie, but on looking at it, it started me thinking about actually keeping a photography notebook as I used to many decades ago.
Sadly those old notebooks are long lost thanks to a fire at my parents home, but after teaching myself to write again (I had lost that ability, oh and fountain pens are easiest to write with) I started just putting the odd fact or insight down on paper.
It’s handy to have something to refer back to, or to look at when you need inspiration or a little self advice, or just to remember how you did something
I will be publishing some of the things that end up written in there on this blog as I get time and inspiration to do so.
Keeping this notebook also led to me keeping a hand written journal again, I picked up a nice leather bound/hand made paper one from ebay along with a packet of self adhesive photo corners and a little canon selphy CP740 printer.
The printer can print two images slightly smaller than 3” x 2” with a border on a 6” x 4” postcard.
This means I can now add photographs to the journal so as well as writing a little when I feel able to I can also illustrate what I’m writing by adding photographs I’ve recently taken.
I like the idea that I will have something physical to leave behind for family members to read through, something they can pick up and hold in their hands rather than just google searching me and looking at a screen.
I now think the notebook from Fuji was an excellent freebie and to be honest when this one is full I’ll be buying another 1 or 2 from them to replace it.
Here’s my revised bed rig.
The rig consists of an Opticron BC-2 clamp & centre column (part number 42610 - £32) and a Lensmaster RH-1 gimbal head ( £117.95 inc UK delivery)
The gimbal head has a 3/8th’s to 1/4 adaptor fitted to allow it to fit onto the BC-2.
A huge thanks must go here to Rob at Lensmaster for rigging a head upside down in order to ensure it still worked correctly, something that I’m sure sounded quite crazy when I enquired.
Above my bed I have whats called a “hanging pole” this is to allow disabled people to hold onto a handle to help manoeuvre themselves about in bed.
I hit on the idea of fitting something to it to allow me to fit my camera as hanging over the edge of the bed to operate a tripod was not only very painful but also dangerous as I could have fallen off the bed.
I purchased the BC-2 originally with a tripod head fitted and found that this fitted the hanging pole securely but the tripod head was hard to operate for me and always had movement, it never locked securely where I wanted my lens pointed. I then hit on the idea of using a gimbal head to get past this issue.
As said Rob was brilliant on this and actually rigged up a head clamped to a beam in his workshop to ensure it all operated correctly.
Once it arrived it was just a matter of switching the heads, fitting the arca swiss plates to my lenses and balancing it up, I found it really easy to do myself.
Now I can move the whole camera and any attached lens with just the touch of a finger and its stays where I put it, no more movement or shake at all.
For me its been a game changer, its now easy to set up the 300mm & camera myself and so much easier all round, when not in use I just slide it up to its highest point and lock it in place, to use I just drop it down, fit the lens, add the camera and voila! ready to go.
This rig could be used in its correct orientation in several other ways to help disabled photographers/bird watchers, it could be easily clamped to a wheel chair, window ledge and of course used in a bird hide as intended.
The gimbal head gives extra functionality and its ease of use far outweighs using a standard tripod head or a ball head, its light, buttery smooth to use and when tensioned and balanced correctly stays exactly where you put it every time.
I had to use the fuji x-pro1 to take these shots so put my old Nikon FM on the 300mm f4.5 to demonstrate, it took me 30 seconds to rebalance the system, nice and easy even for me.
If you face limitations with your hobby or your life, think creatively, think outside the box and see each hurdle as a challenge to your ingenuity rather than a brick wall.
With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here’s Space Oddity, recorded on Station. A last glimpse of the World.
Huge thanks in the making of the video to the talented trio of Emm Gryner, Joe Corcoran and Andrew Tidby, plus Evan Hadfield and all at the CSA.
Who would have imagined 44 years ago that art would become reality in such a musical and profound way.
It sends shivers up my spine to watch it and Chris does an admirable job singing it.
I hope David had a huge smile on his face when he saw it