Monday, November 30, 2009

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Alex added 18 photos to Grand Marina
Nov 29, 2009 6:56:48 PM

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two favourite French films

Lego Black Cabs

Firstly, my apologies, these are "Black Cabs", and so are black, which makes it hard to show details. Hope you can tell what's going on okay.

This is the Mk II, it's very much FX-4 inspired, but as a 4 wide car, this is hard to pull off.

The final result is a mix between a WWII gun tractor and a squished hummer. Still, it does look taxi-ish enough for now.

Here we have my Mk I black cab. It just wasn't rounded enough for my tastes. The rear licence plate too big, and the translucent yellow for the sign was just too hard to see, and too yellow.

I was also disapointed in how slopey the from was.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lego Houses

This is a typical English semi-detatched house, about 100 years old. Judging by the amount of space to the side we can see it's in a more rural location. Very much like my grandparents house for location, however the L shape of each house is more like the ones I grew up in, which was on the edge of town.

This one was intended to be a more modern American house, probably about 30 years old now. Actually, I built this one first, then DW suggested I build the UK homes.

There is a Lego building style called "Micropolis" which is scaled such that a city block is on a 16x16 base, and a car can be made by using a 2x1 "jumper" (plate with single stud) and a 1x1 plate (preferably studless). The American house is a smaller scale than Micropolis, but the UK house would probably be acceptable.

These were quick builds, but unfortunately exhausted my supply of 1x1 slope bricks, so I can't make any more at this scale.

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Does the camera make the photo?

So I was just thinking of photography, and cameras. How does the quality of the camera impact the quality of the photography?

I use a fairly good amateur camera, by that I mean a DSLR which was within my budget, and suits my printing and publishing needs - that is, printing up to 8x10 and blogging on-line. I don't think this precludes me selling prints, so long as I use the right quality printer, papers and ink (or toner, or whatever they use in dye sublimation printing).

I know there are smaller, cheaper cameras which can yield the same resolution, and in most lighting conditions probably match colour quality. But my question is, are photos from a DSLR necessarily better than those from say an box brownie, or instamatic? I'm thinking aesthetically, not technically.

I know from personal experience that the better camera allows more opportunity, a selection of lenses, or a good zoom lens, allows more framing opportunity. Iris control allows depth of field to be changed, be this by selecting a mode button, or by dialing aperture in directly. However, I still believed that you can take good pictures with your dumb old camera, as long as you know its capabilities, and you had an eye for balance and composition.

But more recently another idea came to mind. I have this vague notion that once I was holding an SLR for the first time I felt obliged to try new things. Sure, some didn't work as well, others were academic exercises and repetitions of text book examples, but still I felt I had to go the extra mile. I was no longer a snap happy tourist, but a photographer.

I also think that a "real" camera legitimizes things. With a pocket camera I believe people look at you a little weird if you are crouched low to shoot a building, or stand on a bench to photograph the sidewalk. With an SLR you can do all sorts of strange things and people look at you, then try to find your subject, then get on with life. I was in San Juan Bautista a few years ago, second to last outing with a film camera, and I was stood on a bench, trying to frame the hotels roofline with a tree and the eaves of the barn. There was a school field trip there, and a couple of kids kinda couldn't work out what this grown up was doing, but one of them said "oh, he's a photographer", and everything became kosher.

Of course all these things happend outside the UK, or before 9/11 where the press would have us believe all photographers are at best terrorists and at worst paedophiles.

I do have a friend who is a street photographer. I agree with him, its sometimes hard to take candid shots when you have a big clunky piece of kit. For that you want something more shoot from the him, wide angle, fixed focal length, so you can get the "moment".

So yes I now believe that the camera does make a difference, but more on a social level than a technical level.

(photos will be added to this post).