New work: “Little girl by the pier”

Hi everyone,

Another of my works from my recent trip to Worthing on the south coast in England. This time it’s a toned monochrome work. I’ve always enjoyed working in black and white. This shot sort of sums up the magic of a visit to the seaside when one is a kid. Bucket and spade, making sand castles, a paddle in the sea and a trip to the pier etc.. I just liked the way that she was standing on the shore looking out to sea seemingly all by herself. Of course she wasn’t but I thought it might make and interesting composition.

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Best wishes

leigh sig 2

USB, power/charging when travelling, the way to go.

Hi everyone,

Some while back I realised that USB battery charging is the definitely the way to go when travelling with my cameras and other gear. Apart from my camera equipment there are several other devices which I like to take with me such as my small GPS unit (used mostly for geotagging and time synchronisation), my mobile phone, my VX-7 amateur radio transceiver and various other battery powered devices such as my tablet. Each of these devices requires a mains powered wall charger. So, if I’m trying to charge them all at the same time after a day out and about I could easily need five wall sockets. If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel room with five wall sockets then I’m envious, you’ve obviously stayed in much better rooms than I have!. πŸ™‚ Β In addition some of these chargers are bulky, weighty and take up room in one’s case or bag and require travel adaptor plugs to fit the local mains sockets.

So here’s my solution, at the heart of things is my Anker 5-port USB charging hub. This small solid metal-cased device takes an interchangeable plug in mains lead so only one mains socket is required and has a hefty 8 AMP output across the five ports. This allows me to directly charge/power my phone and power my USB/hub card reader. To charge my Olympus camera batteries I have a very small lightweight USB charger and also a USB AA battery charger which will charge batteries for my GPS, my transceiver and any other AA battery powered device . I can also simultaneously charge one or both of my Anker USB powerbanks which in turn provides charging/powering capacity when I’m out and about. The AA battery charger and/or the camera battery chargers are also small and light enough to go into my bag and plug in to a USB powerbank and thus power/charge batteries on the go.

So I’ve completely said goodbye to wall chargers when travelling, maximised my baggage weight allowance and I don’t have to keep unplugging wall chargers and hunting for mains sockets, one working socket is all that I need. Furthermore it’s great to have the ability to power/charge devices when out and about.

If you’re going somewhere for a while where there simply isn’t a mains socket at all then the 20 AMP powerbank will power/charge gear for quite a while, I’ve run and charged my phone off of it for over a week on a single charge!. It also has three USB output sockets on it so you can if you wish plug in several devices at the same time. Another nice feature of this particular powerbank is that it has two input charging sockets so that it can charge faster, another benefit of having 5 ports on the USB charger.

Please contact me if you’d like more info on the above.

charging gear small

Best wishes

leigh sig 2

PS. One more thing, if you haven’t already stumbled across “pre-charged” AA rechargeable batteries then check them out as they hold their power up to 85% for a year I believe. I’ve never had to put this to the test but nice to know.

Phoning and texting 112 in an emergency from a mobile phone.

Hi everyone,

I found this really good video on Youtube whilst looking for information on my GPS unit. I thought I’d share this as I suspect there are many people who didn’t know about this especially the texting bit. Who knows it might just save yours or someone else’sΒ life one day.

112 works in 70 countries including all of Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and others. I’m not sure if the text thing works in all these countries but it’s worth trying, you might have to text back to 112, in the UK you initially text “REGISTER” (without the quotes) to 112 and then after they text you back you text “YES” to 999 (UK emergency telephone number).

Kind regards

Leigh

Thank you Olympus Cameras – in praise of great customer service!

Hi everyone,

Once in a while one comes across customer service that not only meets one’s expectations but greatly exceeds them. I hope that I don’t sound too cynical but, from my experience, this seems to be quite a rarity nowadays. One so often gets used to dealing with large companies where the customer service is mediocre at best and sadly, quite frequently, downright poor and you are left with the impression that you are dealing with someone who really doesn’t give a hoot. I know that customer support can be a very difficult, thankless and challenging job at times. I’ve worked quite a bit with the public in the past and I do have a fair deal of understanding for anyone working in support but at the end of the day the person one is dealing with represents the company and thus the impression that one gets reflects directly on that company.

My much cherished Olympus OM-D E-M5 which has served me faithfully developed an out of guarantee fault, “just my luck” I thought to myself and so I contacted Olympus customer service who were very courteous, friendly and helpful. I was in two minds about whether the cost of the repair would be uneconomic as the Mk ii model has been out for some time and thus there are Mk 1s going secondhand which I could perhaps consider buying as a replacement. I mentioned this to the lady in Olympus support and she kindly offered that they would arrange a courier to collect the camera so as to avoid delays in getting it to them, she’d keep a watching brief on things and then provide me with a repair estimate as quickly as possible for my approval before proceeding with the repair. I got the repair estimate which I thought was fairly priced, accepted it and paid.

Earlier today I received an e-mail from Olympus support saying that unfortunately they couldn’t repair my camera due to the unavailability of the required spare part/s.  😦 What blew me away was that the very generously offered to provide me with a brand new EM-5 Mk II titanium edition body at no extra expense! πŸ™‚ .It took me a few seconds for it to sink in and then a matter of nanoseconds to accept their amazingly kind offer. I have been a huge fan of their equipment for over forty years now, first with my OM1, OM2 and OM3-Ti (my favourite model) film cameras and lenses and nowadays with the micro four thirds OM-D digital system and always been very happy to personally endorse it based on my experience. I know that the cost to them isn’t that great but the value in customer relations is immense.

All I can say is a huge thank you to Olympus, I’m still pinching myself as this kind of thing just doesn’t happen to me. They could have just turned around and said “Sorry but your camera is beyond repair, here’s your repair money back” but they didn’t and that to me speak volumes and deserves due praise and recognition. Β I should add that I have absolutely no professional association with Olympus Cameras and I’m not under any obligation whatsoever to write this, I choose to do so of my own volition.

If anyone at Olympus should happen to read this, thanks again, kind regards.

leigh sig 2

 

 

 

 

 

Worthing Pier

Hi everyone,

A painterly work of the Pier at Worthing. I’m always drawn to a pier whenever I visit a seaside resort. Like having an ice cream, fish and chips and a paddle in the sea it just has to be done. A day out to the seaside simply isn’t complete without it. πŸ™‚

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Kind regards

leigh sig 2

My first ever macro shot! :)

Hi everyone,

I’ve never really been in to macro photography as my subjects and interests don’t really justify owning a dedicated macro lens but lately I’ve been thinking about trying it. So I decided to dip my toe in the water and buy an Olympus MCON-P02 macro adaptor lens attachment. This comes with a 46mm thread and a 37-46mm adaptor ring so it fits quite a few of my micro four thirds lenses including all my prime lenses (M.Zuiko 12/17/25 and 45mm, Sigma 60mm and Lumix 14mm) Β and also my Lumix 12-32mm zoom lens, seven lenses in total can’t be bad! :).

I thought I’d give it a quick test with my Sigma 60mm, hand-held f4 @ 1/125 sec., the light was terrible indoors today so I had to shoot at ISO 1000 and I’m quite pleased with the initial results. Β I really need to use my table-top tripod and cable release or timer in the future but I just wanted a quick test to try it out and it’s small and light and takes up no room at all in my camera bag.

Watch Macro 1 small.jpg

Best wishes

leigh sig 2

PS.This is the first time I’ve every been able to read the date on my watch, I don’t even bother setting it as it’s so small πŸ™‚

PPS. I did another shot, this time with the camera mounted firmly on my table-top tripod with a cable release, f11, 2 sec @ ISO 200. I might get in to this macro stuff πŸ™‚

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me in to Stanley!

Hi folks,

Solicitors shop window display in Worthing that caught me eye. A lot of work this one changing the depth of field.

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larger version here:

Β https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/36028307504/in/dateposted-public/lightbox/

Best wishes

leigh sig 2