“Hong Kong Street Scene 2004”
“Horses for Courses” wall mosaic and statue montage.
“Feelin’ Kinda Blue – Smurf, Southbank, London”
This year I’ve been giving some thought to my camera bag and clothing and purchased three relatively inexpensive items. The first of these is a cheap “Courser f1002” canvas messenger-style camera bag and insert. This bag is excellent, well made and great value for money at £35.95 from eBay.
The bag comes with a large zip-up front pocket ideal for filters, spare batteries, memory cards and other accessories including my Gorillapod “Hybrid”. Two external pockets, one at each end, and a padded camera insert that can accommodate my OM-D E-M5 + both parts of the HLD-6 grip and any of my usual five prime lenses (M.Zuiko 12mm, 25mm, 45mm, Samyang 7.5mm and Sigma 60mm) attached plus the remaining four prime lenses. There’s also an internal zip-up pocket for other accessories and/or valuables. I love this bag as it is sturdy, practical and most of all it doesn’t scream “camera gear inside” and looks suitably fashionable.
Although the supplied camera insert is perfectly adequate for the task I decided to change it over for the one below which fits perfectly and has the addition of a top flap to provide an additional degree of protection and weather-proofing and cost £9.99 again from eBay.
Lastly, I’ve been hankering for an M-65 type jacket for some while and decided to purchase the one shown below. It’s an ex-Austrian Army surplus field jacket with four deep and large external pockets, great for holding gear including 7 inch tablet, lens caps, sandwiches etc., an internal button up breast pocket and built in hood. £19.99 plus postage from a UK army surplus supplier. I also like the hidden front zip and buttons as there’s nothing to snag on my camera strap or scratch my camera’s screen when the camera is worn around the neck.
I love both the “Retro” look and the functionality of this gear at a net cost of about £70.00, (£60 if you don’t change the insert) considerably less that the cost of some camera bags or jackets on their own. Next step is to treat the bag and jacket with some Nikwax or similar waterproofing agent to provide a degree of inclement weather protection and that’s it. I guess I probably look like a throw-back from the 70’s especially with my OM-D gear but do I care?, not one jot, “Viva Retro!”. 🙂
Just to add that I have absolutely no association with any of the manufacturers or retailers of the above items.
I thought I’d post a few of my more colourful works today, “Sunglasses On!”. 🙂
“Sea, Sun, Sand and Souvenirs – Abstract”
“Skateboard Park – Abstract”
“Skateboard Park 2 – Abstract”
“All At Sea – Abstract”
“Flowers and Bubbles – Abstract”
“Shop Window – Abstract”
“Lillies – Abstract”
Some photographers and artists whose works I greatly admire have a very definite “style” or “genre” and if one likes their style then it almost psynonemous that one will like pretty much everything that the artist produces.
My problem is that I don’t consider myself as having a style, is this, I wonder, a weakness or a strength?. Every time I have attempted to stick to one style, black and white, abstract etc. I get extremely bored very quickly. and yet when I’m 100% absorbed in creating a work I have infinite patience. Photography and art go hand in hand for me, I get a lot of pleasure in finding and capturing the subject but for me the real enjoyment starts once I start processing.
I genuinely rarely know what type of work will emmerge from the processing stage. The one thing that I do hope is that, if I have a style at all it is a reflection of the amount of thought that I give to the processing and creation of my work.
“Lines – De La Warr Pavillion – Abstract”
“Up, Down, Round and Around”
“Autumnal wall leaves – Pastel, Abstract”
“Walking the dog”
I know I said in a previous blog post that I don’t do “people” shots. Well I have taken a few shots this year where my fellow human beings are deliberately the main subject of the shot :).
“I’m a Soul Man”
“Day Trippers/People Watching”
“Time Stands Still (Redux)”
“Poet For Hire”
“Tihuana Toe Tapping at the Tate”
“Street Performer – South Bank”
That’s all folks 🙂
Earlier this year I bought my current camera an Olympus OM-D E-M5 and have since steadily accumulated a selection of prime lenses and I am absolutely delighted with the results. Years ago I started out in photography with an Olympus OM-1 35mm film camera and then OM-2 and OM-4Ti cameras and a range of Zuiko prime lenses and the OM-D has proven to be a fantastic and very versatile camera.
There’s always been something about the Olympus OM system that I’ve loved, low weight, small size, great build quality etc. so when I could afford one the OM-D E-M5 was simply irresistible, I knew that I’d love it before I even got to hold it in my hands. I decided to post six photos, all of which were shot and processed as HDR and taken with this camera and my range of lenses.
“York House Gardens Statues Autumnal Abstract”, OM-D E-M5 and Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 fisheye lens.
“Passer By”, OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko 12mm 1:2.0 lens.
“Colourful Shopfront”, OM-D E-M5 and Panasonic Lumix G. 14mm 1:2.5 lens.
“Muted Guitars”, OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko 25mm 1:1.8 lens.
“For The Love Of Boats”, OM-D E-M5 and M.Zuiko 45mm 1:1.8 lens.
“Support”, OM-D E-M5 and Sigma 60mm 1:2.8 lens.
The Micro Four Thirds system really suits my style of photography I can carry the camera and HLD-6 grip and these lenses plus accessories at a fraction of the weight of a full-frame DSLR and equivalent lenses, put simply, I’m lovin’ it! 🙂
Thanks for reading.
PS. The “Passer By” shot is a bit of a rarity for me in that it has a person in the shot. Not deliberate but a happy accident and I decided that the man walking in to the composition should become the title of the shot almost like he was walking through my photograph.
I don’t regard myself, if there is such a thing, as a natural blogger, so please bear with me as this is my first real blog post 🙂
One of the reasons that I so enjoy HDR photography is it’s ability to emphasise textures, wood, water, metal, stonework, leaves, you name it, anything with a texture . I also like geometry, angles, shapes etc. and solitude, empty places, seats, tables, buildings etc.. I seem drawn as if by a magnet to these subjects so the subject of these shots, as the saying goes is, “right up my street” :). Few of my photos have people in them and when they do it’s generally because it’s unavoidable :). I guess I’m just not a “people” photographer 🙂 or rather they aren’t the “focus” (excuse the pun) of my interest.
“Empty Table and Upturned Flower Pot”
Thinking about this prompted me to put a new album together on my Flickr site entitled “Empty spaces – a very personal perspective” https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/sets/72157646781510403/ . I resisted the notion of calling it “the dark side of the force” because I thought that sounded too morose, in reality it’s just me exploring another fascet of my personality. For these reasons it is probably my favourite album along with my “Abstractions – The light side of the force” album https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/sets/72157645111651790/ as I think that taken together they both say a lot about me as a person as reflected in much of my work 🙂
“Ambling and Rambling”
I could have put 99% of my photos in this album but instead restricted myself to including a few of my public places devoid, or virtually devoid, of people shots.
One thing that surprised my was when I noticed that they are all black and whites. Maybe this isn’t a co-incidence, maybe I’m subconsciously choosing black and white to further emphasise the solitude and stark nature of some of these shots. Perhaps it strips away what I perceive as a layer of superfluous distraction.
Whatever, it has really focussed my attention (no pun intended) as I had never thought of things in quite this way before putting this album together!.
“A Quiet Morning at the Shopping Centre”
A small selection of my 2014 work most of which were taken in or close to my home town of Kingston upon Thames with the occasional foray out to other parts of the UK. I hope you enjoy viewing them, I’ve had quite a prolific year :). I have also linked to larger size versions of the works on my Flickr page. Each RetroSpektiv is linked to my corresponding Flickr Album.
“Horses for Courses”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14450154473/
“Skateboard Park”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14630902801/
“A Quite Morning at the Shopping Centre”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14350768796/
“Time Stands Still – Redux”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14621525296/
“Poet For Hire”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14475573576/
Just visible “The Sun God Has Risen”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14420484913/
“Skateboard Park 2”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14468458267/
“Noddy Rides Again”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14333642847/
“Sea, Sun, Sand and Souvenirs”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14541491252/
“Attention Seeker”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14317850768/
“Of Gods and Men”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14007404028/
“Shopfront (Rectangular”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14212633121/
“Ham House – Below Stairs”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/13818771415/
“Contrasting Architecture”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14167319726/
“Where The Daisies Quietly Grow”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14132161575/
“Silent Sorrow in Empty Seats”, www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14477373799/
“Street Entertainer”. www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14183621991/
“Bubble Panels”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15159444995/
“Three Boats Down From The Candy”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14113903789/
“Up, Down, Round and Around”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15276957246/
“Branching Out”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14120791840/
“Around, Round, Up and Down”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15506769755/
“Spaces In Between”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15331665950/
“Less is More”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14946226555/
“The essence of time”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15407510219/
“Lamp Detail”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14926835926/
“Soft and Vibrant”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15572883101/
“Suspension in blue”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15400105107/
“Focussing and Stabilisation Malfunction!”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15548941931/
“Muted Guitars”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15520455386/
“Autumnal wall leaves – Pastel, Abstract”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/15426380386/
“Makin’ Music”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14989996890/
RetroSpektiv VII – “Spherical and Pentagonal”
“Sphere of Opulence”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/13853441543/in/set-72157644745539961
“Dandelion Spheres”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14036756280/in/set-72157644745539961
“Shopfront (Pentagonal)”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14215923995/in/set-72157644745539961
“Bird’s Eye View”, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leighkemp/14643004898/in/set-72157644745539961