To compliment my Collectable Classics series I thought it would be a good idea to run though a check list of things you should lookout for if you are thinking of buying a classic Nikon 35mm camera.

1. Before you embark on your search, for whatever Nikon camera it is you want, make sure you have some idea of its worth. Just because someone is asked £500 for an F4 doesn’t mean they’ll get it!

 

2. Always check for signs of abuse or misuse. A lot of old Nikon were professionally used. Personally, I will avoid anything with dents or items sold as Not Tested!

 

3. Most cameras rely on batteries as their main power source, always check for corrosion and make sure you take fresh or newly charged batteries so that you can test the equipment before making your purchase. Don’t buy before you try.

 

4. Make a detailed inspection of the cameras light seals, in particular the mirror box foam, found within the camera body, behind the lens mount. This small foam strip acts as a shock absorber for the mirror, if the foam looks compressed or feels sticky – do not fire the camera, replace the foam strip as soon as possible. If the mirror box seal needs replacing then the chances are the film door seals will do too. Kits are ready available for around £15. If you need a kit let me know, I nearly always have them in stock.

 

5. Look for missing parts, small screws, strap lugs and plastic terminal covers. Replacing any of these can add pounds to your purchase later.

 

6. If the camera has a manual mode run though the shutter speeds. Don’t forget to check in the view finder to see if the meter is working and that the focusing screen isn’t too dusty.

 

7. Check that the shutter curtain isn’t damaged and that there is no visible signs of wear.

 

8. Pay close inspection to any lenses that may come with the camera. Check the front and rear elements for scratches and fungus, both will degrade image quality. Don’t store cameras or lenses in their old leather cases, leather is susceptible to damp, which is liable to causes fungus growth within your camera or lens.

 

9. It always pays to know what you’re looking for, do your homework, know your cameras and their value – don’t go over budget!

 

10. Finally, enjoy your classics, use them often and in doing so – keep film alive!

Ever since I became interested in photography I’ve had this compulsion to enter competitions, first at camera club, then in exhibitions and now, occasionally, to photographic magazines.

Just before Christmas, 2011 I sent three images off to Digital Photographer magazine. The competition was for their Digital Photographer of the Year Awards – Monochrome Portraits.

Having shot many urban and sport type portraits over the past couple of years I had several good ones to choose from.

The 3 images I sent had already proved their worth in both National and International exhibitions, having gained gold and silver medals, plus a host of ribbon too. If anything was going to stand a chance of winning it had to be these.

To my amazement all 3 images were short listed for the final round of judging.

Days of Despair (short listed image)

There’s No Going Back (short listed image)

Then, shock! I received further notification that Mud, Sweat and Glee had been chosen as the overall winning image.

Mud, Sweat and GleeWinner! Digital Photographer of the Year Award for Monochrome Portraits

My prize, a Samsung NX100 with 20-50mm and 20mm f2.8 prime lens.

Having already decided to do more Street Photography in 2012, the NX100 will come in really handy.

Thanks to all at Imagine Publishing Ltd, looking forward to meet up with you all at Focus-on-Imaging next month.

 

1940’s Weekend: Arley Station, Severn Valley Railway; 25th June 2011

Despite having to contend with scorching temperatures the turn out on Arley Station was surprisingly mild for a 1940’s event.

Anne; A Brief Encounter © John Powell EFIAP DPAGB

I won’t lie! The only reason I chose to go to Arley, instead of usual journey to Kidderminster, was because you don’t get charged to walk on the platform there!

As always the people who turned up in costume were very obliging when asked to pose for the camera.

Evacuation Day © John Powell EFIAP DPAGB

I returned having met some wonderful folks and with two possible competition images.

Contact: dotcomjohnny@gmail.com or why not follow my on Twitter: @dotcomjohnny

The London Salon of Photography 100th Annual
Exhibition, 2011.
The London Salon was founded in
1910, but before that it existed as the Brotherhood of the Linked
Ring, a photographic society that was established in 1892. The
original Linked Ring members were a breakaway organization from the
(Royal) Photographic Society, who at that time placed more emphasis
on the science of photography than photography as a form of art.
href="http://dapagroup.com/dotcom/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/days-of-despair1.jpg"> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-721" title="Days of Despair"
src="http://dapagroup.com/dotcom/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/days-of-despair1.jpg"
alt="" width="600" height="395" /> Days of Despair
© 2010  John Powell EFIAP DPAGB BPE4*
Today, like back then, the aim of the London Salon is to exhibit
only that class of photographic work in which there is distinct
evidence of artistic feeling and execution. Membership to the
London Salon is still by invitation only. However, their annual
exhibition is open to all photographers. You can also lend your
support in the form of an annual subscription (friend of the London
Salon). Friends receive a personal invitation to a private viewing
of the exhibition along with a free colour illustrated exhibition
catalogue. href="http://dapagroup.com/dotcom/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/waiting-in-vain.jpg"> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-694" title="Waiting in Vain"
src="http://dapagroup.com/dotcom/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/waiting-in-vain.jpg"
alt="" width="600" height="397" /> Waiting in Vain
© 2011  John Powell EFIAP DPAGB BPE4* I
received confirmation today that 2 of my
prints have been accepted, these are: Days of Despair and Waiting
in Vain. The exhibition will be showing at two venues. The first at
The Mark Mason Hall, 86 St James’s Street London SW1A 1PL on
Saturday July 30th (doors open at 2pm). The second venue is a the
Old School House, Churchbridge, Oldbury, West Midlands on Saturday
August 20th (doors open at 1pm). All accepted images will be on
display on the Salon website shortly. Useful links relating to this
post: The London
Salon
| href="http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/linked_r.htm">Brotherhood
of the Linked Ring | href="http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/photo_se.htm">Photo-Secession
| Royal Photographic
Society
Images © John Powell, 2011 All Rights
Reserved.

For some strange reason the Rushden organizers posted the statistics for their 29th Open Exhibition on their web site ahead of sending out individual results. Maybe this was there way of warning photographers to expect a poor set of results, who knows?

The statistics didn’t make very good reading. Out of a total of 3613 entries, only 518 made it into the final exhibition, just 14.3%, which for a digital only exhibition is a bit on the mean side, but that’s just my opinion!

Judges for this exhibition were:
General & Creative
Les Nixon DPAGB
Malcolm Ranieri FRPS MPAGB
David Steel

Nature & Monochrome
John Lacy ARPS CPAGB
Barbara Lawson FRPS DPAGB
Tony Wharton FRPS AFIAP

My entry consisted of 4 colour images (general section) and 4 monochrome. The score given by the judges are in brackets.

Muddy Hell

Muddy Hell

Muddy Water Blues

Muddy Water Blues

Theres No Going Back

Theres No Going Back

Time Gone By

Time Gone By

Living in the Past (10)
Muddy Hell! (11) accepted
Muddy Water Blues (11) accepted
There’s No Going Back (11) accepted

A Time Gone By (12) accepted
Contemplation (10)
Foot Loose (9)
Monty (9)

The exhibition is being held in the village hall at Irchester, Wellingborough on Sat, 7th May, 2011 at 6pm and can be seen at the following venues through out May, June and September.

Peterborough PS – 3rd May
Desborough & Rothwell PS – 13th May
New City PS – 26th May
Kettering & Dist. PS – 20th June
Burton Latimer & Dist. PS – 14th Sept, 2011

 

Damson Blossom, originally uploaded by dotcomjohnny.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The damson or damson plum (Prunus domestica subsp. insititia, or sometimes Prunus insititia) is an edible drupaceous fruit, a subspecies of the plum tree. Sometimes called the Damask plum, damsons are commonly used in the preparation of jams and jellies. The plum spirit slivovitz is made from fermented damson fruit. The tree blossoms with small, white flowers in early April in the Northern hemisphere and fruit is harvested in late August or early September.

The name damson derives from the Latin prunum damascenum, “plum of Damascus”. Damsons were first cultivated in antiquity in the area around the ancient city of Damascus, capital of modern-day Syria, and were introduced into England by the Romans. Remnants of damsons are often found during archaeological digs of ancient Roman camps across England, and ancient writings describe the use of damson skins in the manufacture of purple dye. Prugne damaschine figure in the long list of comestibles enjoyed by the Milanese given by Bonvesin de la Riva in his Marvels of Milan (1288).

The damson was introduced into the American colonies by English settlers before the American Revolution and are regarded as thriving better in the eastern United States than other European plum varieties.

The term “damson” is often used to describe red wines with rich yet acidic plummy flavors.

Nikon D2Hs/Tamron 70-150mm f2.8 (varisoft) lens @ 1/640 sec – f4.0

Tamron’s fast 70-150 F/2.8 constant aperture zoom lens was specifically designed for portrait photography, and was the first compact telephoto zoom lens ever produced by any manufacturer which featured a built-in softness control. This lens is extremely sharp at all focal lengths when not using the softness control since a total of six lens elements are used in the variator and compensator groups to reduce zoom dependent aberrations to their absolute minimum. Although the optical performance is somewhat optimized for 105mm (the ideal portrait focal length), this lens’s optical performance nevertheless is very good throughout the entire zoom range.

The London Salon of Photography invites you to submit prints to their 100th Annual Exhibition, 2011.

The London Salon was founded in 1910, but before that it existed as the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring, a photographic society that was established in 1892. The original Linked Ring members were a breakaway organization from the (Royal) Photographic Society, who at that time placed more emphasis on the science of photography than photography as a form of art.

Today, like back then, the aim of the London Salon is to exhibit only that class of photographic work in which there is distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution.

Membership to the London Salon is still by invitation only. However, their annual exhibition is open to all photographers. You can also lend your support in the form of an annual subscription (friend of the London Salon). Friends receive a personal invitation to a private viewing of the exhibition along with a free colour illustrated exhibition catalogue.

My entry into this years salon is:

Days of Despair

Days of Despair

Urban Existence

Urban Existence

Waiting in Vain

Waiting in Vain

Savage Landscape

Savage Landscape

Days of Despair, Urban Existence, Waiting in Vain and Savage Landscape. The closing date for all entries is: Monday 25th April, 2011 – see the London Salon website for more details.

Useful links relating to this post: The London Salon | Brotherhood of the Linked Ring | Photo-Secession | Royal Photographic Society

Images © John Powell, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Photo2011 – www.photo2011.net is the 13th National Open Exhibition hosted by the Vale of Evesham camera club.

Each year the exhibition grows, this year it attracted over 3,370 digital entries.

The Judges; Sandy Leland FRPS, Peter Gennard MFIAP EFIAP/p, Graham Hodgkiss MPAGB and Colin Smith FRPS were supported by the VECC team to create another spectacular on-line digital exhibition featuring no fewer than 670 breathtaking images.

My acceptances for this year were:

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4831107458_23f1f25e97_b

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There’s No Going Back .. PAGB Ribbon
Muddy Water Blues
Contemplation
Monty
Foot Loose.

This now brings my total BPE acceptances too: 245.

Images © John Powell, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

The 3rd GBISPC is an International Photographic Exhibition for un-mounted prints up to a maximum size of A4.

The competition comprises of four exhibitions, known as a circuit, these being; Arddangosfa International (Wales), Carlisle International (Scotland), Hoylake and West Cumbria Internationals (Great Britain).

Muddy Hell

Photographers, both amateur and professional, from all around the world are invited to submit their work.
No fewer than 36 judges took on the task of selecting the best prints from each section.

Two’s Company

Having competed the criteria required for EFIAP this exhibition started my journey towards EFIAP Bronze (75 further acceptances from 25 new works with 3 awards gained from 3 different countries).

Remember Them

I entered just 2 sections, Open Colour and Monochrome and gained the following 15 acceptances:
Arddangosfa International (Wales)
Colour Prints: Muddy Hell & Remember Them
Mono Prints: Wychbury Heights

Foot Loose

Carlisle International (Scotland)
Colour Prints: Muddy Hell
Mono Prints: The Lightening Tree & Wychbury Heights

The Lightening Tree

Hoylake International (GB)
Colour Prints: Muddy Hell & Two’s Company
Mono Prints: Foot Loose, The Lightening Tree & Wychbury Heights

Wychbury Heights

West Cumbria International (GB)
Colour Prints: Muddy Hell & Two’s Company
Mono Prints: The Lightening Tree & Wychbury Heights

Images © John Powell, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

I first supported this British Photographic Exhibition (BPE) as a member of Wallheath Camera Club back in 1991 when I was shooting transparencies with a Nikon FA. My single acceptance then was called, Showing Off, which was my 4th BPE acceptance. I gained another solitary acceptance the following year (1992), which bought my BPE points total to a miserable 10!

Showing Off © 1990 John Powell AFIAP DPAGB

Back then, like today, you had to gain 25 acceptances in order to claim your 1st Crown Award (BPE1). With just 10pts from as many exhibitions I decided enough was enough and I gave up. In fact, I sold all my gear! It would be another 10 years before I picked up a camera again and another 7 years after that before I entered the Southport Open for the third time.

The 61st Southport Open, 2008 was the turning point I’d been waiting for, it was in this exhibition that I gained my very first National Photographic Award, a PAGB Ribbon for, Stranger at the Shore. In fact, I gained 5 acceptances in total, which gave me a complete buzz and the confidence to go and claim my 1st BPE Crown Award just a few weeks later.

Stranger at the Shore .. PAGB Ribbon in 2008

In 2009, the 62nd Southport Open, I gained 7 acceptances, including 2 awards. Similar success followed in 2010 in the 63rd Southport Open, 7 acceptances, including 2 awards.

The 64th Southport Open starts the BPE calendar for 2011, it is my ambition to top 300 BPE acceptances before the year’s out, which means gaining a further 60 acceptances.

Theres No Going Back

Theres No Going Back

Muddy Water Blues

Muddy Water Blues

Contemplation

Contemplation

Monty

Monty

Under the Wire

Under the Wire

Forging Ahead

Forging Ahead

Two's Company

Two's Company

Showing Off

Showing Off

Stranger at the Shore

Stranger at the Shore

My acceptances in Southport this year were:
Colour Prints
Muddy Water Blues (13)
There’s No Going Back (Certificate of Merit)

Mono Prints
Contemplation (12)
Monty (13)
Under the Wire (12)

Colour Digital (DPI)
Forging Ahead (13)
Two’s Company (12).

Images © John Powell, 2011 All Rights Reserved.