I was lying down on the road to take this photo!
Tomorrow - news about my photography blog.
I was lying down on the road to take this photo!
Tomorrow - news about my photography blog.
I thought I would start my series of photography questions with a fundamental one – what does DSLR mean in photography?
So, what does this mean?
I will explain this in this blog post, as well as digressing all over the place with related photography stuff!
Basically, in the days before digital photography cameras used film. Yes film. You used to buy a roll of film from a shop, with either 24 or 36 exposures, open the back of the camera, put the film in, pull a bit out and attach it to the spool then close the back and wind on. And getting the prints was even more long winded.
But we survived. Well we didn’t know any better!
There were a number of different sizes of film, but the most common camera film was called 35mm film was 35mm.
SLR cameras, single lens reflex cameras, used 35mm film. A 35mm film negative (i.e. the actual bit of film on which the image was recorded) is 36mm x 24mm.
And this is the strangest of evolutions from film to digital SLRs
The size of a 35mm film negative is the same size as a sensor on a full frame camera.
If you ever wondered why a full frame sensor on a digital camera is the size it is now you know.
And the question I have always asked myself is this – why? Why would the sensor on a DSLR be the same as the film on an SLR?
Why not is the answer. Evolution of familiar sizes.
A single lens reflex camera basically has a mirror which allows you to see through the lens. Press the shutter and the mirror flips up and the image is exposed on the film behind.
This is a picture of my Canon AL-1. This was a film SLR that was the first of its kind to have assisted focussing - when you got the manual focus correct a green light came on!!
And with a DSLR exactly the same happens, except that rather than film there is a digital sensor.
That is SLR cameras in a nutshell.
Why does a camera need a mirror?
I believe that the fore-runner to SLR cameras were twin lens reflex cameras. Why two lenses? Simple. You looked through one, and the other took the picture.
The only problem with this was you were not looking at exactly what you were capturing. So, the SLR was a technical and optical improvement, with the clever use of mirrors and prisms allowing the user to see exactly what was going to be taken.
With one minor exception
Taking my Canon 6D as an example, the actual view in the viewfinder is only 97%. I am not actually seeing all of the scene I am trying to photograph.
My Canon 5D gave me a 96% view, as did my Canon 60D.
The Canon 1DS gives 100%.
All is not quite as it seems, as is so often the case.
Back in the film day there were lots of other camera formats.
110 – lower standard cameras with a cartridge film. I used to have one of these. And compared to an iPhone they were quite rubbish.
APS cameras, where you could manually change the format of the image. These cameras came with a special film and the processed negatives and prints were provided in boxes – all rather interesting. I still have some from a long old time ago!
Twin lens reflex cameras
I never owned one of these, I am not that old.
There are also medium format, large format 10 x 8 format – lots of formats. Basically, 35mm was for SLRs until DSLRs.
Mirrorless cameras – more about these in a separate post
Medium format – very expensive
Micro four thirds – a format I know nothing about. Yes, I know - I will have to find out all about it and write about it here.
Now I have a thing about all those people who preach that to be a photographer you should shoot in manual mode. Nonsense. That is going to be the next question I ask.
Mirrorless cameras don’t have a mirror. It really is that simple.
You don’t look through the viewfinder and the actual lens via a mirror – no - instead you look through an electronic viewfinder. And at some pint in the future DLSRs will be come obsolete, and I expect that we will all be calling our mirrorless cameras something different – cameras!
I guess that after manual mode I need to jump straight into micro four thirds – to be completely honest all I know about this format is that the sensor is smaller than a crop sensor,
No let’s do this the other way – camera formats explained or something like that.
Writing this brought back some thoughts I have had for some time that I will digress briefly not now.
I find it interesting that there are quite a few things which are hangovers from the days of film that we still have.
The same as 35mm film – why?
The new name for film speed (it was also called ASA back in the day) – why do we still have this now we are in the world of digital photography. Surely it is time to get rid of ISO? If we were to start again with ISO, Aperture and shutter speed surely there would be some other way of getting the exposure.
Yes, it seems bizarre with the things that we do with our phones that high end cameras still have actual mirrors that flip up. Think of the iPhone the capabilities built into what is a phone.
Basically, the future of DSLRs in my opinion is short. Canon yesterday announced its new mirrorless cameras, Nikon did the same last month. And apart from Canon and Nikon everyone else is producing “mirrorless” or “micro-four-thirds” cameras. Well virtually everyone.
Do you know the aperture your phone uses when you take a photo? Off the top of my head I don’t know the aperture my iPhone 7 Plus uses.
Shouldn’t I know this?
I don’t really care to be honest – it does a pretty amazing job.
And ISO on my iPhone? No idea.
Sutter speed – nope – don’t know.
And the iPhone 7 Plus takes great photos.
Sure, this can be replicated on a DSLR using one of the Programme Modes.
But isn’t it about time we updated the way we take photos?
I think once DSLRs have died a death and mirrorless cameras rule the world there may be a reduction in the elements of the exposure triangle
The technology is so advanced these days that surely there is going to be more involvement of computing power in photography.
Well I started off explaining what SLR and DSLR stand for in photography. And I ended up writing about the death of SLRs and mirrorless cameras ruling the world. I see this happening. I see a future where the cameras we use are a different shape and form factor.
There are constraints of course – physics and optics – but technology is advancing so rapidly I see great changes.
I will always have a soft spot for SLR and DSLR cameras. I started with a Fuji SLR - if only I could remember the exact model but to be fair it was about 37 years ago! I then moved into Canon SLRs, and Canon DSLRs.
Whilst I love my Canon 6D I find myself using my iPhone more and more, especially for my travel photography work. Sure, when I am photographing a sunrise I will use my Canon 6D and tripod, and also for a commercial architectural shoot. But that is work. I rarely get my Canon DLSR out if I am not working, unless there is something that I think I can sell or use in a commercial way.
And that is where I am heading – I want to replace my DSLR with something smaller with the connectivity of my iPhone.
My iPhone has pretty much retired my Canon G11 and G13 – not that they were bad cameras – technology has overtaken what they can do and how they do it.
I started my photography life with SLRs and use DSLRs for my commercial work. But I expect within 2 years my Canon 6D will be sat in a cupboard somewhere.
Today on Improve Photography you will be able to read my latest article, Why you should shoot in RAW and convert to Jpeg.
The article is published at 6am today Boise time. Whenever that is...
In this blog post I will describe why I am the ideal person to photograph your construction project.
I have over 30 years of experience working in the construction industry, a lifetime interest in photography and over 10 years working professionally as a photographer.
I add to this unique combination of skills a high quality, personal and professional service to give architects, contractors, developers and property owners and managers great imagery with my own style.
So, if you are looking for someone to photograph your recently completed construction project please read on and get in touch to see how I may help you.
I don’t do weddings, portraits, babies, families or fluffy pets. 99% of the things that I photograph are not moving,
I also photograph places, the buildings within them and their surrounding environments.
I don’t photograph anything else.
Just click here.
And here are three of my favourite images of recently completed construction projects.
I have worked on construction sites all my life, starting as a labourer and working up to being a senior project manager.
I have worked on new build and refurbishment construction projects in most sectors, including
As you can see I have extensive experience of the construction industry, so will be comfortable photographing any construction project
I have been Chartered for well over 20 years now, and am a current member of the CIOB.
I passed my HNC in building studies a long time ago, and studied for my CIOB part 1 an 2 whilst working on site, initially as a labourer for a small contractor.
When I say I know construction people I mean at all levels, as I have been in most of them.
This qualification is defined by the BIPP as
I achieved this qualification this year, having gained my Licentiateship 3 years ago.
My portfolio consisted entirely of architectural and construction images, which you can view on my portfolio page rickmcevoyphotography.com/portfolio.
That’s not bad for someone who has been working in construction for over 30 years!
And to be fair my photography is the only artistic thing about me.
This is not just about the technical side of things – this is more about the creative side of photography – image capture and composition – craftsmanship and creative ability remember!
And with my lifetime of construction experience I really do know what I am looking for, those intricate details and important features.
And lets not forget the technical side of this – technically correct and accurate images, with everything level and vertical whilst still looking natural, and all the colours as they have been added.
I pride myself on producing creative, excellently composed and technically accurate images.
I actually went to art college when I left school, as I have always wanted to be a photographer. I lasted till the April of that year before I quit and started work on site- I was 18 and wanted beer money and a car!
That was back in 18985 – that shows just how long I have been interested in photography and how long I have been working in construction.
I have a Professionally Qualified Person CSCS card, which is valid until June 2022 – another time saver in getting me on your site and also further reassurance that I will be perfectly safe working on your site.
I can photograph any part of the site – just give me safe access and a safe place of work. I am fine with heights, confined spaces, excavations, anywhere really.
I have my own PPE which is enough to get me onto 99% of construction sites. Of course there will be specific site requirements somewhere that I do not have all the gear for, like live railways, and off-shore installations, but for conventional constructions sites I turn up kitted up and ready to be induced.
Talking of which
And do you know what – every one is slightly different. They are never the same. But they are all familiar to me.
My familiarity with construction means that I can satisfy your site induction requirements as quickly as one of your preferred sub-contractors, saving you time and money and also giving you the reassurance that the photographer on your side is familiar with construction sites.
I know how things are on site, the time pressures that people are under, especially as you approach practical completion. I have been there many many times before, and I do get it.
The last thing people want is someone holding them up taking photos – this is where I m uniquely positioned with my experience. Yes I take all my photos on a tripod (where practicable) but I set up my gear before I go on site, find the location that I want to shoot, place my tripod, compose, take the shot and move on.
The composing is the bit that takes the time – that is the important bit after all.
The technical side of the image capture is dialled in before I get on site, so all I have to worry about is the composition and where I focus for the composition in question.
I currently use a full frame Canon DSLR and Canon L series lenses. When I am taking photos on site everything is in my backpack so I have hands free in case I need to climb up a scaffold or down into an excavation. I can get gear in and out of my bag without having to put my bag on the floor – this has evolved over endless shoots to the set up I have now which has all my essential safely stored in my back pack.
My bad is waterproof and all my gear is weather sealed. And if my tripod gets muddy shooting outside I can quickly clean it down before going into the shiny new interior without getting mud all over the brand new flooring!
Yes I genuinely enjoy photographing buildings – so much so that I do this when I am on holiday.
That is the 11 reasons why I am the ideal person to photograph your construction project.
Not convinced? Or just enjoying reading my words you want to read more?
Buildings I have photographed
I have a large collection of photos of buildings from abroad – here are three photos taken on my travels which show the other side of my work.
I don’t only photograph construction projects – I have photographed buildings in all stages of their lifecycles, from
I also photograph buildings of interest that I am just passing, like this interesting church which I drove past on the way back from a recent industrial building shoot.
That will of course be subject to agreement and confirmed in my final quotation, but I will not bombard you with lots of images. I select the image set and edit the images myself.
It is my job to make sure that I not only take but also select the images that satisfy your brief.
And as I edit the images myself I am in complete control of the editing process.
I price each commercial photography job individually, as every client is unique and has unique requirements.
My price is based on the three elements of commercial photography work
This is the time taken to get to and from the site, and the time spent on site taking photos. This can vary enormously, depending on the size of the building and the number and range of photos required.
I edit the images myself. If you want images that are to the standard you can see on my website then you have to appreciate that this takes time. Every image is individually edited.
The images on my portfolio page are commercial images that I have produced for architects – there has been no additional editing done for inclusion in my portfolio.
Variables here are type, time period, location and area of use – this is of course very job specific.
I am not the cheapest photographer, and if all you are after is the cheapest photographer then I am not for you. The images you can see on my website are all taken and processed by me.
If you do then there are hundreds of blog posts all about me and my world of photography. The more recent content is better than the older stuff, but the thing that I hope comes across in all of my blog posts is my personality. I was once told that I write the way I talk – my blog is me, my thoughts and personality in writing out there on the internet for all to see.
Apart from photographing buildings I am a travel photographer, and am working on some new websites which will be unleashed on the internet shortly.
I am also a writer on one of the biggest photography websites on the internet, Improve Photography – check out this article which will be useful to help you prepare your building to be photographed.
I have also written a range of architectural photography articles which I will list and link so you can get straight to them if this of interest to you.
Please get in touch with me – I respond to everyone who gets in touch with me. You can do this by phone, email or by using my contact page. I would rather you phoned – it is much better talking and getting to know properly people I will be working with.
And with that I will thank you for reading this post, and I look forward very much to hearing from you and helping you to get some great photos of your building.
Photograph things that you are interested in. You will enjoy this more. And if you enjoy something more chances are you will do a better job with it.
And I never get bored of practising taking these photos. One of my absolute favourite photography things to do is get to a location well before sunrise, gset up my gear and wait for a new day to dawn.
This is my favourite time.
Photograph what you like photographing. And if it becomes paid work, and if you can turn it into a full-time job, it might not feel like work….
Photography is defined as on the Photography page of Wikipedia as
"Photography is the art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation."
We'll ignore the last bit - the radiation bit.
So study the light.
Study how the light interacts on the elements within a composition. I do this before I take an image – see what the light is and see if I can find an angle where the light makes the composition more interesting.
Related to yesterdays tip, learn about composition. Study great photographers, see if you can work out what makes their images great.
Learn the rules of composition. Learn them and apply them. And once you have mastered them break them and see what you get.
And don't let anyone tell you that the rules are cliched, boring etc. Look at the picture above - a classic use of leading lines.