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Month: January 2013

Nikon D80 Spotty Sensor

A couple of weeks ago I got my gorgeous Micro-Nikkor 55mm f2.8 serviced so that the diaphragm works again. A.J.Johnstone in Glasgow did a really nice service. I used to use this lens a lot for plant portrait work on Fuji Velvia. Some people say that 55mm is too short for macro work but for plants I prefer it a bit wider. My intention was to use it on my Nikon D80 which is a DX sensor so it would be 82.5mm which is just about perfect.

Here is one of my first shots of the inside of a tupil. It is actually a crop of the whole shot. If you look at it closely (click it to enlarge) you will see the pores on the stigma. But if you look too  closely you will see those pores spread onto the petals as well – which is odd.


It appears worse in shots with plain backgrounds. It must be sensor dust right. So I set about cleaning the sensor.

Mindful Portrait Photography – A Manifesto

FaithI would like to reconnect with my photography but I would like to do it in a way that is informed by my Buddhist practice and that becomes part of that practice. This topic has been in the back of my mind for some time but has now crystallized into this manifesto for action. A manifesto that I hope will also be of  value to non-Buddhist photographers looking for direction.

Key to my practice is the notion of Right View or “inter-being” as it is formulated by Zen teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh. We inter-are with each other and everything else; from the most distant star to the flea on the cat. Suffering is born of denying this truth. Joy comes from embracing it.

It seems easy to accept we are made of star dust but tough to admit our deep dependency on other humans. This lack of acceptance leads to the creation of barriers,  stereotyping,  prejudice and eventually violence. If we are to use our camera as a tool for positive change then it appears obvious we should use it to dissolve these barriers and that this should involve portraying others. This has potential both in the act of photographing and in the viewing of the photograph itself. Hence this manifesto is about Portraiture rather than any other form of photography.