Martian self-portrait

Like tourists taking photos of themselves by holding out a camera on an outstretched arm, the NASA Mars rover Curiosity has taken its own photo on the surface of another planet. Pretty groovy. It’s also particularly trippy as the photo is actually a mosaic of many different shots, and the final picture conceals the outstretched arm that held the camera. (either that, or it’s all a big conspiracy like the lunar landing, and the shot was faked in a Hollywood studio!)

Now shipping from Amazon USA!

Excitingly, my new book - the Lens - is now available across the USA from Amazon. It should just be a week or two before it’s widely available at American physical bookstores as well. Canada will follow next, and hopefully soon the UK!

A runner’s point of view

After winning the 200m race on August 9, Usain Bolt grabbed a camera off Swedish press photographer Jimmy Wixtröms and snapped a few shots from his point of view. Pretty cool.

Whether wisely and intentionally or not, Bolt grabbed a Nikon with a super wide angle 12-24mm lens, by the looks of it, which was the perfect choice for showing the Olympic stadium and the crowds of spectators and press.

Optical adjustments

The ever-prolific Roger Cicala has a new blog piece devoted to an area shrouded in a lot of mystery: adjusting lens optics. Very interesting read for those curious about such things, which normally isn’t discussed much in public since it’s usually done behind closed doors in camera repair shops.

Coming soon: the Lens

So I’m pleased to announce that my new book, The Lens: A Practical Guide for the Creative Photographer, is heading to the printers! Like my previous book, this one is being published by the awesome folks at Rocky Nook in Santa Barbara, California.

The Lens is basically one of those books that I wish I’d had when I was starting out. It covers everything you need to know about camera lenses for still photography, focusing on practical things that matter.

I’m pretty excited about it, and will be talking more about it soon!

(The book also explains the big quiet patch in my blog of late)

Grizzly 1: camera 0



Impressive that the Nikon D4 and lens more or less survived!

Remarkable technical site

I’ve just come across photographer Pierre Toscani’s site. It’s full of astoundingly detailed technical information about mostly Nikon lenses, based on data gleaned from patent applications and other sources. Mostly in French, though there’s a good selection of articles translated into English. The diagrams are drawn to an astounding level of professionalism - a lot better than the ones I’ve seen on manufacturers’ own sites!

The site also has the best animation I’ve ever seen which clearly shows the operation of an SLR camera. Great stuff.

Metropolitan police apologize to teenage photographer



Original recording of a pretty brave kid:


The world’s slowest high-speed camera.

A new camera that can image advancing wavefronts of light. Only useful for repeatable events, for a bunch of reasons, but still pretty cool. The wavefront passing through a drink bottle is pretty amazing.




Upcoming talks in London

So I’m going to be giving three hour-long talks in London next week. They’re all on introductory topics, and will be held at the Apple Store, Regent Street.

They’re all free, and no reservation is required. Look forward to seeing you there!

Archiving your Digital Photography

Monday, 7 November 2011, 7.00 pm

Nothing lasts forever, even photos in digital form. If you haven’t got a backup, your photos are at risk from theft, fire, flood, equipment failure and other disasters. Learn how to protect your investment and memories.

A Beginner’s Guide to Lenses

Tuesday, 8 November, 2011, 5:30 pm

So you want to buy a new lens for your camera. Fast or slow? Wide angle or telephoto? Zoom or prime? If these terms seem like foreign jargon, then this beginner’s guide to photographic lenses is for you!

An Introduction to Flash Photography

Friday, 11 November, 2011, 5.30 pm

An introduction to the mysteries of flash photography. Learn how off-camera flash can transform your photography, regardless of what photographic system you use.