Fotografie Photography

The Other Passion

   

Beside amateur radio, photography belongs to my favourite activities. It became new lease of life to me, no doubt, since the introduction of digital photography a few decades ago, as I feel analogue photography had given me a lot of recurring disappointments. Today photography occupies a great part of my spare time; sometimes it is more than just competing with amateur radio.

Back in analogue times I had used a MINOLTA 505SIsuper, a DSLR-camera, with the following lenses at choice: MINOLTA AF 50 mm 1:1.4, SOLIGOR AF Zoom 28-105 mm 1:2.8-3.8, and  SOLIGOR AF Zoom 70-210 mm 1:2.8-4. A MINOLTA 5600HS served as flash unit. The MINOLTA had been a very good and compact analogue SLR system and ideally suited my purposes. The disappointments mentioned above chiefly originated from the more or less dubious work many of the commercial photo labs used to deliver, in the main affecting colour photography.

Analogue times are definitely over. So, in March 2006 I decided upon a  SONY DSC-R1 digital camera which utilises the excellent ZEISS Vario-Sonnar lens (1:2.8-4.8  14.3 -71.5 mm digital). After all, this (bridge) camera has become my favourite and steady companion, although it always suffered a little from the disadvantage of being a single-lens camera, giving no opportunity for changing lenses - lenses which I theoretically have at hand (see above).

It was to my greatest surprise (and to my great joy!) that, in 2013, SONY had launched a new DSLR camera - the SLT-A58 - which uses the same alpha-bayonet system for interchangeable lenses as my old MINOLTA camera. So, with the SLT-A58 all of my never-forgotten interchangeable lenses could be put into operation again. As if that weren't enough: with the help of a simple adaptor, even the outstanding MINOLTA 5600HS flash unit with its guide number of 56 could be activated again, too. The SLT-A58 came with a DT 3.5-5.6/18-55 mm (digital) SAM II lens which was not really needed but, nonetheless, seems to be a welcome addition. Since August 2017 a TAMRON 5-6.3/150-600 mm (digital) more or less completes the range of lenses and probably will be of great help in nature photography.

Having bought the SLT-A58 in October 2015, it's too early to give any lengthy experience report about it. Only so much: the results are very promising. It perfectly works with all lenses available, autofocus (AF) and everything, and there are absolutely no problems with the external high-power flash unit.

By the way, there's definitely no intention to replace the DSC-R1 by the SLT-A58. I shall use the two systems alternately, quasi situation- or motive-relatedly. Which means that at least on my tours as a photographer, I'll carry both cameras and the necessary lenses with me.

The main focus of my photographic activities is devoted to travel, landscape, architecture, nature, and - occasionally - to experimental photography. I prefer to make comprehensive photo reportages rather than shooting single, one-subject, or accidental photographs. I am very interested in, but still roving about in the "lowlands" of, High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.

Very obviously so, the good old dark rooms from good old analogue times have been replaced by numerous and manifold PC programmes. Manifold - I use a lot of quite different PC programmes for the post-production processes of my photographs, as each  exhibits advantages and disadvantages of their own. Here is my "dark room" software list (in bold those used regularly, all others sporadically):

Software*

Source

Application

freeware/licence fee

URL

Affinity Photo 1.10.1 Serif (Europe) Ltd Image editing and enhancement, organising licence fee https://affinity.serif.com/
Aurora HDR  1.0 Skylum Corp HDR editing

licence fee

skylum.com
Blow Up Exposure Software Image enlarging licence fee https://exposure.software
DENOISE Projects 3 Franzis Verlag Denoising licence fee www.franzis.de
DiaShow Ultimate 12.3 Aquasoft Slide shows licence fee www.aquasoft.de
DxO Photolab 4.3.1

DxO Image Science

(Automatic) image enhancement and correction

licence fee

www.dxo.com/intl/

DxO PureRaw 1.2 DxO Image Science Denoising, Demosaicing...

licence fee

www.dxo.com/intl/
DxO View Point 3.1.15 DxO Image Science Geometrical correction licence fee

www.dxo.com/intl/

DxO Film Pack 5.5.27 DxO Image Science Colour correction, b&w conversion, creative rendering  

licence fee

 

www.dxo.com/intl/
Exposure X6 6.0.7 Exposure Software Image editing and enhancement licence fee https://exposure.software
Foto Sketcher 3.7 David Thoiron Image editing and picture conversion

freeware

www.fotosketcher.com
HDR Darkroom 6.1.0 Everimaging Ltd HDR editing

licence fee

www.everimaging.com/
HDR Projects Darkroom 2.26 Franzis Verlag HDR editing

licence fee

www.franzis.de/hdr-projects-darkroom
HDR Projects Platin 1.2.3 Franzis Verlag HDR editing licence fee www.franzis.de
HDR Projects Professional 1.25 Franzis Verlag HDR editing licence fee www.franzis.de
Image Data Converter SR 1.0

Sony Corp

RAW (SR2) format conversion

freeware (part of DSC-R1 software package)

www.sony.de

Image Data Converter 4.2.04 Sony Corp RAW format conversion freeware www.sony.de
IrfanView 4.5.7 Irfan Skiljan Picture (file) management freeware www.irfanview.com
Luminar 4.3.3 Skylum Corp Image editing and enhancement licence fee skylum.com
Machinery HDR 3.0.54 Machinery HDR Software HDR editing licence fee www.machineryhdr.com
Machinery Explorer 2.2 Machinery HDR Software Picture file management for Machinery HDR freeware www.machineryhdr.com
Nik Collection 4.1.1 DxO Image Science creative image conversion, special effects (filters) licence fee www.dxo.com/intl/
Paint.NET 4.2.16

Paint.NET

Image editing and enhancement

freeware

www.getpaint.net

PhotoDirector Deluxe 8.0 Cyberlink Picture (file) management licence fee https://de.cyberlink.com
Photo Filtre 7.2.1

Antonio de Cruz

Image editing and enhancement/filtering

freeware

www.photofiltre.com

Photo Scape 3.7 Mooi Tech Image editing and enhancement/filtering, animation freeware www.photoscape.org/
Photo Zoom Classic 4.1.4

Ben Vista

Image enlarging and reduction

licence fee

www.benvista.com

PlayMemoriesHome 5.5 Sony Corp. Image editing and enhancement, organising freeware www.sony.de
Snap Art Exposure Software Image editing, special effects licence fee https://exposure.software

Xtreme FotoDesigner 6

Magix AG

Image editing and enhancement/filtering

freeware

www.magix.de

*Software version presently in use          

For scanning pictures I use a  Canon MG7550 printer in conjunction with one of the image editing and enhancement programmes.

To scan negatives and slides from analogue times, a  ROLLEI scanner DF-S110  is in use since January 2010.

Although I've once been working for a German photographic magazine and having worked as an editor of quite a lot of illustrated books (architecture, landscape, art...) and journals, I've never liked to think of myself as an outstanding photographer - so please do not expect any photographic masterpieces. You can nevertheless visit my Photo Gallery which provides an insight into my photograhic work and in that of friends. The Gallery, which will be steadily extended by new exhibitions, reflects the great fun and satisfaction I gain from photography. Photography has become sort of "another passion" (beside amateur radio) to me.

In case you want to know more details about my personal or professional background, please click HERE.

 
 

 

 Initially published: 2005
Last revision: 25th August 2021
2005-2021 by Hans-Dieter Teichmann

Impressum/Editor's Note