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The Latest from MPB

  • 2014-07-18 12:00:00

    It’s been an interesting week in photography and an exciting week at MPB. Here we take a look back at the highlights!

     

    Dronestagram’s First Drone Photo Contest

     

    User Capungaero's winning image

     

    If you’re not familiar with Dronestagram it’s a fairly simple concept to grasp. It’s an image sharing platform like Instagram for images taken using drones which makes for interesting viewing. However, the start of the week saw the site announce the winners of their first aerial photo contest and the results are very impressive. Whatever your feelings towards drones in general, these image really show off the potential of drone photography and are definitely worth a look!

     

     

    Tour de France Selfies

    Getting close to the action to get the perfect shot is the aim of every photographer at a sporting event, pro or amateur. Of course, taking care is advised where fast moving subjects are concerned but that hasn’t stopped some Tour de France fans from stepping into the road to take the perfect selfie. There’s been plenty of comment on camera phones, selfies and how close fans can get to the riders. All we have to say is that standing in roads, camera or not, should be approached with caution.

     

     

    45 Years on from Apollo 11

     

    Image from Project Apollo Archive

     

    It was 45 years ago on Wednesday that Apollo 11 left earth’s atmosphere to take Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon. To celebrate, PetaPixel have curated an awe inspiring collection of images documenting the journey from start to finish. The original images form part of the NASA’s Project Apollo Archive, an impressive document of the Apollo missions which includes high resolution scans of medium format, 35mm and 16mm images. There are huge numbers of images here so set aside a bit of time so you can get properly engrossed.

     

     

    Google Glass at MPB

    Google Glass is now available as a prototype here in the UK and we’ve managed to get our hands on a pair. It sees a stills and video camera combined with a wearable computer and poses interesting questions for photographers. Could this be a new direction for point and shoot photography? And will this technology influence more professional set ups in future, or work along side? We’re still getting to grips with Glass and you can read more here or see our first encounter below.

     

     

    Any photography news we missed? Add your favourite photography stories from the week in the comments below or let us know on Facebook and Twitter @mpbphotographic.

     

    Best of the Week

    Best of the Week

    Our pick of this weeks photography goings on!... Read More

  • 2014-07-17 12:00:00

     

    There is no doubt that improvements in technology have completely changed the landscape for photographers over the years. The advent of digital has revolutionised our approach and our use of cameras has been transformed by their integration with other devices. Whether or not your DSLR is at hand, chances are you have a camera on the phone in your pocket, or combined with the tablet or laptop in your bag. Companies like GoPro have even popularised the wearing of cameras but now Google has upped the ante and taken this idea one step further with Glass. 

     

     

    Described as a ‘ubiquitous computer’, Glass is the combination of camera, music player, navigation system, fitness tracker, search engine, news feed and more. It is the point at which several ideas meet, functioning similarly to a smartphone, acting as a point of view camera, connecting the user to the internet and looking like something from a sci-fi film. 

     

    The device has seen a mixed reception so far with reviews making much of it’s technical capabilities and critics quickly honing in on its limitations. More widely it seems to be equally applauded, mocked and maligned but for many it’s simply a novelty with no practical application. However, before we judge it too harshly, it’s worth remembering the criticism levelled at camera phones and the scepticism of the likes of Google and Microsoft when Apple first announced the iPad. While there are still some valid criticisms of these devices, the view that they are irrelevant and not useful is almost laughable today.

     

     

    Photography and technology are increasingly inseparable, whether it’s GPS and wifi creeping into our cameras or cameras into our devices. For photographers with an eye on the future, it’s worth considering technology in the context of the photography. Whilst one may not replace the other, it will undoubtedly shape the way we work and present us with opportunities to improve our methods.

     

    We’re just acquainting ourselves with Google Glass and starting to imagine the ways to could affect and work alongside photography. What do you think? Does it have a future or a place in or along side photography? Let us know in the comments, send us a message on Facebook or Tweet @mpbphotographic.

    An Introduction to Google Glass

    An Introduction to Google Glass

    Tech & photography. We get to grips with Google Glass!... Read More

  • 2014-07-10 12:00:00

    Looking for a photography fix this summer? Take a look at our pick of some of the best festivals and exhibitions over the coming months!

     

    PhotoIreland Festival 2014

    When? 1st - 31st July

    Where? Venues across Dublin

    Website: http://2014.photoireland.org/

     

     

    2014 sees the fifth edition of PhotoIreland which will run across multiple venues in the vibrant city of Dublin. The theme of ‘Truths, Facts, Fictions, Lies’ is set to explore how photography is used as a means of storytelling, to share news and events both publicly and privately. The event will see key exhibitions from Yvette Monahan, Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen, talks from the likes of photographer Jan Rosseel and Emma Bowkett of FT Magazine, as well as an array of workshops. 

     

    Highlights:

    The Sochi Project - Photographers Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen explore Sochi, “the Florida of Russia, but cheaper”, in the lead up to the Winter Olympics through so-called slow journalism. 

    The Library Project - A collection of over 1000 contemporary publications from all over the world dedicated to photography and image culture. Many of these will be as yet unseen in Ireland so definitely worth a look!

     

     

     

    Jewels of the archive

    When? 13th June - 4th September

    Where? Getty Images Gallery, London

    Website: http://www.gettyimagesgallery.co.uk/exhibitions/archive/jewels-of-the-archive.aspx

    Focusing on select photographs from the Hulton Archive, Getty’s store of historical images, the gallery gives a new context to work which was originally seen in print. With some images instantly recognisable and others lesser known, the photographs on display are a walk through historical events, cultural keystones and curiosities which have their own story to tell.

     

    Highlights:

    Work from the likes of Bill Brandt, Bert Hardy and Dennis Oulds. There is also a selection of historical items on display giving an insight into early photographic practices. For history, culture and photography enthusiasts alike!

     

     

     

    Fresh Faced + Wide Eyed 2014

    When? 1st - 20th July

    Where? The Photographer’s Gallery, London

    Website: http://ffwe2014.thephotographersgallery.org.uk/

     

    Copyright Emily Price

     

    A collection of work showcasing emerging talent from the UK’s BA and MA courses which celebrates the variety and difference seen across the field. The impressive array of work was selected by esteemed judges David Drake, director at Ffotogallery, Sheyi Bankale, founder of Next Level, Sophey Rickett, artist and photographer, and Photographer’s Gallery director Brett Rogers and demonstrates a number of techniques and themes.

     

    Highlights:

    Overload by Emily Price - Examining our desensitisation to images of war and catastrophe, Price presents collage and digital manipulation in unconventional ways. Her digitally printed wallpaper is worth seeing up close.

    Strategic Cooking by Katarina Mudronova -  With vibrant and precise imagery which explores the aesthetics of food culture, Mudronova comments on globalisation and resulting homogenisation.

    Direction of Travel by James Duncan Clark - Seeking to question the official narrative surrounding the games and regeneration, this body of work replaces it with an insight into the everyday by documenting the landscape and found ephemera. 

     

     

    Think there is an exhibition we should know about or would like to see included in our next round up? Tweet @mpbphotographic or send us a message on Facebook!

    Summer Exhibition Roundup 2014

    Summer Exhibition Roundup 2014

    Our pick of some of the best festivals and exhibitions this summer!... Read More

  • 2014-07-05 12:00:00

    The final rounds fast approaching and Wimbledon is reaching its peak. While many of us sit back in the sunshine and enjoy the tennis, others are working hard behind the scenes to bring us coverage of every aspect of the tournament. 

    Joanna Mauger is a freelancer in video production, currently working with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Her videos aim to give fans a behind the scenes look at just about every aspect of a tennis star’s working life, from work outs with Sam Stosur to behind the scenes in Miami with Serena Williams. Here she tells us about her day to day and how she achieves the best results with accessible camera gear which some may find surprising!

     

     

    How did you first come to work with video?

    I knew really early on that a career in TV and Video production was for me. I studied for a degree in Television Production at Bournemouth University. I then worked my way up from making tea, to producing and directing at a south coast production company, to finally taking the plunge and entering the world of freelance!

     

    How would you describe your work to anybody unfamiliar with video production?

    At the start of each tennis season, the WTA give me a contract for a number of tournaments and video projects that need to be completed throughout the year. We then start planning these projects and also come up with new ideas for our fans to feel closer to the players. At each tournament I collect content for sponsorship videos, media requests and behind the scenes fun stuff that you really want to see!

    Basically, I film a variety of shots with my camera, transfer all the data to my mac, where I edit the footage together. I then add audio and graphics, along with some colour-grading to create the final video.

     

     

    What is your favourite part of the job? And what would you say is most challenging?

    That’s easy… variety. I love that every video or project I’m involved in is different. I work with new people, in new locations all the time. For the last 4 years, I’ve been lucky enough to work all over the world with the WTA. On average I go to around 10 tennis tournaments a year, working closely with the world’s best female tennis players. As a huge tennis fan, it’s the perfect job! From sponsorship videos, fan messages and hot air balloon rides with Lucie Sararova, I never know what my day will entail.  

    The most challenging part is definitely trying to juggle every aspect of video production on my own. Sound, camera, lighting, and then battling through all the editing to demanding timescales, (usually the same day). It can be a high pressure environment, especially when filming with tennis players who may only be able to give me 10 minutes of their time. This means there is little room for error and I don’t have lots of time to set up lights or to rehearse. I keep my fingers crossed that my kit doesn’t fail in these situations! The key to all of this is to be super organised, always have ridiculous amounts of batteries and SD cards, and bucket loads of passion! 

     

    What are the essentials in your kit bag? Do you have a favourite piece of kit?

    My goal for my kit bag is to keep it as light as possible. Travelling with equipment can be a nightmare, especially as I like to have back-ups of everything! This may surprise people, but I actually film with a Canon EOS 600D. I love how light it is, and the articulating LCD screen is my lifesaver! Of course, the Canon 5D is the ideal choice, but as I mainly film all day with a shoulder rig, it’s just far too heavy for me. I get great results from kit that doesn’t cost me a fortune! My Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 is just brilliant, as well as my Canon 50mm f/1.4 and my variable ND filter.

    These beauties suit my style of filming, and I’ve learnt to make the best quality videos from my somewhat budget kit bag.

    From filming to editing - I have a beast of a Macbook Pro, and I edit on Final Cut Pro; my extensive knowledge of FCP keyboard shortcuts is a little worrying!

     

    Do you have any advice for aspiring video makers?

    Practice; film and edit short videos of anything that interests you. You will start to develop your own style, as well as a great portfolio! Also, working for a small production company where I learnt every aspect of video production is fundamental to where I am today, and as cliche as this sounds, it’s all about who you know. Make loads of contacts, work hard, always be friendly and most importantly never complain.

     

    You can keep up to date with Jo on Twitter and Instagram as she starts her own production company, Film Farm

    Want to replicate Jo’s kit and have a go at some video work yourself? Take a look at our Canon EOS 600D bodies, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX HSM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lenses.

    Behind the Scenes : Joanna Mauger at the WTA

    Behind the Scenes : Joanna Mauger at the WTA

    Behind the scenes video production with the WTA.... Read More

The Latest from the Industry

  • 2014-07-18 12:00:00

    Canon and Nikon’s summer cashback offers are in full swing. With up to £50 cashback from Nikon and up to £150 from Canon on selected photographic gear, now is the perfect time to part exchange for new!  

     

    How it Works

    Select new Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras, lenses and flash guns are included in the offer. Brand new Nikon items purchased from MPB Photographic between April 30th - July 30th 2014 and Canon items purchased between May 15th - August 13th are eligible. 

    All of our new equipment is available for part exchange and you can receive your commitment free quote by filling in our online form. Let us know what you would like to sell and we will send a quote via email within 1 working day! 

     

     

    What’s Eligible? 

     

     

    Canon DSLR

    Canon EOS 6D - £150 cashback

    Canon EOS 70D - £100 cashback

    Canon EOS 100D - £30 cashback

    Canon EOS 1200D - £20 cashback

     

    Canon Lenses

    Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM - £40

    Canon EF-S 10-20mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - £40

    Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM - £25

    Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - £60

    Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - £100

     

     

    Nikon DSLR

    Nikon D3200 - £30

    Nikon D3300 - £40

    Nikon D5300 - £50

     

    Nikon Lenses

    Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX - £20

    Nikon AF-S 40mm f/2.8G DX - £20

    Nikon AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR DX - £20

    Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX - £30

    Nikon AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX - £50

     

    Nikon Flashguns

    Nikon SB-300

     

    A full list of eligible items, T&Cs and cashback claims can be seen on the Canon and Nikon websites.

     

    Canon & Nikon Summer Cashback

    Canon & Nikon Summer Cashback

    Canon & Nikon Summer Cashback Deals!... Read More

  • 2014-06-26 12:00:00

     

    It’s been an exciting couple of days. On the eve of the highly anticipated Nikon announcement, a first impressions article was leaked confirming the suspicions of many. Within hours, the D810 was officially revealed, replacing both the D800 and D800E. 

    So, what can we expect from Nikon’s latest offering?

     

    Key Specifications

    Body: Magnesium alloy

    Sensor: 36.6MP Full-frame CMOS

    Processor: EXPEED 4

    ISO: 64 - 12,800

    AF: 51-point system with new ‘Group Area AF’ mode

    LCD Screen: 3.2”

    Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000 sec

    Built in flash: Yes

    Continuous Drive: 5fps, 7fps in DX mode

    Video Resolution: 1920x1080, 1280x720

    Video Frame Rate: 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p, 60p

    Video Output: Uncompressed output over HDMI with simultaneous writing to memory card

     

    Our verdict?

    At first glance, the D810 is set to be a videographer’s camera but much like its predecessors it surely won’t disappoint on image quality and sharpness. Whilst not a total reimagining of the D800 and D800E, it does have a redesigned shutter and mirror mechanism and a new 9MP RAW mode. However, it is likely to be improvements to video functionality which set this camera apart. Key features to note include zebra stripes for checking exposure, a built in stereo mic and a new ‘Flat Picture Control’ profile to give maximum flexibility in post production.

     

    We’re expecting to see the D810 become available late July but stay tuned to Twitter @mpbphotographic for updates on availability and a more precise date as we get it.

    Looking to upgrade? You can get a commitment free quote from us right now!

     

    Nikon Announce the D810

    Nikon Announce the D810

    Our first look at the Nikon D810... Read More

  • 2014-06-20 12:00:00

    August announcements abound and rumours are growing in strength. Whilst we would love to bring you a whole list of potential new gear, there is one piece of kit that has had Canon fans guessing for years: the next APS-C flagship or fabled 7D II. The wait has been long but it finally looks set to make an appearance this year!

     

    The Story So Far

    Speculation about a follow up to the 7D stretches back as far as 2011 when the original had been in production for 2 years. With the release of the 5D III and 70D imminent, it seemed likely that Canon would look to improve upon their rugged APS-C flagship which had already become a firm favourite among sports and wildlife photographers alike, as well as those keen to venture into the realms of HD video.

    Predictions of features and specifications have altered with each renewed suggestion that a replacement is in the pipeline. Both Canon Rumors and Canon Watch have previously reported on possible improvements to low light performance and video functionality, perhaps the inclusion of multiple cards slots, GPS and wifi. Will it even be called the 7D II? If video is improved, will it be the 7D C? Or will it be named something else entirely? What has remained unchanging throughout is the expectation that any follow up will be fast and precise, much like its predecessor, with improved frame rate and autofocus system set to challenge that seen in pro gear. 

    We have been teased with potential announcement dates at virtually every key photography event since rumours first surfaced. Numerous high profile releases from Canon have passed and it has begun to feel like the 7D II may be a thing of legend. So can it really be true that we might soon say goodbye to the original 7D and wave in its successor?

     

    Recent Rumours

    Given the promise and subsequent disappointment of previous rumours, it would not be unreasonable to suspect that current reports may just be adding fuel to the fire. However, these seem to hint at much more progress than simply theorising further about features.

    Suggestion that the 7D II is currently being tested by photographers, at the World Cup no less, is something which we’ve not heard before. Also, whispers of pro dealer events with agendas covering big August announcements have the rumour mill is turning with renewed vigor. Yet most compelling of all, Canon Rumors reported earlier this month that the 7D is entering ‘end of life’, an indication that it is being archived and will soon be unavailable from distributors. We don’t need to tell you that this is an incredibly suggestive move which implies that a replacement is imminent.

     

    What should we expect? And when?

    Currently, those in the know are suggesting that an announcement either at or in time for Photokina this September would seem a fair bet. Particularly since Nikon seem primed for a big announcement later this month, it would seem likely that Canon would what to rival this and finally revealing such a highly anticipated camera would certainly do the trick.

    As ever, we won’t know the specifications until an official announcement is made but Canon Rumors’ more recent updates gives a tantalising glimpse of what the camera may deliver:

    • Quite high MP count
    • Vastly improved AF performance
    • Greatly improved low light and ISO/noise performance
    • Potentially a different sensor and/or technology than expected
    • Good price point
    • Very close to ‘pro’ classification, but non-compete with flagship such as 1DX

     

    Whatever the final product, the 7D II will need to impress as a lengthy wait and endless speculation has left expectations high.

     

    Sources: Canon Rumors, Canon Watch, Peta Pixel

    Keep up to date with rumour news and more over on Twitter @mpbphotographic!

    Canon Rumours Round-Up Summer 2014

    Canon Rumours Round-Up Summer 2014

    Could the 7D II finally be announced this year?... Read More

  • 2014-06-10 12:00:00

    There are plenty of Nikon rumors doing the rounds at the moment. Here are our top 3! 

     

     

    Nikon “D800S”

    Named the D800s by expectant Nikon users, the successor to the D800 and D800E could be just around the corner, particularly with new rumors of an announcement due on June 26th. There has been lots of chatter about specifications and we’re expecting improvements to video functionality, low light performance and frame rate. The autofocus system is likely to match the D4S and, like the D800E, it’s successor is expected to have no anti-aliasing filter but with improved moiré suppression. All good news but, if the rumors are true, the price tag is set to be higher than D800E!

    UPDATE 18/06/14: We're now hearing that the camera will be called the D810 and will be announced on June 26th.

     

    Fluorine Coating

    Not sure what the fuss is about? Take a look at this video from Nikon Asia to see the difference this coating can make. Designed to repel dust, water droplets and dirt, this fluorine coating is only available on Nikon’s AF-S 800mm f/5.6E ED VR and the recently announced AF-S 400mm f/2.8E ED VR. However, it is expected that Nikon’s remaining high-end telephoto lenses will see this upgrade in the coming year or two.

     

    Follow up to the D300s?

    The D300s, Nikon’s flagship APS-C camera, was announced almost 5 years ago so many have begun to speculate about a potential successor. Rumors about a possible D400 or D9300 have been circulating on and off for some time and, with strengthening rumors that Canon will be announcing a follow up to the popular 7D later this year, it’s likely that Nikon will look to release a direct competitor. Couple this with news that Nikon USA have recently moved the D300s to the archived camera list and a replacement looks ever more likely! Details on spec are sketchy but this could be another contender for that possible announcement date of June 26th.

    Sources: Nikon Rumors, Peta Pixel, The New Camera.

    Keep up to date with news on rumours and more over on Twitter @mpbphotographic!

    Nikon Rumours Round-up Summer 2014

    Nikon Rumours Round-up Summer 2014

    Our top 3 rumours for Nikon this summer!... Read More