Cameras

Christmas Card Time

It’s that time of the year. I said I wasn’t going to do it (forcefully too) and then I went and did it. Yep, Christmas cards, and made I them myself too, with a bit of help from Stormpress that is.

Well, the story was Mark asked me to pop in and take some photos of when the Velo Vinatge crew hit Barnfield Crescent couple of weeks back. The light had all but gone so unusually (for me) one of the Nikon SB 910s came to the rescue and then Emily, a visitor to these parts, ‘created the moment’. Once I saw the image I had to eat my words (well I’d already had a pie) and do the card.

The difficult part was finding out who the subject was, it seemed rude not to ask permission, but Emily seemed happy enough and even asked me to send her a few.

The process was all Creative Cloud based – Lightroom > Photoshop > InDesign > PDF and a quick email to Stormpress, I reckon it took Tristan 2 hours to have them printed, packed and supplied with envelopes too.

It turn’s out they would have printed the mailing labels as well but no, we love spending the weekend delving into the intricacies of Filemaker templates. Lifelong learning folks.

Ho, Ho, Ho.

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Meßsucher – an exhibition of photographs by Andrew Butler

OK, at very short notice I have been asked to fill a gap on a wall. A bit of history, we used to run from an office over The Café, Topsham so it’s a bit like returning home.

The photos in the show are all taken with a modern Leica, the M9, using Leica lenses: a 28mm Summicron (Asph), a 50mm Summilux (Asph), or a (1962) 90mm Elmarit.

The Leica M9 is a small inconspicuous digital rangefinder camera, it doesn’t have autofocus, it has fairly simple centre weighted metering and it doesn’t do video. Launched in September 2009, the M9 marked the return for Leica rangefinders to what has recently become known as full frame or 35mm format. It shares a lineage that dates back to the first Leitz Camera prototype of 1913 designed by Oscar Barnack. Although a modern camera the M9 will work well with lenses from earlier ‘M’ (Meßsucher) series cameras dating back to 1954.

The 35mm format was almost an accident based on available movie film stock; in many ways it is a compromised platform for photography. However, intended as a ‘compact camera for landscape photography’ the Leica fulfils that purpose to this day.

These images – for me at least – are what photography used to be about and are also an expression of the original Leica ideal; the landscapes are both rural and urban and record travels including Topsham, Dartmoor, London, Paris, Switzerland, Lisbon and Palermo.

Opening Times

The Exhibition runs from 8th- 31st Aug 2013 at The Cafe, 76 Fore St, Topsham, Exeter, Devon EX3 0HQ ‎01392 877827

Thanks

Paul for offering the space.
Niche in Bristol and particularly Hannah for turning the images around so quickly.
David of Stable Art in Bodmin who was as ever upbeat, helpful and inspiring.
Karin for giving me the kick to do it.
Dad.

Mac Motorcycle Photoshoot in Germany’s MO Motorrad

Many thanks again from Maik Schwarz and MO Motorrad Magazin for placing a great spread of the prototype Mac. I discussed the shoot some time ago but haven’t been able to put the images up whilst they have been going through the process.

The four page spread was as a result of our initial approach to Maik Schwarz on behalf of our client Mac Motorcycles.

I guess what is nice about working with MO is the strong sense of design and the simple approach. The images have barely even been cropped. For this shoot photos were captured on both the Nikon D800e and the Leica M9 although the selection that has appeared in the magazine are all from the D800 pool. Interestingly (to me at least) a couple were with a short zoom Nikkor that I no-longer have.

MO-1034183

Pleased to see the portrait of the bike’s creator Ellis Pitt shown without a crop too.

Postscript

OK, so it’s last thing on a Friday evening, Ellis has just forwarded this comment that he has received via email. Yes, this is why we do it;

I’ve seen your bike in the german motorcycle-magazine MO. What a great piece of work – congrats!

I can’t remember that ever a picture of a bike got me by the balls as this one did and I’m in love with motorcycles for about 30 years now.

What’s striking me most besides the fantastic line is the sheer beauty of the raw material

Bike Exif Feature Photography Generates Great Viewing Figures for Customer

Motorbike photographs taken by Andrew Butler have appeared on the prestigious Bike Exif website. In their own words the Bike Exif site is about,

…exposure. Bike EXIF is the most popular and influential custom motorcycle website in the world. We have the largest readership of any custom site, and more readers than most of the mainstream websites too. Many of today’s most successful builders got their break with a profile on Bike EXIF.

Working closely with Chris Hunter of Bike Exif we have supplied a set of simple but striking images of the Kevils BMW R100 café racer. The shots were taken at short notice the day before the bike was to be shipped to its new owner in Belgium.

Website Design

Design Credo have previously produced the Kevils website that Chris was kind enough to mention,

and now that he has a decent website, we’re guessing that business will get even better.

Shooting For Results

The shots were taken with the Nikon D800e with a 24-70mm f2.8. We took our studio to Kevils location and in this instance we used a deliberately simple lighting set-up. As is our general approach post-processing was kept to a minimum, chiefly cropping and tidying up the background.


As Bike Exif mention, the bottom line of a shoot like this is about exposure. Through appearing on Bike Exif’s site (with a worldwide audience) huge volumes of viewer traffic are being fed back through the Kevils website resulting already in a record two days readership. If there is any doubt about this claim consider the graph below. Kevils’ website shows a solid upward trend since its launch but there can be little doubt about the effect that appropriate image placement has had in the final week.
figures

Our work spreads beyond the taking of the photographs, recently we have had further success in placing quality motorcycling images in hi-end European magazines on behalf of clients; we look forward to reporting on this shorty.

Andrew Butler/Design Credo have handled all aspects of the Bike Exif submission. Give us a call to see how we could add value to your viewership through quality photography and design.

Lisbon

Four days isn’t enough, obviously, but most of these images were taken in a two hour walk and already they leave me with many questions, in particular how to return. I deliberately go to places with no foreknowledge, it’s a risk I know. After a short while in Lisbon it is hard not to see that all is not what it seems. At times the place seems like a forgotten film-set; rush past on the bus or in a taxi you might not notice but stop and look deeper into the eyes of the building windows and a darker truth emerges. Many, so many of the buildings are empty, some in disrepair few looking about to be repaired. Cash is king, plastic won’t get you far here and the police stand outside the Rolex shops and the supermarkets. Dining can be inexpensive, and good, really good, you will be hustled to make your choice though, such is survival. And for many survival doesn’t seem guaranteed yet the people are polite, friendly and courteous. As we drove back to the airport I asked the taxi driver why all of the building doors were green, he laughed, a few minutes later he pointed to a brown door and laughed again.

Brand, What’s in a Name?

There is a case for suggesting that the Leica M9 isn’t the tool for shooting motor-sport, I would agree. One might also suggest that driving a Lancia 037 (Versione Stradale) from Twickenham to the Wiscombe Hill Climb, taking part and then (presumably) returning home isn’t sensible. Robert Wadsworth assured me that he had to drive the car to the meeting because he ‘didn’t have a trailer’, this all seems perfectly reasonable.

Can I make it clear, I love old Lancias but don’t look at the current Lancia website full of re-badged Chryslers unless you want to cry. There is something about the old ones though. I drive a Saab and briefly Saabs were re-badged as Chryslers, in fact Lancias were re-badged as Saabs too after the ‘engine falling out issue’, but I would never try to link the Saab experience to the Lancia one.

Now, I must admit I had noticed the two young men with their lovely long lenses. I was even briefly perplexed by one who had both Nikon and Canon gear in his bag, that’s just not right is it? What I hadn’t realised was that they had noticed me, well to be fair I was probably stood in their way and actually it was the M9 that they had noticed. I had ridden to the meeting on the BMW and the Leica works really well, fits in the top-box, no need for a trailer.

While we were talking nonsense about cameras I was aware of Sir Blighty-Tweed walking past me, barking “Aha, BMW, by the people who brought us Auschwitz!”. I assumed he was addressing the chap cruising up the hill in his old 3-series, but then I looked at the logo on shoulder of my, err, BMW Rallye-3 jacket.

Probably best not to mention the Leica then?