26 July 2016


So I've started to keep notebooks (a bit late in the day but never mind - I like them). Inspired in part by Peter Beard (not to be confused with Peter Beardsley), I find them relaxing to make / keep, and they augment my memory - magazines are chopped up, concerts are reviewed, books critiqued, paintings appreciated, that type of thing. Anyway, above is what happens when magazines get the treatment. The best thing, though, is that screens are not involved and oh by jimminy! that is a relief let me tell you. Mrs Lemon's has suffered a bit as a consequence but the jamboree of nerves in my cranium that is my brain has benefitted enormously I think. Not through anything more profound than my being a bit more relaxed but hey, anyway, it's a result.

UPDATE: Heard a podcast interview with P. Beard yesterday - dear oh dear what a plonker. Ah well, you live and learn - I still like the look of his journals in any case: you know, that 'Hitler and his watercolours' thing.

UPDATE 4/8/16: Further traces of notebooking:

Down the Crown

Outside Freestate Coffee - Need Help?

That Onion Cafe board - annoying. Also, colour: it can be enough, but isn't quite sufficient here. However, I do like the yellow tufts of hair, the pink bag and the red shirt and all the echoes these have with the side of the florist's van.

Streetlight Selfie

22 July 2016

Brighton Fringe

Outside FreeState Coffee

In case anyone wishes to accuse me of Steve McCurrying this one, I admit that the van to the woman's left started out red before going through Photoshop.

Reason for the photo? I liked her tones.

19 July 2016

Fuji X-Pro2: Day 4 (tired of this yet? Me either).

Waterloo this evening. Trains not running because of it being hot - you know, the wrong type of sun or something. The weather parameters in which our rail system functions seem to be narrowing every year.

Not much to say today - I had been hoping to get home and sort some more photographs out for people from recent shoots but, well, the scene above tells you all you need to know. I bumped into my brother-in-law and a friend of his, Comedy Bob, and we went to the pub before getting an Uber home. So now I'm not fit for writing anything but tomorrow is another day so I shall start again then. In the meantime, here's another photograph, again taken with the go-anywhere (at least at the moment) X-Pro2 and 35mm f2. You're welcome. 

It was kinda hot today. I mean, for London.

18 July 2016

Fuji X-Pro2: Day 3

The above is a SOOC jpeg. Last of the day's sunlight. I'd have liked a bit more dynamic range such that the sky held a bit of colour and the blacks weren't so black but never mind - I like it otherwise. And I could have fiddled with the settings a bit of course but I'm still in the "let's just see what it does if left to its own devices" mode.

Some observations from today: 

1. I've just had the camera freeze on me - by which I mean, I was deleting some photographs one by one and the screen went black and the camera became unresponsive - not so good for a two-day old machine with less than a couple of hundred pictures on it. Had to pop out the battery in the end. Not good Fuji, not good. 
2. I still want to pick it up and take it to photograph things - it really does beg to be used. 
3. You know the ISO arrangement is a bit of a mess, yes? I mean, the lifting the collar on the dial like we used to have to do in 1982? So instead you choose your auto-ISO settings and off you go? Well, the good news is that auto ISO is pretty easy to set up and understand; the bad news is it seems to default to f2 rather than raise the ISO by much and I'm not sure why. Anyway, maybe I'll be able to fix that somehow - I mean, I can set the aperture myself of course and maybe I'll just have to do this which isn't much of a hardship. Or specify a higher base ISO or something. 

[Do you get confused reading reviews / explanations of cameras that aren't in your hands? I do, but then I'm plenty thick so it isn't really surprising - you're probably not as dumb as a brick like me which, being the case, please ignore this section in parentheses]. 

What else? Nothing at the moment - the crashing of the software / camera of course takes some of the shine away but in some ways it's all part of learning to live with something - there's only so long before the person you're dating has to guff or accidentally trips over a rug or some such and it is at that point you find out if you're in for a long relationship or if no, you're not up for a less than god-like perfection. If the former, you can relax a bit and get in a bit of guffing of your own should the need arise.

Bed now, but here's another picture first - it's an early Victorian anti-dandruff statue.

Squished Photos

Not sure why but some of the pictures on here look a little compressed - squeezed from side to side. Need to sort this when I have a moment...

17 July 2016

The X-Pro2: 24 Hours In

Some very early thoughts on the X-Pro2 I picked up yesterday. The photos are OOC jpegs taken with a Fuji 35mm (50mm equivalent) f2; I have the raw files but it is late and Adobe don't want me to be able to open them for some reason - I'll figure it out at some point but for now, sorry - jpegs only. And not the most fascinating of pictures but never mind - some blindingly beautiful work will no doubt follow later in the week... ;-)

Shot in Velvia mode and downsized in Photoshop; no post-processing. A bit orange-heavy? Perhaps - the late evening sunlight was very warm though, and my Nikons give similar results. Shot at 1 stop under.

Shot in standard mode then de-hazed in Photoshop and contrast given a bit of a boost. Emsmallened on output. Lots of dust visible all over the sensor, despite my only having taken the camera and the 35mm f2 out of their packaging and married them. Ah well. More concerning were a number of tiny black spots visible in the blue of the dusk sky. Dead pixels? Not sure. But there were quite a few of them. 

First thoughts - the cons: 

1. Battery life - as bad as you've heard. Carry three or four per camera if you are out photographing a wedding with a couple of these. I've been through one already and I've only shot about 150 photos - that said, I've been fiddling with the camera a lot of course, and I've heard it said that batteries get a bit more efficient over their first few charging cycles (how true this is I have no idea) so take these thoughts with a pinch of salt. 
2. In my (medium sized) hands the camera isn't that easy to hold. The weight is a delight but the buttons on the grip are not - you'll be pressing them repeatedly when you are simply walking around. Still, you'll be needing to turn it off when not up to your eye so get used to powering down: by doing this, accidentally pressing the Q or AF-L buttons and changing settings shouldn't happen too often (!). Maybe a firmware update will allow you to disable the buttons (and yes, I know that the camera's settings can be locked but I've not had it long  enough yet to figure out if that is the way to go - I'm not sure I want to be fiddling about trying to reset something that is locked; more when I have a clue). 
3. The EVF isn't that accurate - your pictures won't look like what you're seeing on the screen though given time I guess you'll become adept at translation of one into the other. At least I'm hoping so. 

First thoughts - the pros: 

1. It looks beautiful. Really. But then you already know that. The weight, the beauty and the metal construction mean that I want to pick it up and use it. I know, I know - you've read that a zillion times - tell you something you don't know? But it is true - I couldn't resist a short walk this evening just to try it out like a Pokemon Go addict. 
2. The shutter sound. Geeky or not, I love how it sounds. It sounds like money. Or engineering. I've heard the same thing said about the sound of a Mercedes door closing and if I were into cars maybe that would be a parallel I could legitimately draw. As it is, it's a guess. 
3. The focussing - my biggest concern before I plonked down the wonga - has so far proved a revelation - unfussy, easy to navigate, sharp each time. Mind you, I'm not a fan of focus tracking / continuous autofocus and reviews elsewhere have suggested this is unusable so if this is your preferred way of working you might want to reconsider; again, though, I can't comment with any authority. But single shot autofocus seems delightful. I've not tried manual focus so again, no comment. 
4. Did I mention the weight? Not too light, not too heavy (at least with the 35mm) - Goldilocks weight. 
5. The menu design / layout seems to have improved immensely since the X100 - more intuitive and items seem easier to get to, though this may be a product of the fact that I'm not coming to the camera cold and have some experience of the way the Fuji designers have thought about this aspect of their cameras in the past. 

So, anyway, time for bed. I'll be back with more nonsense soon no doubt, and perhaps then with the ability to process raw files, Adobe-willing. 

Finding Mrs Lemon's

I had a look at some of my earliest posts the other day and panicked - the pictures were so bad and the writing so grating that I hid the blog from search engines and the public. However, I've been thinking things over and though the early pictures are woeful, they do show where I've come from - photographs now may not be earth-shattering but they are undeniably better - technically at the very least, and I hope in terms of subject matter. But more to the point, to hell with it - yes, the blog is at times embarrassing ("Did I say that? Did I post that?") but never mind - for good or evil I'm ploughing on; perhaps I'll work at it sufficiently such that it garners a few more readers but whatever, Mrs Lemon's is back and apologies if you were looking for it and unable to find it. So, normal service is resumed. And by way of recognition of this, here's a photo:

(Uploaded using the services of EE - EE, whose broadband would be outpaced by a band of one-legged elves trained to ride round the to the relevant server with individual pixels and place them in situ by hand).

Two things about this photo that I'm sure you will find enormously interesting. Or not. Firstly, it was taken with an X-Pro2, a camera I have succumbed to despite my past experience with the X100, a camera with the unique attribute of being unable to focus either electronically or with manual assistance. Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes - it's nicer to use than a big ol' full frame DSLR but, well, let's see - the jury is still out.
Secondly, that cup of tea is not a realistic representation of how I have it. My teeth may not be the whitest but were I to have my tea like the above they would be the colour of elm stumps. I've a way to go before I get the measure of this camera.

3 July 2016

Wedding Prep, Slovakia

Yes, I think I did this one before but hey, I like it so here it is again. 

2 July 2016




Sam and Ellie

Hamlet - the Malachites - at The Geffrye Museum

Schopenhauer’s central premise is that talent achieves what others cannot achieve, whereas genius achieves what others cannot imagine. 

One day

One day I'm going to go through Mrs Lemon's and delete 85% of the pictures and posts and streamline the rest - same picture sizes, some sort of rule about what appears (there has to be a person in the picture? Only black and white? Only square shots? Something like that). That way, the whole bloody melange will be a lot easier to look at, to browse. And the chaff will be banished - goodness knows, it is mostly chaff after all.

Mr and Mrs Macbeth