Monday, September 23, 2019

Sir Francis Ronalds: The true father of modern communications

My great-great-great uncle, Sir Francis Ronalds FRS (1788-1873), was a scientist and inventor whose achievements span the disciplines of electricity, meteorology, photography, mechanics, optics and more. He can be argued to be the first electrical engineer.

Armistice in war on Peace

An odd thing happened last week. A little application that would suppress unwanted advertising in iPhone applications was launched on the same day as the arrival of the new iOS9 operating system. No more would we be assailed by intrusive ads. For years I’ve been running similar software—my favourite is Adblock—on the Mac and it does its job well.

Orient Express from Istanbul to the Swiss Alps, a photographic journey

The recent Macfilos story on the Swiss alpine railways bought back memories for me of a quite remarkable railway journey I made in October 1982. It was in an Orient Express reenactment from Istanbul to Interlaken in Switzerland. We travelled in a train using the original Orient Express rolling stock and pulled for much of the journey by steam locomotives. As I recollect, at that time the carriages were owned by a Swiss railway enthusiast who also ran a travel company.

Ming Thein on the evolution of street photography

Words of wisdom from Ming: It is worth remembering that an image reflects the photographer as much as it is about the subject....

Le Mans 24, an X-T1 and a brace of Fujinon zooms

Let's be honest, for a certain type of bloke it is a bucket-list thing. The glory days of Jaguar, racing through the night, the romance, the glamour, Steve McQueen and all that. When a good friend of mine, who has a place in France, suggested a long weekend including a day at the Le Mans 24 Hour race I jumped at the chance. I suppose I am what might be called a Passive Petrolhead; I am less interested than I used to be - the last time I went to a Grand Prix Mansel was still racing - but there is something about the demented howl of a V8 that sets the blood a-pumping.

Bièvres Camera Fair street style

This beautiful special edition, a heavily worked M7 in army green, is just one of the wonderful cameras to be seen around...

1588, Spanish Armada scattered; 2015, Drake meets his comeuppance

It took only 427 years but Sir Francis Drake has met his Nemesis. In 1588 Drake scattered the Spanish Armada and saved the Virgin...

Tom Grill compares the Sony A7r with Fuji’s X-T1

Tom Grill is conducting a fascinating comparison between the Sony A7r and the Fuji X-T1. In many respects these cameras are like two peas in a pod

Living Museums: A journey back in time to the grimy, gritty life in the...

Living museums have become increasingly popular, nowhere more so than in the UK where “attractions” are seemingly around every bend in the road. I’ve enjoyed a number of these celebrations of, mostly, early 20th century life including Beamish in Northumberland and the sadly now defunct Wigan Pier museum. This last weekend I ticked another rather enticing museums off my wishlist, this time the Black Country Living Museum at Dudley in the heart of the Black Country. The area was at the forefront of the industrial revolution and gained its name from the pollution and generally dreary landscape that resulted from the mining and other works.

Borough Market to the Thames Barrier: A photographic excursion

On Saturday my friend George James made one of this regular trips to London and suggested we meet in Borough Market to get a few shots with our matching Leica M-Ps and 50mm Apo-Summicrons. It was a good idea but the market was far two crowded.  So, after a few scuffles and near misses, we adopted Plan B: A visit to the Thames Barrier, way out beyond Greenwich in the east.