Category Archives: Photography

My latest weird and whacky project!

You may know that I like to dabble a little with Digital Photography.

I happened across some information late last year which piqued my interest, and has prompted me to want to give it a try.

Apparently, if you squeeze some ink from the reservoir inside a conventional fluorescent highlighter pen in to some water, and then use the ink/water mix to feed cut flowers, the flower will draw up the fluorescent ink and it will accumulate within the flower itself, resulting in some interesting effects under an Ultraviolet light.  The video on the first linked page explains the process, and makes it look quite interesting!

These are supposedly the sort of images that can be achieved…

… it looked fascinating to me, so I thought I’d give it a go.  I’m currently in the process of accumulating the necessary equipment to give it a go.

I’m waiting for:

  • UV Ink – I’ve elected not to try the dismantling of highlighter pens, but have instead ordered a couple of different coloured UV Inks, I figured that it’d be interesting to see if the different colours have any interesting effects.
  • Blacklight Torch – I purchased two types, a “torch” with a beam, and one of these tube style ones from Amazon.  I thought the beam might be a little too obvious or bright, as it’s a point illumination, so decided a more general illumination from the tube might achieve a better effect.
  • Light Box Cube – I needed one of these anyway for some product photos I needed earlier this year and had to prevail upon a family member to help, so I just purchased a cheap one with multiple backdrops

I’m currently waiting for the equipment to arrive, then I’ll start experimenting!  Results (if they’re any good!) will be posted on Flickr and linked here.

An Unfulfilled Quest

I wrote a few days ago about my interest in a Fuji Finepix XP30 camera.  I wanted it specifically because of it’s underwater ability, and the dustproof/shockproof characteristics would come in handy for my grand holiday later in the year.

However, I’ve been dissapointed, and in retrospect I’m actually glad.

I went ahead and ordered the Camera from Amazon, together with a “Pro” class 16Gb SDHC card for it.  Unfortunately the day it was due to be delivered I was out of the office at a certain Football Stadium.  When I returned and found no parcel waiting on my desk, I contacted Amazon who confirmed that “Home Delivery Network” had put it through the letterbox at 9.02am, and hadn’t obtained a signature.

The only problem being there IS no letterbox at my work address!   Needless to say I contacted Amazon who went off to investigate.  They later confirmed that something had gone awry with the order, and were good enough to re-order both the camera and the memory card for me at no cost.   But the story doesn’t end there!  Of course the Camera itself is out of stock at Amazon now, and the only options are more expensive.  Amazon will be re-stocking but in 3-4 weeks time.

So I’ve been looking around for alternatives.  And having read through in more detail the reviews for the XP30, both at Amazon and elsewhere, I’ve phoned back and cancelled the Camera, and requested a refund.

There are a few alternatives out there, including the Canon PowerShot D10 (12.1 MP, 3.0x, 2.5″ LCD), or the Pentax Optio WG-1 (14MP, 5 x Wide Angle Zoom, 2.7″ LCD), the Panasonic Lumix FT3 (12.1MP, 4.6x Zoom) or the Olympus TG-310 (14MP, 3.6x Wide Angle Zoom, 2.7″ LCD)

I’m not sure which to look at, the Canon and the Pentax both have much better write-ups, and both come in at about the £220 mark.  While that’s a fair amount more than the Fuji XP30, it’s not unreasonable.  The Pentax appears to have the best specifications of the two.

I don’t expect this to be a fantastic camera, but I do want to be able to take it underwater.  The dustproof & shockproof nature also have some appeal given where I’ll be taking it.

Anyone out there have any experience with cameras like this and able to offer any suggestions?

Gadget Alert: Fuji Finepix XP30

I first noticed this gadget on the TV. Adverts featuring a Bungee Jumping guy who “catches” a camera in mid air, who then plunges underwater may be an amusing idea for an advert, but if the camera lives up to it’s hype then it has piqued my interest.

Fuji Finepix XP30

I’m off on a “big” holiday to Egypt later on this year, and I’m definitely interested in a pocket-camera that I could take underwater, or not have to worry too much about getting dusty etc. In previous years at Centerparcs we’ve purchased some of those single-use underwater film cameras they sold for splashing about in the pool with, so the idea of a reusable digital camera that works underwater is very interesting indeed.

I’m still undecided if I’m going to take my DSLR and a selection of lenses with me. I want to, and know that if I don’t I’ll most likely regret it forever after, but it’s a lot to carry around and will eat up the baggage allowance quite considerably! But of course that one isn’t a waterproof, dustproof, freeze-proof, drop-proof affair, the XP30 is (or at least so it claims).

Some of the reviews I’ve read of it are quite critical of the picture quality, but I’m not especially concerned about a high quality image from a cheap £115 camera.  It’s available in a number of different tacky colours if you’re interested!

So I’m still pondering whether to make the investment, or if I should leave it until nearer the time before we go.  If you or anyone you know has any experience with this little gadget, please let me have your thoughts!