Submissions to the Photoforum gallery

"The PhotoForum Member's Exhibit Space is a non-juried space dedicated to exhibit subscriber's work on a rotating basis. ..."

In other words, anyone can join the mailing list, submit a picture, and get critiqued, often very helpfully. This is a list of the images I have submitted, with a few comments.

"Smiley in the woodpile"
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Fuji Velvia

Something I chanced on after my first macro session, in November 1999

"Important things"
Aki Chandler and his friend Tomo, taken 2000-01-03
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Agfa HDC 400 colour negative film, converted to B+W after scanning.

"Enigma variations"
Taken 2000-01-27
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Fuji Astia reversal

As someone so rightly remarked, not really enough going on here. Yes, it's rotated through about 135 degrees - the original is the sloping concrete river bank.

"Stoned" - submitted 2000-04-01 (taken 2000-03-27)
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens + 68mm extension, 6 sec at f/22 Fujichrome Provia

While Bob Roseman was working hard putting together the digital gallery, I wasn't paying very careful attention (sorry!) because the object in this picture - the irregular crystalline bit with the odd brown lump on the left, total length about 4 millimetres - was blocking the exit from my right kidney. Before taking it to the hospital for analysis, I thought I ought to make a souvenir...

This is my first attempt at this sort of thing: I used some coloured light bulbs, a fluorescent desk lamp - I figured I wouldn't have to worry about skin tones - and some kitchen foil, and set it up on the dining table. (I also tried putting the foil background out of focus by suspending the stone on some cling film, but that didn't work, because all the stretch marks showed up. I suppose I should have used a plain glass filter: if I use modelling clay (plasticine or similar) to stick the stone on, would that wreck a coated filter?) After scanning I corrected the colour balance to a fair facsimile of the original object.

"Dribblin' Dragon" - submitted 2000-04-19
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, 1/2000 sec at f/4
Fujicolor SP400

Seen at a local Buddhist temple.

Although I was pleased with the composition, Steve Hodges pointed out that some fill flash would have improved the image by lightening the shadow on the right, making it easier to see what's going on.

"Wye bridge" - submitted 2000-09-08
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 lens, 1/1000 sec at f/5.6
Fujichrome Superia 400

This is the last bridge over the river Wye, which separates England and Wales, before it disgorges into the Severn. Actually the sidekick of the better-known Severn Bridge, it's interesting in being a cable-stayed suspension bridge built 35 years ago, long before they were all the rage. As well as being part of a photo-essay (also planned 35 years ago), my aim was to make something attractive out of Severn mud.

Got some good comments on the mud - "Looks good enough to eat or roll naked in..."

"No barbecue in winter"
Submitted 2000-10-17
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Agfa HDC 400

Taken last January. I hope that the combination of watery daylight and lots of space at the top conveys a feeling of emptiness...

Everyone was very polite about it. Turns out that what looks like a barbecue site here doesn't ring the same bells to someone in America, to name but one other country.

Taken 2000-10-7
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro, 1/125 f/11 Fuji Sensia

Waiting at the level crossing, who should I see but me? The splash of yellow is my umbrella, which I'd sprayed white on the inside as part of some plan or other. Cropped to less than half of the frame. The reflected image isn't quite sharp, but I suspect the autofocus got confused. Next time, should I:
Carry a metal cleaning rag, and polish the mirror?
Switch to manual focus, and select twice the distance to the car?
Or estimate the mean curvature of the mirror as r, and calculate the position of the image by

"Houttuynia cordata"
Taken June 2000
Canon EF 20-35 mm f/2.8 zoom, and 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Fujicolor 400

"Mere illustration" is what I'm aiming for, and I was quite pleased with this one, so would especially welcome ideas for further improvement.
This accompanies an article in the jeKai Japanese-English dictionary, at

A couple of people commented that this is just too green. Well, it is very green in the forest, and the negative, even to the naked eye, is plainly very pink (the negative of green). So what's going on? I'm not entirely sure: more work next summer.

"Old Sano"

I submitted this without details, just so see what anyone might make of it. Of course, it's taken with my home-made Chandlor 95mm lens.

"View of Mount Fuji"
Appeared 2001-01-27
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Fuji PN400 colour negative

From my office window after sundown, New Year's Day, 2001
We are about 160 km away from the mountain.

Seemed to get my point over. Peter Tofuri perhaps summed it up when he wrote: "While the image presents a snapshot feel at one level, it also documents the congested feel of modern Japan, tightly balancing its growing need for modern conveniences (electricity, automobiles, etc.) with a struggle to retain the beauty of its natural resources and historic past."
As I pointed out, the viewpoint is fixed - my office is on the ground floor - so it's a stroke of fortune that we can actually see Fuji - they just recently demolished the factory that used to be in the way, and have built new housing, but left a convenient gap. (Unplanned, of course - everything is unplanned, that's the plan.) And since January they have started building a new hospital building, so I expect this will have been a unique view.

Appeared 2001-02-10
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Fuji Superia 400 neg.

Appears to have been well received, with several "Well seen" comments. Bob Talbot wrote: "Well it certainly is pipework, it gives the impression of having been cobbled together over the years. What I fall on here is having too much context: my eye wanders around not knowing what was the message. If it was just the pipes: we need to be closer, get some more detail. Showing me the small piece of sky has just taken me away from any pattern." Fair comment, although of course it's precisely this riot of textures that is characteristic of this view.

"Gas meters"
Appeared 2001-04-07
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, 1/10 sec. f/32 Fujicolor Reala 100
Another busy image which I feel has suffered slightly from my attempts to get down to 50K (I have 8K left over from last time!)

Rand Flory in particular commented:
"While I generally like photos of unastonishing objects such as gas meters, this image just does not grab me. The term "overexposed" comes to mind, at least on my monitor."
I don't think it is overexposed, but the image certainly is a bit dazzling, with no relief for the eye. That gave me the idea of trying the same subject in the rain sometime.

Appeared 2001-04-28
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, 1/125 sec. f/4 Fujicolor Reala 100
Has a rather attractive Japanese name, junihitoe, after part of the costume of Heian court ladies, but it turns out that this is actually the European species. The version at f/16 gets all of the flower head sharp, but how about this? (For reference: 1/8 sec. at f/16)

Several helpful criticisms: too contrasty - move slightly to the left for composition - try superimposing the f/16 version of the flower on the f/4 version of the background. Oh, and David Dyer-Bennet said (among other things): "I can't get this to come together for me (mind you, I have a good-sized pile of unsuccessful shots of plants with similar 'tower of flowers' blooming habits myself!)" Hmm. Anyway, I see the recommendation to avoid bright sunlight in my newly acquired copy of John Shaw's book "Closeups in Nature," so this is obviously something to bear in mind.

Appeared 2001-06-30
Sigma 24mm f/2.8 lens, Colour Care "Made in EC" 200 neg.
Spot the two (other) deliberate errors.

Robert Earnest noted: "I actually find it physically dizzying (vertigo?) that the image is horizontal and the camera is being held vertical."

That was one "error" - the other: Photographer has back to subject! (I also seem to have made a mess of adjusting the colour balance.)

I made the image by stretching the original portrait frame (appears on the right for comparison) horizontally, until the camera lens was circular again.

Appeared 2001-07-28
Canon EF 20-35 mm f/2.8 zoom, Fuji PN400 colour negative
The old building at the heart of this riot of textures is a kura, a traditional fireproof storehouse, of plaster construction. I removed one wire from the sky (digitally, but preplanned).

Appeared 2001-12-29
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 lens, Fuji PN400 colour negative
Taken from my bicycle, at the edge of the Kanto Plain - June 2001

"Leaves, light, and stone"
Submitted 2002-03-20
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Fuji Reala 100 colour negative
1/3 s f/16 - taken December 2001

"The passers-by"
Appeared 2002-05-04
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 lens, Fuji PN400 colour negative (tripod)

Greg Fraser wrote (in his inimitable style): "Why did you not place your camera parallel to the fence? If I was taking this shot in my usual anal manner that would really bother me with this background (which I really like). Oh, perhaps I just answered my question. Your subject is the people not the buildings. The hands of the perky, young, yellow sweatered woman appear to be holding an invisible broom with which she is pushing the older, black clad woman ahead of her. Sort of a 'Get out of my way old woman. Your day has passed.' thing going on. But then both the people and background are in clear focus so what does that mean? Perhaps I'm missing this because given this location I would have waited for the people to pass so I could shoot those pipes that I find very interesting.
"Many questions have I about this photo. - Yoda 2002"

"After Greg Fraser"
Appeared 2002-06-08
Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, Fuji PN400 colour negative (Sept 2000)
Red spider lily: it makes you wonder how the bees steer straight.

Greg Fraser enthused (particularly about the title), while Andrew Fildes said "too confusing for me". I think the variety of opinions is helpful, and a good check that we are being told the truth.


Updated from time to time - WDG validated