Autumn Again

I looked at the weather this morning and was glad that I wasn’t celebrating the Autumn Equinox, as the forecast wasn’t good and it was raining steadily.  But more importantly I had to be a little over 20 miles away, waiting at home for a new gas water heater to be delivered, and it arrived more or less at the time of the annual celebration by The Druid Order at midday on Primrose Hill, while the rain was still falling here. I hope the Druids were luckier.

© 2009 Peter Marshall
Autumn Equinox, Sept 22 2009, Primrose Hill

Last year when I took this picture it was a fine day, and there were white clouds in the sky which help to even out the lighting, as well as giving the occasional patches of shade.

© 2009 Peter Marshall

The weather was good too when I photographed the event in 2007, and perhaps made a better job of it.

It isn’t a difficult event to photograph, though it helps to have some idea of what is going on – as with most things. I’ve  photographed The Druid Order a few times and a number of them have liked the pictures which helps, but like all such events you have to show a proper respect.

Although at times I may seem to be on the inside in these pictures I always respect the circle of druids and work from outside using a long lens when necessary. The Nikon 18-200mm (on DX) was very versatile for working here, with the second most useful lens probably being the 10.5 mm semi-fisheye used for the middle picture above.

Nikon do at last seem to be realising that it isn’t enough to produce cameras and bringing out some new lenses, particularly new lenses for the FX format – the 16-35mm and the newly announced  24-120mm f/4G ED VR, 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 55-300mm F/4.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm f/1.4G, 85mm F/1.4G and 200mm f/2G ED VR II. These are lenses that should have been available when Nikon launched back to full frame format, and I think may have come too late.

The big news at Photokina this year came from Fuji, with their sort of range-finder Fuji X100 expected to be available in March 2011 for around $1000. Many of us are already drooling over what looks like a replacement for the beloved Konica Hexar F, and also excited by the thought of an interchangeable lens model to come after this.  But whether or not this emerges, the development by other manufacturers of Micro Four Thirds cameras such as the Panasonic DMC-GH2 is making many of us wonder if we can reduce the load on our shoulders.

When Nikon went digital it said that the DX format could give photographers all they needed, and they were probably right, although marketing and competition meant it was inevitable that they follow Canon along the “full frame” route. But both now may be left behind by the new generation of smaller electronic viewfinder cameras, leaving FX and DX DSLRs looking like those expensive dinosaurs  still emerging as ‘medium format’ digital cameras.  Of course they have their uses, just as 8×10 film cameras do, although most of the things they are used for could be done just as well by smaller lighter and cheaper cameras. Of course these just would not impress clients anything like as much.

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