About Rob's Portfolios

About Me

There is a high chance you already know me, since this site, while SEO optimised, is not promoted via social media.  If you know me, then that will be obvious why.

If you don't know who I am, then you won't find out much here, as I prize my privacy and work to preserve it.  

As a photographer I have owned cameras since ahem, and I periodically use them.  I avoided digital for a long time because the quality of cameras, lenses and digital images was inferior to film, and because for the first major chunk of digital I was writing software that did colour management and image manipulation.  Making digital photography too close to work.  That job went away, and subsequently I have not been writing imaging software, so I finally embraced digital.

My gear

Finally at Christmas 2015 I decided to take the plunge into digital, having parked most photography for a while.  I bought into the micro four thirds concept, choosing Olympus.  I had looked at the Fuji X series but the lack of a decent long lens at the time was putting me off, and I had heard rumours of a new 300mm coming for m43.  I plumped for the E5 Mk II as the most up to date body, but the only version I could get came with the 14-150mm kit lens.  Generally I prefer primes, having started on zooms many years ago on my Nikkormats, and since Olympus did not offer a fast 50mm equivalent I also bought the 25mm f1.4 Panasonic (Leica honest) lens.

From there I've added more lenses, and adapters for Nikon and Contax glass so I can reuse my manual lenses.  For a lot of subjects manual focus is fine, and I find the wide range of lenses are fun.  Though I have a core of designed for m43 lenses I use primarily because I find telecentricity is a problem with the adapters, leading to poor off axis sharpness, even on lenses that are immaculate on film.  I have also added bodies, moving to the E1 line, first the MkII then recently the MkIII which can be used very creatively.

Gradually as I have become more experienced with digital I have entered the dark world of post processing.  I still believe in getting it right in the camera, but out of camera files are often not very impressive, because of the way digital cameras work.  However a couple of edits later they can knock your socks off.  So I consider post processing like a good darkroom, key to getting the most out of the shot and like darkroom work, apply lightly lest it take over your life.  I try not to edit excessively, but I have had a go at digital art, and I can see the attraction.  Some of the images here have been worked on more heavily to create a particular look.  In general macro shots are sharpened,

Ironically going back and looking at slides, there is something to slide that digital does not capture, a feel, that I cannot find through post processing.  Which has lead me to wonder if m43 was a good choice.  I did have a play with a Sony A7 version one of my colleagues bought, but the background noise at base ISO on a sunny day rather put me off, even though that noise level didn't really increase at night.  Perhaps it is down to the dynamic range and colour gamut of film, and I may well yet go back to film for some images.

My Pictures

The images are mostly shot digitally.  A few film scans may sneak in.  Each page has selected EXIF information presented as notes, which I hope is helpful to understand what is going on sometimes with a shot.

The images are responsive and will scale according to your screen size.  For each image there is a link to a large image which can be downloaded and printed.  All images are published with the Creative Commons Licence Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This allows non commercial copying for personal use, without editing, nor using it in your own artworks.   Printing is fine for personal use, and the large JPEGs are setup for 300dpi at no larger than A3 size.  You may need to apply colour management or sharpening for printing as part of your output, but I consider that acceptable.  Note the images have sometimes had sharpening added for web display, so you may need to contact me for a print ready file if they look wrong when printed.

If you would like to print larger, or to buy a larger print, or you would like to sell prints then contact me and I will talk to you about that.

Similarly if you have a commercial use for my work, then I am open to genuine approaches.  

Please note however that I am never open to social media platforms and I will not support any form of social media marketing, or public posting on social media.

Subjects

Anything that is not people.  Architecture to Zoology.  

I shoot a lot of macro and wildlife because I've always loved nature and it intrigues me to find things the eye cannot easily see.  Or see at all.   Which is pretty much my definition of macro, it needs to show things that are not easily visible to the naked eye, whether that is details of the subject or the subject completely.  

When shooting macro I try to be non destructive of wild subjects.  I have been known to buy flowers to shoot, and I don't feel too bad about that, but the practises of capturing and killing, or allegedly non-harmfully cooling subjects I do not support.  A lot of images I have seen come from those, and I would rather miss the shot.

I do tend to try and shoot gigantic panoramas.  I have this ambition to be able to create photos which are the size of normal windows, and can be used to open up walls in rooms with few or no windows.  Technology is not really at the point where this is easy though, and even a top of the range computer starts gasping with the amount of data.  There is then the matter of finding a suitable printer, and running test prints and so on.

So although I can create images that would print to those sizes, and I have some examples, I have not yet reached the point of putting them on a wall.

Although most modern art leaves me cold, I do like abstracts, particularly with lots of patterns.  I did a short course on this a couple of years ago, which was a bit frustrating, but it did give me some ideas to push myself, and also, usefully, pointed out that image quality is sometimes the enemy of a good image.

This site

This site is hosted online with the absolute minimum of online jiggery pokery.  The pages are either hand crafted, as this one was, or are automatically generated with an offline script.  There is no online computation of the site, and all pages are CSS only with NO Javascript.  

The philosophy was quite simple.  From a security perspective anything hosted publicly is static and when served over HTTPS, as this site is, is hard to hack.  Not impossible, though the NSA attack on SSL has mostly gone away.  There is no DB anywhere connected to the web to attack, no forms, no SQL injection vectors.  There is no need therefore to regularly patch servers running CGI from a scripting perspective, and the hosting company are responsible for patching OS and web server.  Meaning I can concentrate on features and most importantly the photos.

I decided to avoid Javascript for a number of reasons.  While it has contributed to making sites more dynamic, it is often misused, and can become a client side maintenance problem.  The HTML5 / CSS 3.0 approach I have followed here hopefully works on most browsers, on most OS and hardware.  It is not the lowest common denominator, but it is not far off.

The design is intended to be accessible, SEO optimised and responsive, all without Javascript.  Since I am not a web designer, it may have bugs, but I hope not.  It does not have any social media integration, and social media bots are banned from the site, so I have no idea if you share URLs what might come up.

The colour scheme, backdrops and general layout are based on the idea of seeing pictures hanging on a wall at home, framed in the beige mounts that used to be standard for black and white gallery prints.  The furniture is meant to be the same card used for a label and for the notes.  The portfolio pages are based on the idea of slides on a lightbox, and the homepage is primarily just an index to the parts of the site.

Navigation images were custom made a long time ago using PostScript to generate the images.  This was resurrected and updated for this site.  Similarly the slide frames were generated in PostScript.

Typography is preferentially GillSans, this being a pretty common typeface, and one I tend to use for my personal work.  I like the cleanliness of it.

I provide RSS and Atom feeds if you want to follow me.

Contact me

Assuming you found this site without my help, unlikely as that seems, then for enquiries about pretty much anything photography related, for licensing or reuse queries or even for bug reports, you may send me an email at @ . Note, due to some trickery here you cannot cut and paste the email address, nor is it a link.  Sorry.  However it isn't hard to type.  The idea being to reduce the amount of spam.  Please note this address is also subject to change if it does attract spambot attention.