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Adam Monk Photo Tours

Phase One at Rottnest

February 7th, 2011

I was over at Rottnest the other day and i had borrowed the medium format Phase One camera and P30+ digital back.  This was the 30.5 megapixel version, the P30+ not the mega huge 60.5 mega pixel P65, but none the less, its an impressive file size and it works just the same.

The first thing i noticed was how good it feels in the hand, its well balanced and weighty enough to feel substantial but not too heavy, with the aperture and shutter dials in just the right places for the thumb and forefinger.  The one i tested had the 80mm lens on it, which is the 35mm equivalent of about a 50mm lens, rather than the wide angle lenses i prefer, but a very nice lens none the less. (click here to read about the Depth of Field dilemma of medium format)

Rottnest Island sand ripples, Rottnest Island Western Australia

Rottnest Island Sandscape 1

The auto-focus is a bit agricultural compared to DSLR like the Canon 5D Mk II, but then medium format has always been bigger and slower and the Phase One focuses where you point it so it does the job required.  There is solid thunk when you press the shutter, so you’ll never be in any doubt you’ve taken a picture and it does take a while to write to the card before you can take a second shot, so its not ideal for sports photography, but then why would you use a camera like this for sport photography? Read the rest of this entry »

Greek Island of Ikaria

January 7th, 2011

Last year in June/July i had the opportunity to go to Greece with my girlfriend Electra, who is Greek.  Greece is one of the places i’d always wanted to go but had never made it to… it’s a long list!  We stayed only 4 weeks, which is not long enough to really explore Greece, but seeing all of it wasn’t the objective, but to experience the life and culture of Greece a little, hear the language and eat the food…  and eat more of the food… Greek food is great, usually quite simple, but really good!

One of the places we visited was the Island of Ikaria, not one of the main tourist islands, and right over near the coast of Turkey. Ikaria was quite different to what i expected Greece to look like, and very different to the other Greek Island we visited on that journey, more on the other island later.

Trapalou Bay, on the Greek Island of Ikaria.  Greece

Trapalou Bay, on the Greek Island of Ikaria. Greece

I had always thought Greek Islands would be more like Rottnest Island,  off the coast of Fremantle, and many of them are, very rocky, dry and windswept with low scrubby vegetation and small white painted houses.  In contrast to this Ikaria is green, forested and has beautiful gorges with rivers and waterfalls, and the houses are not painted white!

One thing that was as i expected it to be was the crystal clear water of the Aegean Sea with it’s amazing deep aquamarine blue colour that just invites you to jump in, which i did on many occasions, including just after making this image here, which is the bay of a tiny fishing village at the end of a long rough dusty dirt road (it was a hire car…).  I cant remember the name of the place, but when we finally arrived it was around midday and the whole town (all 15 houses) was asleep for the afternoon, so it was quite eerie, like a ghost town, we had the whole place to ourselves.  So, we went down to the bay and swam around naked! It was lovely.

By the way, this shot was taken on the Canon 5D Mk II with the 16-35mm f2.8L lens and the awesome Really Right Stuff pano head.  It’s composed of 13 portrait format shots stitched with PT Gui Pro and the finished file comes in at 1.9Gb…  It makes nice big sharp prints.

Stay tuned for more on the Greek Island of Ikaria and Greece in general.

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