Roddy Williams – An ongoing portfolio

Archive for April, 2014

Clouds Over Brighton #001


It’s turned out very Turneresque, this. The only solid object in the scene is the lamp column, just to provide some contrast and a sense of scale. I like the way the clouds blend into the sea.
There’s a few of these taken over a period of a few days, and they are all very different as the light changes so quickly.


Doctor Pretorius


This is Doctor Pretorius, who lives in our living room, although ‘lives’ and ‘living’ are somewhat surreal concepts in this context.
I got him as a Christmas present some time ago, and now he’s become either a part of the family or part of the furniture, whichever metaphor suits you best.



Moonbeam, our cat, patiently waits, setting out her plans for World Dominion.

At Latimer Road Station


I like the big curvy mirrors in train stations.

The Watcher


I only went for a short walk today so I set myself a challenge to take some photographs with the Zeiss 50mm ZF.2 in our (very small) local park. After gazing at the pigeons with one of those ‘do we really have to do this again?’ looks, and photographed the contents of a litter bin, I sat down to have a good look around at which I spotted the lights that illuminate the tennis courts when the evenings start drawing in.
I took several shots with the two elements in and out of focus, but this was my favourite. Not sure quite why I like it so much. I just do.

Whitchurch Road


I recently had one of those brain fevers in which one becomes obsessed with a specific desire or idea. In some individuals this may lead to an injunction or legal action, but fortunately in my case this sort of thing usually involves inanimate objects.
The inanimate object of my desire has been for quite a while, a Zeiss lens. I have an old Zeiss lens which I use on my digital Olympus, but I have none for my Nikons. Serendipitously, last week I spotted a near mint used Zeiss Planar T* 50mm ZF.2 for sale on the marvellous mpbphotographic for substantially less than its original price.
It’s difficult to describe what it is about these lenses that is different. Some may find them awkward, as the ZF.2 firstly (at least on the Nikon D300s) needs to be locked in at F16 before it responds to the Aperture command dial, and the focus is entirely manual. At F1.4 the quality is not marvellous, but stepping down this lens produces magical images with nice detail, lovely bokeh and a wide range of tones. There is a certain retro look to the images also.
This takes a lot of getting used to but the results once one has got the hang of it are quite marvellous. It comes into its own with people and portrait shots, but even with random shots like this, which was more or less the first exterior shot I took with it, it shows at least the potential of what one can do.
Also, it does force one to make choices about aperture and focus that would be normally dealt with by the Auto options on one’s camera, and it can only be a good thing to get out of one’s comfort zone and explore new worlds. I plan to leave this lens on my camera for a while, so there will hopefully be progress, which I will post here.