Photography

 

My experience as amateur photographer began in 1969 with the purchase of my first camera, a Zeiss-Ikon Voigtländer Icarex 35.

It was a remarkable camera and has been the last attempt of the prestigious Zeiss to resist the Nipponese invasion. Today we know that it was in vain, therefore we can appropriately call the Icarex 35 as the "swan-song" of the European cameras industry,  at least as far as the cameras for the great mass of people are concerned!

In 1981, I "Canonized" myself by getting a Canon AE-1, which was a milestone for Canon and a revolution in the art of photography, for me. In addition to the manual, aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes, there was a program mode, which gave the user a freedom of action non-existent until then. In fact, the AE-1 was the world's first camera with an embedded microcomputer. Focusing was also easier since the camera offered three kinds of assistance.

My AE-1 was prettier than the one depicted here since it was all black.

During the eighties, there was a fantastic evolution of photo cameras with the rising use of electronics in its operation. Besides, Canon has been pioneer of the inclusion of micromotors in the lenses, dispensing with the mechanical coupling between the body and the lens. Later, all the other main brands followed Canon!

This innovation also facilitated the development of autofocus, which has been for me a gift from the gods, since my eyes were not responding as well as before to the requirements of manual focus!

Therefore, in 1992, I changed my AE-1 for a Canon EOS 1000FN. In spite of being an entry-level camera in the EOS range, it is in my opinion a true jewel of "technology for everybody"! In fact, it is enough easy to be used by the initiate since it has several PIC (Programmed Image Control) program modes: Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Close-up and Full Auto. But, the advanced amateurs will find and prefer other shooting modes like the Intelligent Program AE, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual or even the Canon's exclusive depth-of-field mode! Of course it has a built-in-flash and a hot shoe for an external one.

I still keep it, though in my son Rui's hands, which has been making good use of it.

Only two years later, in 1994, I gave a huge qualitative jump by acquiring a Canon EOS 5. Placed in the EOS range just below the "professional" EOS 1, the EOS 5 is another milestone for Canon, since it is the world's first camera to incorporate the eye-control focusing system: in the viewfinder there are five points and depending on which is chosen by the eye, the camera will focus on the corresponding zone!

Meanwhile, I have been expanding my gear, which currently include 3 lenses, all Canon: a 28-105 mm zoom, a 100-300 mm zoom and a 50 mm macro, and a flash Canon 430 EZ.

In the last years, the tremendous evolution of digital photography has made me reconsider my options about photo gear. Initially, I have remained sceptic since digital photography was very far away of being an alternative. I remember that, in the middle 80's, the British director of a big camera manufacturer stated that, given the fact of a photo frame 24x36 has 18 million pixels and the best digital sensor only allow some 250 thousand pixels, it was not in their mind to invest strongly in digital photography!

Today, the megapixel price is continuously decreasing and its number is incessantly increasing. Any medium compact camera has already 3 or 4 megapixels, the best have 5 or 6 and there are already SLR cameras with 14 megapixels! By now, of course!

It is undeniable that the digital cameras already cover perfectly almost all the fields of use. The digital technique, when associated with a good image handling programme, gives back the pleasure of "building" the photo from the begin to the end. However, the change still rise some problems! Most sensors have dimensions smaller than the classical 24x36; therefore the objectives, which we have bought for a lot of money, do not correspond anymore to the focal distances we had chosen! Furthermore, the digital SLR still are very expensive!

In 2003, considering the several aspects involved I came to the conclusion that I should wait some more time before buying a digital reflex body, which would allow me to use my excellent lenses but would risk me to become ruined!

Nevertheless, seduced by the potential of digital photography, I have opted for a trade off solution: to buy a good compact while I am waiting for the reflexes "land down"! In July, I bought a digital camera Canon PowerShot S50 (5 Mpixels), whose results have exceeded my best expectations, I must confess!

In 2005, Canon responded to my expectations, launching the EOS 350D, with characteristics almost equal to those of the 20D and priced below the 300D, which has been substituted by it, with significant advantages, of course.

I could resist a few months but, in July, I succumbed to the temptation of owning such seducing toy and ... I bought one!

I baptised it in the Historic Grand Prix of Porto, where I took the nice number of 395 photos! Most were taken with my old zoom lens EF 100-300 mm, equivalent to a 160-480 mm, using the 350D, with the results that can be seen in the section dedicated to this unforgettable event. Take a look!

To the other "canonists" I recommend the excellent EOS Magazine.

My preferences are very diversified: portrait, landscape and macro photography. Following, you will find a selection of the photos, which for one or other reason seem to me better done. They are shown as thumbnails but can be enlarged clicking on them. As this section was becoming too large and therefore consuming too much time to download, I have decided to re-organize it in subsections. The access to those pages is available through the following index.

 

Index of the section Photography:

Animals

Insects (bees and butterflies), our pets (dogs and cats) and other little beasts.

My people

Along my life I have been taking photos of my family, as everybody does, of course! Some of these photos are quite pretty, I presume!

Various

A section with a bit of everything, landscape, portrait, oddities, etc. Probably, it will be re-organized in the next future.

Sunsets

I find the sunset fascinating as most people do. It is a natural show always renewed, therefore when I see one I cannot resist to take one more shot!

Madeira and Azores

If Madeira is called the Pearl of Atlantic, S. Miguel (the largest island of Azores) should be called something pretty like the Marine Emerald! Between these two jewels ... I cannot frankly choose!

Óbidos and Expo'98

A vacation in the Região do Oeste (Western Region of Portugal) and a visit to the Expo'98 in Lisbon have been a pretext to take a lot of photos, of course! Among a number of missed shots, some deserve to be seen!

Santa Cruz, Tenerife and Santa Catarina

These are mainly landscapes of three well different places, but all of them of a great beauty.

Santiago de Cuba, Tróia and Rio de Janeiro

In 2002, I have been visiting these three jewels, which I have photographed as much as I could. However, I should have done better!

S. Pedro de Moel and Monterrey

My first digital photos (not accounting with the model cars' ones) have been taken in S. Pedro de Moel, mainly depicting butterflies. In Monterrey, I have done landscape and report of the PIBAMAR Meeting.

The Euro 2004 in Dragão

Some pictures of the opening ceremony and first match in the UEFA Euro 2004 in the Estádio do Dragão.

Peru, Joinville and Tunisia

Three different realities: a country blending the Andean and the Spanish cultures, a Brazilian town with German roots and an Arabian country opened to the European tourism.

Bahia

Salvador da Bahia, the town that Jorge Amado taught me to love with his books, and Costa do Sauípe (Sauípe Coast), a jewel of the Bahia Paradise.

 

Excepting the cameras images, all the photos reproduced in this section have been taken by myself. All the rights of using these pictures are reserved. Ó 1967-2006 Franclim Ferreira.

 

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