Tristan Hall

Tristan Hall

 

Tristan Hall

– I’m rather good at telling other people to give us a short bio but when it comes to down to me giving the same its a different story, not that I can’t keep it short, or that I’m under qualified to make it long, I just don’t like blowing my own trumpet. Without further adieu though let me jump into it. I have worked from basic camera repairs through to photographic retail, wholesale and Marketing. I train, write, eat, breathe, sleep photography and the gear we use. My hope with this column is to shoot more for me and share it with you since I seldom get a chance to pick up a camera unless its for reviews.

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Articles by Tristan Hall
  • Flashed Face Distortion Effect – In Comparison, Shrek is Pretty It is amazing how the human mind works. I am regularly fascinated by optical illusions and this one, referred to as “Flashed Face Distortion Effect” is particularly terrible and interesting as the same time. I could try explain it but you are better off experiencing it first had, so see the video below shared by ...
  • My Changing View of Samsung After Africa Forum 2012 The paragraph below is simply the introduction from a larger article on sister site SA Review. To get the full article please head over there. A more photographic orientated summary of Samsung Africa Forum 2012 is coming soon. Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Samsung Africa Forum 2012. It was, for me, a ...
  • Iraq’s Eight-year-old Photographer I became interested in photography towards the end of my primary school years. I would sit in the media centre during several break periods a week and page through the National Geographic magazines that were there admiring the images… and possibly even more so, the camera ads. I took my first “real” pictures on an ...
  • Another One Bites The Dust – Is This The Last Kodak Moment Look what I found! Konica Centuria film. The expiry date is 08/2005, two years after Konica would cease to exist. It took some persuading from my side before the store owner would actually sell it (and the remaining rolls) to me as he was concerned that it was too far past it’s expiry date. It ...
  • Happy New Year – 2011 Report Back Welcome to 2012. I hope that you have all had a great start to the new year, even if it is only the second day of 2012. I just wanted to take the time to not only wish you all the best but to thank you for your support in 2011 and give some feedback ...
  • Picks and Predictions With 2011 behind us, I thought that I would look back to see what the top photographic products I/we experienced in the year were and try to gaze into a ‘crystal ball’ (or just predict, thumb suck etc you wish to call it) what 2012 might have in store. Lets kick off with my top ...
  • Not So Photo Related – Robot Snake I am one of those peoples who is interested in snakes, though I still have a healthy respect for them. In fact my early years of photography where spent sharing the passion with another enthusiast who also happened to work at what was then the Traansvaal Snake Park in Midrand Johannesburg (sadly it is no more). ...
  • Photo Tip: Don’t Use New Gear for the First Time on a Shoot             So this is by no means new advice, it is just a lesson I had to recently re-learn. Here at PhotoComment we get the opportunity to review a fair amount of products and to date – in my experiences – there has never been a serious issue with them. This time I was not so ...
  • Incredible Time Lapse Landscapes I have a fascination with time lapse and when I come across one that is this good I have to share it. This is a masterpiece and you can learn more about the photographer who created it over at Mashable’s website who made this one of their videos of the day.
  • PhotoComment on the Gautrain Tuesday 2 August 2011 was the official opening of the Gautrain service from Rosebank to Pretoria. With it also being the beginning of the month Greg and I were doing the rounds delivering the latest issue of PhotoComment to various stockists. Instead of driving everywhere we decided to go to Rosebank first and then catch ...
  • This Week, Next Week, A Request and a Health Tip It has been a rather busy week here as we are wrapping up the August issue of the magazine. There are some great images inside this one with the Student Portfolio coming from an award winning Vega student, a review on a Canon DSLR and… I think I might be saying to much already but ...
  • The Letter – More Than A Pentax Video I am going to be honest with you here, I haven’t cheated the full story behind this video but I am sharing it for two reasons. First, it was produced on the Pentax K-5 which in a DSLR video world almost dominated by Canon is a nice change. Second, it got me asking, to what ...
  • Think Tank Retrospective 10 – More Than A Camera Bag This is by no means a final review, it is more of a fun post so take it in the manner it is intended please. I have a thing for camera bags, its an addiction really and many photographers suffer from it. Many journalists and ‘hard-core’ photographers will tell you that for some of the ...
  • Camera ‘Voice’ Overs in TV and Film Perhaps I am just odd but something that really gets under my skin is when I am watching a television program or movie where they are using one camera – particularly a modern digital camera – and then ‘voice’ over its sound with that of something like a 20 year old plus Canon A1 and ...
  • Cat Pee and Camera Bags I have a question for you. My mother in law has a ginger tom cat who not to long ago decided to pee on one of my camera bags. A week or two after that he aimed for the laptop bag – thankfully only hitting the strap. So here is my question. Does anyone else ...
  • Using A Lomography Diana Mini in a Studio Shoot Here you go, it doesn’t take a fancy camera to get great results. I was recently invited by Nicholas Grobbelaar to join him on a  shoot and while I did have a Nikon D7000 on review the most fun – I think – for all including the model was shooting with the Diana Mini by ...
  • Back Up More Than Pictures A recent post by Sfiso reminded me of my first paying photo shoot, as a teenager, photographing the kids on Santa’s lap at my siblings primary school. It was still in the days when film ruled the earth and I had equipment dreams far bigger than my pocket. With all my equipment lust I would ...
  • Camera Wars by The Camera Store I love advertising, clever, funny, meaning advertising. The don’t always have to be all three of those criteria in one, but they really need to appeal or connect with me. Its part of this love that has me following Mashable who posted the above, really fantastic video.
  • Pictures Reduce Pain I have been in the process of moving and not being the most patient of people I chose on Saturday to do a fair bit of moving on my own. I am still not sure if that is what is to blame, but by lunch time my body was aching, my head was burning yet ...
  • What DSLR To Buy For $600? There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t see someone on Twitter asking what camera they should buy, and where possible we like to help out with advice based on the cameras we get to review. At the same time, its difficult to give full reasoning in 140 characters. This post then is ...
  • Photo Tip: A 365 Project With A Theme 365grateful.com from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo. The video above was highlighted recently by Digital Photography School whose RSS feed is part of my daily Google Reader Fix. It got me thinking though, we often say shoot with a theme or pursue personal projects to keep you own creative juices flowing, perhaps combining the two can take ...
  • PMA/Cliq 2011 Canned. New Camera Announcements Delayed There seems to be a great deal of talk today about 2011 being the year in which PMA (which was rebranded as Cliq) wont happen. Word out today is that the annual event which usually happens in January or February each year – and which was scheduled for September following the Cliq rebranding – will ...
  • Photo Tip: Share Picture Moments on Mothers Day This week as we draw nearer to Mothers Day I thought it would be good to remind us that as photographers pictures of ourselves and siblings, or the famed family photo can make a very personal and touching gift. Another idea, look through your photography archive and see if you can find family pics over the ...
  • Touching on Tabs as Photographer Tools Last year, Greg and I acquired the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The past month has seen me getting an iPad and Greg very recently the iPad 2. You can see our review of both the Galaxy Tab and the iPad2 on our sister site, SA Review. In addition to this, I shared my review on the ...
  • New Look At Mundane Sometimes the most ordinary things can look extraordinary if you change your perspective. I shot this image nice and low on the Sony NEX-5 which thanks to the flip out screen meant I didn’t have to kiss the dirt. This was imported on the iPad with a camera connector kit and then edited using Photogene.
  • Some Images Are Best In Colour So, on Monday I shared with you how I met up with Sifiso in New Town and we went around shooting. Most of the day I was shooting in Black and White but this particular image is one that shows how the contrast of colour are best expressed… well in colour. Now For A Question For ...
  • Photography in Newtown Today with Sony NEX-5 This morning I got a BBM from Sifiso whom I met on the CODP Studio Photography Course We both did some time back. That was the last time we met in person so when he mentioned today he was going to go to Newtown to shoot I asked if we could meet up and do ...
  • Photo Tip: Play with Shutter Speeds At our recent Parkour Photo Walk I was interested to see Werner Strauss’ approach to shooting the fast paced action using a slower shutter speed to better communicate the sense of speed and motion. A few weeks later I tried the same thing (partly by accident as I was not paying a lot of attention ...
  • A Canon EOS 7D and the Nissin Di622 Mk II I recently posted about the Nissin Di622 Mark II flash that we received to review. Well last week was my first opportunity to take it out for a bit of an impromptu shoot with Tristan Wrench who first introduced us to the guys at Parkour SA. I got my hands on a Canon EOS 7D ...
  • Pictures From a ‘Township’ School Recently I was at a school in a formal ‘Township’ settlement in Johannesburg. While I was not there for a photographic reason, I could not help but capture what I saw in this school which could not be more than half a decade old. In the absence of my camera I was left to use the ...
  • Quick Post: Reuters Blog – Pics on Japan Just a very quick post. If you would like to see some very humbling pictures of Japan then check out this Reuters blog. http://blogs.reuters.com/russell-boyce/2011/03/20/asia-a-week-in-pictures-march-20-2011/
  • World’s First Leica M9 Titanium Un-boxing (with a model) This has got to be one of the most interesting videos I have seen in some time, the bloopers at the end in particular are great. Enjoy, just for fun. Posted from WordPress for Android using Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • Photo Website of the Week: Japan on Boston.com Big Picture In light  of the recent events in Japan having heard the news yesterday on the radio and not owning a TV, I took to the net to find images and videos of the scenes that are capturing the world at this time. I came across Boston.com’s Big Picture blog. Our heart goes out to those ...
  • “DSLR Moviemaking with Jasper Gray” on YouTube Here is an interesting video from Pentax and Jasper Gray giving tips on ways to shoot video with a DSLR like the Pentax K5. At this point I would like to ask you to share with us in the comments if you would have us chat more about video with DSLR cameras or keep focusing ...
  • “Introduction to the 645D with Kerrick James” on YouTube Two point on this video, yes Kerrick James may do a lot of stuff with Pentax today but he has shot with Pentax for some time and as you will see in our up coming April issue of PhotoComment Magazine, you don’t have to shoot on one of the top two brands to get great ...
  • New Toy to Test: Sony NEX-5 On Thursday I got an NEX-5 from Sony to play with. It has taken some nagging as we have had one before but then it was still running the old firmware. In checking back though I have realised that while we had the NEX-5 at launch, we never published the review. So, over the next ...
  • Stop Making Excuses, SHOOT! This post is aimed more at me but I cannot help think it will apply to many more of you. About a week ago (while recovering in my sick bed) I got a call with a request to please help out by shooting some portrait images for a former colleague. We set a date for ...
  • Quick Post: Samsung Galaxy Tab Review Its just gone live, my view on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab as a tool – or not possibly when compared to the iPad- for photographers on This Week In Photo. Be sure to check it out. You can also find Greg and my joint review of the Galaxy Tab on our sister site, SA Review. Posted from ...
  • Review: Lowepro Exchange Messenger I recently got myself what must be one of the greatest little bags around and at a price that makes it almost a no brainer to own, the Lowepro Exchange Messenger. As photographers with expensive gear – particularly those of us who do it as a hobby – we are paraniod about keeping our gear safe ...
  • Photo Tip: How to Win a Photo Competition (Winning image in our first Photo Friday competition) So, you’ve spotted this great photographic competition with an amazing prize and all you can dream about is winning it but the question you keep asking yourself is how? Well, I hope to share some ideas with you which can only serve to help you in your quest. The ...
  • Photojojo DIY: Photorealistic Gadget Pouch So you are a die hard photo nut and want to show that off in every way possible, plus you struggling to find the right type of pouch for you gadget, perhaps its your new phone. Well, Photojojo have a DIY tip for you and best of all, they say you don’t even need to ...
  • Pete Eckert a Blind Photographer | Artists Wanted | In Focus : Pete Eckert from Artists Wanted on Vimeo. As photographers or artists I doubt there are few things we fear more than the loss of our site. There are know guarantees whether we will or wont experience this ‘disability’ and if so, when it may come. Pete Eckert lost his site at the ...
  • Quick Post: David duChemin on Brand Switching If you don’t know it already I am a big fan of David duChemin, hey we even punt his books and the Craft & Vision publishing that is his brain child. As one who has spent a great deal of time in sales and marketing in the photographic industry I cannot stand the ego that ...
  • Photo Tip: Remember to Capture Memories Photography is fantastic and for many – particularly people like me who cannot draw or paint – its a great form of artistic expression. There are moments where we sometimes need to remember though, that photography is an important medium to document memories or short moments that are never to be repeated again. In such ...
  • Holga D… a Digital Holga… Surely Not? I have my own dad to thank for this heads up. Saikat Biswas is an Industrial Designer based in Finland. Inspired by the Lomography Holga he has been working on creating a digital version of this analogue masterpiece. Looking at it in the concept phase I am blown away by the Holga D and may ...
  • Episode 187 of TWiP is Live Featuring Our Founder Those who have followed PhotoComment Magazine from our earliest days will know that I am a big fan of This Week in Photo, a fantastic podcast for photographic enthusiasts. Well episode 187 is now live with host Frederick Van Johnson and as co-hosts, Cathrine Hall, Sara France and myself, for the forth time since my first ...
  • Photo Tip: Compacts Can Apologies for the late Photo Tip this Tuesday. Just a simple one today. After having spent a few weeks testing a compact camera I have come to realize that compact cameras are still capable tools. Sure they have limits on things like depth of field control but even the entry units today offer exposure compensation, scene ...
  • Quick Post: Flickr Fail to Restore 4000 Deleted Images Remember the story we shared about Flickr deleting the wrong guys account? Well it looks like the PR got worse as they seem to be unsuccessful at restoring his photographs and have offered a 25 year Pro Account as compensation… ouch. Get the full story at the link below.
  • Street Photography with White Background This video grabbed my attention. I never thought of doing ‘street photography’ portraits using a white background and available light. This video by Wired of photographer Clay Enos is great.
  • Quick Post: Flip Flickr, Five Years, 4000 Pics Gone I first spotted this story late last nite and by this afternoon its making waves every where. Flickr have deleted a user’s account of 4000 plus images posted over a 5 year period following his report to Flickr that someone was stealing his images and posting them on their account. A week on and Flickr ...
  • What is the Future of Kodak Kodak is credited with taking photography to the masses with great film innovations like the Box Brownie. That said, one cannot help but feel that in a digital world their fortunes began to fade. Their recent financial report of their last quarter seems to carry rather mixed figures in the eyes of many though the company ...
  • Q&A: To Upgrade or not to Upgrade that is the Question? Well that is the gist of the question from reader Cas Pretorius following our recent Photo Tip on not rushing to buy new gear… His question was: “I am currently looking at buying a specific body that has come down in price , basically because of the exchange rates etc.  There is talk that the manufacturer may ...
  • Quick Post: Some Nikons with Sony Sensors The net seems to be thriving on recent news that by pulling apart a number of Nikon DSLR cameras it has been discovered that certain cameras, like the latest D7000 makes use of Sony CMOS Sensors. It has been speculated about for some time and for some they will sleep better knowing they were right, but ...
  • Competition: London Street Photography Festival 2011 This is a competition that has got my interest and hopefully it catches yours as well. The London Street Photography Festival is happening from the 7-17th July 2011 and with it a competition for the International Street Photography Award. The winner will get £1000.00 and an all expenses paid trip to attend the festival and ...
  • Photo Tip: Don’t Rush to Buy More Gear Having done my time in photographic retail I often find that this time of year has people rushing out to buy a new lens, flash etc for the camera that they got as a gift at Christmas. Before you do anything further STOP! and read on. It can be very exciting to have a new camera ...
  • Quick Post: Joe McNally’s Thoughts on Being The Family Photographer I was touched, as were many others, by Joe McNally’s recent post on his mothers passing and the images he captured of her. He has followed that post up with another and in his opening, he really hits the point home of the important role we, as photographers in our families, play in documenting our ...
  • Photo Website of the Week: Richard Nicholson A story at Crunch Gear really caught my interest this week. It was of a photographer, Richard Nicholson who is documenting the last remaining photographic darkrooms of London. The work is titled “Analog – The Last One Out , Please Turn On The Light”. Wired have an interview with Richard Nicholson on this series of his ...
  • Quick Post: Hot Wheels Video Racer Sometimes I wish I was a kid again, that said its great to have a little boy so that I now have an excuse for buying something like this Hot Wheels Video Race. That’s right, a classic childhood toy just got a video camera under its hood which can shoot 12mins of action packed racking. ...
  • Quick Post: Lowepro SlingShot AW When you talk to professional photographers about camera bags, don’t be surprised if you hear Lowepro mentioned a lot. Many of us have used them and had years of reliable, protective service from them. you may recall that we really enjoyed reviewing the Passport Sling not so long ago, but another bag that Lowepro launched and ...
  • UPDATE: Price Drop on Fuji FinePix HS10 With the announcement of the Fujifilm HS20 (and my father in law talking of getting a camera to replace his old Minolta SLR) I thought I would pop into Foto First and see what was happening with the HS10. A price drop to R4599.00. That’s entry level DSLR money for a 30x Optical zoom in a ...
  • Quick Post: DPS Article On Photo Buddies This great article by the team at Digital Photography School really struck a chord with me. As a youth in particular, it was very challenging to go out and shoot pictures with a friend as they just weren’t into photography. Parents also had little patience for hanging around while you tried to get the perfect ...
  • Photo Tip: Sunglasses Filter A few weeks ago I went on a walk and tried to shoot the sky with our little Sony Cyber-shot HX5. The image was bland and I didn’t bring a graduated filter with me. In a moment of insanity I decided to try taking the picture through my Sunglasses. Here is the before and after. Just a ...
  • Gerhardt Coetzee Video Gerhardt Coetzee posted this video which may be of interest to some. Shot using the Canon EOS 5D mkII. from Gerhardt Coetzee on Vimeo. A short film by Gerhardt Coetzee.
  • Photo Tip: Attend a PhotoWalk This weeks photo tip could be viewed as a little self indulgent though it is better than the one I was persuaded not to post. What was it you ask? Go out and grab the first issue of PhotoComment magazine in print. Alas, I have been told not to use that as the photo tip so ...
  • Q&A: What Camera Should I Buy? Welcome to the first of our Reader Q&As. To kick this feature off we going to answer a question from Tharina on which camera she should buy. Here is some of the information she gave us to help answer her question. I am in search of good advice regarding an excellent digital camera brand and model, with exchangeable ...
  • Photo Tip: Shoot Wide, Shoot Low Todays shooting tip comes from a personal experience while out walking in our new neighbourhood and shooting with Sony’s new Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm f/2 and the trusty Alpha A850. We are fortunate to have a lot of Jacaranda trees in the area and combined with the recent rain the pavement was covered in ...
  • Photo Tip: Carry One Lens Sometimes we get stuck in this train of thought that we need a bag full of lenses to get the shot. Perhaps it is good from time to time to change our thought process. I am a big fan of fixed or prime lenses, like the good old 50mm and I have become a bigger ...
  • Photokina Report: Gear We’ve Taken It’s Friday and and for us at least, the day to wrap up our Photokina Experience. We head to London tomorrow and get back home to South Africa on Tuesday, so long as there are no flight delays. Its has been exciting so far – and this is by no means the concluding post – ...
  • Photokina Report: Flight Delayed Ok, this picture of a sunrise is not a German or London sunrise, it still a South African sunrise. Yesterday afternoon we arrived at the airport for our flight to London only to find the flight was delayed for almost 12 hours. So here we are, at the airport waiting to board our plane. As Greg ...
  • Studio Course – Report Back So four weeks have raced past since I last made mention my new adventure into studio photography. In that time I have been sick (but I still attended the class each Tuesday evening) and I have had to travel to Cape Town and Durban to conduct training. Its been busy. So finally on Saturday afternoon I ...
  • Sunrise in Durban We have been traveling a little bit with today marking the return trip home. I took the opportunity to go for a brief walk just before sunrise around Gateway in Durban and came back with this (and several other) sunrise images within a 10 min walk of our hotel. This was photographed with a Sony A850 ...
  • Starting In Studio I have a confession to make. I have been doing something photographically related since I was in primary school and in that time I have tried my hand at photographing Wildlife, Landscapes, Macro, Still Life, Sports etc, but there is one thing I have yearned to learn more about and try more seriously, and that ...
  • To Buy a Nikon D3s or D700, that is the Question? In essence that was the question put to me today. Let me explain. I get a kick out of working on a photographic shops floor or behind the counter every now and then. I’m not quite sure what it is that drives me to this insanity – in the view of some – but I ...
  • New Sony Alpha NEX-5 & NEX-3 – Our First Thoughts Yesterday many of us here in SA who follow the photographic news would have woken to the announcement of Sony’s new addition or division to the Alpha range, the NEX-5 and NEX-3. Today I briefly held a working sample of the NEX-5 in my hands. (The NEX-3 was just a dummy). So what are the first ...
  • Is Grey Really Grey? Last night over the year end company dinner, the topic of ‘grey’ import products came up for discussion which prompted me to raise a few points here for your comments or queries as this topic has regularly featured in South Africa’s photographic and I.T. industry for some time. Lets be honest, we all look at ...
  • Digital or Film? had time to chat for just a few minutes to Athol Rheeder who is currently exhibiting his work from his book ‘Unto London’ there at the gallery. What fascinated me about our chat was his passion for film and the amazing printing of Silvertone International in Parktown. His voice echoed that of professional photographers from ...
  • Motivated by Pentaxian.com! This is a great site to check out whether you are a Pentax user or not. I stumbled across it during the past week and was left feeling motivated and ready to shoot, which leads me to the question I wish to pose for this week -What is your Motivation? Seriously, what keeps you shooting? I ...
  • Leica M8 or R9? Leica M8 or R9? This was the question raised in a camera store I visited earlier this week and the discussion that followed between the customer, store owner and myself prompted me to re-phrase the question and chat about the real issue or core of the debate, Rangefinder or Single Lens Reflex? In the conversation at ...
  • Orange Filter – Digital B&W It has only been a few months that I have been shooting digital seriously and in this brief period of time I have discovered one major flaw… choice.
  • Classic Cameras – Collectible Gems or Dated Junk? This past Saturday I picked up a Rollie 35 in my favourite camera shop and was joined in conversation by two other gentlemen – who frequent the store – on the wonder of this little “Gem” that has been a long time member of the Rollie line. They commented on the superb optics and sharp ...
  • My Rangefinder – Canonet QL17 I have come to the conclusion that I am a sucker for retro cameras, plain and simple and so I had to bring up a discussion on what is probably the most tempting of all “classic” camera styles – the rangefinder.