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I hate getting a new camera

Since 2015 I have been shooting primarily with a Canon EOS 6D. Before that, I had a Canon EOS 60D.  Although these two cameras were VERY similar in terms of ergonomics, I remember a period of frustrations when I switched.

Most of all the frustration came from the small differences in button layout and the extra time I had to spend “just” to take a simple picture, but also from a more diffuse issue, the way I composed, the field of view I got from a specific lens and the differences in “quirks” between the two cameras. Most of this were because of the fact that the 6D were full frame.

After a while it were all forgotten and the 6D became my new favorite camera.
And what a camera. It was sharp, amazing in low light and built solid. I loved and used it for years, even though it were somewhat limited in some respects, like the fact that it only had 11 focus points and only one, the center point were really usable.

But these limitations made it a simple, no nonsense camera. I taught myself to get the most out of this camera and I love what I have been able to do with that camera.

Time to move on

The years passed and the camera tech developed at a fast pace. Several times I were tempted to switch to a Fuji X-Pro or X-T2/X-T3, but I wasn’t sure it would be able to replace my amazing 6D and it still served me well, so I kept fighting my GAS.

Then Canon released the EOS R. The temptation… I fought it for a while, but deep inside I knew I would buy one at some point. It seemed like the next logical and technological step for me to take.

A couple of weeks ago I finally took that step and bought the EOS R. And what a camera. It is extremely good at focusing, perhaps even better than that famous center point on the 6D, but on the entire screen. The image quality is amazing too, even at high ISO and it is packed with fancy features. 
I am certain that this is a camera that is going to serve me well for the next many years.

And yet, I am frustrated. All my muscle memory needs to be updated. The configuration of the camera needs to be tried and tested, to figure out which features I need and which button it should be assigned to. I no longer need to focus/recompose, I can just set the focus point where I want. But this is a new workflow for me and it is frustrating. The electronic viewfinder is really good, but in some situations it makes me feel a bit “detached” from the scene I am photographing. I don’t like that the EOS R is not always on like my 6D.

But still I like the EOS R and I know it is going to take me to a new level. I just hate the transition period.

The picture of Eddie at the top of this post were taken with my new EOS R.

What now?

Once again, I have ended up in this frustrating situation where I feel like I am going nowhere.

I feel like I haven’t taken a decent picture in ages. Hell, to be honest it feels like I haven’t had time to pick up the camera in ages.

Obviously this leads to a situation where I am picking my weekly pictures from my backlog, to keep up the “Post 1 picture each week” tradition that I have been practicing for close to eight years now.

As I strive to be better and better it feels frustrating having to use some of the older pictures that has been postponed because I (at the time) had better pictures to choose from.

What now? Where do I go from here?

I guess I’ll have to try to free up time to create time slots where I can take the camera for a walk. Sadly this means something else needs to be pushed back…

What do you do to free up time to do the things you want to do? Write me back in the comments below…

Thoughts on how to become anxious

The Minimalists have written a short but very precise recipe on how to become anxious.

I think it is spot on… ..especially the “go to the mall” part 🙂

..and yes.. I know it was written back in March, but it is still relevant!

I like the Minimalists.. they really know how to drive home the point in short Minimal Maxims. This is one of my favorites:

Forcing yourself to make money from a hobby is a great way to kill your love for that hobby.”

War stories

I went to a lecture yesterday, where the amazing war/conflict photographer Jan Grarup talked about the stories behind the horrifying, beautiful and emotional photographs from his impressive 5kg heavy book “And Then There Was Silence”.

His work has taken him to almost every armed conflict we have seen in the last 20+ years, and personally I am impressed he can keep on doing what he does. The displays of human cruelty that he has seen through the years is unbelievable. I am sure it would be enough to make most men crack.

Instead, Jan has been able to keep shooting, but not just the cruel things. No, what impresses me the most is the beautiful heartwarming pictures of beautiful children in the most shitty situations, still smiling, caring and keeping up the spirit.

I were fortunate enough to have a brief conversation with a Jan during the break. I told him that I thought that his work were important and that I really think is photography makes a difference in the world.

Even though there were so much pain and suffering in some of Jan Grarup pictures, the feeling I had when I left the lecture was hope. Because Jan’s pictures tells me that even though bad things happen to innocent people every day, there is still far more good people in the world than bad people.

If you want to learn more about Jan Grarup, you can visit his website or buy the book “And Then There Was Silence”

Another Autumn

From time to time I like to do something other than the work I usually do.

I like to keep it simple, not simple as in easy to do, but simple as in without a lot of expensive, advanced equipment.

This time I set out to document the beauty of my favorite season: Autumn. To add further constraints, I added a deadline, a requirement for exactly 16 images that HAD to be in square format, taken with my iPhone and processed in Snapseed. Each image had to be treated in a similar way, so that they would fit together when done.

It was very fun to do this collection and I love each of these little imperfections. Hopefully you will too.
Ladies and gentlemen: Another Autumn

Stay away from online negativity

It’s funny how online forums seem to fall into two categories. They are either dominated by a good friendly tone, or by a negative snarky or even close to hateful tone.

I recently experienced a Facebook group for photographers that seemed to be split into a camp that absolutely loathed smartphone pictures and a camp that didn’t care what camera were used to take the picture.

Usually I would side with the camp that didn’t care, but I more or less stayed out of the flame war as it were quite predictable where it would end.

There smartphone loathing crowd started being really rude against any pictures taken with a smartphone, and as it were a Facebook group there were many. And yes, some were bad.

The battle culminated with the exclusion of a group member and a notification from the group admin stating that all kinds of photos taken with all kinds of cameras were allowed.

So far so good.

But it didn’t end there…

Now the smartphone crows started posting pictures like crazy, all being very explicit about the fact that this “wonderful picture” had been taken with a smartphone, seemingly just to rub it in.

That was when I had enough and quit the group.

There is no need to waste any time on a group that promotes negativity instead of positivity. If you experience such negativity, just go away. Leave the group/forum and move on.

Getting involved in a flame war will make you a loser, along with all the other parts involved. Why waste time on that, when instead you could be spending time on forums where you could be contributing in creating a nice friendly environment, where both experienced an new photographers (or members in general) could benefit from each others experiences?

And, for photography forums in general, you should try to be a bit more critical about what pictures you post. Is that latest photo REALLY that great, or is it just you who would like it?
Be prepared for critique, even if you didn’t ask for it.

And always remember that we all are at different skill levels. If someone posts a shitty image, maybe tell the poster WHY it is a shitty image, instead of just stating that it is shitty?

What is this?

Two months ago I announced that this would be less of a blog and more of a photography showcase.

Now I have followed through and changed the website from a site that were most af all centered around a blog to a site where the blog is a bit secondary.

I have said goodbye to BlogEngine.net and hello to WordPress.

Not everything is in place yet, but it will be and I already like the way i am able to show my pictures as galleries and collections in a beautiful way.

I still need to figure out exactly what the point is with this site, but at least now it can look pretty while I consider my options.

Going nowhere no more

This blog has existed since 2004 in various incarnations. I actually started blogging a couple of years earlier, from a sub domain provided by my Internet Provider back then, but d-noc.dk started back in 2004.
In the beginning I wrote in danish, and about all kinds of topics but over time it turned into a photography blog.

I had trouble making the site grow, and decided that I would be able to reach a bigger audience if I wrote in English. Now, some years later, I must admit that it did little difference, if any.
It has been very frustrating to try so many things and still end up feeling like I were going nowhere. I ended up thinking about the big “why?” and came to the conclusion that in order to make this blog really shine, I would have to put a lot more work into it than I am willing to do. When you do something, you must consider the effort, and the reward. What is the reward for me?

I don’t want to be a blogger, so no reward there.
I don’t want to make a living of my photos, so no reward there.
So.. all work, no reward. Why bother then?

Until now, for the fun of it. But now, things have changed. I do not have unlimited time in my spare time, so I have to consider if wasting time on this blog is really worth it. To be honest, it is not. Not right now at least.

So the blogging will be turned down to an absolute minimum. It will be a place for me to post my photos every week, and most likely that will be it.
But judging by the limited audience on this blog, I don’t think it will be a big loss.

Sometimes you just have to admit defeat and get on with better things…

Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD G2 rumoured to be announced this week

Oh my.. The competition in the 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens segment seems to be extremely busy at the moment. Sigma should have an 24-70mm ART lens announced any day now, and now Tamron is rumoured to announce a new 24-70mm G2 this week too, according to canonrumours.com. (also here);
Interesting enough, both are rumoured to start shipping with an initial price tag of 1299 USD.
I guess I will have to wait for some real life test and reviews before deciding then. I used the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC a lot on my 60D, and it was an excellent lens. If the new Tamron proves to live up to this, I might be interested.
Additionally, Sigma released some MTF charts that people “wise” in such things seems a bit disappointed about. I never decide on lenses based on MTF charts, so my advice: Wait for some real reviews by trusted sources.

Get off the high horse

Ok, I get it.

You only shoot with your Micro Four Thirds because it is the ultimate compact camera solution.

..or you only shoot with full frame cameras because small sensors suck.
..or you only shoot film because it is the only way to achieve that analog look.
..or you only use a wide angle lens when shooting in the streets because being up close is the only way to connect with your subject.
..or you never process your pictures in Lightroom or Photoshop because your pictures need to be authentic.
..or you only shoot in black and white because colors are taking away the pureness of a photograph.
..or you only shoot with primes because zoom lenses are filled with compromises.
..or you only shoot L-lenses because life is too short for inferior lenses.

I get it, but seriously, who cares?

It’s not like people are going to look at your pictures and say “Wow, best photograph in the world, just too bad it is taken with a zoom lens”. It doesn’t matter. Yes, of course the gear you use matters and you have to pick the gear that fits you best. But don’t try to make you choices the ultimate truth. It is not. It is purely your truth.

If you find a recipe that works for you, good for you. But that doesn’t give you the right to scoff at anybody else, just because they do something different from you or choose different gear.



The end result is what matters. The final picture, the work you have created is what counts. The gear you used or the approach you used to get the results you wanted doesn’t matter.

There is no need to think you are superior just because you think your way of producing photos is the only way. You are not superior. You’re a photographer who have found your voice. Good for you. But you have to realize that other photographers will find their voice using other gear or other ways.

Review: Stories of Home

I just finished reading the eBook “Stories of Home” by photographer Kate Densmore.
I had been looking forward to reading it for a while, but other things kept distracting me until now. In retrospective that were a bit silly as the lessons learned in this book could have been really useful to have practiced through the long dark winter.

Kate Densmore specializes in taking pictures of families in their “natural habitat” and judging from the many beautiful pictures in the book, she prefers a 35mm lens and really knows how to put it to good use.

The book, coming just short of 200 pages isn’t the kind of book that offers advises about choice of focal length, ISO and other technical stuff, even though these issues does pop up from time to time. No, it is more the kind of book that tells you what to look for when you want to capture the big (and little) moments in family life. So, if you are looking for a recipe-book, Scott Kelby style, you will be disappointing. But, if you are interested in a more guidance oriented approach that more describes which moments to look for and what to try to avoid, you have come to the right place.

Kate Densmore writes in a straight-forward way that describes her way of working in a very private and intimate environment, and the way she writes really emphasizes that this is less about the technical aspects of photography and more about learning to captures moods and telling stories.

The book is split up in three parts, each covering different aspects of the topic:

  • Documentary Family Photography
  • Everyday Fine Art
  • The Art of an Ordinary Day

Each part guides you through the process of capturing the special moments of your family life, be it on special occasions or just a regular day and throughout the book you find beautiful pictures that are used to underline the points made in the text, and you also find some creative exercises, which in some cases seems to have been thrown in as an afterthought. (Or maybe I am just not the kind of guy who throws the book over his shoulder to pursue some creative exercise).

You will also find interviews with three other family photographers, which share their motivation and workflow. This works well as it sometimes gives the same takeaway point, but put in other words.

All in a very good book, well worth the price. it has given me some new inspiration and shown me what family photography can also be. Most people regard family photos as merely snapshots, but maybe we should actually put more effort into these pictures as they really cover the most precious moments in life. As Kate Densmore writes in the conclusion:

“Treat your everyday images like art. Respect yourself and what you do, and honor your story and the story of those you love. No one is ever going to care about your work unless you care, deeply.”

I highly recommend reading this book. You can buy it over at Craft & Vision

Why are you posting pictures?

I recently wondered “Why am I posting pictures at all?” It does not make me rich. Or famous. So why bother?

I guess part of the answer is a need to be recognized. But the sad truth is that the Internet is flooded with pictures and the chance that mine would stand out is quite small, no matter how hard I try. So why bother?

Another part of the answer is that photography is about creating. And if you create you want the stuff you create to be “used”. If not, why bother? Creating without purpose doesn’t really make sense.

So, even though posting pictures to this site, or social medias doesn’t make me rich and famous, it does serve a purpose. To keep my desire to create alive.

Micro adjustment made easy

Micro adjustments has always been a bit intimidating to me. The idea is that the lens and the autofocus sensor in the camera does not always result in an exact focus on the actual image sensor. Focus might be a bit in front or behind the point that were focused upon when autofocus were engaged. This happens because of a tiny offset between the distance between Lens/Autofocus sensor and Lens/Image sensor.

To fix this, most Mid-/High range DSLR’s allows you to perform micro adjustments per lens. But the procedure included buying advanced focusing gadgetry that had to be set up very precisely, taking photos of the gadget and then trying to determine how far off the focus is.

In short, complicated and with a bit of magic involved.

This weekend I read a bit about a procedure called Dot-Tuning. It is kind of the same procedure as explained above, but much more simple to understand and do. Instead of a complicated setup, you print out a sheet of paper with a high contrast pattern which you then tape to a wall or similar. Next you place your camera on a tripod at a distance of 50x focal length of the lens (e.g. with a 50mm lens the distance would be 50x50mm=2500mm). Position the camera to point directly at the high contrast pattern with the center focus point and enable Live View. Now use the 10x magnification on the Live View to set focus, either manually or with the focus button. Once focus has been acquired, set the lens to manual focus to avoid refocusing.

Next the idea is to micro-adjust up from 0 to +1, +2 and so on, one step at the time, each time looking in the viewfinder and checking if the camera can acquire focus instantly without any hesitation. Once you reach this point, write down the number of the offset that were the last giving a positive focus dot. Now do the same micro adjusting down from 0 to -1, -2 and so on.

When you have two points, e.g. 6 and -2 you find the middle value, in this case 2. (-2, -1 ,0, 1, [2], 3, 4, 5, 6).
To make this step simpler, the video above links to this calculator.

The idea is that since 2 is dead in the middle of the values giving positive focus confirmation, the auto focus should be much more precise than without the micro adjustment.

I tried it on my 35mm, 50mm and 85mm primes, and so far it is too soon to determine if this were a major difference, but the camera / lens combinations seems to be faster to acquire focus when I try to focus on my fast moving 7 year old daughter or in low light situations. I will still have to test this further before I can say anything with absolute certainty, but at least the Dot-Tuning procedure has made micro adjustment easy to do.

Further details about the method, as well as an ongoing discussion can be found here.

Please note that I did not invent this method, nor am I trying to take credit.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Are freedom and independence merely illusions?

This post differs a bit from the ones I usually write. You see, it is not about cameras, lenses or photography for that matter.
It’s about a paradox in my life that I doubt I am the only one facing.
I’ve been advocating simplicity on this blog more than once and even though it has usually been focused on gear, this is not the only place I am “distilling” my belongings.
As a matter of fact, I have been getting rid of loads of stuff that were rarely used through the past couple of years. It has even been a game to thin out the clutter in my cupboards and drawers.
This way of thinking tends to fill a lot in your life. I have noticed that it has started influencing the way I work as well, which is good because the entire idea is to remove everything you do not need, in order to live a more independent and free lifestyle without spending time on earning money that you then spend on stuff that ends up holding you down.


This weekend I had an experience that made me think about how much of an illusion this independence is. I went shopping at the local mall. I had written a grocery list on my smartphone in advance and when I were done paying for the groceries, I went to the car, threw the groceries in the car and got in. Then I kinda panicked as I noticed that my smartphone were missing.
At first I thought it had slipped out my pocket, but no. It wasn’t hiding with the groceries neither. I then had to backtrack my whereabouts to the last places I remembered having had my phone in my hand, but to now avail. The employees at the mall hadn’t received a lost phone neither, and considering the vast amount of customers at the mall it all seemed hopeless.
In the end, there were nothing else to do than to go home and call my phone operator and ask them to close down the SIM.


Around this time I started noticing how addicted I were to my smartphone. It’s my phone, alarm clock, music player, browser-on-the-go, always-with-me camera, email client, calendar, navigation and loads more. Suddenly everything were gone. Not that I had lost a lot of data, files or images, those are always synchronized to some cloud based services, but gone as in “not at hand”.
It occurred to me that a big part of my independence were really an illusion. In reality I had just traded a lot of physical things with virtual counterparts, encased in a single physical device.
In a way it were against my principals to be so dependent on a dead thing, while on the other hand it were against all my principals to reject the conveniences that a smartphone has to offer.The rest of that day I felt a bit uneasy. I felt isolated. I felt like I were missing something that I should not be missing.

That evening I went back to the mall just to see if a kind soul had returned a found phone.
Then the miracle happened. Indeed my smartphone had been found, it didn’t even have any scratches. Euphoric I thanked the employees and went back hope to have my operator reopen my SIM.
Everything were now back as is should be…


…except that I still have this nagging feeling that one should not be so addicted to a thing.

The question that remains is if I simply have to accept that it’s like that or if I should be trying to figure out how to be less addicted to a single device.
Will having a single smartphone instead of a lot of single purpose things make you more or less free?

(This post were originally written i danish.)