After years of playing guitar on and off, I decided it was probably time I learnt how to fingerpick. I’ve been getting pretty hyped for the new season of Game of Thrones, so I decided the GoT theme would be as good a place to start as any.

I have been using a Canon 7D to record some footage for my degree show piece, and came across this demonstration of noise levels at various ISOs.

Note that the cleanest image is not at ISO 100, as you might expect, but at ISO 160, which is probably the 7D sensor’s native ISO.  The video gets progressively noisier for each third of a stop above a multiple of ISO 160.  This leaves your options at 160, 320, 640, and 1250.  I used ISO 320 for yesterday’s shoot.

Via WetPixel.

Saw this great lecture on creativity by John Cleese on Saturday.  It’s 35 minutes long and (though presented in spoken English) subtitled, but worth watching the whole way through. It’s interesting because on the face of it a lot of what is being said sounds obvious, but the framework through which it is explained stresses the importance of simple, fundamental factors; namely, that creativity is not a talent and isn’t related to IQ, that it can only happen when you’re in an ‘open’ mode, that it requires support and is stifled by negativity, and, most importantly, the degree to which ‘creativity’ is related to ‘play’.

I’ve always considered Cleese something of a legend, and so I consider learning about creativity from him akin to being taught how exposure works by Ansel Adams.  This is one of those lectures that sticks with you.  Watch the video before it disappears.

Via PetaPixel.

A good friend linked me to this slightly unbelievable video, which demonstrates how to make a apparently very usable black and white film developer using just coffee, vitamin c power, water, and a little washing powder (via a post on Engadget).

It looks incredibly simple, and the results that the narrator seems to achieve are almost suspiciously good. You’ll still need conventional store-bought fixing chemical, of course.

I have personally been paying around £18 a litre for Ilfosol DD-X. I push practically all of the black and white that I shoot at least 2-3 stops, at which DD-X excels. This home-made processing chemical (which users have apparently named ‘Caffenol’) might make it worth shooting a roll or two at ISO 200 or 400 just to see what sort of negatives it produces.