A horse of a different colour

  • Saturdays blog post reached almost two thousand people!

Today we’re back to photography – specifically the most eccentric digital camera I’ve ever used.

The Sigma Merrill series of cameras see the world differently than any other camera. They are tiny marvels. Their unique sensors read all of the colours simutaneously, as opposed to filtering out red, blue and green side by side (like the TV screen in reverse). The result is a very different ‘look’ and a sharpness that is far beyond their native resolution. Each of these little wonders has a high grade lens designed to exactly match the sensor. The camera’s output can under certain circumstances match that of medium format equipment costing tens of thousands of euros. I have photographed artwork for a client using it and the colours are just stunning.

And there’s the rub. The cameras are impossibly slow to use. Even when pre-focussed, when you press the shutter it might fire immediately, or it might wait for up to a second – its completely random as far as I can make out. The sensor design means that it can’t be used in anything less than fairly bright daylight without a tripod. The battery lasts about as long as a packet of jelly beans in a creche. That’s all just about forgivable, but what isn’t is that it can take up to five seconds before I can check the image on the cameras screen, and as the files are unlike any others, they can only be processed by Sigma’s bespoke software, which, despite its ability to produce absolutely beautiful files, is one of the most diabolical pieces of code ever written, with a user (un)friendliness from hell.

What kills it completely is the realisation that if the processing power and beautiful user interface of my normal imaging software, the worlds best digital image processing engine:  Capture One Pro could be used on these files, then these little cameras would give a fantastic financial return for a very small investment. And without the back-breaking-ton-of-gear a photographer often has to lug about on jobs. As it is, they are magnificent curiosities: just about useful for landscapes, still lifes, and the odd portrait, with a very patient sitter. Its like seeing a pearl, always just beyond reach…..

I want to sell it, but I can’t bring myself to.

Not, at least until I get a much better main camera system. But instead of a saddling up our horse of a different colour, we’ll postpone dipping into that particular kettle of fish for another day!

If you are up for it, I’ll make you a portrait using this camera – www.gerlawlor.com for contact details etc.


All photos are for sale.

In lovely frames too…..


Changing Times…..

A remarkable group of women, the unique Wexford order of Sisters Of Perpetual Adoration have maintained an unbroken vigil of prayer in Wexford since 1877. Dwindling numbers, like so many other orders mean that they are now considerably diminished. This morning a mass was celebrated for the the sisters and those lay people who take an hour or more per week to spend in silent contemplation with them.

An hour of unbroken and uninterrupted silence in this busy world is a remarkably difficult thing to achieve, whether Christian, Buddhist, or secular. 

Thank you Microsoft….

…..(or I want to strangle someone)

Have a read of this:

Outlook 2016: POP3 duplicates after installing the February 16 Update

So thanks to an ‘update’ on outlook, I have lost all emails on my remote server, and once I prevented further losses there, all emails since are being re-loaded onto my desktop machine every time I start Outlook. Hundreds of megabytes and an inbox that looks like a hall of mirrors.

So my desktop machine has multiple copies, and my Windows phone and tablet have lost the lot….

Would it have been too much, Mr Gates to send your subscribers a note saying that there were some problem and that you were trying to sort it out –  I’m a sole trader with limited resources, and I manage to apologise to my customers when things are not quite going to plan.

Lord only knows what will happen when I do the downgrade.

Maybe it will turn my global dictionary back to proper English – the machine thinks I moved to America since a few upgrades ago…..


Roll on Spring

It’s been a particularly nasty winter for outdoor commercial photography. Wet wet wet doesnt even start to describe it. Grey skies, wind and of course water everywhere doesn’t make for ease of work. As the wettest winter on record, that means the number of opportunities to complete commissions were fairly limited. And then there are the election posters. Hopefully no more of them for a while, but actually, I wouldn’t be betting on that one!

Bruce Shaw St Pats Drumcondra
St Pat’s Drumcondra on a rare fine January evening and minus the election posters


General Election day 2016

Today’s the day – Ireland will have a new government shortly – good bad or indifferent.

Regardless of the outcome, us ‘ordinary citizens’ will still have to get up every morning and do whatever it is that we do, whether in joy, sadness, indifference, frustration or despair.

Vote for someone today. Otherwise, you can’t claim any mandate to complain to praise or  to expect.

2011 Election Count (2)

tempus fugit – bye bye facebook

My new website is live and running. http://www.gerlawlor.com.

During the process of developing the site, and building various links I took a fairly hard look at my social media habits. it seems that I’ve become a compete Facebook junkie….

So I’ve switched Facebook from my personal page to land directly on the business page, which, of course remains active. I’ve turned off all notifications and deleted facebook apps from the phone and the ipad.

Let’s see what I can use the 5+ hours per week for. That’s before thinking about the effect on my head space from the negativity, rampant self promotion, plain spam, amens, ‘when she opened…’ and of course rampant misinformation about everything from health to politics. I will miss all the free cars, iphones, ipads and so on though…


farewell facebook