travel

This is it!!!

So a couple of days ago I had an echo scan and a meeting with my surgeon to review my “condition”.

7 months post-op and he said he does not want to see me again, ever!

Going through my bucket list, one of the first things I always wanted to do was to cycle from London to Paris, and this year I will finally be doing it with my Friend Giles House, as part of a group ride organised by the British Heart Foundation

BHF has been part of my life for the last few years and I wish to continue to support them. I have set up a fundraising page which allows you to donate as little or as much as you can. The BHF helps thousands of people with research and support. They’ve helped me and now I am helping them, with YOUR support!

Note that all the expenses for the ride are covered by myself, so everything you donate goes directly to the BHF !

I survived the operation, got the T-shirt and won a second life. I am now asking YOU to help others who have to do the same! Please click on the image below to go to my fundraising page.

Thank you!

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Recovery….

It is now 10 1/2 weeks since my surgery and recovery in general has been going well…there were a lot of ups and downs during the first few weeks (mostly downs) but as time passes I feel stronger with less pain (no more pain killers), Sleep (pr the lack of it) is something I will have to work on, long-term, as is getting used to the loud ticking noise coming from the mechanical aortic valve…

I am a lot more mobile (I can drive long distances!), taking daily exercise and all (or most) of the signs say that I am going to be OK…

And since I am still not allowed to fly and as I have to do regular blood tests etc., we had to settle for short local outings during the holiday season…so you are not going to see any wonderful, warm, sun-spelled photos but here is a small collection from a few trips to the RAF Museum in Hendon, to Trent Park and to the South coast; Milford On Sea and the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. I was in a “One camera, One lens” mood so all these images were taken with the Mamiya 645DF+, Leaf Credo 50 Digital Back and a Mamiya 35mm/f3.5 D lens, a very versatile and capable combo that lets me shoot handheld at high iso and get some wonderful colours (yes also in B&W) and details. Images processed in Capture One Pro 8. Click on an image to view a larger version…Enjoy!

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                                 All images ©yair shahar and cannot be copied, printed or displayed without the author’s permission

A new era in Medium format photography

The Phase One IQ250 Medium Format digital back was announced today. This is the first time we see a modern CMOS sensor that is larger than 36x24mm (full-frame 35mm) in Medium Format.

CMOS technology has improved over the last 14 years, since the Leaf C-Most came out (36x24mm, 6MP) and the IQ250’s 44x33mm, 50MP brings high ISO capabilities, fast capture rate and excellent Live View functionality, previously available only in high-end DSLRs.

As expected, a number of naysayers and armchair warriors are jumping through hoops to find “holes in the plan” and to compare it to cameras 10 times cheaper; some in attempt to justify their own purchase decisions and some because they cannot see why some photographers like, want or need to shoot medium format…none of it is new and I’ve been around long enough to know that there’s a huge gap between on-line forum chatter and what happens in the real world…gladly in favour of the latter.

What they fail to realise, perhaps because they can only see and read numbers and charts on their computers’ screens (easier than stepping out and taking photos) is that this is a milestone for Medium Format and for Photography in general, regardless of format. Adopting and implementing this technology in “larger than 35mm” cameras is a sign of good things to come and it demonstrates the strength and the breadth of “Team Phase One” and its ability to innovate and to lead the market for the foreseeable future!

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Resolutions

Many of us have spent time during the last week thinking about their new year’s resolution.

Here is my short, prioritised, personal wish list for 2014:

1. Be a better husband
2. Be a better father
3. Loose 5 kilos and stay healthy in general
4. Make a bit more money and make better use of it

Notes:
1. Some of these items are “in progress” and others are “TBA”
2. I only had 90 minutes to draw this list, during a wet and a very windy bike ride on New Year’s morning

Happy 2014 everyone! May all the items on your list be marked as “completed” by the end of the year!!!

Farewell to a trusty ol’ friend

Mamiya Leaf has just announced the end of production of the Aptus-II product line. For me, this marks the end of an era and the end of a long and mostly beautiful relationship!

It was announced on Sept’ 7th 2004. Since then Leaf moved from Creo to Kodak and was then sold to Phase One. The Aptus went from 17MP to 80MP, from FW400 to FW800, from CFI/II to UDMA and from Leaf Capture V8 to LC10, LC11 & Capture One. It had a 3.5″ touch screen only rivalled by the latest smartphones and it used Bluetooth for image preview when BT was still in its infancy and used to connect headphones to mobile devices…

I’ve demoed hundreds if not thousands of units and was involved in thousands of sales. I’ve shot with every single model (all 13 of them) in every single mount (all 5 of them) on more than 60 different camera bodies. I’ve even serviced a few…taking them apart, changing some bits and putting them back together…

The Aptus has brought dinner to my family’s table even before we had children. We now have 3 with the oldest being 8 year old!
I’ve taken the Aptus (or Apti?) on business trips and on holidays to North & Central America, Africa, Scandinavia, Russia, Australia and  Asia and took some of my most memorable images with them.

I cannot think of another modern days electronic device which has been in service for more than 3-4 years, let alone 9 years!!! just think about all those 35mm DSLRs that came and went during the last 9 years…Canon 1DsMkII? MkIII? Nikon D2X anyone???

This is not the end of the Aptus as thousands of them are being used daily by both amateur and professional photographers, creating art and making money!

I would like to use this opportunity and to wish all my friends, colleagues and customers (many whom are close friends) happy holidays and a healthy and successful new year!

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 One of my personal favourite images which I took on an early foggy morning in British Columbia, Canada in June 2006. Click on the image to see a larger version and read more HERE

NYC October 2013

Work took me to NYC last month and I was lucky enough to A) have some free time and great weather and B) have some of the best camera equipment in the world with me: A Leaf Credo 60 digital back with a Mamiya 645DF+ and a Mamiya 35mm/f3.5 lens, which is one of my favourite lenses, being light, small, sharp and relatively fast for a wide angle lens
I took the subway to Brooklyn on a Friday night and walked down to Brooklyn Bridge park, which was dark and quiet, perfect for taking a few photos of the city and the bridge.

The next morning I walked down from 26th st. to the 9/11 memorial site at the world trade centre, a very unique experience which made me pause for a couple of hours.

I’m still going through some of the images but here is a small collection that I’ve chosen so far, shown with a little post treatment as possible

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