Sunday, August 05, 2012

A productive morning

I went out to shoot some pictures this morning. When I got home, I looked at my watch and couldn't believe that it was only 12:05. It's amazing what you can get done if you get up early. It was raining when I got up and I wasn't going to go anywhere. Then I checked in with Intellicast on my iPad and saw that the rain was about to end, so out I went! By the way, If you don't know about Intellicast, go to their website here and scroll down to the interactive weather map at the bottom. Click it, go full-screen, zoom in on your location, then (assuming there's some weather around where you are), press "Play". Amazing. And it's available free for the iPad.

Anyway, on with the story. Yesterday afternoon, I was fooling around with my macro setup. There was this obstinate dandelion puffball on my lawn, backlit by the sunset. I mounted the bellows, pulled the offending weed and set it up on a table. Here's the result:


That's one seed from the puffball. OK, two of them. Focusing is such a difficult issue at these magnifications!  

This morning, there was a running race in Minden. I decided to check it out and see if I could get some pictures (you didn't think I was considering running, did you? Shame). The bellows was still mounted on the camera, Intellicast said the rain was just ending, there were water droplets hanging on the pine trees... I had already put the tripod away, so I thought, "can I shoot handheld"? Bottom line is, I needed some help with the shutter speed and I have this thing called a flash...


Did you know that pine needles have these rows of white dots on them? Neither did I. You can click on the picture to enlarge it if you want to look closer. I think this was at f/11 but I can't see it in the Exif data with the bellows on: it says f/0.0.  
Anyway, I went to the race in Minden and got a surprising number of 'keeper' pictures. Here are a few — it's hard to choose, I got so many!


You can't see the legs for the forest. I mean, um... 


Pretty sure that wave was for me. She wanted her picture taken. This was just before the start of the 10k. 


I love how this turned out. Truth? I wanted to shoot some blurred motion shots and was trying to figure out what shutter speed would work best. This girl was warming up with a little sprint, so I shot two shots and !Eureka!. This is 1/15 sec at f./20, ISO 100, 12mm. I set the camera on shutter speed priority. All I did to the shot in LR was to select the shoes and increase the saturation of the bright colours. 


At the finish, I was shooting faces. I got about 75 great shots with my 70-200mm lens at f/2.8. This was my favourite. I think she wanted to win but didn't: is that  disappointment on her face? From the number, by the way, she ran 5K, not 10.


Had to be father and son. They ran 10k and I think dad was elated that they finished. They actually came in together. 
On the way home, I stopped at the white water. I wanted to put the 400mm lens on the gimbal mount, and try some action shots. I got a few, nothing extraordinary, but I noted that it's much easier to get sharp images when the camera is on a proper mount. Anyway, I got one that I liked:


I've got thousands of freeze-frame kayaker pictures shot at 1/1000 second, but I really like the dynamic of shooting at a low shutter speed sometimes. This is 1/40 second at f/22. 
More to come, as usual. Later...

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