Nice try, but no banana

Aced
I’ve seen quite a few shots recently involving playing cards and motion blur so though I’d have a go myself having borrowed a rather nice Manfrotto Tripod from a friend. I didn’t realise how hard this is to do by yourself !! – For those interested, the Flash was bounced off of the ceiling, and the exposure was metered for the ambient light minus around 1 stop.
Multiple test shots gave me a resultant shutter speed of 1/5 @ f6.3 which captured the movement of the cards quite nicely when I was able to get the timing right. Keeping an eye on the timer, and making sure the cards are within the frame was rather tricky, and I only ended up with two usable shots from 20 or so attempts

Sadly, my living room is too small to not have included the wall in the shot. I already had to clone out a bit of sofa behind me. This for me, makes this shot pretty much just below average, but at least it’s good practice. I thought about trying to remove the wall by copying or cloning in more floor, but my PS skills fall way too short to even attempt it.

Added to the list of shots to re-try properly at some point this year.

And so begins a new relationship….

With the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro lens that arrived this week.¬† Purchased as an emergency replacement for the trusty Tamron, which has developed a rather irritating fault beyond economical repair.¬† Still in two minds as to whether to flog it on ebay for spares or repair (along with all my now useless filters for it or take it apart to see how they’re all put together.

Unfortunately, the skies have been perpetually grey.¬† That and the usual heavy work load has meant that although I’ve had this lens all week, I’ve yet to actually take any photos with it to see how it performs.¬† I did manage a couple of shots through the office window into the gloominess and have noted that the chromatic abberation (or lack of) with this lens is quite impressive.¬† It was always a bit of an issue with the Tamron.¬† Nothing too terrible but a nuisance to correct in post processing.¬† As for sharpness, I’ll have to wait for a better day.

Today’s shot is one of those test ones.¬† There’s a green washing line running diagonally across the frame (rendered almost invisible thanks to the far focus and Depth of Field), and it was hand held with a shutter speed of 1/200 @ f5.6 and focal length of 300mm.

What's on the telly tonight?

Old stomping ground

Went for a walk today with the dogs. Rather than retread the familiar path of the sea wall here on Canvey, we decided to travel a little further afield and ended up at Hainault Forest. The kids have never been there before, and it must be 25 yearts at least since I was there, but the memories of many a summer Saturday came flooding back. I even recognised some of the paths I used to hare up and down on my bike in the days when you could go out early on Saturday, and just come home at tea time. No mobile phones, no way of keeping in touch with home. Just a tobacco tin full of stolen dog-ends, a matchbox stuffed with tissue to stop it rattling and my bike. Despite feeling old, and realising with some sadness that the forest isn’t as big as I remember it, next time I go back, I’m going to try and find the tree I carved my name into.

Only had one decent photo as we were having so much fun. This tree intrigued me, as I couldn’t figure out if the fence had sawed it’s way into the tree as the wind blew it about, or whether the tree had grown around the fence.

Old fence, younger tree

Looks better larger – If you want to see a bigger version, try HERE
this

Last of the snow pictures

Well it looks like Winter has now settled back to it’s usual dull grey drizzle for the time being, making special shots that much harder to come across. I’ve not got anything for the January entry in the 2010 hotographer of the Year Competition yet, but have a few ideas in mind (it’s just finding the time to stage them. Hopefully the miserable weather will serve to inspire more creative indoor shots instead, especially as I have found a custom function for focussing without using the shutter button. It’ll be interesting to see whether I can get to grips with it.
In the meantime, I’ll share the last of the snow pictures with you – I call it cupped, should have a poem to go with it at some point, just need to get my thinking cap on.

Cupped