Looking out of the window today, summer seems like so long ago. Yet only on Saturday the pool was open, the sun was out and summer was very much on the scene.
Was sat out in the garden having a fag and a coffee when this chap hopped up onto the table. I didn’t expect it to still be there by the time I’d gone indoors and attached the kenko tubes to the 70-200 but he didn’t seem to be in any great rush to get back into the grass.
Grass would have made a better background but I’m not complaining too much. Took a few shots at a variety of settings, finding that f9 -f11 almost gave me enough DOF to keep it relatively sharp. Had to up the ISO to 800 to be able to hand hold and shoot. If I’d had the tripod handy I may have been able to take more shots and stack them all together but wasn’t sure how long it’d hang around for !!
Don’t think this was the same one from the weekend as that one never had the coloured armour behind it’s head. Somehow it seems that the garden at Canvey Castle here is becoming a bit of a nature reserve. If anyone could Identify what make and model of grasshopper this is I’d be quite interested to hear from you.
As portraits go it’s not going to win any awards – The close crop is maybe a bit too close, or not close enough It’s somewhere in between. The lighting, whilst natural could have been better (a reflector would have helped) but for what was essentially a ‘grab’ shot as I went to make myself a coffee was impressed with a) the speed of focus and b) the bokeh (what little there is) @ 70mm.
Took delivery of a new (to me) Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 this morning and despite having lots to do I couldn’t resist firing off at least one, well OK ten or so test shots with it to see how it went.
At first I thought it was broken as I couldn’t hear the motor for the AF. Then, I thought it was magic, because even though I was changing focal lengths, every time I looked through the viewfinder, the focus was spot on !! I then of course realised that this is all perfectly normal for a lens that costs more than £100 and the lenses I’m used to are just slow and clunky. Think I’m going to enjoy this one……….
As this as supposed to be just a quick test shot, it was hand held, with the following settings. The ‘arrangement’ is on my dining room table, lit by the dull grey that is today through the patio doors.
Background is a brown sofa and the back ache from standing there trying to make sure the wallpaper, door and the other stuff in the vase didn’t creep into the shot is all mine.
Exposure 0.003 sec (1/400)
Focal Length 114 mm
ISO Speed 1600
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash Off, Did not fire
Went for a walk with the 70-300mm on. This was unusuyal to say the least as this lens rarely sees the light of day when there are no football matches to shoot.
Having acquired an upgrade to the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 (which hopefully arrives today) I thought it would be good to have an outing with a longer lens than usual. It wasn’t a photographic outing, more of a dog walk (with kids) along the bank of the River Blackwater from Waterside Holiday Park to the Stone Inn whereupon it seemed necessary to stop for a refreshing and very pleasant Shandy whilst taking in the view.http://www.davefrost.co.uk/wordpress/wp-admin/post-new.php
The River Blackwater is a river in England. It rises in the northwest of Essex as the River Pant and flows to Bocking, near Braintree, from where its name changes to the Blackwater. Its course takes it near Stisted, and then via Bradwell Juxta Coggeshall and Coggeshall and near Witham where it is joined by the River Brain. Passing Maldon it reaches the North Sea at West Mersea. The River Chelmer (which is a canal at that point) meets the River Blackwater near Langford. Some of the water flows over Beeleigh weir and some flows down the canal. At Heybridge flood water from the canal flows over a weir at the site of the old Heybridge mill and down the original course of the Blackwater (now known as Heybridge Creek) before passing through a sluice gate into the tidal Blackwater Estuary at Maldon. One of the most famous Viking battles in Britain, the Battle of Maldon, took place directly beside the river in 991. The Vikings were successful in battle against the Anglo-Saxons, claiming victory in this Dark Age battle.
The Blackwater was a source of fish and oysters for the town of Maldon during the Roman occupation. The remains of Saxon fish traps were discovered in the river in the 1990s.
During the winter of 1776 the Blackwater froze from Maldon to Osea island, a distance of some four miles. The ice trapped fishing and cargo carrying vessels and blocked any imports of coal, oil, wool to Maldon.
In 1793 the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Company was formed by act of Parliament. Over the next four years, the company built a navigation from Chelmsford to meet the tidal estuary of the River Blackwater in Colliers Reach at the place that’s today called Heybridge Basin (after the canal basin there).
The burgers of the borough of Maldon refused to allow the canal to pass through their borough, so the company routed it just outside the borough boundary, which is why it ended up at Colliers Reach, rather than at Maldon. From Chelmsford, the navigation mainly followed the course of the River Chelmer until it reached Beeleigh, near Maldon. Then it followed the course of the River Blackwater to Heybridge, and from there via a canal to the sea lock at Colliers Reach.
A weir connected the navigation to the tidal river Blackwater at Heybridge, where it powered a water mill. Heybridge mill was demolished after severe flooding in this area in 1953, but the mill house still stands. The river itself (now known as Heybridge Creek here) was dammed between Heybridge Hall and Potman marsh in 1954 as part of a programme of flood defence improvements. Most of the water flowing down the River Blackwater nowadays flows over a weir at Beeleigh and along the tidal section of the Chelmer before rejoining the Blackwater just below the Hythe at Maldon.