May 242012

New Toys

Canon 7d

I grew more and more paranoid about having my camera break down on my first day in Iceland. So, I went through with my plans as stated on the My Gear page of this website and bought a Canon 7d. BH Photovideo came in particularly useful for this as I was able to go through their second hand department and save some cash. I have a lot of faith in their second hand department as they certify everything is in working order and even provide you with a new warranty.

I haven’t had time to get out with it yet, but will be adding a comparison of the 5d mk II and the 7d once I get a feel for it. Already, from fiddling around with it at home, it’s pretty clear it will be a good companion for my 5d mk II. I’ll be using the 7d for any action/wildlife photos going forward. It’s got a much higher frame per second rate in burst mode and the crop sensor has the effect of extending the reach on my 70-30mm lens.


While I was at it, I bought myself a Canon Intervalometer. I’m a big fan of time lapse videos and this will make it easy. It’ll also make my long exposures easier as I won’t have to stand there watching for a 16 minute exposure to finish and close the shutter. In fact, as i write this my camera is producing my first time lapse for me. It’s sat pointed at a pair of ice cubes in a glass, snapping a photo every 45 seconds. Once I figure out how to stitch it together I’ll let you guys see how it came out. (the ice cube idea came from Ian Sheldon, here)

I know you’re all excited by the opportunnity to watch an ice cube melt, but that’s going to be a few days. To hold you over, take a look at these two great timelapse films that payed a part in inspiring my interest: Migration and The Mountain.


Today’s Photo: Creepy Red Light

I took this on my first trip to New York after discovering HDR. The inside-outside nature of the shot is great for HDR along with the details in the bricks. The red light was flashing on and off which I thought could add a pretty cool effect and I set about capturing it. I don’t know who decided to put a red light in this tunnel but it would have been pretty creepy if I’d encountered it at twilight; particularly as it was also buzzing for the moments it was on.

This light was an integral part of my shot. So, typically, as soon as I got set up it decided to turn off. I’m pretty sure it had a loose wire. I gave up and started to pack up. Then, it came back on again so I set up again. Guess what happened next…

Give up?

It turned off again!

By this point I was determined. I thought maybe it was on a motion sensor. I couldn’t see one and walked all over the place to no avail. I decided I’d wait 15 mins and then pack it in. About 5 minutes in it started flashing again and I got the shot.

Brick tunnel bathed in red light looking out at a green bordered path in Central Park, New York City.


Mar 222012

This is one of my early attempts at HDR. I spotted this little structure and decided to see if I’d be able to capture the detail inside as well as the skyline in the distance. I have no idea who this guy is but he made quite a good subject to anchor the photo on. He seemed completely oblivious to my presence as well, must have been a good book.

A man reading inside a detailed cast iron gazebo in Central Park, New York showing the lake and skyline in the distance.

Feb 022012

Central Park, New York City. This is one of my first attempts at HDR photography. Shooting so long after the sun had gone down was certainly optimistic. I’ve tried to process this photo over and over again and I’m finally at the point where I think it’s good enough to publish. Once getting involved in HDR you set off on a  pretty steep learning curve and don’t even realize it. If a photo is causing problem it’s worth leaving it to sit, the next time you come back to it you may have a better idea of how to approach it.

Pathway in Central Park, New York City, after dark with the street lights reflecting through the green trees.