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.


May 112012

I found this on the side of a river in Grey County. There was a sign nearby saying what it used to be but I can’t quite remember. I have a feeling it was used to transport the output of  power plant. Either way, it’s no longer in use now, a modern ruin. I liked the way the water rushed through it and the textures on the inside so set about taking a photo. Once again I found myself balanced on rocks with water rushing around my feet and tripod.

Round culvert through rocky hill with water rushing through and over rocks in Grey County, Canada.

Feb 272012

I wish I could tell you what this rather incredible building is called. Unfortunately, I have no idea and I’m in a bit of a rush as it’s my birthday and I’m on my way out for a beer – so don’t have time to google map it (Flanagan’s if anyone’s interested). 🙂

This photo was taken with my back to the East entrance of the Charles Bridge. I’ve got a bit of a fascination with figuring out how to include moving subjects in HDR photos at the moment. I know it’s possible to create HDR images from one RAW photo. However, the results are never as good as when you use multiple exposures. On top of that, I wanted everything to be sharp in this image. In order to do that a small aperture was required. So small that all the vehicles and people in the photo disappeared. So, how to get the moving cable car?

I shot the scene as I would normally, with a small aperture, and then switched it up, increase the aperture and bumping my ISO up considerably to freeze the tram as it barreled through the tunnel. I waited for one to come through and just used it to set the focus correctly. Then waited for the next one and fired away. Following this, I created an HDR image with the multiple exposures as usual, and then masked in the moving cable car. As a result, I’ve captured a moving object in true HDR while maintaining a nice wide depth of field.

Ornate building in Prague with cable car speeding out of a tunnel in front.