Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crossing the channel

Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
After our summer holliday in Cornwall last year turned out to be very nice we decided to go back this year.

First thing to solve is how to cross the channel. Last year's ferry crossings where somewhat less than a spectacular success. On the crossing from Calais to Dover we had to wait aboard the ferry for more than an hour because of a problem with the moorings in Dover.

Add to that the fact that you are herded from your car to the upper deck where there's a load of overpriced shops and restaurants and bars and very little possibilities to sit quietly. Throw in a mix of unwashed truck drivers who lie down wherever they can and busses full of schoolkids, half of them acting like getting an ASBO is a more important ambition that actually graduating school.
Oh, and most of the family gets seasick on a ferry.

So, this year the train, the tunnel or the chunnel or whatever else you want to call the eurotunnel. I loved it. You drive up, your number plate is scanned, you confirm your departure time. There's time to visit the toilettes in the terminal building (unlike the ferries the terminal building is cleaned at least a few times a day) and you drive your car in the train just like this. Relax for half an hour and drive away in Dover.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Esther staring out the window

Esther staring out the window
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Somehow my 50mm f1.8 and the light in my kitchen work so very well together. Like this shot. Focussed on the eye. Ran the pic trough capture nx, applied a touch of skin softner and a bit of glamour glow and this is the result. I like it!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Reality check

For lack of a better word let's call it that.

Anyone who spends any time around the major photography sites on the internet will notice there's an almost insane obsession with gear. We want top notch, a lot of us are willing to pay a lot of money for it and when we don't get what we want the first reaction is to throw money at it.

Now take a look at this:

Of course it's not serious, it's poking fun at a certain kind of photographer. But, let's be honest, how many of us haven't been in this frame of mind a little bit at one time or another?

Now let's take this one.

It's kinda long but this guy says a few very good things.
  • know your gear
  • if you buy a new lens get to know it before buying another one
  • visualize your shots
I think all three are equally important. The last point is perhaps the most interesting. If you visualize something but you can't get it to turn out the way you want those website I mentioned earlier can be useful. Post your pic, with full exif, describe what you did and what you are not happy with. Good chance someone can help.

Of course sometimes the conclusion that you are expecting unreasonable things from your gear. Take this one.

not happy with this one

Shot at iso 800 and a severe crop. ISo 800 will already show noise. A high contrast situation such as this will only make that worse. At a crop and you will see even more noise.

Conclusion. Lower the iso and bring my monopod. Or get closer. Or replace the 70-300 by something longer.