Thursday, 10 March 2016

Do Not Go Gentle...

...into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light - Canon 40D + Canon 70-200 F4 IS, 1/30, F/11, ISO 100

Don't worry, the light isn't really dying. I just have a new baby at home, and my time behind the lens and at the blogging keyboard is seriously curtailed at the moment. I have managed a few good shots in the past months, I think, which you'll find below the fold. I also have some very exciting news, which I will post in the next week or so.

Volmoed Falls - Canon 40D, Canon 17-55 F2.8, 15sec, F/11, ISO 100, ND filter

Last October I took part in the Overberg Workshop, arranged by JJ van Heerden and Wicus Leeuwner (the same guys who run the exquisite Aus Photography Workshop in Namibia - but more on that next week!). We stayed in a place called Volmoed Retreat, which also serves as a retreat for people who need it most.

Volmoed Falls 2 - Canon 40D, Canon 70-200 F4 IS, 20sec, F/13, ISO 100, ND filter

Unfortunately, the weather gods did not look kindly upon us, and the entire week was rained out. The highlight of these workshops is normally photographing the wheat fields in the undulating terrain around Caledon during harvest time, but when there's no decent light, you need to be a better photographer than I to get something decent.

I did put my ND filter to good use and got some pleasing shots of the waterfall on the property, and we got to do a lot of macro work, too.

Purple Stamen - Canon 40D + Canon 70-200 F4 IS + Raynox closeup adapter, 1/125, F/4, ISO 200

I still don't have a proper macro lens, but the combination of my lovely 70-200 F4 IS and the Raynox DCR 150 macro converter work surprisingly well. The converter snaps on and off quickly (and to a variety of filter thread sizes), and the image quality is very good, too,

Purble Bud - Canon 40D +Canon 70-200 F4 IS + Raynox closeup adapter, 1/90, F/5.6, ISO 400, Focus stack of 6 exposures

The above shot was made using focus stacking: basically I set my camera to high-speed burst, focus on the closest part of the flower, and slowly move the camera toward the flower while shooting. The resulting exposures are then combined in Photoshop (there's a script that'll do this automatically), and the sharpest bits are selected from each exposure. As a result you get great depth of field on your subject, while you can still use a large aperture to blur out the background.

Palm Trees - Fuji X100s, 1/80, F/2, ISO 3200, IR filter
I'm also still enjoying the infrared capabilities of the little Fuji x100s.

Penguins and Boulders - Canon 40D + Canon 70-200 F4 IS, 1/125, F/7.1, ISO 100

The above shot was taken at Boulders Beach, Simonstown. I flipped it horizontally (as I often do, can you spot another flipped image in this post?) - Japanese viewers may prefer it flipped back :)

Earth, Cows and Sky - Fuji x100s, 1/220, F/8, ISO 200, Polariser

I'm also still loving the 5x2 aspect ratio I originally used for the Quiver Trees by Night series. The above was taken near Ceres (and I used Fuji's Velvia film simulation mode for a change, otherwise I almost always use the Astia mode).

Cape Point Sunset - Canon 40D + Canon 70-200 F4 IS, 30sec, F/11, ND filter

This sunset shot was taken at Kogelbaai, and the silhouette is that of Cape Point, some 50km away across False Bay. The long exposure smoothed out the water, while the haze softened all the contours. It was taken a few minutes before the wave picture at the top of this post.

As I mentioned, I have some exciting news, which I will write about in the coming week (or two, things are really busy when you have two kids under 2). See you then!