The two flashes are moved around until I get the lighting well balanced. I was using manual exposure at ISO200, with a shutter speed of about 1/60 and aperture around f/22 to maximise depth of field. The flash power was set to 1/16-1/32. Here’s the scene the camera saw:
Essential items I also took along were my Gorillapod, wired remote control and some kneeling pads for my poor knees! I use Live View to frame up and focus the lens (with manual focus). Then switch off Live View (the camera won’t fire the flashes with it on, for some reason). The wired remote prevents camera shake when pressing the shutter.
I was lucky to find a few unusual species I hadn’t previously photographed, including this Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea).
Here are the other pictures I made during the afternoon:
Despite the weather being largely dreadful during February – cold and grey but at least, little rain – I still managed to infuse my daily picture-making with a bit of colour. This was largely done in the studio, or grabbing a walk when the sun did poke its head between the clouds.
Early in the month, Alistair was visiting for a few days, so we managed a bit of geocaching in variable weather. I saw this landscape on a sunny but perishing cold walk near Southminster, and nearly made it for Day #1862:
Mid-month, I spent a long weekend on the Kent Coast visiting another friend, and we enjoyed lots of walking on the Thanet Peninsular. We had a particularly sunny day in Whitstable, where I found this delightful boat, which was just pipped to the post for Day #1873:
I also made a mono landscape featuring the Decaying Pier on the beach the same day. A few days later, this mono shot nearly made it for Day #1876, found during a walk on Westgate beach before driving home to gloomy Essex:
The Chelmsford Photowalk group finally managed another outing on 24th, to The Gibberd Garden for Walk #44. It was October last year when we got together previously, so it was great to catch up with some old friends. The weather was dull and cold again, but we managed to get a few good macro shots of the garden details. This study of a desiccated flower nearly made it for Day #1882:
By the end of the month, we had another little flurry of sunshine while I was visiting my folks in Wivenhoe. We made the most of it by taking a stroll along the Quayside to enjoy the colours and shadows. This one reminds me of a grand afternoon out:
As well as outings, I made some more headway on my 50@50mm project. And I was delighted to hear the news that seven of my images were accepted in this year’s Port Talbot International Salon. So despite the weather, it’s not all been bad! Here’s to March, and hopefully the approach of Spring at last…
November was another busy month photographically. I love the autumn colours, so when time allowed I was out and about photographing the lovely leaves with my fantastic new macro lens. I’m very impressed with the results.
The dark nights made it easy to get out and do some more light painting. Here’s one which I liked from a session out with the GNPC folks at a very dark churchyard!
More studio activities involved testing out my new Splash Art Kit on various occasions.
It produces some great results with a much better valve and pressure tank than my original Camera Axe setup, and I’ve also bought some great flash brackets for getting better background colours.
I look forward to playing with it more over the coming weeks and months – I’ll certainly need some practice as I’m giving two talks with live demos about water splashes to clubs in the near future!
The Splash Art system also seems a bit more rugged and more easily transportable compared to the delicate electronics of the Camera Axe, so it should be much better for taking on the road to various places.
Talking of the seaside – I witnessed another fantastic sunset in Brightlingsea a few days ago. I was there re-acquainting myself with the qualities of my 100-400mm zoom lens, which I’d just collected from being repaired.
I haven’t really had much opportunity to play with it yet, but I have found that it can make some stylish borders for pictures.
This triptych of beautiful stones in the sand at Broadstairs is finished off rather well with the additional edging.
My ongoing love for mono photography was once again fuelled by taking part in the annual Monovember challenge on Flickr. I am pleased with my thirty images, and feel that I did the group justice. However, I will be glad to go back to just needing to make two images a day for December, rather than three!
And so that brings us to the end of the month – and December is upon us once again! Watch this space for the next installment.
Title: Rain And More Rain Location: At home Camera: Canon EOS 7D / 100mm EF f/2.8 L IS USM Notes: Another very busy day today. I went outside briefly to make the picture for Day #1794, decided it was too cold and horrible and retreated indoors pretty quickly! This was the view through my office window for much of the day.
Title: Patched Up Location: At home Camera: Canon EOS 7D / 100mm EF f/2.8 L IS USM Notes: A macro shot of my poor iPhone. I managed to drop it at the weekend and smash the screen! It’s held together with sellotape until I can get it to the menders in a few days’ time.