The Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse

On Wednesday 8th October 2014 the world was treated to a spectacular sight of a total lunar eclipse!

There was a lot of driving around to find a good location free of mosquitoes before we waited it out for the clouds to pass~

 

Canon Photo 5 is Open for 2013

Every year the Canon Photo 5 Competition swings by and it’s always fun to have some creative briefs!

Canon sends out a box of 5 items and also themes of which photographers have to utilise to create a photo.

This year, entry required all photographers to enter the open brief prior to being sent a box.

The open brief is Reflections~

Here is the large format of my entry, taken at the South Perth Foreshore whilst on a beautiful date with my partner.

Canon Photo 5: Open Brief - Reflections

Unfortunately on the website, my photo lacks the punch it would probably need to get the judge’s attention! Nonetheless check it out here.

My Gear and New Addition ~ Take 2!

It wasn’t long ago that I posted about my current gear and a new addition of a Canon 7D. After a large amount of discussion between my partner and I, we ultimately returned the camera. We were well within the returns period and we had come to the decision it wouldn’t suit my purposes. My photography varies in subject and location and the feature set from the Canon 7D were no less impressive, but simply not appropriate for me. I did a brainstorm about my photographic needs and a few of the key points that came to light were:

  • Travel – Lightweight and weather sealed
  • Indoor event photography – Good Low Light Performance (High ISO performance, ability to focus in low light)
  • Night Photography – Good Low Light Performance
  • HDR – >3 Auto Bracketing
  • Panoramas – Custom Function Settings (For ease of setup and expedience)
Canon 7D Camera Body

Canon 7D Camera Body

The Canon 7D is built like a tank and features included high burst frame rate but ultimately was better suited for those doing wild life or sports/action photography. This is especially so when you pair the high burst frame rates with a good zoom lens like the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 II on a 1.6x crop sensor! The added rumours of a Canon 7D Mk II in the works also means for those who care about getting the “latest & greatest”, the Canon 7D is soon to be a superseded model (though bargain hunters should be on the look out when prices for these drop to clear stock for the Mk II!).

My search continued and I finally decided that the Canon EOS 6D seemed to hit all my criteria. A definite upgrade from my existing Canon EOS 400D (a.k.a Digital Rebel XTi and the Kiss X for American and Japanese readers!).

 

Canon 6D Front

Canon 6D Front

The 6D is touted as being excellent at low light photography and is my entry into Full Frame cameras. It’s not as heavy (nor as expensive) as the Canon EOS 5D Mk III which makes it far more likely I’ll bring it out! (A camera left at home doesn’t make for good photos! Well… unless you’re doing the whole time lapse thing perhaps!).

Though getting a full frame camera also meant I would also have to replace my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 lens as it is for APS-C sensors only! I wanted an excellent everyday lens with a similar zoom range and ended up choosing between the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC (Vibration Compensation) and the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II Lens.

The Tamron was essentially half the price of the Canon ($~1000 vs $2000 AUD as at June 2013) and also had the added benefit of the Vibration Compensation, which is an awesome feature when shooting in low light conditions or when I simply forget my tripod! I was actually really stuck on this decision but ended up forking up the extra cash for the Canon for the edge to edge sharpness as I do enjoy landscapes. Most likely this will be one of those things I see on paper but would be relatively hard for anyone other than pixel-peepers to see in the photos!

 

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II L Lens

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II L Lens

 

I was able to get an excellent EOFY deal on the Canon 6D, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 II L Lens and two Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB cards from Domenic, Chris and Saul at Camera Electronic and left so happy I walked out of the store the wrong way and had to double back to my car!

So I’ve got a few more posts on gear to come and here’s hoping to posting more photos!

 

 

 

Black Diamond – Storm!

I have slowly been building up this urge to explore the outdoors and really get out and get some good landscape & especially star trail photos! Part of that requires a certain amount of preparedness and I had been eyeing this item for a long time. It came as a gift from my most awesome cousins and hopefully I’ll be taking them out camping sometime in the future!

The Black Diamond Storm is a headlamp that takes 4 AAA batteries and has a suite of functions such as:

  • a spot beam (up to 70m),
  • spread beam (both beams with variable intensities),
  • red LED mode (to preserve precious night vision),
  • water proof to 1m for 30 mins (so definitely good in the rain)
  • Tilting (allowing it to light up something far away, or perhaps just down at my feet, or a map in my hands!)
  • Lock mode (preventing accidental activation when stored in a backpack)
  • Weighs only 110 grams. (Light, light baby~)

This baby is going to be a lifesaver for keeping me working in the dark!

_MG_6410-Black_Diamond_Storm _MG_6431-Black_Diamond_Storm_Package_Front _MG_6428-Black_Diamond_Storm_Package_Back _MG_6427-Black_Diamond_Storm_Package_Side     _MG_6414-Black_Diamond_Storm_Spot _MG_6415-Black_Diamond_Storm_Spread_MG_6416-Black_Diamond_Storm_Red_LED_MG_6422-Black_Diamond_Storm_Tilt_MG_6419-Black_Diamond_Storm_Lock_MG_6412-Black_Diamond_Storm

 

 

Star Trail Photography

I’ve been very excited to get into Star Trail Photography. There are heaps of awesome examples out on the internet and I love the idea of merging the concepts of landscape and light painting photography into this very unique area! I have been slowly acquiring some gear to get me out adventuring and to be honest, when I see fantastic images from all over the world, my first thought is that “I need to get out more!”. Photography at its basis is capturing an image, but the masters take it beyond that and create art.

This field is a new one for me, but one I am very interested in pursuing! The idea of getting out into the wild outdoors, road tripping, camping with some good mates and laying out beneath the stars with my trusty camera to catch it all~

This isn’t my first attempt at star trail photography but is my first result! Taken in a mate’s backyard to simply test out the basic concepts, hope you enjoy it!

Star Trail & Power Lines

Dolphin Watching & Penguin Island

Back in 10/11/2012, a group of mates and I headed on a tour for dolphin watching and to visit Penguin Island here in WA.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get many good shots of the dolphins playing, but I had a pretty enjoyable experience (bar the mild seasickness). Though there’s nothing like a new experience to bring out the photographic inspiration in me!

_MG_8589-Life_Buoy _MG_8590-Dolphins_MG_8597-Pelicans_Rock_Island _MG_8643-Peppy_Photographer_MG_8647-Seals_Island _MG_8659-Shoes_on_Boat_Railing _MG_8663-Sailboat_on_Horizon_MG_8667-Foot_on_Deck _MG_8668-Clear_water_Seaweed _MG_8673-Girl_Chasing_Seagulls _MG_8699-Penguin_Island_Stamp_on_Hand _MG_8702-Penguin_Island_Feeder _MG_8715-Penguin_Island_Penguins _MG_8722-Seagull_with_Chicks _MG_8733-Pano_Pelican_Outcrop _MG_8749-Pano_Rock_Bird_Sanctuary _MG_8775-Rocky_Beach _MG_8800-Bird_in_Bush _MG_8810-Seagull_staring_off_Peppy _MG_8828-Body_Boarders_on_Walkway _MG_8838-Pelican_Formation

Ledge Point Camping Trip 2012

Back in October 2012 I organised a trip with a large group of mates to head up to Ledge Point for a taste of camping and a serious try and some star trail photography. The weekend (20-21st Oct 2012) was a real blast and to be quite honest could barely be considered “real” camping as the site had fantastic facilities like a bbq pit, kitchen area, an ablution block with showers and toilets!

I had spent a lot of time picking the window of opportunity and actually made sure the trip coincided with the Orionids meteor shower so our star trail photography would be very exciting!

It actually took me out of my comfort zone to drive in the middle of the night which my car’s shocking headlamps and head away from all signs of civilisation. To say the least it was a good bonding trip with my mates and fellow photographers Wendy, Aaron and Manchoon. As Wendy and I fought our nerves striving into the pitch black whilst Aaron and Manchoon quite honestly couldn’t care less as they followed dirt paths into bush.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to come out with any real success for star photography but I did learn quite a lot of things about it.

  1. Bring a head lamp with infrared leds – This helps preserve night vision rather than the white light torches we used in between shots
  2. Wrap your camera and lenses with a towel and some hand warmer pads to fight off condensation.
  3. Meteor showers peak ~3am local time. Try not to be asleep.
  4. Music helps keep thoughts from straying to the sounds of dogs howling in the distance.
  5. My friends who not only push me out of my comfort zone but support me whilst I’m there are awesome.

So check out the gallery and keep in mind with the beacon on the car, that shot was taken at f4, ISO800 with a 30sec shutter speed. I had to further increase the exposure in Lightroom so the car was even visible… imagine what it was like for us in the dead of the night! Enjoy~

Pinnacles Group Action

Pinnacles Group Action

Pinnacles Panorama

Pinnacles Panorama

Beetle

Beetle

Pinnacles Group action

Pinnacles Group action

Pinnacles

Pinnacles

Fellow mate and photographer at the Pinnacles

Fellow mate and photographer at the Pinnacles

The fog creating a cone of light

The fog creating a cone of light

The fog creating a cone of light

The fog creating a cone of light

The beacon on the car!

The beacon on the car!

Cabin in the Night

Cabin in the Night

Perth Skyline Panorama 2013

This panorama was taken of the Perth Skyline from the look out at King’s Park. I was out testing my new Benro C2682TB1 Tripod and though what better test of a panorama than the city skyline at night!

Geared up with my camera on manual, remote + mirror lock up and sturdy tripod to get this 7 photo stitch panorama.

Click to enlarge!
Kings-Park-Perth-Skyline-2013-Panorama-1874-1880

ADSS Installation

Back with more rail-related photos. This photoshoot was for the installation of the Auto Dielectric Self-Supporting (ADSS) System on the Joondalup Line.

It’s essentially a fibre-optic cable that is used for communications data. This is the first time it’s been used in the Southern Hemisphere on a rail project, so a bit of a milestone!

_MG_1243-Under-Bridge-Rail-Man-Walk _MG_1217-High-Rail-Vehicle-ADSS -Installation_MG_1370-Night-Cable-Pull-Rail