Travel Photography

Friday image No.030

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Olympus EM5 with Panasonic 45-150mm lens.
Olympus EM5 with Panasonic 45-150mm lens.

Sometimes I’m guilty of trying to create images with too much drama. I need to remind myself that simple can be beautiful and not every image needs a sunset.

The was shot in the early afternoon, just off the point at the Lizard in Cornwall. Please don’t ask where the pink atmospherics came from, I have no idea. But I’m very pleased they are there. I now want another holiday.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday image No.024

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Blue Haze - Captured on an Olympus Em5 with Panasonic 45-150 lens.
Blue Haze – Captured on an Olympus Em5 with Panasonic 45-150 lens.

This week’s Friday image is another from my recent holiday. I call this one Blue Haze but not for obvious reasons. I just happened to be stood looking out to sea, admiring the view and thinking the house I was outside had a priceless view (this one). The name of the house? You guessed it, Blue Haze.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday image No.018

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The Gherkin, London. Olympus EM5 with Panasonic 45-150mm lens.
The Gherkin, London. Olympus EM5 with Panasonic 45-150mm lens.

This is another of my images from last week’s London trip. For those of you not familiar with the skyline, the large domed building is the Gherkin. And the building in front of it covered in ducting and cranes is Lloyds of London which I’m sure must be pretty well known around the world (if you are into Insurance).

This image was captured on my Olympus EM5 with Panasonic 45-150mm lens (it’s a cracking lens and quite compact). I hope to start posting a few images from my GM1 next week – early indications are very impressive.

Have a great weekend everyone.

The Need for Enjoyment

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Reflections in Leadenhall Market. Panasonic LX7 compact camera.
Reflections in Leadenhall Market. Panasonic LX7 compact camera.

So, here I am in London with a couple of friends for the day and our sole purpose is to enjoy ourselves taking pictures. But I wasn’t. Not because this isn’t a great city or I wasn’t happy being with my friends, I just wasn’t inspired. I was taking photographs but I wasn’t creating photography. My mojo had gone and I just couldn’t stay enthused.

I was used to this dip happening around early afternoon but today I just hadn’t got into gear and now it was mid afternoon.

What snapped me out of this was finding a puddle in Leadenhall Market. The market itself had been decorated with flags and whilst pretty wasn’t very interesting. It was only when I found a puddle that showed their reflection that I began to feel interested. I ended up slaving over trying to create the image above for around half an hour without much luck.

Ultimately I decided to put away my main cameras and just work with the little Panasonic LX7. This is where everything just clicked into place and I started to create photography. That little camera is a joy to use. I love the control it gives me and the quality is very good. I have since printed some of my shots at A2 and they look super (but more on that at a later date).

After this switch of equipment I started to feel enthused again and everything came together. I even switched back to shooting with my other cameras to vary things and it worked well. This just goes to show the importance of enjoying yourself when taking photographs.

A Note of Thanks

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Canary Wharf in London's Docklands. Panasonic Lumix GM1 with 12-32mm lens. Post processing in Nik SIlver Efex Pro and Nik Analog Efex.
Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands. Panasonic Lumix GM1 with 12-32mm lens. Post processing in Nik SIlver Efex Pro and Nik Analog Efex.

I would like to publish a note of thanks to the security officers at Canary Wharf in London. Yesterday I visited London with a couple of friends as tourists to take pictures. One of our locations was Docklands with the intention of photographing some of the icon architecture including Canary Wharf.

Waiting for our friend outside the Tube Station we were taking some pictures of the buildings when we were approached by a security officer to ask if we had permission. What was nice about this is that the officer took the trouble to look at the pictures we were shooting and then contacted security to allow us to continue. It’s great when officials recognise that not everyone with a camera is a terrorist or pervert and treat people with respect.

Thank you.

Friday image No.010

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Captured on a GX1 Infrared converted camera.
Captured on a GX1 Infrared converted camera.

As some of you may already have gathered, I love Infrared Photography. It’s much more frustrating than traditional photography to create good images but the challenge makes it more rewarding. It also opens up a new world of seeing as scenes can take on a completely different appearance. Also, when the time of day or weather isn’t great for traditional photography you may find that it is great for Infrared.

Here’s one of my Infrared images that I wanted to share. Captured last March on a trip to San Francisco (wow is it really almost a year ago). The scene is very ordinary and the light was a bit too harsh to create a good image. Looks much better in Infrared.

Have a great weekend.

An unexpected twist to the weekend

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Reflections in Dean Clough. Captured with the Sony RX10
Reflections in Dean Clough. Captured with the Sony RX10

It was a rather unusual weekend. I was due to be out with a couple of friends in the Yorkshire Dales shooting the landscape which is famed for its wonderful Lime Stone. Unfortunately the weather definitely had other plans for us.

We met up the night before and spent the evening looking at the weather forecast and planning the best locations for the following day. The forecast was to be clear up to around 10:00am but then a severe storm with high winds was due to hit. This really isn’t the sort of weather we wanted to be out in on an exposed hillside.

As it turned out the weather forecast was good to its promise and as the winds got up we retreated down the hill to a local cafe. Assessing the position we moved to the coast (Blackpool) where we decided to photograph the storm surge making land (more on that in another post).

Sunday was little better and offered very little potential for traditional landscape work. We tried some waterfalls but there was just too much water flowing, so decided to change our subject matter entirely. Staring back towards home early we called in at the town of Halifax and Dean Clough Mills, on old and impressive mill complex that is now a business park. This it turned out was another good decision and allowed us to capture some pleasing images although definitely not what we had anticipated on the Friday evening.

Above you see my most successful Lime Stone image (look at the top of the image) from the weekend.

Friday Image 006

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Mountains of Norway. Captured on a Panasonic GF1 with Panasonic 45-200 lens.
Mountains of Norway. Captured on a Panasonic GF1 with Panasonic 45-200 lens.

In all my dashing around today I almost forgot to post my Friday image. I quite like the discipline of trying to create and post an image a week. I know others seem to manage one or more a day but I have too much else on to be able to make such a commitment. I think creating 1 image a week that I am happy to share is a good goal.

I shot this one almost 2 years ago on a trip to Norway. This was shot from the Hertigruten boat (I think it was the Troll Fjord). These provide a ferry service around the coast although it’s quite a bit more luxurious that this suggests. I think this was somewhere before we reached the Lofoten Islands. I came across the image whilst starting to clear out some of my many images and took a few minutes (about an hour really) to process it.

It was captured on a Panasonic GF1 with a Panasonic 45-200mm lens.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Image 004

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Sony R1 Image Quality is still hard to beat
Sony R1 Image Quality is still hard to beat

For this week’s Friday image I wanted to share the picture above. I shot this about 4 years ago. It’s from the town centre of Krakow in Poland. There is nothing spectacular about this image but I wanted to share it because it makes an interesting point.

The image was shot on a Sony R1 which at the time was about 3 years old, perhaps more. I had bought it second hand because the owner had “upgraded” to a Sony SLR. I later sold it because I “upgraded” to a Sony NEX5.

All this time later (that’s time measured in digital years) this camera is still my benchmark. The image is so sharp and detailed, as are most of the other images from this camera. The only thing that “let the camera down” was the sensor when you moved away from base ISO (which was 200).

I had hoped that my recent purchase of the RX10 would match this camera but I am still doubtful. Don’t get me wrong, the RX10 is very capable but I am still to be convinced because I need to use it in similar conditions and see the printed results. Images from the R1 and its 10Mpixel sensor could be blown up to give great prints at 24” or even larger.

So was I happy with the NEX5? No, I sold it because the image quality wasn’t as good as the R1 and I went chasing newer equipment. For the moment I want to leave you to think about why we upgrade so frequently only to find the new camera doesn’t match the performance of our old one.

When more is less

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GX1 V's EM5 V's RX10
GX1 V’s EM5 V’s RX10

So, I have done it. I returned the 14-140 lens for a refund and the money has gone against a Sony RX10. My first impressions are that this is quite a large camera. Actually, it’s not a camera at all but a huge lens with a sensor stuck on the back.

You might feel that I am being unkind but this is exactly what I expected and even wanted. It reminds me so much of the beloved R1 that I sold a few years back. This camera oozes quality and the dials and buttons are a joy to use.

In terms of size, it’s larger that my GX1 (which is now Infrared only) and it’s even slightly larger than the EM5 (which I absolutely love). It’s not however as large as either of these cameras plus the three lenses I would need to cover the same focal length as the 24-200mm lens. The lens also seems to produce great image quality across the entire focal and aperture range. It’s early days yet though.

Annoying limitations at the moment are that I don’t yet have a 62mm filter ring so I can’t really shoot good landscapes. Lightroom also doesn’t support the RAW files so I am having to use the dreadful Sony RAW converter (at least until Adobe release an update). I hated this software when I had an NEX5 and I still hate it now.

I’m looking forward to really getting out with the camera. It’s nice that it’s a sealed unit so less chance of dust getting in there. I also don’t need to stop to change lens so I am thinking this is a great hiking camera for the hill and it should make for a great travel outfit also.

I will report back on the image quality when I have been able to put it through its paces properly.