Approach

No Friday Image


Water Tower at Spurn Point.
Water Tower at Spurn Point. Nikon D800, 24-120mm Nikon f/4 lens, ISO100, 1/160″ at f/13. Conversion to B&W in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you will have noticed there wasn’t a Friday Image last week. This is because I was in Amsterdam for a short break with my wife where we also met up with our daughter, her husband and our grandson. We returned on Saturday and I headed over to Spurn Point with a friend on Sunday.

As a lot of readers won’t be familiar with the area I should explain. On the North East coast of the UK we have the large city and port of Hull. If you travel through Hull and out to the end of the Humber Estuary you will come to Spurn Point, which is a tidal sand island. There isn’t much there except a lighthouse, Lifeboat Station and this old water tower.

Our intention had been to shoot some of the sea defences there. The weather had forecast cloudy and we thought it sounded promising. Unfortunately, the forecast was wrong. The sky was clear blue with the exception of a few wispy clouds on the horizon. The sea defences will be worth shooting in the future but not in the conditions we had.

When I spotted this water tower I could immediately see the potential for converting it to mono. What surprised me thought was that the colour version is quite nice.

Colour image prior to conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro.

I also need to admit to something as a few of you will spot this and ask questions. I have bought another Nikon D800. The camera was an absolute bargain; it looks like new and has only a few thousand on the shutter count.

The last time I bought a D800 I hated it and sold it 4 months later. This time, I’m really enjoying it. The difference seems to be the lenses I bought. One of the lenses is a 24-120mm f/4.0 which this image was captured with. With this on the camera, I’m finding it a pleasure to use. It also has VR which allows me to shoot at surprisingly slow shutter speeds. This is never going to be my main camera (I like the Fuji X-T2 too much) but it’s very impressive and the results are excellent.

21 comments

  1. Hello Robin

    Welcome back in Nikon-Womb! I new, you would return 😉! Such nice Images are only possible with… But no jokes: I am rather exalted at the moment, shot «our» rock behind our house. With D850, a stitch of 58 images. It is just fascinating. Of Course, there is nothing/not much artistic about it, but it is fascinating. For going lighter, I take 24-120 too, very practical and for me good enough inspite of rather not very warm press. The water tower in BW is transfering the Feeling of an extremely sunny and hot day, much more so than in colour. Magic light is coming, have to go. Going light (Nikon 1) or not so light (FF)? Have to think about it quickly. Regards, Robert (Synology still running well)

    Gesendet von Mail für Windows 10

    Von: The Lightweight Photographer Gesendet: Dienstag, 24. Juli 2018 18:45 An: robert.suffak@bluewin.ch Betreff: [New post] No Friday Image

    rnwhalley posted: ” If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you will have noticed there wasn’t a Friday Image last week. This is because I was in Amsterdam for a short break with my wife where we also met up with our daughter, her husband and our grandson. We returned”

      1. Hello Robin
        No, it did not take hours. I used Autopano Giga 4.4.1 on my Windows PC with i7-processor, 64GB RAM and 500GB free on HD. A stitch from 57 images took approximately 17 minutes with NEFs (91-96MB each) and 11 minutes with JPEGs (17-28MB each), resulting in PSB-files of 10.5GB and 168MB respectively. I “measured” by looking at the clock onscreen which shows only minutes.
        From my experience it is important to have ample free capacity on the hard drive, but I have no measurements for this case…
        Yes, the price… But never mind, head up, it is our hobby and a nice one too!

      2. That’s quite impressive performance. I have tried the Gigapan software in the past and remember being quite impressed. I also used to use Hugin but stopped when the stitch functionality was launched in Lightroom. Most of my panoramics need only a few frames to be stitched.

      3. Hi Robin
        The stitching functionality in LR and PS was not good enough as soon as the count of images rose. I do not know where the “sweet spot” is, because I jumped from 4-5 directly to 40-60 images. LR/PS were VERY slow, sometimes hung themselves up and the stitching algorithm produced often many mistakes. Hugin was quite good as far as I remember, but there was something about format (I use NEF). I tested PTGUI too – testwise it was as good as Autopano, but I liked Autopano usage simpler. At least in ist default mode. It could be, that if one wants to tweak parameters, PTGUI can do more, but then one has to understand much more technicalities, otherwise the results get out of control. Not quite for me 🙂

  2. Hello Robin,

    With this new Nikon D800 addition, & its new lenses, we may have to start referring to you as “thewelterweightphotographer”! In case you are not familiar with this, in boxing at least it is the intermediate weight in between lightweight & middleweight – maybe some other sports as well. But it is a camera with an excellent reputation (I shot with the D7000 before size & weight considerations brought me to Fuji), & the image you posted was quite nice both in the color & B&W versions.

    Jed

    1. Unfortunately I didn’t get too many shots in Amsterdam. I agreed with my wife that we have to go back. Perhaps this time we will go from Hull rather than flying from Manchester. It will give me chance to revisit Spurn Point and the interesting sea defenses.

  3. Ha! Welcome back to the “dark side” (the Nikon D800 w/ the 24-120 f/4 lens– which I use, too)…
    fascinating image, story. will go look at UK map now.
    regards, Pablo

      1. I have one unused D800e around… Would like to convert it for IR. Do you know by chance a converting Service in UK not more expensive than Lifepixel? (In Germany there is someone, but very expensive, here in Switzerland I know of no one)

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        Von: The Lightweight Photographer Gesendet: Donnerstag, 26. Juli 2018 15:36 An: robert.suffak@bluewin.ch Betreff: [New comment] No Friday Image

        thelightweightphotographer commented: “Including the price!!! More than 3 times the price I paid for the D800. That’s an expensive articulated screen ;-)”

      2. That sounds like a good idea for a spare camera. I’ve had a few conversions done by two companies in the UK and they are the only ones I know about. ACS is the first and whilst they did a good job, they were very slow (a few months I think) and quite costly. They did quite a lot of work with the BBC and it may be that something was taking precedence over my unit. The other was ProTech (just google ProTech Infrared Conversion). They were great. I talked to the guy who does the conversion to discuss my needs. They were cheaper than ACS and also very quick. I had the camera back in a week. One of my friends has also had a few conversions by them and is very happy with all of them. They managed to turn around one of his as a rush job in a day.

        Be sure you know which filter you want if you decide to have a conversion. My first conversion was the common 720nm filter but subsequently, I have selected 665nm. I think it creates a nicer look in strong light and is more usable in the winter/other weather conditions. If you then want to use a stronger IR filter like an 850nm you can get a screw in 850nm filter for your lens.

        You can also get full spectrum conversions which allow you to take conventional images as well. You will though need IR filters for your lenses to shoot IR and IR cut filters to shoot conventional images. Hope this helps.

      3. Hi Robin
        Thank you for your answer. The question which filter is employing and nearly upsetting me already a couple of weeks… Still could not decide. I do not want to have to use filters, so full spectrum is out of question. By chance I discovered, that a friend of mine has an external 720nm filter I can borrow for a test. We shall see. Have a nice weekend!
        Regards,
        Robert

      4. Hi Robert. Just a word of caution. Using an external 720nm filter on a regular camera is quite different to using a converted camera. Personally, I would recommend having a 665nm conversion. The results appear better and it’s easier to use when the weather isn’t bright. You can also attach a 720nm filter to your lens and that is just like having a 720nm conversion.

      5. Hi Robin
        I am not quite sure, if I understand correctly:
        By “Using external filter on a regular camera is quite different to using a converted camera.” you mean long exposure times, seeing not much in the viewfinder and slow, uncomfortable workflow onsite? If so, yes, I know that. I just want to test the said filter. I have absolutely no experience with IR and that would be the first step in – maybe – a lengthy process. …or did I misunderstand the sentence?
        I have to search for examples with the two filters respectively (720 vs 665). I do not know what “results appear better” mean. What I would like to do are “B&W images” in the mountains; alpine landscapes with rocks, skies, Forests, etc.

      6. No problem. When you use an IR filter on a normal camera you end up with a narrow range of infrared wavelengths you can capture. You would have the 720nm filter stopping light below that wavelength. Equally, you also have the cameras IR cut filter which prevents light in the infrared spectrum from reaching the sensor. Cameras will differ but typically you won’t record light much beyond 800nm. You can test this for yourself. If you use a 720nm filter on a standard camera you will record something but the exposure will be long. Use an 850nm filter and you get nothing.

        With a converted IR camera you will record light with a wavelength above the strength of the conversion used. If your conversion is 665nm then that’s the lower limit of the wavelength but the upper wavelength is open. Add an 850nm filter to your lens and you still record an image (and you can hand hold) but it has different characteristics.

        When you come to process the RAW files, they also have a different “feel” to them. The ones from a standard camera aren’t as flexible and don’t hold up to processing as well. I found the 720nm RAW files less flexible than the 665nm. The 665nm can produce a much nicer IR effect and also works better if you want to create false colour IR using a channel swap.

        Hope this helps.

  4. Hi Robin
    Got it! Many thanks, now I understand the difference. Turnover time is too short before my next travel, but In autumn off the camera goes! Have a nice weekend!
    Regards, Robert

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