Summer Rains – WTF?

 

The weather has gone absolutely mental!!!! We’ve gone from having days in the high 30’s to the low 40’s to belting rain and temperatures of 15℃. It is really strange to say the least.

The video footage was mainly shot on my iPhone and some on a Sony Action Cam. I must say I am a very late starter to using a mobile phone for photography and video. Dunno why – it just never appealed. Yesterday I was out walking the dog and I thought I better shoot some footage about the weird weather and the only camera I had to hand was my phone. I had no microphone nor anything to steady the footage. It was all flying by the seat of my pants. I went out again this morning  and decided to take my Sony Action Cam to take some additional footage. Most of what I took was unusable – the quality from the iPhone is so much better. I did for a crazy moment think about editing the footage on my phone but I decided against it as I’d never used iMovie on my phone before and thought it would be quicker and easier to bang out the edit on my laptop.

I’m Back!

Tasmanian Devil sheltering under a fern during the normal Tasmanian weather – rain.

Well two weeks in Tasmania went faster than an Essex girl can drop her draws. Tasmania is photographic Nirvana and this wasn’t a management sanctioned photo expedition, but rather a holiday. This meant a tripod, full set of filters, an audio recorder and decent microphone were all left at home. All I took was the micro four thirds kit , with  circular polarizing filters and variable neutral density filters, and a tripod substitute in the form of the Manfrotto 585 Modosteady 3-in-1 Support Tripod. It’s a crap steadicam but works well as a light weight video rig and table top tripod. I’ve modified mine by adding a Manfrotto 323 Quick Release Plate Adapter so all my cameras can use a standard quick release mount.

Manfrotto 585 Modosteady 3-in-1 Support Tripod. It’s a video rig, table top tripod and steadicam all in one.

So with some guile and cunning I managed to maximise my photographic success rate by shooting a lot. I’m not us usually a spray and pray photographer, but this time the situation demanded it, but it was well thought out as I bracketed each shot by +/- one stop. This meant that for the landscapes and detail shots I could turn them into HDR images using Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2 when I got back home. I also shot a lot of panoramas, these were also bracketed, handheld. I’ve found using the rear LCD screen of my Olympus Ep-2 with the grid overlay means I can get reasonably level shots with sufficient overlap so Photoshop’s photo merge function can do a good job of lining everything up. The photo below was done handheld and was a total of 6 exposures with the bracketing. I first produce the HDR segment and then shove it Photoshop for the panorama.

South Bruny Lighthouse situated on Cape Brunny overlooking Lighthouse Bay.

I also shot a lot of 20 second video clips with the intent of using them along with the stills in a multi media presentation and video eats memory cards like Lance Armstrong takes steroids. In all I used up 60 Gb worth of memory cards. Thankfully class 6 memory cards are really cheap now so I was well stocked up with them. The other aspect of shooting lots is battery consumption. The battery life of mirrorless cameras is pants. Olympus reckon 300 shots from a fully charged battery but I’ve never got anywhere near that so I took six batteries with me and a charger. The most I used in one day was 3 batteries and that was on a very cold day and I’d shot a lot of video. I also took a battery charger with me, not the stock supplied one but a Hahnel Unipal Plus. This charged my camera batteries, the AAs in my torch and shaver, my phone and iPad. It’s a brilliant bit of kit and any travelling photographer should really consider getting one.

Universal charger from Hahnel. Indispensible for travelling.

Over the next few weeks as I process the images I’ll post them on the blog and talk about the hows and the whys.