Friday 11 November 2011

Garden Abstracts and new gear

The other morning i awoke to a misty morning, I quickly put some clothes on and grabbed the gear and headed into the garden,Now firstly i should explain that we do not have any shutters on the windows at the moment (that will change Tuesday) so if i wake during the night i can see whats in the back garden (we have a first floor master bedroom) and when i wake first thing i can see what the weathers like and if its worth getting the gear out, One morning i looked out and could see the trees at the bottom of the garden beautifully lit but by the time i got out i had missed it and the sun had moved,One thing that i noticed when i first moved here was that the trees are very straight and perfect for some abstract photography, The type where you use a slow shutter speed and pan the camera smoothly up and down to blur the scene but still have some recognition of what it is, I have not tried it before but have seen it done many times and sometimes very very well, Its very hit or miss and i did shoot quite a lot until i got something close to what i had in my head, I made a mistake of using the 16-35, It was a bit too wide and tended to bow the scene at the edges when used towards the wider end, I had meant to grab the 24-70 but as they look alike and i was rushing i grabbed the wrong lens,
Here is a scene of part of the garden showing the nice straight trees

And here is a shot using a 1.5 sec shutter speed where i panned the camera that was tripod mounted up slowly whilst the shutter was open
I think that the autumn leaves add to the image and you can still tell what the scene is, Its not the best but its the best from that session and something i will try and perfect as time goes on,

I did some shopping at BH Photovideo which arrived late last night, As i said last week Sandisk (and now Lexar) have dropped the prices on their memory cards big time and i quickly ordered 2 16gb Extreme Pro 90mb/sec CF cards, Nothing much to say about them really and i will soon be using them, The bigger capacity will help when i am Florida shooting manatees underwater, I also treated myself to a new tripod head as my back up tripod head which i have had for many years has frozen solid, It was an Arca Swiss and always suffered from a stickly/jerky feel, I know that they did have a problem with a batch and think that i had one which i should have sent back but never got around to it, I was never really happy with a ball head even though thats all i used for many years until my life changed and i bought a wimberley gimbal head, it really made such a huge difference that i would never go back, the drawbacks of the wimberley are that they are big and very expensive, I cant afford to have 2 and i want something for the 200-400 so probably do not need something like the wimberley so i purchased a long lens head by Acratech, ,my buddy Pete had one in Japan and the first thing that you notice is that its small and very light at under 1 pound, Its beautifully machined and works similar to a gimbal where you can pan left and right and up and down at the same time, But its not really a gimbal in that if you push the lens forward it will flop down, It takes a little setting up to get it 'balanced' and like all my heads i like to have a little tension in the settings rather than have everything totally loose, I have my 600 sitting on it now but as i say its going to be for the 200-400 and will be great for traveling or if i have to walk any distance due to the weight saving, To go with the head i also bought an Acratech leveling base, I have a leveling base on my Gitzo tripod with Wimberley head and the base makes life so easy that again i would not do without one, The gitzo leveling base is very heavy but the Arcratech is very small and light and a perfect combination for the head, Again small and beautifully machined, It only goes to 10 degrees whereas the Gitzo goes to 15 degrees but thats a small point, Once i have had chance to play with my new toys i will post back a small review with the likes and dislikes if there are any
Here is a review on the Acratech levleing base by Luminous Landscape


1 comment:

  1. I use the Gitzo levelling base but have added a stainless steel plate 84mmx2mm with a 20mm hole in the centre as I do not feel that the top plate is rigid enough. I will be interested to read your review on the Acratech base.

    David Schenck