Sunday, 30 November 2014

Muriwai. Again

As Rob and I both have new toys... me with my Canon 7D mkII and Rob with his new Canon 200 - 400mm lens, we're both much keener to get out and about to test them out.

Rob lives conveniently close to Muriwai beach here in Auckland, so we popped out yesterday to photograph the Gannets & Terns that nest around the cliff faces in the area.

The weather was sunny, but very windy. And the wind was blowing on shore. Made for a cold day. On the plus side though... it brought out a lot of kite surfers.

Looking through the photos I took, I think I ballsed up the first lot as I had left the exposure metering on centre-weighted after Ardmore last weekend. Should probably have been on evaluative. When we went back after dinner, I had change to evaluative and the photos are better (much less blown out, but the evening light is also much softer).

The main thing I wanted to keep trying was the AF and tracking options. In the end... I have no idea what settings relate to which picture. Later in the day I left it the AF with a square of about 9 points active and tracking priority ignoring obstacles. That seemed to work best from what I can tell when working through the photos, but still more reading and practice required (and finding a way to record what settings I change throughout the day!).

Anyway... here is the best of what I got...


The wind creating quite the stylish look....

This poor guy clearly landed in the wrong spot.... he couldn't get away quick enough!

 Kite Surfers

Showing off for the camera didn't always end so well.....


I'm undecided on whether I like this one or not

I have no idea what this guy is trying to do....
And some random stuff....

We stayed around for the sunset. I'd figured the stormy weather overnight/on Friday may have meant a good sunset. I was to be disappointed... still... I played around with the timer of the camera and managed to run out into one shot :)

 No doubt we'll be back out to Muriwai soon to continue to play around with our new toys :)

Still lots to learn!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Six thousand, one hundred and four

That's the number of photos I took at the last open day at Ardmore..... kinda easy to do when your new toy is shooting at up to 10fps :)

After a nervous week of weather watching, it all changed and we had an awesome day (apart from some cloud cover in the morning).

This was the first real test for the the 7D mk2. I'd only spent a bit of time of playing around with the AF and tracking options. Initially, I had thought just a small AF square of around 5x4pts would be best due to the AF jumping around. But.... during the day, I opened it to cover the full set of AF points... I reckon I got some of my best shots this way.

I'm still not sure about the tracking option. It stills jumps around a lot, so I may not have it on the right setting or may just have to see if I can adjust the sensitivity. More playing required!

Of the 6,104 photos I took... I deleted that down pretty quick to just over 2,000. Annoyingly, a lot of photos were just out of focus! For shooting these are the settings I used...

Prop aircraft: Tv: 1/200th, ISO: auto, centre-weighted metering
Jet aircraft: Tv: 1/3200th, ISO: auto, centre-weighted metering

One other thing I did was try and shoot more at the end of my focal range on the Sigma lens, so a lot of the shots are at 400 - 500mm. Nice and close!

Initially, I had thought I may have been pushing it too low with the 1/200th setting, but I had similar issues with the jets at 1/3200 (normally I wouldn't go this high, but I just wanted to see what happened). I do know the Sigma can struggle a little right at the end (500mm), but generally it is very good and a lot of these shots below are at 400 - 500mm focal lengths.

During the day, I also switched optical stabiliser modes on the Sigma lens to the panning OS mode. Normally, I don't bother with this as I found it a little too hard to stabilise the lens and then track the aircraft.

Based on how my later photos look.... I think I need to get used to this setting! For some of the faster prop aircraft, I think I should probably look at popping up to 1/250th.

Anyway on to the photos....

The show opened with a glider display which made a nice change:

 And then it was into the jets...


'92's solo display was fantastic. I don't think I've seen a display so low. Was amazing to watch!

Ryan & Chipmunk:

Some of the other aircraft flying (Yak, CT-4, Beaver, Tiger Moths)


Awesome display as always.

Then the big ones... Spitfire & Mustang!

The Spitfire solo display was unreal. Low, fast, tight. Not a display you get to see often I think.

Looking through the photos, I seemed to have a lot of really good ones of the Mustang, but less so of the Spitfire. Camera settings were the same. Seems a little odd? But maybe it's just the colour of the Spitfire and the conditions? This is were I do wonder if a touch higher on the shutter speed would have been better?

Still... I did get this one... vapour trials and a shadow!?

Talking of annoyingly just out of focus photos...

And someone going for a joyride... bought back memories of my own :)

A random visitor...

Rob/Mark.... did you notice this one... :)

Finally, some general shots...

Overall though. I'm pretty happy with my new toy :)

And as for the day, a big thanks to the Warbirds Assoc., all the pilots, owners and volunteers for another awesome day!

Hope you enjoyed.