Monday, 27 September 2010

Back from Scotland

It's been over a week since I got back now, but it's taken some time to process the photos. I recently spent a week in Scotland, on my annual fix of the highlands. I was quite surprised to find that I took over 1500 images. Of course, many of those were duplicates (or near duplicates) and some were "misses", due to photographing fast moving subjects, where timing was involved (such as gannets plunge diving and slamon leaping). The results were very much hit and miss, and with the salmon shots there was a lot of guesswork involved in pre-focussing, unfortunately, my guesswork wasn't working well, with most being out of focus.
On a more positive note, I was able to execute some ideas I'd had for some time, with some selective focus shots of a toadlet and some common lizards. Also, I saw my first newt and white tailed eagle. There was one shot in particular that just came together and is another of my milestone images, mainly because I was able to execute a pre-conceived idea. The image was of a toadlet of the common toad, using selective focus head-on and it has become my first limited edition print, priced at £34.99 for an A3 print.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Quiet Blog and Trip to Spain

Things have been a little quiet on the blog recently and for that I have to apologise to anyone following. I've been having problems with the autofocus on the 7D, largely it seems, due to changes being needed to the microadjustment. Over the past few weeks, I have made some adjustments in the field and it now seems to be improved. I first noticed it when trying to photograph hobbies, not the easiest of subjects at the best of times. Because the expected "hit rate" for the AF is going to be quite low for such a fast bird, it was a while longer than it should have been before I realised there was a problem. Anyone else with similar AF problems should have a look at the microadjustment if possible and make some tests and adjustments.
I also purchased a 5D MkII, as I was finding that the requirement to keep to f/11 or wider on the 7D was limiting my landscape work too much, even with hyperfocal focusing. I'm happy with the improved dynamic range over the 7D and am finding it useful for macro work too.
In July, I visited my aunty and uncle in Spain. Landscape work wasn't ideal, because we were always out in the harshest light, apart from one day where it was partially overcast, but there were some interesting insect macros, such as an Egyptian locust, a Spanish swallowtail butterfly and a geranium bronze butterfly. It was also an interesting visit to Santa Jose Castle (Castell d'Alcozaiba).