Cheapie Update

A very quick post tonight, a follow-up from last week’s post. Actually not a good week for getting photographs but I have a had a go with the $25 camera. Next I get to try the $100 version but not for a week or two. It has been a real challenge and I think I will have another go when I have more time to think about it. Here are a few of my less awful images.





I did some cropping and levels on this last one.


Cheap Camera Competition!

One of my friends at work decided he wanted to test the theory that a good photographer can take good images even on a bad camera. A few of us have signed up to give it a go and we now have two cameras to try, a NZ$100 Lumix camera which should be at least reasonable and a very cheap NZ$25 Polaroid camera which is probably the digital equivalent of a Holga, although that may be being unkind to my Holga which I quite like.

I have the cheapie first and have been playing with it, trying to find out what it can and cannot do. It cannot take sharp images which is a bad start but it has more control than I had expected including exposure compensation and a black and white mode which is definite option I suspect.

I took this shot this morning at sunrise on the way to work.

Sunrise 1

Since I had my own D700 to hand as well I also took (more or less) the same image with it.

Sunrise 2

For our competition we are not allowed to edit the image outside the camera but if was allowed I guess I might do something like this.

Sunrise 3

The next few weeks should be interesting, I don’t anticipate taking great images with the Polaroid but it will make me think very hard about how to get something at least useable and perhaps come up with some creative options.

Snow Day

The weather has turned distinctly wintery. We had our first snow just over a week ago and it has been cold ever since. The snow was thick and made for happy children as they had a couple of days off school – not so happy parents. I left work early with the roads looking very messy and in between working from home got out for a while to take some images.

It was actually quite hard with thick snow falling and under foot, keeping the lens dry was a problem as well as seeing anything with fist sized snow flakes falling. I didn’t do a great job but hopefully learnt a bit from my mistakes. Apart from anything else I need to protect my camera and lens better but also I need to play more with a faster shutter speed, a few shots with the snow frozen as it falls might have worked well.










Waterfalls and Mountains

I had a very busy weekend, even managing to get up for two sunrises as well as taking a trip into the mountains for some waterfall pictures. The sunrises were for a portfolio for my photography course which I have almost finished but I still have to add a few words to go with the images which is what I should in fact be doing now.

The trip to the mountains was just for fun and to try out some techniques for photographing waterfalls. I was very lucky with the weather, I was ahead of a southerly coming through and managed to gets few images of the clouds as they met the mountains .




By the time I arrived at Arthur’s Pass itself the weather had cleared and in the trees was pretty good for photographing the water, being not too strong and quite diffuse.


I had been reading “The Advanced Guide to Photographing Waterfalls and Streams“, an ebook published by Flatbooks and was eke to try out some of the ideas in particular using ISO to control shutter speed to find the best look for the water – and to allow merging of images where wind moves leaves etc while taking the exposure for the water. In the end I didn’t need to merge any images as there was almost no wind but using the ISO to tweak the shutter speed proved very useful.



The other main lesson from all my trips this weekend was that I desperately need a new and much better tripod. Better start saving.

Running Late

A busy few days so a very quick post of an HDR image I took at Sumner in Christchurch this morning. Processed with Photomatix and Color Efex Pro it is one of a series of HDR images I made to bring out the sky and reflections on the beach.

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