Archive for April, 2013
I’d been considering a potential star trails session at this location under the historic bridge at Northbridge for a little while.
Since we were close by at 10PM at night (I know don’t ask :)) and it was a clear moonless night Gerry and I decided to kill a few very cold and wet (the dew formation was ridiculous – lucky I brought the star trails socks :)) hours waiting for the frames to complete.
I also wanted to try out my new very fast wide angle lens (the Sigma 35mm f/1.4) to see if could help me with star trails. I must say it enabled me to shoot at an insanely low ISO (atypical for shooting stars) – I shot the following at ISO 160 instead of the more typical ISO 1600.
From around 10:15PM we shot some ambient and foreground shots at more typical landscape settings first (along with light painting the tree’s and bridge with the uber torch (the Nitecore 860 lumen monster)). I then shot the 223 frames taken at 35mm and 30 seconds @ f/1.4 and ISO 160 from 10:45PM to 12:40AM which were then stacked and blended with the earlier exposures to produce the following final star trails image…
Northbridge Through the Aeons
It was a very late evening finishing around 1AM and the fog rolled in a number of times creating havoc with some of the source frames – although I’m hoping Gerry will convert the lower half into a timelapse movie of the fog swirling around at ground level.
Here is a single frame of a small part of the milky way pointing in exactly the opposite direction (as it happens there were far more visible stars in this direction – which we didn’t notice till we were well under way :(). What is pretty remarkable about this shot is that we’re fully in the heart of Sydney here so light pollution is about as bad as it gets which generally makes shooting stars nigh on impossible. I wasn’t really expecting to see to much in the result – I could just make out the milky way by eye – but the D600 and the Sigma 35/1.4 has pulled out what I think is a pretty acceptable result.
10 seconds @ f/1.4 and ISO 1000
Northbridge Lighting the Milky Way
Last shot of the day from a mornings sunrise shoot at Narrabeen Tidal Pool. A set of six BigStopper long exposures stitched into a panorama (16-35/4 @ 31mm, approx 120 sec each exposure at f/8 and ISO 200, Heliopan CPL + Lee 0.9 Grad ND + BigStopper)…
Note: This photograph you really do have look at much larger to appreciate it – so click the image below to see a larger version in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.
Narrabeen Storm Cell
Of course with the Lee 10 stop ND (bigstopper) the primary requirement is patience – taking a number of two minute exposures and sometimes having to wait for people to move before starting a new shot means the whole sequence takes upwards of 15 minutes and with the storm looming in on us…
I attended the second Google Plus Centennial Park PicANiK on a lovely Sydney day where we were doing a little model portfolio shooting followed by an evening of fire twirling and light painting.
Bianca, a lovely young lady was one of our ring-in models (the daughter of one of the other attendees) but she was a natural and coped very well with twenty people with D-SLR’s surrounding her 🙂
No off camera flash used here – just backlight from the late afternoon sun and a large round reflector down low in front to bounce some light back onto her. At times we also used a scrim overhead and behind to soften the light falling on her.
I got so many good shots of Bianca (almost all in critical focus too) – too hard to choose between them 🙂 – maybe you can choose for me?
These are all almost straight out of camera with Daylight white balance and a tiny bit of retouching to some, taken with the glorious Sigma 85mm f/1.4
Late Summer Glamour
Then some with the scrim between the sun and our model
Happiness is a Smile
and then we gained an extra model for a little while from a passing family
and lastly a little monochrome conversion with…
I headed into the heart of the city to photograph the Anzac Day Parade. I didn’t want to carry a lot of gear through the crowds so I just took the camera and the one lens (although it was the 2kg monster Sigma 50-500).
Kookaburras are regular visitors to our home, especially in the late afternoons and evenings. They hunt for worms in our lawn and gardens and hope for some handouts from the homeowners – ah yes – that would be us 🙂
Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.
They seem to like us and allow me to get quite close so when these three Kookaburras lined up for me I got out the Sigma 50-500 lens. I spent a bit of time trying slightly different angles till I got the background I liked.