Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Mother's Day Flowers

It's been a while since I posted but I've been tied up with setting up my new laptop.  I had considered buying a new desktop machine but after a lot of indecision I came to the conclusion that a laptop would give me more options.  I'm keeping my Imac as a file server and I have my backup drive connected to it most of the time and just swap to having the drive connected to the laptop when I'm transferring a quantity of data.  I haven't completely figured out my workflow with my photos as yet but I want to make the libraries on the laptop quite slim as it only has a 256Gb SSD so I'm deleting a lot more of my original files than before.  It's probably good practice anyway as I'm guilty of keeping hundreds of gigabytes of files that I will never access ever again.

I hadn't realised how many bits and pieces I had on the desktop until I came to get everything set up on the laptop.  I've had to upgrade the operating system on the desktop too so that I am able to take advantage newer system facilities and newer versions of my software.  In the process I've also had a look at a few different pieces of software and may end up purchasing additional software.  I've also bought a new camera bag which will accommodate the laptop as well as my camera and lenses for when I'm travelling.  So that's my excuses for not posting anything for a few weeks, but now I think I'm back on track.  Saying that I haven't made many new photos recently so I will dig up some more holiday photos from last year in the next posts.

But for this post I have some photos I made of the flowers that my wife received for Mother's Day.  The first photo is the main display with the mix of tulips and daffodils a couple of days after they arrived.  When the flowers were first arranged none of the daffodils had opened so I waited until there were a few open but still mainly closed.  This photo also includes the card that came with the flowers and some of the paperweights we have displayed in the lounge.


In the second photo I have gone closer to the flowers and cut out the other features from the first photo.


In the third photo there is a separate vase with just tulips which is on the top of one of my speakers in the corner of the lounge.  There were lots of spare flowers which didn't fit into the first vase so there are some daffodils on their own too in the last photo of this post.  This image also features a photo of my daughters from around twenty years ago in their pretty sailor dresses.  That seems a very long time ago.


As with photo 2 I've gone in closer to concentrate on the flowers and remove all other distractions.  I also went for a square crop as it just feels better to me for this one.


Back to the original flower display but from a different angle which adds more of the lounge into the frame.  I was aiming to get some more depth into this image and put the flower display into context.


From a different angle again this time getting the little african figures in the background which are on top of the other speaker.  I feel I need to make some more images of these figures as I haven't done that for quite a while and they make great subjects.  I'll put it on my list for when I get some more spare time.


Finally the daffodils in the other vase which is in the bay window next to decanter.  I tried to go in closer on this display too but I wasn't satisfied with any of the other images so I haven't posted them.  I was trying to get an image of the flowers through the stopper on the decanter but I had issues with a very bright sky in the background.  I guess I should have moved them to somewhere else to take the photos I wanted, but I didn't so I missed out on this opportunity.


So this is my first post from my laptop, hope to ramp up the frequency a bit as now I don't have to move into the study to compose the posts.  Although I have started a separate project which is also taking my time so no promises.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Making of Windmills at Sunset Movie

While I was making the time lapse images from the previous post, I had my other camera out taking more photos.  It can be quite boring waiting for the time lapse photos to be made as there were around 450 shots at a three second interval making almost 25 minutes.  The resulting movie was 38 seconds at 12 frames per second which is probably a little too long as 30 seconds is about the optimum.  I suppose I could have trimmed the end because it was quite dark and nothing interesting was happening.

We had been out during the day and arrived home just as the sun was going down.  I had to rush to get all my equipment out and ready to use, get changed into my photography gear and drive out to where I wanted to make the movie.  Someone had put a gate on the field that I wanted to be in so I had to set up on some rough land  a hundred yards further along.  This meant crossing a boggy area which was partially snow covered so I ended up with very wet feet when the snow I was walking on gave way and dropped me into some six to nine inches of freezing, dirty, smelly water.

While I was setting up the tripod and camera my glasses dropped from my head but I didn't pick them up straight away as I didn't need them for the moment and I was desperately trying to get the camera clicking away before it was too late.  When I did go to pick them up I couldn't find them because they'd disappeared into the weeds and it was getting dark.  Also the piece of gear that I forgot to pack was my torch so I was getting a bit panicked.  I found them eventually but I was really worried about standing on them especially as I'd only just picked them back up rom the opticians after getting a new lens in them.

Fortunately I had set up the timer on my camera before I left home so I just needed to get it started and then leave it while I wandered about and took other photos.  This first photo was taken well to the right of where my other camera was set up and is a closer image of the tree and windmills.


This next image is a closer image of one of the windmills as a plane went overhead.  In the movie there was a couple of planes fly by near the start.


The next one is looking to the left of the other camera towards some more trees and the nursery on the horizon.


The next photo is of the tree from the movie again but the windmills on the right and some big new ones that were constructed last year.  Originally there were 12 windmills in two rows of six, then three big ones were built at the pipe works to the North of here and then another four big ones in the next couple of fields from the originals.  The ones on the right of this photo are about twice the size of the ones on the left but are further away so look the same sfrom here.


I decided to take a shot of the camera making the time lapse photos and thought it would be good to have the subject of the time lapse in the background.  I took the photo as the camera was reviewing an image so the display on the back shows the image, this histograms from the shot and some of the settings.

It was a way through the time lapse and was getting darker so you can see the histograms are all well to the left.  The settings show the aperture set to f6.7, shutter speed at one sixtieth of a second, the camera is on Manual and I'm taking small jpegs.  I didn't think it much point using any bigger images as the movie would cut them down smaller anyway and it speeds up the process of creating the movie.


On this next shot I used the flash so we can see more detail on the time lapse camera.  The bit on the top of the camera is the receiver which actually fires the camera shot using the cable into the left hand side.  The transmitter was in my pocket and was controlling the interval of when the camera was to take the shots. I had put the L clamp on the camera because in my rush I couldn't find the standard quick release adapter to my tripod.  I quite like the clamp because when I'm using the tripod I can quickly swap between portrait and landscape, although for movies it's best sticking to landscape orientation.


Last photo I took was as I was getting back to my car and it was fairly dark by now.  The camera exposure setting and post processing make it look a lot lighter than it was and also adds a lot of saturation to the photo.  It really makes the sky look nice.