Sunday, 28 March 2010

More River Banks

Last weekend I found myself on Newcastle Quayside and the banks of the River Tyne. Today I was on the banks of the River Wear in the East End of Sunderland, bathed in sunshine, although quite windy at the same time. It was last Spring that I got a great shot along this stretch, one which has sold well in Sunderland Tourist Information Centre and which also appeared in St Benedict's Hospice Calendar 2010. The photo in question was taken on a very similar day to today and the broken clouds were back so maybe I could repeat the performance.

Not wishing to duplicate that shot, I took up position near the Fish Quay, on the south side, opposite the St Peter's Church. The tide was high and there were plenty fishing boats to give the shot plenty of foreground interest. The four-frame panoramic shot (below) includes Sunderland University Campus, Wearmouth Harbour, Hendon Docks and Wylam Wharf.

Hope you like them. See ya later!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Newcastle Quayside

It's been at least a year since my last visit to Newcastle Quayside. This place is one of my favourite haunts for low-light photography - there's so much to capture. Inevitably I was drawn to one of the focal points of the location, the Millennium Bridge, or Blinking Eye as it also known.

This time around things were very different. I had a Canon 7D to play with, not the Nikon D80 which had served me so well for so long. With a battery grip attached I knew I needed to upgrade my existing tripod to something more sturdy and durable. I bought another Manfrotto carbon fibre affair with a separate 222 joystick ball head grip. The new legs are the 055 XDB model and they are much lighter to lug around than they actually look.

I spent half an hour testing the Canon 7D, whilst getting to grips with the new pod at the same time. I'm very impressed with them both and can't wait for the summer when I'll be pushing them to the limit during more landscape photography. With a Hoya PRO Circular Polariser on order that's me finished with the spending for now. The time has come to get a return on what I've spent and what better way than to get back out there with the kit bag. I've spent too much time printing and framing lately that my photography has taken a back seat. Time to put that right, I reckon.

Stay tuned folks!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Canon 7D - Those First Impressions

Hello again folks!
I thought I'd take the opportunity today to let you know how I'm getting on with my new camera. Up until 2010 I'd used Nikon camera's, ranging from standard SLR through to digital SLR. The decision to jump ship and invest in a model from the Canon stable wasn't one that was taken lightly, but it was taken anyway and I've got to say with hindsight that it was a very good one.

It was a combination of reasons that made me switch sides, so to speak, the main one being the need to hike the resolution, which was previously 10.2MP on the Nikon, in order to achieve much bigger prints. Well, a RAW image shot at highest resolution (18MP) pulls in single exposures at a massive 50 Megabytes. All I need now is the large format printer...he he.
I've been very surprised at the quality of photos that've come out of the 7D, which uses an absolutely stuffed 18 megapixel, APS-C sized sensor. (So, there is a 1.6x crop factor.) I've printed a handful on A3 paper and the detail is outstanding. There's lots of impressive features on this camera and I'll not bore you rigid with the spec, just keep dropping by to see the results here on my blog and also on my website. This camera is just the job, and I feel that I'm just warming up at the minute - just wait until the weather warms up too!

With low-light photography being a favourite of mine I've been giving the camera a few tests here and there. So far, so very good. Infact, that's an understatement because the quality of images shot in almost pitch dark using a 100 ISO have been brilliant. No noise for me. The Angel shot (below) was taken in almost pitch darkness on 'Bulb' setting, using a shutter speed of almost one minute! The detail is outstanding, if I may be so bold...he he.

Mind you, I was out and about last weekend with the camera and the battery grip was attached, so it was well heavy as you can imagine. A few hours of 'hand-held' and my fingers were beginning to look more like pigs tits! I had 'Canon Claw' for two bloody days!!!
The pro's and con's eh.

Aye well, thanks for popping over.
I'll be back again shortly.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Souter Lighthouse, Whitburn

Aye, about time too! Well, after a barren couple of weeks with the camera, I managed to get out and about today. I was up bright and early at 5.40am as I had a 7' o clock start at Nissan. Not being one to back heel a bit of 'Double Time' I headed off to work on another freezing cold morning, this time there was clear blue skies. There was a nice sunrise at 6.45am but I was AWOL once again. Maybe next time.

On my return home at 11.00am I decided to have a scout about after lunch in the hope of getting to grips with my new toy, the Canon 7D. Since buying the camera a few weeks ago I haven't really had a decent run of outings due to the poor weather so hopefully that will change as Spring is almost upon us. So, off I went. I headed to Whitburn, which lies between Seaburn and South Shields on the north-east coast of England.

A quick stop off at the National Trust site of Souter Lightouse gave me my first photo opportunity of the day and I was now off and running. There were a few people dotted here and there but they never got in my way, apart from one girl who decided to stand next to the boat near the lighthouse while she lit up. I had to wait a few minutes until she'd seen the tab off before I could get the shot I wanted. I reckon she knew she was holding me back but it looked like she couldn't give a ferk, as she stared me out during every drag of her Regal King Size. Silly moo!

Me patience got the shot...eventually!
Thanks for reading, Ash

Friday, 5 March 2010

Tyne-Tees Television (Part 5)

Another short video clip folks.
This was broadcast on Tuesday 2nd March at 6.25pm.
Cheers, Ash

Tyne-Tees Television (Part 4)

This week has been another good one for TV exposure, as four of my photographs were featured on Tyne-Tees Television's daily weather bulletin. Here's the first of them, which is the fourth in total since my debut in February.

Cheers, Ash

It's Been A While

Well, by my standards it has!
Yes, it seems like an age since I last posted on my blog, but I'm here now so I might as well add some more drivel, eh (wink).

Other projects have been in the way of things recently, giving my outdoor photography a temporary back-heel. Mind you, the weather hasn't been up to much so it's not like I've missed out on some good landscape shots recently. With Spring almost upon us it's going to be another busy time as I spread my wings and get back out there with my new Canon 7D camera, which in all fairness, hasn't had a decent run-out as yet.

Speak soon, Ash