Tag Archives: plane

Spain Day 1 – Travel & Granada

Today was the first day of my trip to Granada and the Alpujarras in Spain. The flight was quick and efficient, taking off from London City Airport which meant I saw the sights of the Capital from above. There were also some lovely clouds along the way:

Up In The Clouds
Up In The Clouds

Once I had checked into my hotel I took a walk around the streets of Granada looking for some geocaches. I also found some interesting graffiti:

Graffiti Colour
Graffiti Colour

The sun was shining and the architecture was always worth a look, especially these attractive railings in front of an old church:

Trapped Shadows
Trapped Shadows

I found another intriguing church thanks to looking for one cache – the Basílica de San Juan de Dios – decorated with gold from top to toe. Quite incredible!

The Pulpit
The Pulpit

My mono image for the day features some Shadows On The Corner. Here are a few more shots from the day:

May ’13 – Review

I’ve had another busy month for photography. It started off with me still working at the BBC’s semi-deserted Television Centre for a few days covering the Local Elections, and I’m still trying to catch up with the backlog of urbex images I made there. I promise to publish more soon! But I have been able to show you some of the Face Down Tuesdays I made there, namely the Dangerous Dentures EditionPaint Shop Pro Edition, and Silent Escalators Edition.

May meant Mono MayHem was back! A month of mono image making, as well as my usual Photo A Day shots. Here’s one which was nearly selected for 30th May, a view of Dunston Staiths, taken on a murky bike ride along the Tyne:

Dunston Staiths
Dunston Staiths

I found some more great subjects for my 50 @ 50 project too. I made #18, #19, #20 at various locations close to home, and #21 in Newcastle, where I spent the last week of May visiting Alistair.

During my stay, we embarked on various northern outings, including a  Tynemouth Cycle ride:

Blue Buoys & Shadows
Blue Buoys & Shadows

A visit to the North East Aircraft Museum for Planes, Trains & Automobiles with the NPWalk folks:

X Paint Job
X Paint Job

And a Rural Ramble Around Urpeth geocaching with Alistair – here’s another butterfly we saw:

Resting Peacock Butterfly
Resting Peacock Butterfly

So, as you can see, plenty of varied subjects during the merry month of May. Here’s hoping Flaming June will live up to its name in weather and photographic potential.

Panny Goes To Florida

I’ve just returned from a fortnight in Florida and thought I’d write a few things about my experience with my Panasonic GF1 kit.

The trip wasn’t primarily a “photographic” holiday as I was visiting with friends who aren’t really keen photographers. It was more about going to the theme parks and having a bit of fun. So I didn’t want to be burdened with my big DSLR equipment all the time. But on the other hand, I wanted something more versatile than a little digital compact as there may be plenty of opportunities for pictures in difficult conditions, not to mention image quality issues with compacts.

So instead I took the GF1 with 20mm f1/1.7 pancake lens and a twin zoom kit – the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 IOS short zoom and the 45-200mm f4-5.6 IOS I got a few weeks ago. It all packed away neatly into a small padded bag which took up very little room in my carry-on luggage.

Before I set off I was a bit apprehensive as to whether this setup might “cope” with the sort of pictures I like to make. I’m not one to shy away from dingy conditions, low light, or fast action stuff, and I didn’t want to just end up with a load of average holiday snaps by avoiding these situations.

Two other essential items I packed were the bolt-on LCD viewfinder for the GF1 (the rear screen is clean and bright but when the sun shines full on it, it can be rather difficult to see what’s going on – mainly due to seeing a lot of your own reflection!) and a gorillapod which would handle the size and weight of the 45-200mm lens.

Here are some of favourite pictures from the trip.

Having The Right Lens

Ybor Trolley
Ybor Trolley

The 14-42mm (28-94mm equivalent) was plenty wide enough for this trolley in Ybor, even though I’m used to having the option of 10-22mm (16-36mm equivalent) on my DSLR.

Wader At The Waterline
Wader At The Waterline

This lovely little wader wasn’t too far away for my 45-200mm zoom to catch a good shot!

Tricky Lighting Conditions

Dr Fear's Tower - Universal Studios
Dr Fear’s Tower – Universal Studios
Draw Your Sword - Legoland Show
Draw Your Sword – Legoland Show

Two diverse but equally tricky lighting situations – dusk and artificial light at Universal and full-on sun into the lens watching the pirates at Legoland – both handled with aplomb by the GF1.

Night Shots

Magic Kingdom Fireworks
Magic Kingdom Fireworks

You don’t get much lower light than trying to photograph fireworks. With the aid of a statue of Mr Walt Disney himself (I balanced the gorillapod on his head!) I got some great shots of the firework display at Magic Kingdom, using a 2 second self-timer delay to avoid camera shake, and hoping to capture the right moments.

Misty Fountains After Dark
Misty Fountains After Dark

I found a railing to wrap the gorillapod around at Epcot Center for this long exposure shot of the brightly-coloured fountains after dark.

Shutter Lag? What Shutter Lag?

When you’re used to the near-instantaneous response of a DSLR when you press the shutter button, I wondered if I might miss the “decisive moment” with the GF1. It isn’t quite as responsive, but far better than most digital compacts, where you press the button and about 3 seconds later something happens!

Hulk Rollercoaster
Hulk Rollercoaster

Hulk is one of the fastest-accelerating rollercoasters in the world. This is just at the top of the first curve – it’s moving pretty quickly but a fast shutter speed and minimal lag got me the shot.

Boom! Universal Studios Stage Show
Boom! Universal Studios Stage Show

I knew this explosion was coming, but not exactly when. So having minimal shutter lag was very useful once I reacted to the bomb going off. I had already pre-focussed on the aircraft, but the light levels suddenly changed with the flames – so the camera did well to cope with that exposure correction too.

Image Stabilisation

One word: invaluable!

Hippo Snuffling Around
Hippo Snuffling Around

We saw the hippo on “safari” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We were in the back of a truck on a bumpy road, and never actually stopped. This was a grab shot between ruts in the track!

Trimming Boosters
Trimming Boosters

Part of space history, this Apollo capsule was on display in a quite dark room at Kennedy Space Center. There was nothing nearby to rest the camera on, so it was brace, breathe out and hope the IOS did its job. It did!

ISO Noise

Avenue Of Palms
Avenue Of Palms

With the help of IOS lenses and the gorillapod, I tried not to push the ISO up too high, but sometimes it was unavoidable. Generally I was very pleased with the lack of discernable ISO noise in the images.

Conclusion

With hindsight, I need not have worried about the equipment’s capabilities. I made hundreds of images I was really pleased with. The camera and lenses proved easy to use and plenty versatile enough for any situation I cared to throw at it.

Would I take just this gear if I were going on a big photographic trip? Probably not, but then it’s horses for courses. And for this holiday, the Panny worked out just fine.