I like the tones in this picture. Darker foreground and pastel layers as the image progresses towards & beyond Mt Coolum.
This little guy did a superb job of posing as we went for a beach side walk one day. Lace monitors are common apparently on the coast.
One afternoon I wandered down to the beach and tried a few surfing shots. This was probably the best action shot of the set.
Not a great technical picture, but the surf and the flag conjures up a real Queensland vibe.
The net result is that I am very happy with my purchase and the image quality matches my skill level perfectly. For once, I haven't over invested...
The downside is they 'steal' your gear. Robin has grabbed the Canon 5D and the 24-105 zoom lens, leaving me with a 50mm and 200mm prime(s). As good as they are, my skills need something with a little more reach and flexibility. For everyday use, at some point I will get a 24-70 f2.8 Canon lens...
Even so, something we can perhaps 'share' with a little extra range would be welcome, hence this week's arrival of the Sigma 70-300mm DG OS tele-zoom lens below.
For a modest financial outlay, it is light weight, has a reasonable aperture and with image stabilisation it will fill a void I hope.
This is my first Sigma (and in fact non-Canon) lens but I have friends who are happy with them, so I am optimistic.
The new Sigma is already packed in the backpack for our annual Queensland holiday so I sincerely hope I can bore everyone senseless with some great images from the Sunshine Coast upon our return in a couple of weeks!
Why the Leica? I like the classy look of the camera, the reports of great image quality, an ability to take HD video, the solid (mostly) metal body, the two year warranty, and it ships with a copy of Adobe Lightroom 3.
Photo courtesy Leica Website
I haven't had a chance to take many shots yet given some lousy weather here in Melbourne recently but I am looking forward to trying it out very seriously shortly. One observation so far is that images taken and processed as Black & White in Lightroom look absolutely fantastic.
Always good to get the owner in front of the new camera! - 2011
Update : My initial impressions of the camera were favourable with respect to image quality, but not so much from an ergonomic / usability perspective. After some research, it appeared that two Leica options would help alleviate these concerns significantly. One is the Electronic Viewfinder which removes the issue of trying to frame the shots in he screen in bright light; and secondly a handgrip, making the tasteful but smooth / slippery body much easier to hold. I fully realise that these additions make an expensive point & shoot now very expensive, but in my view the camera is a keeper and these additions will only add to my enjoyment.
Will post more usage comments as they come to hand.
I have also changed the head on my tripod to a pistol-grip ball type, also from Manfrotto. I am looking to make my tripod usage as simple as possible so that I use it more to take better and crisper photos in a wider range of conditions.
Manfrotto 322RC2 Heavy Duty Grip Ball Head
The National Golf Club - 2011
The Boxster in a Hunter Valley Autumn - 2011
I am thinking more and shooting slightly less, but multiple shots of 'good' subjects to try to get the 'best' shot at the right time.
Bedroom window rose - 2011
Old Shed, Wollombi, NSW - 2011
Also, I have to say for the first time in a long time I am not thinking about equipment, but thinking about the shot. Robin 'stole' my 24-105 zoom, so I need another zoom lens of some sort, but I now just want to use what I have better, and smarter. It takes some of the complexity of learning new gear out of the equation, you can just shoot with what you have / what you know. Obvious to many I am sure...
Rowers on Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra - 2011
Tyson in reflective mood... - March 2011
So, thanks to the guys at the Peninsula Camera store who spent an hour or more with me over a couple of visits, discussing various Canon / third party options, tele zoom or prime etc, I finally lucked onto a used Canon 200mm f2.8 L lens they had in store. It is the original version, with a sliding lens hood, rather than the more modern screw-on style. Works just fine and makes access to the lens cap much easier.
Canon 70 - 20mm f2.8 L w/Canon 1D body - Photo by EOS Magazine Forum
Relatively light, with the aperture and focal length I needed for Robin's indoor riding events and a modest cash outlay made it a wise choice. Even if it is not strapped to the camera all day every day, I won't feel that I have over-capitalised on this piece of equipment.
Japanese Windflowers (but you all knew that already...) - March 2011
After one evening's shooting, I don't have much that is too exciting to share yet (a couple of samples above), but I am very happy so far and for the future.
Melbourne early autumn Skyline - April 2011
The 2.8 sounds great but could I make it work for me to justify the purchase? So the following week, I went back to the store with my 1D MK3 body and tried the lens on for size. Wow, is it heavy or what! I tried a few hand held shots in store and was shocked by the brightness and clarity indoors, hand held with no flash. See my sample image below.
And now here is the clincher. This week I accompanied Robin to one of her events with my 24 - 105 f4 lens and tried to photograph the 'Hunter' event indoors at the Werribee Equestrian Centre.
Overall, the results were just awful. This image and the one on the home page were the best of a very ordinary lot. Not enough zoom and not enough light. Bumped the ISO to 800 and the results were grainy & poor. I felt sorry I couldn't get some better shots for her. I think I see the 2.8 in my future!
What I have to show for some recent effort is a whole bunch of bird & animal pictures. For example:
Exhibit A - This silly chicken and....
Exhibit B ... a ferocious Porsche-protecting cat!
Exhibit C... The ever photogenic Suzie
Exhibit D... The lovely 'Miss Della'...