Sunday, May 26, 2013

Today's walk report: 052513

What I leaned today...

  • Bring a towel. How could I forget? Today of all days. I was even reminded of that earlier in the day. I spent several minutes dripping over my camera setting up the first shots. After I left that spot I went 50m over to a restroom and grab an arm's length of those wonderful tan paper towels off a roll dispenser. You know the ones, slightly more pliable than cardboard?
By that time I had basically cooled down anyway.
  • Make sure to have deleted the previous day's images off the SD card. I've never done that before, left old images on the card and I only carry an 8GB SD card (plus I have an "emergency" 256MB card in my wallet). Without getting into details it wasn't just a matter of deleting yesterday's 800+ images from the card. I did, however, delete some 200+ images. So I ended up filling my SD card (and the emergency card) rather quickly. There's also a 4GB card in my point and shoot but I decided not to bother.
  • Most importantly, I learned how to make adjustments on the fly with... MY NEW TRIPOD!!! This came via USPS today, four days earlier than expected. It's a Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT (less than $100--delivered) and it's a really nice tripod for the money. My previous tripod was years old and I think it was about $39. It broke the other day. I'd been thinking about getting a decent tripod for... oh... I dunno, about 10 years, I'd guess. I already had a Manfrotto micro-ball head so figured that keeps the cost down.
Basically that made today experimenting and getting comfortable with a new piece of equipment... sweating on it, learning too what it's like to lug around over the course several km. Etc.

Once again, it was all about image stacking. This being one of the main motivations on pulling the trigger for the tripod.

To some degree choosing a composition was more about the process than the end product. That's something I've said about my creative work in general for years... "The process is the purpose not the product."

  • Another thing I learned. If I'm planning to stack images I need to pay attention to shadows crossing my subject. It was breezy again. I tried for the most part to avoid subjects that would be waving in the wind but I didn't think a lot about nearby plants waving in the wind and creating shadows across my subject. Not that it would have me do anything differently--just something to consider. 
 This is an 8 image blend and the lighting was distinctly different across each image.

I was back over to the straw flowers today mostly because they're only about 35-40cm tall and tend not to be too effected by the breeze. They also look nice. Each of those ants and one or two under petals moved about an inch during the course of taking the 10 images.

Flowering eucalyptus.

Another windy challenge with 8 stacked images...

Agave polyanthiflora. 3 images (card full.)

From the "emergency" SD card...

Bog sage (Salvia uliginosa), 6 images. Can you "see" the wind?

Purple sage (Salvia leucophylla), the same 6 images, cropped to separate and a little more stable in the breeze.

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