Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Objective 10 - Landscapes

The 2015 Classic fighters show in Blenheim over Easter, didn't disappoint, with plenty of action, thrills and spills.
This year my friends and I added a few extra days on to our itinerary so we could further explore the surrounding area.

Friday is typically a practice day which gives the pilots one last run to go through and fine tune their routines, so this gives you the option to work yourself around the surrounding area to find different vantage points to view the airfield and the surrounding vineyards.
Therefore myself and two colleagues decided to walk up into the Wither Hills regional park, which gives a great overview of the surrounding area.
So an early morning start (7:00am to be exact) we packed our gear, equipped with water and snacks, and walked up into the hills.

This year I made a conscious effort to spend more time watching the air show naturally rather than through the lens of my camera, However Photography wasn't going to be completely left out and instead I decided to set my self some objectives. (see previous blog)
So here is a quick reminder of my objectives;

1) Action, 2) Emotion, 3)Weathered, 4)New, 5)Time Lapse, 6) Motion
7)Colours, 9)Portrait and lastly
10) Landscapes

 So counting down, here are my results.
10) Landscapes

My first shot is rather warm and I opted to run with my Sigma 17/50mm wide angle Lens. With the sun just popping up over the hills I decided to drop my exposure down 1/2 and increase my shutter speed so as to reduce potential blowout in my images. After a few quick test shots and checking my white balance and histogram, I clicked away. (in photo Rob Wood, Will Mays)

F8, ISO400, 1/800sec Pattern Metering 17mm (Wide)
The natural light in the South Island is very different to what we have around Auckland in the North island. So this provided me with some good challenges along the way. The surrounding area was also very dry and arid, not surprising since we were in the main Wine growing region of New Zealand, Marlborough.
F14, ISO400, 1/200sec, 24mm (wide) Digital Cropped
 
F6.3, ISO400, 1/800, 17mm (Wide)

With an extra day up our sleeve we then decided to walk out to the Wairau Lagoon salt marshes and visit the shipwreck SS Waverley. A 3 hour round trip through spectacular wetlands, a complete contrast from the hills as this area was flat and became rather humid as the morning evolved.

F11, ISO 400, 1/160 (Digital Pano)
Rob Wood, is an avid wildlife photographer so this area provided a wealth of challenges, kingfishers, Herons, Hawks (that's another story), seabirds...the list goes on. My challenge was to photograph the ship wreck in overcast, bright conditions and a near high tide to add to the list. Armed with my Canon 28mm to 300mm L Lens, it was off to the wreck.

F8, ISO250, 1/200 60mm Digital tweak
Shooting into an overcast sky with the sun to the left of the subject meant that the viewable side would be dark. After a few test shots I opted to increase my exposure only slightly. Most of the additional detail came through when I processed the RAW files in ACR. I like the richness of this image and on a decent display it is rather punchy.
F11, ISO 400, 1/160 +1/2 exp 28mm  Digital Tweak

My next shot required a slightly slower shutter speed, combined with a 1/2 stop up, as I was in the shadow of the wreck. Again only minor digital tweaking to bring out some extra detail which was evident in the RAW file.

So lessons learnt. Lighting the big challenge, perhaps having filters on my lens may have helped and perhaps my tripod. My flash unit would have helped to back fill some of the subject especially when I got up close. However happy with the results.

..Next on the list (9) Portraits.