Thursday, 5 May 2016

Weighing In - Stability

With our winter months creeping up, our nights are drawing in and the temperature is getting cooler, Excellent!!!, so it's time to head back into our city and tackle some night photography.

Over the course of the next couple of months I'm going to work clockwise around the city, and look to capture images from as many aspects as possible. To mix it up a little I will look to work across both high and low ground so as to bring variation to the subject matter.

My key focal point will be centred around the sky tower. Nothing unusual here as I'm sure there are 1000's of other photographers who have done the same thing, but the sky tower does add depth to the skyline and is a predominant feature of our city.

f11, 20secs, ISO100, 20mm, (Cropped) custom WB
So what's with the title "Weighing in - Stability"?,  good question, well on Wednesday night I headed into the city, and during my walk I came across a nice vantage point on a motorway over bridge. Visibility of the city skyline was good, the motorway lanes provided additional subject matter (as well as light trails, albeit the traffic was low at 9:30pm), the Sky tower could easily be placed in the frame, and as a bonus the new cycleway was lit up providing a nice contrast.

However I had a problem....While standing on the bridge looking for the ideal composition a bus and several cars went by. 
Vibration and wind!!!!, the latter I'm not referring to myself!!!, I was slightly in an exposed place and obviously on a main transport route, and I did not have anything to weight my tripod down.

This did not deter me from completing the task, all I had to do was re-align myself on the bridge and move down slightly so that my tripod sat above one of the bridge foundation poles, and being slightly lower the effects of the cross wind would be reduced slightly.
To compensate further I had to flick on IS on my lens, and be extra vigilant around my exposure times just in case the number 54 bus came roaring back across again :).
 
Here is an earlier shot taken from a higher vantage point. Zooming in on a section of street lights, you can clearly see the issues the environmental conditions can have on long exposure times. Even on a tripod.

f7.1, ISO100, 20sec, 70mm

Although this might have been a minor hindrance it did prompt me to always remember to check conditions before leaving and carry my make shift weight bag....a 3kg dumbbell on a string.

make shift weight bag