As everybody and his uncle is now posting images of the comet Neowise online, I had to get a go at it. Light pollution where I live is heavy, and cloud cover frequent, but in the past week there were 2 clear nights in which to capture the phenomenon. It took a while to find it, but once you know where to look it gets easier.
An old tradition, but recently a bit forgotten. Two years ago it started with the top 13 of 2013, now it is time to start compiling the top 15 of 2015. This kind of list is always a problem, as the photographs that I take can be on my shortlist for quite a number of reasons, ranging from ‘I really like this photograph’ to ‘my new nephew smiles so cute in this photograph’. I think, however, that this photograph can be on the list!
7:00 AM. The temptation to stay in bed was almost great enough to do just that and forget about my photography intentions of last night. The weatherman had predicted thick fog for the morning, but from the window it was difficult to see what state the world was in. A quick peek through the windows to the backyard confirmed the weatherman’s prediction of fog, and since I was already out of bed at this point, I decided to give it a go.
My target for this morning was a windmill not far from the house, but outside the city. Likely, the fog would be denser out in the fields than in the street, but I still hoped to get a nice shot of the mill and the sunrise. My backpack and tripod were already prepared the evening before and I had used the TPE app to determine the location for my shot, so all was set.
However, while biking to my chosen location, the first cracks in my plan were becoming apparent. The weatherman’s prediction of ‘thick fog’ turned out to be an understatement and the visibility was down to 50 yards at some points. I didn’t find the mill until I was nearly on top of the thing, and doubts were beginning to creep in whether the sun would be able to pierce this thick shite soup.
After setting up my camera and tripod at the right spot, my doubts were confirmed. According to google maps, the spot I had picked for this morning’s exercise was approximately a hundred yards from the target, but the mill was not even visible. At this point my “Sunrise and the Mill” seemed a bit pointless, so I decided to try something else instead. Fortunately, I have a habit of taking as much of my photography gear with me as I can carry, and when my eye caught some beautiful spider webs filled with water droplets, my 60 mm semi-macro lens was fished out of the backpack.
While I love macro photography, the lack of a true 1:1 macro lens and patience to fumble with a tripod in the bush usually prevent me from trying extensive projects in this area of photography. This time, however, the tripod was already set up, so I tried some shots. The first shots at f/2.4 were a bit hazy, but changing the aperture to f/4.0 did wonders for the sharpness and I was quite happy with some of the results.
As I was busy playing with my macro equipment, my sneakers (I had unfortunately neglected to fish my waterproof shoes from the closet last night) were getting more and more soaked and I was happy to change location when after a while the sun did manage to make an appearance. For the landscape shots I changed lenses and grabbed my ‘superzoom’ 18-135 mm lens. While I am not always entirely happy with the results this lens produces, when stopped down it is acceptable most of the times. After a few shots of the still barely visible mill and a few sheep that were very patient models, I decided to return home and defreeze my feet. It was at this moment that I realized that the sun would be a beautiful background for the droplet-spotted spider webs, so the tripod was unfurled again and I took one last shot.
On the way home it was clear that nearer to the city the fog had lifted considerably. On my way to the mill the opposite side of the river could not be seen, but now it was the perfect spot for a few more photographs of fog-shrouded trees reflected in the water. I nearly decided to cross the river and see if the view from the opposite side was as magnificent as it was from this one, but my feet convinced me otherwise so I went home for an appointment with a hot shower!
Hope you enjoy the results.
Hoewel ik een grote fan ben van Fujifilm en ik het concept ‘systeemcamera’ een goede ontwikkeling op de cameramarkt vind, is er één gebied waar dit type camera nog altijd wat achterblijft (of bleef?) op de digitale spiegelreflex: autofocus. Sommige camerafabrikanten lukt het beter dit te ontwikkelen, en het schijnt dat Olympus met de OM-D E-M1 de snelheid van een spiegelreflex bijna heeft weten te evenaren, maar Fujifilm bleef altijd toch een tandje achter op dit gebied. Het vlaggeschip van Fuji schijnt echter qua autofocus snelheid een eind in de goede richting te gaan.
Vorig weekend had ik de gelegenheid om de XT-1 en de Fuji’s 18-135 mm uit te testen tijdens het fotograferen van de winterwedstrijden op de Kagerplassen. Hoewel ik nog niet geheel overtuigd ben van de kwaliteit van de 18-135 (bij het bouwen van zo’n zogenaamde superzoom – groothoek tot tele in 1 lens – moeten altijd offers gemaakt worden ten opzichte van de kwaliteit), heeft de XT-1 wél overtuigd. Snel, degelijk gebouwd, waterdicht en natuurlijk Fuji’s mooie retro ontwerp is het een prachtige camera om te gebruiken. Natuurlijk zijn er ook enkele puntjes wat minder handig, maar daarover wellicht later. Hieronder in ieder geval wat foto’s van de dag.
Omdat de fantastische 60 mm Fuji momenteel meer dan de helft van de tijd op mijn camera te vinden is en de 18 & 35 mm vaak een beetje jaloers in de tas achterblijven, besloot ik afgelopen zaterdag om de 35 mm op te schroeven en de stad in te gaan.
Bij voorbaat had ik natuurlijk de rest thuis moeten laten, maar de gedachte misschien die ene foto te laten schieten die beter met de 60 genomen had kunnen worden weeerhield me daarvan. Het gevolg was dat ik het toch niet kon laten, en ook de 60 mm heb gebruikt.
Als ik het gebruik van mijn lenzen zou kunnen gokken, dan denk ik dat het momenteel op 15%-30%-55% zou staan voor de 18-35-60 mm lenzen.
Hier zijn wat resultaten: