Friday 30 November 2012

My best lightning shot revisited

Tried darkening the shot a bit to get the lightning standing out more... and also cropped off the right edge as it was empty space...  does it improve things a bit?

Thursday 29 November 2012

Bayview Strike

Got my best close-up lightning capture just before dawn this morning.  Was awoken by thunder at around 5am and saw on the radar that it would be a home in Palmerston within 10 minutes or so.  I decided to try and get ahead of it a bit and rushed into town and ended up at Fishermens Wharf. 

Got a few ok shots as it came in but nothing really good.  I had horizontal drizzle straight at me wetting the lens and decided to pack up.  I was just driving out when I noticed the rain eased a bit and a big bolt landed to the north of me.  I grabbed the tripod out again, didn't even extend the legs and setup as quick as I could and got this one good bolt before the really heavy rain chased me back into the car.  I could put the camera side-on to the wind for this shot so water drops on the lens wasn't such an issue.

Wound the aperture all the way to F18 as I knew it would be very bright - and the exposure was perfect.  Luckily it was as I was somehow accidentally in jpeg mode and not RAW as I normally am - forgot to check that as I rarely change that setting!

At F18 it sure highlighted all the dust spots on my sensor with the big depth of field - so I had to clean up the image somewhat - also added a bit of contrast.  This shot is not cropped except for a bit of tilt to fix a slightly crooked horizon.

Sunday 18 November 2012

East Point sunset

Plenty of storm weather yesterday afternoon but not much lightning that I could find.  The sunset ended up being very grey but I was able to nab this little window that appeared for a few minutes.  This was taken at 120mm.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

East Arm Bolt

Just got this down at East Arm...  was the only bolt I saw and was about to pack up when it sprung out in front of me.  *Yawn* time for bed!

Monday 12 November 2012

Its cricket season

Saw this fella that I assume is a cricket camouflaged against the bark of a tree on the side of the highway.  I went for a drive hoping for a storm or two down the Batchelor way but it was pretty quiet.  The beauty of a macro lens in the kit is that you can pull up anywhere and find shots of bugs or flowers etc.

This guy on the left was about the size of a toothpick - I have no idea what he is.

Thursday 8 November 2012

A Blender render

Raytraced Port

Something a bit different today - I created this scene totally on the computer using the free modelling/rendering program called Blender (get it at  With these kinds of programs you basically define the shapes of your models, for example the bottles, with what materials and textures you want for their surface.  You have a virtual camera that frames your scene and things like virtual lights to light your scene.  The program will compute things like shadows, reflections etc.

The label on the bottle, the wood texture on the bench, the brick texture on the wall, and the cork texture, I downloaded as normal images using Google search.  I then "wrapped" these textures on the objects.  I also defined things such as transparency and reflection on the bottle and glass etc.  As you can see you can even define the camera's depth of field to give a virtual blur to out of focus areas.

To the right you see the bottle as its shape is defined.  Blender gives you various tools to shape things - I started out with a straight cylinder object and ended up with the bottle.

This is the type of program used in many movies these days to create whatever the makers want - for example a dragon flying around or something.  I'm still very much a beginner at this stuff but I do enjoy it - I'm still at the stage of modelling nice symmetrical objects like in this scene - its a lot trickier to do organic type shapes like a human head for example.  Programs like Blender also allow you to animate things so its not just for "still life" images like this.

Sunday 4 November 2012

East Point Crawler

Took this in the early hours of Saturday morning from the Museum boat ramp.  I missed a few as a lot of drizzle fell at the back end of the storm as it went over the water and it was too wet to try and take photos outside the car.