Rope by the Shore

My last day of work before breaking for my holiday ended up being two hours longer than usual, and by the time I got home it was dark and cold (almost like winter again!) I took a stroll down to the jetty after dinner, Nex 5N and tripod in hand.

If one shoots cameras as a form of relaxation, shooting night images must be the ultimate in unwind. A single exposure might run into the minutes. All you can do is sit and wait, or count, breathing slow and relaxed as you take in the surrounding environment. I also like how you are gathering not just a split second of time into one image, but minutes of time, all frozen into one picture…a time capsule in a photographic sense.

Today’s image, ‘Rope by the Shore’ also happened to be my quickest exposure of the night at 52seconds @ 100iso. Breaking my usual practice of capturing the appealing light of the night, I converted today’s image to B&W with Gimp, pushing the contrast slightly, as I often do with my images. I cropped it, giving a wider aspect, and resized for the net.

Cheltenham at Dusk

A misty rainy day today left the sky a washed out white, and the constant drizzle was less then ideal for my walk after work with camera in hand. I took a stroll down Cheltenham beach in Devonport from dusk to dark looking for some interesting images. Again with the Ricoh, I used my mini tripod, found some semi-sheltering foliage and took some 30-60second exposures with the lens stopped down. I love the effect long exposures have on the ocean, or moving water. As the sky was washed out I decided to convert the image to B&W in post processing, and cropped the image to give us more of a panoramic feel.

My new-old Juipter-8 arrived in the post today. It looks and feels pretty good, so I will hopefully give it a test out on the nex some time later in the week.

Bridge by Night

Last night whilst waiting to meet friends for dinner, I took a stroll down by the waterfront in town. After last weeks long exposure success with the Ricoh, I wanted to give it another go. Auckland Harbour Bridge was built in the 1950’s and opened in 1959. By 1969 it was deemed to small already (someones bad forward planning) and we had to add two extra lanes on each side of the bridge – the “Nippon Clipons” – named due to Japan getting the contract to make them. In the 1990’s we added a center barrier, due to a high number of fatal head on collisions. Unsurprisingly, since the clipons were added, traffic flow has grown immensely. As with many bridges around the world, its an ongoing piece of maintenance to keep in critical day to day use for 170.000+ motorists each day.

Captured on the GRD IV, with an exposure of  60 seconds at 100asa / f7. Aspect cropped a little in post using Gimp, and contrast bumped up one notch.

Evening Coastline

Whilst I know my Sony Nex 5N is fine for taking long exposures, I had never tested out my GRD IV to see how it would cope. Being a much smaller sensor then a APS C (Ricoh is 1/1.7 inch) there is the general risk of noise and hot pixels more so then larger sensor cameras. I didnt have much time this evening, but headed out with the GRD and tripod in hand. Just out of the city, on the way to the suburb of Mission Bay I stopped on the corner of the road and clambered down the wall to the rock wave breakers. Setting the exposure to 60 seconds at 100asa, this was the result.Its motivated me to give it a bit more another evening and possibly invest in a remote shutter control.

I must say, the Ricoh never fails to impress me for the size and type of camera it is. It has full manual controls and a fast 1.9 lens. It fits into your pocket, focuses fast and is built tough, as far as digital cameras go. The menu system is one of the best I have used also. Built in filters and effect options are not for everyone, but I think Ricoh have done pretty good with theirs – plus virtually everything in the setting can be tweaked. For many of us camera fans out there, image sensor size is always a hot topic. I think there are pro’s and con’s to the various different sizes. At the end of the day, capturing the image one wants to convey is what its all about isn’t it?

The Night Wharf


Mondays are typically a difficult day for me to take photos as I have commitments from sun up till late evening. Being I have not taken images the last few days however, I was determined to head out and post a non archives pic today. Taken around 10.15pm, this ~4min exposure @400asa on the Nex was my final result, ‘The Night Wharf’.

Its the first evening I have tried long exposures with my Nex. I often did them with the Sony A230. Im quite happy with the 5N’s performance, and will have to head out another night when I have more time, and more batteries! (this one was low before I left, and I didn’t have my backup with me)

The Orb

Painting by light

Friday! I was busy taking and editing work team photos this afternoon, so didn’t get a chance to head out and take any shots after work. So – another from my archives. I have always liked long exposure evening shots – both in film and on digital, waiting to see what the lighting looks like when it is dark to the naked eye. Some time last year I came across a guy called Dennis Smith and his ‘painting with light orbs’ – give him a google, some breathtaking images. Following this I built a basic orb maker and went out to take some shots. It was a lot of fun and i’ll have to go do some more some time to try and perfect it. This one was taken on a Sony A230. It wasn’t my best orb, but I likes the color and how it was floating in between the trees.

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