Friday, December 2, 2011

2011 WEEK 47: Jericho Beach

Finally some sun and finally a chance to get outside and suck in some fresh, albeit chilly air!

I had no plan. No specific spot in mind. So I jumped in the car, hit the gas and headed West... Eventually ending up at Jericho Beach. It's been forever since I walked around this area of Vancouver so I figured it was as good a place as any to start off. I ended up spending my whole photo excursion there.

Normally I quite like bringing out the colours in pictures - you've probably noticed my fondness for bright, vibrant tones. To try and capture some of the chilly weather I chose to desaturate many of these pictures. This next one was shot in colour but the strong highlights and shadows seemed to look better in black and white.

Here's an example of my usual "vibrant" tastes. Unlike the picture above, this one looked best in colour. In case you hadn't guessed yet, these were all taken with my Sigma 10-20mm super-wide.

You'd think that on a bright sunny day it would be easy taking pictures but the Winter light played havoc. I had to be extremely careful to avoid my own shadow. Believe it or not, it was 12.30pm when I took this picture. That is one low sun...

Several months ago I picked up an old used lens from a pawn shop for $30. Back in the day the EF 35-80mm was a kit lens that came with the purchase of the camera and like the current 18-55mm kit lens its a light, plasticky piece of garbage. I bought it with very low expectations but the wide to telephoto focal range was intriguing. This is the first time I've had a chance to really try it out and you know what? It's not half bad!

What a load of old bollards!

I couldn't really tell from the LCD screen of the camera whether or not any of these pictures were going to be keepers. Those that went to the trash mostly went there due to "operator error" (ahem! Still learning...). All things considered, for a piece of plastic with a few bits of glass in it, the 35-80mm is actually pretty sharp and renders nice, realistic colours and detail.

I wonder what the sign on this post once read? Maybe, "Warning: Do not park here during high tide"

"Nope, I'm not talking to you. I'm done with your crap". "Oh, yeah? Me too!"

You didn't think I could get away with not including a bird picture or two did you? This one would have been so good if I'd been just a little quicker with the focus.

Something that struck me with El Cheapo aka the 35-80mm, is it's funky, inconsistent and irritable nature. Especially when it came to lens flares and highlights. Some shots turned out garbage then others, where I moved the camera barely an inch, turned out fine. From this next angle, this was the only one that worked. It's an odd composition but the sparkles make it okay.

In hindsight, this next one would have turned out better if I'd switched back to the super-wide and gotten more of the trees framing the subject on either side. That's the downside of shooting with the Canon 60D which has a 1.6 sized cropped sensor (as opposed to the top of the line Canon 5D which is a full frame sensor). What this means is that a 35mm is closer to a 50mm in its field of view hence my love of the Sigma 10-20mm. Too much geek talk?

This is another one that took several attempts to get and probably would have been easier to nail with a lens more up for the task. In colour it looked very odd with ugly, strangely coloured lens flare. This is one fickle piece of glass/plastic... Shots taken with exactly the same settings, from exactly the same angle had completely different coloured and lens flares as well as variations in shape... Weird! Thank goodness for black and white at the push of a button.

Desaturated baby! That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

Stay tuned for WEEK 48 coming very soon... Until then, thanks for stopping by.