Perfect Fall

Today was such a gorgeous day. Warm, sunny, perfect. Sox’s Mum was in town so we walked the dogs at Elk Lake. The kids had some fun too.

We may not get the colors that eastern Canada gets, but our fall can be every bit as gorgeous.

My son is impervious to cold. He was running through the lake until he was soaked. Then he tripped. While down on all fours he crawled a couple steps before standing up. He never complained about how cold the water was. Then he walked all the way back to the car (10 minute walk) and never mentioned feeling cold. Amazing.

Zoomed in and out on a leaf pile while I rapid shot some pictures. This was one of my favorites.

Resolution Noise

Since I was talking about noise at higher ISO I though I would post a couple comparison shots. Warning, the links take you to the full resolution images which are a tad large.

Below is a shot from my 20D at ISO 1600. It looks OK, until you crop.

You can really see the noise there.

This next shot was taken at ISO 3200 on my 50D. The crop on each pictures is the same (640 X 472).

This crop takes a much smaller portion of the overall picture, yet there is less noise than in the photo above. Awesome. I need to remember to use the higher ISO levels when I need to freeze motion.

Sunset Varies

Some pictures from last night’s sunset. It wasn’t the most spectacular sunset I’ve seen, but it had some nice depth. In a sunset like this I love how the color of the sky varies from brilliant orange to a deep blue.

For this shot of Yoshi I wanted to test the noise of my new camera at higher ISO settings. This was shot at ISO 2000. Much better ISO performance over my 20D. The 20D at ISO 800 had way worse noise than this.

Cheaper Steps

See anything interesting about these pictures? Last weekend I was in Lens and Shutter looking at a camera for someone I know. I’ve had my eye on a new Canon 50D for a long time. I saw they had it on sale, for $100 cheaper than anywhere I was looking online. They also included a $75 gift card for their store! Sold. I picked it up on the spot.

First impressions are that I like it, a lot. Definitely a great camera, and quite a few steps up from the 20D I was using. I’m in love, but I need to do lots of reading. There are loads new features that I need to learn. Soon I will break out the manual and start reading, but first, take more pictures.

Anyone want to buy a 20D body?

Fireworks Focus

After everything else I did on Canada day, I also went out to watch the fireworks. I got a new vantage point this year as a friend took us onto the military base that was directly across the bay from where they were firing them off from. This was awesome to not have any trees or houses in the way. Sometimes having those in the shot can add some depth to the images, I wanted to see what I could do without them.

Some tips for shooting images of fireworks.

  • use a tripod
  • use a cable release
  • go full manual (set the aperture, use the bulb setting, manual focus)
  • take a flashlight
  • get to the sight early (at least 20 minutes I would say)
  • take a few sample shots to test exposure using the cable release and guessing the exposure time, but also look very closely at your focus and make sure everything is sharp

When all of this is done, you are ready to watch the show. When using the cable release you can still watch the show and snap shots while doing that. If your camera is setup as I mentioned, there isn’t anything it needs to do other than open the aperture. It doesn’t need to focus, or adjust any settings.

Play around while taking pictures. Vary the exposure length. Re-compose the scene every once in a while, zoom in, zoom out, rotate the camera 90 degrees. If you watch carefully you can see the rockets firing up into the air. When you see this you can start your exposure before the burst and get some lovely light trails. Try to predict what is going to happen.

Take your luck to the shoot, but most importantly enjoy yourself since this is supposed to be fun. When it is all over, expect to throw away a lot of shots. Try cropping them to make them more dramatic.

Here are my shots from last night.

Shorter Sights

Yesterday we me up with some friends to watch the Victoria Day Parade. Someone had mentioned to me that it was going to be shorter this year, but I have to say that it was still a very long parade. We didn’t stay to the end.

Below are some of my pictures, the rest are here.

My daughter enjoying the sights.

My son had a great time this year at the parade.

This is the group we watched with.

My daughter showing us her non-sleepy face.

Some cool cars:

Some other sights:

Cherry Reflection

The weekend before last our cherry tree was in full bloom. The tree is massive and we were lucky enough to see it while it was sunny. I grabbed my camera and shot quite a few images. Cherry blossoms are so delicate that trying to convey that is sometimes difficult. As I was shooting I walked around the yard noticing all the other flowers that were in bloom. Our new yard has lots to show us. Spring here is awesome.

The below picture is a reflection of the tree in our dining room window.