Sunday, 16 December 2012

Of Best Laid Plans

Preparation is the Key to Success – or at least that’s what they say.  Every time I make an early start to any photographic trip, I make sure everything is organised the night before and todays outing was no exception:

  • Canon 5D – check
  • Two fully charged working batteries for battery grip for said camera – check
  • Back up set of fully charged batteries – check
  • Blank camera cards – check
  • Wide angle zoom lens – check
  • Cable realise – check
  • Tripod and head – check
  • ND and ND Graduated filters – check
  • Clean lens cloth – check
  • Everything packed away in camera bag including refreshments – check
  • Confirmed tide will be half way out at sunrise – check
  • Confirmed best possible weather to give a colourful sunrise – check
  • Planed journey – check
  • Complete set of warm clothing – check

Arrive on location an hour before sunrise to give myself plenty of time to set up – so far so good.  Plenty of clouds in the sky to give some dramatic colours when the sun starts to rise – excellent. Camera set up, now just need to wait another twenty minutes and enjoy one of natures spectacles that is the birth of a new day.  Clouds starting to dissipate, ok, I can live with that.  Why is the sun starting to rise just behind the lighthouse at the end of the pier, ruining the shots ambience? – It was supposed to be further north east where it would be much more photogenic.  What’s that great big ship lit up like a Christmas tree doing stationary right on the horizon in my viewfinder?

Twenty minutes of shooting and my camera battery indicator is showing my set of batteries are about to die – not to worry I had anticipated that the the use of long exposures and the cold might drain them a bit quicker than normal and have my spare set.  A quick change and they’ve been replaced – nothing. No life. Dead.  They were ok last night when I checked them after charging them.  Back in with the other set hopefully I can get a few more shots from them.  I do, but only a few before they too are completely dead.  The sun has just risen and there is still photo opportunities but there’s nothing I can do and I still had planned to make at least a morning of it and it’s barely 9.00 am!

Not quite to plan and the images aren’t anything special.  I guess it just goes to show you can’t guarantee anything in photography despite planning. 

It turned out that one of the batteries has had it as it wasn’t holding a charge anymore, another was barely holding a charge.  The ship couldn’t be helped and could easily be ‘Photoshoped’ out.  I have a sunrise chart which I should have checked, but I’m sure I’ve photographed at this same spot at this time of year and the sun was further north.  Stupid really, of course the sun rises and sets further south at this time of year.

Still, it’s all part of the learning curve and it was nice to see the 5D back in action.  I forgot just how nice a image it takes, unfortunately these reduced quality images here don’t show it, but I reckon it still can hold it’s own against many of the latest twenty plus mega pixel cameras.  The old timer has some life in yet – as long as the batteries do that is!


Above and last image – Photoshoped the ship and pier out.  Not sure if I like it though.


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