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Capture: Someone, Somewhere, In Summertime

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  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Cecelia,

    Wee thing hung around a while giving me time to pull out my zoom lens. Even stayed all through unpacking the car.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6346 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to JacksonP,

    That's the only way to get that kind of detail. I'm a bit amazed by what your camera can do. Generally you'd need a 300+ mm lens on a DSLR with a tripod to get that kind of shot. I'm assuming this is the same one I saw at the weekend? Nicely done.

    Thanks, it took me about 3 hours to work out how to take good night shots, by which time the Pleiades had set, something I'd like to get a good shot of. The automatic scene recognition didn't cut it, it just figured "Night shot". The "Night scenery with tripod" mode wasn't even good enough, I took about 2 dozen moon shots that were blurry or overexposed before experimenting with the aperture/shutter settings. It also took me quite a while to cotton on to how to get shots of things that are overhead with the tripod. I completely forgot the legs of it are adjustable too.

    Star shots have a completely different challenge, which I only solved after a few hours, by which time I was getting tired (it was past midnight and my neck was sore) - how do you aim/frame a digital camera at something too dim to show up on the screens? At first I just lined up and guessed, took the shot, inspected, adjusted, rinse, repeat. Takes a long time, but does get there. But in the end, the trick that worked was to use the EVF (old school viewfinder but digital - it's taken me some time to work out what the point of it is). Then you look at the object of interest with both eyes open. It takes a bit of getting used to, looking at both images, a black screen with a crosshair, and the night sky at infinity, but if you mentally make the main aim to look with the eye that is not at the viewfinder then you essentially see the crosshair up in the sky. Dead accurate (although of course this will not work for people who don't have binocular vision). The framing lines on the screen also superimpose. I expect I would never have discovered this trick during the day.

    I have heard that some snipers use this technique too, keeping both eyes open, it helps to rapidly find someone in the scope. I sometimes use it when I'm using my monocular (pocket telescope), particularly when looking at things with no reference point, like aircraft in the sky, or birds flitting around in similar looking foliage, or boats that are miles away on featureless water. It never occurred to me that it might work in a digital scope. I change which eye I'm using to deliberately train ambidextrous vision (and give the scoping eye a rest). Interestingly, it's actually considerably easier on the eyes after a while, squinting is actually quite tiring.

    Anyways, I'm pretty happy with what $300 worth of camera can do, once the right settings are found. Time to do some post-capture practice. What's the hive-mind's favourite freeware for Windows, for digital image manipulation?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to JacksonP,

    Generally you'd need a 300+ mm lens on a DSLR with a tripod to get that kind of shot. I'm assuming this is the same one I saw at the weekend?

    Oh, and yes, it is that camera. It claimed 24x zoom at 14 megapixels, which put its technical spec within about 10% of a bunch of other cameras costing twice as much. Being my impecunious student self, I went for the price point. The only thing I didn't scrimp on (regrettably in hindsight) was the memory stick. It's a good stick, but I could have saved $50 if I'd only been prepared to wait a little, and buy that one from my favourite stick supplier online.

    The tripod was a gift from my brother. I was a little shocked, I suggested it, but I was expecting some tinny little $20 thing and would have been perfectly happy. But he went nuts and got a really decent one. I'm sure my folks thought I was being antisocial when I couldn't pull myself away from it at their bach. But I've never had a good tripod.

    I do not actually know how the camera gets the zoom it does with such a small lens. I think it's using the tricks you mentioned to me on the weekend, multiple shot interpolation, or something. It took around 6 seconds to capture and "process" the moon shots, followed by the commit time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

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    Tonight I was lucky enough to be at a friend’s house when her baby-hedgehog friend turned up for its supper! It comes every night at the same time.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    I do not actually know how the camera gets the zoom it does with such a small lens.

    Better software. Not that NZ would want to invest in that industry. Cows ftw.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    What's the hive-mind's favourite freeware for Windows, for digital image manipulation?

    Never got past Photoshop, sorry.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to BenWilson,

    What's the hive-mind's favourite freeware for Windows, for digital image manipulation?

    I'm mostly Mac at the moment, so my experience is a bit out of date, but I've found Irfanview to be pretty useful freeware. With a bit of tweaking it can run most of the useful Photoshop plugins.

    The most fully-featured freeware would have to be GIMP. It's completely free and very Photoshop-like, but I've had no experience of running it on Windows.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3597 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Cool, Irfanview is my main viewer already, will see if I can run some plugins. And I have GIMP installed. It seemed highly functional.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to BenWilson,

    Corel's Paint Shop Pro is a good graphics suite for Windows. But it's not free. They do a 30-day free trial, though.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to BenWilson,

    And I have GIMP installed. It seemed highly functional.

    I have the Mac native GIMP, would use it more if I wasn't for my 20 year habituation to Photoshop. GIMP supports my trusty old Wacom, which I'd never be without. Image manipulation without pressure sensitivity is like painting with a brick.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3597 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

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    Yesterday we had some lovely clouds. And the Port Hills in their summer colours.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

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    I love cirrus clouds, always changing.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Lilith __,

    The middle one looks as if someones has brushed a delicate paintbrush over the sky:)

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Cecelia,

    Yes, it's quality work, that sky-painting. ;-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

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    I'm like a little kid with the caterpillars this year, partly because my two year old grandson is learning so much from them.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Jos,

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    Drama from my garden

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • Nora Leggs,

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    Summer - more parasols
    This one in San Francisco

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 2337 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Lilith __,

    Too cute

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1208 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

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    Friend’s got a tree
    Tree got a bee or three
    for all to see.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6346 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

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    The site of the demolished Sumner Community Centre is now a delightful gathering-place, with the pop-up fish-and-chip shop in a container just opposite. It’s a great example of what can be done with a vacant lot.

    Friday night, and the main street was humming, with dressed-up people eating in cafes, and younger folk coming up from the beach in towels for their fish-and-chips. Everyone seemed to be laughing and smiling.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

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    Just next door, this is the now-vacant site of the Sumner Community Library. Imagine how brilliant it would be with the fence taken down and a bit of grass around a prefab or pop-up library.

    Instead, Sumner people have a library van for 8.5 hours a week, parked down by the beach where nobody sees it.

    There is talk of a new community facility combining community centre with library, but has yet to reach the planning stage, and is obviously some years away. Sumner people need a pop-up library now . It doesn’t need to be fancy, any old thing will do, just as long as it’s full of books. It would be a treasured community asset.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Jos,

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    ooo I did bees as well today, on the fennel against the big blue sky

    and a plum for anyone?

    from under the tree

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

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    Hibiscus furled.

    Close up.

    So much goodness. Thanks everyone.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2160 posts Report Reply

  • Jos,

    Somehow looks a bit rude Jackson...

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • Jos,

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    Bee being lazy

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 869 posts Report Reply

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