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Stormy Portrush (Terrible Images!)

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Author Topic: Stormy Portrush (Terrible Images!)  (Read 1170 times)
martinastro
Martin Mc Kenna
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« on: January 11, 2009, 06:26:15 pm »

I was at Portrush this evening to check out the big waves along the coast due to the current stormy conditions. Some of the wave crests were huge with spectacular white spray blowing back at high speed due to the wind. It looked like a surfer's paradise. Unfortunately I only got there near dusk and lost all useful light levels. The overcast dark sky only added to the problem. I couldn't freeze the waves even at ISO800 (most images ISO 400-800) so I had to use a longer shutter which blurred things. I also couldn't get focused even on a tripod due to the wind gusting and threatening to pull the camera from my hand. So the images I got are absolutely rubbish!!!. Thought I would post them anyway. Seen wide spread mammatus clouds but they were not spectacular.











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Paul
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 06:52:51 pm »

You've certainly managed to capture the atmosphere there Martin!
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 07:11:05 pm »

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You've certainly managed to capture the atmosphere there Martin!
... and the ocean - not much difference really Cheesy
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rjgjr
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 07:53:17 pm »

Great shots Martin, lots of action. The freighter really catches my eye. Looks similar to a stormy winter day on the Oregon coast.
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 08:17:52 pm »

Dusk is not a big problem. Nice images, my favourite is the last one - the 'stormiest'  Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 09:39:54 pm »

Valiant effort. They turned out  well considering the circumstances you outlined.
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martinastro
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 10:51:37 pm »

Thanks for the feedback guys! They were taken under very difficult conditions but even so I feel ashamed posting them up because they are absolute tosh quality. They could have been better given the conditions but I just couldn't get in form at all. I think I have lost touch with photography because I calmed down a little over Christmas and now I can't find get the feel for it again. Time to start getting more practise in. I liked the wide shot but the rest are rubbish I admit. I'm annoyed at myself now lol. With the exception of number 1 all the rest are taken at 300mm in dark conditions. Freezing the motion of the waves is one thing, but not getting a good focus is inexcusable. I can't seem to get a good focus these days, although I admit this only seems to happen with dusk subjects. I think I will put these in the bin!

Thanks for the encouragement though  Smiley...I will stick at it.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 04:42:21 pm by martinastro » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 11:36:00 am »

Martin,  this post struck a chord with me and it's how I felt about my early day  shots at dusk. I've realised that you can't do the impossible with particular lenses. If you had an f2.8 then you would have improved on these photos but I think your lens is f4-5.6 and at the 300mm end, which you were using ,f5.6 isn't up to the job at the speed you need even wanging up the ISO which just gives you unacceptable levels of noise. The first photo was wide, you say (I took it into photoshop but there's no exif data available)) and no doubt you were able to take the shot at the f4 end,combined with a high ISO and a slowish speed you got a decent shot  but as for the 300mm end you can't change the laws of light physics Lol. 

Those ships with their lights on gave me a good idea about the level of light you were working with and also the one with the houses in  and to make matters even more difficult you were fighting with gale force winds if not storm force. It was your determination that took you to that location even though you knew in your heart that it was going to be an uphill struggle. As you said   you needed  a fast shutter speed to 1.. get the scene reasonably sharp and  2.  to freeze the 'action' and you ain't gonna  be  able to do it so why beat yourself up trying to do the impossible ?  I've gone past that stage  now and recognise the impossible when I see it. Do you know that you can get spikes for your tripod ? They are invaluable when you can  press them into to soft ground.  I was battling against a gale with my sunrise photos but the spikes in  the ground gave me a great deal more stability. http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/ProductDetails~productID~5521~categoryid~149.html

Hope this helps to put this batch behind you - you'll soon have a daytime storm - remember those photos when I said you'd taken a risk getting   onto the rocks down at the wave level especially as you were on  your own -  they were excellent ,so chin up old chap.  Smiley


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martinastro
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 05:45:20 pm »

John, thank you very much for that very helpful post!. I found your words to be extremely encouraging so thanks for the online kick in the rear...my chin is now up  Smiley. You have always been more than helpful with your advice on cameras, gear, and on the art of photography itself. Cheers!

Thanks for the link. I could cetainly do with those as well as a more sturdy tripod. The one I was using that day behaved more like a kite. I had to grab hold of it do stop both the tripod and camera blowing onto the tarmac.

The last shot was at 300mm F/5 at 1/40th sec exposure at ISO800...so the lens is too slow at that focal length. I'm going to have to get myself a DSLR and a series of lenses.

Thanks for the help!
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JohnC
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 10:44:30 pm »

lol..A lift up, not a kick in the rear..You may have to spend upwards of 130 for a sturdy tripod, they don't come cheap but they are invaluable.       


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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2009, 08:53:00 am »

I agree with John, Martin. You were up against it in a big way, and considering the conditions and amount of movement in the scene (waves move fast under high winds) they've come out well. As for tripods, whilst it's no up to the carbon fibre tripods, it's worth checking out the Redsnapper tripods with ballhead (about 100). They are rated for 10Kg and have spiked feet. There is a bag hanger on the bottom of the centre column and  they feel well made. I have the 3 way head, it's rated for 6 Kg and have used it for shooting some of the images of the moon I posted at 1200mm with the C80ED and a 2xTC mounted on it. At that focal length, it took about 3 seconds for vibrations to subside. I have no relationship with them apart from having one of the tripods.
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martinastro
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2009, 04:22:52 pm »

Thanks for the tips guys. I'm going to have to make the tripod move. Those ball heads sound great but how do they handle a camera taking long exposures?. Would they stay secure without movement ok?.

John C, looks like you are correct about another storm, sure looks like it for the weekend. Maybe I will get back up to the Sea again.  Smiley
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jgs001
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2009, 04:37:52 pm »

Martin, I've not used a ballhead, but I understand there's a tightener that locks off movement.
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John
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2009, 04:48:55 pm »

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Those ball heads sound great but how do they handle a camera taking long exposures?. Would they stay secure without movement ok?.
They lock off nicely, getting them adjusted "just right" is more of a problem. The conventional 3 way (rotate tip & tilt) heads are IMO more convenient for a camera; the fluid "video" heads are great for scopes & bins but have limited tilt adjustment. You can even get 3 way heads with geared action, very nice but rather expensive.
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2009, 12:48:35 am »

Martin- whilst most other gear for cameras is  expensive this ball head isn't - here's the one I've got and it's first rate. As John and Brian tell you it has a lock handle for swiveling and another for up and down and swiveling, you can point your lens skywards or to the ground. ..65 and a Manfrotto too. I've got it. You can adjust the two handles so they are just tight enough to allow you to move them if you want to. They are great for tracking a bird in flight too and obviously you cut out camera shake when doing that. When I first started reading up on camera kit one Pro. said "get a ball head to save your sanity". My old plate did my head in.

Here it is... http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/ProductDetails~man~Manfrotto~productID~4226~categoryid~158.html

..and a reduced tripod.

They,Morris Photography, have an offer on. This tripod is normally 136  they are selling it for 105 and my neighbour has it. and that ball head too. Check it out. It's solid, heavy which is what you want but not  so heavy your arms ache carrying it lol. This is a great package and they charge 9.99 to ship to you. They are based in Chipping Norton and I was there today.  To get a tripod, a Manfrotto, like this and a Manfrotto ball head for 168 plus a tenner postage is really good value. if you do go for it make sure they stick the ball head in in and not send it separately at a separate charge. They are very nice people to deal with.                   

Here's the tripod  http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/ProductDetails~productID~7276~categoryid~149.html
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