Saturday, October 07, 2006

Early Morning Photography Adventure

I've been frustrated for the past 2 weeks with the weather in England. Most days, especially the weekends, have been nothing but overcast and rainy. This weekend however, the weather was forecasted as pristine. Perfect for yet another photography field day.

I woke up at 6.30am this morning, and after a quick shower and subuh prayers, drove to the Canal Basin. I was hoping to catch the sunrise which was scheduled to be at 7.17am.

Canon 44mm F11 for 1.3s ISO 200
For this shot I basically placed the 400D on a book on the ground (yet to get a tripod), took the exposure, activated the self timer and waited patiently. I love night photography.

Canon 44mm F4 1/6 ISO 200
This shot was handheld as by this time the morning has become a bit more bright

too lazy to write the EXIF:p
I like this shot for the reflections, implying the tall buildings surrounding the basin.

Symmetry. Again, I love the reflections which seem to pop out from the water. Taking pictures in the early morning makes the buildings appear bright orange and gold.

Early morning macro. My hands were shivering due to the cold morning, yet surprisingly the picture was more or less sharp-ish. I took this picture while waiting for the sunrise.

Lavender. I took the picture during sunrise. By this time it dawned on me that observing the sunrise while being surrounded by tall buildings MAY NOT be the best idea. The sunrise was obscured leaving me feeling very foolish and really disappointed. D'oh.

Organic. I love the texture of this tree and how it lit up in the morning. In retrospect, I should have selected a warmer white balance setting.

Coventry University. By now the sunlight has become too bright and harsh for certain pictures but I love the long shadows it produced in front of Coventry University.

I took this picture of the devil again just to show you guys that the statue is actually VERY big. Compare with the size of my shadow at the lower left.

Silhouette. This was also taken right in front of Coventry University.

Coventry. This is the blue bridge outside the Coventry Transport Museum. My intention was for the curvy lines to lead viewers' eye towards the word "Coventry"

hittle Arch. This is one of the most famous and unique structure in Coventry. I like how the squiggly lines on the street leads towards the flags and the flags sort of point to the arch.

Details of the Whittle Arch against a (rare) blue sky.

My field day ended at around 9.30am and before I went home I paid a visit to our local Jessops (it's a camera shop, just in case you don't know). One lesson I've learnt today is the importance of a Neutral Density Graduated Filter - so that the sky appears blue against whatever structures one is photographing on the ground. I was also looking at tripods. (But I didn't buy anything).

At the end of the day this is one satisfied, but sleepy (newbie) photographer. Later everyone, have a good weekend.


This was the exact frustrating moment when I suddenly realised:
  1. I wasn't at the right place to capture the sunrise as the enclosed basin practically obscured all the view. Mental note: next time choose a place where you could at least see the horizon!
  2. I also realised I don't know how to capture this very contrasty scene. The foreground is very dark and the sky is very bright. How could I make the sky more prominent??
  3. The answer is (a) taking multiple exposures of the scene and combine them in Photoshop/GIMP (b) to use a Neutral Density graduated filter. Hu....
  4. Here's an unrealistic looking GIMPed image of the above:


ikelah said...

fantastic. i guess the reflection was abit blurr due to the water movements, wind, vessels etc.

the natural lighting with combinations of the building lights are best shot just before sunrise or sunset. going out after subuh is definitely better than roaming just before maghrib. ;)

as for the filter, i'll still go for the circular polarizer to neutral density if you are talking about the sky. as for neutral density, it most important when you need to open your aperture wide in a very bright day, +1, +2, +3 filters.

good luck.

ikelah said...

we are down with haze over here. it's on the third day baceuse of forest burning in kalimantan. :(

bad for health and photography.

OK said...

Nice! Here as Ikelah says, haze.. not so nice to take pics in...

mynn said...

wah, i REALLY wasnt expecting praises from ikelah today -- but thank you. the morning was quite windy & cold. i was shivering while holding the camera - so memang the pictures are blurry.

wait a second while i berangan i have a tripod .....

oh and ikelah - thanks for the advice on filters.... which ones do you have so far? flashgun ada tak? what is your advice on tripods?

if i do get one i was thinking of buying just a cheap 30 pounds jessops' one.

:D ive been hearing about this haze in malaysia - teruk sgt ke? hantar lah sample pictures :) would like to see it. (i could imagine the sample picture being just an off white image, with lots of grainy picture noise, hehehe)

dith said...


Habis ler awok...Mynn dah kena sampok penyakit iKelah. Pagi2 buta dah merayau nak cari subject cantik untuk di capture!

Paul Moss said...

But haze is good to take sunsets.

ikelah said...

i got my sunrise from the haze.... paul moss n p5 should be getting sunset over there. any pics to show us?

mynn said...

hehehe, ikelah pun sama ke? tapi bagus lah kan dith, kalau bangun awal tak lah ponteng subuh.

paul moss & ikelah
cant wait to see the pictures of sunrise/sunsets amidst the haze :)