Seldom Said

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In camera

It's mainly my brother's fault.

Disappointed by the 'prosumer' compact digital camera that he bought to go on holiday to the Antipodes, he decided (some weeks ago) to bite the bullet and get a digital SLR. Then he ummmed and aaaahed and discussed the options with me and even took me along to try some of them out, which naturally made me curious to investigate further. Then we went to see the perennial delights of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum (now on tour) and I noticed that many of the winners use some of the very same cameras. I guess the result was kind of inevitable.

So, yes, I have a new toy: a Canon EOS 30D. And after putting it through its paces at home and in the garden on Friday, I was really hoping for some decent weather for the weekend. This being a British Bank Holiday weekend, however, I was prepared for the worst...

Imagine my surprise when Saturday turned out gorgeous. We headed up the the Lake District bright and early and embarked upon a fantastic 18km walk along a ridge of hills beside Derwentwater, starting at Catbells and ending at High Spy, then descending from the foot of Dale Head to return via Borrowdale and the lake shore. It was a little hazier than I'd have liked, but the views of the lake and the surrounding fells were still spectacular and the temperature was perfect for walking. We were also treated to the sight of exhibitionist crows swooping overhead.

Naturally the rest of the weekend had more typical Bank Holiday weather: overcast skies and intermittent drizzle. Still, that gave me plenty of time to go through the photos that I'd taken. I was irritated to find that minute dust particles on the sensor had produced little dark spots on many of the images, especially where they featured a lot of blue sky. I was also a little disappointed with the exposure on many of the images; I simply hadn't been paying enough attention to this and had (foolishly) trusted the various automatic modes on the camera to do it for me.

Fortunately the spots were mostly taken care of with a spot of editing and I was quite pleased with a few shots, but it certainly made me realise that I have a lot to learn...


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