Be a photo tourist in your own town

You don't need to travel to a far away locations to take exotic pics. Try looking around your own backyard first.

Boats at Harbour Quay get a new look through a 10-20 mm fisheye lens.

Boats at Harbour Quay get a new look through a 10-20 mm fisheye lens.

A friend of mine came up from Seattle to visit us and take possession of my body.

Sorry, I should have said my camera body. I was selling my friendly Nikon D200 DSLR and it just so happened that he needed a DSLR to shoot competition horses. We decided to take the cameras out for a spin, put them through their paces and see what developed.

We loaded up; my friend had the D200 equipped with my 80–200 f2.8 lens, in program mode, single shot, matrix metering, ISO 400 (he tried different ISOs up to 1600), 8 GB Compact Flash card, shooting in RAW and HIGH JPEG.

I showed him where the depth of field button was, how to pop up the built-in flash for closeup automatic “flash fill” outdoors, and how to override program mode for increased depth of field.

I was ready to go, holding my Nikon D300s DSLR with a Sigma 10–20mm f4.-5.6 fisheye zoom lens. My ISO was on 400, the camera was set in program mode with matrix metering, single shot, centre focus  with periphery, 8 GB Compact Flash card as well as a 16 GB SD card (my camera takes both), shooting in RAW mode.

There are some lenses that when I look through them, they feel as if one could live in the viewfinder. This Sigma wide angle zoom is one of them.

So off we went to Harbour Quay as our first area to shoot. As soon as I shot my first exposure I quickly realized that program mode with a fisheye lens does not work. There was way too much light entering such a large glass surface so that the image was overexposed.

Immediately I changed the mode to manual so that I could have control over the camera exposures. Of course I could have changed the camera metering mode from matrix to spot meter or used my separate hand-held light meter.

We photographed the boats, the Alberni Inlet, and the harbour. Almost all of the photographs that I took were in landscape mode (horizontal) because the images just lent themselves to the horizontal mode.

I was shooting a 10mm lens, ISO 800, f10 @ 1/400 of a sec in RAW, matrix metering. The image stole 20 MB off of my SD card.

Then we set off for Roger Creek Waterpark. We walked the trails, shot the creek, trees, paths in the woods, each other. By this time we needed a rest and beverages, so we went to Solda’s, sat at the bar, and chatted with Cindy (no politics). We then went to walk and photograph the Kitsuksis Dike and Clutesi Haven Marina.

I ended up taking about 90 photographs and my friend shot about 150. Just goes to show you, photographs are right here in our backyard; we don’t have to go anywhere else.

Any questions?  E-mail me at      nsilverstone@telus.net.

 

Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and Eldercollege in Port

Alberni.

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