In Western Australia we are following the same rules as the rest of Australia regarding not going out unless absolutely necessary. One of the areas where we like to go for a walk is Mindarie. This is a coastal area just up the road from where we live. It boasts a marina and a lovely man-made harbor and sea wall as well as nice beaches to the north and south. So we decided to go for a walk there and of course I always carry a camera just in case. It’s a very pleasant walk to work around the marina and along the boardwalk and then climb some stairs and work your way around the sea wall back to where you park. Everybody was really being very careful as far as social distancing is concerned and very polite. There is a natural interest in how everybody is handling things especially when you consider just how bad Covid 19 is and how bad conditions are in various parts of the world. In Australia strong measures have limited the growth of Covid 19 but at the same time it will be some considerable time before restrictions are lifted and everybody is adjusting to this new paradigm.
Walking at a reasonable pace allowed us to get the exercise for the day and also meant that I had five minutes for photography. Thankfully there was a nice sunset and because we headed out at around 5.15 we combined the exercise and got to see a very nice sky. I was shooting with the Panasonic S1R with the 24 to 105 mm lens. Most of the time I had it in my shoulder pack but I got it out just to take photographs and a lot of the time I had to make decisions quickly with it. It doesn’t start as quickly as a lot of cameras but it gets there at a reasonable pace and I didn’t feel that the camera got in the way of me taking any photographs. It also has very good low light capabilities which don’t seem to have been reported on as widely as I would have expected in the media. It’s actually a very good performer and the sensor in the S1R is remarkable.
This provides a sense of the light from the evening. To get to this point you descend some stairs from the upper seawall. I did this and turned to my left and suddenly saw the boat coming in. The Panasonic was in my pack so I got it out focused and composed and took a series of shots. I think it was approximately two seconds between starting the camera and shooting off the images that I took. Again I do have cameras that are faster but there are so many things working in your favour when you are using the S1R that it’s worth carrying. I don’t find the weight of the camera works against it, it actually works for you to have something that has a good weight and a good size because it allows you to hold it steadily. And the viewfinder provides so much additional information when you set it up correctly that it gives you everything that you need to know exactly where you need to be in terms of exposure. It also has excellent dynamic range so that you can recover detail.
This is a classic shot where the dynamic range of the sensor comes into play. The S1R viewfinder provides a lot of information, again I keep stressing it with the caveat that you must set it up and let the camera provide the detail that you are looking for. But when you do you know exactly where to set the exposure so that you can recover detail in post. Under exposing to get the best possible detail in the sunset meant that the rocks in the foreground were just an outline and black. However in post, working with the raw file it was very easy to reveal the detail in the rocks. The shot works because there is detail in the foreground albeit that it is bathed in warm sunset light so doesn’t have the level of detail that you need for a really sharp daytime shot. But I feel that the way that the rocks caught the light of the sunset works for this shot. And I like the way that the water captured the directional light from the sunset which is always a nice detail to have.
At one point we thought it would be unlikely to get to the point where we would be able to see the sunset because we were behind the seawall but this gap was quite revealing and I like the way that the light has captured the rock and just gives the impression of a sunset and sea because it’s out of focus. Everyone has different opinions I guess but I really like this one.
So what are you doing during the lockdown? Are you finding ways to take photographs? Combining exercise with photography perhaps? Let me know in your comments and if you have any photographs to share please let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you and keep taking photographs. Best regards, Niel