Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A great little camera Olympus TG4


Hi everyone,

After all the excesses of Christmas day it was a pleasure to go to the beach with DD and give my new little compact camera a tryout. Another camera! Well, it all started with my desire to have a small waterproof camera. I did not expect to find a shockproof and waterproof camera anywhere as sophisticated as this one. It's been quite a while since I've  used a camera with automatic settings let alone such fun ones and - bonus- I could get in the water to take photos and not be afraid of it getting wet or dropping it or getting sand in the lens. Here are some settings I tried out.

Auto: zoomed out





Sparkle:




Reflection: Hey, it does this kaleidoscope thing! That's a little crab by the way.





Sparkle once again, with a big subject, not so good, but it would probably be great for photographing jewellery...



Grainy Black & White: 






Macro:



Fish Eye:



Dramatic effect:

 


 Auto:  taken from in and around the pool







Underwater:   Yes it's just the bottom of the pool.  My underwater selfie didn't work out. I have to practice holding my breath while swimming and shooting. It's a lot to co-ordinate!
                                                                                                                                                                                                       
             


Auto:  zoomed in a bit 




I haven't fully explored Aperture Priority or the Underwater menu but don't worry I will. Within the Program Auto menu you can change white balance, exposure compensation, ISO, File compression, Flash settings, Single or multiple shot or timer, picture orientation. And lots of preset options. I only did a few! You can also do your own custom settings, two of them, accessed on the main dial to have at the ready. 
File sizes go up to 16M or 16M+RAW. There's even the capability for wifi connection to social media if you want to share travel photos or immediate selfies. (Spare me!)  
Note that there is no true Manual setting and no Manual focus. The thing I miss most is the ability to direct the focus within the frame. In conclusion, while there are limits to this camera and of course it won't do what my full frame Canon can do, for what it is - a small go anywhere compact - it's impressive. It's also my first Olympus and the quality is very good. 

By the way this isn't an advertisement. I don't advertise on my blogs and this post is just me talking freely.

I got approached a few months ago to advertise a new start up company's camera. It would have been on a 'we mention your blog if you publicise us' basis. I gave it consideration and found out more about them and their product but in the end I didn't feel right publicising a camera I couldn't try out myself for a few more hits. There goes my advertising career  : )


Hope you are having a good time wherever you are, 
Val.


Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas


Hello and Merry Christmas,
Thanks for reading and see you next year! I had grand plans of going into the city and photographing some fancy decorations but that didn't happen so here is a christmas angel on top of my little christmas tree. Happy 2017 to you all!





 Heres hoping for a new year that makes more sense than this one,
Val.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Night ocean and the Moon


Remember a couple of weeks ago there was a 'super moon'? It's taken me a while to blog about it, I've been busy partying :)) Anyway one of my photographic missions in life is to get a decent moon-in-the-landscape shot. Preferably without resorting to stacking several shots. It must be possible, don't you think?
The 14th, when the moon was actually full here was much much too windy and cloudy to see anything. The 15th was a much clearer day and before sunset I headed down the coast to a new favourite beach side spot that has some photogenic sea rocks and a beachside pool. Nice ingredients for a shot. I thought I would be the only person with a tripod and camera there. Not so. Lots of people turned out to just look and many had cameras. Some had tripods. There was almost a party atmosphere. One guy had lens that was impressively big.
See him up on the hill?


He didn't stay there though and when the moon started to rise over the horizon he went down to the shadow of the hill, because the surf club up on the hill has these horrid orange tungsten lights that turn on at dusk.


To amuse myself while waiting I took these water ripple reflections of the rail at the edge of the sea pool. Then I went to the dark bit under the hill too.



I was wondering if the moon would photograph more detailed when closer to the horizon as part of a scene? Actually, no.
Here's my best picture of said 'super' moon and the ocean. I tried a variety of different settings, ISO's, shutter speeds, types of focus. All the things I'd read up on. Manual focus resulted in more detail in the moon but not of the landscape. (Below) That other light is the lights of a coal tanker that was sitting on the horizon.



So, the lesson learnt is that I have to get myself in a position where I have the moon against something else in the distance to have in focus as well, say some buildings or a bridge etc. Nevertheless I had a good time chatting with a few other photographers and being outsmarted once again by the beautiful moon.

Happy reflecting,
Val.






Thursday, 10 November 2016

Sydney Architectural Reflections


Hello fellow bloggers,
Last weekend Sydney Living Museums had its annual Open Day. I bought a ticket that allowed access to over 50 Sydney buildings, then visited them camera in hand. I only got to about seven and I wish the time had not been restricted to between 10am to 4 pm. The top of my list was one of the three new towers that dominate the skyline at Barangaroo (below) and it did not disappoint.





Inside Tower two, level 41.



The whole area used to be shipyards where they had container docks.


My new office haha.
Below is the atrium of Macquarie Bank offices, 1 Martin Place. The exterior is heritage listed but the interior is a purple extravaganza.





Modern (above) linked to old (below)



I went on to more buildings until they sort of started to bend in together. This is a view of a new complex at 333 George Street, still being built (below).



Then to 1 Farrer Place with the most iconic views of all. That's my big a$$ reflection in the opposite building. I am not really bigger than The Opera House.




 Looking down toward the Sydney Botanic Gardens and the Domain on a perfect blue Sydney day.


Reflected construction (above)




Lastly, even though the quay side of Sydney and the city centre has to move with the times (I guess) I hope they never forget human scale and that we will always need to see some sky from street level..

Have a happy weekend,
Val.




Saturday, 29 October 2016

Zombie Attack!



Hi there,
In the previous post I mentioned I was going to the Zombie walk Sydney Zombie Walk 2016. It's a free street event that raises money for The Brain Foundation. Last year I did the full ghoulish make up thing but this year even though I registered I did not dress up, preferring to concentrate on the photography. Here are some favourite shots.





















Have a Good Weekend and for those of you who celebrate it Happy Halloween,
Val.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Industrial Reflections - Cockatoo Island



Hello guys,
Last weekend on a grey, overcast day some photo buddies and I took the ferry to Cockatoo Island. I've posted about Cockatoo Island before as every two years the Sydney Biennale Art Festival is held there but it's nice to wander around this preserved ship building site even when nothing is on and it was so quiet except for the wind in the warehouse rafters stirring up the spooks. Because the island does feel spooky. Built by convicts, rocky history. I don't actually know why it is called Cockatoo Island as it seems to be a favourite place for nesting seagulls who went berserk over anyone walking past the nests. I hope you enjoy this clutch of photos.




















That pretty seagull in the previous post was also going berserk as I went through 'her' area. No seagulls, eggs, chicks or humans were harmed in the taking of these shots. Off to photograph zombies this afternoon. I think they'll be friendlier,
Val.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Have you improved?


On the weekend someone who was something of a mentor in my early days asked me if I thought I had improved. Later that day I took this shot and I think the answer is 'yes'.




Bird on the Wing.
By Val.