Now I have a selection of macro shots I'm fairly happy with, I'm experimenting with a few other areas of interest. I've been interested in astronomy since I was younger and used to star gaze with my Dad, but have never really followed up on it. With my new camera though, the potential is there to take star trails, I've always thought these are amazing so this is something I've been keen to experimenting with. Astronomical photography will probably be more of a winter activity for me because I need my beauty sleep, but I've started following a couple of astronomy news and events blogs so I have an idea of what's going on up there, so who knows when the mood will take me. It turns out that we're in the middle of two meteor showers, the Delta Aquarid which is coming to a close, and the Perseid which peaks on the 12th August, so I've been eagerly awaiting a clear night to go and watch. Tonight there finally was one so come nightfall I headed up to Ramshaw rocks with a friend, to let the camera record a start trail while we occupied ourselves watching for meteors. In the dark I failed to find the bit of rock I was looking for to use as an interesting foreground profile, but since this was just an experiment really I just put the tripod down anywhere with a little rock showing in frame. There are a couple of different ways you can take star trails - either take a series of 30 second exposures and stitch them together later in software, or take one long exposure. The former has the advantage that if the battery dies or lens frosts over or something lights up the scene you won't have lost the whole thing, and also there is less of an effect of light pollution. The latter has the benefit that it's simpler, there is less post-processing plus if you don't have a remote control timer to keep taking photo after photo you can just set the camera going without having to press the button every 30 seconds. Since I don't yet have a remote timer (only a remote controller) I went with the latter. It's fairly remote at Ramshaw but there is still a degree of light pollution from Manchester, and you can see that after only a 45 minute exposure the sky is quite bright (and I've darkened it a little with software too). Next time I'll try it a little differently.
18mm, 2651s, f/3.5, ISO 400
This year I will be mostly... taking a photo every day, and posting it up here for you all to see and comment on if you feel inclined (please do). It's not an original idea, I stole it off a friend and many other people are doing the same as I speak, but I thought it seemed like a great idea to get used to my new toy, my Canon Eos 500D with Tamron 18-250mm Macro lens - my first digital SLR.
A lot of sites online talk about 'project 365' where people are encouraged to take a photo every day, but while their take on it is to create a personal history of the photographer, I wanted to make it a bit more abstract, more about the world around me. So this isn't meant to be a photo diary of my life, I am striving for each photo to be 'good' because of its artistic and technical merit, not because it's personal to me. Having said that personal subject matter will inevitably creep in as inspiration, but that's allowed, the book I'm reading claim that "every picture we take is merely a self-portrait of our inner psyche"!
I had a think of a couple of ideas for themes and settled on 'moods'. Then I was hit by indecision as to what to do if I take a photo I like and want to upload as my daily snap, but it doesn't fit the theme. So I have decided that the theme is just for inspiration rather than as a criteria, the photos can be of anything. That way I get the most flexibility of what to upload, and still have a muse.
While I'll be taking photos every day, I'll only upload them every few days, so keep checking back. I'm not anticipating the photos to be groundbreaking (at least not to start with!), the whole point is to improve so I won't be great initially. But I'll still try my best which will hopefully keep it interesting. Please feel free to add whatever comments you like (hopefully constructive!) as that will help me as much as the process of actually taking a photo a day, I will endeavour to reply to them all.
For my trip reports blog see http://fidgetsadventures.blogspot.com