“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Tuesday 30th June 2015

Catherine swimming with Puffins
One of the ladies on the trip, Catherine, was training for a charity triathlon in aid of Parkinsons disease and she had been regularly running around the island in the mornings to maintain her fitness levels. Monday morning she decided was the perfect morning to follow up her 45 minute run with a 30 minute swim (mad woman) so I headed out at 7am to capture the event for her.... sure enough I found her at the beach near the jetty around 730am stripping down to her costume ready for the second stage of her training - when she got in she gave no indication how cold the water was and bravely headed off round the island in a cloud of Puffins until she was again out of sight. I hung around for a while shooting the wealth of wild flowers clinging to the rocks and the masses of tangled Honeysuckle cascading down the cliffs. It really is a beautiful coastline.
Catherine on the return swim
After Monday's lesson on birds in flight I was lucky enough to have a family of five Oyster Catchers posing for me to practice on during my walk back to the block for breakfast. I tried again after breakfast on Puffins flying in over the jetty, but balancing the ISO with a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the birds rapid flapping I found tricky - particularly with the adverse weather conditions causing constant changes in light levels. ISO AUTO is of course an option, but this feature will select the lowest ISO to match the lens reciprocal - it does assume hand-holding but it really doesn't care about shutter speed - so I came out of AUTO and re-programmed the conveniently-placed video record button to be an ISO control which made life a little easier.
A few tips and tricks from David also helped.... pre-focusing on something the right distance away to minimise the distance the lens has to move when the bird enters the zone, massively improved my ratio of in-focus to blurry - as did limiting the focusing range of the lens, switching to D9 focusing area mode and waiting that fraction of a section longer before engaging the auto-focus in the first place. AF-C is awesome on the D4, but it's a tricky task for any camera and anything you can do to help will hugely reduce the frustration levels.

I left the evening Wick session early to head back and attempt a sunset time lapse (had the sun ever appeared) but on the way back I stopped off at the hide only to discover Kurt already in there snapping away at backlit gulls in flight - the reflection off the water was harsh and made life difficult for the camera, but it was an exciting and slightly frantic 10 minutes after the tedium of The Wick.
Spent the evening time-lapsing the sky and watching the almost full moon rise over the Trig, sipping red wine - such an eerie yet peaceful place. Solitary and yet surrounded. The island was definitely growing on me.
Dusk at The Wick

No comments:

Post a Comment