Iron Pot Pano Small.

“Someones up late”.

Iron Pot AuroraHad one of those nights last night where I could just not sleep, so I decided to head out and see if I could get a nice shot on a beach where I recalled someone had built a makeshift stick “hut”.

The beach faced north, so I knew if the Aurora Australis was active I’d have to do at least a 200 degree panorama to get it all in. In the end it was only four shots with my 16-35 lens.

I have titled it “Someones up late”.

Shot shows the Iron Pot lighthouse at the mouth of the Derwent River in Storm Bay with Bruny Island to the right (Tasmania). Pictured to the left is a single shot from the same location a little further down the beach.

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Oblivious to the lights.

IMG_7875When your out shooting late at night you have a lot of time for thinking during exposures and between shots, especially if your by yourself. I often think of all those people at home, watching TV, or asleep in their beds, oblivious to what is going on around then, and the silent lights that weave across the night sky above them.

I think the mood in this shot sums up how I often think of those people. They are inside, working away or watching some program on TV. Meanwhile outside the lights are dancing in the sky and the stars are shining brightly on a perfectly clear and moonless night.

The picture was taken in Mortimer Bay (Tasmania). The photograph to the right was taken only a stones throw from the boat shed when the Aurora was a little more active.

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Fossil Cove (Tinderbox, Tasmania)

Fossil Cove - TasmaniaI have lived in Tasmania all of my life, and surprisingly this is the first time I have visited Fossil Cove. I think it’s one of those places that photographers know about, but keep it a secret. So, it was not me who told you about it….

For this location you really have to check the tides as well as the weather to ensure your going to be able to walk under the arch to be able to shoot all those fantastic rock layers. Of course you can always get your feet wet, which I don’t mind.

Fossil Cove is not far from Hobart, and it’s a very nice location. I’m sure I will visit again soon, maybe take the family.

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The Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis from Mortimer Bay
Aurora Australis from Mortimer Bay

It has been while since Hobart has seen a good strong Aurora. Yesterday the numbers were looking good all day, see: ozcreations.biz, and sure enough come dark the green and red was clearly visible to the naked eye.

From about 8:30 to 11:30 I snapped a few shots, and a few panorama stitches. I will upload some more to flickr as well.

If you would like to know more about the Aurora Australis, why not join the Facebook Page?

:Update: I returned to this location the other night, and while the gum still stands it has lost the main branch shown in this shot. It’s a shame as I would have liked to shot this tree again with a stronger aurora.

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Should I use a UV Filter?

Yes, I’m going to go there…

In my opinion UV filters are a camera stores best revenue earner, for every lens or camera package they sell there is a better than even chance they can sell the purchaser a UV filter, or 2.

But are they worth it?

Here are a few of the Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • It may protect the lens from damage if dropped.
  • It may protect the lens for dirt, dust and other marks.
  • It filters out UV light.

Cons:

  • If it breaks the glass shards may damage my front element, or coating, or the ring could get jammed on my lens.
  • It’s another layer of glass, and it may introduce flares and other artifacts into the image.

Well if you use a digital camera you can rule out the UV filtering being a benefit because digital sensors already have a UV filter. The filter has just as much chance of causing damage to a lens than protecting it. Saying “I dropped my lens and the UV filter smashed, thus saving my lens”, is a far call from reality, it most likely would have been fine anyhow. The amount of horror stories I have read about the UV filter causing problems once broken seems to be more of a problem than dropped broken lenses (Glass shards scratching lenses, filters getting stuck and needing to be removed by professionals etc). The UV filter itself offers next to no structural strength to the lens, and then you have the problem of image quality. It’s a known fact that UV filters introduce flares and ghosting (well documented).

For me the introduced artifacts and the probability of the UV filter doing more damage than good makes it not worth it. Sure it may stop the occasional finger print of smudge, but these are easily removed.

So why do it?

Well most people do it because they get sold the idea that it’s an investment to protect their lenses. Some UV filters can retail for as much as a kit lens, the easier solution would be to replace the lens if it did get damaged, which the UV filter would most likely have not protected in the first place.

 

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Haida 10 Stop.

I went out last night looking for a nice sunset, not a cloud in sight. I was looking to test out a Haida 10 stop filter.

The filter works well with wide lenses, this shot taken with a Canon 16-35 f2.8 @ 16mm. The shot does have lens correction, but the overall composition, lighting and color has only been slightly adjusted. It could easily be mistaken for a lee filter, although slightly warmer. Overall not a bad filter, one I think I will keep in my bag of tricks…

The filter used was a Haida Slim Multi-coating ND3.0, 1000x (PROII). Shot taken on a 6D, 15sec, f6.3, ISO 50.

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