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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:, 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.

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.

The Perfect Orb.

It’s taken some time, but I think I am getting better at creating Orbs. Recently myself and a fellow photographer tooks some shots in the Remarkable Cave at Shipsterns Bluff in the south of Tasmania.

I think this orb is one of the best I have produced from a single 30 second exposure. It was created using a bright LED, with the power supply and on/off switch located in my hand.

If you click through to my flickr page you can see some more I created. All of the exposures were 30 seconds, so the triple orb shots were taken very quickly, with about 7-8 seconds allocated to each orb.

Fishing with the Hi-Tech Pro Stop 10 (IR)

Fishing, Townsville. by Brendan Davey
Fishing, Townsville., a photo by Brendan Davey on Flickr.

It’s been a little while since my last post, so I though I would do a quick post about my first experience with the new Hi-Tech Pro Stop 10 (IR).

When Lee first introduced their big stopper I doubt they had any idea just how popular it would be. The Big Stopper quickly got a good name because it gave a very neutral color cast, ad just worked. Consequently this filter is most than likly going to be on backorder if you order it.

Hi-tech over recently years have really started to expand their filter range, catering more to digital photography, and their new Pro Stop range show their commitment to produce quality filters. The New Pro Stop range can be purchased from 1 stop right though to 10 stops. Designed to reduce IR as well as normal wavelength visible light, which produces a very neutral exposure.

Although I have not dropped my filter and I don’t plan on doing so it is claimed to be more durable than the Lee, of which there are numerous complains about how fragile it is. It also has the rubber / foam black strip to block light entering from the edge of the filter.

And then there is the price, it’s cheaper, what more do I need to say…..

Results: Fantastic, Neutral, no light leaks. stunning.

How is the Samyang 14mm going?

So I have had the Samyang for more than a while now, and I thought I’d give some more feedback. Firstly I must say this lens is SUPER sharp, at f5.6 it is incredible.

What I am finding however is that the distortion plug-in for Adobe Lightroom is not perfect, and I’m still left with a little distortion which is a little bit frustrating. Probably more me looking for the issue, knowing it’s there. However it would not be easily seen in most shots.

I am finding the fixed hood and no front thread very frustrating, and I long to use my ND grads and variable ND filter. To that end the Canon 14mm or any other brand at 14mm would have the same issues, so I think it still warrants having a 17-40mm or 16-35mm lens as well, maybe even a 20mm f2.8. I have managed to salvage most shots where an ND Grad would have been useful, like this one I took recently in Perth.

Still, I can’t complain given the cost…

The Hazards

Just a quick share of the Hazards Mt Range, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania. (Mt Parsons, Mt Baudin, Mt Dove, Mt Amos & Mt Mayson).

This shot was taken from Coles Bay. It was a fairly uneventful sunset, and it had been cloudy and raining all day. It did manage to clear out for just a few hours when I took this picture. I would have really liked to have used a 10 stop filter, but the 14mm lens I was using is hooded, and has no front thread 🙁