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Saturday
Nov222008

Photowalk 50: The Church and the UFO Hunter

Portsmouth HarbourI hadn't been out for a Photowalk for almost a week, so yesterday I grabbed my trusty S5700 and headed out towards the harbour. It was a grey day, I had HDR's in mind after listening to the latest camera dojo podcast, and it turned out to be very interesting....





Click here to download the Google Earth .kmz track with embedded photographs.



Cage The Stone(ers) Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, Processed To HDR With 3 Images +1 ev, 0ev, -1ev, 0ev: F3.5, 1/550th, ISO 200, Focal Length 9mm, Hand-held
Cage The Stone(ers)


It was a cold, grey day, but I was feeling good, looking for shots, and looking forward to a nice long walk. I hadn't tried HDR for a long time, so fancied having a go on this shoot with some of the photographs.

Unfortunately it was raining until I almost got to the harbour, if you have a look at the track file above, all the shots are taken in about a 500 yard radius - after the Church I headed to Asda to pick up some bits for tea (chicken curry) and was too loaded down and rushed for time to take any shots on the yomp home.

Tree Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/680th, ISO 200, Focal Length 26mm, Hand-held
Tree


A challenge on dull, overcast days is the light. Acting like a giant soft-box, the grey sky diffuses shadows, but unfortunately mutes colours and renders my polarizing filter almost useless. The filter can be still used on windows and water, but because there's a lot less light around, putting the filter on blocks out some of what's available, so I've got to use a longer shutter speed (which leads to camera blur), or a higher ISO (more noise).

.... Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/280th, ISO 200, Focal Length 37mm, Hand-held
....


Odd name for a yacht...

Portsmouth Harbour Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, Processed To HDR With 3 Images +1 ev, 0ev, -1ev, 0ev: F6.3, 1/680th, ISO 64, Focal Length 13mm, Hand-held
Portsmouth Harbour


So, I get down to the harbour and spot this old guy sitting on a bench, taking photographs with a Sony Point and Shoot. Being a friendly sort of chap (and maybe there being a photo opportunity) I sat down next to him and asked him what he was taking pictures of.

"Things that aren't there" He replied.

"Oh" I said. "Like what?" Totally bemused.

"UFO's, stuff flying around the harbour. I just point my camera in the sky and get shots of really strange things." He started to go through the photo's on the back of his camera. "I saw a UFO 300 feet long fly over the dockyard".

"Let's have a look then," I said. The old man showed me a blurry shot of something triangular, then another shot of what looked like a helicopter. It must have been taken at full optical and digital zoom, so it was very blurry, but I have to admit that it didn't look like any helicopter that I had seen flying around here, but we do have the Helicopter Repair Facility in Gosport, and all sorts of rotary winged aircraft are coming and going.

Before we could take the conversation any further he spotted an old Destroyer being towed out of the harbour:

No Cheers Today Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/680th, ISO 200, Focal Length 26mm, Hand-held
No Cheers Today


You've probably seen my photographs of the old Type 42 Destroyers moored at Priddys Hard, awaiting the scrapyard, and with this old Lady being towed away there's only one left. I don't know what they're planning for this one - sometimes they are scrapped, but the worst option in my opinion is when they use them for target practice, firing sea-skimming missiles or torpedo's into them to see what happens. After 30 years of service I just think they deserve better.

Victorian Brick Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F6.3, 1/120th, ISO 200, Focal Length 21mm, Hand-held
Victorian Brick


Thinking better of talking to the UFO Hunter again, and short of time, I cut towards the old Church - The Holy Trinity. Not particularly pretty from the outside, I prefer stone churches, I bumped into Christie, one of the Church Vergers (I think) who was opening up for visiting time.

Christie, Who Let Me In - Cheers! Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/45th, ISO 100, Focal Length 6mm, Flash, Hand-held
Christie, Who Let Me In - Cheers!


Lighting Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, Processed To HDR With 3 Images +1 ev, 0ev, -1ev, 0ev: F6.3, 1/200th, ISO 64, Focal Length 6mm, Hand-held
Lighting


I really like this one - the play of light on the columns, the stained-glass window on the left, and Christie lighting candles on the right. Most of these HDR's are a little soft and grainy - I was in a rush and shot hand-held (big no-no for HDR's) but Photomatix has done an OK job of removing ghosting due to camera shake. I auto-bracketed the exposures, but I'd like to go back, use a tripod and take a better spread of photographs.

Painting, Holy Trinity, Gosport Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/60th, ISO 200, Focal Length 12mm, Flash, Hand-held
Painting, Holy Trinity, Gosport


Holy Trinity, Gosport Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, Processed To HDR With 3 Images +1 ev, 0ev, -1ev, 0ev: F3.5, 1/200th, ISO 200, Focal Length 6mm, Hand-held
Holy Trinity, Gosport


Don't like how I chopped the chair legs off on this one.


Holy Trinity, Gosport Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, Processed To HDR With 3 Images +1 ev, 0ev, -1ev, 0ev: F3.5, 1/100th, ISO 200, Focal Length 15mm, Hand-held
Holy Trinity, Gosport


Processing was done on these HDR's with Photomatix, then I used levels / Noise Ninja and some masking in Photoshop Elements to work on the photographs. I need to go back with my tripod.

It was strange, I wasn't expecting to shoot inside, so was a bit confused when I got inside with this great interior capture, so I've made lots of mistakes, but next time I'll be ready.

An interesting Photowalk, and some good exercise.

Cheers, Rob.

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