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Sunday
Nov302008

Photowalk 51: Portsmouth In The Rain

ParkingSpurred on by Andreas's comments that he doesn't mind, and in fact enjoys, photographing in the rain, I put my waterproof hat on, donned a rain coat and headed to Portsmouth.






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

Parking Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/100th, ISO 400, Focal Length 29mm, Hand-held
Parking


Normally I won't go out with my camera if it's raining, or if it looks like it's about to start. I'll gaze out of the window and think, "maybe later". My camera's not waterproof, visibility is limited when it's raining, and I thought it was just not a pleasant experience.

Yesterday I changed my mind. In a previous comment Andreas Overland had mentioned that he enjoyed shooting in the rain - so I decided to have a go. I trudged down to the ferry, my hat pulled down over my ears (too windy for a brolly), stopping to take photographs when the rain eased up, or there was some shelter from the weather.

Shadows Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/150th, ISO 400, Focal Length 59mm, Hand-held
Shadows


I have to say that it was altogether a rather pleasant experience. I was warm enough, had a stout pair of walking boots on, an ipod full of podcasts to listen to, and best of all the streets were almost deserted, despite being a Saturday lunchtime.

The light was bad - it was like shooting in the early morning / late evening, check out the ISO settings on some of these shots, I even pushed it up to 800 on some of them. Why didn't I just set up my tripod? Well, I have to admit that although I was warm enough walking along, if I stopped for too long I did start to cool down quite a bit, so maybe some more layers next time.

Jumble Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/250th, ISO 200, Focal Length 7mm, Hand-held
Jumble


Being a grey day, in a grey city, I was attracted to the shapes and lines of the buildings - some '70's monstrosities and the occasional more modern structure. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I reviewed the photographs at home.

OK, most of these shots are grainy, soft, and aren't exactly "square" (especially where I tried to remove some of the perspective distortion in Photoshop Elements), but overall they're an OK bunch.

Indecision Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/120th, ISO 800, Focal Length 12mm, Hand-held
Indecision


The weather threatened to clear up, but as soon as the odd stray bit of blue sky appeared it was replaced by another rain cloud and another downpour.

I didn't get my Fujifilm S5700 out in heavy rain, but I did risk it quickly in light "spitting" showers, bending over my camera bag to shield it, wiping the lens, then taking a quick shot. I'll bring a clear plastic bag next time, to put over the camera and use a rubber band to seal the opening around the lens.

Intersection Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/550th, ISO 400, Focal Length 18mm, Hand-held
Intersection


My main reason to go to Portsmouth was to pick up some Christmas presents, so once I'd fought my way through the busy shopping centre I headed back home. (Download the Google Earth .kmz file near the top of the page to follow my track and look at my photographs in Google Earth.)

Trip Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/320th, ISO 400, Focal Length 6mm, Hand-held
Trip


I managed to get a few shots from the top of the Gosport-Portsmouth Ferry, but imagine what they would have been like in glorious Sunshine! (Actually if it was Sunny the ferry would have been packed and it might have been more difficult to get any shots.)

Stacked Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/320th, ISO 400, Focal Length 6mm, Hand-held
Stacked


As usual I was attracted to interesting forms, shapes and lines - trying hard to get a bit "abstract", or create "extracts" as Ansel Adams would say.

Distracted Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Manual, F3.5, 1/250th, ISO 800, Focal Length 20mm, Hand-held
Distracted


The above shot was very tricky to meter and expose for, as you'd imagine. A bright screen and darker foreground, but no, that wasn't the problem. The big TVs refresh rate was fast enough for my eye not to see it flashing, but my camera could, so the settings were jumping all over the place - too dark, too light, too dark, etc.

I ended up going to Manual Mode, guessing the exposure, adjusting, then trying again.

Sisters Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/210th, ISO 200, Focal Length 40mm, Hand-held
Sisters


Two Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers, the Ark Royal (foreground) and I think the Illustrious in the background. A third, Invincible is in the dockyard, but not visible. A RFA tanker / supply ship is visible on the left of the photograph.

The Law Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/240th, ISO 200, Focal Length 9mm, Hand-held
The Law


A Police Launch follows the Gosport Ferry across the harbour.

Return Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/250th, ISO 200, Focal Length 6mm, Hand-held
Return


View from the back of the Gosport Ferry as it leaves the pontoon on the Portsmouth side. (Bit grey this one!)

Grey Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F5, 1/75th, ISO 100, Focal Length 6mm, Hand-held
Grey


The path I take from near my house, all the way to the ferry.

Empty Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/105th, ISO 200, Focal Length 16mm, Hand-held
Empty


I couldn't not have a brick wall, could I!

Confusion Taken With Fujifilm S5700, Aperture Priority, F3.5, 1/180th, ISO 400, Focal Length 24mm, Hand-held
Confusion


Thought these contradictory signs were quite amusing - hope no foreign tourists in hire-cars come across this round-about....

Altogether a pleasant Photowalk, if a little long, so thanks to Andreas for inspiring me to go out into the rain, can't wait for the next time (when my socks have dried out)!


Cheers, Rob.

ps, A note on camera exif data. Being a bridge camera, my S5700 has a crop factor because the sensor is a lot smaller than on a dSLR, so when you're looking at the focal lengths bear in mind that the S5700 has a focal length range of 6-63mm, which is the equivalent of 38-380mm in a 35mm dSLR. Also the aperture and shutter speeds given are approximate, as for some reason sometimes they're different in the PC exif data than what I actually took, but its usually just the next step up or down.

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