It seems the wet weather has hitched a ride with us from Madrid to Salamanca. The owners of this cafe on Salamanca's Plaza Mayor probably expected better weather, or the wouldn't have set up all their tables. and chairs. While mostly useless on this wet night, one of the empty tables was briefly used to stabilize my camera. Somehow the pooling water on the shiny steel surface also fascinated me more than the spectacular baroque facades in the background.
We're on the road again. Next stop Salamanca.
The other thing I do while away from home is eat out. There's really no other choice since I unfortunately don't have access to a kitchen. That equates to a lot of time spent sampling local delicacies; even more time on a day like today where it never stops raining. Occasionally, a café or restaurant will offer up a unique design. That'll often be the only light fare in this rather carnivorous culture.
Once again I find myself waiting for a transit vehicle in a different city and country. Getting around away from home requires more time to figure out where you are and where you need to go. It quickly becomes obvious how good the signage and maps are and/or how good you are at interpreting them. If you arrived in this city by air and caught the train into town, you might also have stood on this very platform.
Normally I can't ignore anything yellow, so everything is as it should be here. Normally, I also put space in front of the subject. Here I deviated from my norm, swinging the camera to the left. At the time it was an intuitive reaction but upon further reflection I think it adds a certain tension to the scene. She's at the threshold of the sidewalk's relative safety and we can't see what's speeding up the road from the right.
These were used to brighten up a back alley in downtown Toronto. I don't know why they depict bicycles which aren't anywhere near as ubiquitous as around here.
I can never resist having a little fun with geometry. Since getting the RX1, I'm also much more prone to shoot into the shadows; areas not in the direct sun are more subtle while still retaining a rich gradation and crispness. Gone are the flat, murky shadows I had to deal with before.
I'm sitting behind my big monitor in Amsterdam again, pouring over the hundreds of photos I took while in Ontario. I expect a large percentage will end up in the virtual garbage can while a few will appear on this blog over the next few days. I'll try not to mix those two categories up.
The photos in this post were taken during an late night stroll along Toronto's Dundas Street. They're all minimally tweaked, out-of-camera black & white JPEGs. Of course I also have RAW files, but I actually like the look of the B&W JPEGs that the RX1 produces. Not only do they look good, but the time I save not having to muck about with RAW files can go towards catching up on the sleep that my transatlantic flight deprived me of.
I spent last night and the early morning hours getting caught up with a friend from my university days. It's morning now and I think the first order of business will be finding a good cup of coffee. That should still leave plenty of time for taking a few photos around town before heading out to the airport for my flight back to Amsterdam.
I took these photos on my way from the bus station to my hotel on Dundas Street in downtown Toronto. As you can see, my new surroundings have very little in common with the tranquil pastures of my parents' little farm.
It's time to leave the animals and their antics. I'm happy to say that they've survived the week in my inexperienced hands. Tonight I'll be surrounded by the skyscrapers of downtown Toronto before heading to Pearson airport on Monday.
The temperature around here bounces around like a yoyo as mild southern air fights to establish a foothold among the remnants of the northern winter. In the span of only 30 hours, we've gone from an icy morning to a T-shirt afternoon. These angry clouds mark a rapid course change in the other direction. The battle is not over yet.
Today my friend decided to show me what these big Nikons are really used for. So we packed ourselves and all the gear into the car (not a bicycle like in Amsterdam) and headed north. In other words, further and further away from the big city in order to increase our chances of seeing wildlife. We did get lucky, even if this wildlife preferred nesting on top of electrical infrastructure beside a highway; not exactly the wilds of Canada, that's for sure.
Patience was definitely a virtue as we stood around strangled by several kilos of gear, waiting for the birds to return to the nest. After a couple of failed attempts where either the birds refused to cooperate or where I was using wholly inappropriate camera settings, things started looking up (literally). I was ready. At the slightest whisper of an approaching feather, I rattled off shots like a machine gun, letting the camera choose where to focus. The D600 did that brilliantly, making it possible for this city slicker to capture an osprey as he swooped in for a high-g landing.
My friend also dug up an abandoned 20mm wide angle Nikon lens from her closet. I took it for a spin on her D600 to see how it performs. More on that after I've reviewed the images on my big screen at home.
Well, we don't know for sure that it's the exact same sensor, but they're at least both 24 megapixels and full frame. In any case, it's the lens that makes the difference here. They couldn't be anymore different; one a ponderous and slow telephoto zoom, the other a compact, razor sharp prime. But I knew what I was getting into when I chose the telephoto lens to try a friend's D600 with: this way there was no chance of being able to conduct any relevant image quality comparisons. I just wanted to get a feel for how the big Nikon handles.
After a brief moment where I wondered why the preview in the viewfinder didn't update when I dialed in some exposure compensation, I got along beautifully with the camera. The D600 is extremely responsive and the main exposure controls are exactly where you'd expect them to be. It'd be a crime if they weren't as there's certainly enough real estate on the camera body for Nikon to get it right. In short, the D600 is superb but much too heavy and bulky for what I'm looking for in a camera. In fact, shooting the D600 side by side with my RX1 makes the RX1's diminutive size seem even more amazing.
...on guard against real (me, the dog and the camera) and imagined (behind a fence) dangers. I've included a crop of one of the photos since the Squarespace APP I'm using won't allow me to post images larger than 600 pixels wide.
No, make that every day of the week.