Filtering by Tag: winter
With the onset of milder temperatures, this creature's habitat is disappearing rapidly. By next week, sightings such as this one should belong to the past.
This photo was taken with my 200mm FF equivalent Konica Hexanon AR 135mm F3.2 lens stopped down to F5.6. I prefocused on the track, then captured the skater using a 10 frame per second burst as he raced across the frame. I didn't need to repeat that many times before I had shot a hundred frames in only a few seconds.
In the fifteen years that I've lived in the Netherlands, I've never been able to walk out onto the Nieuwe Diep (a lake) in Amsterdam's Indische Buurt. It's just never been cold enough for long enough. But conditions are different this winter and the immense area of the city normally occupied by water is now covered in ice. It's enough to make my everyday surroundings look so different that I'm inspired to grab my camera.
The soft morning light shining through the hoar frost was so magnificent that I didn't notice how cold my hands and feet had become.
A little snow certainly isn't enough to make Amsterdamers leave their bicycle at home. I was out braving the elements on my trusty steed as well. My bicycle is more than just a means of transportation; it's also part of my photography gear because it provides unfettered access to potential subjects. When I see something that I want to photograph, it's a simple matter of throwing my bicycle against the nearest railing and I'm ready to shoot. You don't have to circle around the block in search of a parking spot nor do you have to feed your hard earned cash into parking meters or scrape the windshield free of ice when you're ready to leave again. That would be enough to make me think twice about stopping to take a few photos. You can't get very far on a bicycle of course and you will have to take measures to warm up again when you get home, but bicycles are great around town. That's probably why I wasn't the only one out cycling in the snow.
Today the wind was so cold that I was had to keep both gloves on while taking photos. I tried it briefly without my right glove, but that forced me to interrupt my shooting as I waited for feeling to return to my fingers. Shooting the NEX-7 with both gloves on worked quite well although pressing the AF/MF button with its raised edge around it was a bit hit and miss. One thing that was difficult to miss with gloves on is the movie button. I would love to be able to assign manual focus assist to that easy to reach button.
I seem to have caught the perfect moment in the photo below with he wave just breaking behind the ice entombed reeds. It's all a question of timing. Unfortunately, a fraction of a second later it wasn't so perfect anymore as the icy spray hit me and the camera. You'd be surprised how fast water droplets freeze on a metal lens barrel. But that wasn't a problem; a camera should be able to take a relatively minor assault like this every once in a while and it did.
There's nothing like an icy wind to help you find how good the ergonomics of a new camera are. While warm fingers may have a reasonable chance of finding and activating an ill placed control, frozen fingers will make any weaknesses in the user interface painfully evident. The optimal camera would allow you to keep both gloves on, but that's asking too much from a camera as small as the NEX-7. But at least the NEX-7 is half way there: all the controls are are accessible with the right hand allowing you to keep the left glove on. The result is one cold and one warm hand. Viva la difference!
So how easy is it to operate the camera with cold hands? Keeping in mind that we're not talking about bone chilling cold, I'd say the NEX-7 is easier to operate than the GH2 was. That's probably due to there being a little more real estate around the buttons and wheels on the NEX-7. When my fingers are cold, they're even clumsier than usual.