Sunday, December 9, 2012

Keeping dry on the AC72

I don't mind getting wet for a good picture, but I hate getting salt water on my expensive camera gear.
Pro series Nikon digital cameras and lenses do have amazing weather resistant seals but I doubt they were designed to sit in what amounts to a horizontal salt water waterfall which is what you can get on board a fast moving yacht.

I have been trying out a camera waterproofing product called Outex.
The Outex system is based around a latex camera condom with glass ports for the lens and viewfinder.
Once enclosed the camera can be pretty much used as normal, under water to a depth of 10 Metres.
You have to remember where your buttons are and you can't review the images on the LCD screen of couse but it does allow you to hold and operate the camera as you are used to.

It is a finicky thing to fit to a large camera like the D3s.  The whole Camera/lens arrangement must be forced through the lens hole in the latex bag.

Not perhaps as easy to fit as a solid waterproof housing but a damn site cheaper, lighter and more tactile, and frankly I don't need the ability to take my camera under water, I just want to not have to worry about it when it gets a dousing.

Here I am onboard the Emirates Team New Zealand AC72. D3s in the blue Outex cover.

  ... and here are some shots from on board.

... plus a few from on board CAMPER in the race from Auckland to Fiji.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Learning to shoot a new boat

While the Emirates Team New Zealand sailors have been learning the ropes for sailing the AC72 class catamaran, I have been learning the techniques and angles for shooting the boat.
Keeping up is a big part of the challenge. With the yacht doing close to 40 knots at times shooting from the chase boat racing alongside takes quite an effort to keep the boat in frame and to hold on.
I'm still trying to find all the good angles but at the moment it is sometimes more prudent to stay out of the way.

Monday, July 30, 2012

3D printed Flash Head holder

I have been traveling with a spring metal framed Easy Soft box EB-60 60x60 and/or Easy Soft box EB-60 40x40 which are great little softboxes for using with Speed Lights but are not that light and are a bit of a pain in the luggage because of their shape and size when packed down.
I found a cheaper umbrella type softbox made by Phottix which is slightly larger at 70 x 70 cm, lighter and packs down to a smaller, long thin package.
Only problem (and there always seems to be a trade off when you go cheap) was that the flash mount placed the head of the Speed Light very close to the top of the inside of the box. Actually touching the box when mounted on a Pocket Wizard FlexTT5.
So I designed and built this flash mount yesterday.
I designed the holder in ViaCad 2D3D and printed it in my Makerbot Thingomatic 3d Printer,
As you can see in the photos it brings the head much closer to the axis of the umbrella. The Nikon SB900 head simply presses into the holder and stays put using friction.
If you want to print your own I have put the stl file on Thingiverse.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Visit to Fairytale land

While in Lisbon for the Volvo Ocean Race my wife and I took Sunday off and visited the world heritage town of Sintra...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Venice re-visited

It has been more than twenty years since I first visited Venice as deck hand on the yacht Joss. We stopped at the end of a month long charter on the then Yugoslav coast. The boat was in Venice for two weeks. I would take every opportunity to go exploring and took many photos. Though in those days I was shooting film and not earning much so I was quite economical with my film. I have regretted that and so have vowed to use any spare time during the America's Cup World Series Regatta to get out and make up for those lost shots.

Here are a few I've made so far.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sightseeing in Naples

A wet and cold week in Naples for the America's Cup World Series regatta.
Flying out late the Monday after the regatta finished left an opportunity to do a little sight seeing...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Experiments in HDR

I had played around with High Dynamic Range photo manipulation a bit quite a while ago.
I was using Photomatix Pro and while the results were interesting I found them a bit gimmicky.

A few weeks ago I came across a reference to Trey Ratcliff's site stuckincustoms which made me aware of the updated version of Photomatix Pro.

This version is much easier to use and is capable of much subtler results than I was able to achieve with the version I had.

So I have been playing around with HDR and really enjoying the results.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Nat Geo fantasies realised

I always loved flicking through National Geographic magazines as a kid. Imagining myself shooting amazing things in exotic locations.

 While this was only for an afternoon it was a very nice reminder of those fantasies.

ETNZ 2011 book available from Blurb