Hmmmmmmm. From about a month after getting my first DSLR, which was apparently six whole years ago, I’ve generally shot in RAW. The general received wisdom is that this is what you should really do if you’re taking your photography at all seriously. Raw format is more or less the data that was captured by your camera’s sensor with little or no actual processing applied. This means that you’ll need to do some work in your choice of software – you could use your camera manufacturer’s own offering, or Adobe’s Lightroom or the Camera RAW plugin that comes with Photoshop, or Apple’s Aperture, or indeed something else. The key point is that you’re going to have to do some work to make that picture you took look like something you’d want other people to see.
Now for a lot of pictures, that work won’t be all that much – just tweak a few sliders and you’ll have a pretty good image. Others may require more effort, of course.
But while I’ve been doing that, the electronics in cameras have been getting better and better. Now as I knew I’d be taking an enormous number of pictures during today’s airshow visit, I decided that shooting in JPG might be a good idea. This would allow longer sequences of images when I felt the need to keep the shutter button pressed, and would avoid filling my memory card. This was the first time I’d let the 5D Mark III loose in this way, and I have to say from the results I’ve looked at so far, it was a good move. It helped that it was a bright sunny day, with minimal cloud, of course. But it seems the camera’s internal processing is extremely good. Here’s an example – all I’ve done to this image is crop it down:
Xtreme Air Sbach 300
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Aperture: ƒ/8 Shutter speed: 1/1250s Focal length: 322mm ISO: 200 Taken: 21 July, 2012
I may have to reconsider my “always shoot in RAW” policy….
The highlight of the Sunderland International Airshow for many people is the display by the RAF’s Red Arrows. After losing two team members in accidents last year, they decided to display with seven aircraft this year rather than the usual nine, but this didn’t detract from the amazing spectacle at all. The huge audience was treated to a superb demonstration of precision formation flying and the ever-popular crossing manoeuvres, which involve two planes flying towards each other at 400mph and appearing to pass so close that the pilots can see each other’s eyes. This all happens so fast that getting a picture of the moment of crossing is a bit of a challenge. This year, I cheated. I set the 5D Mark III to high speed repeat, panned over one of the planes and kept my finger on the shutter. And I got a couple of results that are much better than I’ve ever managed before with the Reds. Here they are:
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Aperture: ƒ/8 Shutter speed: 1/2000s Focal length: 400mm ISO: 400 Taken: 21 July, 2012
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Aperture: ƒ/9 Shutter speed: 1/2000s Focal length: 140mm ISO: 400 Taken: 21 July, 2012
I decided to reverse my weekend plans when I saw the weather this morning. Rather than do the usual not all that interesting shopping and washing thing today, I’ll be doing it tomorrow, because I just had to take advantage of the clear sky and general dry and warm conditions to go to the Sunderland International Airshow. Having missed it last year, I was determined to go this time. And so I did, quite early, even. I found a place by about 11am, set up my folding chair and then got my Kindle out as the flying didn’t start until 1:30.
Anyway, conditions were pretty damn perfect, everything that was due to fly did so, and full performances were given by all. Sorting out the pictures will take a while, as there are rather a lot of them, but here’s a sample of a waving wingwalker. If you look closely, you may see her face being pulled out of shape by the wind drag.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Aperture: ƒ/10 Shutter speed: 1/640s Focal length: 281mm ISO: 200 Taken: 21 July, 2012
 I hadn’t checked for exact details, and had guess 12 noon…
I’ve disabled the Facebook plugin for a couple of reasons.
It was making things slow. Painfully slow.
While it seemed to be posting things to my Timeline, they were being set in a way that wouldn’t make them all that visible. This might be something to do with Facebook’s somewhat baroque API which I can’t be bothered fighting with
So this is a test thingy to see if Plan K works