Todays shipping forecast for the 19th is now reading: Wind, Southwesterly, cyclonic gale 8 to storm 10, increasing storm force 11 imminent, veering westerly 7 or 8 later. Sea State high or very high. Squalls. Visibility moderate to poor. Everything is tied down & everything that isn't, is flying. The vibrating tent fabric, the bothy cornerstones, running reeks & high desolate ridges should be entertaining over Christmas...
Anyhoos, in a week or three I should be able to scrape enough sheckles together & find a Ricoh GX100 & GRD replacement. I may have to sell the dug, my soul & a carbon paddle to do so, but working with the wee stand-in Ixus has swiftly become like having to eat a dry cracker when you really need a full meal. There are now print demands coming in from as far away as Norway & Spain. Well, although Ricoh recently replaced the GRD & the GX100 with the release of the GRD II & GX200, increasing RAW writing capabilities & adding some mega-pixies, it seems a pointless exercise of purchase & replacement, in light of the GX300 rumoured to be arriving in November 2009. They should have gone for a superior sensor in the 200, but Ricoh are almost constricted by giants, market flooding the consumer compact arena.
One of my favourite examples of low ISO light & contrast play with the Ricoh.
So often, compacts below the high end semi-pro range build lazy photographers, where everything is pre arranged, analysed & evaluated for them. The flip-side is that the more adventurous, are left fighting an automated & infuriating array of presets. I much prefer a box that can be fully manually overridden, putting the camera back in the hands of individual perception, rather than the box continually arguing with you about how it knows best. Just as using a G-style paddle will introduce you to it's intricacies & characteristics, free technique allows each shot to become a honed process of relationship communicated between the individual, the equipment & the panorama/subject ahead. If you shoot like you're using film in an old Rollieflex, you develop technique & an intuitive response to lighting conditions. Underexpose to retain white light, overexpose to retain shadow information. Lay down in the street, climb a lampost. Roll with a traffic cone on yer heid.
Most of all play. Become a subset force majeure.
Couple such explorative results with some minor adjustment & editing in applications such as Lightroom, SP Developer Studio or S.Efex Pro in the Digital Darkroom as I call it, & you can realize some wonderful results.
Seriously, with your technique down, who needs to shoot outside of the ISO 64 -180 range?
Riding the crazy train through Lith Sgeir & Más Sgeir - f3.8, 1/133 sec, ISO 64, +0.3 EV
I had the advantage of a helper on the cliff to set the camera running multiple shots per second on a tripod bolted to the floor with pitons. Before attempting the crazy train I had set the camera ISO, aperture & target frame etc, & all that was left was for my button pusher to set it rolling as I rounded the channel, & stand back. The rest was a case of processing, balancing & knitting the image pan at home once I had thawed out. Normally I would leave the camera on repeat shots myself & play in the pelagic fireworks alone; but there's no short way into Lith Sgeir in such seas.
≈•Cast yourself against this black thing. Thrown raving at the sky•≈