Category Archives: Random Musings

Ramblings on just about anything and everything

2016 Annual Review

It’s that time of year again, where we get the feast on the best photographs of 2016 from all of our favourite photographers! I love going through people’s top 10 (or top 16) lists and love it even more when I see an image that I’ve somehow ‘missed’ from their feed during the year. I thought briefly about how I could shake things up, but figured that I would be making a change just for change’s sake. That has been our modus operandi this year ; that is, to consider why we are wanting to change the way we do things. If the change has a genuine basis to iron out a flaw or to encourage growth, than we’ve gone for it. If the change is merely because it’s what other people are doing and adding peer pressure to our creative processes, then we’ve tried to ignore it. If you’re here just to see photographs, then I thought I’d open up by sharing a video of our edited images to the beat of Grouplove’s ‘Itchin on a photograph’. If you want to see images in more detail, scroll below the video and hopefully, enjoy 😉

January:

The undoubted highlight of this month was a one week trip to Tasmania with Luke Tscharke, Francois Fourie and Tim Wrate. We were supposed to walk the Western Arthurs but access was severed by devastating bushfires from which many parts of the country will never recover. Instead, we did a shorter hike to the Labyrinth and visited some local icons closer to Hobart. Locally, storm season gave some great conditions around Adelaide though the storms around here aren’t quite as speccy as in other parts of the country.

Mount Gould from The Labyrinth

Mount Gould from The Labyrinth

Tessellated Pavement as dawn cleared

Tessellated Pavement as dawn cleared

Secret Falls (well, not so secret anymore!)

Secret Falls (well, not so secret anymore!)

Marion Bay (where we went airborne and suffered a flat tire)

Marion Bay (where we went airborne and suffered a flat tire)

Western Arthurs from the air : Unfinished business!

Western Arthurs from the air : Unfinished business!

February:

This was a quiet month photographically as tends to be the case after a photography trip. I tend not to go shooting while going through the backlog of images from a previous trip. This was the trip video

March:

Around Adelaide, it definitely is a Mad March with the festivals in full swing. To suit the March madness, there were crazy skies one after the other! I managed to catch a couple of the lightshows along the coast but mostly, it was a case of being #dbreezied and just basking in that red glow.

One of many intense March evenings at Port Noarlunga

One of many intense March evenings at Port Noarlunga

And another ! (I shot this with Joel Dawson)

And another ! (I shot this with Joel Dawson)

April:

The highlight of April was a long weekend to Kangaroo Island. The weather was pretty wild at times which suited photography quite well. The changeable conditions meant that there was a moment of light around the corner. We based ourselves at Vivonne Bay and photographed the south coast areas. I also had a successful shoot at Lake Bonney during one of those precious weekends where the kids are sleeping over at grandparent’s ! The image of Lake Bonney has since been used by Nisi quite extensively as has a 15 stop image taken at Kingscote during our Kangaroo Island weekend. Autumn colours were quite good this year though a little later than usual.

Lake Bonney at dawn : One of my contributions to Nisi :)

Lake Bonney at dawn : One of my contributions to Nisi 🙂

Autumn Colors at Mount Loft Botanic Gardens

Autumn Colors at Mount Loft Botanic Gardens

The end of an amazing dawn at old Kingscote Pier

The end of an amazing dawn at old Kingscote Pier

Variable weather made for great conditions at the exposed Remarkable Rocks

Variable weather made for great conditions at the exposed Remarkable Rocks

Little Sahara on a blazing dawn

Little Sahara on a blazing dawn

The iconic Admiral's Arch

The iconic Admiral’s Arch

May:

Marianne had her first market where we tried to combine photographic prints of local icons with her pastel and watercolour art. There were literally no photographic sales while many greeting cards and assorted prints were sold. We definitely learned that these markets were not really an appropriate selling point for fine art landscapes and since then, Marianne has done two other markets successfully with just her artworks. I didn’t venture out locally too often save for one trip to Second Valley where I wanted to shoot from a different vantage point.

Looking for fresh vantage points of Second Valley

Looking for fresh vantage points of Second Valley

June:

The highlight of June was a 4 day trip to the Gold Coast, our first foray photographically. In that short trip, there were numerous experiences that we’ll remember. Dreamworld was the highlight for the children though our memories would be marred by a future tragedy which occurred there several months later on one of the rides we went on! It was a great opportunity shoot cityscapes, to visit epic coastlines, and last but not least, the beautiful forest scenes. The highlight for me was a half walk, half jog in Lamington National Park for a half day to visit its waterfalls. We’ll be back again some day no doubt!

Roaring seas at Fingal Head

Roaring seas at Fingal Head

First stop on my Lamington mission : Moran's Falls

First stop on my Lamington mission : Moran’s Falls

Last stop : Box Log Falls

Last stop : Box Log Falls

Cityscapes are lacking in our portfolio - I added a couple finally!

Cityscapes are lacking in our portfolio – I added a couple finally!

A quick visit to Springbrook National Park and the famous Natural Bridge glow worm cave

A quick visit to Springbrook National Park and the famous Natural Bridge glow worm cave

The gold coast from Currumbin - and a farewell!

The gold coast from Currumbin – and a farewell!

July:

Around this time of year, the rain starts to fall and the seasonal waterfalls come to life. One of my favourites is  Mannum Falls . You never know what you get with these falls as the appearances varies wildly from trickles to torrents! This year, with the heavier rains in late winter, the images I shot paled into insignificance in terms of flow when spring rains flooded the area. David Evans , David Post and I also partook in a cleanup day for photography hotspots visualised by Christian Fletcher. Port Willunga thankfully was already very clean before we took out the 1% mess down there.

Mannum Falls on my yearly visit - 2016 was a good one!

Mannum Falls on my yearly visit – 2016 was a good one!

Port Willunga : a very clean beach!

Port Willunga : a very clean beach!

August:

Without a photographic trip planned until late October I had a chance to release several instructional videos. I believe in giving back to the photographic community as all of my learning has been from free on line sources. As such, I created a series of free 2-3 minute tutorials (to capture the attention span of today’s social media viewing audience) that can be found on my youtube channel. To go with that, we also released a short video detailing how we achieve the ‘look’ of our images which tends to be a bright and vibrant feel rather than dark and moody. I did also enjoy a great morning down at Myponga beach . I also entered a few images into the Epson Panorama competition in the hope of breaking into the top 50 .

Myponga beach

Myponga beach

September:

Much of the weather this month was stormy and with steady rain. Adelaide had experienced double its usual rainfall by this stage which isn’t really saying much considering that it’s the driest capital city. Nonetheless, it did keep us indoors and planning for our upcoming talk at APSCON in October. We do like to be super prepared so we modified our workshop that we gave to the FOCUS group in 2015 to fit it into a 1 hour interactive session (delivered by me) and a 1 hour didactic session given by Marianne. Over the years, we’ve learned that the best presentations answer the ‘WIIFM’  (What’s in it for me) within the first few slides. I’ve found myself getting restless with presentations that don’t address the WIIFM at all and just meander along with no clear message.

Storms brought life to a local seaside waterfall trickling into the sea

Storms brought life to a local seaside waterfall trickling into the sea

October:

Pano award results were in! A couple of silvers and a bag of bronze for all entered images was again a what I considered a good effort given the quality of the entries but I did not break the top 50. Oh well, we’ll try again next year. After all the angst of preparation for APSCON, we did end up having a good time presenting to a very engaged audience who gave us great feedback. Our relationship with Nisi was a win-win (again) as two lucky attendees won themselves a V5 holder. Completion of our commitments was a huge pressure valve release for us and we could go to Canada with free minds! All was set to go , except for the expired passports which sat quietly, waiting until the last minute to assassinate our joy on departure day ……… Let’s keep things positive, we were only delayed 48 hours and still managed to have a great holiday with many wonderful experiences. In fact, there’s very little negative to say about the trip at all apart from our departure troubles.

Best scoring image with a Silver in the Epson Panorama awards :taken in 2015

Best scoring image with a Silver in the Epson Panorama awards :taken in 2015

Another silver award in the panorama competition

Another silver award in the panorama competition

November:

This month was clearly dominated by our trip to Canada and briefly to the USA. I’ve already been blogging each segment, so I’ve included some representative images. If you’ve been to New Zealand before, think Mt Cook National Park but all around you, all of the time. If you haven’t been to New Zealand or Canada, do yourself a favour one day and just take a drive through the pristine country . I’ll have to reflect back with time as to which I prefer , but this being the first trip to the Rockies has left me with the bigger impression for now. Here are some images which I took that have become favourites for now:

Muleshoe Lake off the Bow Valley Parkway

Muleshoe Lake off the Bow Valley Parkway

Clearing conditions at Bow Lake

Clearing conditions at Bow Lake

Whiteout snow at Lake Louise

Whiteout snow at Lake Louise

The light returns to our journey at Medicine Lake

The light returns to our journey at Medicine Lake

Glorious light at Pyramid Lake

Glorious light at Pyramid Lake

Post glorious light at Canmore

Post glorious light at Canmore

Kananaskis Country and Mount Kidd

Kananaskis Country and Mount Kidd

A fitting farewell to the Rockies on our last morning of shooting

A fitting farewell to the Rockies on our last morning of shooting

December:

There’s really nothing to add photographically this month . I have just been editing images from the last trip and keeping up with work and family commitments. I’ve tried my best to ignore the naysayers saying how awful 2016 was. Sure, a lot of crap went down this year, but surely a lot of good as well. The best thing about the ‘good’ is that you don’t have to look far to find it. There are good deeds, smiles, and joy around you all of the time and all it takes is for you to stop and notice it over and above the crazy events of the world. To round out the year, Marianne and I would like to say a big thank you to all of you who have been following us on social media this year and in the more distant past.  We hope that in the future, we continue to provide some source of inspiration in particular to photographers who travel with family. And, for the first time, I’d like to say a big thanks to our sponsors, Nisi – without you guys, the Canada trip would not have been possible .  (Wow, that was cool to use that ‘our sponsors’ line lol!). Also a big thanks to the many social media hubs and sites such as F-stoppers who have featured us during the year, Australian Photography Magazine for our ongoing article publications and Pikitia Postcards for being our best clients 🙂  Find the happiness in 2016 and may it stay with you and grow for 2017.

 

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Social Media Update

Social media has been a very useful platform for us in terms of allowing our work to be seen. As hobbyist photographers with full time professions, we have needed to find ways to maximise our exposure with the least time intensive method possible! Having good or even great images is unfortunately only one part of the matrix involved. Over the years, we have gathered quite a following on various platforms and we have learned some valuable lessons regarding social media as a general entity, as well as on specific platforms. Here are some of our tips.

  1. Goals: It’s important to know why exactly you are investing time into social media. Is it to simply share your work? Are you after validation from your photographic peers or the general public? Are you planning on creating a marketing strategy that will gain you income? Are you hoping to ‘take over’ a market by becoming an ‘influencer’ ? Or is it largely just for fun? Exploring your motivations regarding your social media presence will not only help you determine how much energy to expend but will also help you avoid disappointment and resent.  The most common source of disappointment I see stems from an perceived lack of validation based on very few ‘likes’ or ‘faves’ of images. Whatever it is, time needs to be invested in order to meet your goals. This leads on to the next point.

    Investing little time and images into an engine (like viewbug for us) should mean that you expect little in return. Social media presence takes time and work!

    Investing little time and images into an engine (like viewbug for us) should mean that you expect little in return. Social media presence takes time and work!

  2. Personal and public value: I think it is very important to separate how we feel about ourselves as artists and how the world views us through a social media platform. The popularity of an image often does not correlate with personal value. Your profile  popularity is certainly not a reflection of self worth. It is very easy to become bitter with the whole social media ‘circus’ when one starts to equate popularity (or lack of) with self merit.

    One of my favourite images but not particularly liked on social media. This doesn't devalue the image, it just means I won't bank on it to draw the crowds!

    One of my favourite images but not particularly liked on social media. This doesn’t devalue the image, it just means I won’t bank on it to draw the crowds!

  3. Content: There’s no substitute for having appropriate content that is directed at your target audience. Note that I did not use the word ‘good‘ to describe content as this is highly subjective. Seemingly, the largest audience on social media appears to be those looking for images that represent lifestyle and escapism. In the landscape genre, this includes a combination of selfies, foot-selfies, pork pie hat selfies, fronts of canoes , acid washed landscapes prepared with VSCO presets. Did you internally sneer at the preceding list ? If so, try to stay true to your own ideals and post content that you are proud of and reconsider your goals. How much are you willing to adjust content in order to achieve that goal ?

    Of these 'editors choice' images on 500px, Marc Adamus image is the only one I would aspire to. I'm personally not willing to VSCO or pork pie hat my images. Are you?

    Of these ‘editors choice’ images on 500px, Marc Adamus image is the only one I would aspire to. I’m personally not willing to VSCO or pork pie hat my images. Are you?

  4. Visibility: Do everything within your power and moral code to ensure your images have the best chance of being seen (if you have the energy). I try to tag my images with as many appropriate tags as I’m allowed. On instagram I use hashtags for high visibility sites. On flickr and 500px I try to geotag the images on the mapping platform. I don’t tend to start doing a mass commenting spree but try to keep up with those I follow and am genuinely inspired by (though these days, having just the time to post is a struggle).
  5. Stay positive. Social media engines are on the whole, not critique forums. Join a critique forum if you want to deliver or receive meaningful criticism about your work.  I tend to go by the old adage ‘If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say it at all!’.  Most people log on to social media to be inspired, to have fun and to feel warm and fuzzy about their own work and their peers. The competitive negativity created from ‘flame wars’ incited by snarky comments or backhanded compliments always ends with both parties appearing worse off in some way. The petty one-upmanship that is subsequently portrayed then reflects poorly on the artists within that genre and defeats one of the major purposes of social media ; community.

    A typical comment thread on images on instagram. They don't mean anything per se and adding snarky comments about what you don't like stands out like a sore thumb and guess what, it makes YOU look the fool.

    A typical comment thread on images on instagram. They don’t mean anything per se and adding snarky comments about what you don’t like stands out like a sore thumb . It also makes you look the fool!

  6. Research your engine. If possible, try to find out a little about who is looking at your work and where they come from. Just a simple change  in timing of your posts could have a significant impact on the overall exposure. One may call it ‘gaming the system’ but once again , how willing you are to play games with social media reflects on point 1. One particularly striking example of this is flickr’s explore algorithm. Once your images make it on that page, it receives massive exposure but the engine only allows a user to be on explore one every 9-10 days. Hence, that’s when I post the content that I want to be seen along with promotions for new items on our website.

    I can confirm rumours that flickr lets you into its explore algorithm every 9-10 days!!

    I can confirm rumours that flickr lets you into its explore algorithm every 9-10 days!! Not the spikes in views of our page.

  7. Know your strengths: For some reason or another, one social media engine may well be much kinder to your images. This may come from being a recommended user when people log on, or it may be the engine which you have invested the most time in. Most of the time it isn’t through sheer luck. Recently on 500px for instance, we made it onto the recommended user list which ballooned the viewership of all of our images. Because there are potentially 88k people who could see our work before it even becomes popular, it means that our images make it quite quickly on to the popular section which is then viewed by the general public. I know there are those out there whose thought processes include ‘Oh that photographer’s images are crap but they just get high scores because of his/her follower count’. It’s that kind of thinking that can again lead to unnecessary bitterness and a focus on the work other people are producing instead of your own. I’m making hay while the sun shines for our account by posting regularly to take advantage !

    These are our most 'liked' images on 500px. The first three also happen to be personal favourites. the rest are nearly all from this year . That doesn't fool me into thinking I've been an awesome photographer this year. This just means that this year, we've boomed on 500px.  Nothing more, nothing less.

    These are our most ‘liked’ images on 500px. The first three also happen to be personal favourites. the rest are nearly all from this year . That doesn’t fool me into thinking I’ve been an awesome photographer this year. This just means that this year, we’ve boomed on 500px. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

And now irrespective of any debate about social media value, image manipulation, comp stomping, post processing trends and other such flammable topics, this is my favourite recent image taken at Mannum Falls. Hope you enjoyed the read! Now post away with carefree joy and meet those social media goals of yours 🙂

June Jaunting

June has been and gone with a trip to the gold coast to show for it. It was our first visit and we were lucky to be visiting during the off season which meant that accommodation was cheaper and we did not have to battle crowds (in most places). During this trip, I tried to film some ‘field’ explanations of what I was setting out to achieve from a given scene and hoped that this translated into final results! I have processed some of the images with many more to come. This was a brief travel diary of our trip .

Tuesday 14th June:

  • 5am wake up call, last minute packing and preparations. 6am kid rousing attempts. 715am departure for airport.
  • 11am : Arrival to rain and grey skies at Gold Coast airport. General loafing and shopping for groceries until 3pm check in to our house at Surfers Paradise.
  • 5pm: First sunset shoot from Evandale Park. The sky was nice but not spectacular facing west. I experimented with short exposures all the way to using 6, 10 and 15 stop filters to prolong the exposure by which time I ran out of light to play with! Plans to photograph twilight images were spoiled by a dump of rain and haziness. In the rush to pack up, my S3 fell into the Nerang river never to be revived! That kind of sucked since I had already downloaded my ‘viewranger’ (GPS app)  maps and routes for Lamington National Park. The following image was taken with a 10 stop filter. (All ND filter shots on this trip were taken with Nisi filters)

Golden Skyline taken at dusk with Nisi 10 stop filter

Wednesday 15th June:

  • 5am: Departure for Fingal head to arrive well before dawn. No star shots were possible due to rain , heavy rain and more rain. I spent most of the pre dawn time huddling under the vegetation there (with the fisherman you see in the image below) . Then just at dawn, it started to clear. No light at first, but I was happy to scout the location for future visits. And then, just as I thought the morning was done, the light finally did break through ! After a series of short exposures and attempted panoramas, this image was taken with a 6 stop ND filter for a 1 minute exposure (with rapidly moving cloud). The misty appearance of the water might give you an indication of the churn that was going on down there.

1 minute exposure after dawn , taken with Nisi 6 stop ND filter and 3 stop hard edged GND

  • 9am : We headed out to Dreamworld in not so good weather. En route, picked up a new phone from JB Hifi which Marianne set up during the drive. The rest of the day was spent visiting the theme park until the kids were getting tired and just generally ratty. By 3pm, they were asleep in the car on the way home. The following is a trip video from which much of the kids footage was taken from the Dreamworld visit.
  • 5pm: we hit the seaside market at Cavell street. More fun with the kids and a dinner out and about. After dinner, the main task was prepping the phone for route finding purposes at Lamington National Park.

Thursday 16th June:

  • 430am : Departure for Lamington National Park hoping to arrive there in time for a dawn shoot at Moran’s Falls. After the very winding (but epic) drive in the dark , I missed the trailhead for Moran’s Falls and had to guess from viewranger  as to where it was. It turns out I missed the car park in the dark! It was too late for the ‘ole lantern illuminated selfie but the falls were beautiful from above. Walking in the cool water helped refresh my sweaty feet after a half jog to the top of the falls. The following image was blended from 18 shots (6 frames of 3 exposures).

Moran’s Falls panorama

Breakfast back at the trailhead at 730am and it was time to hit the Toolona creek trail! My turn back point was Chalahn Falls in order to allow me enough time to photograph some of the waterfalls and head back by afternoon to family activities. It took a TON of willpower to press on directly to Chalahn Falls instead of stopping at every turn to photograph the amazing scenery. Thanks to the GPS giving me some sense of destination, I arrived at Chalahn Falls to some beautiful muted light at 9am and spent the next hour photographing these iconic falls. I brought my waders to use at each of the waterfalls and did not regret it. The neoprene boots gave far more traction than boots or bare feet so I felt secure the whole time. Though 5 minutes getting in and out of hiking clothes and the waders for each falls was a bit of hassle! This is one of many frames I took of Chalahn Falls.

Reflections of Chalahn Falls

On the way back , I wanted to make a decent fist of Elabana and Box Log Falls knowing that it would be pushing midday ! Indeed, due to stops at Gwongurai Falls and Triplet Falls, I arrived at Elabana Falls in bright sunshine!

Gwongurai Falls ( I think!)

Pushing on to Box Log Falls, a mist rainbow greeted me around the corner. Rainbows are so fleeting that by the time I set up to take some shots and put my waders on, my initial shots were all that captured the rainbow while patchy light made shooting quite difficult here.

Fleeting rainbow at Box Log Falls

Elabana Falls was partially in shade by the time I returned from Box Log Falls and I spent a good hour wandering around various viewpoints there. My turnaround time of 1pm was already upon me and it was time to leave with a sad heart. I would have loved to take the Canungra creek route for more waterfalls but that’s for another day (full day). By the time I had half jogged back to O’reilly’s rainforest retreat, I had eaten my 4 trail bars and a coke and giant sausage roll disappeared in the depths of my growling stomach literally within 1 minute.

  • 5pm: After arriving back to the kids having woken from their afternoon rest (already), we headed to skypoint observation deck for some evening cityscape shooting. Marianne’s self invented lens skirt worked wonders for cutting our reflections as I took several long exposures to achieve trailing clouds and car trails at twilight and blended them using photoshop’s lighten mode . Thereafter, we ate dinner out at one of many asian restaurants there accompanied by pre meal grouchy 2 year old tantrums.

Exposure blend of 2 images taken from Q1 observation deck. Video explanation below

Friday 17th June:

A morning in for us all with a good sleep in to be had by all. Despite the grey morning there was still a little light breaking through. The plan for the day was to visit Springbrook national park to see how much we could cover with the kids in tow. We had a dinner date to be back for that evening with some friends from Adelaide who were coincidentally holidaying in the Gold Coast!

  • 1030am: The walk to Natural bridge was a short one and well managed by Charlotte while Jaime was ferried down in our child carrier. There was initial excitement for the kids, followed by restlessness and a growing dislike for the loudness of the waterfall within the glow worm cave. I had one shot at taking a panorama of this beautiful location before heading back up. Along the way, Charlotte spotted some interesting fungi to photograph too.

Panorama of 30 shots put together : explanation in the video below

  • 12pm: Lunch at the Springbrook road side of the national park was again accompanied by pre meal toddler grouchiness. By this time, the weather started to look quite threatening as we viewed the canyon below and took a walk to the top of Twin Falls. Some day I would like to do the Warrie waterfall circuit below as well, but not accompanied by children (until they are significantly older). While driving back, everyone else had a snooze in the car as we had made plans for a catch up with friends that evening.

  • 5pm: The ‘asian’ in us wanted to maximise the use of our three day pass to Dreamworld and Skypoint , so we headed up again to kill time before dinner. The plan was to shoot south with a similar approach to the previous evening. It was at that stage that two things happened. Firstly, I tripped and managed to fall on my 15 stop ND filter – gone, busted. Secondly I noticed that my filter holder was missing…..knowing that the Natural Bridge was the only location I had used it, I wondered if by some miracle it would still be there . Marianne gave it a 5% chance. After the disappointment, dinner at Sizzler (which is no longer in Adelaide) did pick things up somewhat for the relived novelty value.

This shot of Surfers Paradise looking south toward Broadbeach was taken with a sad face

  • 9pm: Kids were asleep and I drove out to Natural Bridge. 5% became 100% as by some miracle, no one had picked it up from the exact spot I was photographing the panorama above! I noticed that there were already busloads of tourists were already gathering to visit the glow worm caves. Mindful of fatigue and the fact that there were flashlights going off everywhere, I gave myself one hour to photograph some long exposures but would like to return without interference some day. It seems that a visit coinciding with clear skies and a full moon is a great time for viewing the cave as the waterfall is eerily lit while the glow worms glitter away. 12am and sleep came quite easy.

An attempt at photographing glow worms (focus stacked) with the waterfall beautifully lit by the moon above.

Saturday 18th June

530am : A brief sleep and a quick trip out to Currumbin. The rock formations there were amazing and I managed to get some shots of the rock, some water motion and the distant skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise in the background. It seemed a popular spot for a surf ! It was a good shoot to finish off the trip photographically.

Currumbin Rock(s) dominate the scenery

Waiting for the right wave at Currumbin (shot from on top of the smaller rock)

The rest of the day was spent taking the kids swimming followed by my return favour to look after the kids while Marianne took care of some retail therapy solo. I wonder if Marianne’s little trip to Harbour Town was more productive than my photographic two days prior! It was a quiet dinner in to finish our leftovers as the forecast for rain in the next 24 hours predicted up to 100mm of rain.  That night, I spent my time backing up all the images and keywording them in preparation for transfer back on to my working PC at home.

Sunday 19th June:

Transit to home and back to reality.

Brief notes on gear: 

  • Nisi filters were used for practically every one of these shots except for the rainbow shot. 9 months into the first set of filters and they are all going strong with little sign of wear and certainly nothing that would make me consider taking them off for fear of image degradation. To date, I have not had any issues with the filter holder falling off (which was an initial concern).
  • The Kaiser Baas x150 action cam was a quick replacement for our old gopro hero 3 since it had started to malfunction. At half the price of the hero 4, it seemed an attractive option. Unfortunately, the video quality and dynamic range is far less impressive than the go pro. You can see evidence of this in the children’s video above. It tends to randomly change white balance during video clips at times too. The positives are the price, its design which does not make it prone to turning itself on or off (or the wifi being accidentally activated), and its casing means that even in windy scenes or scenes with rushing water, I can still hear myself talking which is important for recording field videos.
  • Sony A7r2 : This camera is growing on me. The metabones jiggling is still annoying but not insurmountable. The processing of day time images is fantastic but I still have issues with the way the RAW files handle crimsons and magentas.
  • Caddis waders worked a real treat. This was the first trip that I really put them to the test and they passed with flying colours. Comfy, waterproof and the neoprene boot design has two advantages. Firstly, the kit weighs less than 2kg. Secondly, the boots themselves have better natural grip to wet rock than bare feet or hard soled footwear.