December Afternoon

After several days of shabby, overcast weather or rain, yesterday afternoon finally afforded a brief respite in the form of a cold, crisp day, with mostly clear blue skies and completely still air. When I checked the beach, I found to my surprise a reasonable swell with some nice breakers coming in. The handy thing about this is that you can get quite close to the surf without having to worry about the spray being blown into your face. Even so, I decided that I’d take all my shots with the 14-42mm kit lens that came with the camera… just in case the salt in the air was worse than it seemed. Well, on the down side the results were nowhere near as crisp as I would have expected from say the 20mm f1.7, but these three seemed mostly OK…

Panasonic DMC-GX1 with 14-42mm (kit) Lens



Weyhill (V)

This year marks my 25th season of making visits to the Weyhill Hawk Conservancy Centre, and it just keeps getting better and better. Except maybe for Gary’s jokes… Some nice variety in the flying displays today, but I was particularly pleased with the finale to the “Valley of the Eagles”. Not only was Danebury making a return from retirement to keep Cheyenne company, but we were rewarded with some stunning flying and suitably impressive landings…

Hurst Castle and Keyhaven

My original plan had been to venture out to this Henry VIII-era Gun Fort on the weekend of the Cowes-Torquay Power Boat Race, with the intention of setting up on one of the higher bastions and trying to capture the high-performance off-shore racers as they came thundering past… In the event the race was re-scheduled to avoid a conflict with the Olympics, and I missed my chance. Next year, maybe. So instead I decided to subject the pace to a slightly more leisurely wander today. Haven’t been here since I was dinghy sailing in my teenage years, and it’s nice to see that in most respects it’s in better condition now.

I took two cameras with me today (Panasonic DMC-GX1 and Canon EOS7D) and a clutch of lenses (all L-Series for the Canon, bit of a mixed bag for the Panasonic) and spent about an hour very quickly sifting through a total of 800 or so image files to get to this initial set (though I must point out that the GX1 gave me *6* files for every picture, since I was experimenting with exposure bracketing as well as capturing both raw and jpeg).

What’s fascinating is that all the shots you see here were taken with the Panasonic, which in every respect out-shone a decent Canon coupled with some very expensive glass. For sure, in these images I’m using the Panasonic-Lumix 7-14mm ultra-wide lens, which at £800 is not far short of Canon L-Series lens pricing… but the simple truth is that the entire Panasonic setup cost less than the Canon body… It’s probably worth acknowledging that other important factor, namely the idiot pressing the shutter release… but the acid test, at the end of the day, is which images you keep and which you throw away. Canon, if you’re getting this, it’s time to raise your game….

Barking Mad

Although most of today’s shots came courtesy of the wide angle lens, our stroll was also occasionally subject to ariel attack from a small group of impressively insane parawing operators… who proceeded to spend the afternoon riding the thermals. Judging by the swoopy moves and relative daredevilry, it’s a pretty safe bet that they were having a lot of fun…

But given that they go up with only one parachute – and it’s deployed by the time they start – what’s a “margin of error” ???

Panasonic DMC-GX1 with Olympus ED Digital M.Zuiko 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 Lens

Clifftop Stroll

So, a glorious, sunny Sunday in August… not a bad time for a stroll along the coast, to see what’s going on. And, of course, further excuses to play with the new Panasonic lens…

Panasonic DMC-GX1 with Panasonic-Lumix 7-14mm f4.0 UWA Lens

Oh, and difficult though this might be to believe, these 6 images are not tweaked for colour or contrast. There is something about this 7-14mm lens which does remarkable things with clear blue skies… Perhaps it’s part of the lens coating? Whatever, I like it!