Go Pro fun

Bird sitting on Go Pro
I’ve been experimenting with my new Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition camera. I bought it with the intention of shooting some ski action in Val d’Isère next week, but thought I should practice using the camera first, rather than trying it out for the first time up a mountain.

My chosen subject matter was birds in the garden and I got some great shots. I’m really quite impressed with the image quality this tiny camera can produce. As you can see from the photo above, the birds weren’t at all put off by the camera and regarded it as a convenient new perch. A great feature of the Go Pro is the waterproof housing, which meant that I didn’t need to wait for dry weather to try it out. Without that, I think I would still be waiting, given the lovely British weather recently.

Anyway, here’s a short clip from the session, cropped from a larger high resolution movie file.

Flash fun

Blue Tit Landing

Blue Tit Landing

I’ve been reading Syl Arena’s recently released book “Speedliter’s Handbook”. This wonderful tome covers everything you could ever want to know about flash photography in general, and about the Canon system in particular.

Full of information about both gear and technique, it is also a great source of inspiration for what can be done with flash. If you don’t know what you are doing and use the flash in the traditional “on camera” position, flash can make photographs which are lifeless and flat. With the improvement in low light performance of cameras today, flash had seemed to me to be something best avoided. I now know better.

I had a great time experimenting with using a remotely triggered flash to photograph birds in the garden. The ambient light was awful, a typical grey February day in England. Not conditions that I would normally think about shooting in. But with a flash, a radio trigger and a little patience, I got some great shots of blue tits and other birds feeding in the garden. This was my favourite shot, which could never have been achieved without flash. A highly recommended book.