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I was lucky to get this one sharp at all. It was dark and very rainy as well as getting into twilight. (The clock confirms this of course!). I selected ISO 1600 and only got 1/20th of a second using f10. I adjusted ISO up for my next few shots but luckily this one worked anyway, perhaps as I was leaning against a shop window and hopefully using decent technique in not jarring the shutter as I clicked.

The rule of thumb is don’t use a shutter speed less than 1 divided by the focal length lens you are using. (This is complicated by the fact that many of us use crop sensor cameras such that my 24mm lens here is actually acting as roughly a 40mm lens) I therefore really needed a speed of roughly 1/40th of a second, so I only had half the speed I needed.

I have wondered this before, but if a moan is a good one, it is always worth repeating! My camera body knows the focal length of the lens that is on it, it indeed encapsulates this info in the EXIF data it bakes into the image, it knows I have a half-depressed shutter to lock focus, couldn’t it throw up a camera shake warning in the viewfinder? You’re welcome Mr Canon!

What is interesting about photographing townscapes at this time is a feature called “crossover light”. The lights on the building itself are roughly the same brightness as the sky, this feature of a townscape usually lasts for about half an hour and most photographers adore it; I know I do.

The actual way to take these pictures would have been with a tripod, and a remote shutter to ensure a really solid, no-shake platform, but Princes street at that time on a Saturday would have constituted reckless behaviour. It would have been a trip hazard on such a busy street, with wet miserable pedestrians who might not be paying attention. Anyway, this is academic, I was going to a social event, not carrying a tripod. It is only because my Canon pancake lenses are so itty-bitty that I had a DSLR with me at all.

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While wandering along Princes Street yesterday in heavy rain, I stopped to grab a shot of the Scott Monument. Such sunlight as was peeking out of the clouds caused a degree of backlighting which meant that the detail on the monument had to be pushed using the highlights control in software. The other problem was the incredible amount of street furniture that the trams have brought. I had to wander back and forward like a sentry to find a spot that minimised the impact of the posts, this angle puts a post right in front of the right hand gothic upright and makes it less noticeable. I love the Scott monument and actually think that it suits the dark rainy weather.

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I had such a pleasant afternoon today. I was joining friends for a birthday in Newhaven, near Leith in Edinburgh for a 6pm dinner. This took me through Edinburgh Waverley station around 5pm as the light levels were dropping. I had my Canon 500D with me and its 24mm pancake lens was on. (This combination barely takes any room in my bag). I wandered around Princes Street for a short while trying to find a basic composition that pleased me as the street-furniture and crowds could be hard to work around. A zoom lens would have helped to get a shot more quickly, but my pancake prime required me to use my legs to zoom and I think that that might be no bad thing.

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P1010381

On returning from a professional meeting in Edinburgh today, I was attracted to the view down Clermiston Road with the hills and swathes of Edinburgh below. I parked the car, nabbed my G3 and took 4 quick exposures. In one of these a black cat ran across the road adding a quirky interest.

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IMG_6141-Edit

This Pretty seal-puppy is Abigail, Julie’s newish niece. We visited on Tuesday, and towards the end of the night as dad Stewart, was cuddling and playing with Abigail I grabbed my 500D with 40mm pancake and took a few shots without flash. This one was by far my favourite, shot wide open at f2.8. I got 1/125th sec using ISO 6400, and was astonished as always that even a 5 year old camera can deliver such high ISO performance. What surprised me even more was that the noise-fest that the RAW image was, was totally tamed by Lightroom’s noise reduction module. Much has been written about how good it is, but I don’t think it has been praised enough; I love it!

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