Day 298 – The Great South Run

Today I  took part in the Great South Run. This is a 10 mile road race and I am doing it to raise awareness of my son’s medical condition. It has been a struggle to get here… 2.5 years go I was 5 stone heavier … I lost weight and than was challenged to run my first 10k, I did that and then decided I’d like to do a bigger event and signed up to do the Great South Run.

I was never a runner. Prior to January 2014 I had never run anywhere. But today I did. Two weeks ago my running number arrived… and in case I could not share photos of it today I created a flat lay to mark the occasion. Continue reading

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Day 172 – New Forest Foals

Driving home today I saw some New Forest Foals and popped out of my car to take some photos … I started off on spot metering today, but to balance the colours I quickly switched to evaluative metering on my canon  –  the metering tries to even out the tones of the image to 18% grey … but metering from the dark ponies meant that the shutter speed was too long to hand hold and the rest of the picture was blown out … I wanted to capture the foals stationary … but then with the road so close I decided I wanted to capture movement of the cars .. so I had to juggle the two.

ISO100, F10, 1/80 sec
ISO100, F10, 1/80 sec

I am really pleased with this shot, by limiting the ISO to 100, a medium aperture I was able to freeze the foal enough so you could see him drinking from mum, but show the speed of the car traveling past on the forest roads and the proximity they are to one another. New Forest ponies roam freely across the New Forest and the foals in particular have little road sense,

ISO2000, F29, 1/125 sec
ISO2000, F29, 1/125 sec

There is much more detail in the background here, which is what I wanted as I had dialed in a smaller F stop, but I also switched to auto ISO and the ISO shot up – which meant the shutter speed was a lot shorted than I had planned.  I have included it as it highlights the importance of ensuring that you have control over the ISO, Aperture and shutter speed – if you switch to auto, the camera makes the decision and not always the one you want.

ISO200, F6.3, 1/320 sec
ISO200, F6.3, 1/320 sec

A different foal… just lying on the forest floor. I deliberately choose a shallow depth of field and gave it a letter box crop as I wanted to highlight how easy the young foals can blend into their surroundings … this was alongside the road, it could quickly get up at any point and cause a hazard, yet drivers were not really aware he was there.

ISO100, F6.3, 1/250 sec
ISO100, F6.3, 1/250 sec

The foal back with mum having a drink by the roadside. With the shallow depth of field I was trying to draw the attention to the foal and its mum, rather than the pub sign and the brightly coloured lorry (maybe I should clone them out) but this and the different camera angle freezes the movement of the car and you cant really  tell what a dangerous feeding spot this is.

ISO200, F6.3, 1/320 sec
ISO200, F6.3, 1/320 sec

A small aperture, but with the ISO fixed at 200, it is not quite fast enough to freeze the movement of the foals legs as he darts across the road and back.

ISO3200, F29, 1/160 sec
ISO3200, F29, 1/160 sec

A red car makes the car shot much stronger than the green car … but with the aperture as small as possible to get detail in the foreground with a automatic ISO it quickly jumped to a much higher number, but in todays light and without a tripod, the shutter speed was not short enough for a sharp shot, but was perhaps too short for the cars movement to be fully appreciated.

However considering at the beginning of the year shutter speeds just made me panic… I think I am understanding them a whole lot more.

Day 130 – Another 10k and Going Wide in the Bluebell Wood

This morning I completed another 10k – it sounds like I am a runner but I am not… I started running just over a year OK and today I ran that race again, slower than I did then … hubby steamed a head – he is a new runner too…. but although I would like to get a 10k under an hour (today was about 1 hr 5mins), to me it is more about the journey … I can’t take photos and run, I can’t stop to look at things, I am not competitive … I expect to come last (I did always at school… and if I ran slow enough I only ever ran half the course as they sent me back to change early), but I am running cause I can … I never could till I turned 40 … but now I can.

I am signed up for the Great South – I don’t know how I will do that (it is nearly twice as far) but I am trying….  so my first photo today … my running shoes before my race.

Nifty 50, ISO100, F4, 1/160sec - My running shoes
Nifty 50, ISO100, F4, 1/160sec – My running shoes

Emma’s challenge #Remarkable2015 is to think creatively … so this shot is … it represents the run but is a different shot … below is the standard post run shot.

After the race - on an iphone by my daughter
After the race – on an iphone by my daughter

After the race … I went for a walk with the dogs… 4.5k, a good muscle stretch and back to the bluebell wood, this time with my nifty 50 and my Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens – back button focusing to see that I could capture and to compare them to the other two visits – see here  and here.

I started with the nifty 50 … limited with what I could get in shot, but loving the sharpness of the image and the depth of the field that a shallow aperture gives.

Nifty 50, ISO 200, F7.1, 1/80 sec
Nifty 50, ISO 200, F7.1, 1/80 sec

Same Aperture, same speed, different ISO and a different lens – wide angle and a totally different feel … the trees in the backgound are too soft but so are the bluebells in the foreground in my opinion … it is a slightly different location… but the foreground is much messier.

10-20mm wide abgle, ISO100, F7.1, 1/80sec
10-20mm wide angle, ISO100, F7.1, 1/80sec

Staying wide I looked down a path in the bluebells at the old tree .. there is a great sense of space but the camera seems to limit what I can focus on.

Wide angle 10-20mm, ISO100, F7.1, 1/125 sec
Wide angle 10-20mm, ISO100, F7.1, 1/125 sec

Lens change … I can’t get as much in shot, but I think I prefer the closer angle and the quality of this shot. Lenses really can’t make a difference … more than I thought.

Nifty 50, ISO100. F5.6, 1/160sec
Nifty 50, ISO100. F5.6, 1/160sec

I stayed with the nifty 50 and backed up … the path is not as clear through the bluebells but I feel there is more individual detail in each flower with the prime lens .

Nifty 50, ISO100, F5.6, 1/250sec
Nifty 50, ISO100, F5.6, 1/250sec

I tried getting lower with the wider angle lens, the trees are no longer straight and you get an impressive sense of scale … it is much more a creative look at the woodland than I would normally consider.

10-20mm, ISO100, F9, 1/80sec
10-20mm, ISO100, F9, 1/80sec

I thought about foreground interest to add something to the shot… I had forgotten how close you could get with the wide angle lens, I could touch the root… but it made the bluebells behind seem much further away.

10-20mm, ISO125, F5.6, 1/30 sec
10-20mm, ISO125, F5.6, 1/30 sec

Almost back at the start … I should have focused on the foreground bluebells… but with the wider lens you can see so much more than in the nifty 50 (similar location to my first bluebell shot) – here the sense of space and scale works.

10-20mm wide angle, ISO100, F5.6, 1/100 sec
10-20mm wide angle, ISO100, F5.6, 1/100 sec

Today really was an eye opener into which lens is the right lens for the job, and how using different lens can add a different feel to the end result … recommendation for today experiment with your lens, use one you would not normally use and compare them … you definitely see the world differently!

Day 116 – 10k Run.

Today I did my 2nd 10k of the year – this one in Southampton city centre, with a a unique ascent!

This is me and my running buddies near the start taken on my trusty iphone.
This is me and my running buddies near the start taken on my trusty iphone.

Towering over the River Itchen since 1977 is the Itchen Bridge, (pictured) spanning 870 yards (800 m), is 92 feet (28 m) at its highest point and weighs 62,000 tons – as a a real treat for the event the bridge will be closed and the 10km will take you over and back across the bridge between miles 4-5.

At the top of the bridge almost 100ft up, you get a stunning view of the entire city, (not that I really appreciated it) right up the river, across the commercial centre and then out to see towards the Isle of Wight. On the descent down from the bridge back into towards the city centre, you get a close up of the vast premier league stadium St Mary’s – home of the Saints football club.

This is a view I captured of the bridge the other day on my nifty 50 on the fifth floor of a neighboring building … the view was OK from there …

Southampton View - taken through glass. 50mm lens, ISO 800 F13, 1/640 sec
Southampton View – taken through glass. 50mm lens, ISO 800 F13, 1/640 sec

This run was one of my training runs for the Great South Run which I hope to complete later in the year – I am doing it to raise awareness for Kleine Levin Syndrome (KLS) – and hoping to collect sponsors. I did not do it in my fastest time – although my husband did – he got a fantastic new PB in less than an hour, I was happy with the result… and my lovely medal – I don’t run to get a PB… I run because I can 🙂

My 10k medal taken on my SLR with a lovely shallow depth of field.
My 10k medal taken on my SLR with a lovely shallow depth of field.

Day 4 – my running challenge

Today I was doing my first 10k of the year, I started running in 2014 and ideally in 2015 I would like to

Today was my first running event of 2015 – my personal best for 2015 and I completed it in 1:02:58 -it was not an easy course, I was 15 seconds slower than my last 10k … but I timed it myself… it was on undulating gravel, lots of puddles, a delayed start but all the same I did it … and that is amazing considering prior to 2014 – I could not run at all.

So today’s photos are running related and still with the nifty 50. This is my post run lunch – made by one of my teen’s – “B” – it tasted amazing… the photo is not so good job, but it was a quick grab shot before I ate it 🙂

PhotoChallenge-IMG_8992-1
F8 , 15 sec Iso 1600 – this really is not very sharp, the iso is too high, and the light was to the side and not really bright enough… better prepartion really could have improved this.

10k Medals

Iso 400, F2.5 1/30 sec – taken in much better light, with the focus on the medals – my hubby and I won this morning, with the running numbers deliberately faded behind by using a wide aperture to take advantage of the depth of field…

An important lesson

My last photo for the today was is actually the first photo that was taken today – a selfie – of my husband and I at the start of our first 10k in 2015 … It is an iphone photo of us at the start line … it shows the crowds that were there, and I am delighted we were able to be there too … but it really does highlight that a builder’s phone is a builder’s phone, and although he may have a great case on it – there are times really when you should make sure you clean the lens…

It is impossible to rescue a photo this foggy … when the fog is dust – so lesson for today – make sure your lens is clean 🙂

10k Race - 2015