Photowalk #2 – Learning Some Harsh Lessons

Preparation is key! I really blew it on that front.

Today was forecast to be the coldest thus far of our very mild winter. Sure, I have been colder than this before, but when your breath and snot turn to icicles on your mustache – it’s too damn cold out there!

 

  1. I anticipated the cold but utterly underestimated it. That alone cut my enthusiasm to near zero.
  2. Camera controls and gloves do not mix. I really need a cable release too.
  3. Timing is key. I wanted to try some sunrise photos but there was no way I was going to endure that cold to wait for Earth to spin a bit further…
  4. Never assume your batteries have enough juice. I will invest in more to keep with the camera bag.
  5. Remember / research location. I wanted night shots of the city but completely forgot about the trees blocking the view from my vantage point.

I stood near the top of the Claremont Access. I took several photos of the access and the few vehicles on it with the goal of producing some light-painting. Weirdly enough, none of these photos even exist on my memory card. I am not sure what happened.

Top Of James Street StaircaseWhen I decided to head home rather than wait for the sunrise, I walked around to the James Street staircase. Back when I attended Mohawk College, I used to climb these stairs almost daily. I even got to where I could climb them two at a time without stopping to catch my breath.

I had set my Pentax K-x to shoot in RAW mode and I am glad that I did. The 11 photos of the staircase had an intense jaundiced colour tone from the quartz-halogen lamps. Fortunately, Adobe Camera Raw could white balanced this nicely; I doubt that would have been as easy if the camera was taking JPEG images.

I kept the image tweaking in Camera Raw and Photoshop to a minimum. The biggest changes were the white balance and resizing the photo to 2048 pixels wide. I tried a few sharpening filters but could not improve much.

Ultimately, only three photos could be salvaged. Clearly I have much more to learn about low-light photography.

Perhaps I will take more photos later today.