Hi All and welcome to my 5th blog post.
On Saturday 20th May I made my way into Windsor with some friends to join the frenzy and photograph the Armed Forces Royal March in honour of the Queen's Jubilee Celebrations. The Army, Navy and the Royal Air Force (RAF) were out in numbers, marching in front of Windsor Castle. There were 2500 troops in total from all of the divisions with each of them having their own marching bands.
I wasn't looking to make this particular day a particularly 'epic' day in terms of the photo's I took. My aim for the day was to instead try using different combinations of settings on my 7D to see how the images would turn out. I wanted to see how the images looked at high ISO's and lower apertures and see how low I could get the shutter speed before images started to blur.
I'm going to be hugely critical of myself today and put up some images that are actually quite poor (I will admit). I think I left all the basics at home this day and wasn't on the ball. I was using my 7d and 50mm f1.8 MkII for all of these shots.
Click to Enlarge: Marching Royal Guard
What I effectively ended up with from my experiment was a bunch of photo's that were not up to what I consider to be my standard. They were over-exposed, under-exposed, full of shadows, some were noisy and in amongst trying to get my settings right I somehow seemed to lose the ability to compose my pictures too. I had taken something like 350 shots on the day and found myself hitting the delete button on around 300 of them in LightRoom. This was such a disappointing today in terms of end product. Especially when this sort of event won't be coming around again, probably not in my lifetime at least.
I've gone through and selected a few from the day but, they really are the best of a bad bunch
You can see in the below image that the helmet, though brilliant white anyway, is very over exposed in comparison to the rest of the image. So much so that if you look at the second oboe player in the background his helmet seems to be more prominent than he is with more defined edges. Although, I would say that I'm fairly pleased with the composition and crop on this shot. I tried to bring the exposure down a little in LightRoom 4 but kept making the image look worse. Perhaps I need to go on a course, I'm sure there is something that could be rescued from the above image.
Click to Enlarge: Over exposed and noisy
Another shot here that looks okay on the back of the camera, but, as always looked quite different on the computer. You can see if you enlarge the image that the hands and arms on some of the soldiers are blurry - Should have used a quicker shutter speed here. Given the good light on the day I'm surprised I managed to get this one so wrong. Another annoyance about this shot is that I was using my quick f1.8 50mm prime lens. A typical example of spending too focus playing with settings and not enough just taking photo's. I also had to quite heavily crop this shot too.
Click to Enlarge: Shutter speed too low!
I can't help but want to turn my head when looking at this shot (below). This photo illustrates my point about me not really focusing on actually composing a good image. I did use Lightroom to rotate this image slightly, but I left such a small amount of space above the prominent drummers head that I would be cutting it off if I rotated any more. I think I managed to 'salvage' something from this a little. Although, the composition and crop isn't entirely pleasing.
Click to Enlarge: One of the better shots (or 'less worse' perhaps?)
Another shot shown below - this one isn't hugely sharp which is something that frustrates me massively. I tend not to even bother with images that are even slightly blurry and just delete them, but I was scraping the barrel so much for shots from this event.
Click to enlarge: Better Composition, but blurry and full of shadows!
One of Martin Bailey's recent podcast's was about getting your portfolio together and in it he touches on getting your library organised - following that I had a huge clear out of poor images and tend to be far more strict with what I get home with. These images go against my new rules in every way!
I've got more images, but I think I've had enough of showing of poor work now!
Suffice to say I think I've tested the range of the &D out sufficiently and will be back to taking more normal and better pictures soon.
I have a trip to the zoo this weekend and a trip to see some Grey Seals the following weekend. In between the weather forecast is predicting great weather here in the South East of England so I hope to be out and about photographing various things!