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New Years Day Sun Halo

New years day full Sun Halo

On New Years Day or otherwise know as  1st of January 2014 while having a group family BBQ  to celebrate the start of a new year at Davistown, New South Wales Australia, we witnessed a rare occurrence of a Sun Halo.

What is a sun halo. Well thanks to wikipedia “it is an optical phenomenon produced by ice crystals creating colored or white arcs and spots in the sky. Many are near the sun or moon but others are elsewhere and even in the opposite part of the sky. They can also form around artificial lights in very cold weather when ice crystals called diamond dust are floating in the nearby air. They are produced by the ice crystals in cirrostratus clouds high (5–10 km, or 3–6 miles) in the upper troposphere. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals is responsible for the type of halo observed. Light is reflected and refracted by the ice crystals and may split up into colors because of dispersion. The crystals behave like prisms and mirrors, refracting and reflecting sunlight between their faces, sending shafts of light in particular directions.”

This was the first time I had seen one so, like all things you take a photo. Now trying to take a photo directly into the sun is no easy feat. For one  it’s hard enough looking into the sun on a hot summers day at lunchtime around 1pm, let alone being able to seen anything in camera’s  LCD screen. Anyway after  a few tweaks of the exposure the  below was my best photo to show the sun halo.

 

Sun Halo or nimbus

Sun halo, new years day Australia 2014

Have you seen a sun halo and if so when and where have you seen one?

Photographing Kids

Photographing Kids

We all know you shouldn’t work with kids and animals, and sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between the two.
But when you get kids on a good day and things are working, then they can really work.

My two girls when I took these photos below were just under 1 and 3 years old. Both as you’d expect, have an attention span of a gold fish at a John Denver concert.

Anyway to add to the mix I was learning and using for the first time a new off camera flash and a wireless triggers that i’d just bought from camerahouse.co.
With the kids starting to grow up quickly and for us wanting to keep some nice memories I arranged for my wife and kids to pose for a few photos. This way we could get a few nice photo’s for my wife’s 40th birthday printed.

The biggest difference I’ve found with photographing kids is to get out from behind the camera. Using a wireless remote gave me the ability to get out from behind the camera and interact with the kids.

That’s great but how to do see what photo you are taking and if it’s framed, well I ensured that my wife was seated and framed and pre-focused (manual focus) in the camera and I then got the kids to move and play around her, you then start to get pre-framed and pre-focused photos with the kids. Once the kids were in a great position it is time to start clicking and getting those shots that you can’t if you’re behind the camera. Remember if the kids can’t see you when they are that age they don’t know where to look.
These photo’s below were taken in about a 15 minute time frame at around 11am. So shoot fast and keep changing it up.

Couple of key points

Get the camera on a tripod,
Dial in an iso as low as possible. 100 iso if possible to ensure crisp images.
Shutter speed to be as fast as the flash sync will allow 1/250 sec
Ensure you have a good depth of field to ensure maximum detail is in focus, remember the kids will be moving around, so f8 – f11 and prefocus.
Use around a 100mm lens to avoid unsightly lens compression.
Change the angle around from where the flash light is coming from. experiment to see what looks good
Use a remote trigger, a wireless is best to get out from behind the camera.
Number 1,have fun with your subjects, it really brings out their natural smiles.

Sydney Tough Mudders

Well done to the mud mongrels (Ben, Nick, Marcus and myself) on finishing the 2012 Sydney Tough Mudders.
It was 20km’s of mud, river crossings, obstacles, high voltage challenges, but in the end, not enough to stop us.

Well done to all the guys.

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