My first thurderstorm shooting

About 2 hours and more than 500 shots later I finally did it: I shot lighting! One needs patience, lots of nerves and luck. I didn’t readup on how to do it before, but in the end I pretty much figured it out. The full battery ran out, that much I was using the camera.

Exposure time is not so important, especially when you are exposed to the light polution of the city. I kept it low, from 6 to 10 seconds. I tried with 30 seconds (maximum) but it was just to bright.

Thunderstorm over Kraków

What I found, is that getting the Aperture correct is the way to get it right. Increase it when the storm is further way, decrease when it’s closing in. In the end, when the storm reached our block of flats, I did set it around f/5.6 and f/6.3. This was good. I was continously shooting every 6 seconds keeping the trigger down (didn’t have my cable handy).

Thunderstorm over Kraków

Except for the camera technique, there were a few more challenges, e.g. the actual danger when the storm got closer: keeping windows open is no good. Also the incoming rain was making everything wet. Great fun however, even though only 20 shots did contain actual lighting.

Thunderstorm over Kraków

My gear at the time of shooting: Canon 450D equipped with the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. I thought putting my 30D to work too, but I lacked a second tripod.

Kraków and Poland preparing for next big flooding

Today I walked along the Wisła (Vistula river) in Kraków. The past week it didn’t stop raining and it starts to show.

Wisła and Wawel castle

It is the first time that I personally see such event. The river seems to be taking over the city. The Wavel castle is still safe standing up the hill. The Dragon on the other hand is suffering from lack of attention as all eyes and cameras are now on the Vistula river.

Dragon is forgotten: Wisła gets all attention

Meanwhile, the construction of the new pedestrian bridge is on hold. At this moment they are trying to build and maintain a wall so the water is not streaming directly on the site. Seems like the bridge gets baptized prematurely.

Protecting the new pedestrian bridge

More pictures on Flickr.

Aperture: add tags to multiple shot but beware of Primary Only

To apply a keyword to all your selected images using Apple Aperture 3, make sure to turn off the Primary Only mode using either the Edit-Menu, or the button in the right bottom corner that says [1]. It should be unselected like in the screenshot here below.

You can then use whatever method to add keywords, e.g. using the Control Bar (press D) and its Keywords Controls (press shift D).

This has been bugging me for a week. Maybe I pushed the Primary Only button by mistake. Yes, you can do it using a batch change. But luckily, you don’t have to do the simplest thing the hardest way. Just, careful where you push!

iPhoto ’09 is disappointing..

The two, new features in iPhoto ’09 I was interested in turned out to be uninteresting, for now..

  • Places: Only works if the camera has GPS tracking. My Canon 450D and 30D don’t have that. You can put a photo on the map, but you can’t move the pin to the exact location.
  • Flickr Uploader: Really, really lame! FlickrExport for iPhoto is much more superior!

I’m wondering with the Faces feature: if I’m splitting up my iPhoto library into years, can I share the Faces information between libraries? Faces is also not really worth it BTW. Nice toy though.

I’m unimpressed with iPhoto ’09 .. They should have put more work in it. Wasted 79 EUR. I should have waited for the ’10 version or so.

And you still can’t make a smart album with a filter saying ‘Event IS <name here>’! Grrr.. ‘Contains’ is not good enough!

Almost a month daily pictures!

We’re reaching the end of January 2009, and I’ve been busy making at least 1 picture a day. Sometimes very silly pictures like the dolphin statue. There are however a few good ones.

During the past weeks, the main problem I faced was the lack of (natural) light. I tried to take pictures at night, with only the moon and streetlights helping me. I learned quite a bit.

Here is an example of the river Main in Aschaffenburg (Germany). It got a thick layer of ice. The building, Pompejanum, is a replica build around 1850 of a house in Pompeii.

Frozen Main

More pictures to come! Eventually I will make some kind of wall poster for every month with pictures making a mosaic.

All pictures can be viewed on Flickr