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Hobby photographer

Belfast Titanic Museum

Just got back from a great weekend in Belfast. Had to visit the Titanic Museum and it was well worth it. The building structure is spectacular and great as a photographer’s subject. Here are a few of the pictures I took. I had to shoot without tripod as Easyjet are pretty stingy with luggage allowance so I only took my camera body and the 24-105mm lens.

London 2012 Women’s Road Race

With a weather system that flip-flopped between sunny/warm and rainy/cold I waited on a convenient bend in Kingston upon Thames to see the women’s road race whoosh by. As luck would have it the heavens opened and lightning flashed and I just had to expose my camera to the elements as the whole event is all over before you know it. Again I used my 70-200mm and was lucky enough to get shots of the lead group of Marianne Vos, Lizzi Armitstead and  Olga Zabelinskaya. As it happened they were in the same order as the final medals. Well done ladies……

London 2012 men’s road race

Richmond Park was packed to watch the 2012 London Olympics men’s road race. 250km in around 5 hours and 40 minutes. Starting at The Mall by Buckingham Palace, the race travels via Hampton Court, Kingston and Richmond Park. After hanging around for 2 hours in the sun the group of riders were past in seconds which means fast reactions with the camera. I chose the 70-200mm so was limited to close shots as room was tight with the road barriers close to the riders. very enjoyable. Unfortunately, team GB failed to gain any medals but they did a fantastic job. Well done.

Jazz

Had a nice evening listening to various Jazz styles (amateur and professional). Shot some photos using the 70-200mm. Due to the stage setting had to use 3200 and 6400 ISO at f2.8. Still came out OK.

The performers are Yvonne Smeets and Jens Larsen. Their music can be seen at www.yvonnesmeets.nl

 

Lunteren

Here are a few pictures taken this weekend during a brief stay in Lunteren, near Ede in The Netherlands. I used exclusively my Samyang 85mm f1.4 on my Canon 5d (full frame). This lens is really old-school. It is totally manual with no communication between lens and body at all. Hence, the focusing is done with a large, smooth focus ring. Trouble is, you have to get it right looking through the viewfinder and be quick about it if the subject is moving. Furthermore, at f1.4 (you have to try it to experience it….) you must be very accurate with the plane of focus or the picture will not be sharp where you want it to be. All in all an amazing lens for a very reasonable price.

Lucca

Here are a few shots of the quite wonderful city of Lucca. Didn’t know quite what to expect and the weather wasn’t too kind but the city is quite a discovery and well worth the detour. Based around an ancient Roman amphitheater, the town gives some amazing opportunities for panorama photos. Here’s my attempt at one. Plus a few more shots for good measure.

Zandvoort

Today the weather was good, the sun was shining and the races were on at Zandvoort race track. Being naive, I just assumed I could turn up and take pictures. Well sort of. I was told by a nice young man that you have to be an accredited professional photographer to be allowed to “wander” amongst the “pros” (a couple I noticed were barely 16 years old.. must be quick learners). Fortunately there are a few good spots that are not only for accredited photographers but I imagine on a busy day they would be all taken. Anyway, below are some shots I managed in the sunshine. For those needing detail I used a Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS (mkI) with my 5d mkII. Towards the end of the day I added my 2x converter but to be honest from the vantage points available, I was too close.