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Storm coming at K





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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at Kuaotunu on the Coromandel Peninsula NZ. in April, the Fall (or autumn). it was a cold and miserable day with worse weather on the horizon
2. The day was closing in and by the look of the storm coming over the hills to the west, I was not going to get a sunset shot, which was what I was originally looking for. It was going to be dark well before official sunset
The only lighting I was relying on was the sun and it had disappeared. I put my 50mm prime lens on, so I could open to f1.4. I had no flash. In reality I had run out of light for a shot and I needed speed for anything I was going to capture.
I used a Canon EOS-1D MkIII with a Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 DG HSM prime lens, I thought it was getting too dark for anything but an open aperture and that is all I had to open up beyond f5.6. I did not have a tripod with me. At the time I took the shot the lens was set at f4.5 for as much depth as I dare. Speed 1/1250. ISO. 200. I feared if I went higher ISO it would be too grainy.
I was walking along the beach, the storm was coming, the clouds had blocked any chance of a sunset shot, or what I was hoping for, the sun to peak through the clouds for a few seconds. I did not have a tripod, it was getting dark, the clouds, the hills and the sea had that deep blue look that spelt lightning and rain, so I thought about packing up for the day. I stood by the creek, looking across at the deep blue vista, then suddenly, out of the blue came the red.
I shoot in RAW and have Adobe Photoshop. I do not know how to use photoshop very well at all, so rely on adjustment in RAW. I tweaked the contrast and clarity a little and the black and shadow a little. As expected, the shot was underexposed, so I gave it more exposure. I usually need to do a little cropping, but with this picture, I do not think I cropped it at all.
In my camera bag
My camera is a Canon EOS 1D-mark III, I like it for moving target fast shots. My lenses are a Sigma 50mm DGHSM f1.4 prime lens and a Canon zoom lens EF 75-300mm. I have a Polaroid, and ND grad filters for both lenses. A wire remote control and instruction book. I also have a little LED torch, a fold away umbrella and cleaning rags. I leave the battery charger at home most times and only carry a tripod when I am specifically going to use it. I feel for the type of shooting I do, I am weak on good lenses. I also have a 5 in 1 reflector and some home-made light boxes for shooting at home.
I do not know how many times I have packed up my gear too early after waiting for sunsets, or sunrises, only to miss a last burst from nowhere. At these times, dramatic changes can happen, and they come and go very quickly. While it is a rare occasion, waiting and being prepared for something out of the ordinary can be rewarding. In my view, the speed of capture is critical.

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