Sunday, September 27, 2009

Head in the Clouds

Cloud Forest 1

The fine spring weather has turned around and headed back wherever it came from this week, and there was hardly anyone at the skate park today so I decided to make the most of it and see what I could do up in the cloud forest near Leith saddle. I'm such a fan of high contrast and rich colours, I thought it was time I learned to do something with the more muted tones you get in misty conditions.

Tree Fern Cloud Forest-7

I had a couple of mishaps, one happy and one unhappy. First I dipped my camera on the ground while setting up my tripod. Nothing serious, but my 18-250 zoom lens got a little mud around the zoom ring, so I decided to swap it for my 50mm and clean it at home later. Having only the 50mm enforced the discipline of composing by camera position rather than zoom, always a good exercise, and I love the sharpness it delivers - even though most of my pictures were softened by the mist and rain.

Cloud Forest-2-2

What wasn't so good is that a leg came clean off my Induro AB2 tripod. I've been careful with it since I really love it, but something's been rattling around in one leg since I got it. It must have been part of the locking mechanism, because when the leg slipped off, the broken plastic of the mechanism was there inside. I expect to get it sorted under warranty, I just hope it doesn't take too long.

Cloud Forest-14

With more time, a repaired tripod and my wet weather boots, I must explore the high track above the dam. I know I'll be back to the dam some time soon, it's stocked with trout! Despite getting a little damp, I kind of like what the cloud does for things. The normal rich greens of NZ bush become quite subtle, and things get this slight bluish-purple cast as the cloud gets thicker. Lots to work with, and of course, the ferns always look good in wet conditions.

As usual, here in Dunedin even a day in cloud and mist is time well spent.

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