10 Years of Horse Shoe Falls

Having recently uploaded a photo to Flickr from Horse Shoe Falls the other week, I was reminded that I have 2 other photos uploaded of the same photo, but now all 3 photos are with different camera bodies. Like with Cape Deslacs, I thought it would be fun to show the differences 10 years can make.

Horse Shoe Falls

This first photo was taken in May 2009 on a Canon EOS 400D body with my favourite Sigma 10-20mm lens. Nice flows of water over the falls being late autumn but the most striking thing to me about this photo is that it is under-exposed in an attempt to preserve the highlights of the cascading water. Because of this and the small 12.1MP APS-C sensor, much of the detail has been lost in the shadow areas of the photo.

Looking through the previous photos I have around this, it becomes apparent it was a sunny day, resulting in deeper shadows, which exacerbate the issues with the shadows.

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10 Years on at Cape Deslacs

Cape Deslacs 2020 Evening Image
The evening sun setting over Cape Deslacs and Clifton Beach in South East Tasmania February 2020 (50mm, 4s, f11.0)

Cape Deslacs is one of that places that most people point at from a distance (at the other end of Clifton Beach) and some may walk to during the day for some exercise and take a passing interest in it’s ragged shore, but the real magic happens when the sun starts to go dip below the horizon.

I first visited Cape Deslacs in December 2009 when I was just starting to get into photography, armed with an Canon EOS 400D. I last visited it in January 2010. It’s fair to say it has been a while between trips. That was why I was excited to revisit the location with friend and fellow photographer Greg Gibson.

It’s been interesting the compare the photos that I took 10 years ago to what I am taking now.

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The Tale of Two RAW Processing Engines

I am going to preface this post by saying that my experiences and observations should not guide your purchasing decisions. This post is about my experience only and that you should try the software for yourself and make your own decisions.

It’s fair to say that 6-7 years ago, after Apple discontinued Aperture, Adobe Lightroom was pretty much the only gig in town for combined digital asset management and adjustments.

That wasn’t too bad, until Adobe changed to a subscription model for Lightroom. No longer could you just buy the software and have access to your images for as long as the application worked on the computer – if you cancel your subscription to Adobe, you cancel your access to all your RAW adjustments and metadata, unless you can find a tool that will help you extract them or permanently save a copy of the adjusted image.

I also recently discovered that your subscription is an annual contract, paid monthly. If you cancel prior to the end of 12 month contract, Adobe will charge a break-contract fee of 50% of the outstanding monthly payments. Joy.

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Field Notes – Storm Chase 7/2/19

Anvil forming on Storm
Anvil Forming on Storm. Photo taken outside of Richmond
15:17 Feb 07 TAS Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Large Hail, Heavy Rain. Sheffield, Deloraine, Oatlands, Campbell Town, Swansea, Orford

Leaving work at 3.30, travelling home and looking east it was clear some big weather was developing with thunderheads going up and an anvil forming towards Orford. dBZ readings in the area were 40+.
Chase commenced at 4.40pm, Taking B32 North then heading East on C234, B31, C350 before joining Tasman Highway A3 To Orford.

Storm as seen from outside Buckland, Tasmania

Arrived in Orford around 6.15pm only watch storm head east out to sea just north of Triabunna. Travelled north to Triabunna to get a view for future cells, which did not appear promising.

Back to Orford around 6.50pm , bought a wood fired pizza for dinner, while reviewing weather conditions. It appeared that a cell was forming around the Little Swanport area, and looking out the window north, the situation looked promising.

Sunset over Storm, Little Swanport

Recommenced Chase around 7.20pm and arrived in the area of Little Swanport around 8pm. A large cell with a shelf cloud forming showed great promise. It unfortunately dissipated and there was little more to do than to head home, taking photos of the clouds in the setting sun along the way.

Severe Weather Australia

Lightning over Mt Direction
Lightning to the North of Hobart

I am extremely proud to announce that I have joined the staff of Severe Weather Australia (SWA) as their Tasmanian Chief of Staff.

I have been a enthusiastic supporter of SWA National News Director, Daniel Shaw, for a number of years, in awe of his annual USA Storm Chases. When he started SWA in 2016, Tasmania was the only state lacking any registered storm chasers and in 2018 I become the first registered SWA chaser in Tasmania.

Photo on Front Page of Newspaper

Fast forward to January 15 and Tasmania experienced a dry lightning event, with a fast moving storm passing over Hobart. I was lucky enough to capture the above photo from near my home as this storm was moving too fast to chase. Promptly submitting the photo to SWA and Daniel’s fast work, as the photo was successfully licensed to the Mercury as the front page picture the next day.

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Hands on with Sirui T-005SK Tripod

I’ve had a Manfrotto 055-XPROB tripod for a good decade now, and it is a great tripod, however weighing in at 3kg with a ball head is quite significant, particularly when you consider that’s 3kg of a 11kg bushwalking pack – over 25% of the weight. It was time to buy something a bit lighter.

Manfrotto XPRO-055B vs Sirui T-005SK
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Revisiting Strickland Falls

Strickland Falls Aug 2018
Strickland Falls Aug 2018

Today I visited Strickland Falls on the foothills of Mt Wellington. This is the first time I have been actually there with camera gear since 2009, which was 2 cameras ago – my 2009 photos were taken on an EOS 400D, and I have since owned a 60D and more currently a 6D.

Below is a 2009-2018 slider. The first image on the “left” was taken in 2009 with my EOS 400D and the image on the right my EOS 6D.

Strickland Falls Aug 2018

In terms of the location itself, I am rather surprised how little has changed after recent storm events. Today the water was obviously a little lower, and the silt and small rock has built up as a result of the flooding in May, but this will wash down in due course, however most structures appear intact. Downstream is a bit more disastrous which much debris still visible.

A notable feature missing is the valve which sat atop the waterfall made famous by the Cascade Brewery. Whether is was dislodged by debris, removed by council, or “souvineered” by someone I’ll never know.

In terms of photo quality, an EOS 400D was a 12MP camera, whereas the EOS 6D is 20.2MP. I think for me the most notable difference is the depth of colour from the 6D, albeit the white balance is slightly warmer. Those MP count too, and at the larger sizes the 6D has a much sharper image.