5kg Weight Limit…Are You Serious

You might have noticed that it’s been very quiet on Say It With A Camera, these past few weeks. There again you might not. I’m taking an early vacation, so I’ve been busily preparing everything for a journey to hotter climes. Of course I didn’t arrange this little trip, I left that to my travel planner, “her indoors”. Now as usual for a trip like this I was I was busy concentrating on my camera gear, deciding what to take or leave behind. Then my travel planner hit me with a bombshell, “You know you can only take a maximum of 5kg of carry-on baggage”, she says. My comment is censored.

A good few years back I lightened the load by switching to a mirrorless camera. But even in doing so, 5kg would be difficult to achieve when you include said camera, at least two lenses, battery pack, spare batteries, battery charger, memory cards, cleaning cloths, remote control, and a tripod. Oh! And don’t forget the back-pack to carry it all.

Still never one to look a “gift horse” in the mouth I took the opportunity to buy a small point and shoot, that weighs about 322 gm and has a zoom lens that far outreaches my longest mirrorless lens. However it’s not all win win. The downside is the censor is small, very, very small so I’m not going to get the same great picture quality that I would get from my Olympus E-M1 Mk2.

Battery charged, memory card in it’s off to the beach I go. Who needs to read the manual, a camera is a camera, is a camera.

Panasonic TZ90

But it’s not too bad, all things considered. So here’s a few photographs that I’ve taken at three of my favourite spots for testing cameras, Talacre Beach, the Cathedral at St Asaph and Rhyl Beach

Panasonic TZ90

Now bear in mind I’m going to be using this camera for “holiday snaps” but even so it has a pretty impressive set of features. It’s not just an automatic camera, there’s a 20 Mp Sensor, 30x Optical Zoom, Raw and JPEG capability,  5 axis stabilisation, PASM Modes, 4K Video to name a few. But with such a small sensor noise could be a factor, however as I’ve said before I’m not going to be printing anything, although I’ve read a user review that said they could print at A2 size without any problems.
No! This camera will be used for Facebook and Instagram, which by the way it appears that if I connect my camera to my phone I can post directly to both social media sites.

Panasonic TZ90

In the photograph below I’ve zoomed out the maximum length of the lens. Not too bad at all…

Panasonic TZ90

Could be sharper. I don’t know if that’s down to me or the camera, but the highlights aren’t blown out.

Panasonic TZ90

Lighthouse is in focus, foreground is slightly out. After a couple of days of using the camera I found out I could direct the focus away from multipoint to single, better still I could use the touch screen to select the focus point I wanted. Moral of the story RTFM.

Panasonic TZ90

Highlights are severely blown, but for a hand-held shot at night it’s in focus, that’s something. Apparently there’s a setting for night photography. I really should RTFM.

Panasonic TZ90

Back at the lighthouse. Winter has taken it’s toll on the paintwork. I’m getting more and more used to using the camera. Admittedly I have found out it doesn’t like dull days. there tends to be more noise. I can cancel it out in Lightroom without making the photograph too mushy, but all in all I’m pretty happy with performance.

Panasonic TZ90

The old castle at Rhudlan, must be high tide because the river lever is really high and we’re not much further than a mile from the sea

Panasonic TZ90

I turned off the annoying electronic shutter sound but maybe I might just turn it back on and mute it down so it’s just audible. Why? I left the camera in hi-speed drive and took this photograph. I had twenty-five more just like it because I couldn’t hear that the shutter was continuously firing.

Panasonic TZ90

This was really at the extreme end of the range of the lens, not only optical zoom but digital as well. Not recommended for small objects like birds, sitting on a swaying stalk about 50 metres away.

Panasonic TZ90

Back on Rhyl Beach, I really must master these focus points.

Panasonic TZ90

A church on the hill beside a river

Panasonic TZ90

Macro mode, I like this….

Panasonic TZ90

Did I mention the camera could also auto bracket, so if necessary I can capture a series of photographs inside in preparation for putting them through my favourite HDR software

Panasonic TZ90

So that’s it, I’ll be back in a few weeks. Now have I packed the sun tan lotion.

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Another Year Has Gone……I’m Getting Old

It’s nearly the end of the year and I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite photographs that I have taken throughout 2017. It’s hard to choose though but here goes.

January started off blustery with some high seas. It’s hard to believe from this photograph that when the tide goes out I can walk around the base of this marker which is probably about 30ft high. Our tides are quite high at times; combine that with an on-shore breeze an there is potential for flood damage. That’s why we have some very large sea defences. This marker notes that underneath surface there are large rocks, the first part of our defences, positioned to break up tidal surges.

January

February saw me in Chester Cathedral which I had been meaning to visit for some years now, but just never got around to it. The cathedral is very large inside and I was thinking about how to show the scale. So I was really please when one of the clergy cam and sat down right in front of me. If you look really closely you will see two other people, but they are lost in the scale of the cathedral.

February

In the UK we are lucky to still have many of our stately homes in good preservation order thanks to the National Trust, of which I am a member. Although tripods aren’t allowed, photography is is permitted and so I’m able to get some great photographs from inside the houses I have visited. I like this one with the table set for dinner.

March

Back in Chester, this time on the streets on a cold, wet and windy April’s day. With horrible grey skies, street photography seemed the best option. A bit of Black & White, some extreme HDR and there you go….

April

Warmer climes in May, beautiful sunny Lisbon, Portugal. Walking away from the tourist paths I came across a series of street art, that was on doors, the sides of building, even the streets themselves. This one caught my eye, although to be honest I could have included any of the ones I photographed that day.

May

I am extremely luck that in summer time the sun sets out to sea. This can make for some great “big sky” sunsets. Yet in this case, here I am in town, with the sun starting to set and so I decided to go for the silhouette.

June

July caught me chasing sunsets again, this time at Talacre and the lighthouse. Only this time I was trying to capture some long exposures which give the clouds that blurred look and the sea looks as though it has gone flat and milky.

July

When I knew I was going to be visiting the South of France I was determined to get to the Museum of Photography in Chalon-sur-Saone. August was so hot with temperatures in the 40’s centigrade. far too hot to be walking around. Inside the museum it was like a sweat box but I was determined to stick it out and see the exhibits.

August

One of the things I like about Olympus, as well as the cameras, is that they run experience days, where Olympus users can get together with Olympus experts, to ask questions, borrow equipment for the day and usually get some good deals as well. It give you a chance to meet other Olympus users who are likely to be local to you area as well. So in September we were on the Llangollen Railway which is a heritage line running here in North Wales. Apart from the weather, a great day out as we had access to areas that, such as the workshops and signal boxes, that most visitors never get access to.

September

Another overseas trip, this time to Budapest. Of all the photographs I took in Berlin I had to include this one of the Parliament taken from the Buda side of the river. Such an ornate building and well-lit at night, great for photography

October

It was cold, so cold, but a gang of us decided to brave the temperature, to photograph the bridge over the River Dee at Connah’s Quay in November. I had all the gear on that I normally wear for walking in the mountains so I should have been warm, but when you are just standing around you don’t generate your own internal heat the same way. We stuck it for about an hour, then decided to move on to Flint Castle. Never did get that photograph because the snow started to fall and unusually the castle wasn’t lit, as it usually is at night.

November

Unusually for me, I’ve only been out on one photography trip through December and that was to a long-standing engagement to take a walk around the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool. It’s an industrial area that has many old buildings and warehouses; along with some great street art. What more could a photographer ask for.

December

Well that’s it for this year, for those who take part in the Weekly Challenge, here’s to some new and interesting ones in 2018.

I’d like to thank all those who follow Say It With A Camera. Your comments are appreciated and hopefully I have managed to acknowledge all of your comments over the last year. Finally I wish you all a Healthy and Happy New Year – Mike

Macon, Is That It?

Wander around Macon in France and you’ll soon come to recognise that it does not offer a lot for photographers. Maybe I’m doing the town an injustice but without stretching to a bit of street photography I was really struggling to get a photograph. Now half of the problem was cars. They were parked everywhere and any building that was worth a click of the shutter had the inevitable car outside it. So I became a bit selective, maybe too selective, but it is what it is so here’s the photographs.

Chamber of Commerce

The first building I came across was the Chamber of Commerce, which seemed to be shut up. Getting low and close to the waterfall allowed me to get all of the building in, but I did have to do some perspective corrections in Adobe Lightroom to straighten the building.

Quite a few of streets are closed to traffic or so I thought. When I nearly stepped into the path of speeding moped I soon realised, there’s traffic and there’s traffic. But eventually I managed to negotiate my way to the Town Hall and those crazy but colourful plant pots.

Hotel de Ville

And right behind me was the Eglise St Pierre. I couldn’t get all of the building in with one shot. It was just too tall. So in the end I photographed the church in three sections, making sure each section overlapped by quite a bit. Then It was a simple task to combine the three sections using Adobe Lightroom’s “merge to panorama” module.

Eglise St Pierre

Inside the church, like many French churches, it’s quite ornate. Far more so than many of the simple churches I find in North Wales. There again, the churches in France are so much larger, almost cathedral-like in size.

Columns

Here’s a close-up of the area around the altar. Before you ask I have no idea of the significance of the green cloth. From a photography point of view id does add a welcome splash of colour.

Green Cloth

Sorry about this, but talking about cathedrals, Macon does have one. Well actually it has two. The 13th century one was demolished in 1799 leaving only two distinctive towers. Lot’s of cars parked outside so not worth a photograph. Then there’s the new cathedral of St Vincent.

Cathedrale St Vincent

Now if you want ornate, this is the place to go. All marble, lots of stained glass, well just look at it.

Ornate

So that’s Macon. No doubt I missed loads that I could photograph but to be honest as a town it didn’t really inspire me

Bangor Cathedral

A little while back I paid a visit to Bangor Cathedral, North Wales. If you are ever in Bangor you might be confused and assume that the Gothic style building on the hill is the cathedral, but that’s actually part of the University.

Instead, the Cathedral is low-lying and inconspicuous, on a site that has been in use as a place of Christian worship since the 6th century, almost in the centre of town.

The site of Bangor Cathedral was originally occupied by St. Deiniol‘s monastery which was sacked in 634 and again in 1073. Nothing of the original building survives.

Bangor Cathedral

The earliest part of the present building was built between 1120 and 1139. Like many religious building of the time it was built in a cruciform shape in the Norman style, about 130 feet in length.

Bangor Cathedral

The church was badly damaged when King Edward I of England invaded Gwynedd in 1282, but later there was extensive rebuilding and the nave was rebuilt in the late 14th century. During the 15th century there was further extensive reconstruction, with further work being done during the 18th century.

Tiled Floor At Bangor

The building as seen today is the result of extensive work carried out under the supervision of Sir George Gilbert Scott begun in 1868. Scott’s design originally called for a high central tower and spire, but this was never completed as cracks appeared which were thought to indicate subsidence of the foundations. The tower was therefore left as a low structure.

St Asaph Cathedral

St Asaph Cathedral 

Saint Asaph Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese of St Asaph, one of the six dioceses of the Church in Wales. If you are thinking of visiting Entrance is Free – but donations are welcome.

The Cathedral is the home of the William Morgan Bible and as such provides a vital link with Welsh culture and literature.

Saint Kentigern built his Church here in AD560. When he returned to Strathclyde in AD573 he left Asaph as his successor. Since that time the Cathedral has been dedicated to Saint Asaph and the Diocese bears his name. The present building was begun in the thirteenth century and is reputed to be the smallest ancient cathedral in Great Britain.