As it turned out I took more pictures with the Fuji, but liked the look of those from the Nikon better. It wasn't easy to tell them apart though despite the slight difference in focal lengths. With practice I got them both operating well enough for my way of shooting. Even using an optical viewfinder on the Nikon, so I didn't see exactly what the picture would look like, I got some decent shots. Not that they are all that great in teh scheme of things and don't really fit into a body of work. Just random snaps like most street photography I see.
When I did want to frame a shot accurately I used the rear screen. Difficult to see in bright light though.
At four o'clock I finally got the call to go and collect my car. I was knackered. Having planned to go on a photo-tour with a friend the next day I wasn't sure if I'd be up to it! A good night's sleep, however, saw me raring to go on another warm (if out of the wind) and sunny day.
I wasn't expecting to take many photographs, and certainly not any good ones, as it was more of a recce session. So it was a bonus to add a "slow lambs" sign to the archives.
In sheep country there's always a chance of a sheepscape or two. Not the best, but a little different.
After two sunny days it was inevitable that as the bank holiday approached rain would be looming on the horizon. There was a sheep dog trial on Saturday but I chose to stay home and get my wildlife pond fettled. Or start fettling it. I got the tadpoles out, baled out the water in teh muddy hole, put the new liner in place and half filled the pond to give the tadpoles somewhere to swim while it was warm and dry. Then the rain arrived.
Overnight the rain got heavier and by the time I got up it was heavy and persistent enough to put me right off going to the sheep dog trial that I'd been looking forward to. Shortly before lunch, however, things began to perk up. Pond or photography? It wasn't pond.
Of course I knew that the weather would be different up on the hills. And as I approached the trials field I drove into thick mist. At least it wasn't raining, but would the trial be fogged off? Nearing the turning for the trial's usual entrance I spotted a sign to 'Sheep dog Trial'. Too late to stop I carried on to the usual parking spot and had a walk to see what was what. It turned out the trial was on teh usual field, but being run from the opposite end with the parking rearranged accordingly. Looking at the parking field I was better off where I was already parked so I grabbed my gear and set off as the rain returned. There was a stiff wind blowing cold and mist hanging over the release pen causing a pause in proceedings. The wind blew the mist away quickly enough and I started to make some pictures.
The different layout meant that getting action shots was a little easier, and with a shorter focal length lens. But that still doesn't interest me much. I concentrated on looking for different views. More complex pictures which perhaps told more of a story to an uninitiated viewer. I'm always conscious of making pictures I want to look at rather than the sort the people in my pictures would expect to see. Probably does nothing to endear my photos to them, which is why I throw a few of the expected shots into my galleries in case anyone looks at them!
While it was damp I stuck with my longer zoom on the crop body. While it's ideal for action and distant subjects I don't really like it as a general purpose lens. I know a lot of folk think of such a lens as their go-to lens, but I feel that the pictures look to have a disconnect from the subject. Wider lenses give a more intimate feel to pictures of people. When the rain passed over for good I got the body with the wider lens and bigger sensor out.
I'm much happier using this lens, although the compression of space which longer lenses can provide is useful at times.
The weather had improved but people were drifting away. I drifted too.
Bank Holiday Monday and another much anticipated event. My first agricultural show of the year and plenty of sheep to photograph. Earlier in the week the forecast had been mixed but not too bad. Light showers was the latest I saw. Then the early morning forecast told a different story. Driving to the show it was, indeed. a case of light showers. On arrival it was fine so I left my waterproof trousers in the car and put the jacket on. Down at the sheep pens it was threatening to turn sunny.
I was planning to concentrate on the Lonk section, then wander round looking at other sheepy subjects. It was dry with intermittent drizzle as the sheep started arriving. I spoke to a family showing their Valais Blacknose for the first time. Cute sheep. And apparently very friendly. I'm not sure if they make good eating. It didn't seem wise to ask!
I'd taken along my mirrorless camera with the tilty screen, purely to try and get a good unloading picture or two. A low angle being my intention for this and other subjects. I did get a couple that worked, but... The files really are disappointing. They stick out from my DSLR pictures. Maybe it's a clash of the colour science the two manufacturers use, or the different way focus falls off between the two sensor sizes. I'm leaning towards the colour as my tiny sensor Nikon camera's pictures don't clash the same. Pulling detail from shadows is usually impossible with the mirrorless files too. It's had its chances!
Despite my efforts trying for low angle pictures of sheep running or jumping out of a trailer my favourite unloading picture of the day is a bit different. It was taken standing up and the sheep are hardly moving!
It wasn't long before the rain set in. It was sort of showery. If heavy downpours between light rain is showery! It was pretty miserable and my legs were getting wet. Despite intending to stick with shorter focal lengths I was glad I'd stuck the trusty super-zoom on the camera before the rain set in for good. As well as being useful when I can't get close it's good for close-ups.
Having spotted some pink fingernails I kept trying to get them in a picture somehow to provide a contrast. I'm not sure they really stand out enough. Then again if they were too prominent they'd become the focus of the pictures.
Capturing the judging process in interesting ways provides the dilemma of going wide for context or tight for impact. Then there's expression and gesture to consider.
While I still try not to 'snipe' pictures of 'characters' it can be worthwhile to show a judge deliberating.
I was lucky that the Lonk section was first to be judged as by the time that was over I'd pretty much had enough of being damp. Some of the sheep were looking fed up too.
More trials in the offing and show season will start in earnest in a couple of weeks. I'm not sure if I have the drive for it all at the moment. Maybe when I've dried out I will!
Extended galleries here and here.