My cloudy Vancouver shoot also gave me the chance to play around with some lower shutter speeds. I have done this for the turboprops before but this time I decided to play with some of the jets. A really low shuttle speed can blur out the background and give a nice impression of movement but it is a problematic shot to make. You don’t want to do it on something that you are keen to get in case you get nothing! It is also something that results in very small apertures if there is much light which can make for a lot of dust spotting in post! A cloudy evening is a good time to try and a bunch of boring regular jets are good targets for a trial!
I was killing some time at Boeing Field and the light was dropping fast. There was a variety of traffic inbound but nothing that counted as terribly unusual and not, therefore, something I desperately cared about getting a good shot with. As a result, I decided to play around with low shutter speeds to see how it changed the look of the shots at a familiar location, to see how the sharpness varied across the airframe and to see just how badly may panning skills have degraded. Needless to say, the results were pretty mixed. The worst of the lot will clearly never see the light of day but here you can see some of the shots that I was okay with. The conclusion from the output is that I should go a bit lower in shutter speed to increase the sense of speed.
I am sure that there are countless examples around of how things progress leaving something that we used to think was impressive looking horribly dated. This is not something unique, then, but it did amuse me. While going through some old camera bits to find an old connector, I came across this compact flash card. My first digital camera was a Canon EOS10D and it actually came with a card included. This was it. 32Mb of awesomeness.
Even then that wasn’t enough and I immediately got a couple of 256Mb cards. However, given that I tend to have 64Gb cards in the camera these days – 2000 times the capacity – is a sign of how things change rapidly.
While on the road, I often stay at the same hotel. It is across from a lot of open fields and, when I have left just after sunrise, I have been impressed by the low lying mist that hangs across the fields. I tend to notice this as i am driving out. Thinking clearly early in the morning is not always something I can be relied on to do but one morning I had some forethought and a little time and decided to wander out with the camera.
The mist was a little deeper than in some previous mornings so less was obviously poking out of the top of it but it still was quite attractive. The fields are flat as a pancake so there are none of the little dips that can make a shot like this more interesting but it still worked out reasonably well. While I was shooting, the sun came up behind me and started to color in the scene with some really warm light. I grabbed a few shots before heading back to the hotel to start the day for real.
The other day while I was sitting at my desk, I happened to look out of the window and across the river. (Under no circumstances should you conclude that I was spending a large amount of time staring out of the window. There is no evidence to support such allegations!)
As I looked across to Wacker Drive, I saw a FedEx delivery truck that looked very unusual. It had a very aerodynamic looking front end and didn’t look anything like their normal trucks. A while later, I googled FedEx and delivery trucks to see if anything came up and, sure enough, there w a feature on their website about a number of new trucks that they are running trials on, some of which are here in Chicago.
The trials are for new designs that are either light weight conventional designs or alternative propulsion designs. They are trying the different concepts out on different routes to see which ones are best suited to which routes rather than having a one size fits all approach. Apparently, we have some electric vehicles here in the city.
I didn’t think much more about it until a few days later when I was out in the Loop. As I came down a back street, a came across one of the new trucks. It certainly has a very modern look about it. The driver was not around so I had a bit of time to look around it. Apparently, there is not a door to the outside on the cab. It seems you have to go back through the truck. There were some quite jazzy looking electronic access controls so it has all the bells and whistles fitted.
It will be interesting to see how the trials go and whether these become a regular sight. Given how many miles FedEx puts in, they must have plenty of scope to save cash!