Tag Archives: speed

Checking Your USB Cable Specs

When I got the new cameras, I needed to get a new card reader as a result of the change of format.  I researched this a little and bought what seemed to be a good reader.  However, when I was downloading the shots, I have to say I was a bit disappointed.  I know the cards were larger and the files were bigger but it seemed that it wasn’t any faster than I was used to.  At some point, I thought to look at the USB C cable I was using.  I had bought the cable for connecting my iPad and found that charging cable and fast data cables were not the same thing.  I tried the cable that came with the camera and the downloads zipped along.  I then bought a proper data cable and now the card reader is working like a charm.  I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t thought about this having already got a USB C cable but it made a big difference so don’t make the same mistake as me.

Island Sheriffs Clearly Need Fast Boats

The ferry terminal at Orcas isn’t the only dock available and it is the home of a boat used by the local Sheriff’s department.  We didn’t often see them out and about while we were staying there but they did come by a couple of times.  The boat is clearly capable of a good speed.  No doubt, if you are the sheriff, you don’t want to be outrun by people that easily and you also need to be able to get to places promptly.  That means power in the form of some chunky outboards.  I suspect it is quite a fun boat to drive.

Life Flight PC-12

PC-12s are a common aircraft in the North American aviation scene so this one is nothing special.  Seeing one on approach, albeit in nice light, is not cause for much celebration.  However, it does mean that, with the light on the nose and a prop spinning up front, it is worth dropping the shutter speed and getting some prop blur.  If I try and fail, I haven’t lost a shot of something that I wanted desperately to get and, if it works, it’s a bonus.

Q400 Full Disc On The Props

I took this a long time ago but just came across it again.  I was under the approach path for SeaTac and one of the many Q400s that come in and out every day was setting up on final approach.  Since it was nothing special, I figured a low shutter speed was in order.  With the light on the front of the plane, this should show up the prop disc nicely.  It worked out pretty well.

Shooting Slower Landing Shots

One evening, I was shooting at Boeing Field.  The light was lower in the sky but it was still pretty bright.  The thing with corporate jets is that they are often predominantly white and the brightness of the jet with a darker background can make for more contrast than a camera sensor can adequately deal with.  You can sort out things in post but it is often too bright.  I figured I wanted to try and reduce the glare on the jet and that the polarizer was a good way to do it.

This has a second outcome.  Taking out that might light allows the use of slower shutter speeds without having ridiculously small apertures – a sure fire way to find every bit of dust on the sensor.  Since I was shooting bizjets at Boeing Field, things weren’t terribly special so I was happy to play around with going down to lower shutter speeds.  A boring side on landing shot is a bit more interesting when the background is blurred and the sense of motion is enhanced.  I need to practice this a bit to use it more often since it makes for a more interesting shot which I want to be able to use on something a bit more special.  Definitely need to lower the shutter speed further.

Why Not Go For Low Shutter Speeds For Fun

A holiday visit to Paine Field saw that something interesting was heading for departure.  It was unlikely I would get across the field in time to catch it and I didn’t.  However, since I was there, I thought I might as well hang around for a bit and shoot some departures.  There were a few piston types heading out as well as a PC-12.  Since none of them were too important to me, I decided to play with shutter speeds around 1/100th of a second.  With the 500mm, this doesn’t result in a high keeper rate.

It does provide a lot of prop blur which was the point since, with no background, you aren’t getting any sense of speed.  It was more a case of seeing what I could get and having some panning practice.  When looking at the shots on the computer, some of them are clearly junk without much inspection.  Others look okay until you get zoomed in.  A few of them are sharp even zoomed right in and they are the ones that don’t get culled.

Wrong Settings on a Vintage Car, But…

While hiking through Moran State Park, we came up to a road.  As we got there a vintage car of some sort was coming towards us.  Annoyingly, I had changed the camera to its base ISO to photograph some waterfalls and hadn’t reset it to auto ISO.  It was dark in there so, when I shot the passing vehicle, the shutter speed was way too low.  It means the shots were blurred but it actually wasn’t as bad as I had expected.

You Forget How Slow Old Cards Are!

My main cameras have two card slots.  One is a CFast and the other is Compact Flash.  I use the CFast all the time but the Compact Flash is a handy backup.  Occasionally, if I have the camera on with the CFast out of the slot, the camera reverts to the second slot and, if I don’t notice, it continues to use it when I next shoot.  This isn’t a particular problem except when it comes to downloading.  I have USB3 card readers for both CFast and Compact Flash.  However, the speed of card technology has moved on dramatically.  When I download the Compact Flash cards and import to Lightroom, I am reminded of just how slow they are.  I used to do this all the time but, once I started using CFast, I got used to the better speed and now, when I revert to the old tech, it feels positively glacial!

Ducks at Low Level

While walking along the Sammammish River Trail, a couple of Mallard Ducks flew by me at low level.  I pulled the camera up at short notice to get a shot.  No time to change the settings so this is what I got on the spur of the moment.  As it happens, the shutter speed did a nice job of blurring out the background and making them look super speedy.  I kind of like it!

The Conflict of Sharpness and Prop Vortices

Damp days can make for great prop vortices on takeoff.  However, I have been feeling less than satisfied with my results recently.  As I was going through some shots, I made a discovery that should probably have been something I worked out before.  I like to have a good amount of prop blur so drop the shutter speed down when I can.  I go with a high frame rate with the aim of getting a good sharp shot amongst the more blurry examples.

As I go through the shots, the sharp ones have okay prop vortices but not great.  Then I will come across some really nice vortices but the shot is otherwise not sharp.  It seems that, in panning with the plane to get a sharp shot, the trailing vortex gets blurred out.  If I am not panning well, the vortex can be the thing I have tracked better and it shows up well.  I have seen shots from others with the props almost frozen with a high shutter speed and the vortices easily seen.

Consequently, I am going to have to make a decision in future.  How much prop blur do I want versus the ability to see the vortices well.  A little trial and error will be involved.  At least it is fall/winter so the Pacific Northwest will probably provide me plenty of damp days on which to experiment!