What’s going on

Visiting an old friend

Visiting an old friend

Last week I caught up with Michael Willis, a downhill mountain bike racer and we swung by a local track I hadn’t been to for many years, the Manly Dam International Freeride Zone (MDIFZ).

MDIFZ (if you know you know) is one of the more technical tracks in Sydney with some of the features being high-risk. It is good to see tracks like this still around. It seems a majority of the tracks these days are built with the intermediate riders in mind with many of the jumps having tabletops for safety. While tabletops are always a great feature to encourage riding, advanced riders need locations too where they can push themselves and improve their skills. MDIFZ has always been one such area. Big drops, demanding gaps and small landings require you to get it right.

It was good to see and shoot there again. Michael and I just did one quick pass through stopping off at each feature and shooting along the way.

Posted by Richard in What's going on
Locked Down

Locked Down

I haven’t written any posts in quite some time now, in fact almost a year. My website has taken a backseat lately. Work as Outer Image had been great this year with many more events. So much so that I left my midweek work at the gallery (it was only 1 or 2 days a week anyway) and had been doing photography full-time. And then…..lockdown.

Halfway through a weekend shooting a couple of races up near Port Macquarie, I was informed that Sydney was going into lockdown for a few days. Since event photography and lockdowns go play well I had to pack up halfway through. My 2 choices were either self-isolate where I was or return home straight away. As much as I enjoy being away, sitting in my van for 2 weeks was not really my idea of fun and excitement so I came back home so I could get organized for the following weekend’s events. It was going to be rather hectic with 3 big events over one weekend.

That was 2 months ago. Sydney is still in lockdown with no signs of improvement. I’m still waiting for the events to restart. Each day, case numbers rise. I hear of more people out in the community while contagious, people protesting their lack of freedom, people going to parties away from Sydney. I am wondering if these people will ever let me get back to work. Having family and friends who live overseas I fully understand the mess this virus plays with people’s livelihoods and lives. We in Australia have been very lucky but Delta has dug its claws in now.

At least…

Thankfully, I live near the beach. We’re allowed to move for exercise within a 10km radius and work, where essential, (not as an event photographer though). Mornings sitting on the beaches watching whales and shooting surfing have kept most of the boredom at bay. I have not shot a lot of mountain biking lately or trail running or adventure racing or been to any great landscapes. I have been shooting a little bit of product for Tyres and Soles and Bicycles Online, plus dabbling with a bit of video and planning world conquest once the lockdown is lifted. Outer Image hasn’t shut shop or such. Gil and I are just looking at it as more of an extended break where we can fine-tune a few details of our business. I’m getting to reorganize my website, shuffling photos, and rebuilding galleries and links where needed. Look, I have even managed a new blog post

Still………I wish I could get back to work.


Check the Sessions gallery here for more surf images of late

Posted by Richard in Surfing, What's going on, 0 comments
500mm of Pure Fuzz

500mm of Pure Fuzz

Back out again to get my head around the R5 from Canon. This week I picked myself up a CFexpress card which basically unlocks the high-grade video functions of the camera. I also wanted to see how the Sigma 500mm lens went on it when using it with the lens adaptor.

I took myself down to Long reef, a local headland to have a play with the video functions and the 500mm. There was plenty going on down there but conditions weren’t the greatest. A weird haze sucked the colour out of everything. Oh well, it’s only a test.

The 500mm was a cheap lens. I picked it up second hand a while ago for around $600 practically brand new. Poor thing though, it’s not the sharpest point in a pack of pencils but it’s certainly not as bad as the blog title suggests. It used to struggle to focus on my 5D but I didn’t notice this issue today. But for just playing around its fun. Everything below was shot with the 500mm from around 700m away according to Google

And the video….. well I just had to test the slow motion functions of the camera 😀

Posted by Richard in What's going on
Practice makes…..better.

Practice makes…..better.

My poor 5dmk 3 has definitely seen better days, bits of the protective rubber have fallen off, it’s missing a label that tells you which setting it’s on (thankfully I know this camera so well that I know where its set anyway) and it has numerous cosmetic chips and scratches. After 7 years of shooting events in rain and dust, it shows its age but it still fires away as reliable as ever. I’m just not so sure for how much longer though. Enter the R5

The new R5 from Canon has just a few more (roll my eyes in sarcasm here) features than my 5d3. I’m not going to go into all that here as there are plenty of reviews and comparisons on the internet. But this does mean that I need to go out and get my head around the new buttons and new functions, to try and get the camera set up the way that I am comfortable with so I can change all my settings without thinking about it. Hence practice makes, maybe not perfect, but better at least.

I took myself off to one of my local bike tracks. It’s a great track for shooting with some super cool locations but of late the mosquito population there has gotten out of hand. It is right next to some wetlands but I don’t remember my first few shoots there being swamped by mosquitoes. Now to make matters worse it has been reported that Ross River Virus is present there. Its a nasty virus and definitely not something you want to get. Either way my days shooting there are done for the moment. It’s probably fine riding but when you are standing around waiting for riders the mosquitoes tend to mob you. I got a couple of shots there but then had to leave. If i go back to shoot again it will be set up with a rider where we go in and get the shots quickly and get out again

Still determined to get my practice in I took myself off to my local dirt jumps for an afternoon session and caught up with my friend Sam who I hadn’t seen for a while. Always a friendly fellow and always keen for a bit of DJ action. There was a fair-sized crew up there so plenty to shoot but I’ll be up more and more as I try to nail all the functions and settings on this new beast of mine.

Oh and so far all my impressions of the R5 are definitely positive. Below are a few shots from the day and you can find some more and grab yourself a copy here in the sessions gallery.

Posted by Richard in What's going on
Airborne

Airborne

After taking breaks from the camera I like to get out and shoot for a bit before I pick it up again for a job. It doesn’t have to be anything too complex or challenging. It’s so that while I am shooting, operating the camera controls just become second nature again and I don’t have to think about things too much. I think about composition and exposure, aperture and such but not about which dial do I need to turn in which direction to change my settings, it all just flows automatically.

And with my first job locked in for this coming weekend, so it was I took myself to Maroubra yesterday for a day at the beach shooting the Red Bull Airborne. They may have been small waves but they were still getting some airtime in.

I also got to play around with my 500mm lens. It’s not a lens that sees the light of day too much. It can be a little slow to focus and a little too big for the things I normally shoot. Plus you need a lot of light. It’s perfect for surfing, especially when it’s mounted on a cropped sensor

Posted by Richard in Events, Surfing, What's going on
Top 19 for 2019

Top 19 for 2019

I know, I know. Traditionally it’s only supposed to be a top 10, not a top 19 but I always struggle paring down my images and I take so many each year. How can you expect me to pick just 10? My picks are a mix of shots I like and shots that, for me, invoked memories or feelings. A couple will probably not mean much to you but I will try and explain them as we go. If you just want to look at the photos just click the first one to open up the gallery.

So without further ado, my top 19.

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Posted by Richard in What's going on