Friday, 20 March 2009

Waitohu Photos uploading - results on the WATRC site

It's great to have finally caught up on the backlog of photos. Waitohu is uploading now, and all going well, I'll be able to put the finishing touches to the set in the morning. You can get to the set through the photos page as usual.

Results were out today for Belmont and Waitohu, and are now on the results page.

We're looking forward to the club championships at Bulls. It's a great venue and ideal terrain for a championship event.

Waitohu was a challenge for me, photographically because of the amount of forestry. In a mature but well maintained forestry block you have low light areas that are often mottled with very bright areas where the sun is able to break through. The smaller patches of very bright light amongst otherwise quite dull areas make it more difficult to get exposures correct.

Compensating for low light without flash means sacrificing some quality in the image to get the picture, and close examination of the shots taken under those conditions will reveal the speckling of the image that comes from using a "fast" sensor setting (eg. ISO 1600) and the fuzziness that comes from the blurring of moving subjects at low shutter speeds, or in elements of the picture that are not within the compressed "in focus" range that results from wide apertures.

I guess you could say that was my own fault - I could have kept to the open areas of the trail and minimised the time spent in the forest. However, I had a very good walk so can look forward to planning next year's outing with much better knowledge of the trail than I've had to date.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Photos from Waikawa Beach uploading

It's certainly been a marathon editing session with the Waikawa Beach set and not without it's challenges, as I'm sure you know. I've concluded that rather than reviewing and re-reviewing the set, given the delays so far, I'm better to get it on-line and move on to the next event. So, here it is, or at least, here it comes.

It's a bigger than usual set, but then, Waikawa Beach provided exceptional photo opportunities. I usually take a number of shots of each rider at each encounter in the trail, and select what I hope are the best from each. This time, with riders clearly visible from a distance there was opportunity to take longer sequences of shots, and some of you will find yourselves quite heavily featured in a sequence, or even two.

It's going to take most of this evening (Wednesday) to complete the uploads, and the set remains in a partially completed state for most of that period. However, if you just can't wait, you can monitor the photostream during the upload, and a simple browser refresh will show you whatever is new - it's taking about 30 - 60 seconds to upload an image.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Aaaaarrrrgggghhh @#$%^&* !!!

Please forgive the language -some days it's the only appropriate response to events ;-)

I've been grinding away at editing the Waikawa Beach photo set, trying to judge when to apologise for my tardiness, and finally the time has arrived. Unfortunately, it's not one of those "but won't be long now" scenarios.

You may as well have the whole story.

Waikawa Beach, being an "out and back" ride starting at the trail's mid-point, is one of those WATRC rides where a well placed photographer gets to see all the riders multiple times. It's probably fair to say that being a wide open space with few hiding places, the riders get to see the photographer several times too, and from far enough off that a decision to up the pace and fun level in front of the camera is more temptation than many can resist (and good-on-ya ;-)

The upshot is a huge amount of raw material (probably twice as many shots as I've had from even the largest ride before) and a massive editing job to get them into a manageable set for uploading. There I am then, just approaching halfway through and feeling good about the results so far, but conscious that it's taking longer than I'd like ...

... and the laptop dies. Hence the scream and profanities.

All is not lost - I still have backups of all the unedited photos on my my main computer, and I'm backing them up to another as I write this. The loss is in the work and time spent so far. For me, editing consists mainly of selecting the best photos and deleting those that don't make the cut. Chances are everything to date is still there on the laptop's disk drive, but in the time it will take to get that fixed, I might as well start over.

So - deepest apologies - yes, the Waikawa photos will be available, but good things take time and it won't happen overnight.