Roundup and More Night Photos :o)

The Albert Dock There’s just 8 and a half days to go until we get on that plane and fly off to Rome for 8 nights 😀 Excited? Yep you betcha! I’ve emailed everyone who needs to know so that I don’t get bothered whilst we’re away. I have a fellow freelancer (and talented PHPer) to hold the fort if anything problematic crops up along with my one and only mum to deal with all the phone calls and emails. You know what, I bet nothing comes through at all!! Still, all avenues covered means I can relax and not worry. Next job is to learn a bit of Italian!

Light Trails and the Liverpool Arena This week has been a week of low motivation. I’m either still getting out of holiday mode from Christmas, or already getting into holiday mode for Italy 😀 We took an afternoon off this week to go over to Liverpool finally. After having a brief look in the shops for clothes for the holiday we then took a wander out with the cameras. There’s a competition going on for photos which has been set up by a shopping centre called the Met Quarter along with the Tate gallery (the Liverpool Tate, not the London Tate ;)). The idea is to submit a photo taken at each of the 4 pitstops, however with light running out and bad weather on its way we only managed to hit 3 of the 4 stops. However the last stop was by the Albert dock (top photo) so we took some night shots down there as the colours reflected in the water were just great to see. I also had a a bit of fun trying to do a few ‘light trail’ shots, with the few cars coming past (see left).

12 Responses

  1. ses5909 says:

    Those pics look awesome. Congrats on going to Rome, I know you guys will have a fabulous time. Any tips for me on night shots? What lens did you use?

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks Sara. Looks like we already have a fair few tips on places to go in Rome, so should be a pretty fun filled week!

    As for night shots, well I’ve used my Canon 50mm f1.8 II lens (Nifty Fifty) for all my night shots. Always on a tripod and I either use Aperture priority mode or Manual mode. I tend to try out aperture priority on about f11-f22 and see how they look. If they need a bit more light then I take note of the shutter speed and then switch to manual and try a few different speeds so that I can choose the one I’m happy with afterwards.

    I also shoot in RAW now so that I can check the white balance on the computer too, and alter the exposure, saturation etc. if I need to, however with most of the night shots the auto white balance did a pretty good job on it’s own.

    However I did forget to take my UV filter off for this set of night shots, but luckily it’s only over the river so we can pop back another night when it’s not raining!

  3. Great photos! Photography is definitely an area that I would like to learn more about. I have a little Nikon digital camera and thought it was pretty cool at the time of purchase. If I only knew! hehe

  4. Sarah says:

    Thanks Deron. I had/have a Nikon Coolpix too that I bought a couple of years ago, thought it would be great until I realised the world of DSLRs! It still is a pretty good camera and great to keep in your pocket if you can’t lug a rucksack around with a camera and a couple of lenses in. But of course you end up losing a bit of flexibility and control with a compact.

    The 400D (Rebel XTi in the US I believe) is a fantastic camera, and the photos are because of the camera, not the person 😉

  5. Looks like a very nice camera. Little out of my price range right now though.

    What are some things to look for in a good camera? If I had to go buy one tomorrow I wouldn’t even know what features were must haves.

  6. Sarah says:

    If you can’t go full DSLR then the next best option is a bridge between being a compact (ie. you can’t change the lens) but having the control of a DSLR eg. controlling the Aperture and Shutter speed.

    Fuji do a model that Dave bought just before christmas for around £100 ($200 from

    That’s a very good price for this camera. It allows you to control every element of your camera, I think you may even be able to buy filters for it (go for a circular polarising filter first), the only thing you can’t do is change the lens so you’ll never have true 1:1 macro, but the macro is pretty good, and it will have a top limit on the zoom, although a 10X optical zoom isn’t bad.

    The features, to explain more, that you’re looking to control is aperture – the wider the aperture, the more light is let in so the quicker a photo can be taken (equates to less blurry, less need for a flash in low light etc). To control the shutter speed also means you can control the outcome of your photo. Take the light trail in the second photo. This was taken with about a 20-30 second shutter speed, so you can’t see the vehicle but you can see the light left by it.

    Of course a tripod is also needed, but mine cost £17/$35 and had done the job well so far. I’ll probably invest in something a little more professional and sturdier once I’ve got the cash, but for now it does me fine 🙂

  7. Thanks for all that info Sarah. That looks like a very nice camera and is actually a lot less than the Nikon I bought three years ago as funny as that sounds.

    I found that same model on ebay and am watching it. It’s got a little over a day left and right now is really low, so we’ll see. If I can’t nab it, I might just go with Amazon.

    With the camera you recommended, it does allow you to control the aperture and shutter speed, correct? Even though you can’t change the lens?

    One thing I’m still a little fuzzy on is the 1:1 macro. What does that mean? I looked it up on wikipedia, but still wasn’t following 100%. Does it just mean that if I’m zoomed in on a cell phone for example, that the picture that I take, the cell phone will be life size in the image?


  8. Sarah says:

    The camera is pretty good. It’s a little smaller than the 400D, but not much. A lot lighter though. I understand that it’s cheaper than your Nikon, it’s cheaper than mine I bought 2 years ago!

    This camera does allow you to control the aperture and shutter speed yes. The only 2 things it lacks is being able to switch lenses and shooting in RAW, which would just mean you could process your photos eg. the white balance etc. afterwards. But it’s a great camera otherwise and would get you used to the flexibility that a DSLR could offer you.

    The Macro? I’m pretty fuzzy on it too! Here are a couple of dicussions from Flickr on the subject:

    I don’t know what ratio you get on the Macro on the fuji but it’s good for close ups. Dave’s uploaded a few on his Flickr –

    However, for the price it’s a very good camera to get you on your way to understanding the extra functionality and there’s no reason why your shots can’t be good with this to be honest.

    Look forward to seeing some new pics if you do get one 🙂

  9. Si Philp says:

    Wow, reflection you captured is fantastic. That photo would make a very nice postcard 🙂

  10. I did some more browsing on ebay and this auction says that it’s a lens for this camera. I know you said that you cannot buy extra lenses, so I was just wondering if it’s bogus or something?

  11. goldfries says:

    Deron, you could check out one of my article about cameras types.

    🙂 I’m sure it’ll help you decide what you should be looking into.

    Also check out my latest album at the local Bird Park

    I’m using the 350D a.k.a Digital Rebel XT. Older version of the 400D that Sarah is using.

    Deron, Sarah wasn’t wrong. 🙂 The item in the Ebay link you gave IS NOT a lens. It’s a converter. 🙂 the Fujifilm Finepix S5700 is a prosumer camera, you can’t change lens on it but you could add converters.

    I own a Fujifilm Finepix S7000 and it’s a great camera too but it’s aged.

  12. Sarah says:

    Thanks Si, I was pretty proud of the Albert Dock photo, and it does print quite well!

    Deron, goldfries’s reply (which I just authorised) answers your question. I can’t see the auction as it’s ended now. I don’t know much about this camera as I’ve not really looked at it much and Dave only got it just before Christmas so hasn’t really had a chance to use it very much yet.

    Another option is looking at refurbished 350Ds or 400Ds. There’s a canon ‘shop’ on eBay that offers these at around $400-500 along with a guarantee/warranty for X months or a year. Perhaps that’s worth a look too?