Sussex - Day 3

There are days when I'm so grateful that I do what I do, days when to be a full-time photographer and earn my living from it, is a joy and a privilege. Yesterday was one of those days.

I started off by shooting in one of the tweest villages I've ever visited. This is England as a theme park, a place that could have almost been designed by a commitee who got together to put all the elements in place to attract tourists. For no obvious reason all the shops looked like they came straight out the 1950's, including the products they sold. In villages like this there is usually one small food shop and ten shops selling "art", as was the case here. Indeed there were large numbers of people walking down the street carrying large portfolio cases. Whether these were customers or passing painters I was unable to determine, but it was certainly something you don't see that often. However, there were lots of picture opportunites so I made the most of it. The village images were taken with my Nikon D800E + 24-85mm VR Zoom lens. 

As I've written often this hasn't exactly been one of our greatest summers, however the last few weeks haven't been that bad. There is currently a lot of harvesting going on and the rolling landscape of the South Downs provides the opportunity for lots of pictures of this. Including the one below.

This was an experiment to see how the 28-300mm VR Zoom lens performed on the Nikon D3200. This was hand held at f/8 and ISO 100 at 300mm and the VR has kept it nice and sharp. This is the 35mm equivalent of a 450mm lens, so there's not a lot of DOF. I tried a few other shots but the atmospheric conditions, heat haze etc., meant that attempting to "pull in" detail from some distance away is often difficult. However the experiment certainly worked in this case.

I then moved on to take pictures of, on and from the South Downs way, which is a long-distance footpath. The section I was on was a high-level ridge which was a real pleasure to walk. This is the first time I've really explored this area. I've taken a few pictures before when I lived in London, but these were usually only short stops on the way to the coast. However this visit I'm seeing a lot more of the landscape and its a place I'm enjoying photographing. 

I shot the pictures here with the D800E + 28-300mm again so by the time I'd finished in late afternoon I was hungry and tired. I am managing to get this heavy camera / lens combination around and in some quite challenging terrain but it is wearing after a while.

So after a surprisingly good meal at a roadside pub, I went off on the final walk of my day, this time with the Sony RX100.

The last image above was in an underpass from the car park to the sea. A kind of 21st. Century cave painting.

I'm really enjoying the RX100. Its great fun to use. Plus with the quality of image it produces I can have that fun in the knowledge that anything I shoot is still perfectly acceptable for stock use. Now its not perfect. It really isn't that good at high ISO's and a few shots into the sun showed that the lens flares really badly, but for what I'm using it for its a real treat to use. I've warmed to it a lot, particularly since its produced one of my favourite images in a long time. The "girl on a bicycle" shot at the top of the page.

I was on a contructed path / cycleway at the base of the chalk cliffs and was taking some shots of the passing cyclists to see how fast the RX100 coped with that. It did, in fact cope very well and it is a pretty fast camera. To a large extent I wasn't sure what I was getting and it wasn't until I got back to where I'm staying that I saw the above shot. I love it. The retro bike with the basket, the warm evening light, the cap and of course the smile. Its worked so well it almost looks posed, which of course it wasn't. So, I won't have a word said against a camera that makes attractive female cyclists smile at me. Now if that isn't a reason to get an RX100, I don't know what is!! One of the nicest pictures I've taken for ages.

So, a really good day. Even though I was tired when I finished I was still buzzing when I got back, particularly when I looked at the shots on my laptop screen. Its days like this that make all the testing and chopping and changing gear worthwhile. Days when the camera seems to be part of me. Its a shame that days like this don't last longer, but the pictures are a constant reminder of where I was and what I saw and its never really the same as being there again, but its close.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
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