I have bought a new bike. The reason for the new bike is because I am living near the coast and I work on an island, so this was more than enough excuse to buy a fat bike to ride the beaches around the area. I will do a full build and ride report soon. But in the mean time here are a couple of photos to whet your appetite.
For those that don't know, I have moved to Western Australia. The picture below is a pretty good example of what my morning ride to work is like, most days.
Old Joe Hill has been on my bucket list of peaks to bag, since the first time that I rode in Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve. Today I finally bagged it.
This hill is probably the highlight of Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve due to it being the highest feature in the reserve (813m), whereby allowing you have the best views over the ACT and NSW, due to the trail running along the border.
The ascent is via dual vehicle wheel ruts and is not utilised very often, so is fairly rough. The trail climbs steadily from the turn-off from the Centenary trail and flattens out once it reaches the saddle Gooroo hill and Old Joe hill. Once you reach the saddle you traverse over to Old Joe and then the real climbing starts. It is fairly sustained climbing all the way up, with only one area that I can think of that gave you a small reprieve. In the last 100m, is where the pinch was and I must admit I walked this stretch of 20m. I could've done it, but just gave in.
I had to get a photo at the trig point as proof of making it to the top and then enjoyed the awesome views (albeit smoke reduced distances) and admired how steep the hill fell away Northwest.
The descent was a bone chattering experience on the fully rigid tourer, but I made it down safely and relatively quickly. Then I backtracked some more to explore another track that I hadn't ridden before. This turn-off took me around Sammy's hill and down to Horsepark Drive. There was a nice little open forest of Eucalypts, which you pass on the descent.
Soon, I was back onto Horsepark Drive and making my way to Old Well Station Road (known as Well Station Track). This dirt road takes you from Harrison to the Canberra showground. It them was a short ride back up a trail behind Watson and onto home, for a 27Km round trip.
Yep, it is official. This morning I did the last leg of my challenge to circumnavigate the Suburbs of ACT.
I had a reasonable ride. Nothing too fast, as I was feeling my legs from two days ago.
I saw some weird and wonderful wildlife spotted, including; Mangy Fox (Which I disturbed from its sleep), a totally black Rabbit and the obligatory Kangaroos. I nearly ran over the Fox, which had built a nest for itself, so it could hide and rest. Not sure if it was malting or dying, but felt sorry for it.
Low light of the trip was the cut in my tyre, which happen at, of all places Stromlo Forest Park Grrr. But wait I run tubeless, so why is it going down? Stopped at the start of Brittle gums and pumped it up and could hear the hissing. Dang, no Stans left in tyre. Well I could pull the tyre and insert a tube, but that is just silly. I know, pull the valve and pour in some more Stans! Did the trick, so pumped it up and off I went again.
On the final bit of bike track back to the car, I came across a cyclist named Nick. He was riding from Melbourne back to his home on the Central coast, via the Bicentennial National Trail. He was looking for some shops and a bike shop, so I pointed him to Lonsdale Street. Unfortunately I also pointed him to the wrong tunnel (Wrong in the sense, that I recommended that he ride on the South side of the lake). Oh well he gets the North side view, but still makes it to the same place.
View large map of the full circumnavigation. Use the magnifying glass to zoom in.
The other day I spoke about only having two gaps to complete the circumnavigation of the suburbs in the ACT. Today, I closed off one of those gaps.
I drew a route on Trackprofiler and uploaded it to my GPS, so I could ensure that I did not get lost. I made a couple little alterations whilst riding, but generally the route I made, was the route I followed.
Up until Latham, the majority of the ride was road (Blech!) and the same with the route back from Higgins. But the bit in between was something special! When I left the road for bike paths and trails at Latham, I was amazed to find out how nice it is along the Ginninderra Creek. I would have to say one of the better cycling experiences in the ACT. I followed the creek to the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT), where it was dirt horse trails and beautiful vistas. Seriously if you get a chance to explore this bit of the BNT, then I think that you will be impressed. It is where the suburbs meet the country and the views are for miles.
I enjoyed this trail that much that I think I will do it again (albeit truncated and slightly modified), as my fair well ride!
One of the things that I had always wondered, was if I had circumnavigated all of the suburbs of the ACT (Not including the Jervis Bay areas pedants!). So today, I did a search for some means of combining all my GPS traced rides since moving to the ACT, onto one map. What you see below is the result.
A bit of Googling came up with Jonathan O'Keefe's blog on his "Strava Multiple Ride Mapping Tool". I entered my dates of living in Canberra (31 Dec 201 ~ 27 Dec 2015) and this is a zoomed in version to show the traces overlaid on a map of the suburbs of the ACT.
A close look, shows only 2 areas missed in the pursuit of completely circumnavigating the suburbs. They are; Dunlop to Higgins, passing Magregor and Holt and North Weston to Rivett, passing Wright, Coombes and Duffy.
I will endeavour to knock these off the list before I leave the ACT. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
A larger image can be found here. Use the magnifying glass to look closer.
Below is a map of the greater ACT and surrounding areas that I have ridden, since moving here. Missing from the map is the ride in Budawangs National Park and any that had not been GPS traced.
A larger image can be found here. Use the magnifying glass to look closer.
This may not be a revelation to a lot of people, but for others, this may be the revelation they are looking for. In all the books and websites that I have read, I have not come across a diagram like the diagram that I am going to call the photography butterfly.
So let's start with breaking the photography butterfly down to its two main elements:
I am guessing most have seen this before. For those that haven't let me explain it.
There are three elements to a correct exposure of an image. They are:
So how does this triangle work?
Imagine the green equilateral triangle is your image which is correctly exposed. We want to keep the triangle always equilateral as that is the correct exposure. But imagine if subject is moving too fast to freeze the action with your current settings.
So to freeze the action, you would change the shutter speed to a quicker shutter speed. Doing this would change the shape of the triangle, no longer making it equilateral. So increasing the shutter speed would mean that less light would make it to the sensor. So to allow more light to reach the sensor, you would have to adjust one or both of the other settings. In this case let's just adjust one (the aperture) for simplicity. To maintain balance we now need more light. So if we were to open the aperture by the same amount of stops as we changed the shutter speed, we once again create an equilateral triangle.
Conversely this would work the same if we had of adjusted the ISO to make it more sensitive to light by the same amount of stops as we had adjusted the shutter speed.
So using this theory, we can apply that to any of the apexes of the triangle, noting the one or two of the other apexes will need to be adjust to keep the triangle equilateral or correctly exposed.
Depth of Field Triangle
Now let's look at the Depth of Field (DoF) Triangle. Once again there are three elements that govern the DoF with in an image and they are:
So how does this triangle work?
This works using the exact same theory as the Exposure Triangle. In this case we want to keep the DoF (the red triangle) looking the same in relation to the background and foreground. This is called the area of acceptable focus. The area of acceptable focus is defined as 1/3 in front of and 2/3 behind the subject which our eye considers that is in focus.
So if we use Distance from Subject as our setting which we are changing, we can extrapolate the following. If we were to move closer to a subject, the subject would fill more of the screen up until they start to completely fill the frame. But before we go so far, we noticed that the area of acceptable focus becomes smaller and eventually that the DoF is so shallow, that most of the subject except for a very thin plane is in focus. This can be good for isolating the subject from the background, which makes it look like it is separated from the scene (great for portraiture). But in this case we want to keep all of the subject in focus. This can be achieved by adjusting either or both the lens viewing angle or Aperture. In this cae we change the lens viewing angle to a wider lens. For example swap a 50mm lens for a 35mm lens, which will increase the DoF (area of acceptable focus).
Once again, whatever setting you adjust you will need to adjust one or both of the other sides to keep the same DoF.
How they interact
As you may have already noticed, there is one common link between both triangles and that is Aperture. Knowing that the aperture will effect the Exposure triangle and the DoF triangle, ties the whole process of photography together.
So how does this triangle work?
If you were to adjust the aperture to compensate for the lack or excess of light in your exposure triangle, it will effect the area of acceptable focus in the depth of field triangle. Knowing this you may adjust other settings to maintain correct exposure and Dof.
If any of this does not make sense or could be improved, please leave a comment with suggestions to improve this tutorial.
I like to look at the photos that make Flickr Explore on a daily basis. For those that do not know what explore is, it is a collection of photos posted to Flickr on a said day. Lots of photos are very good and some are average, but it lets you see photos from around the world.
I am proud to say that I have made explore a few times now, but I always wondered if there is a way to increase your odds of making explore and I think I may have cracked it. If you go through the pages of explore (there is one for each day, working backwards), there is 2 to 3 images that appear everyday without fail (I am yet to find a day with out one of the images, yet). So what are these images? They are a Butterfly, A dragon Fly and a Bird.
So I put the theory forward that if you regularly photograph these subjects, then your odds of making explore are increased.
I am yet to put this theory into test, as these subjects don't really interest me.
Lately I have been on a bit of an architecture bender. Maybe it is because I am moving on from Canberra from the end of the year or maybe it is because I just enjoy architecture. Either way, I have been trying to hit the peak time in Blue Hour, so I can get a real deep emerald blue colour in the sky, which I feel really adds to the image and gives it some more oompf!
Blue Hour refers to the time after the sun goes below the horizon and the sky goes into deep blue for a while.
To find out the best period to be shooting Blue Hour, I dial in my intended subject into Sun Surveyor to confirm sun direction (which believe it or not is very important when it comes to Blue Hour photography) or you could use the Blue Hour Site (this only gives you times and not sun angles). They then spit out a rough period when it considers is the best chance to capture Blue Hour. Problem is, this is a little vague for what I aim to achieve. That is because:
Let me explain these three concepts a little bit better.
To Light:- Fairly obvious, I know, but when it is to light the blue is quite washed out and boring.
To Dark:- The sky becomes black and in my humble opinion, just doesn't work well with architecture.
Angle of Incidence:- This is very important to know where the sun has set. If you face towards or directly opposite the set sun, you achieve the optimal angle of incidence and the result is a nice even blue. Start to turn off angle from the sun (Say 10º – 80º either right or left of centre), then you are going to get a gradient of colour, which is not that pleasing to the eye.
So what does this mean? Let me start with yesterdays time (29 Aug 2015) suggested by Sun Surveyor as the period for Blue Hour. It recommends that between 1752 and 1826 is the period of Blue Hour. You will note that this is actually 34 minutes, which kills the theory of Blue Hour. If you look at the first photo below, it was captured at 1810, which is roughly the centre of the period of time suggested. A day or two before and you can see the Kingston Foreshore Apartments were shot only 2 minutes later.
Now to the morning photos.The Royal Australian Mint is a fine example of the sky being too light, but the issue I had was those coloured lights on the façade of the building were changing colours at an interval of approximately 2 seconds, so I had to match my shutter speed, aperture and the sky, so it was all balanced.
Next is the Albert Hall. You can see that the sky is just too dark. This photo was a compromised photo, as my intended target was the Hyatt Hotel, below it. Check out the times, only 7 minutes between shots. In those 7 minutes I walked about 100 metres and worked out my location and set the tripod and camera up. Such a huge difference for only a few minutes. These last two images, is why I ponder if it is actually Blue Minutes instead of Blue Hour.
Calvin Decker from the United States has won the 2015 Cloudride 1000km Bikepacking race.
My name is Mark McIntosh, but everyone calls me Macr.