Day 4 of 5 of KI

10.15am

Another early start, back out to farm to get the remainder of household stuff. It’s a muddy hell down the old road to their farm thanks to two nights of solid rain.

11.30am

Finally 50 years of history at Cygnet River has been moved 50 klms to a new home at Kingscote.

We met the new owners of the old farm today, a lovely older couple with children & grand children who’ll soon appreciate the Australian countryside that I’ve had the good pleasure of trekking around, motor biking upon & photographing everything that grows!

A new chapter begins now.

Thankfully the new owner has agreed that we can return to take photographs from time to time.

Kangaroo Island, 2007

2.30pm

After disposing of recyclables & other paraphernalia, we’re settled into the new house. My FIL is snoring his head off whilst I tap this entry into my Apple whilst the women negotiate with Telstra for a change of phone number!

10pm

I bought a new 200mm zoom lens last week. The previous lens had about ten years of use before the barrel finally loosened up completely. As they are so costly to repair, I figured it was time for a new lens.

Tonight I discovered the benefit of replacing existing lenses. Besides some brand add IS or US to the newer models, the tighter focal rings and stronger glass is important for quality imagery.

Mass + Water = Erosion

Aiming the zoom lens at my FIL as he sat under a side-lamp, I was enthused when I discovered the amazing DOF & detail – though very dark.

So I modified 1 of the 3 editable modes to heavy saturation, extra sharp & monochrome. I had an inkling he’d look better in B&W: His teenage generation would have known only B&W photographs, so I figured it would be befitting to preserve his craggy features similarly.

Half a dozen shots got me enthused. I quickly upped the ISO to 800, then up to 1600. Although the side-lamp was very bright, I had to have the iris speed very fast to compensate for his body movement – so the inbuilt flash was also used.

This worked out well, 2 light sources spread all around his faces, yet all the crevasses on his face were highlighted. Formidablé!

The most amusing aspect of family portraiture is gaining the trust of the subject. Initially he covered his face whenever I swung the lens in his direction, but occasionally I would catch him unaware. In one of those moments I caught a great shot which I promptly showed him and said “This is great, I’m going to enter this into a competition!

Suddenly he put his hand down and stopped blinking … SNAP! Another great photograph.

Hmmm, this was only meant to be a ruse. Maybe there is a competition online for B&W portrait photography. I’ll have to enter!

So then I had a go at capturing my MIL in B&W. She was found in her new study sorting out bobbins of thread that were messed up in transit, my wife keeping helping out. From across the badly lit room, I hunched down using my elbows to support the lens. Every time she looked up at me or her daughter – SNAP – I’d capture the moment. Two dozen shots later, I was told to go away. No matter, I had what I came for!

Upon arrival back in the lounge room I changed back to my 50mm fixed lens. It occurred to me that similar imagery could be obtained. I was right.

As it’s nearing 11.30pm, I’ll talk more about this tomorrow.

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