Going With GoPro

Having seen and read a lot about the GoPro Hero cameras I took the plunge and bought myself a Black Edition. Of course this is an action camera, something mostly used for sport and selfies. However my main use is to capture the actions of our newborn. His first swim, first walk, first interactions with his environment and so on.

Yet, it’s early days for the little fella. He has just turned three months so we could not go to the pool until he had all his injections. So in the meantime I’m using the opportunity to learn how this little box works best. So first up I stuck it to the car window and captured some wide angle stills.

My GoPro Images

Obviously not the most exciting use of this excellent camera, still a lot to learn to get the most out of it. However, I have now discovered the various mounts, brackets and even quadcopters available. So this is only the beginning of my new relationship with GoPro. Come back and see how Atticus and I are getting on in future posts.

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First Public Photographic Event

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Sunday was interesting, my friend asked me would i take some pictures at his ordination in St Patrick’s Cathedral as one of the first Permanent Deacons in that part of Ireland. I wasn’t sure I was up for the task, but because he asked me, I gave it a go.

Upon arrival I discovered that if I wanted to take picture in the Cathedral I had to be with the press photographers and not the guests as I had expected. This was really amusing as all these guys had top of the end Canon or Nikon’s with massive zooms. While I had my Nikon D5200 and a few lens with me. In fairness they accepted me and let me be apart of the pack, and I did get behind the scenes places that a guest would not have been allowed to access.

So apart from school boy errors and a lot of learning, here are my images on Flickr. I hope you find them interesting and please do leave your comments.

Explored While Exploring The X20

So finally made a decision about which camera to get as a travel buddy. After selling my first image to a publishing house I bought myself a Fuji X20 enthusiast compact camera for travelling. I chose to get the retro silver version and got a great deal from Calumet Photography in Belfast. As you can imagine I couldn’t wait to go home to unbox this new toy, so instead popped into the Starbucks on Elmwood Avenue.

While there I submitted the above image taken with the X20 for the #FlickrFriday theme ‘Yesterday’ featuring a black and white print of an original Starbucks shop on the wall of the newly furnished Elmwood store. To my surprise this morning it was Explored.

Click the image to see other my other explored photos or if you would like to see the rest of my snaps taken yesterday with the X20 in Starbucks click here.

Finding The Right Travel Camera

One of the most difficult things about taking pictures while on the move in developing countries, is finding the right camera as a travel buddy. If like me you want a camera that’s discreet, light, easy to carry, feature rich and takes a great image, well it’s not easy on an affordable budget. In the past I have used a Panasonic ZX-100, which is fine outdoors (like the shot above) but not much use in low light conditions. So I have been exploring the current options before I head to Rwanda again in August. There are quite a few options between waterproof compacts to enthusiast compact cameras, but it is hard to find one the gives you the type of manual controls of a SDLR and yet in a size to fix your pocket.

I have checked various websites, blogs, forums and the opinions are vastly divided. Some are fiercely loyal to brand, others keen on changeable lens or crazy about the sensor size. Yet many are split over what actually constitutes a travel camera. However, I have narrowed it down to three cameras in my budget between the Nikon P7700, Canon G15 or Fuji X20. All great choices for various reasons, but after much debate I think I’m settling on the X20. It looks great, has a brilliant viewfinder, good size sensor, quick, easy to carry and takes a great image even in low light.

Check out this fantastic photo blog on the X20.

Update: Picked camera up today and here is a few snaps in Starbucks

http://www.flickr.com/photos/derekhall/sets/72157634516023080