Last night was the annual boat parade, there were not a large number of participants but as usual it is always a good time. I set up my camera and try-pod enabling me to take a video of the event. I have a (Canon) vixia video camera that’s generally used for these types of displays. I decided to use my T8i instead that I purchased during August of this year. It took me over one year to spec out a camera, I looked at what seems like every make model and color.
I recorded them as they rounded the bend in the river that lays just aft of the sailboats near the right hand top. There was a bit of light interference but it was minimal, I welcomed it as it was needed. The night was as dark as Mulligans tea, the only things visible were the few lights at the marina and the red flashing lights on top of the Wing Turbines in the distance. (Wow that was a long sentence.)
I was concerned mostly about focusing against the bright lights used as decorations on the boats. Previous years the Vixia has had problems with it, the auto focus was not able to adjust to the flashing lights. My new DSLR was able to adjust fine, it did have a few challenges. The first was the operator, I should have practiced a bit more than what I did. I was a bit erratic as the boats were followed, a few serious bumps along with rising and falling of the scene.
The boats passed the docks above, my camera was set up approximately in the same spot this photo was shot from. It was a good vantage point however I was too close to the parade. I used my 150-400mm lens, a 18-135mm would have been a much better choice. Using the larger lens made it difficult for the entire subjects to fit into the frames. It was not feasible to change lenses during the parade, I decided to make do with what I had set up. It may have come out better had I used 90-100mm magnification. With the super lens I was able to count the stitches on Santa’s suit.
I did manage to capture an image of another Great Blue Heron however to add to my gallery of several hundred. I used this Heron to adjust my camera then decided to take a few pictures of him.
I followed the boats to the same point for each one passing by, then ratcheted back to the bend where the parade was passing. Each time the lights lost focus then appeared brightly, the videos themselves were good. I used auto-focus which is about the only way to successfully take a video of moving subjects heading directly towards the camera.
I used “Live View” along with the camera app “Canon Connect” that allows operation from a smart phone. I like the app, since I have had the camera I have been reluctant to set it up. I made a decision to when I realized how much of an advantage it would be for me. I am not very mobile confined to my wheelchair and mobility scooter. I have to scoot up to the edge of my seat and stretch my body to peer through the view finder. I have no problems doing it, in fact it’s good for me, however the amount of times I would have to make that move would be excessive I was concerned I would tire out very quickly. When using Canon Connect everything can be done from my lap with the exception of directing the view.
The live view from the camera is displayed on my cell phone, or laptop if I desire. I am able to touch the screen of the phone to establish a focus point on the subject. In live view it will follow the subjects eye if it has an eye. I am able to start the video (or snap a photo) and stop it from my lap. It made the project much easier than stretching bending and scooting up to the edge of my mobility scooters seat.
As it ends up the camera, app, and try-pod all performed well, the operation however was a horse of a different color. I need practice, which I knew long before I began taking this video, it’s time for me to work on it. I found I like Camera Connect a lot more than I though I would, it works with the Apple or Android operation systems. The screen on my cell phone is a bit small for an old guy like me, so I took advantage of the 25% off sale and purchased a Kindle Fire 8. I have one for my audio and e-books, I’ve had it for a very long time. The operating system would not support the new app so I decided to dedicate one new tablet to the camera.
I compartmentalize like that, separating tasks helps me to keep them organized in my pea brain. I am not a multi-tasker in the wildest definition of the word. I am a uni-tasker working on one project until completion planning my next while doing so.
I will be writing about the Camera Connect app further, however as with everything else I have a learning curve. Somehow it interconnects with Adobe Photoshop Elements as well as Light Room. I use Photoshop for videos and Light Room for photos and organizing which it is spectacular for.
All in All the project was a success, not a resounding earth shattering experience but it was a notch on my learning curve belt.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter