Saturday, 31 August 2013

Interlagos Sunset

I haven't had much chance to do any photography over the past few days as I have been so busy preparing for the FIA World Endurance Championship race here in Brazil.  However the sunset this evening had me running outside of the media centre with my Fuji X100 to capture the sunset over the main grandstand here at Interlagos.


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Friday, 30 August 2013

REVIEW: Nikon D800 Video

The FIA World Endurance Championship race in Sao Paulo has given me another opportunity to use the 1080P HD video function on the Nikon D800.  The facility is great for my role as the Media Delegate for the FIA WEC and I am able to film interviews with the drivers and then stream them on the official website at www.fiawec.com via the Daily Motion FIA WEC page.
 
 
 
The quality of the results are amazing, especially when using the Nikon 50mm f1.4 AF-D lens, which is one of the best lenses for video, or the 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S.
 
Using the Manfrotto tripod and the ME-1 external microphone the MOV file is downloaded into Microsoft Movie Maker where I edit the file, putting a logo and captions onto the final movie.  I have recently purchased Sony Vegas Pro 12 video editing software but I haven't yet mastered the workflow yet.  Once I have I am sure this much more sophisticated editing suite will enable me to produce more professional video clips but for not the Microsoft software is good enough.
 
Once I have finished editing I then save it for a high definition 1080P screen before uploading the final file to the Daily Motion site. 
 
The Nikon D800 is a highly capable video camera and I'm sure that I am not using it to its full ability yet.  But I do enjoy using it for videos and I think the results speak for themselves.
 
The following video was taken to stream the pre event press conference at the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo today and the video featues interview with five South American drivers including Bruno Senna and Luca di Grassi.  I used the 17-35mm f2.8 lens to shoot this video. The second video is an interview with Brazilian driver Fernando Rees and I used the 50mm lens here.



Pre Event Press Conference for the 6 Hours of... par fiawec



Interview with Fernando Rees (BRA) par fiawec

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Interlagos

The circuit at Interlagos is one of the most famous in the world and South America's premier circuit.  We are here this weekend for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, Round 4 of the FIA World Endurance Championship and this is the view from the media centre at the circuit, looking across towards the sprawling city of Sao Paulo that is home to 20 million Brazilians.


The track action begins tomorrow with Free Practice.  More information and live streaming of Qualifying and the race on Sunday at www.fiawec.com

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Photographing WEC on the Streets of Sao Paulo

The FIA World Endurance Championship announced itself to the people of Sao Paulo in the best possible way with a parade of five cars led by Brazilian racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi through the streets outside the Musea de Arte Moderna.


Bruno Senna, Fernando Rees, Nicolas Prost and Bertrand Baguette joined Emerson Fittipaldi, driving the cars they will race in the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo on Sunday along Avenida Paulista under police escort, the thunderous roar of the engines reverberating off the tall buildings lining the road.  The event attracted hundreds of Brazilians to watch the spectacle.

More on the FIA WEC at www.fiawec.com




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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Sunrise at 35,000 feet

I spend a lot of time flying when working on the FIA World Endurance Championship but I still like to sit and look out of the window when travelling to these faraway places at 35,000 feet. 




This morning I woke up for breakfast on the American Airlines flight from Dallas to Sao Paulo and was greeted with this fantastic scene out of the aircraft window.  The sun was still below the horizon and the reds and oranges were reflected in the edges of the aircraft wing and engine housing giving me the opportunity to grab this image on the Fuji X100.

Image taken on a Fuji X100 and Fujinon 23mm f2
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Monday, 26 August 2013

Any Old Iron

I love walking on beaches and photographing items I find or just spending the time beachcombing.  I came across this rusty old post on a recent walk near Dunbar and thought it made an interesting subject to photograph after age and weather had produced some exciting shapes and colours.



Today marks the start of the second half of the World Endurance Championship season and as this blog is being posted I will be on my way to Brazil for the next race in Sao Paulo.  I will be posting updates on the visit to Brazil in the next few days.

Images taken on a Fuji X100 and Fujinon 23mm f2
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Sunday, 25 August 2013

The View from Doon Hill

Doon Hill overlooks the coastal town of Dunbar and provides great views across the North Sea and down the Firth of Forth towards North Berwick and Edinburgh.  The hill is just 177 metres above sea level, the top is marked by a concrete Tor.  Doon Hill is far from being the highest point in the area but the view from the top is worth the short climb.




Images taken on a Nikon D800 and 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S or Sigma 50-500mm f4/f6.3
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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Storm Clouds Brewing Over Dunbar

It has been pointed out on my Face Book page that a lot of the images I have been posting from our new location have featured a lot of blue skies and sunshine.  The weather has been great the last few weeks but we have also had some typically Scottish weather lately as well. 

To prove a point here are some shots taken on a recent walk to the east of Dunbar. However bad weather is actually more interesting to me as a photographer because it adds drama to the picture.



Images taken on a Fuji X100 and Fujinon 23mm f2
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Friday, 23 August 2013

Aikengall Wind Farm

Five miles inland from our home in Innerwick is the Lammermuir Hills, which is home to a number of wind farms, the closest of which is at Aikengall.  On Wednesday evening, after an afternoon of rain showers, the clouds started to break up, so I grabbed the camera bag and headed into the hills.



The landscape changes dramatically in a short space here in East Lothian.  It starts as wide sandy beaches on the coast leading to rich arable farmland inland.  As soon as you head into the hills the landscape changes again from rich woodland and then moorland with heather and boggy ground.  

This is the scene that I came across as the light started to dim as the sun set. 



My only disappointment was the lack of wind, that meant most of the wind turbines were static, with some turning lazily in the slight breeze. 

The views from the top of the hill, the highest point being nearly 400 metres above sea level, are quite spectacular with almost uninterrupted views down to the coast 10 miles away.   I managed to grab a few shots before the light failed completely but I was pleased to have seen the area and I will be back another time.  



Images taken on a Nikon D800 and Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S or Nikon 50mm F1.4 AF-D
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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Coastal Walk

If you are a regular visitor to this blog you'll know we've been documenting the many beaches and walks near our new home in East Lothian.  We decided to head south towards the English border to explore the area and spent some time on the coastal pathway east of Dunbar.

This shot was taken from the cliff top path near Pease Bay looking west towards Dunbar and the Firth of Forth




Images taken on a Fuji X100 and Fujinon 23mm f2
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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Hailes Castle, East Linton

In the trees just off the A1 near East Linton near Dunbar lies the ruined 13th century castle of Hailes which is open to visitors all year round for free.  The extensive ruin lies on the banks of the River Tyne, which flows past the castle on its way to the North Sea.




Built in 1240 by the Gourlay family, Hailes Castle has featured heavily in the turbulent history of Scotland.  Most notably Hailes was home to Mary Queen of Scots just before her ill fated marriage to James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.   The Queen also stayed at Hailes years before when Henry VIII sent a a small army north to occupy Hailes to force seven year old Mary to marry his son Edward.

Hailes once again came under attack by an English army in 1650 when Oliver Cromwell's troop severely damaged the fortifications.  Later in the 17th century Hailes was bought by the Dalrymple family but they abandoned the castle in favour of a country house.

Hailes Castle is now maintained by Historic Scotland  - CLICK HERE for more information












Image taken on a Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S and Nikon 50mm f1.4 AF-D
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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Another East Lothian Sunset

Another Scottish sunset over the Firth of Forth.  The weather over the past couple of weeks has been changeable to say the least but the result of these weather fronts moving across East Lothian has been some dramatic sunsets.  This shot was taken from Doon Hill above Dunbar on the long end of the Sigma 50-500mm looking towards North Berwick and Edinburgh.  


On the right of the picture you can see The Law, the extinct volcano that is located close to North Berwick.  The light in this shot lasted no more than five minutes before the clouds closed in again.


Image taken on a Nikon D800 and Sigma 50-500mm f4/f6.3
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Monday, 19 August 2013

Rosslyn Chapel


Due to the inclement Scottish weather on Saturday we decided to head out to Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, a 14th century church famous for it's intricate carvings both inside and outside the building. Rosslyn also found recent fame when it was featured in the Dan Brown book 'The Da Vinci Code' and also in the 2006 film of the same name.  This has meant that visitor numbers have risen from around 30,000 to over 175,000 per year since the film was released, bringing in more visitor revenue to allow restoration work to continue.

The interior and exterior is a feast of carvings and design that has been worn by time and some destruction following the Reformation, but the beauty of the building is still visible.  The Baptistry at the end of the Chapel is a 19th century addition, as are the stain glass windows throughout the building

Photography is forbidden inside the chapel so I had to make do with these shots of the exterior but interior shots can be seen on the official website HERE 












Images taken on a Fujifilm Finepix X100 and a Fujinon 23mm f2 with a WCL-X100 wide angle converter (19mm f2)
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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Bass Rock from Seacliff Beach

Bass Rock dominates the coastline between Dunbar and North Berwick and is home to a large colony of seabirds, including 140,000 Gannets.   The island is also at the outer edge of the Firth of Forth and just to the east the North Sea begins. 

This shot was taken during our recent visit to Seacliff but Bass Rock can be seen in the images taken from Doon Hill above Dunbar.


Image taken on a Nikon D800 and a Nikon 50mm f1.4 AF-D
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Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Gegan and Tantallon Castle

At the western end of Seacliff Beach is an area known as The Gegan, a rocky outcrop with a tiny harbour, arguably the smallest in Scotland, that was carved out of the rock with the help of a steam engine at the end of the 19th Century by the then owner of Seacliff.  In the distance there is a fantastic view of the ruins of Tantallon Castle, the 14th Century stronghold of the Douglases (there will be more on Tantallon Castle in later blogs).







CLICK HERE for more on The Gegan and Seacliff on the Undiscovered Scotland website

All images taken on a Nikon D800 and a Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 AF-S or Nikon 50mm f1.4 AF-D
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Friday, 16 August 2013

Patterns on the Beach

The geology on the East Lothian coast near Dunbar is amazing.  On one of our walks near East Beach in the town I decided to concentrate on highlighting the patterns and colours in the rocks on the shoreline.


The wave action and the movement of the pebbles against the base rock have caused erosion that have developed some amazing shapes and textures and revealed the different layers in the rock face. 







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