A rare day at the beach

Canon 1000D and “P” mode plus the EF-S 55 -250 mm lens.

Completely clear fine days in June are reasonably rare, most especially on the weekend. This was the case yesterday, so we decided to head for Raglan, a small seaside town on the west coast. Famous for its black sand beaches, surf and one of the best fish and chip shops in the Waikato.

After picking some food up, we parked along the harbour shore to eat and were  quickly joined by the natives., including one that decided looking through the windscreen was the best bet.

The exercise was to shoot with one lens, use “P” mode, ISO 400 and a +.67 Ev setting to help boost shutter speeds. The day was fine, bright winter sun, and reasonably warm conditions. Light was very difficult  because of low sun angles and the position from which I had to shoot. I shot RAW plus Jpeg and all the images here are processed from the RAW files as a good many of the jpegs exhibited blown highlights.  The reason for selecting the “P” mode was to test how the camera performed, as this is a more advanced setting than full auto. You could think of it as being semi-auto and use it as such. By shooting RAW plus jpeg you add an extra amount of backup knowing that if the jpegs arent too great then editing the RAW files will provide a better outcome.

The dinner guests:

Lunch being over the natives duly left as did we. Heading around to Memorial Drive we decided to see what was happening out by the entrance to the harbour. The tide was well out, but incoming and large areas of sand were available for any number of people and a whole lot of dogs, plus plenty of keen anglers. We even had the chance of chatting with the owners of the smallest dog on the beach, although the wee one thinks its the boss.

About the time we were chatting with the young couple who had the little warrior  with them the Red Baron flew by ….

Sedate flying

…. And a short while later Snoopy paid a visit looking for his arch enemy

Snoopy flies by

After observing all these interesting things I felt it was time for a few more shots of the more random kind

All in all a good day out. The EF-S 55-250 worked well, the biggest issue for the day was definitely the harsh afternoon light, which left me wishing that I had a higher resolution sensor on board, such as that that you find in the EOS 1300 D or the newer SL200, but with a bit of work most of the RAW files yielded pleasing results. I did note that the lens hunted sometimes for focus, primarily as I had AF set to servo mode, whereas AF set to single may have been beneficial in some circumstances.  However as we are endeavouring to get the best from budget equipment its plain the the 1000d + lens combo was doing a reasonable job.

If you were thinking of getting into DSLR photography but the pricing is a little scary then a good used EOS 1000d and a couple of lenses will give you plenty to work with.