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Gillies

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About Gillies

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    gilliesmackenzie
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    http://www.gilliesmackenzie.com
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  • Location
    Isle of Lewis, Scotland
  • Interests
    Sea Fishing, Loch Fishing, Photography, Movies, Travel
  1. A decent 200 or 300mm prime for around £300 ............ your kind of wanting the moon on a stick !!!!!!!!! Its a very big ask. Price Vs Performance always comes in when you buy lenses as you will know... you could look at the very cheap Opteka (or what ever they are called) ones... plenty of them on eBay. They are not very fast, and don't Autofocus very well (if they do at all) ... so you will need a nice bright day to get the very best out of the lens, which if your shooting wildlife in say a wooded area or bushes you may struggle... but then again if your a whizz with manual focusing you never know. Reviews of them on the web are not very kind at all. For decent quality on a Canon EF mount, I think you would be wanting to look at the superb 200mm L F2.8 ... which comes in around £450+ (which is out of your stated budget) .... that with a cheap Tamron 1.4x Teleconverter (around £60) you could maintain Autofocus but the F2.8 will be reduced a few stops to around F4(ish) and would give you 280mm (which in reality if you dont have a 1d or 5d you have 448mm (FOV of 1.6 x 200mm x 1.4 tc). I've got a Canon 70-200mm F4 L that I use with a 1.5 Teleconverter and it autofocuses great even in the worst light and fast(ish) moving objects. Next you have the Canon 300mm F4L IS or the Canon 400mm F5.6 L ........... but your looking at least £750 plus Sigma and Tamron primes of that focal lengths are pretty/very expensive. Have a look at www.dpreview.com in the Canon SLR talk to get some better ideas. I really wish you good luck in finding a lens of the length in your stated budget, you never know what bargain you will pick up on eBay if you search around. Gillies
  2. I'm not English ... but It would of been nice to get an English Manager for England from an English point of view I'd say... but been realistic, I personally dont think there are any English managers of such as high profile to take up the position (Harry Rednap - possibly the only real contender). Just look at how many English managers have won the English Premiership since it started!!!!! ... so it looks like it was down to either a lower profile English manager without a good record in winning trophies (ie as McClaren was), or a proven high profile forgien manager whom has had success at numerous levels. If Capello can be his own man (him pick the team... and not the papers or powers that be) ... then maybe he can get England back on track. Been a full blooded Scot ... of course I hope he fails .... but England have superb players, they just seem to need someone that can motivate those multi-millionaire playboys to play for the jersey... instead of lacklustre displays, and get them to play together as a team. Just remembeing Capello's AC Milan days ... he had a team that at times seemed unbeatable! I do wonder though ... why Mourinho said he was interested? ... talked to FA in depth .... then declared the job is not for him ... is this an indication that the England managers positition is one where outside influences have a big in the England team setup. Gillies
  3. Hi John Pound for pound this is a superb lens - I have had one for years, taking loads up loads of shots and have been more than happy with its performance. I only use it occasionally now, since I purchased Canon L telephoto lenses - but it is definately worth the money and getting. In my experiences, its nice and sharp up to 200mm, from 200mm to 300mm the images can be a wee bit softer depending on the available light, but if you have good light the images are plenty sharp. The Macro feature on it is surprisingly very very good, I've got some really nice shots of flying insects etc with it. All in all, a very good lens for the money and I personally would highly recommend it. Gillies
  4. I made sure I got nice clear shots of the fish been measured, showing clearly the measurments on the tape measure, and this was a big thick fish ... definately not a fish on a diet Gillies
  5. For night shots a tripod is essential ...... or some other way to remove any kind of camera shake ... the trick is no shake, and not over exposing the lights. Usually taking a number of shots at different exposure times and looking back at them you get an idea of what exposure time will work best .............. longer the exposure ... the brighter/more dazzling the lights will be, but also the more detail will be shown on buildings,rocks,items etc etc ......... its just finding the exposure that works best for you. The moon - if you are looking to get some detail in it (ie see the craters etc) ... you dont want to have to long a shutter speed, as a rule of thumb for moon shots on a clear night, I use ISO 100, F11 and 1/125. The majority of nice night shots of a town all lit up with a nice detailed moon on it you see on it are 99% of the time doctored ... the scene (ie the town) is taken an exposure of around 1 seconds + depending on the lighting .... and then the photo is taken at an exposure of around 1/125 and then cropped and pasted into the dark sky above the town. For Snatchers pretty Moon shot, I would of done something like that (cheated) .... taking two shots ... one at settings to get detail from the moon, and then the next shot slightly longer to get the moon illuminating the sea and the rocks etc .......... then just crop the moon and paste it over the moon on the more illuminated shot ....... so you have a nice moon lit photo, with a nice detailed sky Other times for longer exposures is when there is next to no light .... for example this castle one below I took a number of years ago, this was about a 1 minute expsoure ... to the naked eye, I could just make out the castle and the trees, and the lighting behind it is from builings behind .... you notice a smokey white line going across the bottom of the shot, thats a seagull flying by!!!!!!!!!!! just the effect of the long exposure ... other problem with the longer exposure with this shot is the stars are all small wee lines due to movement. So my two pence worth on longer night shots, a steady camera ... and once you have your shot framed as you want it .... try various exposure times (shutter speeds) and see what comes out best. Gillies
  6. Myself and my mate went Common Skate fishing from the shore last night, his rod had a small run ... followed by a big run a few mins later ... 20 mins later there was a 158 lb fish at the waters edge. He's already got the British Record for the Common Skate, so knew what to expect when he hooked it .... the area is reportedly full of Common Skate... but no one has properly went fishing for them with the heavier gear until now, so we'll be fishing it again over the coming weeks no doubt. Here are two photos that are posted elsewhere also... I got a great series of photos of the capture which I'll be posting later no doubt ... form the hooking of the fish, to the fish coming in .. to measuring wingspan/length, to returning the fish to the sea. From looking at the photos, the fish possibly was a wee bit bigger ... as the right wing tip is slightly curled up when measuring. An enjoyable nights fishing .... first time I've seen a Common been caught. Gillies
  7. Gillies

    Pink Fish

    Looks like a very pink Lumpsucker to me.... Gillies
  8. Gillies

    tripod

    Thats a good buy for a tripod, and it looks like it will do the just the job. When I first got a camera years ago, my tripod was a dusk collecter ... that then turned into a rod rest !!!! Now I have one with me where ever I go with a camera, right down to a small aerial legged one that goes from under 30cm to over 150cm (it just and no more takes the weight of a DSLR and a 70-200 lens). In my experiences some uses are ... For landscapes - I use a tripod for 99% of landscape shots ... most of the time I shoot landscapes at the first 2 hours of light, or last 2 hours of light ... to get better control of the lighting with the camera, nice and steady framing, and nice steady sharp shots when shutter speeds a slower. I take landscapes with a remote cable attached to the camera ... save me waiting for timer, as I never want camera shake by pressing the button the camera. For larger group portraits - when everyone is possing still and you want to get in the available light right around the frame to get everyone in shot at a shutter speed that gets everyone nice and sharp and those at the back as detailed as those at the frount (also I bounce light from the ceiling with a flash in this kind of shot). (I kind of messed up a group portait of 40 people a few weeks ago, by not using a tripod ) Timer or Remoted shots - taking a photo of yourself or when your in a group, or something you dont need to touch the camera ........... for example I sometimes use the tripod when taking photos of myself with fish, usually dangle something (a pastic bag) on the end of a fishing rod in the air infront of the camera around where I would stand and focus on it ... then set the timer to take a shot and go and stand where the bag was so that that Im in focus, and its a half decent shot (apart from the ugly git in the photo) In short - as mentioned before, it gives you a steady means of setting the photo up, and lets you have no camera shake in the photo which is especially handy when shooting at slower shutter speeeds. Gillies
  9. Gillies

    tripod

    I've got a Slik 300 DX (which with a good head cost me all in all near £150) ... and also I have a bit more expensive Manfrotto tripod and head system. I use the Slik 95% of the time though, it's built like a tank, and does a fantastic job when out and about doing landscapes .... it will last you many many years. I see it has dropped in price a wee bit since I got one years ago ... Gillies
  10. I've done shots like this before that turned out not to bad ... a girl with a lovely big smile been in the shots, I used my flashgun with the omni-bounce diffuser fitted for flash fill that wasn't to harsh, and the 50mm F1.8 @ F2.8 for a nice head and shoulders portrait with a nicely blurred background, with the flashgun pointed directly at her,.... end result was a series of nice portraits with a sprarkly smile. We played about with the pose, and added just a touch of Lypsyl to her teeth and it really brought out a sparkle on her teeth .... I'm guesisng a better job couldbe done with vaseline or lip bam (or what ever its called). If you do a flash shot insdoors under household lighting with a Point & Shoot to try and get this effect there is a good chance that since teh retina of the eyes will be enlarged by ambient lighting you will catch blood vessels in the eye, and get the dreaded red eye effect .... so if using a point and shoot, I'd guess unless you have good daytime lighting indoors, you should maybe try this kind of flash filled shot outdoors. Gillies
  11. If no Flash allowed, use your fastest film speed (ISO) that you camera has .... with noise levels that you find acceptable, and a shutter speed that fast enough to get the shot without blur, and slow enough to get the detail and available light into the photo. I think sometimes the grainey noise on a shot can be quite effective in a shot. If your into RAW and your camera has it, possibly shoot in RAW so you can adjust the photo later - white balance etc. Maybe do some test shots in low light at home, to get used to low light non-flash photography. Gillies
  12. You didnt say what your main subject of photography is, or did I miss it? .... I'd say that would be a major factor? In my opinion I'd say technique is the key to good images by miles and miles, then glass, then the camera ... My two pence worth would be, if your looking at doing landscapes you want glass that gives good corner to corner shaprness with nice colour rendition, some of the kit lenses do this ... if you get a good copy (Canon and Sigma QC seems not to great ... I dont know about Nikon), if your doing portraits etc - your looking at glass with a wee bit of speed under various lighing conditions for good bokeh... this is where your F1.8 and F2.8 etc come in ....... and if required your looking at your use of flash guns etc I absolutely hate post processing photos in Photoshop, apart from cropping, curves and sharpening ... so I try my best to get the most from a shot when I take it. For my landscapes I use a Canon 17-40mm L and a much cheaper Sigma 20mm F1.8 ..... I prefer the Sigma as its a great copy, my personal choice. I've seen absolutely amazing shots from kit lesnes, and shots that are terrible taken with top of the line 1Ds Mk2 Full Frame and a 17-40mm lens ..... all down to poor technique, I think if you improve technique you'd see a nice improvement. Incidentally - my best selling landscape shot by a long shot is one taken with a simple wee 2mp Point & Shoot camera on a very very wet day :-) If I were you - if Full Frame is important to you, sell the D70, get a 5D and a 17-40 L and 50mm F.18 ...... if not, just get hold of some more nice Nikon glass that suits your needs and a flash gun if you need it. Gillies
  13. If its a Teleconverter you want - have a look at the ones from Kenko or Tamron if you want to retain autofocusing, as the Canon TCs only autofocus on the 1D series bodies, otherwise on other bodies its manual focus (I may be wrong). When you put a TC on you will loose some of the speed of the glass (I may be wrong, correct me if I am but I think its 2 stops)and the autofocusing is not so nippy if you buy 3rd Party ones that retains autofocus, so when shooting in lower light the focusing may be hunting a wee bit .... so they work better in good light. I use a cheap (£60) Keno 1.5 TC sometimes on my 70-200 L and it works great ... and doesnt hunt around for focus at all in normal situations. It all depends on the available light I would say, if I stick it on F1.8 glass or F2.8 glass ... no huting ... F3.5 or F4 glass .... a wee bit of hunting occasionally, F5.6 glass it can hunt about a bit if lighting is not great ....... a bright sunny day, and hunting on all lenses really is not an issue. Im not to clued up on Teleconverters, but thats my experiences of them .... I may be wrong about the focusing of the Canon TC. Gillies
  14. I seen on a photorgaphy forum a link to a clip of photographer cleaning his sensor one day while out working at an event, and I was amazed at how easy it seamed, and how quick ... although Ive had the cleaning fluid and pads for months now, Ive been to scared to try it. I got it from where I get 99% of my camera gear ... Warehouse Express .... just had to make sure I got the pad to fit the sensor, which they clearly show. I looked to see if I could find that clip, but I cant ... but did come across this ....... oh, and Im in no way asscoiated with this manufacturer etc blah blah blah Its a nervy thing to do ... but Im more than happy with the results ... I take good care of my sensors, but can easily be switching between 3-4 lenses in one day, so the dust does creep in Gillies
  15. After getting sick of using canned air to try and blast out sensor dust, and only gets rid of so much of it ... and using the clone tool in Photoshop or Fireworks to get rid of the specs left on the images ... I finally got up the courage to use a sensor cleaning kit (Note: Canon and Nikon are against you doing this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I used digi-pads with one or two drops of Eclipse Optic Cleaning Fluid - a wipe back and fore on the sensor, and that was it :-) The results were great - a nice clean sensor now, without a trace of dust on images from F1.8 to F22. I've seen a number of shots posted on here suffering a wee bit from sensor dust around the edges etc, I'm not suggesting anyone try's it (as I dont want to be held to blame if goes wrong on you) but I'm extremely happy with the results I got when I cleaned my two Digi SLRs sensors using the digi-pads and eclipse fluid. Gillies
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