C B Images

Photography by Chris Bates

How To

iPhone, Red Deer Rebels, hockey, sports
Face Off: iPhone 4 edited with Perfect Photo Suite 6

I have been in a bit of a rut lately when it comes to my photography. Not sure why. Kind of the same feeling I had when sitting down to write papers in University. You get this block in your head and are not sure where to start.

Some of the photography blogs that I read regularly suggest getting out of your comfort zone and shoot something different to get out of these ruts. I believe that I like nature photography because my subjects don't judge me. I feel comfortable knowing I am alone with nature and I can take all the time that I need to find shots that catch my eye.

This past weekend I took a baby step in getting out of my comfort zone. I went to a Western Hockey League hockey game and took some photos. Now, when I say baby steps what I mean is that I didn't take my "big" camera but instead pulled out my iPhone. No big lenses, no wondering which settings to use and not worrying what people might think I was doing. I actually had fun! This maybe the power I needed to get out of my rut.

I had pretty awesome seats to the Red Deer Rebels game. Front row right up against the glass. They were playing the Regina Pats. Our home team Rebels (Team in Black) won the game 2-1. These are a couple of shots from that game.

hockey, Red Deer Rebales, Western Hockey League, Regina Pats, Red Deer Centrium, winter, sports
Neutral Zone: iPhone 4 edited with Perfect Photo Suite 6

Hidden Camera in Apple Tree: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/250

Kodak Playsport and Joby Gorillapod: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/350

Today I thought I would share with you how I captured the Baby Wren videos I posted earlier this month.

I had been on the look out for a durable point and shoot camera that could take Time Lapse photos and then along came the Kodak Playsport pocket, memory card, HD video recorder. Some of the other blogs I read regularly have talked about the video quality of this little pocket recorder and the low price. The camera is also waterproof up to 10 feet and supposedly shockproof (Which I will not test on purpose). However, it does not do the Time Lapse I had been after.

The only pocket camera I could find that did Time Lapse, was waterproof, and did HD Video had a considerably high price and only got average reviews for image and video quality. So, when a local store had the Kodak Playsport on sale and with an added bonus of a free spare battery I took the plunge.

The video from this camera is quite good in my opinion and easy to upload to YouTube. The only flaw I seen in my Wren videos was that I had the camera too close to the bird house and the focus isn't quite as sharp as it should be. Inside the crab apple tree, it was also quite dark as the tree is heavily leaved. But the end result was what I wanted. Watching the birds without causing too much stress on them and able to share this with my readers.

I attached the camera to a Joby Gorillapod that I had gotten a few years ago. I have used it before to give me a steady mount low to the ground for some macro shots with my regular camera and have used it to mount my flash/strobe off camera and attach it to the legs of my tripod. With the hidden camera I actually used the Gorillapod for what it is good at, attaching itself to tree branches, fence posts and anything else it can wrap its legs around and give your camera a unique point of view.

I attached the Gorillapod to one of the many branches in the tree faced the camera towards the bird house and then turned the camera on and went off to do other things. You have seen clips from the end result.

The only drawback to the Kodak Playsport is the battery life is pretty short. I got about 40 minutes of 720p recording out of full charged battery. So, I am glad I got the free spare battery with my purchase.