Man am I having a ball with this lens! Coupled with the fact that we are also having a great spell of weather here on the Coast - and that means lots of photography for me. Ah, life is good.
Have gone to local beaches over the last few nights at the 'golden' hour before sunset. What a beautiful period of the day it is. Everything glows a yellow-orange colour and people are out enjoying the warmer evenings.
The first evening I went to Rapahoe Beach hoping to catch a brilliant sunset. That didn't eventuate, but I got some great shots with the 10-22mm anyway. The ultra-wide turned the patterns and shapes of the sand into hills and valleys that lead the eye perfectly into the scene. I also got lucky and managed to snap an obliging family with pet dogs as they made their way across the beach.
Tonight I ventured a bit further up the coast road, to a favourite spot of mine that has some very interesting rock formations. While there I met up with a fellow photographer, Nelsonian - Daan Dehn, who was also enjoying the evening light. Check out Dan's shots from around New Zealand at www.daandehn.com
Getting there an hour before sunset gave me time to scout out the best shooting possibilities, and also time for scrambling around the rocks to find shots like the starfish on the left. The ultra-wide is great for creating masses of depth-of-field, but I have found that you need to be careful about sun placement. Very strong sidelight will tend to give some lens flare if you're not careful. I can see that I will have to invest in a lens hood in the very near future.
Unfortunately, sunset wasn't up to much this time either, but I was determined to hang around until after dark and try some long exposures. The water moving through the rocks as the tide comes in looks pretty cool, and I wanted to try this effect out with the Canon 10-22mm. I'm glad I hung around, because I came away with some images I'm pretty happy with, although they needed a bit of post-processing in CS3 to get them looking how I wanted.
Because their was such a huge difference in exposure between the sky and foreground, I shot in RAW (I normally do anyway) so that I could 'blend' the two exposures digitally later on. Opening up the shadows also introduces some 'noise', but this was easily fixed in Noise Ninja. I also like the 'blue' tint that these long exposures at night give (my longest was 35 seconds), but I also thought it might work in B&W.
Long-range forecast for the next few weeks is looking pretty good. So me and my 10-22mm might see a lot of action over the next month. Based on the results so far I couldn't be happier. It's probably about the best $1000NZ I've ever spent on my photography, and it's certainly one of the most 'fun' lenses I've ever owned.
And with all these landscape images mounting up, it just might pay for itself in the not too distant future as well. That's gotta be good.