Today I got the bus down to take a picture of what the building looked like from the inside, as promised nearly a year ago. Snow isn’t something we get very often here in Manchester, although last night was the first time I saw it snowing in the city centre in the 18 months I have been living here. Chill Factore is within walking distance of the Trafford Centre and opened just before Christmas. The above photograph shows the main, larger slope of the two. It is 180 metres long and although smaller than it looked on the outside I’m sure from the top it looks a long bigger and steeper. Sadly I have never been skiing or snow boarding and didn’t get a chance to today, it is quite expensive when you have to hire the kit and as much as it might be a hobby which I would probably enjoy, it isn’t a hobby that I can currently justify as a poor student.
The technical side of this photograph was quite tricky, as mentioned above I rarely see snow and this one of my first photo shoots in the snow. I found that if I over exposed the image by a stop or more it would trick the cameras built in light metering and not give the snow a gray look to it. Maybe next time I go I will take a tripod with me and experiment more with settings, apertures and long exposures. Or hire a snowboard and see if I can get a photo from the top looking down!
Dave mentioned at the weekend, that there was some type of Nikon road show going on today. When I got home from the Lake District there was an e-mail invite from Nikon waiting for me. So Kov and I went down to check out the latest D300 and D3 Nikon D-SLR cameras. The event was held inside Manchester’s Velodrome and had live sports photography with cyclists racing around the show (as in the photograph above). There was also a live wedding shoot going on which was also very interesting to watch. For me though, it wasn’t so much playing with the new and extremely expensive Nikon cameras but being able to try and test out any Nikon lens I had thought of purchasing. I tested the 105mm Macro f/2.8 VR, which was a stunning close up lens, pin sharp detail and very crisp. The second lens was the 80-400mm VR zoom which was very heavy and although impressive in terms of focal length, awkward to zoom. For a photographer, these types of events are incredibly useful, not only did I network with a lot of photographers but I also got to try some of the latest and most expensive lens on my own camera body.
Southport has a very long pier, which is chiefly over developing land. One interesting note is a small skate park on the north side (on your right as you walk seaward along the pier). I found it interesting to watch the skaters and bikers because you look down on the park from the pier. It’s only small (just a couple of jumps and half pipes) but I enjoyed watching the guy in the photograph above jumping the tops of the half pipes. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me publishing this picture. To be honest, visiting and photographing skate parks and extreme sports really interests me and is something I plan to do a lot more of in the future. In the picture he is actually in the air; the front wheel isn’t resting on the top of the jump, it just looks that way because of the timing.
So I was out playing American Pool with a friend and decided I would try to get a photo of the balls moving around the table. I wanted a dark image but showing movement. I had fun trying to get the right settings and shutter speed. Obviously I didn’t use flash or a tripod but I am still happy with the final result, maybe a little too dark.