Silent Sentinels

Just back from a weekend camping up on the banks of the River Murray and thought I’d quickly post some images.

The Murray River is today a highly regulated river system with a series of weir and locks along its length.  Other than during flood events, the river level upstream of each lock is carefully managed to keep pool heights constant for both irrigation and navigation purposes. Unfortunately, this has been to the detriment of thousand upon thousands of river red gums lining the banks of the river and its flood plains.  These magnificent trees need periodic flooding over their root systems (once very few years is fine – they get by in between), but constant immersion leads to their slow death.  The river today has many patches of gums drowned by the higher and unvarying river levels that came with the locks – silent sentinels looking down upon a now disturbed ecological balance.

Drowned river red gums on the River Murray, Australia

Drowned river red gums on the River Murray, Australia

Drowned river red gums on the River Murray, Australia

Drowned river red gums on the River Murray, Australia

Drowned river red gums on the River Murray, Australia

Switching now to some healthier specimens seemingly growing out of the side of a cliff.

River red gums on River Murray, Australia

What I believe is a cluster of swallow mud nests embedded on the cliff walls safely above the flood line.

Swallow nests, River Murray, Australia

One hundred and one uses for a used railway flat top carriage: #78 Build a bridge.  In this instance spanning the creek that drains a nearby lagoon. The tinnie just fitted underneath.  I should explain the term “tinnie” – in Australian slang, a tinnie is either a can of beer or an aluminium dinghy.  I’m using “tinnie” in the nautical context here.

Silent Sentinels

Two boys in a tinnie …checking out the cliffs on a river bend. The swallow nests were just between and just above their heads.

Camera Gear

Scooting about in a borrowed tinnie, I left the bulky kit back at the camp site and just took my new Samsung NX 1000 mirrorless camera.

Popped a polariser filter onto the lens to counter the strong light and it worked a treat while correctly aligned to minimise reflections and glare. But towards the end of my little trip upon the mighty Murray I think I fiddled about with it and changed its rotation away from the optimal alignment. Grrrrr! You should be able to pick those shots in the above images – contrast and colour saturation are down compared to the shots where the polariser was properly aligned.

I did notice after getting back home that the front lens section of the Samsung 20-50mm kit lens rotates while focusing – this could also potentially change the polariser alignment and is something I will need to watch on future occasions.

With the NX1000, I also found that I missed any image stabilisation. The NX1000 20-50mm kit lens doesn’t provide any image stabilisation – it’s a move up to the more expensive members of the NX camera family before image stabilisation is built into the provided zoom lens. I let the shutter speed drift down below 1/50th second exposure time more than once and those images suffered from movement blur. With image stabilisation, these shots most likely would have been fine and I wouldn’t have found myself writing this paragraph. Another mental note to self – keep the shutter speed up with the NX1000.

But with these provisos, the NX1000 worked well – the images that the operator didn’t muck up were good, and the standard zoom lens, while pretty cheap and plastic feeling, is surprisingly sharp. Colours on the better shots were quite true to life.

And where was I?

Somewhere in the general vicinity of Morgan, South Australia.


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2 thoughts on “Silent Sentinels

  1. Pingback: First Impressions: Samsung NX1000 + 30mm Pancake | Photo Morsels

  2. Pingback: More from the Murray | Photo Morsels

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