Explain It: Sleep

Guest Author: ESYP

Sleep- a fundamental part of our life and possibly the activity which consumes the largest parts of our lives no matter who we are coming in at approximately 33% of our time alive. Realistically, everybody loves sleep and you should, unfortunately a study conducted the CDC in the United States of America has revealed that 1/3 adults are sleep deprived. As such their bodies do not receive enough physiological or psychological recovery. Some long term effects of sleep deprivation are high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

But breaking it down, what is sleep? Sleep is referred to as an altered state of consciousness in which the body utilises to recover physiologically as well as psychologically also known as mentally.

The nature of sleep for the majority reading would be that your body goes through the 4 stages of sleep as well as a small proportion of REM sleep. Every 90 minutes, the body undergoes a sleep cycle in which the body will pass through stage 1, which is light sleep, stage 2, slightly deeper, and then through stages 3-4 which is also known as deep sleep. After every sleep cycle, there will be a proportion of REM sleep during the stages of light sleep and this proportion increases as sleep goes on until the individual is awake.

As for us generally, if you wish to take a nap during the day, the optimal time frame is in period of 90 minutes for example 1 and a half hours or 3 hours. This will help you to feel more refreshed after your nap rather than interrupting deep sleep which will cause a phenomenon called “sleep drunkenness”. I’m sure everyone has felt more tired or slightly disorientated after a period of sleep, as such this is known as sleep drunkenness. Long story short don’t interrupt deep sleep.

Tell us what part of sleep you’d like covered in future editions! Until next time…

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Beginner digital photography: 4K cameras

This week we will focus on beginner level entry cameras that shoot video at 4K (or UHD). A very common mistake is distinguishing between 4K and Ultra-high definition. 4K has a resolution of 4096 x 2160 whereas UHD has a resolution of 3840 X 2160. Your 4K televisions are actually UHD, however for the stake of this article, we will refer to 4K as UHD. 4K cameras started to appear on the market as early as 2015 and have now become the standard video format for cameras. A Lot of professional cameras have moved to 4K in 2017 and there are more cameras that will move to this format very soon. You may be starting out a vlog, filming some cinematic clips or even just filming your family member’s birthday party and you’re unsure as to which camera to buy, l have compiled a list of the best budget and beginner 4K cameras that are on the market today for you to use. Trust me, all these cameras produce killer 4K video and will throw the traditional HD 1080p footage out the window.

 

Panasonic G7

 

This has to be the best bang for buck 4K camera on the market today, with amazingly crisp 4K footage and fast autofocus, this camera is a definite buy. Not only this, it also produces some amazing still photography. Many view this camera as the younger brother of the GH4, which makes this little camera a best for filming and photography. The lenses have optical image stabilisation and the camera itself is very light, allowing you to stabilize the camera and hold it for long periods.  Footage itself can be recorded at up to 30p, at a bitrate of up to 100Mbps, and you can also call upon zebra patterning and focus peaking to help when recording. Not only this, chuck on a hotshoe mic and you have a complete package. Did I forget to mention the touch swivel screen? It’s got one of them, perfect for vlogging.

 

Sony A6300

 

The Sony A6300 mustn’t be looked over despite its replacement, the A6500, already on the market. With prices falling due to the updated version, the Sony A6300 is a very solid choice with a huge range of features and it’s an APS-C sensor. Furthermore, there are Log gamma modes, 120fps HD recording (also at 100Mbps) and enhanced zebra patterning to keep an eye on exposure, which can be extremely beneficial. You also benefit from a highly advanced focusing system for rapid focus and a 2.36-million-dot OLED viewfinder all inside a dust- and moisture-resistant body. I would highly recommend the A6300, if you have the extra money go for the A6500 as it contains inbuilt image stabilisation which helps with recording footage, however the battery life of both these cameras is relatively low compared to the competing mirrorless cameras.

 

Panasonic GH4/GH5

This bad boy was the 4K camera that changed the way people viewed mirrorless cameras, many youtubers and film-makers starting use this camera for their 4K videos due to its huge capabilities and very very impressive battery life. The battery is able to record nearly up to 4 hours of 4k footage and produces very impressive 4K for the user to color grade. This is a little more expensive than the other recommendations, however buying this second hand would be a good idea especially as the GH5 has come out onto the market. It is a powerhouse and has a wide range of lens selection, plus you can always get an adapter to use your current glass on your camera. Remember to purchase a large and fast enough SD card as you don’t want the camera to be buffering or create any distortions. It also has 12fps continuous shooting and the list of functionalities is very impressive.

 

Sony RX 100 (versions 4 and up)

The Sony RX100 was a camera that surprised many photographers. It was a compact camera for starters and we were told it could shoot 4K and take amazing stills. It did everything it was set out to do and did it very well, apart from overheating in the 4th variation. The RX100 shoot incredible 4K footage and has stabilised images and it also holds up very well whilst taking stills. The new version has a continuous shooting rate of 16 frames per second and has a tilting screen. This camera is a very popular backup camera which it’s very small form factor and many youtubers take this camera to events where they can’t fit their main rigs. The best part about this camera is how it can fit inside your pocket and has a surprisingly good battery life. The only downside to this camera is it’s non-removable lens, but apart from that it is a very solid camera that many enthusiasts have bought.

 

Xiaomi yi M1

 

When we talk about budgets, this is a real budget superhero. It is a 4k 20MP mirrorless camera and sells for around 300-400 USD, which is incredible. It has a very sleek and minimalistic build like the leica cameras and offers a range of functionalities. It is an interchangeable lens camera and can be bought with the kit lenses. It is an almost fully touchscreen interface with hardly any dials or buttons, which I dislike, however the interface is easy to use and even has a hotshoe for a flash! Shoot the camera is Aperture priority mode for the best result, however the autofocusing is rather poor and you can’t change focus whilst in video mode. It has an impressive ISO range and uses a sony sensor. If this camera got any cheaper, I would recommend to buy it just as a backup or a camera you can throw around. However, this camera does not get my recommendation to buy IF you have a larger budget and can buy the other cameras.

 

GoPro Hero 5 Black

Right now, the GoPro Hero 5 Black is a very promising action camera to purchase. Not only is the price dropping, but it has a range of functionalities and recording modes. The Hero 5 didn’t get off to the best of starts when it ran into production problems, which some still lurk today, but this doesn’t take away the incredible performance it has. The 4K footage from the gopro is crisp and sharp and also produces some very nice colours. With a touchscreen interface, the gopro is easy to use and control and also has inbuilt stabilisation which makes the footage a whole lot better to watch and use. I must warn you to not take your gopro hero 5 in the water, most of the batches have cracks in the waterproof sealing and I would recommend to buy a waterproof housing for the gopro hero 5. If you aren’t taking it in the water, it is a very promising and cheaper alternative to have 4K footage.

 

Your Phone

If your phone has 4K capabilities, get a rode mic to plug into your phone and boom, you have a 4K camera. Make sure you have a big enough SD card to fill up and also spare battery packs to charge your phone!

 

These are budget options to get into the 4K scenes and hopefully there is something in the mix for you!

Photography on a Budget: Splash Photography

Today we start a new series called photography on a budget, where you can get professional looking photos with everyday items around your house. Each week I will look at different ideas you can try at home and outside with everyday household items or cheap items that can be purchased online.

 

Introduction:

Splash photography is one of my favourite types of photography, freezing water in motion (or any liquid) is truly magical, giving you another perspective on water. The water you drop can be dyed to create different colours and you can add different liquids to the water to give it another effect such as oil, vinegar or even cordial. To maximise the effect of the water splashes, pick an everyday object to pour the water over, or drop an everyday object into a bowl of water. Lighting is going to be very important in this, normally professional photographers use high powered flashes to freeze the water in time, however their flashes are done behind the subject through wireless sync and those flashes often cost a lot of money, however I keep an eye out for my recommendation on budget flashes.

 

Aim:

To capture the water splashes at a high rate, freezing it in mid-air on a budget.

Equipment:

  • CFL lamp, we need these lamps to light up the water from behind
  • Baking paper, this is to diffuse the light from the lamp
  • LED torches, we need these to light up the bulbs from the front
  • Water, to pour over the object
  • Light bulb, our object to pour over (you can choose your own)
  • Camera with a sharp lens, preferably a prime.
  • Making tape, to tape up the baking paper
  • Tile or a plate, to rest our object on
  • Bucket or a tub, to rest our tile on and to catch the water that falls
  • Tripod, to ensure our shots are stable and crisp
  • Towels, we will end up spilling water unfortunately
  • Food dye, to colour the water, spicing up the photos
  • Table, to create a stable surface for your set-up

 

Method:

  1. Pick a spot to set up your equipment, preferably somewhere dark as you only want the background to be lit by the CFL lamp.
  2. Place your tub on your table with your tile or plate on top, make sure there is enough room for your water to drip down into the tub after you pour your water.
  3. Use blu-tack to secure your object in the middle or towards the back of the tile, you want the camera to focus on the tile and the object, don’t want to include the tub.
  4. Set-up your CFL lamp behind the tub and tiles, make sure your object is directly in front of the incoming light, place books or anything to raise up the lamp.
  5. Cut some baking paper to cover the lamp, this is because we want to diffuse the light, rather than making it very harsh on the subject. You can hang this from wall to wall. I hung my baking paper from the wall to a pole, think creatively of how you can hang up your baking paper.
  6. Set-up your tripod and camera up, make sure you get the framing right so that your object is in the middle and on a good angle, otherwise the splashes will look less appealing. You may not even use a tripod, you can use a small bookshelf, or books stacked together or even a chair.
  7. Once you have your framing right, set up your LED torches, I used two, on either side of the object give the front of the object a bit of glow, so the viewer can see the object. The LED torches don’t need to be bright and should be placed a fair distance away, just giving enough light to light up the front.
  8. Set your camera is a shutter speed of 1/4000, iso to around 800 to 1600 and your f stop to around f/5 to f/9 to ensure you get good enough depth of field so that all your water droplets are in focus.
  9. Take a few test shots to adjust your settings to ensure that everyone works well. Remember you can edit certain things in post so don’t be too pedantic on the quality.
  10. Pour water as your hold the shutter down, make sure your camera is on continuous shooting.
  11. Repeat with dyed water to create different scenes and moods.

Sample set-up:

21038048_1782263088468598_1755618247_o

Results:

HOT TIP: Make sure you are shooting in .raw so you can edit in post!

Concluding thoughts: 

The entire exercise took me no longer than 15 minutes to set-up and was really quick to tear down. Make sure to take as many shots as possible or up until you get the shot you really want. Not only is this cheap, it also produces some amazing photographs for you to share with your friends and the outside world. Remember to tune in every Wednesday or (Tuesday if you live in the states) for a new weekly photography idea on a budget!

 

Explain it: Cash Rates

Guest Author: ESYP

Introduction

The cash rate refers to the rate of which banks loan each other money in order to balance their ESAs (Exchange Settlement Accounts). To understand the cash rate, one must firstly understand the concept of the open market operations in Australia.

Open Market Operations

On the first Tuesday of every month, the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) board holds a meeting to set the target cash rate for the next month after which at 2:30pm, the target rate will be announced. This is also referred to the government’s monetary policy. Contrary to common belief, the rate does not immediately come in to operation but rather operates with a lag.

After this rate is set, the RBA will start open market operations, that is, they will start to utilise the selling or purchasing of government securities to and from financial institutions in order to reach that target rate. If the RBA board decides to increase the cash rate, in line with contractionary monetary policy, which is to decrease spending, the government aims to reduce the supply of money and thus increase the “cost” of money. To achieve this, the RBA will sell government securities such as bonds, at a discount in order to entice the purchasing of this bonds. As part of the law, the ESAs of every bank must be balanced. However the nature of the ESA is that it facilitates inter-bank monetary transfer. For example, if a customer of ANZ writes a cheque and gives it to someone who deposits the cheque at Westpac, this is an interbank transaction. In turn, along with the millions of other different interbank transactions, they must balance the differences between the banks. As the RBA pays an interest rate of -0.25 of the cash rate for excess funds and +0.25% of the interest rate for any shortages, there is an incentive for banks to loan each other this money. As such, after enough of the government securities are sold or bought, money must move between the institutions and the RBA.

When increasing the cash rate, the banks transfer their money from the ESAs to the RBA in exchange for the bonds and the RBA transfers money to the Banks’ ESAs in return for the bonds when a decrease is wanted.

Because of these transactions, there is an effect on the liquidity of financial institutions. When there is an increase in the cash rate, banks’ ESAs will now have less money and thus have to replace that money to avoid penalty and as such institutions will now have to compete for the limited cash available thus driving up the cash rate. In the event that there is a decrease in the cash rate, bank’s ESAs will now have more money and now want to get rid of this excess cash. Therefore institutions will compete to get rid of their surplus cash thus driving down the cash rate.

Because the cash rate is the wholesale rate that affects whole sale borrowing, retail interest rates will follow suit, be it with a difference to ensure the banks make profit.

 

Impact on you

You might be thinking, what’s this talk about banks and the RBA got to do with me? I’m not looking to borrow from the RBA? The key impact of the cash rate on the general population is the incentive to spend on credit. If banks decide to reduce their retail interest rates because of the lowered interest rates, interest repayments for mortgages or personal loans will drop and as such the final cost of buying that good will decrease. Additionally, reduced retail interest rates will decrease the incentive to save as your monthly interest payments from your savings accounts will decrease. This means that there is encouragement to spend!

As such, understanding the business cycle will be key in avoiding larger interest repayments than you have to. We’ll be covering that next time on Explain it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: None of the information in this article is professional financial advice. The author(s) of this article will not be liable for any financial decisions made based on the information of this article.

Beginner Digital Photography: First Prime Lens

Kit lenses only take you so far in your photography journey, If you have been shooting on your kit lens for a while now, you may be thinking about buying your first lens, which in my opinion should be a prime lens. There are hundreds and thousands of prime lenses on the market, whether it be a vintage lens, new lens or a used lens. They come in all different focal lengths and different maximum apertures. This is all very very confusing, so today I will boil it all down to the lens you would buy depending on your camera mount.

 

First lets look at the difference between a kit lens and a prime lens. A kit lens has a range of different focal lengths, let’s say from 18mm to 55mm. You may have noticed that as you zoom in, the maximum aperture increases, this is due to the aperture adjusting to the amount of zoom. These kit lenses often have a lot more glass and are typically not as sharp as the prime lens due to all the addes glass and moving parts, which can create softness in your lens. When shooting zoomed up taking a portrait, you may struggle to get good enough creamy bokeh due to the physical limitations of the aperture. You can get a lower min aperture by walking closer to the subject and reducing your zoom, however your depth of field of the subject changes and the subject has end up being distorted by the fisheye structure of the lens. Here, the prime lens comes in handy, you can bring the aperture right down, normally f/1.8, producing extremely creamy bokeh, sharpness and you zoom with your legs. With a prime lens, you cannot zoom, so you will need to zoom in and out by using your legs. I will have an article coming up in the coming days that will talk about aperture.

 

The reason why many photographers suggest the first lens to be a prime lens is due to their weight and how cheap they can be. They have the best bang for the buck in terms of sharpness and bokeh and would definitely recommend buying one on sale, as they are constantly on sale. The lightweight nature makes it easy to carry your camera around and can fit in your bag with ease. Not only this, they are very durable due to the lack of moving parts and don’t cost too much to replace. Furthermore, prime lenses help you progress in your photography game into the next level and remember to share your photos.

 

You may have come across the term nifty fifty before, this term refers to the 50mm prime lenses you can buy for your camera. These lenses are one of the most versatile lenses on the market today, they offer the best sharpness, bokeh and weight. 50mm prime lenses are most commonly used for street photography, portraits and event photography. These lenses are extremely sharp, making your images really pop out and have some of the best bokeh that can be produced. Bokeh is the creamy blur of the background behind your subject, it adds emphasis on the subject. Not only this, having a lower aperture allows you to let in more light to your camera, making it better for night photography or low light photography. This being a photography guide for those who are beginners, your camera would have a x1.5 up to x2.0 crop factor. This would mean we must adjust for these factors.

 

The following is table of which lens I would recommend you to buy depending your camera brand, remember these are crop sensors, if you are on a full frame camera, go ahead and buy a 50mm prime lens, make sure the max aperture is below f/1.8.

 

Camera Brand Lens
Nikon – f mount Nikon NIKKOR AF-S 35mm f/1.8G F1.8 G DX
Canon – EF-S mount Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Panasonic – Micro four thirds Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH
Sony – E mount Sony E Mount 35mm f1.8 OSS Lens
Olympus – Micro four thirds Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 Lens
Pentax – K- mount Pentax DA 35mm F2.4 AL Lens

 

Remember, you can opt for different focal lengths, these distances are for getting the nifty fifty prime lens focal length (apart from the canon). For the canon, I would opt for either 24mm or the 50mm. Both are fantastic lenses and very affordable. Not only this, you can look at other different brands such as sigma for their fantastic lens selection. But for now, I would strongly recommend purchasing a lens from that table as they are the best bang for your buck prime lenses which you should have. I don’t think I could live without my 35mm prime lens from NIkon, it is a fantastic lens and I use it on nearly every outing due to the incredible sharpness and crispness.

 

I hope to catch you next week as we go through which 4K cameras to buy at this current time!

Explore: Blue Mountains

The world heritage listed blue mountains, named after the blue haze that surrounds the mountains and cliffs, is a beautiful and enchanted range visited by hundreds and thousands every year. The views are spectacular with the range covered infinite eucalyptus trees. Only situated 90 minutes away from the CBD, the blue mountains has proven to be a very popular among the locals and tourists. I would highly recommend a visit to the blue mountains if you are nearby, definitely grab out your camera and a wide angle lens to capture the beauty of the mountains. Today I will go through the top attractions as well as some tips and tricks when visiting the blue mountains to make it the most memorable experience to date.

Free parking

We will start off by showing where the free parking is, trust me, It will come in handy when visiting these attractions.

Three sisters

The three sisters is an iconic sandstone formation which have eroded over time to leave 3 protruding rocks towering over the landscape. These massive rock formations are connected to the Aboriginal history and can be seen from the lookout. Be mindful there will be lots of people at the lookout, walking down and to the left will give you the best view. Not only from this lookout, you can see a panoramic view of landscape, giving you a middle earth vibe. According to the Aboriginals, these three rocks represented three sisters that transformed into rocks. The lookout is called echo point and there are toilets, drink taps and seating areas.

DSC_0686

Wentworth falls

One of the many waterfalls on offer at the Blue mountains, Wentworth falls is one of the most rewarding waterfalls to visit. Along the trail you will encounter different waterfalls and it the common trail normally takes around 20 minutes, and is definitely worth your time. If you are more of a hiker, don’t fret, there are so many different tracks you can take, pick and choose and walk. You will not regret it and every trail has something different on offer. There have been reported sightings of many different wildlife along princess’s walking track. All the tracks include stairs, but they are easy hikes to complete. Make sure to bring water and also food to have a picnic to rewind and recharge.

DSC_0002-2

Katoomba falls and cascades

Not too far from the three sisters, the Katoomba falls is an easy to get to destination and has plenty of options to free roam around the falls. From the car park, there are a few tracks that lead you to many different lookouts for the Katoomba falls. I would highly recommend visiting them first then following the path. You will be greeted with this spectacular waterfall where you can climb and take photos. The trees block the harsh sunlight, making it very nice to take some photos. Now the fun part is following the river trail, I highly recommend exploring this river. I take no responsibilities if you slip or fall, please go with caution. The river is clear and there are clear paths to take. Be Careful of the depth and make sure to take photos whilst you travel down. You will pass many smaller waterfalls and suddenly be greeted with a massive cliff edge, the edge of Katoomba falls where the scenic skyworld passes focuses on. Trust me, it is an exhilarating experience being at the edge of this gigantic waterfall, best to visit when there hasn’t been a lot of rain due to the current of the water. The entire waterfall and walk is drop dead gorgeous, the greenery being contrasted with the sandstone and seeing the blue haze in the distance is something that still amazes me today. Below is a video of my mates and I exploring the waterfall.

Prince Henry Cliff Walk

I strongly recommend following this relatively walking track that takes you towards Katoomba falls, the views along the route are incredible and have many different lookouts situated along the walk. Ensure to wear runners with grip and prepare to stop randomly as the path can be relatively tight at times. Cliff View lookout is a must stop destination along the way, giving you more panoramic views and you can climb under the metal chains to walk along the rocks to be an unobstructed view, once again please be careful when doing so.

Glow worm tunnel at Lithgo

If you still have time in your day, make sure to visit the glow worm tunnels in Lithgow. These tunnels are old railways tunnels and are 400m in length, the line was discounted back in 1940, however larvae of the fungus gnat now surround the tunnel, make sure to bring a torch and good walking shoes when exploring this tunnel.

Explain it: The Business Cycle

Guest Author: ESYP

Introduction 

The baseline of all economic activity: the business cycle. This is the cyclical trend demonstrating the trend of economic activity. A typical business cycle lasts approximately 69-84 months. The business cycle has a few typical phases. Starting with an expansion as economic growth starts to build. When economic activity reaches a peak, it transitions into a peak. An extraordinary peak will be classified as a boom. Afterwards, as economic activity starts to slow and decrease, it transitions into a contraction. When economic activity reaches a low, it forms a trough. An extraordinary trough is a recession.

trade-cycle

Some of these terms may be familiar to you as media outlets frequently use terms like peaks and troughs, booms and recessions. But knowing the terms is just the start, knowing the impacts will help you be more aware and hopefully more successful.

How does this affect me?

It’s all good and jolly to know these terms but their implications are what separates your crazy uncle in his bomb shelter from the successful business people working at Wall Street. However speculating on the business cycle is not recommended due to the volatility of the finance sector and as such take large precautions if that is something you want to pursue. Luckily for Australians, we have never experienced a recession, measured by 2 consecutive quarters with negative economic growth in over 25 years as such the future outlook is bright.

You and me, we aren’t multimillionaires or owners of large businesses. Many of us don’t even have speculative assets, which are assets that have risk or losing outlay with the expectation of substantial gain eg. Stocks. Why does this business cycle thing affect us? The crux of the business cycle is that it allows you to see how the economy is performing as a whole and as such, gives you fair warning about your future.

Additionally the government uses the business cycle as one of the factors in setting the cash rate, which directly impacts the retail interest rates that banks are able to give us consumers. But we’ll go into that next time.

 

Tell us what aspect of finance you want covered next time!

 

Disclaimer: None of what we write is professional advice and as such the author(s) cannot be liable for decisions based on the presented info

Physics (SL) IA Example

Question:

How does the depth of a pool affect the speed and duration of the wavefront, regarding how it will impact a swimmers speed?

Introduction:

Turbulence is one of the biggest factors when it comes to competitive swimming, it has influenced the design of swimming pools and lane ropes for decades. Every stroke and kick a swimmer takes, they create turbulence in the form of waves. This is due to the large volumes of water the swimmer shoves behind them to move forward. This phenomenon is known as Newtons third law, as every action has an equal or opposite reaction. When a swimmer pulls on the water with their hands to move forward, they travel in the opposite direction of the palm pushing the water back. Being a national swimmer myself, I encounter all sorts of waves coming all different directions when I train. This becomes a hassle in the warm up pool were it becomes packed with swimmers creating waves, leaving the water to be very choppy, making it feel I’m swimming in open water (ocean). It has always fascinated me how the depth of a swimming pool can affect the speed of a swimmer. From a young age, swimmers learn in shallow pools due to their height. As they get older, they become too “big” for the shallow pools and progress to the deeper 50m pool. However, this is not the case for every pool, some pools had one half shallow, the other half slowing descending to a certain depth. I will explore how depth can affect the speed of a wave, I also will explore how it can affect the dissipation of a wave. It is ideal for a swimmer to have their wave dissipate as fast as possible whilst moving at the fastest possible rate. We do not want to be swimming into someone else’s wake as we need to exert more effort to overcome this, nor do we want to swim in our own.

Aim:

To determine how the depth of the water in a system can affect the wave speed and dissipation times.

Equipment:

  • Gift card, measuring (8.5cm x 12.4cm) as a wave generator.
  • Trough (long piece of guttering with both ends closed). Measuring (200cm x 5cm x 10cm).
  • One ruler the length of 15cm to measure the depth.
  • One ruler the length of 100cm to measure the length.
  • Stop watch
  • Jugs of water to fill up the guttering.
  • Polystyrene pieces 1cm by 1cm (cut up from a foam cup)

Safety/hazards:

Avoid getting any electrical equipment wet.

Clean up any spills of water to avoid slipping hazards.

Variables:

The independent variable for this experiment will be time for a given consistent distance.

The dependent variable for this experiment will be the depth of the water. I will change the depth of the water after each trial by filling it up with a jug.

I also need to control the creation of each wave, through the use of the gift card, to ensure I can get consistent precise results, which I will talk about more in-depth in my discussion.

Method:

  1. I first filled up the guttering with water to test for any leaks and to clean any debris.
  2. After I placed a ruler inside the trough to measure the height of the water and refilled the guttering with clean water to 0.65cm in depth.
  3. I ensured I removed the ruler before each trial so that it would not disturb the wave.
  4. I measured the air temperature as well as the water temperature.
  5. I place another ruler alongside the trough to measure the distance travelled by the wave front. This is vital in order to calculate the speed of the wave.
  6. I chose to time 1m in length so I marked the bottom of the guttering with pencil in 50cm increments to make up 1m.
  7. We did not have an appropriate wave generator so I used a large plastic card to create a wave.
  8. This meant that I needed to keep the generated wave as consistent as I could, I marked the bottom of the guttering to signify when to start and stop the wave (plastic card). This was 20cm in length.
  9. The wave had 15cm to travel before I started the stop watch in order to keep the wave consistent. As soon as the wavefront crossed the start line, I would immediately start the stopwatch, then I would follow the wavefront as best as I could to the finish line, stopping it straight after it crossed the finish line.
  10. I recorded 5 sets of data for every trial, between each trial I had to wait for the water to calm down otherwise I would encounter constructive and destructive waves.
  11. Once I recorded all the possible data, I went on to fill the trough higher by roughly 0.50 cm and repeated this process 6 more times.
  12. I had to bear in the mind, that the increased volume meant an increase in amplitude. When I reached by 7th trial, water started to spill over the edge of the guttering. Not only this, the great the volume, the longer I had to wait for it to dissipate.
  13. For the wave dissipation trials, I created a wave by using the method as stated above and left the wave to flow in the guttering. I placed little pieces of polystyrene onto the water as well as dust to help determine when the wave had completely dissipated. The polystyrene pieces are very light and move along with the wavefronts in the guttering, however once the wavefront stopped the polystyrene pieces would come to a rest. When this happened I stopped the stopwatch.
  14. I repeated step 13 for five trials and recorded in a table ready to be graphed.

Background information:

In an ideal scenario, water waves would not slow down and dissipate. However, waves in the real world slow down and dissipate due to various different factors such as turbulence, friction and obstructions. Friction is found at the bottom of the water as it covers the bottom of the pool/tank and this friction translates upwards, layer by layer. The deeper the water, the more layers the water will have to travel. Therefore the friction at the top will be lower compared to deeper water. This also means the shallow water would have more friction through the body of water as there are less layers. From background research on forums, I deduced that due to the friction occurring deeper in the water, the speed will be higher at the surface, however I will need to investigate this to see whether this theory reigns true.[1]

Results for Wavefront speed

Table of results for trial one

Table 1: raw data

Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Length that is timed.

L (cm)

Δ(L)=±0.01cm

Time take of the wavefront.

t (sec).

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Velocity of the wavefront.

V (m/s).

Δ(V)=±0.38m/s

Water temp = 21.0 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Air temp = 24.5 oC

a (oC)

Δ(a)=±0.05oC

0.65cm 100 2.87 0.348  
0.65cm 100 2.97 0.337  
0.65cm 100 3.10 0.323  
0.65cm 100 2.81 0.356  
0.65cm 100 2.72 0.368  
Average   2.89 0.346  

Table of results for trial two

Table 2: raw data

Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Length that is timed.

L (cm)

Δ(L)=±0.01cm

Time take of the wavefront.

t (sec).

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Velocity of the wavefront.

V (m/s).

Δ(V)=±0.41m/s

Water temp = 23.2 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Air temp = 24.5 oC

a (oC)

Δ(a)=±0.05oC

1.10cm 100 2.62 0.382  
1.10cm 100 2.56 0.390  
1.10cm 100 2.94 0.340  
1.10cm 100 2.62 0.382  
1.10cm 100 2.53 0.395  
Average   2.65 0.378  

Table of results for trial three

Table 3: raw data

Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Length that is timed.

L (cm)

Δ(L)=±0.01cm

Time take of the wavefront.

t (sec).

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Velocity of the wavefront.

V (m/s).

Δ(V)=±0.11m/s

Water temp = 21.7 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Air temp = 22.8 oC

a (oC)

Δ(a)=±0.05oC

1.95cm 100 1.90 0.526  
1.95cm 100 1.88 0.532  
1.95cm 100 1.85 0.541  
1.95cm 100 1.79 0.559  
1.95cm 100 1.81 0.552  
Average   1.85 0.541  

 

Table of results for trial four

Table 4: raw data

Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Length that is timed.

L (cm)

Δ(L)=±0.01cm

Time take of the wavefront.

t (sec).

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Velocity of the wavefront.

V (m/s).

Δ(V)=±0.12m/s

Water temp = 20.9 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Air temp = 22.3 oC

a (oC)

Δ(a)=±0.05oC

2.30cm 100 1.62 0.617  
2.30cm 100 1.53 0.654  
2.30cm 100 1.50 0.667  
2.30cm 100 1.56 0.641  
2.30cm 100 1.50 0.667  
Average   1.54 0.649  

Table of results for trial five

Table 5: raw data

Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Length that is timed.

L (cm)

Δ(L)=±0.01cm

Time take of the wavefront.

t (sec).

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Velocity of the wavefront.

V (m/s).

Δ(V)=±0.10m/s

Water temp = 20.5 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Air temp = 21.5 oC

a (oC)

Δ(a)=±0.05oC

2.85cm 100 1.44 0.694  
2.85cm 100 1.34 0.746  
2.85cm 100 1.38 0.725  
2.85cm 100 1.40 0.714  
2.85cm 100 1.43 0.699  
Average   1.40 0.714  

Table of results for trial six

Table 6: raw data

Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Length that is timed.

L (cm)

Δ(L)=±0.01cm

Time take of the wavefront.

t (sec).

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Velocity of the wavefront.

V (m/s).

Δ(V)=±0.06m/s

Water temp = 20.9 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Air temp = 22.3 oC

a (oC)

Δ(a)=±0.05oC

3.40cm 100 1.35 0.741  
3.40cm 100 1.34 0.746  
3.40cm 100 1.29 0.775  
3.40cm 100 1.29 0.775  
3.40cm 100 1.31 0.763  
Average   1.32 0.758  

Table of results for trial seven

Table 7: raw data

Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Length that is timed.

L (cm)

Δ(L)=±0.01cm

Time take of the wavefront.

t (sec).

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Velocity of the wavefront.

V (m/s).

Δ(V)=±0.04m/s

Water temp = 22.0 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Air temp = 23.8 oC

a (oC)

Δ(a)=±0.05oC

3.90cm 100 1.25 0.800  
3.90cm 100 1.21 0.826  
3.90cm 100 1.25 0.800  
3.90cm 100 1.25 0.800  
3.90cm 100 1.22 0.820  
Average   1.24 0.806  

Uncertainties

Calculation of uncertainty regarding the measurements

To get my length uncertainties on my ruler, which is an analogue instrument, I would use half the least measurable unit (cm).  This was ΔL = Δ± 0.05 cm, however I chose Δ± 0.1 cm instead, as I was looking as an awkward angle to find the water level, the larger uncertainty would be more suitable in this occasion as the surface tension of the water on the ruler was also another difficulty. I based all my measurements off the centre of the ruler which ended up being around the average of the water level.

Similar to the ruler, a thermometer is another analogue instrument. Therefore I deduced the uncertainty value of the thermometer to be Δtemperature = Δ±0.05oC.

For the stopwatch, the uncertainty would be Δt = Δ±0.01s, as the uncertainty for digital systems would be the last value that is recorded.

Calculation of uncertainty from maximum residual

The maximum residual was determined by finding the greatest difference between the mean of the data and the data itself. This value becomes the stated uncertainty.

To calculate the mean, I needed to add the five trials together, then I divided the sum of the trials by five.

I will use trial number one as an example:

Trial one

After I got my mean value for all the different heights, I then set out to find the maximum residual.

Going from trial one down to trial seven.

Our residuals are a great way of giving a numerical estimation of the variation due to random errors where our measurement errors are systematic.

Graph

From this graph taken from Excel, we can see a strong linear relationship however, we cannot say it’s directly proportional as it does not go through the origin. We get an equation of V=0.1522D + 0.2476, however the x axis is in cm whereas the y axis is in m. Once we change the x axis into m, we get the equation of V=15.22D +24.76.  As not all the error bars are touching the line of best fit, we can only assume that this is due to random errors that have not been added into the calculations. The error bars become too small to see on the graph towards the end. The systematic errors can only provide so much and the rest is due to the random errors. In this case, it would be mostly random errors. Despite having this problem, the relationship is still pretty clear and we can successfully deduce that the depth of a body of water has a relation to the speed of the wave.

Maximum Residual and Minimum residual lines

 

Table 8

Maximum slope D Maximum slope V Minimum slope D Minimum slope V
0.688 0.308 0.612 0.384
1.141 0.337 1.059 0.419
1.961 0.530 1.939 0.552
2.312 0.637 2.288 0.661
2.860 0.704 2.840 0.724
3.406 0.752 3.394 0.764
3.904 0.802 3.896 0.810

fsfgsdfg

The normal slope is in blue with the equation of V=0.1522D + 0.2476.

The maximum slope is in orange with the equation of V=0.1658D + 0.196.

The minimum slope is in grey with the equation of V=0.1389D + 0.2982.

Discussion of results:

From my graphed results, I can deduce that the deeper the water, the faster the surface wave will travel.

The equation of V=15.22D +24.76 shows that the rate of change regarding the depth of water to be 15s, as the two units of measurement cancel each other out. This could mean that the wave travels 15 seconds faster each m it is lowered. The linear growth would remain true for an ideal environment, however other factors will influence this gradient. The data going from the first data point to the y-intercept are all extrapolated data, meaning that they may not follow the linear trend of the other data points. This is further highlighted as I only a limited range to work with due to the height of the guttering’s walls.

What was important in doing my experiment was to keep everything consistent. Every time before I did a trial, I had to make sure that the water in the guttering was as calm as it could get. The easiest way to figure this out was to see if the dust particles in the water were moving or not, as the slightest wave movement can move the particles forwards and backwards. Not only this, reflection of light reflecting off the water surface allowed me to see whether or not the water was calm.

I also had to bear in mind that every time I created a wave, I had to make sure that this wave was consistent and moved the same percentage of volume regarding the volume and depth. I decided to set a distance to create the wave, it ended up being 15.0cm before I removed the card and let the wavefront go wild along the guttering. I had to do many trials to find the optimal length to build up the wave, which then I timed a 1m portion of the guttering.

What I noticed through observation was that the amplitude seemed to be lower when the depth was increased as well as the waves crashed back onto other wavefronts after they had collided with the edges of the guttering, which could slow down the waves due to drag and extra turbulence in the system.

I conducted the entire experiment with normal tap water, however there would a density difference when compared to a chlorinated pool. A chlorinated pool will be denser compared to tap water as there are more salts and other products in the pool water compared to your conventional tap water. Therefore there will an increase in buoyancy for the swimmer which helps the swimmer as floating easier in the pool means there is less energy required to stay afloat.

Not only this, I also measured the water temperature as well as the air temperature, this is because water temperature can affect the density. Similar to air, the warmer temperature water will rise and the cold temperature water will flow to the bottom. The waves are generated on the surface of the water so any difference of the water temperature would have a small effect on the wave, this could be one of the reasons for error in the prac, however unlikely in this system. In order to combat this for next time, we must ensure that we do this experiment in a controlled environment on the same day, not only this, when I add water to the guttering, I need to make sure that this would be the same temperature to keep my results consistent.

From all the data I have collated, I can interpret the following from my data:

Deeper water vs shallower water

Table 9: found data

  Deep Water Shallow Water
Friction Lower Higher
Velocity Higher Lower
Frequency Same Same
Wave length (v/f) Larger Smaller

 

Now all of these still kept me wondering and whilst I was swimming through the pool and watching other swimmers swim, I started to thinking about the dissipation of the wave. The wave doesn’t just stop automatically after the volume of water has been pushed, and I set to find out whether or not depth can influence the time it takes for a wave to full dissipate in the water.

Wave dissipation results

Here are the results from my second experiment. (Method step 13)

Table 10: raw data

  Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Water temp = 22.0 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Time for the wave to dissipate t (s)

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Trial one 1.10cm 23.5 1.06.25s
Trial two 1.10cm 23.5 1.09.00s
Trial three 1.10cm 23.5 1.07.78s
Average 1.10cm 23.5 1.07.68s ±2.75s

 

Table 11: raw data

  Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Water temp = 22.0 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Time for the wave to dissipate t (s)

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Trial one 1.80cm 23.5 1.21.87s
Trial two 1.80cm 23.5 1.23.88s
Trial three 1.80cm 23.5 1.21.38s
Average 1.80cm 23.5 1.22.38s ±2.50s

 

Table 12: raw data

  Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Water temp = 22.0 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Time for the wave to dissipate t (s)

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Trial one 2.05cm 23.7 1.41.37s
Trial two 2.05cm 23.7 1.38.82s
Trial three 2.05cm 23.7 1.35.18s
Average 2.05cm 23.7 1.38.46s ±6.19s

 

Table 13: raw data

  Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Water temp = 22.0 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Time for the wave to dissipate t (s)

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Trial one 2.50cm 23.0 1.41.50s
Trial two 2.50cm 23.0 1.45.43s
Trial three 2.50cm 23.0 1.43.19s
Average 2.50cm 23.0 1.43.38s ±3.93

 

Table 14: raw data

  Height/Depth of the water in D (cm)

Δ(D)=±0.01cm

Water temp = 22.0 oC

w (oC)

Δ(w)=±0.05oC

Time for the wave to dissipate t (s)

Δ(t)=±0.01s

Trial one 3.25cm 23.0 1.58.97s
Trial two 3.25cm 23.0 2.02.63s
Trial three 3.25cm 23.0 2.00.78s
Average 3.25cm 23.0 2.02.79s ±3.66

 

 

 

 

 

Wave dissipation graph

Following out previous steps, I worked out the residuals and error bars for the graphs.

Captureewqrwer

 

We can see a very strong linear relationship of t=28.81D+39.70 on the Dissipation of a wave graph. We can deduce that a change in depth will result in a change in the life of the wave. However the line doesn’t go through the origin. When you create a wave, it will still take some time to dissipate so this is rather accurate. The error bars are too small to be seen on the graph, however it is only the third point that does not touch the line of best fit.

Discussion part two

Sources of error

My greatest source of error came from the creation of the wave. I did my best to maintain the consistency of each wave. To ensure this, I had to discount any waves that did not come off right. This ensured that I would achieve precision. I had set markings on the bottom of the guttering to avoid this problem, however from the graphs, it can be seen that random errors were prominent. The depth of the how I placed the gift card was another source of error in this experiment and I ensured to place it at the same depth before each experiment, appropriate to the depth of the water. The wave reflecting off the wall can also be seen as an error as it slowed down the wavefront, it would be better next time to allow it to overflow so that the wavefront will not be affected by the rebounding waves. To combat the wave creation problem, dropping an object the width and height of the guttering to create a wave would be a better way, only if it can produce a recordable wave. Having a device like paddles like those ones on old steam boats or turbines could also be another way to create a wave that would stay constant throughout the trials.

The second greatest source of error came from the timing of the wave. It was all about perception of when the wavefront crossed the start line and crossed the finish line. As this was a solo prac, I had to create the wave with my left hand whilst holding the stopwatch with my right hand waiting for the wavefront to cross the finish line. One the button was pressed, I had to move hastily along the bench to ensure that I was over the wavefront when it crossed the finish line. This would fall under the parallax error as I was looking at the wavefront from an angle which would have caused some degree of an error. Not only this, my reaction time also come into play. As a swimmer, I react to the sound of the buzzer and I learn not to react from other things happening in the environment such as waves from the pool. Therefore it was harder for me to get an accurate timing. In order to combat this as best as I could, I had a few warmup attempts to get my head focused on the wave. To combat the parallax error, I would have to have a helper to create the wave which then I can focus on the wavefront. If I was to repeat this experiment, having a helper will dramatically improve this experiment. Setting up a camera to record the entirety of the wave would also dramatically improve the timing accuracy. Even better, two cameras in sync would provide the best results.

The third source of error came from the surrounding environment. This includes dust particles falling into the water overnight which could have some effect on the water. Not only this, the temperature of the water was greatly affected by the air temperature. Some days the air conditioner as on which led to the water being cooler meaning that it would be denser than the warmer water due to the kinetic energy of the molecules. When the water cools down, the molecules become more tightly packed and slow down, leaving them in a denser state. Since the guttering was placed on a table, any slight bumps or movement would create small waves or even whirlpools in the guttering. Someone walking past my experimental area also would create a wave on top of the calm water. One trial was being done during the end of school and people walking across the room or outside also had some effect. To combat this I would need to cover the guttering before leave for the day to ensure no particles would land in the water. It would best if this experiment was to be conducted in a controlled environment where the water temp and air temp remained constant to ensure that I can get the best possible results. Whilst in this controlled environment, walking and bumping into the table must be avoided to ensure that no waves are created prior to the trial.

Relation to a Swimmer

Olympic pools are designed to have a constant depth of 3m, this is because the swimming creates waves in all directions when they swim. The depth of 3m is required in order for the wave to dissipate in the water so it doesn’t reflect off the bottom back onto the swimmer. Not only this, the deeper the pool is, the less frictional drag the moving water will have against the bottom as not the entire body of water will move forward when a swimmer swims.

Costs also come into play when building a fast pool used for the Olympics, the deeper the pool, the higher the operating costs will be. Therefore they tend to cap the current Olympic pools to 3m, not only this, many of these pools have moveable floors to adjust the depth of the floor which is helpful when the pool is used for teaching and recreational swimming.

When I was doing my experiment I came across reflection of waves off the sides of the guttering and sometimes the amplitude of the wave was higher than the walls of the guttering which allowed it to overflow. This led me to ask question how to minimize the effects. After some research, I found that Olympic pools have specially designed lane ropes which are optimized to minimise the turbulent waves so Swimmers do not have to battle the waves coming from themselves, competitors or the walls.

The future of fast swimming pools will also be influenced by the future of walls, nowadays the touch pads do not absorb the waves and they get reflected back onto the swimmer when they turn, meaning that they need to escape this wavefront otherwise they will be pulled back by the wave. To combat this, some sort of wave absorbing material will need be implemented.

In 2014, controversy arose amongst the Glasgow commonwealth games as the competition swimming pool’s floor became stuck at a fixed height. It was supposed to be 2m in depth all the way, however during a certain length of the pool after 12m the pool arose to 1.88m. World championships and Olympic Games have a set ruling saying that the pool must be at least 2m in depth which caused a debate in the controversy of whether or not world records would be legitimate. However due to my prac results, a shallower depth pool would have made it harder for the swimmers to achieve world record times due to the increase in resistance. However, the governing body of swimming, FINA, approved any records that were set as the pool still exceeded their minimum requirements.

Conclusion

I must keep in mind of all possible errors for the next time I repeat this experiment. However, this time around, I managed to discover and answer my aim, which was to find and form a relationship and an equation to match the trend how the depth of the water affects the wave speed. V=15.22D +24.76 .This can all relate to how I swim, now I would much prefer to swim in the middle of the pool to avoid getting reflections off the side of the pool. Now in swimming I can pay attention to the effects on the swimmer from the changing depths. It is a common misconception that shallow pools are faster, my experiment has disproved this theory. Instead, it’s the deeper the pool, the faster the wave will travel at the surface. Hopefully soon there will be a solution to the wall problem where the wall will completely absorb the wave!

 

Referencing

Barret,C Luttion,P and Paxinos S. (2014). Officials insist records will stand despite defective pool floor. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 March 2016, from http://www.smh.com.au/commonwealth-games-glasgow-2014/commonwealth-games-news/officials-insist-records-will-stand-despite-defective-pool-floor-20140727-zxgyj.html

Sinclair, P. Why swimming records stand, even with a broken pool floor. (2014). The Conversation. Retrieved 10 March 2016, from http://theconversation.com/why-swimming-records-stand-even-with-a-broken-pool-floor-29834

 

[1]Based off findings on Quora. Why do waves in water slow down on entering shallower region? – Quora. (2016). [online] Quora.com. Available at: https://www.quora.com/Why-do-waves-in-water-slow-down-on-entering-shallower-region [Accessed 8 Mar. 2016].

Beginner Digital Photography: Kit lenses

The past two weeks we have been focussing on beginner cameras that will get you into the photography scene. When you purchase the camera, you may be asked to buy it with a kit lens or it comes bundled with the camera. Today I will take you through why I feel that Kit lenses are an important foundation for your photography journey and why they mustn’t be overlooked.

It is a major misconception of the kit lens being trash and a waste of money, kit lenses have improved so much over time. They were once plastic gimmicks that took below par shot, nowadays these kit lenses have evolved into lens that will last throughout your time as a beginner. These lenses now have silent autofocus, sharp image and impressive glass for its price. To put this into perspective, most kit lenses come with inbuilt vibration reduction making it easier for the user to shoot sharp images down at 1/20 and even 1/10. This brings out the camera’s potential in low light situation.

Most common kit lenses are 14-42mm for mirrorless cameras and 18-55mm for DSLRs. These are fantastic ranges as they are wide enough for landscape photography and zoom in enough for portraits and everything inbetween. What the kit lens does not do well is distance photography such as sports, animals and avian photography where you are at large distances away from the subjects. If you need, you can also get extension tubes to shoot macro photography. (I will cover this in the coming weeks) Often manufacturers offer a zoom kit lens that go from 55 – 200 or even 300mm. My first lens was a Tamron 18-200mm lens and it was perfect as a beginner lens where I could shoot landscapes, portraits and even macros. These lens are very underrated and extremely handy when travelling.

Another aspect where Kit lenses excel at is the weight, which again makes it ideal for travelling. Most are well under 200 grams due to their plastic build, which is okay as these lenses aren’t made to last for a very long time. Having a very light lens makes it easier to carry the camera around and helps when taking photos. I currently use a Sigma 17-50mm and it is very very heavy compared to the kit lenses. I miss having a light lens as when i’m walking from location to location, the camera would be a pain dangling around with all the momentum of the lens. The Kit lens is versatile in that regards, however does lack in durability. Since kit lenses are made out of cheaper materials, they do tend to not last a long time and can break in falls. Fortunately, they are very cheap to buy new and are dirt cheap to buy used.

The downfall (spec wise) of the kit lens is the sharpness, autofocus and aperture. The sharpness is decent enough for most photography, however it isn’t as sharp as prime lenses (which I will cover next week). The Autofocus is a bit slow and noisy, however has gotten better which each new generation and I know the new Nikon kit lenses have a very decent focus speed. The maximum aperture is f/3.5-5.6 (it increases as the lens zooms), meaning it is not a fixed aperture lens. This would be more than adequate for portrait photography but don’t expect to get very creamy bokeh from this lens. However this is perfect for landscape photography and just everyday photography.

Now that the specs are out of the way, I want to emphasise the important the kit lens has on your photography development. When you use the kit lens, you tend to get similar shots and the distance may not be adequate. The kit lens will start to make you think about how you are shooting your subject, how you could change your positioning. Remember, you can zoom with your legs, thus leaving you with a lower maximum aperture. Not only this, you soon start to learn about the limitations of the lens and you being to adapt. This creates creativity in your shots and thus you begin to find your style of photography. Currently I am still deciding on what to shoot, seen from my instagram @bokehgon. It doesn’t matter if the photo isn’t the sharpest, it is your photo and you tell the story through your lens. Be creative with how you use your kit lens, how you angle your shots, whether it be from low or high and be creative on how you use your lighting to help you take that perfect shot. There is nothing special about the kit lens, it is something that is very generic and it is up to you to create something special out of nothing. Once you master the kit lens, read my next article that will talk about your first lens (after the kit lens).

The only way to improve is to keep practising, photograph anything and try to see where the improvements can come from. Could this be your framing? Could this be your angle from which you are shooting your subject at? Could it be the lighting? Dimly light shorts create a darker mood whereas shots with plenty of light create a happy and vibrant mood. I would recommend photography anything at the start, don’t be afraid to walk around the neighbourhood with your camera and take photos of plants, people, cars and houses, (as long as you are not doing this in a creepy stalker type way). Happy shooting for this coming week and I will be back next week to talk all about your next lens you should invest in for your photography. Make sure to comment your instagram photography account below and we as a community will follow you and help see your photography grow!

Explore: The Great Ocean Road

Ask any Melbournian and they will recommend a visit to the Great Ocean Road, it’s a simple masterpiece. With a length of 243 km, the Great Ocean Road contains something new and exciting every turn of the corner, whether it be a different landscape, another vibrant coastal town or a forest. Starting in Torquay and ending in Allansford, the Great Ocean road covers hundreds and thousands of landmarks, towns and events. I will cover the major attractions that are along the Great Ocean Road and some advice for those who want to have a fun driving experience.

The most famous attractions lay beyond the Otways national park, but we will start our coverage of the top ten places to visit along the Great Ocean Road from the start (east end).

12 apostles

DSC_0003

Probably one of the most well known attractions along the great ocean road and would definitely need a visit. The 12 apostles, well actually only 8 now are giant limestone stacks that are just off the shore. They are an incredible site to see with their giant tall structures being crushed by the white waves, making it a fantastic piece to photograph and view. There is a dedicated discovery centre with lookouts and I would definitely recommend walking all the way down to the beach to view the 12 apostles. The stacks currently erode at 2cm per year due to the harsh nature of the southern ocean, hence I believe you must visit these mammoths before they all collapse and erode away.

Otways national park

The Otways national park is a fantastic national park along the Great Ocean Road and has some of the best roads to drive along. The national park itself contains 3 waterfalls which are a must visit and contain a huge range of different plant life, animal life and fungi. It is a perfect place for a picnic, mountain bike ride and camping. The Otways have a lot to offer which treetop adventures, hundreds of walking tracks and a seaside view at the edge of the national park. There are an abundance of lakes and rivers, making the Otways a photographers dream. Close to the Otways, there is a fantastic windy road which I would highly recommend any driver to visit, Turtons track. Make sure to have tyres with plenty of grip and are comfortable to drive on these windy roads. It is a fantastic drive with wonderful scenery and greenery that surrounds you, it truly is a magical experience.

London bridge

Remember the childhood nursery rhyme of London bridge is falling down? Well the London Bridge along the Great Ocean Road has in fact fallen down and has now taken on the name of London Arch. It is a natural arch caused by erosion and used to be connected to the mainland, however in 1990 the arch connecting the bridge to the mainland collapsed and thus now is called London Arch. It is still a fantastic natural arch to look at with and provides fantastic photography opportunities.

Loch Ard Gorge

DSC_0107

Just situated 3 minutes away from the 12 apostles, the Loch Ard Gorge is gorgeous. Visitors are allowed to walk down the beach and see in beautiful beach in all its glory. It is fantastic on a warm day and also provides moody photos on a cloudy day. It was named after a ship with ran around on a nearby island, leaving on 2 survivors out of the 54 on board. The Loch Ard Gorge has served many purposes in film and media and will continue to be one of the most beautiful attractions along the Great Ocean Road. Make sure to bring your towel and bathers if you would want a dip! The water is crystal clear and I couldn’t resist dipping my toes in the water.

Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay is a coastal town situated before the Otways national park and definitely deserves a visit for a lunch stop. There is a lot on offer in this town with fantastic eateries, sea-side views and even the chance to catch a few whales. Southern right whales are known to breed in the area and there have been many sightings of humpback whales in the vicinity. Other towns to visit include, Lorne and Torquay. In fact, I would recommend stopping at as many coastal towns as possible as each has a different vibe, atmosphere and culture.

The Razorback

The razorback is another rock formation that is situated very closely to the Loch Ard Gorge. The name is given to this rock formation with the way it looks due to the wind and water erosion the rock has experienced over the many years. The walking path is a loop and you have a fantastic view of the other rock formations surrounding the Great Ocean Road.

The Blowhole

No surprises here, the blowhole spurts out water on the viewing flatforms and surrounding rocks. It is a fantastic way to cool down on a hot summer’s day and also creates some very interesting long exposure photography. The blowhole is located near the Loch Ard Gorge, but mind you the sea-spray on a calm day can be little to none. The area is also heavily vegetated, so please be careful when making your way to view the blowhole.

The Arch

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The arch, different to London Arch, is a natural formation of an arch located not too far away from the 12 apostles. There is now parking and access to the arch and is a fantastic thing to view no matter what time of the day. It is a quieter attraction which is good to take a breather here and there. There are stairs and walkways to get close to the arch, however getting very close to the arch does require going off roading (with your legs).

Bay of Martyrs

Situated closer to the west end of the Great Ocean Road, the bay of martyrs is one of the most beautiful sites along the great ocean road with plentiful bird wildlife. There are guided walks here and is a prominent sunset destination with its large open views with the limestone cliff edges, reefs and the sparkling water. Some have said the bay has better views than the 12 apostles and are less crowded. I would place this as un underrated spot to visit along the great ocean road.

Bay of Islands

The bay of islands, close to Warrnambool, has spectacular sights and is definitely worth the trip . Many tourists often miss the parts beyond London Arch, however I strongly recommend to travel further to these locations due to their fantastic views and low crowds, making it feel like a private beach. It is quiet and relaxing, a great escape from everyday life. Yet again, the locals have rated this higher than the 12 Apostles and I don’t blame them.

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When travelling along the Great Ocean Road, ensure to travel early in the morning to avoid large tour groups and parking can be limited so be prepared to park far away and walk for the most part. Ensure to pack plenty of water and snacks and definitely bring a DSLR if you have one. If you are unsure as to which DSLR to buy, refer to this guide. Make sure to put the Great Ocean road on your bucket list, you will not regret it. Summer, Winter, rain or shine, there is never a bad day to visit the Great Ocean Road as each climate has a different mood and different perspective.