Yesterday was the perfect day to be taking photos of the vividly yellow canola against a perfectly blue sky. Continue reading Canola blossoms
The triumvirate of ‘D’s is completed at Deep Lake. Wild wind, rain, black skies, and choppy Continue reading Deep Lake
On then to Dennington. Easily confused with Continue reading Dennington
Corangamite Klickers meeting this month saw us starting at Darlington Pub, Continue reading Darlington
A meeting of diaries finally coincided that I could catch my good mate Kev, and have a bit of fun with his new D5100. It has an amazingly fast and responsive focus typical of most modern DSLRs. We played with a variety of lenses, from the stock 18-55mm to my 18-200mm workhorse, the 35mm f1.8 and the 85mm micro. I used both of my D300s and D70 bodies, but had completely forgotten that I’d whacked the D70’s ISO setting to its maximum of 1600 which gave a very noisy/grainy finish to all of my day’s shots. An easy enough beginner’s mistake… The D5100 like the D300s laugh at an ISO of 1600, but I was trying to make the old D70 feel not too unloved.
My original idea was to do a bit of a joke photo essay to do with woodwork. Start with a tree, use much machinery, and end up with toothpicks. Not sure if the joke got through. The challenge with this shoot was to be both photographer and subject. Juggling a camera remote and high speed power tools not quite OHS. At least I wasn’t planking.
A blustery wet day was scheduled for our class’s photoshoot down at the Breakwater in Warrnambool. Wet miserable days are not a natural fit for going outside, but I’d have to say that I had a heap of fun.
I think having the gear around took the concentration off myself, so that instead of worrying that fingers were losing circulation, I was more worried about keeping the seaspray away from my D300s. And instead of worrying about my head getting wet, I was worried about rain getting on my D300s. And instead of worrying about hypothermia, I was worried about using the last of my bodyheat to keep the battery of my D300s warm enough to keep shooting.
Paranoia comes from a lifetime of destryoing cameras by dropping them in the ocean, leaving them on the sandy beachtowel, and other such unrecoverable abuses. The D300s bears my deathgrip.
One thing I especially appreciated was having half a dozen other shooters there with gear so that I didn’t quite feel the photodork. Other than raindrops on the lensfilter, and smears from me trying to clean the raindrops off the lensfilter, I got a few decent shots. I think. I used Shutter priority and slowed the speed down through the meter until the aperture got down to around f22. Tripod and cable release of course.
One of our assignments for our level 2 DSLR course was to come up with a phot essay. After much mulling over something completely different, an opportunity came up to photograph an uncle who is involved with The Warbirds at Ardmore airbase http://www.nzwarbirds.org.nz/contact.html. A particular difficulty was the final shot where I wanted to capture one or more small children running around.
Difficult for not having access to small children but also for my going around asking people if they had small children of a certain age that I could borrow for a few hours to photograph!
It’s probably not what teacher Rob had in mind, but I thought I’d try some different light effects by the full moon. And get some washing on the line. The pics were all taken around 10 on a balmy night, and purely lit by long exposure moonlight. Along the way, I got distracted and started pretending to be Luke Skywalker with my homemade astronomy laser.
Knowing not a lot about photography (other than a lifetime of whacking the camera into ‘Auto’ and pressing the button), I’d spoken to a few friends and done some net research http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikkor.htm about what lens to get. I decided on the Nikon 18-200mm which seems to do it all.
I’d had a few tamron 28-200mm in the past. The big heavy early ones did a degree of macro, and the later one was ok, but unsatisfactory for its minimum distance to shoot (about 1 metre meaning a lot of lost shots). I’d also been unhappy with the color & sharpness of the pics on my D70, and put it down to the D70.
The Nikon 18-200mm was a revelation. Nice pics, easy and quiet focusing, vibration reduction. Just for fun I whacked it on the D70 and magically, the D70 started to sing! It is true what they say about getting a decent SLR body but getting the best lens you can afford.
Now to find some camera/photography classes.