Sunday, May 31, 2009

More from yesterday's Ross Farm outing

In all my excitement to shoot the baby lambs, I almost forgot I had taken some other decent photographs, certainly worthy of ending up on my blog.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New life begins

I decided early this morning that I might drop into Ross Farm on my way to New Minas to do some errands, I'd only be able to spare an hour or so due to the pending traffic jams for the Apple Blossom Festival. As always, I was able to get the good lighting for outdoor images. After shooting a worker who was cleaning up some recently-cut grass, he was happy to announce one of the female lambs just gave birth to two baby ewes.

Talk about good timing! The births just happened since I came in the entrance at 9:30, this was about 10am.

I had the 70-300mm VR on the D40, with the new SB-600 flash, so I was ready to record these little creatures. I had no idea a newborn ewe was yellow in color, this was not a post-processing trick=)

Anyway, I was very glad to be in the right place at the right time, photography is as much about getting lucky as having skill, it's good to have both.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The ultimate walkaround lens - Nikon AF-S 16-85mm VR

This blog entry is a tribute to the most versatile lens I have ever owned. The range, sharpness/contrast and build quality speak for themselves, plus the extremely useful Vibration Reduction - how else could you shoot sharp files at 1/15th second?

All recorded with the D40, a perfect lightweight match for the 16-85mm.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Treasures on old farm property

One of my Home Teaching families lives on an old farm, she has been there all her life, they probably will take her out in a box from the same place when she leaves this world. There is a particular charm about old places, character you don't see in new venues, and black and white imagery is actually more suitable.

Fog, fog, and more fog

I seem to have an affinity for this type of lighting. It works especially well for shooting reflections on the water. These images are more about good timing than anything else.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Leaving my DSLR gear at home - no problem, the Coolpix 8400 does well!

I decided as I was tossing and turning as I tried to sleep, last night, I would get up and take the Coolpix 8400 with me to the city. Instead of going to Peggy's Cove after a meeting in the Halifax LDS meetinghouse, I decided the best light of the day would be early in the morning.

That was a good choice as it was raining by mid-morning.

I tried a diferent type of workflow - I shot TIFF files, directly (I don't know if any DSLR or other compact allows this feature), there is a long waiting time to write to the CF card for each file, then edited a copy of the largish 22MB TIFF file to post to this blog. I can edit these files using Capture NX2, but I lose my exposure compensation slider. Weird.

Not sure if this method is clunkier than shooting straight NEF's, but, with this mode, I at least have a true b/w setting.

Whatever, the photos came out quite well and I am happy with them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A different perspective of my nighbor's trees

I wasn't 100% happy with last night's shots of those colorful red leaves from the tree that stands out against the greens by my house, I tried the flattening and compressed look of the 70-300mm VR as a comparison. I actually prefer this vantage point, both are OK.

A short walk from home

The Zwicker's Mill Road is a reminder of the past, the old mill was used for logging purposes as the head of the LaHave River is nearby. In its heyday, the freshly-cut logs ended up here to be processed. I suppose many were employed at the time, now it's abandoned and falling down.

The road was recently re-paved but many tourists never travel through New Germany via this route.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Evening colors

My next-door neighbor has these colorful trees with red leaves, they do look pretty. My father and I were cleaning up my lawn, the contrast of red and green caught my eye. I found it challenging to get good compositions, but I got a couple workable files.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh, how I miss the old train tracks.........

About 20 years ago, the government decided that the train as no longer a viable means of transportation and a way to move goods. The tracks were thus discarded. The result was heavier traffic on roads not designed for it and, now, these same roads are falling apart.

So much for wisdom of our government leaders.

Anyway, the pathways that were left are called abandoned railway corridors; ATV people love them, they are also great walking/biking trails. They are a decent place to get photos, too, as long as you can battle the black flies.

D40/70-300mm VR.


This technique is easy, you need to slightly overexposure from the meter reading. Not surprisingly, the best light is early in the morning or as the sun is setting. My eyes are always searching for the best light. D40/16-85mm VR.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nice colors along the LaHave River

I had the opportunity to shoot along that stretch between the Bridgewater Mall and GCR Tires, it's always a pretty spot. These were taken with the AF-S 16-85mm VR on the D40.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A couple from this morning

After yesterday's barrage of shooting, I decided to give the D80 and 70-300mm zoom a rest. I grabbed the little D40 and 16-85mm VR as I left for Bridgewater. I have been taking Highway 208 to the turnoff in Colpton since the Trunk 10 route kills any car (although some pot holes have been fixed), I have found some good photo opportunities along the way.

I have become a fan of the Velvia look, a holdover from my days with 35mm slides.

I shot a bunch of neat shots, tonight, I'll leave those for another time.........

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ode to a cult classic lens - Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-f/5.6 VR

An early-morning decision is that today's shooting would all be with the Nikon 70-300mm VR.

I bought this lens back in November after realizing the excellent AF-S 16-85mm VR zoom would not be enough to cover all my needs. After reading numerous reviews, it seemed to be an above-average performer in the consumer telephoto zoom category, the market has a lot of these types of lenses. Most are just mediocre, at best, but my time spent on the Nikon Cafe showed me it had become somewhat of a cult favourite.

It combines a reasonable price tag (about $700 with tax), high optical quality, very close minimum focusing distance with good close-up capability (further enhanced by the Canon 500D lens), well-built plus the extremely useful Vibration Reduction (VR) feature.

The 70-300m VR works very nicely with the D80, as the beefier tank-like build of this Nikon DSLR suits the lens with its better grip. It seems the lens is almost glued to the D80, lately.

Today's photo opportunities were plentiful.

After some very early shooting with the 500D near my house (see previous blog), I ventured out to Lunenburg.

The four-way intersection as you go from Lilydale into Lunenburg always seems busy, the angle shooting down from the hospital at the long end of the zoom compresses space.

The waterfront is always a neat place to go, today was no different. There was a group of young people working on the Bluenose II, seems sailboats are high-maintenance vessels but these employees seemed to be having fun. I spent some time shooting Kevin, I developed a rapport and this allowed me to get pretty close - I soon knew I needed my trusty SB-800 Speedlight to do its magic.

Of course, there were others working hard on the ship, they didn't mind being photographed.

This generation of digital shooters are stiff-armed with their dinky compacts, I have been there, done that, tourists always stand out no matter where they are.

Shooting over the harbour side of Lunenburg can be quite beautiful, you can venture out quite a ways if it's low tide. Lots of pretty colors to be had.

I visited some friends just before we all went to lunch. A trampoline is one of today's favoruite pastimes for kids, too bad we didn't have them back in the late 60's/early 70's, they look like fun! Cute kids bouncing on them are a natural setting for interesting photographs, I was lucky to be able to blur out the background by shooting nearly wide-open and at a fast shutter speed. (1/500th second)

I finished off my shooting (the battery level on the D80 was getting low!) with a few tulips at our LDS meetinghouse.

Hope you enjoyed my day as much as I did.