Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sigma 50-150mm and 500D

It seems I have found a happy marriage of a lens I now own and a gateway to good macro work; the 500D seems to work very nicely on the Sigma zoom, certainly easier to manage over the AF-S 70-300mm VR. In theory, the Nikon zoom should work better as its optics are designed better for close-up, the Sigma is often pooh-poohed since its MFD is not close enough, but the proof is right here.

I used the Nikon dedicated electronic cable release and it was just the ideal accessory. Many of the shots I took, today, were at 1/4 second @ f/16, the wind didn't play its usual havoc.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

More of the Tall Ships

I had a few JPEG's created for possible future reference, I thought they'd constitute a nice blog entry. I haven't done much yet with my aerials of Lunenburg harbour, I need to visit a couple local shops and perhaps display a framed print and sell on consignment; I was told one of my photos will make the front page of the Progress Enterprise which might help sell my work down the road.

Anyway, I am very happy with these images.

Dragon fly

I went back to the park where I was or the wedding, it was teeming with all kinds of life. I had my D40 and 70-300mm VR with me, I was a little happier with the extra reach of the lens. A dedicated macro lens would be the ticket in this paradise as the 70-300 has a bit too limiting MFD at the 300mm end, but has a good reproduction ratio. It allows me to get subjects like this, and judicious cropping helps.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Two different photos from a pond perspective

I had to shoot a wedding, today, just a small one with immediate family. It was pretty nice, no banshee paparazzi trying to be the hero, I was allowed to do my thing and the good lighting was on my side.

Before the outdoor ceremony, I checked out this park with its amazing pond - tons of insects all over the flowers and great colors. I had my Sigma 50-150mm, and played with it. I would have preferred to have the AF-S 70-300mm VR with me, it has better reach and superior macro performance, but I did OK with what I had. Heck, I may go back, tomorow, just to do some more serious shooting of the pond, it was that incredible.

David and Wanda finally got hitched, the soft focus filter on the Sigma worked well. You can see the pond out of focus in the background.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Marketable aerial images

The Tall Ships visited the port of Lunenburg, yesterday, my dad and I decided it would be neat to get some aerial images. The harbour is always very color-rich from the ground, it's almost overwhelming from the air. I did do some tinkering with NX2 to snap up the colors, many of my co-workers were amazed. I call it my "Velvia" processing workflow.

D80 and Sigma 50-150mm zoom, 1/800th second @ f/3.5

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bright sunny evening - yes, I can work with that!

Most of the time, a bright sunny day is almost useless for any type of photography; too much contrast, too many shadows, just plain awful lighting. Software can help, especially Nikon's D-Lighting technology, but it's best to simply avoid this kind of shooting if possible.

However, I was able to make it work, tonight - I did stumble upon some interesting subject matter and made the best of what was offered. The osprey was a bonus, I was not even aware the nest was there. I now need some kind-hearted soul to spring for the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4 VR so I can take up birding more seriously (it's only $7000, someone must be able to help me!), although my humble 70-300mm VR worked just fine in this situation.

More colors from Port Medway

Sometimes, it seems almost easy to get good images, like picking cherries. Friday night was so ideal for photography, you sometimes don't want it to end and wish you had a memory card with infinite storage.

The D40 does an amazing job for an entry-level digital SLR, no wonder it was a great success for Nikon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fishermen at Port Medway

I was traveling very light, yesterday, just the humble little D40 and 16-85mm VR. I came across these chaps casting their lines into the sea in Port Medway. As is always a good practice, I struck a rapport with them and they had no issues allowing me to click away. I am amazed how well the built-in flash operates on the D40, this further enhancs my admiration for the Nikon flash system - I traditionally used to dump on tiny built-in flashes and dismissed them for "snapshots."

One of the key features of the D40 is its fast flash sync - up to 1/500th second. Unless you have tried to shoot fill-flash, you cannot appreciate such a valauble option.

West Berlin government wharf

Last night afforded me a couple spare hours to devote to taking photographs; I decided to head out to one of my favorite places for scenics. With new rear shocks installed on the Sentra, the horrendously-rough road to West Berlin was a tad softer ride and the destination was rewarding as you can see.

D40 and 16-85mm VR, it's all I had with me yesterday..........

Localized mist

I was fortunate enough to be driving by this isolated pocket of mist in New Canada on the way to work, yesterday. As always, just having a camera is most of the reason that such opportunities come along. The D40 and 16-85mm VR are a good combo for the old saying "f/8 and be there."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Colorful waterfalls

I always seem to be at the cusp of capturing the best light no matter what kind of day we have. I knew the sun was already up but would not present its unwelcome high contrast at 7 am on a summer day. If I was lucky enough and timed it right, I knew I could combine some of the glorious sunlight and the sparkling water from the Carding Mills falls using the appropriate technique.

I think I got it right!

D80, 1/6th second @ f/11, manual focus and manual exposure with the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fly-in - New Germany Lake

A good friend of my father's organized what pilots call a fly-in - a social gathering where they bring their planes and converge to talk about whatever, usually planes. It's also the usual to have a lot of spectators especially if the weather is ideal, as it was on this day - although it wasn't great for photographs, I did what I could to work around the harsh light.

Not surprisingly, there were a lot of interesting things besides the aircraft.

Waterfalls at a different pace

I usually shoot falls with long exposures to show the dream-like effect of the moving water, in the 1-second vicinity. With a fast lens, such as my Sigma 50-150mm, you can go to the other extreme and shoot at 1/2000th second or even faster to freeze everything in its tracks.

More magic with fog

Seems this has been the summer of fog in 2009, certainly not a summer of sun. I feel I get lots of photo opps for just having a camera near me at all times. D40 and Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 zoom.