Archive for April, 2011

Over the Easter weekend my son was playing play-doh with his paternal grandmother. My husband was busy talking with his dad, and my son was busy playing with his Grandma. This allowed me a rare opportunity to just step back from being a parent and photograph my son. The scene was absolutely beautiful. Perfect, I thought, okay the light was a dream. We were in a glassed in porch, so there was natural light streaming in from three sides. Really as far as natural lighting it doesn’t get much better than this. This is where I started to realize there were other problems. For one, my son was sitting across the table from his grandma, so to get both their faces in the photo, I would have to take that standard straight on shot that has no depth. I decided against that as those photos just look too flat to me.

Nikon D700 24-70 @62mm f/4 1/400, ISO 200

At one point my son got up from his seat and stood almost next to his grandma. Oh, the minute he did that my heart jumped with excitement a little bit. I was finally going to get a photo of the two of them that wasn’t just the back of a head.  I only got a couple in before he decided to move back again.

Nikon D700 24-70mm @ 38mm f/3.5 1/400, ISO 800

This is where I decided to step in and try to influence the scene rather than just try to capture what naturally unfolded, and try to convince my son to go back to were he was playing. Of course as soon as I spoke up, my son was immediatly pulled out of the world that included only himself, the play-doh and his grandma. Now he was aware that I had the camera out, and he wanted me to take a photo of what he was doing, so I of course obliged, hoping that it would allow him to re-enter that world again after.

Nikon D700 24-70mm @70mm f/6.3 1/125, ISO 800

What I hadn’t counted on was how it pulled my mother-in-law out of that world as well. I had been getting some good photos of her and my son playing, but as soon as she became aware of what was going on, some of the magic of the world they were sharing was gone, and was no longer visible on her face.

Nikon D700 24-70mm @42mm f/6.3 1/125, ISO 800

It seems the lesson here is that when you have magic happening, just let it happen.

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A couple of weeks ago I posted the photos from my first assignment lines. For the second assignment we covered “Colour”, and were to photograph using the subject, The 3 primary colours of light: Red, Blue & Green. Here are my photos from this assignment.

[Click to enlarge]

Nikon D700 24-70mm @ 70mm f/4 1/2000, ISO 200

Nikon D700 24-70mm @70mm f/5.6 1/1600, ISO 200

Nikon D700 24-70mm @70mm f/8 1/20, ISO 2000

Feel free to comment on the photos themselves or even on my choice of using playmobil animals.

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Ever since using the D700 I have had a hard time with focusing close the the edge of the frame, and wondered why I didn’t have this problem with my D300. So finally I sat down tonight and compared the focus points of the D300 and D700. Here is a side by side of two photos. If you click on the image it will show a larger version, and be easier to compare the two.

The pasta dish was taken with the D300, and the guitar and sheet music with the D700.

Turns out the focus points on the D700 do not go as close the edge of the frame as the D300. The advantage to this is that the focus points are much more specific, the nice part is a much more precise focus. The problem is that often what I am focusing on is just outside the range, and I am forced to focus and recompose.

One nice thing about the D300 is that the 3rd focus point in on the top row is pretty much exactly at the rule of thirds powerpoint. With the D700 the powerpoint falls outside of the focus points. Not sure if it is is lazyness or good photography that got me in the habit of using one of the four focus point that matched up with the powerpoints, but the fact that I am forced to focus and recompose with the D700 anytime that I want to place the focal point at the powerpoint is frustrating. I notice that the focus isn’t as good when I do this. I am left wondering how other photographers deal with this situation, please leave a comment and let me know how you choose which focus point to use, and how you deal with focusing and recomposing if you do.

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As noted in my previous entry I enrolled in a photography course called “Creative Design.” These photos are all taken with the Nikon D700 that my friend lent me. I do have to say it will be very hard for me to return the camera when my D300 returns from Nikon repair. The good news is that the repair was covered by warranty, so I won’t have to pay! In the mean time I’m having fun with the D700.

Here are the photos from my first assignment: Lines.

[click on photo to enlarge]

Nikon D700 24-70mm @ 62mm f/4 1/50sec, ISO 800

Nikon D700 24-70mm @70mm f/2.8 1/80sec, ISO 1600

Nikon D700 24-70mm @70mm f/4 1/125, ISO 2500

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Two and a half weeks ago Optic Bard went down for the count when my camera had to be sent into the shop for repairs. It truly felt like someone had cut off my arm. One of the worst things about this was that I was planning on taking “Creative Design”, a photography course, and with no camera this was not likely to happen. When I realized this I complained on facebook, and a wonderful friend of mine messaged me back almost immediatly offering me to use one of his cameras. So now I have in my possession a Nikon D700 for my use until my D300 is returned to me, Thank you.

It has been interesting getting used to this camera, one reason being that it is a full frame sensor. Another interesting part about getting used to using this camera is noticing all the custom settings that have been changed from default. You would think I would notice right away, but as it turns out my friend and I both turn off the autofocus activation on the shutter button, and use the seperate AF button on the back of the camera. Normally when I pick up someone else’s DSLR, the first thing I notice is that the shutter button also controls the autofocus, and I immediatly become aware that it is not my camera. But when I first picked up this camera to use, the one setting that makes me feel set apart from everyone else was exactly the same, and so it felt more comfortable in my hand. I’m sure you’ve heard that if you want to understand someone, you need to walk a mile in their shoes. Well I think if you want to understand another photographer, use their camera with their personal settings for a week. You will start to get a glimpse into how they work, but you will be forced to look at the way you did things and question them, forcing you to consider if it was the best way, or just a way you got stuck doing with out even thinking.

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