Last weekend the City of Edmonton held “Get Ready in the Park” to end Emergency Preparedness Week. The day was cloudy and overcast. Ironically even though I knew it was likely to rain and the event was all about being prepared, I forgot to take umbrellas, though I did remember raincoats. I am pretty sure I was the only person who was truly thankful that it was not a sunny day. When I go to something with my son I don’t want to be lugging around reflectors, and since Nikon still has my flash held hostage, if it had been a sunny day the contract between light and shadow would have been intense and I would not have been able to capture this photo if it weren’t for the giant softbox created by the overcast sky.

Nikon D700 24-70mm @38mm F4 1/250, ISO 1000

Of course the following photo is pretty bland with out a nice blue sky, but even if I had a wonderful nice blue sky, there was nothing around to show perspective and so unless I tell you, there is no way to know he’s hanging two stories in the air. So I guess you take the good, you take the bad, and there you have….
I was going to say photography, but how many of you automaticly thought “the facts of life “?

Nikon D700 24-70mm @ 70mm f8 1/125, ISO 400

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I am taking a course in Creative Design. The assignment for my class this week was to create three images with a strong focal point. Here are the 3 images.

[Click on photo to enlarge]

Nikon D700 24-70mm @70mm f2.8 1/640, ISO 200

Nikon D700 24-70mm @62mm f2.8 1/640 ISO 400

Nikon D700 24-70mm @70mm f16 1/320 ISO 200

I quit smoking almost 6 weeks ago. To be honest with you the experience has been horrible. Ever since quitting smoking I’ve wanted to express my current feelings toward cigarettes through my photography. The idea of how to do this has been floating around in the back of my head for weeks. Today was my first attempt to express that emotion. Here are two versions of the photo.

In my mind I always envisioned the photo as black and white, however after playing around with white balance I’m starting to think the colour version with the adjusted white balance actually reflects my emotion to the subject more accurately. Before today when thinking about an image, the question had always been: “Should this image be in colour, black & white or sepia?” However digital has changed that question to: “If this image should be in colour, what colour temperature would portray the emotion of this image best?”

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.

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.

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.

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