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Posts Tagged ‘d300’

My husband and I were talking last night, and he started telling me about his favourite three photos he has ever taken. I totally agreed with two of his three choices. They were beautiful photos, and some of the best work he has done. I had to disagree with him on the third photo however. The photo is of a wasp eating, a piece of chicken that was left in the parking lot behind where he works. The wasp is supposed to be the subject of the photo, but doesn’t even take up a tenth of the frame. The piece of chicken however is the brightest spot in the photograph, and not even recognizable as a piece of chicken. Why on earth did he consider this one of his favourite photos?

After  telling him that I disagreed with him, in a much more kind and considerate way than I did here, it got me to thinking there must be a reason that he loved the photo so much. Then it dawned on me; favourite does not equal good. I have photos that I love because of the memory they invoke, but they suck compositionally. With this new mindset I asked him if he though the photograph was good, or if it was an important photo. He realized that it wasn’t the image itself that was significant, it was the realization that he could get a sharp image with his camera, even if it wasn’t as good as my camera.

This got me to thinking about my favourite photos. They are all ones from which I learned something significant.

The following photo was the first time I attempted to reduce light falling on a subject with the use of flags.

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

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

This photo was taken as an example of using a cool colour (blue) to recede in the photograph. However it was the first time I understood how you could take an ugly surrounding and make a beautiful photograph by changing your perspective. To get this photograph I took a large rock that I found in a parking lot, placed it on a chair and got down low so that the background would be all sky, and not the ugly parking lot.

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

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

The following photo, took about 20 trips to the park and several swift kicks to my head, literally as my son swung over top of me. From this I learned that sometimes it’s worth getting kicked in the head.

Nikon D300 50mm f/8 1/800, ISO 200

Nikon D300 50mm f/8 1/800, ISO 200

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Nikon D300 105mm ISO 400 f4 1/1250

Nikon D300 105mm ISO 400 f4 1/1250

The way to know if a photo should be in colour of black & white is simple. If the photo is about the colour, it should be in colour; if its not, get rid of the distraction that colour causes. This is a paraphrase of something I learned watching CreativeLive.

A couple of weeks ago my five year old son was playing in the sunbeam of the window, with the innocence that only young children have, and I captured the beautiful moment pictured above. When I took this photo I didn’t consider whether it should be in colour or black & white, however the minute I uploaded it to my computer I knew that while this photo was decent straight out of the can, it would be even better in black & white.

When this photograph is viewed in colour, you get distracted by the orange glow of his ear, the redness of his lips, and to a lesser extent the blue stitches above his right eye. However in black and white the photo is all about how the light plays on his face. To the trained eye of the photographer, the intercepting lines on his face lead your eye to his eye. To the untrained eye, the intercepting lines on his face let you know that he is playing near a window, without the need for it to be in the photograph.

Now I have made it sound like this the perfect photo, I know it is far from it. His face is almost smack dab in the centre of the frame, and it would be even better if I had framed his face lower and more to the left. It would be better if I had captured how he was holding onto the curtains, so you could see that he was playing with them.  I can tell you that the reason I didn’t frame it right was because I only got a chance to fire the shutter twice before he got bored and moved on to something else. I can tell you that the reason is because I have decided to see if using only my center focus point on my camera which has the cross-hair focus make a difference to my photos. I can tell you all of these things, but they don’t really matter. What matters is that I did capture a perfect moment in time, and know that the image has more impact in black & white than in colour.

What do you think?

Window Light 06

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Image

Nikon D300 50mm f2.8 1/5000 ISO 200

My husband doesn’t like to let go of things. He likes to hold onto them, just in case. I hate clutter. This has been the root of many fights between my husband and I. I have found that when there is too much stuff around I just don’t know what to do with myself. I become overwhelmed and so I do nothing. This of course leads to the house getting exponentially messier, and my motivation is inversely related to the amount of mess/clutter around the house.

In this digital world it is easy to take as many photographs as you want. After all, the only cost out of pocket after you’ve purchased your camera is hard drive space, and that’s nothing in comparison to the cost of film. I have taken 11,112 photos since I procured my D300 in May, 2009. I am sure that I am not alone. I’m sure that many of you have taken at least that many if not more. But what do you do with them? Have you printed any of them? Do you even look at them anymore?

Tonight I realized that I print almost none of my photos, and I don’t even look at most of them. Every month or so I choose a recent album out of Aperture as my screen saver. My son loves seeing the photos of himself doing things from just a few weeks ago come up on the screen. But old photos from a few months ago (yes, I called photos from a few months ago old) I never look at. I realized that if I wasn’t looking at photos from a few months ago, I certainly wasn’t looking at photos from a year ago, or even older. So I figured I should do just that.

In 2009 I took 3722 photos; in 2010, 2854 photos; in 2011, 2875 photos. Now in 2012, I only snapped my shutter 870 times, just a third as many as in 2010 and 2011, but that was the year I was pregnant, and as I’ve mentioned it was a horrible pregnancy and I could hardly look after my 5 year old son, so picking up my camera was definitely out of the question. But I digress. Having taken about 3000 photos a year, it was just to many to sit down at look at, especially since many of those photos were not good. Sure, I removed the ones that were completely out of focus, but if they held any emotional meaning to me I kept them. Not only were there so many photos that it was over whelming, there were many, many duplicates.

Why am I holding on to all these photos? Sure, storage space is cheap and easy to come by, but is something really of any value when it’s stored away? In my house I keep a tight rein on how much stuff is stored in our basement. I do this for two reasons: the first is that space is limited, and the second is that when you hold on to too many things nothing is of value because you can’t find any of them. I can’t believe I hadn’t transferred this thinking into the storage of my photos.

So it’s time for me to cull the photos so that they can have value again, and stop hoarding them.

Note: The photo at the top of this post is one of the first photos I took with my Nikon D300.

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I quit smoking almost 2 months ago. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago in the post Digital photography changed the question. Quitting smoking is supposed to be one of the best things you can ever do. To put how I feel about the whole process of quitting smoking in perspective, I would rather go through the pain of child birth, than experience quitting smoking ever again. The idea that my health will improve, and supposedly my lifespan will increase should be enough motivation to get me through it, but it’s not. I knew I needed something much bigger than that, so after talking it over with my husband we agreed that if I made it to 6 months with out having a cigarette I would be able to buy the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 zoom lens. This was the perfect motivation for weeks 3-8 of quitting, but then I started to think, and I realized that 6 months would put it in September. The problem is that I want this lens for all the things I do in the summer. After all, 70-200mm is not really a lens I would use indoors very often. I knew that it wouldn’t be much of a reward to get it and not really use it for many months, and I didn’t know what to do. So finally I decided (with my husband’s encouragement) that I should buy the lens now, but with the understanding that if I start smoking before September 23, 2011 I would have to sell the lens.

In case you haven’t guessed, I got the lens, and so far I have just been playing with it. Here are a few photos that I was able to take that I would never have been able to get with my 24-70mm.

Nikon D300 70-200mm @ 185mm f13 1/200, ISO 200

I drive or walk past this flag almost everyday, and I never noticed until I took this photo how ratty the flag is. Despite the fact the I hadn’t noticed it before, it bothers me. I’m pretty sure you would never find any American that would fly a ratty flag, so why do Canadians think it’s okay?

Nikon D300 70-200mm @ 200mm f5 1/1000, ISO 200

NIkon D300 70-200mm @ 200mm f5 1/1000, ISO 200

NIkon D300 70-200mm @ 200mm f5 1/1000, ISO 200

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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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