Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘24 1.4

Don’t Forget to Look

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Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

For me, holidays off work are go-out-with-the-camera days, so no sleeping in this past Friday. Got up bright and early and headed out on a mission: to take the 51st of 52 images of Suki for this year’s project. We started in North Beach where I took the image above. I must have still been waking up, because I took the shot and wondered why my shutter speed was so incredibly high during the dawn hour. Ah…ISO6400. It’s usually a good idea to set your camera to its base line before every shoot.

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII

I had some concepts in mind that I tried in various areas of the city with Suki, and for the life of me I couldn’t make them work. Just one failed attempt after another. Started feeling like the guy on the left here. So I put the Suki project out of my mind for a while. Took a break. Grabbed some coffee. I decided to just start taking pictures of stuff and get inspired as I go. Note to self: get coffee BEFORE going out on a photo walk next time.

Normally when I’m out with the camera and the dog, I seem to keep the camera fixated on her. Guess a year of taking photos of her for the 52 weeks project will do that to you. For most of the day yesterday, I removed myself from that tendency and started to really look at what was around me. My goal for the day was to focus on patterns, texture, and color, and to look for these elements everywhere. It really requires that you slow down  and take time to really look at everything in your environment.

When you do, you start to notice some cool really stuff sitting there right under your nose, waiting to be photographed:

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

Started out with the 24mm f/1.4, but quickly realized that I’d need more versatility for taking pictures of random subjects, so out came the 24-120 f/4:

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

There is something very eye catching about the natural contrasting with the man-made. In concert with lighting that reveals texture, you can make nice images of things you’d normally just trample on and not even notice.

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

While certainly not a dedicated macro lens, the 24-120 can get you pretty close to your subjects. The VR is great to have for hand-holding these closeups too.

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

This wide shot above captures some cool lines and really takes the whole scene in, but it’s good to keep looking, dive deeper into the scene, and pick out something to anchor the eye on. Every photo needs a subject:

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120mm f/4

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII

Photos of Suki sort of flowed much easier after my photo walk:

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24-120 f/4 VRII

Nikon D700 | Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G

Many of these images have been added to the “Random Moments” gallery on my website, so if you want to see them in super high resolution, head on over the gallery.jonathanflemingphotography.com.

I think that pretty much sums up today’s blog post. Pretty random!

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EXIF on these photos? Just mouse over the images.

Written by Jonathan

December 26, 2010 at 1:40 am

Life at 1.4

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Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 24mm f/1.4G

There’s a place in my bag as well as my heart for both zoom and prime glass. I don’t think I could shoot exclusively with just one or the other, because both types can accomplish different things in various situations. For ultimate depth of field control and maximum speed, however, you can’t beat a fast prime.


When I use any of my prime lenses, I really like to take advantage of what truly sets them apart from my zooms, so I almost always leave them wide open at f/1.4 all day long.  Sure you can shoot a lens like this at f/5.6 and get great results (yaaawn), but I love shooting at 1.4, just because I can! Every shot you see in this post was taken at f/1.4.


At f/1.4, your camera becomes an absolute light bucket, even compared to a “fast” f/2.8 zoom. This allows you to shoot at night or indoors under low lighting with ease. In general, the wider your focal length, the lower shutter speed you can hand-hold. So shooting wide open with say a 24mm f/1.4 lens in front of a full frame sensor means you can happily keep snapping away under a moon-lit sky. Amazing stuff.




Let’s not forget control over depth of field with a super fast lens! Getting your subject pin sharp while the entire background melts out of focus gives you images with a unique sense of dimension and depth that, at least for me, never gets old. Many fast primes, like Nikon’s incredible 24mm f/1.4 AFS lens, are also insanely sharp wide open. Just be careful with your focus; the limited depth of field you get at really wide apertures means you have to nail your focus perfectly.






I’m all about wide angle lenses. If I had to pick one focal length as my absolute favorite, I’d have to say 24mm. To me it’s just wide enough to make a powerful impact on the perception of depth in an image if used correctly, and it’s a great focal length for everything from landscapes and street photography to portraits (yes, portraits!). Here’s a few more images from my catalog from the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!













These images are part of a new gallery I’m putting together on my website called “Random Moments.” It’s a less directed gallery compared to my others, very open and creatively free. It’s an expression of my life through the lens as I carry my camera with me everywhere I go. At least for now, it’s a gallery of images I’ve taken with prime lenses. Check it out at gallery.jonathanflemingphotography.com!


My favorite lens ever….really!

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Nikon D700 + Nikkor AFS 24mm f1.4G  and Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.4G

Written by Jonathan

December 2, 2010 at 9:01 pm