Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘nikon d800

Super Moon

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Nikon D800 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII | 1/2 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

The moon passed awfully close to the Earth over the weekend, and we found ourselves over 200 miles north of home on a gig the night we saw it rise over the horizon, bigger and brighter than I’ve ever seen it before. As the sun set and the sky darkened, we quickly looked for a place to pull over and nab a few frames.

The problem, however, was that there was a beautiful sunset over a mountain range to the west, but the moon was rising to the east. At this point, the rock was all by itself in the sky and any shot of it lacked context, so I thought I’d cheat a little. I turned on the D800‘s double exposure mode, spot metered on the moon, took one exposure. Spun the camera around, flipped back to matrix, second exposure of the hills and sun setting sky. The camera combined the two, and the result was pretty cool. I’d love to do this over San Francisco next time…

Written by Jonathan

May 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Some Weekend Bokeh

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Nikon D800 + Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ZF .2 | 1/1600th sec f/1.4 ISO100 (24 image stitch)

Just a couple Bokeh Panoramas I was working on over the weekend. I can see how generating these kinds of images can get super addictive! The beautiful TLR the wife is holding above is yet another camera I found by digging through my parents’ basement. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I can’t wait to post my results from it.


Nikon D800 + Nikkor 200mm f/2 VR II | 1/500th sec f/2 ISO400 (too-many-image stitch)

Next, I’m working on a ridiculous-as-possible bokeh pano of Suki. Still a work in progress…

Written by Jonathan

April 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Panoramic Portraiture

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Nikon D800 +  Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (19 image stitch)

Wait, what? The thought of stitching several photos together to make a portrait, a technique developed and made popular by Ryan Brenizer, seemed like an odd idea to me at first. But the kind of look you can achieve by doing so is really unique. Like any other kind of panoramic photo, the idea behind the method is to increase your final image’s angle of view while maintaining a given focal length and distance from your subject. However, this technique can work wonders when shooting very close to a human subject at wide apertures, because stitching several of the resulting photos together allows you to achieve some really pretty bokeh effects.

For example, at the distance I was from my lovely wife for the first panorama, a single-frame shot using the 85mm f/1.4 looks like this:


Nikon D800 +  Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 

The photo above was taken wide open and pretty near the lens’ closest focusing distance. As a result, Bridget’s left eye is in sharp focus, but the background is completely and beautifully blurred into bokeh heaven due to the extremely shallow depth of field. But what if I wanted a wider angle of view while maintaining both the focal length and the super shallow dof? No problem! Lock your focus and exposure settings, and then take a series of overlapping photos surrounding the first photo’s point of focus. Merge the photos together in post, and poof! Bokeh panorama. The image at the top of this post is a 19-photo stitch from a series of photos I took surrounding the first image in the series, pictured directly above, which served an anchor point for the rest of the panorama.

One mistake I immediately realized that I made after the merge is that I didn’t take enough frames to cover the bottom right of my intended composition, though a little work in CS5 still gave me the composition I was after. But hey, not bad for a second try, right? (Wife will not allow me to post my first try because she’s not wearing makeup in the photo. I think she looks beautiful regardless, but hey, I understand). Indeed, the most difficult part of the entire process is pre-visualizing your intended composition and then taking enough frames to cover the composition when you finally merge the photos.


Nikon D800 +  Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 

Another example of a single frame shot with the 85mm. This time I’m going for a full length portrait, accomplished by merging 19 total frames:


Nikon D800 +  Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (19 image stitch)

One side note: I did not stitch full resolution, 36 megapixel frames from the D800 here, but can you imagine the final size of these images if I had? Hoo boy….

Bokeh panoramas look pretty awesome on small, inanimate objects as well. Here’s a 13 image stitch:


Nikon D800 +  Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (13 image stitch)

I’ve heard of this awesome technique before, but never really thought about trying it myself until another blogger I’ve been following, Kim Miller, put this ridiculously awesome blog post together that tipped me over the edge. To thank her for said tipping, a plug seems appropriate: Head to her blog for a little inspiration, because she does a much better job walking you through the process than I ever could, and her site is littered with awesome examples of bokeh panoramas. Enjoy!

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All Images: Nikon D800 | 85mm f/1.4G

Processing: RAW images processed using VSCO in Lightroom 4 / Image stitching in Photoshop CS5

Written by Jonathan

April 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm

A Few New Tools

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Nikon D800 +  Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 (VSCO’s Kodak Tri-X 400)

The weekend was a little busier than I anticipated, but I still managed to squeeze in some time behind the D800’s finder. I also added Lightroom 4 and the newest, D800-compatible version of VSCO to my software tool-kit. I don’t always process with VSCO, but I always love the result when I do:

We also found this little gem at a camera sidewalk sale today. I can’t believe how incredibly fun it is to shoot with the Olympus XA! This thing is going everywhere with me :)

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Images: Nikon D800 | 50mm f/1.4G | 24mm f/1.4G

Written by Jonathan

April 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Megapixel Madness

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Nikon D800 +  Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

It’s impossible to appreciate fully by simply viewing the downsized images I’m posting here, but from what I’ve seen so far on my monitor at home, files from the Nikon D800 look downright stunning.  It seems that the big headline feature of the camera is its 36 megapixel sensor. I guess I can see why, because this thing captures an incredible amount of detail:


Same image as above, cropped. Really really cropped.

Besides the amazing sensor, however, other key elements of this new camera system are really impressing me so far. I can see definite improvements in metering, autofocus, and especially in handling over my older D700. I’m in love.

Happy shooting this weekend :)

Written by Jonathan

March 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

First Clicks With the Nikon D800

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  Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G | 6 sec, f/8, ISO 100

Bridget and I made a brief drive out to one of our favorite spots to view the Golden Gate after work tonight. Well, she drove. I was busy unboxing the D800 I received only a couple hours earlier. I set it up the best I could in the car, and as soon as we arrived, took a few frames of the bridge during dusk. Hoo boy does this thing bring on the pixels.

More impressions to come…

Written by Jonathan

March 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm