Jonathan Fleming's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Tamron 17-50 VC

A Night at the Jazz Cafe in Berkeley

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[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/25 second ISO800]

This happened a little while ago, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to post about another of my wife’s recent performances. She spent some time this year training at the Jazz School in Berkeley, California. The training included a performance at the school’s Jazz Cafe, where she had the opportunity to put on a show in front of a full house, together with three very talented instrumentalists.

I roamed around with my latte in one hand and camera in the other, snapping away as the performance continued:

[ Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/2.8 1/40 sec ISO1600]

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/50 sec ISO1600 ]

[ Nikon D300s + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G at f/2 1/160 sec ISO1600 ]

Bridget sang two beautiful jazz pieces!

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/60 sec ISO800]

Some other people sang too, but I didn’t come for them ;)

[ Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/2.8 1/30 sec ISO1600]

The crowd actually goes way farther back than I’ve shown here. It was packed inside! Many in the audience were friends and family that showed up to support Bridget’s portion of the performances.

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/20 sec ISO800]

I’m always all for my wife pursuing her love of music whenever she can. I know that in photography, you gotta keep shooting to keep improving, and  it’s important spend as much time as you can taking the kind of photographs that you enjoy taking in order to keep your passion for the craft alive. Same thing in the art of music it seems. Bridget seems to get better and better with every performance. One thing is for sure: wherever and whenever she performs, I’ll be right there with her, camera in hand.

Photo shoot: Jasmine Libatique

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Got a call yesterday from Jasmine Libatique, a local singer/songwriter here in San Francisco, requesting a photo shoot for her upcoming album entitled Dreaming Away. Her album is still in the recording stage of development, but she wanted to start compiling some concepts for her album artwork.

San Francisco’s Mission District is filled with cool urban art, and Jasmine selected one of the Mission’s many murals to incorporate into the shoot. This will be the first of likely several different concepts we will attempt before she makes a final selection of images to include in her album.

It was a very last-minute shoot! Had to rush home after work and quickly grab whatever gear I could get my hands on before heading out to the Mission District before the sun went down. My SB-800 unit failed on me due to bad batteries during the shoot. I was using it as a commander so I could get my command pulses firing behind or above me to my remote SB-900. Without it, I had to bounce the command signal from my camera’s pop-up off my free hand towards the remote unit. It actually worked! It also made me think a little more about how nice it would be to have radio triggers.  Anyway, despite the rushed nature of the job, we had a great time!

Want to get a preview of Jasmine’s music? Head on over to her Fanpage, where you can listen to all the songs on her upcoming album. Become a fan!

Also, check out more images from this shoot on my website!

Thoughts on the Canon Powershot S90

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I realized, after posting the photo above to Flickr, that it’s very likely that Bridget was the one who actually took it! I was using my D300s with the Tokina 11-16 fitted when we arrived at this scene in the Maruyama area of Kyoto. She had the Canon S90 on her, and while I did ask her to hand it over a few times to get some shots in this area myself, I can’t remember for sure if I actually took this one. Oh well! This image was processed in-camera using the S90′s “Film” color mode, and I added a touch of vignette in Lightroom 3 beta. So Bridge, if you took this, good job!

Speaking of which, Bridget did take a lot of fantastic photos with the S90 during our trip. She really took to the camera because it’s such a joy to use. I would set up a white balance appropriate for the scene for her, set the camera to Program Auto (usually), and program the control ring around the S90′s barrel to adjust exposure compensation. Then I simply told her:

“If it’s too bright, twist the dial this way. If it’s too dark, twist it that way.”

That’s it!

With that awesome control ring allowing easy access to exposure comp adjustment, she was able to focus on composing, and the camera stayed out of her way (the control ring is that black bezel you see around the lens in the image above, and is the S90′s coolest feature). I often used the camera in the exact same way myself. The S90 tends to expose a little hotter than I prefer, so I’m usually dialing in at least -1/3 EV when I’m shooting with it (the above shot has a -4/3EV dialed in by either me or Bridget, can’t remember!). I also found that it was a lot of fun to use the S90 in full manual. The control ring around the lens would set aperture, and the control wheel on the back would set shutter speed. Wow! I felt like I was using a film camera again! The combination of seeing the live view preview, a live histogram, and a live EV read-out on the LCD while composing made it dead simple to nail the exposure I wanted every time. No compact camera has ever given me a control experience like this one!

Here are a couple sample photos that show how great the JPEGs produced straight from the camera look from the Canon S90 (neither of these were adjusted in post):

I finally feel like I have a true compact camera with the control and feature set that can be utilized and appreciated by both a beginner and a more advanced photographer. Good job Canon!

So anyway, we were heading up to this huge temple in Maruyama-cho. To get to it, you had to scale these ridiculously steep stairs. The first image was the view from the bottom. Here’s what it looks like from the top:

I’m not sure this image really tells you just how steep these stairs were, but they were STEEP. Worth the climb, however. =)

Top Image: Canon S90
Second Image: Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC
Third and Forth Image: Canon S90
Fifth Image: Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

Nomar

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This weekend I did a little photo session at a friend’s house. They have a little 14 month old boy named Nomar. He’s adorable, has a great personality, and we had a lot of fun. Bringing Nomar’s favorite toy, a little Luigi, made him a very cheerful little guy, and really helped during the shoot.

He and his mom photograph really well! For the more “formal” family shots on the couch, I used a 3′ by 3′  Lastolite skylite panel  on a C-stand, with two speedlights firing through it. A reflector on the floor gave some fill from below.

Nomar was even goofier when with his Dad, mostly because mommy was behind me making him laugh. He seemed to be really fascinated by my camera too.

Of course, his Dad knew how to make sure he had a blast during the session too. I used the skylite panel and a tri-grip diffuser over the window to soften the harsh light for the natural light photos.

I thought it was pretty cool that father and son had matching outfits. Very cool!

Nomar’s other favorite toy besides a plush Luigi? His mother’s cell phone!

Don’t break it now!

In all, I have about 80-90 photos ready for the family, which I’m still processing. These are a few “previews” from the shoot. So much work to do!

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Camera Specs: Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, Tokina 50-135 f/2.8, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G

Josh Visits SF!

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Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC + Hand Held SB-900 // 17mm f/14 ISO200 1/800 Second

I enjoyed a four day weekend for once this week, and got to spend time with my cousin, who flew in with friends from New York. We had a great time touring them around the city and taking lots of pictures, many of which are still sitting in my computer waiting to be processed! Now that I’m back at work I have so little time. The above picture is Josh on top of Twin Peaks, sporting a D90 and the original Tamron 17-50 that I sold him. It was great to get together and talk cameras, as I don’t have any other close buddies who are into photography!

Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-150mm f/2.8 at 50mm f/4  ISO200 1/250 second

Here’s Josh with his two buddies from NY (left) as well as other family members (right), enjoying a break from the frigid weather on the east coast. What’s up with the lollipops? They’re included with every sandwich you order from Ike’s Place, one of my favorite sandwich shops in SF. I have lots more images to upload, but it’ll have to wait. Josh is still in town!

I’ve added these images to my Portfolio. Check it out!

52 Weeks of Suki on Flickr

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I’m really not sure how this image appears to you, since as I’ve mentioned before, wordpress does some weird stuff with the color in my photos. But flickr doesn’t, so whether or not the color looks off to you here, please view this image on flickr! This is the first image in a project I committed to in the 52 Weeks for Dogs group on Flickr, a group in which each member posts one image a week for every week of this year of one dog, limiting weekly images to those that are taken within the current week. No playing catch-up, no posting from archives!

Minutes after posting this shot of Suki on Flickr, I received a few comments asking how I took this shot. Since this was a very low light situation, I shot in manual exposure mode on my D300s to keep my shutter speed in check. I usually shoot in aperture priority, but in this case, I didn’t want the camera to select a shutter speed I couldn’t hand hold.

Camera right is an SB-900 that I’m controlling wirelessly via the pop-up flash on my camera through TTL metering. I’m always astounded at how well Nikon’s wireless lighting system works. The camera is making extremely intelligent exposure decisions for me here, and all I need to do is play with the flash output until I hit a lighting ratio that makes sense to me aesthetically. I can change the SB unit’s output right at the camera too, which is great, because I was lying on the ground during the whole shoot.

The SB-900′s light is pretty harsh bare, so I have the unit firing light through a shoot through umbrella, which spreads the light more evenly . I have a very sophisticated light stand in play here too: my wife! I instructed my light stand to fire as much light as possible over Suki so less light would hit the ground, but this was a very difficult task because she had to light Suki AND keep her attention. Plus, umbrellas don’t really direct light in one direction as well as soft boxes do. But I think she did a great job anyway!

Camera Specs: Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 18mm f/5.6 ISO640 1/30 Second

My Flickr Photostream

Our Favorite Dog Park

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This is our favorite place to take Suki: the recently renovated dog park on 30th street and Church street here in San Francisco. Look how big it is! This image doesn’t even include a long stretch of run behind me. Suki approves of this park too:

There’s plenty of area for her to run at full speed!

There are also lots of tennis balls for her to play with.

And lots of smells for her to sniff!

Of course, her favorite thing to do is meet new dogs, and there are plenty of very friendly dogs to meet at this dog park!

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 22mm f/11 ISO200 1/200 Second

….Like this guy for instance. Look at that face! He’d drop this slobbery ball on the ground and then dash off to get ready for me to throw it before I even had a chance to pick the ball up. I had to kick the ball since I had my camera in hand.

Nikon D300s + Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR at 70mm f/4.5 ISO220 1/500 Second

But if you threw the ball, he’d catch it in mid-air! Wow! This guy could play outfield in the MLB.

Nikon D300s + Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR at 125mm f/8 ISO500 1/400 Second

See how happy Suki is when she’s at the park?

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/2.8 ISO1000 1/1250 Second

After releasing a bunch of energy at the park, Suki walks very obediently. We usually take a walk through the neighborhood and hit up a local cafe, where she’ll patiently wait for us as we socialize over coffee:

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 18mm f/4 ISO200 1/250 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 31mm f/2.8 ISO200 1/125 Second

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC at 38mm f/2.8 ISO200 1/200 Second

On a side note, I’ve noticed something sort of strange with how images are displayed on my blog posts here in WordPress. Each of the pictures in this post contains a link that takes you to the image source. The images on this post look like they were stripped of some color and contrast, but if I click on any of them, I see an image with more color and contrast, closer (but still not exact) to what I see in Lightroom 3 beta. Do you see this too? It’s driving me crazy!

Written by Jonathan

January 2, 2010 at 11:57 pm