Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Don’t Forget to Look

with 6 comments

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

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


EXIF on these photos? Just mouse over the images.

Written by Jonathan

December 26, 2010 at 1:40 am

6 Responses

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  1. I like some of these very much, especially the contrast of colours on the autumn leaves shots.


    December 26, 2010 at 5:26 am

  2. A great lesson in how to experience the world like a wolf!♥


    December 26, 2010 at 6:30 am

  3. i LOVE these shots. that fire engine one is my absolute fave! Nice write up about switching gears photographically and paying attention.


    December 26, 2010 at 7:14 am

  4. wow, i’m totally impressed!! glad you had a tad bit of alone time and found some inspiration…
    your project is near completion and i commend you for doing such a hard assignment.
    happy holidays to your family (suki included)…

    Jason Fan

    December 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm

  5. beautiful shots! love how vibrant the colors are


    December 27, 2010 at 12:39 am

  6. Thanks very much everyone!


    December 30, 2010 at 10:20 am

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