Posts Tagged ‘shots’
The city of San Francisco is aglow in orange right now, and not for Halloween. One particularly beautiful display of orange lighting, celebrating the world champion San Francisco Giants, can be seen at City Hall. With all the Giants fever sweeping accross the city right now, I felt the need to incorporate the orange lights of City Hall with a shot fo Suki for week 43.
Suki is a pretty small creature, so finding an angle that let me shoot from below her to include City Hall’s dome was no easy task. Even when I did find a pretty good composition, I still had to get all the way down on the ground with the camera. Lots of fun!
Yes, I was out there making images during game 4. I just love photography that much. Of course, I still had the game streaming to my iphone to keep me updated on my hometeam.
Took this image not far from where I parked my car. How could I resist? The golden orange light against the cool blue sky was just begging to be immortalized.
GO GIANTS!!! YEAH!
Last week I spent a very busy few days in New York, shooting a wedding for a friend and hanging out with friends in Manhattan. Because of the wedding, I had a bag full of gear and lenses, including my new go-to utility zoom for travel and event photography: the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII. I wrote a small post on my first impressions of the lens a little while back, but last week I really got a chance to leisurely shoot with it mounted on my D700 and get a better impression of how it performs in various circumstances. After taking it everywhere with me during the trip, I can say for sure that I love the 24-120. In short, it’s sharp, focuses fast, and has a focal range that keeps you ready for just about anything. While I did use many of my other lenses during the trip, I’ll keep a small sampling of images in this particular post focused on the 24-120 f/4.
At 24mm, you’re pretty wide on an FX camera. Great for shooting cityscapes:
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/9, 1/320 second ISO200
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/8, 1/640 second ISO200
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/7.1, 1/200 second ISO200
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/10, 1/250 second ISO200
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/4, 1/60 second ISO1600
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/10, 1/60 second ISO400
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/6.3, 1/160 second ISO200
Images from the 24-120 have great contrast and depth.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/9, 1/320 second ISO200
Added vignetting in the image above. The lens does vignette at 24mm, but it’s easily correctable in post. I tend to add it anyway, so it doesn’t bug me a bit.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/5.6, 1/25 second ISO800
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/4, 1/160 second ISO800
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/4, 1/1250 second ISO1600
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/4.5, 1/100 second ISO800
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/5.6, 1/40 second ISO800
Can you tell I love that 24mm on the wide end? Probably why I keep begging the wife to let me pick up at 24mm f/1.4. In due time…. =)
Of course, it’s also nice to have that range all the way through 120mm in one constant aperture lens:
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 55mm f/4, 1/25 second ISO2000
Shooting static subjects at 1/25 or even lower throughout the range is no problem at all with VRII on board.
Taken blocks away from where I used to live in Brooklyn Heights. Wouldn’t you love to live on Love Lane?
Now for a few shots of people taken with the 24-120mm to further demonstrate its versatility as a mid-range zoom:
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 40mm f/4, 1/1000 second ISO1600
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 85mm f/4, 1/160 second ISO6400
The maximum aperture of f/4 is plenty fast for most instances, especially with the ridiculous ISO capability of the D700.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 120mm f/4, 1/500 second ISO1600
Racking the lens out to 120mm gives you a good focal length for tighter portraits. Took the image above in our hotel room while the wife applied some makeup by the window.
The longer end also helps in catching fun expressions and moments at an event. Here’s an example from the wedding reception last weekend:
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 92mm f/4, 1/200 second ISO2000
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/4, 1/40 second ISO2500
My cousin Josh, on the right, is out of focus here, but I wanted to use this shot to show how much environment you can show around your subjects with that 24mm wide end of the lens. Here are a couple more:
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/4, 1/500 second ISO6400
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 24mm f/4.5, 1/80 second ISO1600
At f/4 your depth of field is still pretty shallow. Check out this shot my wife took of me in my favorite store ever, the B&H super store. I never go to NY without paying a visit there! Here I am playing with the incredible Nikon D3s (below). Not too randomize this post too much, but you can see that at f/4, the front element of that fat 24-70 is the only thing in the frame that’s in focus. Could be because the 24-70 is so stinking long =D
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 62mm f/4, 1/50 second ISO1600
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VRII at 110mm f/4, 1/80 second ISO800
Back out into the street. Again, the focal range is very flexible for dynamic environments like the streets of New York.
Alright, I only posted this image because if you go to New York, you MUST have a burger at Shake Shack. You MUST!!!
That’s all for now. Still rummaging through images I’ve taken with this lens and others, as well as all the wedding photos I took last week. Stay tuned for more!
The newest addition to my kit is Nikon’s ultra-wide 10.5mm fisheye lens. With a 15mm full frame equivalent focal length on a Nikon DX body and a full 180 degree angle of view, this lens really takes it all in. I’ve had it for a little under a week, and I must say, this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time with a lens. If you’ve been on the fence about picking up a fisheye, just go ahead and get one already!
The top image was taken this past Friday at San Francisco’s AT&T park. The Giants played the Cardinals (and won!). When I found out that our seats were going to be way up in the highest part of the stadium, I was actually pretty happy. From such a high vantage point, you can take a great ultra-wide shot of the entire stadium with the 10.5 fisheye. Here are a few more images I took during this past week with the 10.5. Enjoy!
Camera Specs: Nikon D300s + Nikkor AF DX Fisheye Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Post in Lightroom 3 Beta and Photoshop CS4
For my 52 week photographic project about Suki, I want to include images that tell a story about her life. I’m hoping viewers will see her personality and get a sense of the environments she encounters from day-to-day. This premise spawned the idea for my latest image on Flickr in this series. I’ve lived in big cities all my life, and I wanted to show that the city is Suki’s domain as well.
The final image for the project was harder to capture than it likely looks, probably harder for my light stand (wife) than me, as she needed to instruct Suki on what to do, light her correctly, and keep the flash unit from going into standby all at the same time. Definitely not as easy as working with a human subject!
You don’t have to look far to find urban artwork in the city. This entire building was covered in it, and I would have loved to use other portions of the art as well, but we couldn’t spend too much time on the shoot. Suki might have lost her patience! Nevertheless, the art made an awesome background to convey Suki’s urban life. We got a lot of smiles from passerby, and a few of them found their way into my outtakes.
Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/5.6 ISO200 1/125 Second
The shot above was initially a test image to see what my flashes were up to and get a good starting point for the shoot. I ended up liking it….in a goofy kind of way. The the shot at the top of this post is the first image I’ve heavily post-processed in a while. I was going for that cross-processed look, and I really like how it turned out.
The pose in the image I posted to the project was all Suki’s doing. I was really close to her with my Tokina 11-16, and she suddenly did a “down” on all fours (like the first image in this post). I fired away. Looking at the LCD, I grinned from ear to ear:
“We got it!”
Suki got an extra helping of treats.
Please see the final image on flickr: Click Here
I love keeping my camera with me at all times, but I can’t always lug my tripod around. That’s why the constant f/2.8 maximum aperture coupled with vibration control in my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC zoom lens makes a killer combination for shooting hand-held in low light.
I took the night shot above on the way home from work a couple nights ago. I stopped to park near this old highschool (that will soon be shut down incidentally), and was drawn by the warm amber light in the archway. I love how the light’s warm glow mixed with the dusky blue sky. Using a variable aperture zoom at this focal length, or even a constant aperture zoom without vibration control would have forced me to use a much higher ISO and would have made this shot very difficult if not impossible to capture without a tripod.
This shot is not as sharp as it could be, but considering that I took it from the passenger seat of a car that is just starting to move away from a stop light, I can accept the results. Of course, shooting wide open doesn’t give me the most ideal, razor-sharp results I get from shooting in the Tamron’s f/5.6-f/11 range, but I love the flexibility that the wide aperture gives me in combination with the highly effective VC, a major reason I chose this lens over Nikon’s very expensive 17-55mm f/2.8.
Suki likes to walk, but there’s nothing she loves more than going to a dog park and running free, especially when she gets to socialize with other dogs (and people too!). It’s been a long time since I’ve used my Nikkor 70-300mm lens, so today I decided to bring it as my only lens for our little outing with Suki.
This was also the first time I got a chance to test out the high frame rate and 51-point, 3D tracking auto-focus in my new D300s. I must say, the auto-focus in this camera is outstanding for moving targets (and Suki reeeally moves). The frames advance so rapidly that the camera sounds like a machine gun…very cool!
Ok now for some random stuff. This little girl entered the park and kept her hands close to herself around all the dogs (I guess to avoid any contact). Not long after she got there with her family, she told her parents she wanted to go to the “people park”.
After Suki ran around for a while, we sat down at a cafe outside and enjoyed some afternoon coffee. I sat back and took a few snaps of things that surrounded me. The D300s puts out some amazing color.
Here’s Suki at the cafe. She doesn’t really like sitting still while we sit around doing nothing, especially if there’s a lot going on, but she tolerated it.
….and when we got home, I noticed these lovely flowers growing in our back yard. There wasn’t too much light left to work with, so I had to hand hold this shot to get it quick. Didn’t get the depth of field I wanted, and it’s a little on the saturated side, but hey, I like it!
With the exception of the first and sixth photos (from the top) on which I did some minor color correction, all the images from today’s post are straight out of the camera. Hey, sometimes it’s just easier that way!
Finally found some time to head out and photograph this great city I live in this Saturday evening. I’ve been wanting to take this very iconic and classic shot of the Bay Bridge from Treasure Island for a long time now. I stuck around at this spot for about an hour and a half, so I could capture the sunset as well as the dusk. I was pretty much entirely alone here, except for this one tourist whose family stopped their car in the middle of the road so he could run out and set up by my spot, attempting to shoot the same scene with his flash turned on. Yes, his flash…because the city lights and falling sun do not produce enough light I guess. One more tiny strobe fired from several miles away should do the trick!
The image above is a little different from the one I posted on my flickr site. For one thing, it’s a SOOC shot, straight out of the camera. Yep, I had so much time on my hands waiting for the sun to drop that I figured I’d play with the D300s’s own processing engine a bit, and I came away pretty impressed with the JPEGs it produces. That being said, I still shoot RAW when I shoot at night. Why?
Simply because it allows me the option to interpret an image in more than one way. I could be perfectly happy with the white balance as I set it in the field while I’m shooting, but when I get home and upload my images to Lightroom, I often like to make further adjustments on a nice big computer monitor, and then compare a few color interpretations before deciding on my favorite image. I sometimes hear JPEG-exclusive photographers say that those who shoot RAW should “get it right the first time.” Well, people don’t necessarily shoot RAW because they can’t use a camera effectively. They do so because it allows more creative flexibility. That being said, I’m not a RAW snob either. I’ll happily shoot in either format depending on the situation.
The image below was shot in RAW and then output to JPEG in Lightroom using the white balance I set in my camera at the time of recording. I wanted to get that really blue dusky sky in the shot at the time. When I got home and got the image into the computer, I decided I wanted to try a warmer look, and I ended up with the photo I finally posted to flickr.
Getting to this location was tough. I drove around the island for a long time trying to find the right angle for this shot. After parking in one spot and then hiking around for about 20 minutes, I got a visual on where I needed to be (on a lower spot on the island), and of course, it’s not directly accessible on foot, and there’s nowhere to legally park your car for miles there. It’s right off a two way rode leading to and from the bay bridge.
I had the wife drop me off quickly at the spot and drive off to another location with the dog, giving me all the time I needed to get this shot. Thanks honey!
I was really hoping to get some dramatic colored clouds in the sky in this shot. There were clouds in the sky that night, and in fact, when I first arrived at this site, there was a huge cloud right over the skyline that I was thrilled about. Unfortunately, before the sun started casting golden and red color into the sky, the clouds had moved east and completely out of the frame. Just to the left and outside of the frame in the first shot you see above is an amazing, red cloud formation. Oh well.
So in the end, I didn’t get the exact shot I was looking for, but I’ll definitely return to this location for another try.
UPDATE: See a reworked version of this image on my flickr page.