Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shooting with the Induro CT214 Tripod and Nikon 300mm f/4

Nikon D600, 300mm f/4 @ 1/250 sec.
I've been shooting more and more with the Nikon 300 f/4, both handheld and with the Induro CT214 tripod combined with the Induro BHD2 ballhead.  (Let me say up front, this is NOT a review of these items.  That said, I like them all very much.)  Now, conventional wisdom says to keep your shutter speed at 1/lens length at a minimum for stable handheld shots.  So, when using the 300mm on a full-frame camera the shutter speed should be a minimum of 1/300 for sharp photos.  Shooting handheld with the 300 f/4 has seen a lot of images sent to the trash for not being sharp due to motion (mine, the wind, the subject, etc).  (For a comparison, the images shot on this Post were shot handheld at a minimum of 1/800 with most at 1/1000 seconds.  While they look okay on the Web, they are not quite as sharp overall as those shown here at much slower shutter speeds.)  Yesterday was very overcast and windy and knowing I wanted to go in the field and shoot the 300mm I packed the tripod with camera gear in the trunk of the Harley and took off.  While hoping for somewhat larger wildlife to shoot, I took what I could get, like the green darner dragonfly above.  There is no way I could have pulled that shot off without the tripod (the shutter speed was too slow and it was windy).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Good Morning

Quick post to show what I saw when looking out the window this morning.  These two began on the porch railing but by the time I grabbed the camera and made it back they were gone.  At that point I went around the corner to another window and there they were.  Snap.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Birding in the Backyard

Mindy and I have been wondering where the hummingbirds have been this year.  Usually we see these small creatures coming and going all summer long, but this year we've seen them a total of maybe five times between us.  Until today.  They've been giving a real show of constant activity at the feeders today and have been fun to watch.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Converting Photos to Black & White

Thought I'd do a little more B&W this time around.  I posted some black and white photos in April but haven't done any more until recently.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nursing Fawn - Wildlife at Its Finest

Just before noon on this overcast and dreary day I looked out our second story bedroom window and saw a fawn with its mother at the edge of the woods on our property.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Nikon 300mm f/4, part 2

I've been out the last couple days with the Nikon 300mm f/4 I wrote about before practicing on some small creatures such as birds, butterflies, dragonflies and such.  Gotta say, it's been a challenge - between the wind blowing, fast moving subjects, the lens seeking focus and no VR my hit ratio is somewhere between one half and one third keepers to shots taken.  And by keepers I mean the subject is in sharp focus.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Don't Remain in the Dark

Yesterday I wrote of making images pop with LR5.  As are all of my articles thus far, it is just high level information.  Meaning, I don't go very deep into all the particulars because there is a ton of information on the Web already.  I use quite a few more tools in LR than what I mentioned yesterday.  I may change my way of thinking in the future but for now I'm keeping the content such that it may raise questions or simply pique something in you.   I'm more than willing to try to help anyone that may have questions, so if that's you, just ask in the comments section below or email me at davehowell123@gmail.com.  I'm a firm believer in sharing knowledge - you learn from me and I learn from you.  Don't remain in the dark - and don't hoard knowledge either.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Making Images POP with Lightroom 5

I've been using Lightroom (LR) for a couple years now and recently upgraded to LR5 when it became available.  I don't think I'll ever stop learning the different things about it and how to incorporate them into my images (at least I hope not).  But I have found certain settings I use repeatedly enough that I created a filter for them when importing images from the camera.  One thing that struck me recently, though, was that I'm still manipulating the different sliders quite a bit and have been wondering if another filter needs to be created or tweaked.  Why?  Well, I think it's because I'm constantly trying to make the images be the best they can be to the best of my ability and that's a good thing, right?  And hopefully, it's a sign of growth.  But this realization brought more to light, namely, there are more sliders and functions in LR and especially LR5 that I haven't learned and used yet.