Friday, October 22, 2010

At a Concert

Just images, nothing striking or particular about them, except for the fact that they were taken with the D700 during the Middlewest Festival in DeKalb, IL.

I'd like to remember the name of this group from somewhere in Wisconsin. They managed to mix rock and folk in a pleasant way, avoiding the pitfalls of each form. The string players were good, as one can see...

I was using my AF 80-200 for this series. Even though I like shooting wide open, I chose here to go a bit off the beaten path and closed it just a little. However, for the image below...

... I went all the way to f16, 1/320, at ISO 1000 (why not? This camera can do it), just to make the star visible toward the top edge. Neat, huh?

More concert images to follow... and to prove that one can always have fun with this camera and a good hunk of glass!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Recent discoveries

Recent discovery: underexpose by a third of a stop when there's a lot of blue sky in the shot.

Another recent discovery: the (much maligned) AF-S 24-120 VR lens makes an excellent trip companion for the D700.

Blue skies in the Antigua Guatemala hotel at which we stayed. It was "La Quinta de las Flores" (and I don't mind linking the website here!); excellent service and the rooms were clean, nice and quiet. Now, the shot above had to be slightly underexposed in order to bring out the intensity of the colors.

Another case in which a third or two thirds of a stop of underexposure made a significant difference in the rendering of the sky. As for the red, it acquired a nicer, deeper tone, like wine.

This is the central plaza of Antigua Guatemala. I believe it's the North side, but I'm not sure. At the end of this stretch, one comes to a street known as "Calle del Arco" because there's a beautiful overpass that joins two buildings together.

Again, the old trick... and some day I'll learn how to correct the 24mm barrel distortion that my AF-S 24-120 lens causes on images like this one.

Happy wanderings... and let's hope I get back to topic (that is, "Notes," offered earlier) some day!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

June 2010 out of town

We had a busy summer... and it started with our son's birthday in May. He turned one, so I got myself a Nikon S2 with a 50mm f1.4 lens to celebrate. A far cry from this digital behemoth, but incredibly pleasant to use. I know it'll be even more pleasant once the rangefinder gets aligned and the viewfinder a bit cleaner... Here it is!

The camera probably was manufactured in 1955, and sold along with the lens as a kit. Those were the good ole days...

[Ironic statement]Why leave DeKalb, where I was getting images of this quality[/Ironic statement]? Well... it was the summer, we had some traveling planned, some we had to do, and some we owed to ourselves.

How many times can one photograph a chair, no matter the OOF areas? Let me count the ways...

That's why we loaded our car with stuff, clothes and all kinds of things, child included, and went to Washington DC for a professional conference. Where else could I take a photograph that echoes Gordon Parks's "American Gothic, Washington DC"? At least, that's what came to my mind when I looked at this Asian lady cleaning a house that displayed a conspicuous American flag...

Somewhere in Georgetown, not far from Georgetown University, Washington DC.

Before you get on my case and call me names for comparing myself and my snapshot to a classic work of art, allow me to reiterate that the image above reminded me of the one by Parks. I wasn't aiming at recreate it, or even top it (who can?). It was just something that came to me immediately, when I saw the lady through the window. Nothing more, nothing less. I know very well who I am, and I am not Gordon Parks.

Four young women, Antigua Guatemala.

We finished the month with ten days in Guatemala (where I'm from). From June 19 to June 29, we stayed at my brother's home and also managed to spend a week in Antigua Guatemala. We walked, ate, looked at things and I took many photographs, with gear perfectly made for traveling: my D700, with my AF-S 24-120 f3.5-5.6 VR, my AF 70-210 f4-5.6, and my Sigma AF 105mm f2.8.

See? I'm ready to update this blog a bit more often... and finally get to the topic of "Notes" at last!

Thanks for reading.