Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Past...

I have had this camera for a long time.  So long it's been "replaced" by several newer models, like the D800, the D600, the D610 and the D750.  All of them are heavy shooters, high caliber contenders, big MP guns... but nowhere near the practicality of the D700.

Given that I've had my D700 for about six years (starting in November 2008), I think it's only fair to celebrate one more year with a look backwards.  Hence, let's go to Christmas past!

Ben, gazing at the Christmas tree, December 2008
Christmas tree decorations, December 2009.  Some things just never change...
Alley in between two buildings in DeKalb, IL (Dec 2010)
View from a hill in Valparaíso, Chile, on December 2011.
Waterman Christmas Train arriving in the station.  December 2012.

I wasn't too active in 2013, so this is a later view of some deer (center, very small) in our street in DeKalb in March 2013.
There are some photographs from this month stored somewhere in the future... and I hope to have a few images worth sharing.  In the meanwhile, let's enjoy the weather, the music and the food this holidays offer, and let's not forget to make some memories on photographic media... Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Long Reach Dilemma

Photographs I have managed to capture with my only long lens: a Nikon AF 80-200 f2.8, first version.   These ones were taken on a visit to the Midway Historical Museum in Rockford IL, in June 2011 (back then, when I kinda gave up on this blog because some photos of mine posted elsewhere were stolen).

Blacksmith at work

Rider known as Johnny Baker

One of the "Rough Riders" performing that day.

I think this one is Texas Rose...

Mark Twain in one stop of his lecture trip.

For some reason, the fourth shot is a bit soft.  I believe I switched the sensor from FX to DX, and also the priority must have been set to shoot over focus (later I'll get to this).  In any event, this place tends to offer this kind of events, during which they recreate a historical period or event, and have very specialized performers doing their shows in the grounds.
Now, I'm facing a critical moment: except for trips like this, I find that my long lens gets next to no use.  In fact, it's now down with sticky shutter blades (which means they don't close down when the camera shoots and a small aperture has been set).  I am very inclined to sell it and keep the rest of my zooms, but then... what if I need one long lens for events like the one I documented above?
What would you do?
Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To see the focusing point... and other things

I had offered some information about how to see your focusing points in the LCD after shooting.  It helps, because it tells you where the camera focused, which can explain sharpness problems.
  • First, go to the Playback menu.
  • Scroll down to Display mode.
  • Click OK to make your choices.
  • Where it says "Basic Photo Info" you'll have a choice.  Select "Focus Point".
  • Click OK to return to the Playback Menu. 
After this adjustment, all photos (even in Slide Show mode) will show where the camera focused for every shot.  Some people may find it distracting, but you may find it useful to know what your camera was thinking, or simply to find out whether it did what you wanted it to do.  I set this during my last digital experience in Toledo, and liked it very much, as I could see sometimes the reason of some shots when I liked them.

Speaking of which... here are more.  This time, from Salamanca, where we stayed for about 3 days.

The first is a view of the Plaza Mayor, which I like so much it became the wallpaper in my laptop (to this day).  The second, something very Spanish: a "Tuna," which is a student group (singers and string instrument players), and they perform traditional songs.  The third is the same Plaza Mayor, but this time at night.  Fourth, street performer, who had his dog to make sure people would stop and leave some money for the pet.  In all cases, I used the same lens: Nikon AF-S 24-120 f4.  It's heavy, it's big... but it's fairly devoid of distortion.  Very occasionally there may be flare, but it may have been dust on the filter.  In any event, I was quite happy with it, and will probably take it again whenever I go on trips.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Just some shots I like

I'm back!

I won't elaborate about the abandon in which I left this blog.  Let's say that I got over whatever it was, and now I'm sort of back with a kind of vengeance.  And images!

Without further ado... I've been traveling lately, and among my photographic fortune, I've collected some photos I like, all done with a nice AF-S 24-120 f4.  Here they are.

Street light in corner.  This was right before the Corpus Christi celebration.

Inside a house in the Tendillas Street, where there is one of the celebrated "Patios Toledanos."

Candles in a "Patio Toledano" in a house in the Callejón del Pozo Amargo.

Toledo, from the other side of the Tajo river.
More stuff from Spain coming up soon... along with a little trick to help you see where the camera focused (this is, when you decide to review your shots in the LCD screen).  Let me figure it out (again... I did set it in my camera long before returning to this blog) and I'll come back to tell you!