Photo Of The Day: Stalking The Sky

Stalking the sky.  Posted to flickr November 28, 2016

Stalking the Sky

One of the oldest of Photography “Rules”  is in play here.  I say “Rules” because, of course, there are no rules ,and those that have been passed down come with the caveat,  “made to be broken.”   Over the years though, I’ve found this one is worth remembering: when all else fails, get low!   As it was, this was no shot at all when I first saw it.  The distant dark tree line swallowed the scene. But by getting low, the high grass stalks met that incredible orange of the dawn sky and bingo, a scene worth capturing.  I thought it was a rather pleasing shot.  So did my followers on flickr.  It got a lot of hits and faves and so forth.  I decided to put it on my web site and sold a small print the first day.  So, a worthwhile photography  that all came about because I “went low.”   Mind you, “getting low” is not something I do much of these days.  At my age, getting low is one thing, getting back vertical is quite another,  but this shot made even the complaining knees worth it.  Nikon D800E. 18-35mm lens.  Thanks for the look and have a great week.

 

Photo Of The Week: November In The Wetlands

Autumn in the Wetlands

Autumn in the Wetlands

It’s probably not on any government map as an official,”Wetlands,” probably because it’s not very large; maybe 50 to 75 yards wide and a mile or thereabouts long.  Whatever, it’s on our farm and  it’s home to several families of Beavers, goodness knows how many Canada Geese,  Mallards and Wood Ducks, not to mention the Deer, Bears, Foxes and other forest critters who visit daily for a drink of water or to munch on some tasty leaves and berries.  We don’t permit any hunting in our wetlands and we leave the perimeter untouched so as to isolate it and make access difficult for humans.  I seldom venture there now except in the fall when navigating the vines, thorns  and overgrowth has died down to the point where one can gain access without getting hopelessly entangled in the thicket.  This past week, I took the plunge,  fitted out with hip boots and a very thick, thorn proof jacket.  It’s been quite dry here since Hurricane Matthew blasted through dumping well over a foot and half of rain so the slog for photos wasn’t too difficult for these old bones.  My photo gear for this little adventure was my trusty Nikon D7100 small sensor camera and a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle zoom. I leave my expensive full frame cameras in the bag when I venture into water either here on the farm or at the ocean front.   Why chance it when the D7100 will do the job.

It was well worth the trip.  I think the late afternoon shots on a partly cloudy, blue sky day captured both the isolation and the wildness of the area.  The shot above was taken from the North side of the Wetlands about 100 yards  East of the largest Beaver Pond with the Sigma dialed in at 10mm with a slight crop in post.  As is my usual practice when shooting into the sun, I used the manual setting and spot metering, taking my reading in the blue sky to the right away from the sun, locking the exposure ,then recomposing and shooting. The sun star, of course, is inherent at f/22.  As for the ISO, suffice to say I usually shoot at several different settings and just pick what I think is best.  The winner here , at least to my eye, was ISO 400.

A camera change for me.  I’m trading in my Nikon D600 in favor of a refurbished Nikon D750.  I bought the D600 new when it came out some years ago, and as you might know, the model was plagued with shutter oil splatter on the sensor requiring constant cleaning of the sensor.  Nikon finally agreed to a recall and replaced the shutter free of charge and the camera has given great service ever since. I opted for the D750 because It’s faster, has a tilt screen, 51 focus points, high ISO range,  among other improvements.  Prior to the D600, every digital camera I have ever bought from Nikon has been a refurbished model and I have never had the first problem. I’ve always heard that unlike  Nikon’s random assembly line checks of new models,  each of the company’s refurbished models is gone over by by a Nikon Tech and set to factory specs before it is cleared for sale.  I’ll let you know how the refurbished D750 measures up in a future post. As always, thanks for the read.  See you next time.

Photo Of The Week: Open For Business

Open for Business Posted to Flickr November 20, 2016

Open for Business 

A rather dramatic sunrise in the bean field.  Within a minute or so, the golden glow in the sky will be gone, leaving just a white disk of a sun and a lot of bright light.  The trick is to be there before the big show. My rules for sunrise shots: Get your gear ready the night before even to the point of making the settings on your camera.  For me, usually f/16-f/22, iso 400, manual exposure, spot metering.  Set your alarm early enough to allow you time to get to your destination.  When it goes off, go outside and check the sky.  If there are no clouds, and you live near your destination,  go back to sleep.  If you are at an exotic location or on vacation etc, get going regardless.  You may not be back. Once there, work quickly, the sun will not wait for you. It really helps to case your location ahead of time to pre-plan shooting points.  One final tip: be there. s for the visit. See you next time.

Photo of The Week: Autumn On The Banks

Blog

The ubiquitous Sea Oat telegraphs a very calm dawn along the barrier dunes on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  It is very unusual to encounter such a quiet Atlantic this time of the year.  Am recovering from surgery so will leave it at that.  Nikon D600/ 24-120mm f/4 lens.  Have a good week and thanks for the look.

Photo Of The Week: Season’s End

_dsc3878

The remnants of the summer growing season welcome a late October Sunrise.  The remains of a sweet corn patch are in the left foreground. Ripening soybeans are to the right. The grove of Live Oaks that shelter a civil war era cemetery serve to tone down the intensity of the sunlight preventing a blowout of the scene.  A rather easy shot but it all hinges on the metering.  I used spot metering taking my reading to the right of the sun and locking the exposure.  Manual exposure, f/22 to create the star effect, iso of 400. Raw conversion in Photoshop Elements 14.  Shots like this don’t work so well with no clouds which diffuse the light creating orange, yellow tones in the sky.  No filters. Nikon D 800E. 18-35mm lens.  Thanks for the visit and have a great week.

Photo Of The Week: Autumn On The Outer Banks

Serenity  Posted to Flickr october 28, 2016

I’ve always been convinced that Autumn and Winter are the best seasons for grabbing a dynamic sunrise or sunset shot along the coast.  I’m no weather guru but it just seems the cooler temperatures seem to generate more clouds which, when struck, by the light of the rising sun, make for  a spectacular scene.  This is the moment of Sunrise along the Outer Banks of North Carolina somewhere between Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores.  No filters. Nikon D800E Camera with an 18mm lens. ISO 400, Manual exposure, center weight metering, f/9, 1/320th of a second.  Thanks for your visit and have a great week ahead. 

 

 

Photo Of The Week: Sunrise in the Bean Field

Blog

Amazingly, the soybeans in the field survived the foot of rain we receiving during Hurricane Matthew. The field has a decided slope to it which hastens drainage.  As you can see in this view, the foliage has begun to turn.  The leaves will soon drop off leaving just the beans on the stalk to ripen in the sun.

It’s really hard to beat the Nikon D800E for color and clarity in landscape shots like this.  Spot metering, iso 400, 18mm at f/22

Have a great week and thanks as always for the look in.