Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Nikon’

IN THE FIELD: IRON HORSES

February 22, 2016 4 comments

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

About an hour from where I live is a major freight yard for the Norfolk Southern railroad.

There is usually a lot of activity with various locomotives moving freight cars of all sorts from one track to another and coupling them together in long trains headed for destinations around the country.

Although you can not get up close to the equipment due to security reasons, there are a few places in the parking area that provide good vantage points looking east or west. A zoom or telephoto lens comes in real handy for close ups and for compressing long distance perspectives. It’s a great spot for railfanning.

It was an overcast day when I took this photo and the light was pretty flat. So I decided to use black and white to better capture the mood.

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IN THE FIELD: Revisiting Greenhouses

August 1, 2012 35 comments

Most of my photography is done outdoors, but there are a few places I like to shoot indoors. A greenhouse full of plants and flowers is one of them.

There are several reasons I enjoy shooting flowers indoors. Usually there are no breezes to contend with. Except for the fans used to circulate the air. If I do find a prime subject, and the flower is waving in the breeze, I will ask if I can move it to another location. Or for something creative, I may compose the shot to show movement.

Also, the light is evenly diffused in a greenhouse, either from shade cloth or frosted glass. You can even shoot at high noon and not be concerned with harsh shadows.

The humidity inside a greenhouse is something to be aware of. If your camera and lens has been in air-conditioning for an extended period of time, allow it to warm to the temperature inside the greenhouse. Take some time out to scout the location before removing the lens cap. Otherwise the lens will fog instantly, and then you will have a really long wait before you can get any photos.

There is no need to wait for a rainy day to get shots of plants and flowers with water droplets on them if you are there when folks are doing their watering. Plus you won’t get wet from the weather…you’re inside.

In my opinion, one of the greatest reasons to go on a photo shoot in a greenhouse is the variety you will be exposed to. Find a local greenhouse and ask the folks there if you can photograph their plant material. You’ll be rewarded with a wonderful time and super photographs.

This photo was shot using a tripod. Zoom lens set at 135mm, ISO 200, sunny white balance, f7.1 @ 1/125.

IN THE FIELD: Those Magnificent Flying Machines

July 30, 2012 20 comments

I have a fascination with aircraft of any kind, and to me, vintage airplanes have the biggest attraction. There is something about a machine constructed of wood, fabric, and metal in perfect form and function, which allows a human to fly.

I was driving by a small privately-run airfield and noticed this biplane on final approach for a landing. It wasn’t easy to miss the bright yellow paint against the blue sky. I pulled over, grabbed the camera and ran up to the fence to get a couple of shots. I wasn’t in time to get photos of the plane while in flight, but I did get a few as it taxied back to the hanger.

This is a Boeing-Stearman. They were made in the 1930’ thru the 1940‘s and used primarily as training aircraft.

IN THE FIELD: A Bygone Era

July 2, 2012 27 comments

A few weeks ago, the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania held their 22nd annual World War ll weekend.

Visitors to the event can see reenactments depicting the life of soldiers from multiple nations in their encampments and in the field of battle. Period music is played, and there are big band concerts with dancing in the aircraft hangers. Military and civilian vehicles from the era on display and air shows and fly-bys are also part of the exhibition. Tours of the museum are available, and for a fee, rides can be taken in many of the airplanes.

In addition to all the displays featured in the museum, folks fly their vintage aircraft into Reading Airport from all over the country to participate in the weekend festivities. Tens of thousands of people come from far and wide to view the restored airplanes and relive a bit of the past.

The day I attended the event, cloud cover obscured the sun and sky, which made some shots more dramatic, and required pretty darn slow shutter speeds and wider apertures. I could have bumped the ISO up to a higher setting to provide more flexibility with camera settings, but I wanted to keep it as low as possible. I usually set the ISO between 100-400 because I find colors tend to more saturated and there is less digital noise at those settings. I purposely underexposed this photo to emphasize the clouds and to create more of a silhouette of the aircraft.

The challenge is, I don’t remember exactly what type of airplane this is. So, it looks like I will have to travel back to the museum. Oh darn.

IN THE FIELD: Forecast…Fog

June 20, 2012 27 comments

Early one morning while vacationing on the coast of Maine, my wife and I went down to the docks to see the boats and ships off for their daily sail. The fog was thick, but for the folks there, it was nothing unusual. There were lobstermen, fishermen, and deckhands bustling about, getting ready for a day out at sea.

We hung around the docks chatting with the fishermen, but kept our conversations short since everyone wanted to leave port before the tide went out. The fishermen gave us inside information on where the locals shopped for fresh seafood. And later in the day we did visit several of those secret places.

This is an older photo I shot on slide film before the digital age. Due to the low light levels, the telephoto lens I was using, and the floating dock I was standing on, the use of a tripod was necessary. Any bit of motion would have been magnified. Luckily the seas were calm. I was able to hand-hold shots when I was using shorter, brighter lenses, which is much easier when on a busy dock.

The ship in the photo is a historic three masted wooden schooner built in 1941. She spent over 40 years fishing offshore, most notably the Grand Banks and George’s Banks in the Atlantic. After her fishing career, she was converted to a passenger vessel for the windjammer trade in Maine. At the time I photographed the ship, she was named the Natalie Todd. She has since sailed to the west coast and been renamed American Pride. Her new home port is in Long Beach California as part of the American Heritage Marine Institute.

 

IN THE FIELD: Roadside Color

June 18, 2012 33 comments

One of my favorite things to see when driving the country roads near where I live, are wild day lilies. They begin to make their appearance in June, shortly after the Dames Rocket are finished blooming. They are a common sight on roadside embankments, in ditches and in other naturalized areas. Typically their biggest blooming period is from late spring throughout the summer, and in lesser amounts, into early autumn.

Folks also plant them on hillsides as an erosion control or alongside their driveways to dress up the front of their property. Somehow, one small group will manage to spread far and wide, providing splashes of color lasting several months for everyone to see as they drive by.

I photographed these lilies with my 35mm 1.8 prime lens using an ISO of 200, at 1/250th of a second, aperture set at f3.5 with a sunny white balance setting.

IN THE FIELD: Do You See What I See?

June 15, 2012 41 comments

For centuries man has looked up at the night sky and has associated mythical creatures, animals and objects we are familiar with, to the patterns of the stars.

There are a few constellations where I can see the resemblance to what they were named for. Others, well…the folks that named them must have been exposed to large amounts of fermented food or drink, because I don’t see anything close to what they imagined.

I have often wondered why we can look at something we are accustomed to, and at times, see something completely different.

Ever hear someone say something along these lines…“hey look at that cloud…doesn’t it look like a rabbit pulling an ox cart?” Or how about, “wow, will ya look at that…the edge of that cliff looks like an old man carrying a canoe on his back while walking a penguin.” Or in extreme cases, some folks see, and pay big money for an image of someone famous on a piece of burnt toast. Hello, clue phone???

All philosophical discussions aside, what is it that you see in this wacky strawberry?