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After 27 years of using Nikon equipment, I have finally decided to switch over to Fuji's X system. I've been watching this system evolve over the past few years and am finally ready to take the plunge. Unfortunately Nikon is light years behind in regard to mirrorless cameras. Don't get me wrong, I've been very pleased with the quality of Nikon film and digital cameras, and their legendary lenses, but I want to lighten my load and the smaller and lighter Fuji XT-2 will fill the bill. There will definitely be a steep learning curve and I suspect some frustration along the way, but I'm excited to begin working with the new system. I will keep you in the loop concerning my experience with the new system. In the mean time, if you're interested in any of the following Nikon equipment, please let me know.
3. Closeup Speedlight Commander Kit R1C1
4. Two SB-800 Speedlights with pouches, stands, supplemental battery packs, gels, and diffusers.
5. AF-S 105mm F2.8 G ED macro lens
6. AF-S 12-24mm F4 ED DX SWM IF lens
7. AF-S 70-200mm F2.8 ED VRII lens with Lenscoat covering
8. AF 24mm F2.8 lens
9. TC-20EIII Teleconverter
10. SC-29 Flash Sync Cord
11. ML-L3 Remote Controller
12. Acratech L-Bracket for D300 and D7200 (Arca-swiss compatible)
13. EasyCover rubber protective camera covering for D7200
I was fortunate to have six images accepted for the juried Gallery of Hope "Water" exhibition presented during the month of April. Gallery of Hope.org which is presented by Island Images Professional Photography Studios, Inc., is a very active gallery in the art district section of Vero Beach, Florida. Of the six images accepted, this is probably my favorite. Although I had driven by this part of the Indian River Lagoon many times, it wasn't until I rode my bike along the same section of road that I saw the boat. I'm always amazed at the subject matter I find on my bike. Your perspective and field of vision is very different when driving a motor vehicle and riding a bike. When I saw the boat the first time, my mind kicked into overdrive with the possibilities. The next morning I was up before sunset and in position with my camera and tripod.
One of the nice advantages of digital photography is the ability to take multiple images in order to capture the entire exposure latitude. Fortunately, most cameras have the ability to capture multiple images, while some even have an HDR mode. Setting my camera on aperature priority and placing the camera on a solid tripod, I usually capture between 7 and 9 images. By viewing the histogram I can easily determine if the number of multiple images are capturing all of the highlights and shadows in the image. If not, I can easily reset my camera to capture more images. Once the images are downloaded I use Google's HDR Efex Pro 2 to merge the images together and from that point I can make other adjustments. With the bright daylight streaming in through the dilapidated roof and the dark interior, a single exposure would not have captured the entire tonal range. I hope to share more HDR images with you of a historic diesel plant that I photographed last month.
For a while now, I've been attracted to black and white images involving long exposures of up to several minutes in length. If interested, check out Tony Sweet's website. He has wonderful images of which some are long exposures involving clouds and water. I really like the feel of these images. I find them very calming. I eventually bit the bullet and purchased a Hoya 77mm variable neutral density filter which according to the specifications would increase my exposures up to 9 stops. With this in mind, I was hoping that I could perform these long exposures any time of the day rather than at just dawn and dusk. So far I have been pleased with the results. The image of the dock was shot on a cloudy day at around noon. I used my Nikon D7200 and 70-200mm lens set at F22. Using the Long Exposure Calculator Version 2.0 app on my IPhone, the exposure was 4 minutes long. Although shot in color, I converted the image to black and white using Nik's Silver Effects Pro and made some additional adjustments. I'm looking forward to using this filter more in the future.
One of the most exciting and demanding aspects of photography is seeing the overall scene or subject, and then redefining and extracting images from that scene. Ultimately, I'm trying to search out and determine what part of a scene speaks the loudest to me in terms of overall impact. Due to frustrating results and lackluster images early in my freelance career, I have learned to view my subject first from all perspectives, hoping to extract the most powerful image. However, sometimes no matter what arsenal of equipment you have, you may not be able to crop the subject exactly as you imagine or would like to in camera. This is where cropping using any image editing software comes to the rescue. It amazes me how something as simple as cropping can make the difference between an average and a stunning image. An yet, it surprises me how often photographers don't perform additional cropping because they feel the image has to fit to a standard size. No matter how much post processing is conducted, if an image is cropped poorly, it may never exhibit its true potential. Because our options as it relates to cropping are infinite, this is the part in my standard workflow where I'll usually spend the most time. And lets face it, there may be more than one image waiting to be extracted from the same scene.
For a more in depth discussion about cropping images, check out my latest photo essay entitled, "When in Doubt, Crop it Out" that just came out in Shutterbug Magazine's Special Expert Photo Techniques issue, which will be on news stands until December 11, 2015. As always, I welcome all comments.