Jeff Howe Photography: Blog en-us (C) Jeff Howe Photography (Jeff Howe Photography) Tue, 01 May 2018 13:12:00 GMT Tue, 01 May 2018 13:12:00 GMT Jeff Howe Photography: Blog 91 120 Look for lines, patterns, colors, and texture in the mundane. Check out my latest photo essay in the June 2018 issue of Shutterbug Magazine about narrowing your focus.


]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Tue, 01 May 2018 13:11:20 GMT
The Fuji X System I continue to be amazed at the images I'm creating straight out of the Fuji XT-2. Although I've always done minimal post processing, I find that in general I'm doing even less which is nice since my day job entails sitting behind a computer 9 hours a day. Spending less time behind a computer concerning my photography is greatly appreciated. In addition, what continues to amaze me is the image stabilization built into the lenses. For the image of the heron footprint and leaf, I would have typically used my tripod; however, this was not possible because the tripod would have slowly sunk into the marsh muck. Therefore, I had no choice but to slip on a pair of rubber boots and walk in. Surprisingly, I was able to take this image hand-held at ISO 800, F/16, at a shutter speed of 1/26 second. I could have never done this hand-held before. I love the simplicity of this image.


Heron footprintHeron footprint

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Mon, 12 Mar 2018 20:29:50 GMT
Infrared Photography I've been intrigued with infrared (IR) photography for some time and have begun to experiment with it. I don't like colored IR images as they appear too surreal for my taste. Instead, I love the look of black and white IR images which I find to have a nice calming look to them. When it comes to IR photography there are many options to choose from in regard to filters. This includes filters that screw onto the front of a lens or a filter integrated into a camera in order to convert it to a dedicated IR camera. Check out which has a wealth of information about IR photography and their services. I started out on the cheap end and purchased a Hoya Infrared  R72 filter. I purchased this filter in a 77mm size and with the use of two step-up rings, I'm able to use this filter on my 18-135mm, 10-24mm, and 100-400mm lenses. I've been having a lot of fun with this filter and am quite pleased with the results, although I have a lot more to learn concerning post processing. The one thing I have discovered in post processing these images is that there is no right or wrong way; it's all based on personal preference. The image of the St. Sebastion River was taken with the Fuji 18-135mm lens set at f8 for 4 seconds at ISO 200. IR photography has opened up a new and exciting door.


St. Sebastian River, Sebastian, FloridaSt. Sebastian River, Sebastian, Florida



]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Sun, 17 Dec 2017 03:28:31 GMT
Implied lines Any time I'm walking around my eyes are constantly drawn to lines, whether they be actual or implied lines. That's probably why I'm so attracted to architectural images whether it be an abandoned dilapidated house with overgrown windows, staircases, or alike. As powerful as these types of images are, I find images that have implied lines just as powerful. This simple image of reeds sticking out of the water was taken at Viera Wetlands in Brevard County, Florida. Viera Wetland is very popular among birders, but birds just aren't my thing. How many more images of osprey with a fish in it's talons do we need? While walking around for several hours (most photographers are in their cars), I came across these reeds which spoke to me. The other photographers must have thought I was crazy because there was no bird in site. I love how the implied horizontal line creates a calmness and tranquility to the image. I find the image to be very soothing.


Reflecting ReedsReflecting Reeds



]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Thu, 12 Oct 2017 14:00:25 GMT
Fuji's Incredible Film Simulations After waiting 4 months, I finally took delivery of the 18-135mm lens this past weekend. This lens will definitely be my go to lens based on the focal range, close focusing ability for close-up up work, weather sealed construction, and its incredible image stabilization. In the short time that I've had the X-T2, I've come to really like the film simulations that Fuji has built into their firmware. Fuji offers 9 different film simulations and in addition, color filter (red, green, and yellow) effects with Acros and monochrome film simulations. Not only am I able to preview the look of any film simulation in the electronic viewfinder, but I'm also able to bracket an image using three different film simulations. If bracketing, I press the shutter once and get three images based on what film simulations I have selected.

While traveling through the Atlanta airport earlier this month, I came across a section of exposed ceiling that caught my eye. Due to the lighting and monochrome subject matter, I set the X-T2 film simulation to Acros with a red filter and begin shooting. I was blown away with the results.


Exposed CeilingExposed Ceiling

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:42:28 GMT
The Fuji X-T2 after several months Although I had ordered Fuji's 18-135mm lens at the same time as the X-T2 body, the lens is still on back order which is extremely frustrating. Apparently, Fuji relocated the manufacturing plant for this and other lenses to the Philippines which is causing the back log. Fortunately, I have been able to secure a used 10-24mm and 100-400mm lens which I am very impressed with. They are extremely sharp and the image stabilization works much better than any Nikon lens I've owned. More on these lenses in future blog posts. During a recent trip to New England, I rented a 18-135mm lens and was blown away. Not only is the lens sharp, but the image stabilization is out of this world. The image of the leaf and shell was taken at 1/27th of a second at F16 hand held. I never did any hand held close up photography with my Nikon equipment. Due to the fact that this lens focuses to within 1.5 feet, I don't see myself having to purchase a macro lens. This lens is built like a tank and is weather sealed.

There is still a lot to learn and experiment with this camera. I'm really enjoying the film simulations, the exterior control knobs, and of course the electronic view finder. More later ...

Leaf and Rainbow ShellLeaf and Rainbow Shell

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:58:19 GMT
My first thoughts concerning the Fuji X-T2 I spent the first week becoming familiar with the menus integrated into camera since I had no lens. Like most cameras, the menus are extensive and it will take some time to become comfortable with them after shooting Nikon for 27 years. By the end of the Memorial Day holiday, I had customized the camera to some extent and felt as though I had a basic understanding of the camera's functions/menus. The 18-135mm lens is still on back order after 2.5 months and there is no end in sight. Fortunately, I was able to purchase a used 10-24mm lens which I received on May 31st. I did some shooting this past weekend where I used a lot of AE and film simulation bracketing. As expected, the batteries will not last as long and I will always be sure to have a least spare on hand. The AE bracketing worked like a charm which will come in handy for HDR images. I've never had the opportunity to shoot images using a specific film simulation which I think will be nice in some circumstances, especially the black and white film simulations. The image stabilization integrated into the 10-24mm works great. So far I like the smaller and lighter package, and the fact that the body is weather sealed. Ever since I received the camera it has been raining here in Florida. That said, not all of Fuji's lenses are weathered sealed including the 10-24mm. On the other hand, the 18-135mm lens is weather sealed which will be nice since I suspect it will be my go to lens. The only con so far is the button that I reset as my back focus button. The button is not as pronounced compared to my Nikons, so I find myself feeling around for it. I suspect with more time it will become second nature.

That's it for now. I'll continue to keep you posted as I continue to play with the camera. Next time I'll try to post an image.

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Tue, 06 Jun 2017 13:32:00 GMT
Initial Hands On Experience with the Fuji X-T2 Although I was hoping to have both the camera and lens to play with over the Memorial Day holiday, I'm still waiting for delivery of the 18-135mm lens. That said, I spent hours familiarizing myself with the camera layout, menus, and customizing some menus and buttons. I watched a lot of videos which helped in this task since the manual only goes so far. By the end of the holiday weekend, I felt as though I had a pretty good, although not complete understanding of the basics and was at a standstill until the lens arrived. Although I'm still waiting for the 18-135mm lens, I received a used 10-24mm lens on Wednesday evening. I like how I can see real time effects to my image based on exposure settings, film simulations, etc. via the electronic viewfinder. This lens appears to be very sharp and the image stabilization excellent. Some of my initial images blew me away. I hope to learn something new everyday I play with the camera. Eventually I will have to spend considerable time and really get into the nuts and bolts of all the different autofocus modes which appears a little overwhelming at this point. As expected, battery life will not be as good as my Nikon's, but I never shoot over 350 images per outing and I'll always have a spare battery with me. With every Nikon I have owned, I always assigned the back button for focus. I've made the same setting on the Fuji, but the button is not as prominent as what I'm accustom to with the Nikons and I find myself feeling around for the button. Hopefully overtime it will become second nature. So far I'm enjoying the new, smaller, and lighter system. The technology built into this camera is quite impressive, and the camera is built like a tank compared to my mostly plastic Nikons. I'll continue to keep you posted as I slowly learn this new system.

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:02:11 GMT
Delivery of the Fujifilm X-T2 After almost 2 months, I finally took delivery of the Fujifilm X-T2 camera yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, the 18-135mm lens that was ordered at the same time is still back ordered. What a tease. The best I can do this holiday weekend is to become familiar with the menus and maybe do some customization. In addition, I purchased a used 10-24mm lens which is due to arrive next Wednesday (May 31st), so I won't be without a lens too long. My first impression is that the camera is built like a tank in comparison to my Nikons. I'm currently charging the batteries and hope to start playing soon. I'll keep you posted. Have a great holiday weekend.

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Fri, 26 May 2017 20:13:39 GMT
Fuji X System and Latest Photo Essay I'd had hoped by now to have had the new Fujifilm X-T2 camera in hand, but it is still on back order. The camera was order a month ago. This is frustrating since I sold my Nikon D7200 a week ago. Thankfully I still have my D300. I'm hoping the supply and demand issue with Fujifilm will be resolved soon and I can begin working with the new camera and lens. Once in my hands I'll keep you posted on how the Nikon to Fujifilm transition is going and what I think of he camera and lens. In the meantime if any of my Nikon equipment is of interest, drop me an email. All the equipment is in mint condition.

As frustrating as the camera issue is, it was nice coming home today and finding the June issue of Shutterbug Magazine in my mailbox. This issue contains my latest photo essay, "How do you turn photos into art? Just add water." Check it out at your local news stand or better yet subscribe to the magazine.


Shutterbug Magazine June 2017Shutterbug Magazine June 2017


]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:56:32 GMT
How do you turn photos into art? Just add water. Check out my latest photo essay in the June issue of Shutterbug Magazine available at news stands on April 28th.


Old Florida ReflectionOld Florida Reflection

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Mon, 17 Apr 2017 10:00:00 GMT
Farewell Nikon, hello Fuji 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.

  1. D300

  2. D7200

  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

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Tue, 11 Apr 2017 02:41:00 GMT
Gallery of Hope "Water" Exhibition I was fortunate to have six images accepted for the juried Gallery of Hope "Water" exhibition presented during the month of April. Gallery of 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.

Derelict Boat at SunriseDerelict Boat at Sunrise



]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Sun, 09 Apr 2017 03:19:25 GMT
HDR Images 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.




No Bath TonightNo Bath Tonight

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Mon, 06 Jun 2016 14:15:13 GMT
Long Exposures 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.


Dilapidated DockDilapidated Dock

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Wed, 17 Feb 2016 01:04:29 GMT
Cropping for Dynamic Images 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.


Condo LanaiCondo Lanai


]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Wed, 11 Nov 2015 16:35:06 GMT
I'm behind so what else is new. It would appear that I am always apologizing for my lack of regular blog entries. It is amazing how fast time goes by these days. Between my regular job, freelance photography work, and yes, getting out in the field to shoot; the blog always gets pushed onto the backburner. That said, I'm usually behind in cataloging my digital images too. Just this past weekend, I finally got caught up on 2,000 images shot over the past month. I'm very thankful for digital photography and computer software. If I were still shooting film, I can't imagine how far behind I'd be in editing, labeling, and cataloging 35mm slides. It would not be a pretty sight. To add insult to injury, I've just barely scratched the surface in regard to learning all there is to my Nikon D7200.

No matter how behind I may be or limited in time, my eyes are always on the lookout for potential images. Case in point, this image was taken when I drove my wife to her doctor's appointment. It was about 1400 in the afternoon, the light was harsh, but the light was just right in regard to a lighting fixture in front of the parking slip I pulled in. Although I didn't have my camera with me, I took numerous images using my iPhone 5. Since the image was pretty monochrome, I converted it to black and white using Nik's Silver Efex Pro and made some minor adjustments. You just never know where the next image will present itself.


Light FixtureLight Fixture

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Sun, 20 Sep 2015 17:07:51 GMT
Lots to learn with the Nikon D7200 I have a lot to learn with the Nikon D7200, but I have the basics down so I'm not completely lost. Besides using the Nikon manual which at times is more of a hindrance than aid, I purchased an ebook from photographer Douglas J. Klostermann which has been great. To be honest with you, I don't recall where I came across his name, but I'm pleased I did. There are a lot of photographers producing camera manuals that I have witnessed over the years, but I have been very happy with Mr. Klostermann's. I like the ebook format because I can read it on my computer monitor while both hands are free for the camera. This isn't possible with the very small Nikon manual. You are constantly putting the manual down, trying to remember what you read, and playing with the camera. Also, I like Mr. Klostermann's ebook because in addition to discussing the mechanics/settings of the D7200 which is basically what the Nikon manual does, he discusses settings and techniques that can be applied to various types of photography including general, action, portrait, and travel photography. For a mere $14.94 you can't go wrong. No, I have no affiliation with Mr. Klostermann. I just feel lucky to have come across his name in the recent past.

Right off the bat, there are three things I really like about the D7200. First, the autofocus is very fast even in low light, low noise at high ISO settings, and because it is a 24 MB sensor, I can crop considerably and still end up with a large image file. Case in point, I cropped about half of the image of this leafhopper.





]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:19:15 GMT
New Camera Purchase It appears that Nikon will not be coming out with the infamous D400 or alike as the successor to the D300 in the near future or ever. That said, I was interested in possibly upgrading to the D7200, but wanted to wait until it had been out for several months in order to get feedback and read as many reviews as possible. Lets face it, Nikon has not had a good track record in regard to their FX series (e.g., D800, D600, and minor issues with the D750). Having not read a single negative review concerning the D7200 since it came out in March 2015, I finally purchased one. Compared to the D300, it is a major upgrade and it will take some time to get up to speed. Those of you who own the D7000 and especially the D7100, won't find too many major upgrades outside of the new processor, built in Wi-Fi and NFC, lower light sensitivity, and expanded ISO setting, but to the D300 the D7200 is a major upgrade. I am slowly making the switch over to the D7200 and will report on my use of this new camera in future blog entries. This is my first image with the D7200. My wife received several bouquet of flowers at the end of the school year. While eating breakfast this past weekend, I observed this sepal on a rose which caught my eye. I edited and processed the image using Photoshop Elements and Nik software.


Rose Petal and SepalRose Petal and Sepal



]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Mon, 08 Jun 2015 19:09:46 GMT
Big Bold Colors Although I spend a fair amount of time searching out specific subjects to photograph, I love the excitement when an unexpected image appears before me. This recently occurred on a cruise that my wife and I took (our first) last Valentine's Day. As we were walking along the gang plank to depart onto to Freeport, Bahamas, the blue colors and mooring lines immediately spoke to me. With my Nikon D300 with 18-200 mm lens over my shoulder, I took numerous images. I tweeked the color and contrast using Nik's Viveza and cropped it so that the mooring line acts as a leading line into the image from the lower left hand corner. Always be ready as you never know what might be around the next corner.



Cruise Ship Mooring LinesCruise Ship Mooring Lines

]]> (Jeff Howe Photography) Sun, 15 Mar 2015 23:30:18 GMT