Horses at f/1.4

Review Update

House in Queenstown

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Have you seen the Nikon 50mm Review? It’s been recently updated with a few new photos for you.

Staying in Queenstown

I had a heck of a time finding a house that looks to the west, so I can selfishly take photos every evening at sunset! Here is a quick photo of a place in Queenstown in an area called Kelvin Heights. We found this spot on Bookabach.co.nz — which is a great resource for finding rental houses. Thanks for all the suggestions to use that site from visitors here on the site. I appreciate it!

Daily Photo – Horses at f/1.4

Everything looks better at f/1.4! Kids, flowers, horses, and anything else with nice details really look amazing at f/1.4. In fact, this is a tiny little secret in the photography world. Even a rookie can make something look pretty special when using this lens! Sure, it doesn’t always work out, and you still need good composition, but some extremely unique photos pop out from time to time.

By the way, if you get one of these lenses, a simple tip is to focus on the inside part of the closest eye. That usually works out very well.

I saw this guy on a little photowalk in Yellowstone. I gave the photowalk group an assignment — to find interesting stuff and take photos on aperture priority. This is one of the ones I came back with to present on the big screen. It was fun to sit there with everyone after the walk and compare/critique photos. I usually don’t have a chance to do that on photowalks, but the leisurely pace was a welcome change in my too-busy life!

HDR Photo

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Horse in Field

Compression

Do you enjoy taking photos while making use of compression?  It’s sort of a geeky photography technique that involves zoom levels beyond what the eye can do on its own.  These end up having a bit of an “interesting” look, just because these view cones are impossible to the naked eye.  Personally, I don’t do a lot of it because my wide-angle lens is usually on… but I do enjoy the look.

I have this photo included in the full Nikon 200-400 Review.

Daily Photo – Horse in Field

In the afternoon, the horses at the ranch where I was staying are let out of the corral to graze in the meadow.  The sun gets low, and just before sunset, everything is lit with a very strong light at a low level of incidence.

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The Tetons, Revisited

Revisiting Photos

While I was at this hallowed landscape spot in Wyoming, I took a ton of photos. I’d move a little, shoot. Then move a bit more, shoot. Etc. I made many different compositions with small and big changes. These all ended up there in my Lightroom for later processing. I started processing them about 3 years ago, and this is one of my most recent results.

Personally, I think it is better than my previous versions of the Tetons. I don’t realize how I make little improvements in tiny areas of refinement. But, in looking at photos from many years ago, i can detect a difference… so that makes me feel better about the way things are going. I know we get a lot of positive comments on here… that is great… negative ones don’t bother me. I’m already hard enough on myself.

Daily Photo – The Tetons, Revisited

This area is not too far from Yellowstone. Just outside of the south exit, there is a fairly short drive to this area of Wyoming. It’s on the way to Jackson Hole. This is also an amazing place if you are into Bison. There are hundreds and hundred of bison in this area. A free one was roaming about while I took this. They’re actually quite dangerous for something that looks like a giant silly stuffed animal.

HDR Photo

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The Rainbow After the Storm

Taking photos of Rainbows

I’ve taken a few of these in my life… mostly out of luck! But, I wondered about your experiences with rainbows. Do you get many photos? What is your favorite lens to use to capture the whole thing? In the one below, I used a Nikon 14-24 on a full frame body (the D3X).

Daily Photo – The Rainbow After the Storm

In the afternoons in Montana, sometimes a summer storm would come rolling through the Rockies. I think everyone loves a good storm, mostly because it changes the mood. An unexpected mood change always adds a bit of spice to the day, don’t you think? And, since these afternoon storms come and go, the sun comes back out again, giving us the opportunity for rainbow shots.

All that’s missing from this one is a unicorn. This is one reason I am excited about genetic engineering. I think that some odd-ball researcher is going to make a real unicorn one day… and everyone (well, MOST everyone) will love it. Hey future-unicorn-genetic-engineer, please contact me after you successfully bring one of these to term so I can take the first photo. That would be very cool.

HDR Photo

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The Storm Hitting the Barn

Tripod as an Easel

I recently swtiched to some Really Right Stuff tripod legs. They are awesome! I have them linked up on the HDR Camera Equipment page.

So, there are plusses and minuses to carrying around a tripod. Here is a “plus” that not many people think about.

Whenever you are carrying around the tripod, it takes a bit of effort and forethought to set up a shot. You need to positing it in a special place, at a certain height, and at a particular angle. I compare it to Renoir or Monet taking their time to set up their easel and canvas in the perfect spot. It makes a big difference if you walk 10 steps closer to the target area or 10 steps further from the target area. There is an extra consideration photographers have to use because of the lens that is on board, but it’s still a similar process. So, as much as I lament the extra hassle of a tripod, I do like that it requires me to go through a thoughtful process of setting up the shot.

Daily Photo – The Storm Hitting the Barn

It was about 3 in the afternoon and things were getting over-the-top warm. You know that feeling when the weather gets so uncomfortably warm that you expect something to happen soon? This feeling washed over me about 30 minutes before these violent clouds form to sweep over the Rocky Mountains towards the barn.

The tripod was nearby, so I grabbed it to go outside and set up the easel.

HDR Photo

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