Sharon & I had NO idea that Gas Town was part of Vancouver or just how cool it is! This is a building they called the “Flat Iron” which I have no idea is related in any way to the Flat Iron bldg in NYC, but it’s really cool. I didn’t have as much time here at the square as I would have liked. There is a whole photo essay to be shot here over time which I would love to have the opportunity to do. Then there are the people of Gas Town. These two girls were a hoot! Sitting inside grabbing a bite, I saw them as we passed and knew I had to make a click. Shooting with the 18-35AFS, I walked up to the outside of the window, smiled, pointed to my lens and then to them and made the body gesture if OK. They smiled and shook their heads so I asked to put their head together and made the click. The folks were so darn friendly and jovial, it was just a great time!
Sharon & I had an absolutely marvelous weekend in Vancouver, CA at the PPOC conference! On Saturday, we went out with a bunch of brave folks (going on a photowalk in a city with a wildlife photographer) to Gas Town. Now, if you’ve never been to Vancouver, you gotta wander what Gas Town or its fantastic Blood Alley. Well, on the way there, we walked through some of the gorgeous architecture that is downtown Vancouver. The clouds were very cooperative adding to the great reflections.
The first question I get is, “What lenses?” I went really simply, shooting with the 18-35AFS and 80-400AFS exclusively on the D4. Both lenses lent themselves perfectly to the photowalk especially the 80-400 with its small size yet long reach. Isolating patterns, textures, people was what I was looking for and came back with some images that I really enjoy. The walk was cool but the folks were killer. Now I’ve not seen any of the photos taken when I posed with a Moose yet, but that’s probably better that way. That’s a whole other story! mtc
Vol 16.2 Features:
B News: Maine in Fall, A Photographer’s Treasure
T News: The D7100 – In Depth User Report
There is a slice of heaven in the fall and it’s called the Northeast! When I mention the East and Fall, your mind goes to bright reds and oranges, hillsides of it. And while that is most definitely park of the heaven, there is a whole lot more. It’s with great pleasure in this issue of the BTJ, I’ll cover those little hidden locales we’ve come to love as well as the more popular providing you with strategies from timing to gear.
Also in this issue are my first experiences with the D7100! You won’t want to miss it!
My latest class on Kelby Training, Master B&W Outdoor Photography is now posted and ready for you!
That’s what I was saying in my mind, just 5 more minutes! The gale winds were building and being at the highest point in Bermuda (which really isn’t saying much) to photograph its lighthouse, the winds were already whipping us. But not knowing when I might be back again, I wanted to add this lighthouse to my growing collection of lighthouse photos from around Northern Hemisphere. But as you can see in the top photo, the two main elements I wanted in the photo, light and the clouds just weren’t clicking. Shooting with the D4 with the 18-35AFS I got in position and made the first click. That’s because I didn’t know if I had 5min or if the conditions would get better. Then, the clouds changed and the light came out and I jumped, closer and to the left to make the click. Na, it’s not an award winning photo. I simply wanted the best I could make with the moment I had. In my early years, I was the classic, “panic shooter” moving every which way trying to make all the great shots. With age and failure, I have vastly slowed down simply look for the one good shot that might lead to the great shot. With time, please.
I don’t think I’ve ever done a “food” post but this is worth a first. Just did a shoot for Krave Jerky and part of the shoot entailed, eating the product. I’ve had aaaaa loooot of jerky in my day but none, zero like Krave! The flavor, tenderness and the total lack of any after taste or incredible desire for water because of salt sold Sharon and I on this product. A Gluton free product, great for on the go protein, I can’t recommend this enough to the photographer on the go! You can buy it many places which includes Amazon.
I’ve had the 80-400AFS for just over a week now and have about 4000 images captured by it. I am impressed so much so, I’ve added it to my camera bag. Last week I shot Lesser Sandhill Cranes on the Platte River with it proving to myself it works great with wildlife. This weekend shooting in AZ, got to use it was aircraft and it performed beautifully! I mean, I really, really like it!
What you see here is a Hummelbird shot with D4 connected to the 80-400VR3. The Hummelbird is a homemade airplane, a one of kind powered by a VW engine with a handcarved prop. There is no way I could ever fit in it but I watched it fly around the field a lot and it really gets going. This particular shot is literally the first aircraft I shot with the 80-400AFS and as you can see, it’s sharp baby! Why did I shoot it backlit? I just love the pilot and his shadow in the canopy. I just wish I had seen it sooner to get the Hummelbird on approach rather than it leaving the field.
Do you know why they paint drunk tanks pink? Do you understand what it is about red the can change your life? If you’re a photographer, you must read Drunk Tank Pink NOW and find out these and many other answers that will directly impact your photography!No, Adam does not talk about f/stops of camera brand. What he talks about are some of the most useful tools you can have and use as a photographer and, they are all free! Have your doubts because of the title of the book, listen to this interview on NPR and thank me in the morning!
Well…I’m no longer in NE, off on another project but didn’t want to leave you hanging. After that amazing sunset the night before, it got real quite outside the blind. Just so you understand, they lock you in the blind at 16:30 and don’t let you out until the next morning around 09:30. You spend the WHOLE time in the blind, there is no going back to a warm hotel room (it got down to 18 at night). So you sleep right next to the river and normally, you can hear the cranes call all night long. Once cranes land at night, they start to wander, walking about and often, they walk hundreds of years up or down the river. When I woke up around 03:00 and didn’t hear them anymore, I had my doubts and sure enough, when the dawn’s light started to light up the sky, we looked out the blind to see the river in front of us, empty. That’s happens but doesn’t mean you’re toast.
This is my expression when they open the door on the blind…freedom! Even though there are no cranes standing in front of you, they fly overhead as they take off for the fields. So with the D4 connected to the 80-400VR3 I kept shooting the cranes as they peeled off. It was simply a great morning and a great experience. Want to thank Pastor Mark for again, a great time and having the in on selecting the best blind each night!
First there are a couple of cranes and then ……
there are thousands! It’s such an epic, spiritual, beautiful site. It all unfolds in a matter of 30min and then it’s dark!
The photography is pretty straight forward. Seeing the light unfold, I grabbed the D4 connected to the 80-400VR3. I grabbed the D4 because I saw the conditions and knew they would change fast so I wanted the 10FPS. The clouds while partly made from contrails, were still going to give color and the cranes would be moving through the small patch of color quickly. While on the topic of color, I’ve noticed some on the boards suggesting it came from Photoshop. I would highly suggest that those not understanding what Cloudy White Balance in combination with -1 comp go out and try it. You might just find that you don’t need Photoshop for color, just a little photographic fundamentals in your pocket!
As it happens, great sunset often leads to…not so great sunrises…at least as the color goes. Without those clouds and a little prairie dust, the sun comes up just like any place else. That’s OK though, the Cranes provide lots of magic. Here’s a couple clicks from this morning’s lift off. Birds with the falling water levels were further away then I like but that’s OK too! I shot with the D800 and the 80-400VR3 (D800 had a firmware drop today BTW) when I didn’t simply just sit and watch. Honestly, it’s a spectacle EVERYONE should witness once in their lives. mtc…
At a stimulating 20 degrees in the blind, my fingers are barely functioning right now outside the warmth of my gloves. But I’ve just gotta share the magnificent flyin tonight on the Platte River, NE. The Lesser Sandhill Cranes are simply the most amazing critter in migration as they seem to celebrate every moment in the air and on the ground together. Shooting with the D800 and the 80-400VR3 (which did a FANTASTIC job!), we had about 20min of thousands of cranes coming in as the sun set. Shooting in Cloudy at -1, I pumped the colors up a tad but what you see is what we saw about a hour ago. Now, we’re locked in the blind until about 10am tomorrow and the temps seem to be dropping and the wet chill settles in. That’s OK though, I love going to sleep in the warm sleeping bag listening to the cranes sing outside. mtc…
It’s an annual right of spring, for me at least, to head out to NE where my good friend Mark lives, jump into his truck and head to the Platt River. There, we’re locked into a plywood box for 14hrs on the hope and the prayer that while inside, the Lesser Sandhill Cranes land in front of us and give us a show. I’ve done this many years now and as of yet, that magic just hasn’t graced us. We’ve gotten close, but no brass ring. And so we go again.
I came this year with what might seem like the wrong gear for such an adventure. I have the 200-400VR2 and the new 80-400VR3 to as my main lenses. In years past, I had my 600VR2 and with a 2x attached shooting HSC, that’s how I got the top image. That’s because the cranes were so far away. Even if the new 800AFS had arrived, I probably would have still gone with the same gear because, if that magic does happen, the 800mm would have been too much lens. And that’s kind how wildlife photography often goes. We might be present, we have the gear and surely the spirit is willing, but the critters and the light gotta wanna play with us.
Now, because I’m nuts and because I have the technology, I’m going to try to, from the blind which has no power (or heat) to blog somewhat live as the next two days unfold. Now if all we have in front of the blind is mud, I won’t have much to blog (mud is a bit boring). But if we are graced with a couple of thousand of cranes outside our windows, then I’ll be sure to post an image or two.