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on Sep 12, 2016 in Field Reports

Nikons 105f1.4 AFS – Amazing!

I’ve had the most amazing weekend of shooting and in large part, shooting with the new Nikon 105f1.4 AFS lens. First and foremost, it’s one sexy lens. It has a 82mm front element and the rest of its stubby barrel is just as wide. It has a really large manual focusing ring with remarkable quick and smooth response which is really important when shooting with such narrow DoF. It does not have VR which might bug some, doesn’t bother me. I’ve only shot it at one f/stop since I got it, f/1.4 (Thanks B&H!). My “real” shoot that I really wanted this lens for is later today so I spent the weekend like always, married to a new piece of gear shooting it at lots of subjects. Here is my dear Sharon posing on her birthday while up in Minot celebrating. The band of focus is on her eyes and the C-53 just 10″ behind her is out of focus. Gorgeous! This is a pricey lens, a very specific...

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on Aug 29, 2016 in Field Reports

The D500 & D750 … Which?

On our project, video is a HUGE component of the content we are creating. Being the producer, director, and still shooter, I shoot about 90% stills and 10% video shooting the D5. Brent on the other hand shoots 90% video and 10% stills (but as you can see above, he’s great with stills too!). We have D5s, D500s and D750s in the equipment locker along with a war chest of lenses. Brent being the video guy, I wanted to present you that side of the D500 & D750 as he shoots with them exclusively. Understand he depends on the D500 and that’s his primary body. So here is a working look at both the D500 and D750 in Brent’s words. Having been fortunate to fly with and film the Texas Flying Legends Museum for six months now, I’ve put a lot of time in on my D750, and now a D500, recording the flights and performances. So I wasn’t really phased when I was sent to Minot, North Dakota...

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on Aug 17, 2016 in Field Reports

Impact Goes Int’l!

Having been to O’Reilly’s before, I knew the opportunity was here for some really fun portraits. Now I could have done these with just a straight camera shot, but that’s just not right to do to folks. I could have gone with the flash on the camera, but those portraits never look all that great. So I went with a little panache thinking, I wanted some real studio lighting for folks but I was traveling half way around the world. Luckily for me, B&H had just delivered their Impact DLSR lighting gear to me which made my decision real simple. I talked about all the gear on my last Podcast, here’s the whole list: Vello Ringbox Ringflash Hexi 24 Speedlight Softbox Quikbox Softbox with Shoe Mount Flash Bracket (24 x 24″) Fabric Grid for 24 x 24″ Quikbox Quikbox Softbox with Shoe Mount Flash Bracket (15 x 15″) Fabric Grid for 15 x 15″ Quikbox Air-Cushioned Light Stand (Black, 8′) Eric was a great sport about this (a great...

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on Aug 9, 2016 in Field Reports

Flash Comp In the Body

Flash is such an important tool and with the introduction of D5 / D500 and SB-5000, it was made even easier to use. The issue still is us, humans that is, in “seeing” light and being able understand when we need to meld ambient light with flash to tell our story. The way we meld the light taking advantage of the computers in our cameras and our flash is through exposure compensation. That’s the purpose behind this post. In this photo of a Spitfire pilot in the cockpit wearing full scramble gear, it was made on a day when the ambient light was dull and directionless. I needed to dial in exposure compensation for the ambient light and for the flash. The body has only one exposure compensation button but your flash has two (at least with top end Nikons) buttons, one on the flash and one on the body. In this case, I depressed the Flash button on the back, left side of the D5 and dialed in...

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on Aug 4, 2016 in Field Reports

D5 / D500 Dust – Be Gone?!

The D5 & D500 have the same SETUP MENU > Clean image sensor > Start as previous Nikon DSLR cameras. I’ve never given it a thought until my buddy said, “Did you know that you can only run it so many times and then it stops?” I ran it on my D5 and sure enough, after running it six times the option to use it again was gone. I then looked at the sensor and it was pretty darn clean. That got me to thinking. Ever since then when I’m going to be shooting with the lens closed down, f/16 or more, I run this cleaning until it is no longer available. Like when shooting propellor aircraft against a blue sky. And ever since doing that my dust problem has almost gone away. Been doing the same thing with the D500 and it’s working there too. Now I don’t know if I’m causing undo wear by doing this, wanting to see the dust gone or what, all I know...

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on Jul 8, 2016 in Field Reports

Modifying Light in Telling a Story

It was a great morning on the ramp. We were working with the Texas Flying Legends Museum Spitfire MkIXc with the moody skies and the wet tarmac, a aviation photographers dream! After taking the overall shots and when you think you have them all, you move in for the detail shots. Now detail shots cover everything, important and trivial on the aircraft, graphically cool and technically boring. It’s then when you dig down and start modifying the light to tell the story. My shooting partner for decades Kevin said, “Got your SB-5000?” I instantly knew what he was thinking, light up the cockpit. I got out my SB-5000 & WR-R10 and handed it to Kevin. Since he had used it a month ago, he simply plugged the WR-R10 into his D5, turned on the SB-5000 and it instantly start talking to each other. I placed the SZ-4TN Incandescent Filter on the flash to add some color and he shot away. I uped it a tad by using the same...

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