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on Jun 18, 2012 in Camera Tech

Heat Shimmer & Long Glass

The difference between these two photographs are clouds and a breeze and that’s all. But that’s enough to make the top image sharp and the bottom image soft. Why? The bottom image was taken around highnoon when the heat was at it’s highest and the afternoon breeze was yet to kick in. Even though this little RV was above the runway, the heat shimmer was enough to cause the bottom photo to not be tack sharp. Both of these photos along with the video was captured by the D800 attached to 600VR w/TC-14e. The biggest challenge is seeing heat shimmer when you’re shooting. For many, they simply don’t know what it looks like. I hope the video helps you recognize it. You see it the most when using long glass but it can appear with any focal length. I’ve been pinged by a lot of photographers asking me about the quality of the files I’m getting out of the D800. So far, all claims from the users is that...

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on Mar 29, 2012 in Camera Tech

Where’s the D4 “Review?”

I’ve had a whole bunch of emails asking just that, where’s the D4 “review?” I guess shooting with it for less then a week, “you should be able to write a review, right, others have.” Well first, I’ve not written a review for a long, long time. I have written field reports but to me, there is a huge difference. To me, a review is no more then reading the specs and writing a review based on those. Not really very helpful to anyone wanting to get the most from their D4. The field report on the other hand is no more then my findings shooting with just one camera body sample. But those with a D4 can test their body’s results against mine and make some conclusions. And shooting with a new body for less then one week is by no means a field report worth writing. I’ve seen some “reviews” and here’s my first problem with them. We’ve been using a 1008 pixel based RGB system up...

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on Feb 23, 2012 in Aviation

Needing a BIG Hose

So I had seen some pretty cool images taken at night of planes with their props turning. Working on an article, I wanted a photograph of the TBM Avenger so it appeared to be on the flight deck of a carrier for a dawn launch. I just so happen to be incredibly lucky to have become dear friends with Dale who just happens to have a TBM Avenger. Prior to heading down to AZ where the TBM is home, I started to do some homework. The first thing I did was to contact Dale and see if he was up for such a crazy shoot. Understand, working with aircraft at night with the prop turning is extremely dangerous. I only considered it because the folks I was working with are the best! With Dale on board, I then contacted an aviation photographer I have a lot of respect for, Tyson Rininger. He was a HUGE help giving me some great places to start. So with those pieces in place,...

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on Feb 22, 2012 in Aviation

The Arizona Ground Crew

It was one of those mornings when what clouds were present were leaving Dodge fast! That was a bummer because we had the amazing Arizona Ground Crew crew with us and I had “Cripes A’ Mighty” pulled out of the hangar for them to use for a backdrop. Now to be totally honest, pulling out a bunch of flash units and setting up a set just was something I didn’t want to do. It’s simply a pain in the ass and slows down photography in my book. So we started to work with what light we did have. I took Scott and first, put him as silhouette and went click. And while that seemed like a kinda good idea, it really wasn’t. I went to a five image HDR to make something happen visually. The side of the Mustang was hot and the silhouette needed to be black while I wanted to keep the color and HDR was the best option. OK…made a click but it was a waste...

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on Feb 17, 2012 in Landscape Photography

I Shoot Rocks

Alabama Hills, CA – D3x 16Fish I’m the son of a rock hound. I grew up with a museum quality collection in my own home that caught my imagination from the very start. Rocks a gazillion years old, fragile ones, hard as rock ones, expensive ones, out of this world as in meteorite ones, fossil ones and even uncut gem ones, (even played with a moon rock). To this day I can still remember going through the drawers of rocks bug-eyed! The one thing that really fascinated me is looking at the collection under different light sources, seeing a whole new world revealed by simply changing the light. Is it any wonder, I shoot rocks?! While the geology lessons I learned in the process are long forgotten, the light on the rock lessons seems to have stuck. I mean, a rock is a rock is a rock until you light it and then, it can be just about anything your imagination says it is in your photograph! Rocks have...

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