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on Oct 7, 2019 in WRP Ed Zone

Improve Your Manual Focus to Improve Your Autofocus. Huh?

Long ago on another planet, photographers shot action with a 4×5 Speed Graphic. I used to hang out with a really cool dude, Roger Tory Peterson, one of those old Speed Graphic photographers who photographed birds in flight (most know of Roger for his paintings in his bird guides). We were photographing Clapper Rails and he asked my secret for getting such sharp focus so quickly (this was in the 80s). I told him, “Practice.” He said it was the same thing he did with the Speed Graphic (don’t know what a Speed Graphic is, Google it!). I said I couldn’t even imagine hand-holding such a camera let alone getting a shot of movement shooting with it. His reply is a classic which still holds true today. “What option did I have if I wanted the photograph. I did what it took.” Today, a lot of photographers sink or swim by their AF mode. The thought of manually focusing seems as foreign to them as focusing a Speed Graphic...

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on Sep 24, 2019 in WRP Ed Zone

I Call This One … Shark Bait!

A few weeks past, we spent the day at the brilliant Monterey Bay Aquarium. While we were geeking out shooting B&W of this boat display in killer light, Sharon took a moment to rest her feet and look at what’s coming up. You all know how I love to photograph her so I turned to take advantage of her looking down to read to arrange the elements in the viewfinder and then when she looked up … got ‘er! I was shooting in B&W with the Z6 / Z24-70f2.8 and when I looked at the photo, I instantly thought, “shark bait” (but I would never throw her to the sharks). At the same time when I looked at the scene with just my eyes, I knew that a color image would not have had the same impact nor say, “shark bait.” Here’s why. Shooting B&W with the Z is so simple cause the photo comes out of the camera, done! But I wanted “shark bait” to really come out...

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on Sep 18, 2019 in WRP Ed Zone

Me and WB

Back in the “good ol days,” like most photographers, I traveled with a huge collection of color correction gels. Nikon even made a special gel filter holder, AF-1 & AF-2 (which I still have). We did this because the white balance of our film (using current terms) was fixed at Daylight or 5500k. The most common filter I used was the 81a, what I combined with a polarizer to create the Moose Filter (the first warming polarizer). I have always taken getting the White Balance correct in the camera seriously, I still do to this day. It is true, you don’t have to this day an age, unless you’re like me and want to get it right, right in the camera. A whole bunch of people learned about this the fun way this past weekend. We’re on the ramp at the Combat Air Museum with their very cool F-84 Thunderstreak. The sun has just started to light up the horizon. It’s real simple, our digital cameras max out at...

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on Aug 16, 2019 in WRP Ed Zone

Macro … Simple?

It’s universally known, I just suck at macro photography! The big reason for this is simple. Getting down and sticking my butt up in the air waiting for the wind to stop blowing so I can photograph a posey, just not for me so I’ve put no time into being good at macro. Then last week I saw some really cool light and sadly, it was falling on a posey, Fireweed to be exact. And as much as I dislike macro, I love good light. Soooo … into the land of tiny, I went … with a plan! To chase that macro light, for me, it had to be fun and simple. I started with the Z7 / 105f1.4 because it’s light so it can easily be hand-held. I didn’t want to mess with DoF, it requires a slow shutter speed and then a tripod. Putting the FTZ on the 105f1.4 and shooting at f/1.4, I was solving all my “issues” to easy macro. But the BIGGIE for me...

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on Jul 22, 2019 in WRP Ed Zone

The Mysterious CS #a13

Our cameras are so smart, they can make us feel stupid! Case in point, the mysterious Custom Setting a13. When you have no lens on the body, it does not appear in the menu. You put a lens on the Z6 / Z7 like the Z14-30 and it still does no appear. Put a Z Lens on with a focusing ring like the Z24-70f2.8 and it appears. Magic! Actually, it’s not, it’s just smart programming and brings up a point I’ve mentioned a few times before. It’s always a smart idea to go through your camera’s instruction manuals months after you’ve put it down. I always do that and it reminds me of something I learn and forgotten or, simply didn’t know. Nikon makes it an easy airplane flight read with their Nikon Manual Viewer so you can read them on your smart device. The moral to this story, know your gear so works its hardest for you and your...

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on Jul 17, 2019 in WRP Ed Zone, B&W Photography

Just Take ONE Step Forward

There are times that you just gotta shoot! Time is everything and waiting and takin time to make everything perfect, you lose the shot. But those times when you do have time, one thing that can often improve your photograph is simply takin one step forward. Literally, place one foot in front of the other and move forward. How can something so simple work? It comes back to what I call the dance. That’s excluding elements that take the eye away from the subject while including those elements that support the subject. Taking one step forward is just one method of doing the dance that works. Here is a simple, gorgeous, sweeping vista that was literally right alongside the highway. I stepped out with the Z7 / Z14-30 that was in B&W (Monochrome) mode as it was that kinda light and drama. I took the first shot (bottom image) as things were moving quickly. I didn’t like the bush on the left and felt I wasn’t inviting the viewer...

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