To Zoom or Not To Zoom

66mm

110mm

One of the best lenses I ever purchased remains the Nikon 24-120 constant  f/4.  I picked it up at B and H Photo Video in New York in an open box sale. The lens had been used as a shelf display model.    It pretty much lives on my Nikon D750 Camera.  I suppose you could say it is my walk around lens. Even so, it took me a while to take advantage of what it offers.    With landscapes, my practice was to frame up the wide shot, shoot it and move on.  Typical for old folks like me who are set in our ways.  This past weekend on the Bogue Banks of North Carolina I proved that even at 72, sometimes it pays to revisit old habits. The two shots above were taken a few seconds apart during  a rapidly changing sky after a storm.  The first was taken at 66mm, the second at 110mm. It really gave me two almost completely different shots. That in and off itself is probably not a tip.  If there is one, I suppose it is this, don’t be reticent to change up old habits, particularly in photography.    Thanks for the look and have a good week. See you next time.

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An Atlantic Dawn

Atlantic Dawn I

 

Atlantic Dawn II

A couple of pre-sunrise shots taken at Southern Shores, North Carolina.  I didn’t have far to walk to the beach so when I saw the cloudy sky, I grabbed my bag and headed out.   These scenes come early so if you have trouble getting out of bed, you will miss them.   Be there and you’ll be rewarded with some fabulous sky colors.  These two shots were taken on the same morning.  A complete makeover that occurred within just a few minutes before sunrise.  Both shots were handheld. The second a tad longer exposure.  Both shot with a Nikon D800e camera and an 18-35 Nikkor lens.  If you’re heading for a beach this spring or summer, take along an alarm clock.  It’s worth the agony of getting up early.  Have a good week.  See you next time.

Photo Of The Week: Christmas Eve Sunrise

Blogged December 25, 2016

Sunrise December 24, 2016

 

For several years running,  the Christmas day sunrise has been nothing short of spectacular here, to the point of becoming an almost spiritual thing. Not This year.  We were greeted this morning with an overcast sky and patches of misty rain, the result of a warm front that marched through late yesterday and overnight.  But the Christmas weekend was not a total washout.. Christmas Eve morning  was a keeper. With the colder air, the scene could be from October.  There were  just enough clouds to reflect the warm morning light. I had seen the clouds moving in over the tall lob lolly pines from my kitchen window and grabbed my camera.  No filters. Nikon D750 fitted with a 24-120mm f/4 lens. Iso 400, custom white balance, though Automatic on the 750 is quite good. Manual exposure. Spot metering. 1/125th of a second at f/22 which explains the slight flare to the sun. Best wishes to all for a great holiday and a safe and prosperous 2017.

Photo Of The Week: A Congregation of Clouds

A Congregation of Clouds   Posted to flickr April 29, 2016

The end of the day brings a congregation of clouds from the northeast.  Within minutes, the entire eastern sky was filled with cotton like clouds brightened by the setting sun.  There was little wind and so the normally angry Atlantic was rather calm that afternoon. I rather liked the look of things so snapped several shots.  I chose this one to post because of that last little patch of blue winking out of the cloud cover. One never goes lacking for subjects to shoot along the coast.  On this day, the sky stole the show.  Have a good week and thanks for the look. Nikon D600 18/35mm lens.

Photo Of The Week: Dawn At The Tree Line

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This scene is on our farm and if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you have probably discerned that I am constantly drawn to it, particularly during the late fall and winter months.  The sun’s daily arc moves to the south during the winter months which  lines it up perfectly behind the tree line for a pleasing composition.  Cloudy mornings are an added bonus and we have been blessed with many this year.  As was the case with the billowing clouds above, they are usually a prelude for violent weather.  This shot in early March was followed by several days of heavy downpours and powerful winds that pummeled the farm, flooding the fields and toppling a few trees.  This was taken with a Nikon D800E camera and a Nikon 24-120 mm f/4 lens.  No filters were used. Thanks for the visit and have a great week ahead. 

 

Photo Of The Day: Atmospherics

Blogged January 17, 2016

To say its been an unusual winter in coastal and eastern North Carolina would be an understatement.  To say its been an usually warm winter would not be.  Many mornings, its seemed more like late summer than winter with clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s to the low 80’s.  When we’ve had clouds, more often than not, its been all clouds, overcast with no sun.  Those kinds of days are not conducive to spectacular dawns like the above.

 I’ve often thought that we have more picturesque mornings when colder weather prevails in advance of a front which brings clouds and precipitation and that was the situation heading into this weekend.    A heavy frost and broken clouds welcomed the dawn with a fabulous show.  I took 20 shots or so as the sun moved closer to breaking the horizon.  The shot above was number 10 and marked the zenith of the light show that morning.

There isn’t a lot of prep.  I have an app that tells me the position of the sun, the time of the dawn and sunrise etc and I always check “Weather Underground Radar” for the zip I’m in.  A walk to the field takes maybe 10 minutes.  I seldom use filters on morning shots. Sometimes if the dawn is very bright, I’ll use a split neutral density filter.  As for settings:  As low an ISO as possible, f/22, manual exposure and spot metering particularly after sunrise.  I also remove the UV filter from my lens. It helps cut down on the number of sun flares on the glass.    The most important setting is probably your alarm clock.  You’ve got to be there before the show starts.  There’s a very short window for getting good dawn shots.  If you see it happen before you’re on location, its over.  Thanks for the read and the look.

Photo Of The Day: The Dark Cloud at Dawn

facebook  Autumn Vibe.

The rising sun still below the horizon signals its imminent arrival on a huge dark cloud coming in off the ocean.  The red sky at dawn was a sure warning this time.  We had another tropical downpour. Several inches Sunday.  Nikon D800e camera. Nikon 18-35mm lens. Thanks for the visit and have a great week ahead.