Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What a difference ten millimeters make

Last Thursday I took a camera and a trio of lenses out to the ballpark. With some time on my hands before the game started, I trekked up to the highest nosebleed seats to get some wide views of the field and stands. The results provided an interesting range of focal lengths.

Let’s start with 28mm:

Nikon D810, 28mm (28-200), 1/250, f/8, ISO 200

This is the wide side of a 28-200mm that I do a lot of work with. As a shot of the field itself, it’s reasonably good. But let’s see what we get if we go a little wider.

Nikon D810, 18mm (18-35), 1/400, f/10, ISO 200

That’s 18mm (minus a bit of cropping I did to get rid of the roof). If I was taking a traditional landscape approach, this photo would probably be my choice.

But let’s go another 10mm down:

Nikon D810, 8mm, 1/200, f/7.1, ISO 200

Now that’s a fisheye view, so much so that the image gets vignetted. Still, that’s a 180 degree view.

I had even more fun with the 8mm lens that evening, as seen in this blog post.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog – July 2017

July was all about experimenting. I got a new (well, refurbished) Nikon D810, so welcome to the world of full frame photography. And I went a little crazy buying accessories on Amazon Prime Day.

The month got underway with the usual fireworks shots (alas the new gear hadn’t arrived yet).

Nikon D3000, 10.5mm, 0.3 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

This isn’t the absolute first shot I took with the new camera, but it was the first one good enough to blog. I’ve also moved my photo management from the Apple app to Lightroom, so I’m getting used to that as well.

Nikon D810, 300mm (75-300), 1/400, f/6.3, ISO 800

We’ve been moving some stuff around in the house, including these five alligators in a cheese box.

Nikon D3000, 24mm (18-55), 1/80, f/4.5, ISO 200

One of the new gizmos is a ring light, which makes macro photography a lot easier. This is a plastic spider from the top of a cupcake, currently perching on the top of my postcard rack.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/60, F/5.6, ISO 200

Shortly after I got the new camera, I added a Nikkor 18-35mm to the collection. The lens is well suited to landscape photography, but I thought I’d take it out to the ballpark and play around with it for awhile.

Nikon D810, 35mm (18-35), 1/320, f/7.1, ISO 200

I also added a full frame fisheye lens. This is my office at home, finally cleaned and organized.

Nikon D810, 8mm, 1/60, f/4, ISO 1600

We put in a small St. Francis shrine on the deck. Okay, it’s a concrete lawn ornament and a bird bath. But it fits well with the bird feeders.

Nikon D3000, 32mm (18-55), 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 140

And finally this odd specimen. This is a front view of a metal fish, part of my writing desk decor. I shot a series of macro photos and then focus stacked them (which oddly I had to do in Photoshop as Lightroom won’t do it).

Nikon D810, 80mm (35-80), 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 500, focus stacked

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog - June 2017

June always seems to be a good month for photography. The spring semester is clearly in the rear-view, and the fall hasn’t crested the horizon yet. Time to get out and take some pictures!

This odd specimen is the inside of a LifeFactory glass bottle. I shot it through the top looking down, using a 10.5mm lens to get as much in as possible.

Nikon D3000, 10.5mm, 1/200, f/7.1, ISO 100

Mongolian barbecue is such fun to watch. Turns out it makes a pretty good photo, too.

iPhone 7

I was taking some pictures of typewriter keys for a project I was working on, and I also got a few good ones of the rest of the machine.

Nikon D3000, 36mm (18-55), 1/30, f/5.0, ISO 200

This one looks carefully planned, but it was totally spontaneous. While on my way to move the Jeep from the rear driveway to the street in front of the house, I happened by this backyard plant on one of its rare flowering days. Quick snap with the phone.

iPhone 7

I’ve been doing some prep work for my Beginning Photography class in the fall. I decided to make a banner graphic for the weekly quizzes out of pictures of objects that look like letters. The Q is a quick, natural light setup on a piece of foam core in a window.

iPhone 7

Here’s how the rest of the banner came out:


I don’t think this will make the quizzes any easier, but I hope a pleasant graphic presentation will at least take some of the stress out of the experience.

Coffee pot at First Watch (another sure sign that I’m getting old).

iPhone 7

A small (coffee cup size, maybe a little larger) Ganesh side-lit by the setting sun and photographed with a macro lens.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/800, f/7.1, ISO 400

And a trio of lovely ladies getting an early start on Day of the Dead festivities. I stood the figures up in front of a computer display showing a Dia de Los Muertos celebration and used an open window and a shaving mirror to do the lighting. The result was filtered for shake reduction but otherwise not Photoshopped in any way.

Nikon D7000, 55mm (35-80), 1/50, f/4.8, ISO 400


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog - May 2017

Wildlife turned out to be the theme for May.

Early in the month the bees returned to the tree in our front yard.

Nikon D7000, 300mm (75-300), 1/2000, f/5.6, ISO 800, cropped

At work a goose set up camp under a tree right next to the sidewalk.

iPhone 7
This is Boris, one of the strays we feed. She can be elusive, but this afternoon she patiently posed for a long-distance portrait.

Nikon D7000, 200mm (75-300), 1/60, f/5.3, ISO 1600, cropped

When the cat takes possession of what you're working on, all you can do is take pictures of the cat.

iPhone 7, modified
My grandpa’s old musical slide rule, now mounted on the side of a bookshelf.

iPhone 7
I managed to catch some good photos of a squirrel on our deck eating a slice of bread. One of the other photos got edited into a squirrel holding a protest sign.

Nikon D7000, 300mm (75-300), 1/400, f/5.6, ISO 1600, cropped
Two piñatas that managed to survive last June’s birthday fest. And of course maneki neko.

iPhone 7
And at long last I made it to my 365th straight photo. Out at the stadium I looked around for something that said “365,” but the closest I could come was five off.

iPhone 7, modified

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog - April 2017

April was a quiet month, mostly spent at work or at home.

A cat toy abandoned on a heating grate made an interesting study in patterns and lines.

iPhone 7

This is a close up of gel pens in a rack. I used an off-camera flash to get the odd side lighting.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/125, f/32, ISO 200

When I moved the bird seed boxes off their shelf to refill them, I found an interesting example of texture and rule of thirds.

iPhone 7
I got a mini fridge for my office, just big enough for six cans of DMD.

iPhone 7
April 15 found us back at the ballpark for another season in the sun. This is the well-worn number on the back of my seat.

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Easter eggs, naturally.

Nikon D7000, 45mm (35-80), 1/1250, f/4.2, ISO 200

Here’s something I’d never seen before: two pennies in a Ziploc bag of water, hanging above the drive-thru window at China Feast. We looked it up later and found that it was there for good luck and good fortune.

iPhone 7
It seemed like this might be useful photo clip art for future projects.

iPhone 7

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog – March 2017

No dramatic spring break photos this year (we stayed put for the whole week). But a few good ones from our regular environs.

On the drive to work I noticed that someone placed a birdhouse in one of the trees between the highway and the river.

Nikon D7000, 28mm (28-200), 1/250, f/8, ISO 200

Sunbeam cat. A rare good shot from the iPad.

iPad Pro

Clipboard in a paper rack.

iPhone 7

The Kansas City Rowing Club’s dock, on the day we cleaned the boat yard. This was my first time out there in more than a year.

iPhone 7

Glass skull, close up.

iPhone 7

A lion from the Pompeii exhibit at Union Station.

iPhone 7

Toward the end of the month I did a whole week of cats. Usually cat pictures are a sure sign that I didn’t photograph anything out in the world and needed a photo op somewhere around the house. But for these seven days I concentrated specifically on our feline friends and family members. This is the Dutchess, an outdoor stray in the mood to pose for a picture.

Nikon D7000, 80mm (35-80), 1/200, f/5.6, ISO 400, cropped

 And at long last spring is officially upon us.

Nikon D7000, 300mm (75-300), 1/40, f/5.6, ISO 100

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Best of the 365 Blog – February 2017

Things got back to normal this month. I took advantage of the relative calm to put the new phone through its photographic paces.

Anna Marie, looking serious and photogenic as usual.

iPhone 7

Remember last November when we found out ladybugs weren’t all that cute close up? Apparently Arby’s reubens aren’t improved, either.

iPhone 7

The warm weather prompted us to replace the grill. They look so good when they’re new.

iPhone 7

This bit of carpet scrap and dead leaf arranged themselves into an interesting configuration.

iPhone 7

And these pens in a rack made an interesting pattern.

iPhone 7

Even without much exposure control, the iPhone can still get some dramatic sky shots.

iPhone 7

This is one of the blog’s most popular posts. That’s at least in part because I Facebooked it with the comment, “Draw me like one of your French cats.”

iPhone 7

An abandoned chew toy on the floor of Amigos on State.

iPhone 7