Very slow wi-fi here at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, which can be forgiven because everything else is exquisite. We started the day at Capitol Reef National Park, then meandered along Route 12 (an awesome motorcycle road, but pretty nice in a car too) to make our way to Bryce. Tomorrow we go exploring, weather permitting (we arrived during an impressive thunder storm).
Tag Archives: Tokina 11-16 f2.8
Today we visited the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, and then did reconnaissance at Canyon de Chelly. Tomorrow we plan to walk into the canyon, weather permitting. Today I also learned that I should bring all of my gear on car trips, because I wanted longer lenses and bigger flashes at various times, and I learned that I have dozens of nasty dust spots on my sensor, which I won’t be able to deal with until we get home.
I’ve been trying to talk myself out of buying the new Nikon D600, but my D7000 is making the best argument against an “upgrade”. I went out last night to grab a few publicity shots for Senga Classic Stage Company’s upcoming production of Halloween Tales from the Women’s (and Men’s) Locker Room. I carried the big bag of camera gear, and a car-trunk-full of lighting gear, but I only used one camera and one lens for 90% of the shots, and none of the lighting gear. I got a powerful reminder that these modern cameras make damn good images at ISO 3200, particularly if the images (or, at least, the subjects) are well exposed. Sure, there’s some compression of dynamic range and a little bit of noise in the shadows. But it absolutely won’t matter in the newspaper. Interestingly, pretty much all recent DSLRs, from the cheapest to the most expensive, produce excellent quality images in situations that would have challenged a film shooter’s limits. Maybe someday I’ll get a D600, but for now I keep falling back in love with my D7000.
Some of you probably avoid the higher ISO ranges on your digital cameras, but you really should experiment.
I shot all of these with the D7000, and all except the first image with the 17-55 f/2.8. I used the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 for the first image. Had I lit them myself, I would have worked for better hat and hair lighting, but that would have taken a long time and likely introduced other unintended consequences as well. It’s reassuring to know that I can show up with a smaller bag of tricks in the future.
My boss recently shared how happy she was to get a “twofer” by hiring me: She gets a marketing professional who also happens to be a photographer. I’ve been thinking about how best to use my skills to integrate our messaging into every aspect of our visual marketing. I got a chance to experiment with the concept this week, when I attended one day of the School Food Initiative’s week-long Culinary Boot Camp.
At Boot Camp, local food service workers learn how to transform their school cafeterias from “heat-and-serve” to cooked-from-scratch environments, providing healthier, less commercially processed foods – usually far more economically.
Our foundation prides itself on our entrepreneurial heritage. We were founded by Paul Orfalea, the man that grew Kinko’s from a single, 150 square foot shop into a two billion dollar chain. We don’t just make grants to prop up the status quo; rather, we create initiatives like School Food to take action on problems that can be solved NOW. We like to say we’re changing the way philanthropy changes the world. We look at things differently, and I thought about that while making photos at Boot Camp.
I don’t know if this experiment will pan out, but currently, our website and brochures feature pretty standard commercial photography – everything looks just right. But if we look at things differently and take action, maybe our images should look a little skewed, conveying a sense of motion and energy. Maybe. Here are some of my experiments.
In the prior post, I said this one would be about shooting with a wide angle lens and fill flash. As you may recall, I wrote that post in a bar, and this is a good time to invoke Hemingway’s dictum: “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” I’d rather be blogging about my latest dance shoot, but…
I’m still learning how to handle a wide-angle lens, and the learning curve has steepened with the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8. For these shots during the Family Fest portion of the Ojai Storytelling Festival, I practiced shooting from a low angle when possible, but I also felt unafraid to exaggerate perspective and distortion by tilting the camera as needed. Because a wide-angle lens provides greater depth of field, I also felt comfortable setting the camera to auto-area focus and shooting without looking through the lens.
It was a bright,beautiful day, and would have been far too contrasty without fill flash. My own recipe for midday light includes setting the Nikon SB800 for Balanced Fill Flash, which attempts to balance the flash with the camera’s ambient light exposure. However, TOO much balance looks unnatural to me, so I also set the flash to underexpose by 2/3 stop. This way, shadows are lightened, but not eliminated.
There. Now I can start work on a blog about my latest dance shoot. D’oh! I mean, I have no idea what the next blog will be about. Whew.