Tuesday, July 09, 2013

To talk of many things.

...of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax..

That's what came to mind when I first started to pen this article. But really not so much, so I'll save that first line for another blog title down the road.

Nikon Stuff

As I write this, I have received "the phone call" to tell me that my repaired D600 is ready for pickup. I'll drop by Nikon in a couple of days to pick it up. According to the tech, they serviced the whole mirror assembly box, cleaned the sensor, and did a firmware update (I thought I already did that...). I asked if he thought that would solve the dust/lube problem and he said he thinks so. Time will tell...

I've been using the D5100. A bit of a false start: they shipped me a dud (wouldn't boot up). But they replaced it instantly when I came by on July 2. Unfortunately, I missed having a camera at Alison's July 1st party, but in a way that's OK, because I got to participate instead of observing.

I met a fellow at the party who was very much into Samsung cameras. His website indicates that he's a wedding photographer, although I got the impression in conversation that he actually worked at Samsung. Anyway, he had a Samsung Galaxy NX mirrorless camera that really looks spiffy, and a Samsung Smart camera with built-in Wifi. Both had huge 5" touchscreens on the back, huge zoom lenses... bears some further investigation!

The D5100 is a fun camera to use. I played with a bunch of settings; here are some pictures that I took with it.

You know I can't leave well enough alone, right? Yes, I did some Photoshop stuff... I stopped at this field of wildflowers (some would consider them 'weeds'!) and it was sort of boring, but some filters and effects punched it up a bit! 

I stayed there and looked around for other shots. I used the swiveling LCD display and LiveView to capture this one from knee height. That might be a godsend for my knee problems... however a problem that I have is "glasses on to see the scene, glasses off to see the LCD". Time for a visit to the ophthalmologist! 

Another shot from the same spot. These were all shot with the 17-35mm lens, by the way. I switched to the 70-200 later, but liked these better! You can do macro without a macro lens, but that's really on my list...

A couple of days later, I shot some stuff around the house. This is edited, of course but the acuity is a testament to the care I took with the lighting, using a reflector disk to block the direct sunlight. The sharpness is more a function of the lens than the camera body, of course. 

Spot metering and exposure compensation works well, although I feel it has a slight tendency to overexpose. Pretty good detail, enhanced with Topaz Clarity. 

The D5100 has some "Effects" modes. Here is one of them, called "sketch". This is exactly as it came out of the camera (except I cropped it). Hmmm... 

The next day, in Minden, I came across this restored 1925 Model A Ford. I thought it deserved a "vintage" treatment so I did an HDR and used Nik Color Efex Pro to make the image like this. 

So much for first impressions of the D5100. It's a worthwhile second body, and gives me the added advantage that it has an APS-C sensor so my telephoto lenses can reach out and touch further.

Field Trip to Irondale

I'm tentatively planning a field trip to the Kinmount/Irondale area for Sunday, July 21st. Here's the story:

I had occasion to visit the Irondale Church yesterday and was struck by the quaint and very photogenic interior. I've made tentative arrangements to shoot it on July 21st (date to be confirmed).

This is the Irondale Church, presently being restored. It sits at the back of a farm property, somewhat isolated, it has an air of quiet solitude to it. The building dates back to 1887, and the original bubble glass is still intact in the windows!

Another view of the exterior of the church, rendered as an HDR.  

Here's the plan: do a dawn MiniTour to Furnace Falls, about 10 minutes outside of Irondale. Head over to the church for around 10am to start shooting interiors and stay 2 or 3 hours to shoot additional shots. If you want to accompany me on the minitour, please sign up at www.photography.to/minitour.htm. The only restriction might be shooting the interior while services are under way from 10-11 am so we don't disturb the congregation.

Furnace Falls looks like this:

A 1/4-second exposure. I asked the young fellow to hold still so I could maintain focus. Enhanced with Topaz Adjust 5.  This is at 120mm focal length, cropped sensor but you can get quite close.

I'll be scouting it further before then; I think this camera position is facing East so it should be a good dawn location, weather permitting. If the weather's good, you can even swim like this lad is, which should make some interesting shots if we have some willing participants! Bring water shoes so you don't slip.

Kinmount Fish and Chips

On the way back, the skies opened up as I entered Kinmount, and there was quite a downpour. Still, the Fish and Chips shop did a booming business despite the rain!

Must be a really good place! People stood in line in the rain! Then I figured out why... 

Pretty girl, working the front counter. Could be why people stood in line! 

There's quite a bit of other stuff to shoot in Kinmount; a sawmill and a railway museum, some activity on the ATV trail... this could be a good day of shooting — join me!

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