Hello Spider!

Hello Spider!

Tech Info: Single exposure using Nikon D300s with 50 mm primse reverse mounted, ISO 200, f/16 for 1/30 sec. YN467 placed camera right and fired with 1/8 of its full power

Starting the year by having some fun with some new toys. Here is a simple shot of a spider, but getting this shot wasn’t that easy at all. Continue reading

Tara – High Key

Tara - High Key

Tech Info: Nikon D300s with 24-70 @70mm, ISO 200, f/2.8 for 1/100 sec.

SB900 placed off camera low right fired with 1/32 of its power.

During thanksgiving weekend, borrowlenses had deal going on and I rented a SB900 speedlite with Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Plan was to play with these things for the entire week. Had loads of fun and quite a lot of learning too.

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PhotoVerse: A must have tool for photogs

I’ve been swamped with work during this holiday season, but wanted to take few minutes to let you know that a new iPhone/iPad app got released. The reason why I’m even mentioning it are quite a few, but it worth mentioning couple of them here. For starters, this tool has been developed by two photographers whom I admire the most (Hunaid & Satish). Second, I had the privilege to be a beta tester for this tool.

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Half Dome from Sentinal Bridge

Half Dome from Sentinal Bridge

Tech Info: Nikon D300s with Tokina 12-24 @24mm, f/16, ISO 200 for 15s.
Filters: B+W Polarizer and Hoya NDX400

Its been pretty busy at work and haven’t got much time to work on photos, but today after witnessing a superb match win by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) over Rajasthan Royals (RR) got some energy to work on a picture taken during the Yosemite trip.

Another very useful filter to have is a Polarizing Filter. This one helps to reduce the polarizing effect and can cut the reflections. This shot is an example where the filter is at its use. Usually when water is an element in your composition, the glare/reflection from the surface would be pretty high, thereby preventing the camera to see underneath the water. A polarizing filter will help in reducing those reflections and revealing details.

In this shot, I angled the filter just enough where the scene would contain some reflections and details on the river bed. To the bottom left, you see the river bed and as the polarizing effect is reduced, you can see the reflected light. Of course when you are trying to capture the reflection itself, you would avoid this filter. But here, I wanted both of them and hence the change in angle of the filter. The smoothness on the water surface was obtained by the use of NDX400 filter. As mentioned in the previous post, this one cuts the light and helps to get longer exposures during the day.

While taking this shot on the bridge, there was another guy with a medium format camera standing next to me. It was interesting to see the way he was composing; he took some test shots with a point and shoot and then used the medium format camera to compose the scene. I think its a great idea to go about composition this way, especially if you are having trouble visualizing the scene in a 4×5 format. Of course not necessarily with another camera, but even a small cardboard with a cutout in the middle should help. It’ll be interesting to try it out next time I’m out 🙂

Lens: Tokina 12-24mm

Metro Tower, Foster City

Like to view large…click here

Tech Info: Nikon D300s using Tokina 12-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/8 for 20s

Finally got my new wide angle lens. Its a Tokina 12-24mm lens with a maximum constant aperture of f/4 throughout the focal range.

For a long time I was contemplating on getting a wide angle lens and hadn’t really made up my mind on what I wanted as there were quite a lot of options. First on the list was a Nikkor 12-24mm. It had to be taken out as its way beyond my budget.

Next on the list was Sigma 10-20mm. I was positive about Sigma for a long time due to the wonderful images I saw from it. Even though a lot of people liked it, there was one common complaint, about its build quality. It seems like the lens feels that its made out of cheaper plastic. When you pay hundreds of dollars for the lens and finally feel that its made out of cheap plastic, then for me it ain’t worth it. I take very good care of things which I love and my friends know that too well-remember the times when I kept telling you how to turn the page on the book without getting any kind of crease on it ;). Inspite of that I was really hesitant on the “cheap” feel of it and decided against it.

Next to consider was a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. First attention would go towards f/2.8, which means that its a fast lens (don’t know what f/2.8 means? read this) Since I plan to use this lens for doing some star trails, the fast aperture is a big boost to keep my exposures short. The drawback was the minimal focal range. 11-16 is too short for my taste right now. Also the price was beyond what I had budgeted.

One of the flickr buddies suggested the Tokina 12-24 and even though it can only open up to f/4, for the price he said it was worth it. Along with its price, everybody appreciated its image and build quality to be on par with Nikon’s wide angle 12-24 one. It was like a nikon lens but with much lower price. Instead of renting this one from a local store, I decided to get one and test it out; if I didn’t like it, then I can always return it before the “return period” from the merchant.

I’m highly pleased with just one test shot using it. Couple of more tests are still pending and I’m hoping to complete it by the end of next week. But for now, the feeling is that I don’t have to return this lens 😀