Archive for September, 2012

Nikon D600 Macro Tests (Round 2)


I had some time to shoot a few macros today.  The challenge today though was low light and a bit of wind… not good for macro photography!  I decided to crank up my ISO to speed up the shutter and avoid motion blur.  I went as high as 5000 ISO!  I’m still amazed at the low noise levels of the D600.


First macro tests with my Nikon D600


I decided to test out my new Nikon D600 with some macro photography.  I don’t have an actual macro lens so instead I use Kenko extension tubes.  For these shots I stacked the 36mm and 20mm and shot with my Sigma 70-200 F2.8.  This was my first time to use the 70-200 for macros.  I love it!  Firs the zoom lets me shoot macro without being right on top of the subject which is quite nice.  Also, the D600 allows me to shoot a high ISO to speed up the shutter so I don’t get motion blur without much noise.


My Beloved Nikon D90… For Sale

I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a full frame camera, the Nikon D600.  This means I must now sell my beloved Nikon D90 that has served me so well for the past couple of years.  It’s a great camera that’ll make someone VERY happy!  Here is the scoop:

Nikon D90: New from Amazon for $1049
Nikon SB400 Flash: New from Amazon for $114
3 batteries and charger
2 memory cards
1 Tiffen Circular Polarizer Filter: New from Amazon for $30 (Gets rid of reflections… great for window, water, or general outdoor shots)
3 Dolica ND Filters: New from Amazon for $43 (Great for getting those silky smooth waterfall pictures)

I also still have the original box, cables, etc. I also have the original receipt.  I bought the camera in April of 2010.   Virtually all the pictures on this blog were taken with this D90.  It is in excellent condition!


Good Morning Hot Springs

Hot Springs is a beautiful town in Arkansas nestled in the Ozark Mountains.  I was able to capture this panoramic sunrise with the Hot Springs Tower on the left on my way to work this morning.  This might make a beautiful canvas print or ever better… a metal print!  I plan on revisiting the location in hopes of capturing a more dramatic sky.


Nikon D600 w/ 4000 ISO

WARNING: This is for my fellow camera nerds.

So, I recently made a big upgrade from my Nikon D90 to a Nikon D600.  I volunteered to shoot a ministry launch event for The CALL, a ministry to help families adopt and foster children who are in need.  The event was being held at a church which gives you the typical lighting nightmares for photography.  I wanted a shot of someone on stage as well as a wide angle of the audience.  I decided to push the limits of the camera and crank it up to 4000 ISO.  This typically causes a lot of noise in a photo so I was expecting the picture to be unusable.  The picture below is what I ended up with.  Note, I did NOT do ANY noise reduction.  This is straight from the camera with no WB adjustments, cropping, shot at F4 @ 35mm.  Nikkor 16-35 lens.



Cossatot Falls

I had a little time this afternoon to visit a place known for some incredible rapids: Cossatot Falls.  This isn’t really a waterfall as much as just some crazy big rapids.  The word “Cossatot” apparently is a rough French translation to “Skull Crusher.”  Expert kayakers like to brave these rapids… crazy!  Imagine all these rocks with roaring waters over them!


Forked Mountain Waterfalls

My brother and I decided to hike near Forked Mountain in search of a couple of waterfalls.  This mountain is simply amazing!  The photo doesn’t do it justice.  It’s a lone hill that towers over all the other surroundings.  At the top are some incredible bluffs.


Cheesehead Ella :)

I had a quick, impromptu photo shoot with my youngest.  She is a die-hard Packer fan, I assure you!  Of course, she was pretty upset about the loss today.  A special thanks to her big sister, Brooke for trying to help me contain her!

Waterfalls of Lake Catherine State Park

Just 30 minutes away from my home is Lake Catherine State Park. This beautiful park has a few hiking trails that intersect at the “Big Falls.”  We’ve had the worst drought I can ever remember so waterfalls around here have been nothing but bare, dry rocks.  Hurricane Isaac gave me hope though!  I packed up and headed for the trails as soon as the hurricane had passed.  There wasn’t as much rain as I had hoped for, but I trusted it was enough.

This is the main reason people hike the trails, the “Big Falls.”  It wasn’t roaring by any stretch of the imagination, but it was still quite a nice flow.  This is the perfect place to stop and have a snack.


Bokeh hearts!

When I took this photo, I was playing with creating bokeh shapes in the background.  Bokeh refers to the blurring of the lights in the background of this image.  I was able to shape the blurred lights into hearts using a mask of sorts over the lens.  I basically cut a heart-shaped hole out of a piece of black construction paper and placed this over the lens (shooting through the heart).  You don’t even see the paper when you’re shooting, but the bokeh shape is created in the background.  This is my beautiful daughter, Brooke!  🙂