Poppies and Grass
While we had a lot of rain in SoCal during the past winter, the wildflower season was a bit of a disappointment. Even in the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, there were not a lot of poppies. I found these about a mile south of the reserve and liked the composition of the grass and the poppies together.
I looked for an angle that eliminatied anything in the background and had a nice mix of the grass and the poppies. There were lots of clouds and the light was changing constantly, so I waited until the light was behind a cloud. I also had to wait for the breeze to die down.
The picture was taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 18-70 f.5-4.5 lens at 70mm. The exposure was 1/50 of a second at f16 and an ISO of 400.
Posted 2 years, 4 months ago at 8:31 pm. Add a comment
North/South California 365 Porsche Club Get Together
Driving though the foothills of the central California coast on a road where I almost never see another vehicle, I crested a hill and ran into the middle of about 50 of the nicest, well kept vintage Porsches I have ever seen. Usually, I drive looking for wildlife to shoot in the fields near the road or birds that sit on the fences, but this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. When life gives you lemons,…
The light was fairly harsh, but with a little post production tweaking, I think the images came out nice. We talked for a few minutes before the group got back into their cars and began driving down the road. I stayed and tried to shoot each car as it went by.
While talking to them, I learned that they were going to have a concourse de elegance in Morro Bay the next day. I went and got some more shots there.
The image above was taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nkkor 18-70 3.5-4.5 lens at 70mm. The exposure was 1/200 of a second at f11 and an ISO of 200.
Posted 2 years, 5 months ago at 5:54 pm. 1 comment
The Hills Have Shadows
Taken on an extended trip through Northern California and Southern Oregon, this picture of the Painted Hills Unit of John Day Fossil Bed National Monument. The sun was setting and I was looking for an image that captured the feeling of being there. I liked the patterns of the zig-zaging shadows and the texture of the soil.
The picture was taken with a Nikon D70 and a Nikkor 18-70mm 3.5-4.5 lens at 70mm. The exposure was 1/90 of a second at f6.7 and an ISO of 200.
Posted 2 years, 5 months ago at 9:40 am. Add a comment
I woke up early to try to shoot the sunrise, but it was completely socked in with fog. There wasn’t going to be a sunrise and, as a matter of fact, the sun wouldn’t show its self until past noon that day.
Instead of going back inside, I focused on what I could see or what I could barely see. Once in a while the fog would lift enough to faintly see the trees on the opposite hill. I took those moments to capture the scene above.
I wanted enough detail to make sure the viewer knew what they were looking at, but not enough to make it ordinary. I think I accomplished my goal.
I think the lesson is that if the image you had in mind isn’t there, make the best of the situation and look for another one.
The photo was taken with a D300 and an 18-70 f3.5-4.5 lens at 31mm. The exposure was for 1/100 of a second at f8 and an ISO of 200.
Posted 2 years, 6 months ago at 2:35 pm. Add a comment
Cholla Cactus at the Punchbowl
Los Angeles County has a city park on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains that has a unique geological event called the Devil’s Punchbowl. Basically, there is some volcanic and sedimentary rock that was uplifted and eroded in a very interesting manner.
This Cholla Cactus sits on the rim of the punchbowl with rock formations and the mountains in the background.
The picture was taken with a D300 and a Nikkor 18-70 3.5-4.5 lens at 38mm. The exposure was 1/640 of a second at f5.6 and an ISO of 400.
Posted 2 years, 6 months ago at 11:48 am. Add a comment
Chains That Bind
After the Japan earthquake, the resulting tsunami hit the northern California town of Crescent City pretty hard. I was a bit surprised by this because I thought their breakwater was fairly substantial. Made of 20 ton Dolos, the breakwater is a large wave absorbing structure.
These chains and cables hold each Dolos in place along the breakwater. I liked the contrast between the rusty chain and the grey shackles. I think it shows the strength needed to fight back the sea without showing the whole breakwater.
The image was taken with a Nikon D70 and a Nikkor 18-70 f3.4-4.5 lens. The exposure was 1/250 of a second at f4.5 and an ISO of 200.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Posted 2 years, 7 months ago at 1:45 pm. Add a comment
I was asked to shoot a charity basketball game between the seniors and the staff to benefit scleroderma victims. I like this kind of event. The kids have fun and so does the staff. Plus, it goes to a good cause. Here are a few images from the evening and a short analysis of the problems and possible solutions follows that.
You can see all of the images at The Nature Light Photography Gallery.
What Did I Learn?
This was a new challenge. I have never shot sports inside before. Water polo and swimming? Yes. Softball? Yes. Rodeo? Yes. But never indoor basketball.
I have read where the lighting situation inside most high school gyms is difficult. JEEZ!! Is that true!!!! My plan was to take my SB600 and shoot with a fairly fast piece of glass, the 70-200 f2/8. It worked. Kind of.
While the flash did freeze the action fairly well, focus was a bit of a problem. The lens wouldn’t lock on to subjects well and fast enough. I think this is due to the very low light conditions and the difficulty of following the subject.
I basically planted myself under one basket and shot from a seated position. The length of the lens made it difficult to keep the subject in the viewfinder as they came closer to my end of the court and the proximity of the players made good composition difficult. You can see my results here.
You can see the limited field of view and difficulty of composition.
I brought my 50mm f1.4 also, but it limited my ability to isolate the players or what I wanted to shoot. I also had the D70 kit lens, a 18-70mm f3.5-4.5, but I didn’t think that it was fast enough. But I wasn’t getting the shots I wanted or needed, so I tried it.
I was surprised. It focused quickly, the flash froze the subjects well, and the images were usable!! The subjects weren’t too close for a good composition and I could compose fairly well.
With a wider lens, the composition is better.
The only problem was that the on camera flash left some weird shadows behind the subjects. It’s not the lens, but me not utilizing the flash well.
Harsh shadows caused by on camera flash.
I think I really need a better flash, something like a SB900 and some sort of remote to fire it off from a distance. I have seen sports shooters utilize two flashes mounted on stands placed at the corners of the floor and triggered by remotes such as Radio Poppers or Pocket Wizards. I would like to try that set-up next time.
The bottom line is that next time I WILL get the flash off of the camera and try to get two flashes that I can work together to improve the lighting situation.
All-in-all, I think it was a good shoot. OH, and the staff won!!!
Posted 4 years, 1 month ago at 11:19 am. Add a comment