The New Photographer

Each new day is a chance to learn.

Posts Tagged ‘nikon

The Year That Was — 2008 in Pictures

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The year 2008 has been a fruitful ride for me. I finally left my first job where I worked for almost 5 years and moved to the country’s business capital. I’ve gained a lot more white hairs and a handful of wisdom. Some old habits gone and replaced with new ones. Read a new set of books and put me to a new perspective to many things. Some so-so friends gone but there are those who really stick around.

But most importantly, I’ve gotten a better and clearer understanding of digital and photography combined. My gear has gotten a year old and a half, and it has been the primary instrument for the year long learning experience.

In celebration, allow me to share the past year in pictures below.

Rule of thirds. I have a knack for taking pictures of inanimate objects, white spaces, simple things, and the color brown. Combining the shadows and stillness of this chair, I shot and applied the rule. It’s a picture compelling enough to tell a thousand stories.

If I could make traveling as a living, I don’t have an idea where I would be right now. This is the entrance to the future wonder of the world— The Underground River of Palawan. It’s a river underneath a mountain where various formation of limestones  and unknown depth. Its difficult shooting pictures inside especially as a Filipino tourist riding alongside foreigners from Malta, Australia, Japan and US. I had to snatch a perfect shot in a perfect timing under a cave lit only by the flashes of camera and that of the boatman’s flashlight. It was a great experience riding in that boat.

Most of the pictures I’ve taken where I paused think and composed heavily are landscapes. This is one of them where I started to appreciate the result of my learning on how to take a good if not great landscapes.

Birds. They used to wake me up in the morning during my stay in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Manually focused with a pre-AI 200mm lens, I snapped this photo on one of those mornings.

Don’t you just love cats? This is probably one of the sharpest photographs I have.

Old and New. A portrait of my grandma and a kin.

I started 2008 with a willed mind about wedding photography. After shooting 2 weddings, I realized how challenging it is. And it’s quite a hard pill to swallow –since I really thought at the first time I handled a camera that I would be seasoned wedding shooter– that I would less venture into this field. Perhaps, I will still see myself shoot a couple tying the knot, only on special occasions.

The last lens I purchased in 2008 turned out to be my favorite. A pre-AI 105mm f/2.5, it snaps into the mouth of the Nikon D40 well. And it makes me do wonderful photos, with amazing details, sharpness and color.

Rainy days usually put me to sleep. But it’s oftentimes the perfect setting for dramatic composition.

Bird Sanctuary, Candaba, Pampanga. It’s the first shooting trip with my friends from college. They’ve been bitten with shutterbug, so most of them now carry their own guns of singe lens reflex camera and lenses. We were supposed to photograph birds in flight, and steady, of different species and migratory in nature. That was in October, when typhoons and storms lurk the countryside. We were warned by the municipal office of flooding even before boarding the first ride towards the town of Candaba. We didn’t know it was this bad, that the locals have been used with this scenario and having their boats to live.

Less is More.

Mount Pinatubo. It took me almost 4 years to climb a mountain again. And what a sweeter thing to do with a camera on my back to capture images of nature, travel and a trek back to history.

I guess I’m leaning towards as a landscape artist. Before the year ended, we went back and visited my grandma’s place in Canaan West, Nueva Ecija. The place was perfect for a photographer who loves to shoot wide angles. Good weather, fair blue sky, a lot of clouds, vast farmlands, hills and mountains It was one of those events I would like to call superbowl for landscape artists.

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Written by Jervis

January 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

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Greeting the Christmas and welcoming the New Year has never been this fun.

2007 Christmas day, I took this photo of the children around our compound somewhere in Angeles City. It’s really exciting to see these kids enjoy the day! Tradition would let these children visit every house and express homage to every elder, ninong and ninang (god parents) expecting an aguinaldo as a gift for Christmas.

It was my first Christmas with my Nikon D40.

Below is a recent version, but some of the kids in the first photo were not around. I just realize how astonished I am with the outcome and how speedy these children grow up.

See the differences? Several kids were out of the picture because they’ve gone elsewhere while the picture was taken. Although, some new and young faces have emerged, the 2 – one year olds. But the main difference I’d love for you to see is the variance of exposure and white balance. The first was obviously over-exposed and white balance just set to automatic. I’ve come to understand the two terms and the result is properly exposed image and a warmer look.

And what a better way to greet the new year with a first ever family picture!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Written by Jervis

January 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Camera got itself a new home

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It’s the Keystone version of Crumpler. And it’s generously gifted to me by my girlfriend on my nth birthday ^_^

Quite heavy duty and ready for any amount of rugged travel and abuse, it packs a lot of features inside. The first thing I liked about Keystone is its ability to embrace a number of glass and accessories. Keystone, can carry the whole family of my own collection “vintage” film lenses — 55mm micro, 50mm f/1.4, 105mm f/2.5 and 200mm f/4 —  plus the only DX lens I have, the trusty 18-55mm kit. It still has room for the TC but it’s better left in the cabinet since I rarely used it nowadays.

My first bag and almost a year-old bag, the Velocity 7x by Tamrac, can only carry a maximum of 3 lenses, with one fixed on the body. It will still be used on occassions when I only need a couple of lenses. But the Keystone will be their new home when mode is sleeping.

Here are some photos to bat:

"Keystone"

Missing Body by studio_juan on Flickr

"Missing Body"

Keystone by studio_juan on Flickr

"digital.walker"

Written by Jervis

September 27, 2008 at 1:31 am

Wading through Low Light Waters

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AmberOne of the things that I believe a budding photographer should do is to be part of groups of, well, photographers!

The list of reasons can be

^Get to know local people who share the same passion for photography
^Exploring the art through activities and gatherings especially with experienced shutterbugs. Those who’ve been there, done that kind of people are a good sources of priceless tips and information
^The chance to preview and get your hands on other cameras (be it a Nikon or a Canon or even others). That is something you can’t do always in camera stores if you don’t have the intention of buying new and upcoming camera or glass
^Borrow lenses you do not have in your arsenal.

About two weeks ago, I had the first chance to meet with fellow Filipino Nikon shooters. It was a casual meet-up at Il Ponticello (well known as “Ponti”) of club members residing within Makati City. Food and drinks was generously provided by one of Nikon Club PH directors, Arnold Cruz.

I suspected earlier on that the place would be dark, typical of bars and restaurant with fine dining. It was indeed a low-light setting of two tables with dozen photographers exchanging funny stories, serious thoughts on lenses and bodies, and a few more laughs.

There are three notable ways of treating a low light environment.

  1. Arm your camera with a tripod
  2. Strobist
  3. Fast lens

Using a tripod cures the problem of camera shake or more like ‘shaky hands’. Even VR capable glass is not enough to produce pictures of people under dark environment. When a camera is mounted on a tripod, it eases the photographer of being limited to a certain aperture and shutter speed where good exposure is achievable. Some issues that you need to take care of when shooting with a tripod in crowded and small places are space to place it (make sure it won’t disturb other people) and blurry photos if subjects themselves aren’t still. Add to that, the burden to your back if your tripod is bulky and heavy.

Strobist and off camera lighting is a territory I am venturing in the next couple of months. Simply basing my ground to pictures I’m seeing here and here that lighting is more than appropriate in producing stunning low-light images.

My instinct led me to stuff my trusty 50mm f/1.4 AI in the camera bag before the meet. A fast lens for a shaky hands. For newbies, aperture signifies the size of the hole in the lens when the shutter button is pressed. It greatly affects the amount of light entering the sensor while the image is in the process of being exposed. While this lens doesn’t auto-focus on my Nikon D40, I don’t see it as a problem but more of an advantage. So I shot that night with candle-lit tables, bottles of beer and a couple of tips and stories to store in my memory. I also became an official member of the club. Below are some of the photos:

 

Written by Jervis

September 7, 2008 at 9:29 am