Howdy there! Right up to the few days before Christmas, I hoped to get my last couple catch-up posts written up online from Yokohama and Tokyo. Unfortunately for the past six days straight I had work almost the entire day (and evening), so you can imagine all I wanted to do when I made it back to my barracks was sleep! Rest assured, though, the photos aren’t going anywhere soon, and I will work on them upon returning from a two-week hiatus.
Speaking of why I’m taking a break anyway, Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season to all my readers out there, I hope you take note to spend some good time with friends and family, and maybe treat yourself to a little photography gift this year too. C’mon…you know you deserve it! On break I will be photographing and videoing with my new a6500, so we’ll just have to see just what this blocky little camera can do (spoiler: I love it so far…except for it missing Tri-Navi…).
And with that, I leave you with my first photograph to share from the a6500. Actually, it’s 12 photographs stitched together with Lightroom CC, a whopping 87 megapixel file! And if you look a little closely, you may spot a nice little moon “ornament” shining brightly in the center of the tree. Take care guys and gals, I’ll catch you on the flip side. As always, have a great day!
Christmas at the End of Blue Hour
32mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/30, 12 photos stitched
First off, a HUGE thank you to Mike Sims for sending me this brand new optic to test out–especially for allowing me to shoot with it for so long. I can’t do much to thank him except to suggest you check out his Flickr, 500px, and Google+ accounts! Click here for my first impressions of the lens.
IMPORTANT: If you are unfamiliar with my lens review style, please reference this post first!
f/.95. Wow! It goes without saying, but that’s fast for ANY lens. Technically, this aperture delivers over four times as much light to a sensor as a standard 50mm f/2. But let me get this crucial fact out of the way, the Noktor HyperPrime 50mm f/.95 does not give a photographer ultra low-light capabilities as much as the aperture value suggests. Any additional light-gathering power stops at around f/1.2-1.3; wider than that, and an APS-C camera simply doesn’t meter any faster shutter speeds. I have read on multiple forums that this isn’t an uncommon phenomenon. Some photographers, when using a lens with an f/1.2 maximum aperture report that the camera’s metering doesn’t change even from wide-open to f/1.4. A reader has informed me this is due to a documented condition where a sensor’s microlenses cannot transmit any more light to each pixel than that microlens’ f/stop, regardless of the larger lens’ aperture. Keep in mind that in regards to depth-of-field, f/.95 is definitely true–we’ll examine that later.
The Noktor is a lens that doesn’t exactly establish itself as a normal prime: on APS-C, it gives a field of view similar to that of a 75mm f/1.4 lens on 35mm film (if such as lens has ever existed?). In other words, the Noktor is a short portrait prime capable of extremely pleasant subject separation even at a distance. In all honesty, images shot at f/.95 really have that “full-frame” look simply because of this “pop”. But does this very shallow depth-of-field advantage come at a cost? Let’s find out! Continue Reading
If you are unfamiliar with this series, start HERE.
Old, dilapidated, and even dead trees can be an interesting subject for photography. The way mangled and broken-off branches appear in a picture evokes emotions, sometimes of despair or death. An old photograph I’m revisiting, this “before” was shot on a Nikon d40 with a 50mm f/2 AI wide open, at ISO 800 and 1/400 (at the time, I really didn’t know much about exposure, ISOs, sharpness, etc.):
This first snap has many things going against it. For one, the sky is completely blown out (since I foolishly exposed for the tree). Second, due to the aperture choice, detail is low. Finally, there is a lot of noise due to the high ISO (this is an OLD digital camera, ISO 800 is pretty high for it). Once I uploaded it to my computer (I was using iPhoto at the time), I instantly knew what I wanted to bring out of the picture: an artsy dark silhouette set against dynamic clouds in the background with a nice grain drawn-out from the large pixels of a 6 MP APS-C sensor. 10 minutes of tinkering with the sliders and histogram later, I ended up with this:
I can’t really put a definitive title on this one, though I like both “Quoth the Raven” (since there’s a single, small bird on top of the tree) and “Climactic”, so we’ll just go with those two. 🙂
That’s all for this blast from the past guys and gals, thanks for dropping by. As always, have a great day! 😀
There is a photographer I have been following around on DPReview.com for a while now who often posts threads detailing “my mind’s eye”. He tends to take pictures into his own digital darkroom and manipulates them to appear as super punchy, contrasty, and saturated works of art (though much of this is due to his need to print on canvas, where extra saturation, contrast, etc. is needed). I’m often interested in his manipulations, as they tend to not look like anything I personally would have seen (hence his originality) before or after taking the shot. For a frame of reference, he does post both the picture his camera took, before sharing his mind’s edited version.
Being red/green and blue/purple colorblind, I am at a relative disadvantage when it comes to true-to-life photo editing, as what I see is different than what most of the world sees. No, I don’t see in black-and-white (though that would sure make that style of photography easier!), but many times colors appear dull, lack contrast, and are difficult to distinguish from one another. If you have been paying attention to some of my previous posts, many of my edited photographs may appear very punchy and contrasty. Funny thing is to me, those edited pictures appear “normal”. It may not be true-to-life, but the edits I do make to photographs appear to me how I can only wish to see them in real life.
As promised, seen below is a set of four of my favorite “general” photos I have taken over the past month with my NEX-7 (and various lenses). No formal write-up here, just some good ‘ole pictures to enjoy. To see each picture full size, you’re just click away. 🙂
A little bit of street photography:
Pepper that in with a nice old tree landscape:
A nice plum-tree outcrop with a sunset bokeh (white balance altered for this shot). Focus point on the left of the frame.
And finally, to leave you all, a long-exposure shot at night with a monopod focused on a girl practicing Poi with LED lights. Would’ve have done a little better with a tripod, but hey, can’t have everything. 🙂
That’s all for this post folks, thanks for looking. If you want to be updated on future posts from this blog, please follow me, or sign up for e-mail notifications. And as always, have a great day. 😀