Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Slow Photography?

One of my favorite trees (it has a beard just like mine) - picture taken at f3, 1/1000 and ISO 160 with the Nikon P-300. I had been planning this shot for weeks. I made a couple drive by's to check on the light at varying times of the day. That's the good thing about landscapes and such. They don't generally move or go anywhere so you have time to plan your shot - slow photography! Seems silly to take that long to set up and take a picture of a tree that's probably been there 50 years and then use a 1/1000 shutter speed but that is what the camera's automatic mode selected. I probably would have used f/8 at 1/125 because most lenses are at their best at around f8.

I also shot this same image with my new Pentax ZX-30 and some Velvia 100 and will share that with you as soon as I finish the roll and get the film back. It will be interesting to compare the results of the Pentax with the Nikon P-300.

The older I get the more I am into "slow!" I hate rushing around and prefer to just take my time with most things. Imagine my surprise when I ran across an article about slow photography! It really is not so much slow photography as it is methodical purposefull photography. You know, the way we used to do it back in the days before digital.

Don't get me wrong. Digital is great at least for some things. I especially like it for portraits and photographs of groups. How many times have you tried to take a picture of a group of people and everyone was looking at the camera and everything looked great so you took your shot only to find out afterwards that someone had blinked and had their eyes closed in the photo.

It's a lot easier with digital to take several shots and generally get at least one with everybody's eyes open. Still, for everything else I confess I prefer the old ways. Even with digital I like to plot and plan my shots. Rather than just taking a bunch of pictures and hoping that one will be a keeper (that seems to be the norm with digital) I prefer waiting until the right moment, when everything is right and taking one shot. That's the the old fashioned film photography way.

Yeah, yeah, even with film we bracket when necessary but we don't take a dozen photos to get one keeper out of the bunch. With film I generally take one shot, sometimes two, three at the most and only when bracketing or shooting a truly difficult composition. With digital I will generally take several shots - just to be sure. It's a completely different mindset & philosophy of photography.

 Anyway, here's the link if you want to read the whole article at the "Film Photography Project" web site. Good stuff. I heartily recommend it.

SPR: Slow Photography Rebellion! | Film Photography Project

Monday, October 29, 2012

Oktoberfest Cameras!

What do you do at Oktoberfest when “The Chicken” is right there posing for you in front of the stage and all you have at hand is the camera in your cell phone? You use what you have that’s what you do. Thankfully, that is not really too much of a sacrifice since cell phones these days tend to have pretty decent cameras. This photo was taken using my Samsung Galaxy III S.

The rest of these photos were taken with my Nikon P-300. This little gem has become my go to camera for “Street Photography” and generally anything else that happens when I am not actually planning a “photo shoot” or where I just happen to see something begging to be immortalized in my photo archives. This is generally just because it is so small and compact that it’s easy to carry around.

This shot was taken at f3.3, 1/1250 and ISO 160, selected automatically by the camera. The beauty of this little camera is that is takes really great photos with little or no help from me but it has full manual controls if I need or want to “take the wheel.”  One of the features I like best is that in “P” or Program mode there is a little “thumb wheel” conveniently located just behind the shutter button that when turned holds the selected EV but allows you to quickly & easily choose different combinations of aperture & shutter speed with the same EV – literally allowing you to “take the wheel!”  

Here’s another taken at about the same settings except that f4 was chosen for the aperture. This of course, is all in keeping with my latest conviction to spend more time actually taking pictures and less time worrying about what equipment I use to do it. As I have said before, most cameras these days (yes, even the one in your cell phone) actually do a pretty good job taking pictures.

And yet here’s another, this one taken at f5, 1/800, and ISO 160. Now this doesn’t mean I have totally given up my quest for the perfect camera. Although I have to admit the Nikon P-300 is pretty close to perfect. 

Finally, with the sun almost completely gone and the lights starting to take over where the sun left off I took this shot at f2.8, 1/30. and ISO 200. There is just enough blur in the foreground to let you know that the children were dancing while the musicians and stage are sharp and clear. Frankly, had I set everything manually I don’t think I could have done any better than what this camera did on Auto. How can it get any better than to have a camera that reads your mind and takes the picture you wanted to take for you?

If only I could find such a camera with a full size sensor? Even one with an APS-C sensor would be truly amazing. Stay tuned. The technology is already there. I think there may be one in the not too distant future.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

2012 Baton Rouge CHEF Patriot Seniors


The Baton Rouge CHEF Patriots started the Play-Off season with a home game at Olympic Stadium against their rival, The New Orleans Home School Saints. The 2012 Seniors were introduced to the home team crowd at half time with their families and the Patriots went on to defeat the Saints 50 to 6. Here's the photos from the half-time shoot.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oldies but Goodies!

Here’s a photo from my granddaughter Rachael’s first birthday. I have no idea what camera was used but the film was generic store brand 400 ASA color film and although it was exposed almost 12 years ago (Rachael will be 13 in a few weeks), I just had it developed last week.

Here’s another one with her eating her very first Birthday Cake!

I love finding old exposed film that you never know what’s on it or how old it is. Maybe I’m just getting old but it seems like there are fewer and fewer surprises anymore and we never seem to wait for anything. It’s all about instant gratification. One of the cool things about film is the waiting to see what you captured on the film. Waiting 12 years is a little much I’ll admit but it’s still exciting to find an old roll of film and have to wait and wonder what’s on it.

Of course The Darkroom (the lab I use) does all they can to minimize the wait. It usually takes only a day or two to get there (in the mail) and they generally post the scanned pictures on their web site the next day. It takes another couple days to get the film, prints & the CD back but by then I have already looked at and downloaded the scans from the web site.

These photos are a bit grainy (probably due to the cheap high speed film and God only knows what camera I used) but not too bad considering the film had to wait 12 years to be processed.