Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How To Screw Up A Photo Shoot - Method 1

My main camera is a Nikon D700. I love it. Especially the auto focus feature. Most of the time.

One problem. It has three settings; manual, continuous and single.

I like to use the single setting. That way I can focus on an object, hold the shutter release button halfway down, recompose, and know that the important subject will be sharp in the final image.

But it’s easy - real easy - to accidentally move the selector lever to continuous. Which mens that the autofocu is working whenever the shutter release button is pressed. Thus, when I think the prime subject is sharp, it may well not be. Case in point below.

Lesson learned; check ALL those little switches and levers all the time.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cockshut Time

This evening, October 26, 2012, we enjoyed a most pleasant opportunity of sundowners on the swing on the back deck in a balmy temperature exceeding 22C  (about 70F) as darkness approached.

   "Cockshut time" is that final few minutes between twilight and dark when woodcock fly low to the ground, or soar over the poplar trees.

  Theories abound, but none are proven.

  The phenomenon is observed most often in spring, during the mating season when the birds exhibit their unique melodic mating dance performance - and again in autumn, when the length of daylight matches that of the spring mating period and the birds behave, once again, as in spring, as so many other birds do at that time, particularly owls and grouse.

   In Europe, at one time, the birds were netted at this time, and various dictionaries erroneously applied the term cockshoot to the net itself, and claimed that the proper spelling was cockshut, believing that the word referred to something which shut in the birds.

   From this came the phrases cockshut time or light, referring to evening twilight, or nightfall, when woodcock are likely to fly in the open. This alternate spelling is now more prevalent than the original, though usually occurring as in the previously-mentioned phrase, or as a surname, than as a reference to the original, obsolete hunting practice.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

   Most of the oak and maple leaves are now on the ground, but that doesn't mean the opportunity for some fine fall colour photos is over.
   Look down.
   Tip:  Flat lighting while the leaves are still wet just after a rain produces brighter, more saturated colours.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Show The World A Bit Differently

OR - fun with a WA lens.

Here's a fun project (I hope you'll find it fun) that should illustrate how to make some interesting images using your wide angle lens.

Use the widest lens you have - 24mm will do, something even shorter you may find even more interesting.  (The images below are a few snaps made behind my house this morning with a 17mm lens.)

Turn off the automatic focus if your camera has AF.  Set the lens at it's widest aperture.  Set the focus at the closest focus point on the lens.

Take a walk and make some images - do it by focusing ONLY by moving the camera until the nearest object in the field of view is sharp.

Lemme know if you had fun, and got any new ideas.

Here are my images for today:

BTWay, these images have had no manipulation, other than opening as single-image hdr and overall sharpening./

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Little Colour Can Help A Lot

Sometimes just a touch of colour can add the accent that makes a favourite photo sparkle.  Image of the Upper Bonnechere River, Ontario.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Week In The Woods

My son and I are away for a week in the Upper Bonnechere Valley of Ontario with a fine bird dog, couple of shotguns and some good reading - which we'll likely need, given the atrocious predictions of the weatherman.

Really looking forward to making toast on the top of an old kitchen wood stove and sharing a drink with our good friends Mary Lou and Jack Turner.