This year’s Tanzania Photo Safari was one of the best we’ve ever run. We photographed just about everything possible during our adventure and had a blast along the way.
My kit this year included the brand new Nikon D750 and I’m proud to report that it performed like a champ. This camera is a winner as far as I’m concerned and I kept commenting to my participants how much I enjoyed having it along on the adventure. Highly recommended.
Here are a few pics from the trip. Enjoy!
Each month I give out a GOAL Assignment that is designed to encourage you photographically. The GOAL Assignment for March, 2011 was to create a triptych. Here’s an example from some photographs I took a couple days ago at the Tacoma Museum of Glass which features work from Dale Chihuly.
I took each photo in the series with a Nikon D700 and a Nikon 14-24mm f2.8. I was photographing a fundraiser event called the Chair Affair for a local charity called the NW Furniture Bank. During the event, I stepped outside to shoot some images of the building at dusk in order to add another dimension to my coverage. I’ll detail how I put together the triptych in next month’s newsletter.
One of my favorite things to do on Safari in Tanzania is to photograph the amazing night sky. There is almost zero atmospheric pollution and on clear nights it feels as if you are a part of the cosmos. Here are a few shots of the starry nights in Tanzania.
The above shot is a composite of two images. I exposed the first image for the tent and the shadows. It is lit up so well because there were very small lanterns all around the camp area. To the naked eye, the lighting was incredibly dim. However, when I photographed the scene with a really long exposure, the building burned in and lit up like it was in daylight.
I exposed the second photo in the sequence for the stars using a high ISO and a relatively short exposure. I didn’t want the stars to blur from a long exposure, so I needed to use an ISO of about 3200, aperture of f2.8 and shutter speed about 5 seconds.
Back at my office in the USA, I brought the images into Photoshop to do a little bit of cleanup and white balance fine tuning. My final step was to use Nik HDR Efex Pro to merge them and perform a mild HDR process.
This photo above is from a single shot taken with a Nikon D700. I exposed for the sky which meant that the foreground was almost completely black. Since the shot was taken in 14 bit RAW, I knew I could brighten the foreground with the right digital tool set. I used Nikon Capture NX2 and and four Control Points to gently brighten the foreground.
This green colored sky is the result of an image I took with my Nikon D700 at Ngorongoro Crater. I’m still not quite sure why the sky has this interesting color cast, but I love the result. The shot was taken at ISO 6400 and the exposure time was about 5 seconds long.
Sometimes the clouds get in the way of your night photography (above). In these cases, take the photo anyways! You might just be surprised with the final pic.
I’m really having a good time with Nik Software’s new Silver Efex Pro 2 and HDR Efex Pro. I’m loving how the software renders scenes so beautifully and with so little effort on my part. The original color photo was processed from three exposures in HDR Efex Pro. Then, I converted the image to black and white in the beta version of Silver Efex Pro 2.
I took the image a few months ago on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, USA. There is a really neat tide pool area called Tongue Point, about an 45 minutes out of Port Angeles, WA. The afternoon light was absolutely beautiful and the clouds just amazing.
You’ve heard this from me many times before … always bring a camera with you. Always!
Taking a camera with you everywhere you go keeps your mind sharp and always thinking about photography. It keeps you actively engaged in the visual world. More importantly, it keeps you alert to the possibility of creating a great image.
I work hard to make sure I always have a camera with me, whether its a full-frame SLR or a small point and shoot. There are all kinds of opportunities that crop up in life that can only be captured when you have a camera. Sometimes just a pretty photo presents itself. Other times, a business opportunity will crop up. Other times, you can take a simple photo as a favor for other people.
Take a look at the photo examples below. These images weren’t planned and they all happened when I was just “out and about.”
This image of the halo around the sun was taken earlier this year during a family trip to the Washington Coast. We were on our way home when my wife, kids and I noticed this beautiful halo. I stopped the minivan, grabbed my Nikon D700 and 14-24mm lens, then snapped a couple pics.
Last week I went to lunch with another local nature photographer up in Paulsbo, Washington. I didn’t have any photo plans, but I decided to take along my Canon G9 point and shoot camera. I found this great motorcycle down by the docks and snapped a pic. Back at my office, I converted the photo to black and white in Photoshop using the Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in.
Two days ago, the high school youth group was preparing to leave for a mission trip to Panama. The team wanted an official send off photo, so I volunteered to snap a few pics for the group. All I had was a point and shoot, but the photo came out great. I shared the photo with everyone and now they have an image that will last forever as a memento of their incredible journey.
Bring you camera with you everywhere you go and you’ll always be ready to capture great image of life.
The May 2010 Out There Images, Inc. newsletter is posted over at the main site. Here’s the link:
This month, I’ve written articles on using wide angle lenses and also on creating catchlights in your subject’s eyes. There are a few more interesting tidbits in the newsletter as well. Enjoy!
I’ve been down in the Orlando area for a few days getting ready to run some workshops for the Nikonians Academy. Unfortunately, the weather has been pretty bad. Actually, let me rephrase that. The weather has been wonderful for capturing images from a hotel room. Torrential downpours, rain, mist, and more rain.
So, rather than not take images at all, I decided to see what I could do from my hotel room while I worked away on a book I’m tech editing for Wiley & Son’s Publishing. One of my photographic mantras is that if you go somewhere to take photos of flowers, and the flowers aren’t happening, then photograph what is happening. In this case, lots and lots of rain.
I set up my Nikon D700 with my 14-24mm f2.8 and started shooting away. I focused the camera on the drops of rain on the window and purposely blurred the trees in the background. A perfect photo to represent a perfect rain storm.
In South Maui, there is a little known area called La Perouse Bay that is absolutely beautiful. A lava flow from 1790 touches the beautiful Pacific Ocean as waves crash against the rugged landscape. This area has fast become one of my favorite spots for photography on Maui. If you are patient, you can sometimes see spinner dolphins resting in the bay just beyond where this photo was taken.
I photographed this image yesterday with a Nikon D700 and a 14-24mm f2.8 lens. I processed it in Nikon Capture NX 2 using a Nik Filter called Tonal Contrast which helped me bring out the clouds in the sky.