Every once in a while I have to share some kudos from people who’ve attended our workshops. This last week I was in San Diego running four days of Nikonians Academy classes. Two of the days were on Mastering the Nikon D800 and Nikon D4 cameras. Charlie Silver attended both classes, then went out to a wildlife sanctuary near by to photograph some bids. Here’s a copy of an email he sent with pics from his experience.
I took the 2 D800 workshops with you last week in San Diego. While the sessions were amazingly informative and it was a challenge to process so much important information, I appreciated your patience with the group and your ability to move us along while dealing with MANY individual concerns. Not an easy task. My camera was fairly new to me and I had not yet established any custom profiles nor explored its many features. It had felt somewhat intimidating to get “off” the automated options and shoot in a more precise manner.
I felt encouraged by my experience in the classroom and had scheduled a day of shooting on Saturday before flying home. Karen (classmate) recommended that I explore the Bolsa Chica Estuary in Huntington Beach as I was driving north to meet friends in Irvine. I got there about 1 pm, an admittedly crappy time to shoot as the light was quite harsh. Nonetheless, as the birds were in the water at a fair distance, I hauled out my 70-200 f2.8 (having stupidly left my 200-400 f4 at home) bundled it with a 1.7 teleconverter and, using the one custom profile we established in class, quickly switched to DX format to gain the 1.5 crop factor. Rear focussing was seamless and the 21 point focussing really worked. Of the several hundred shots I took, only a few were slightly out of focus, either because the bird’s eye was so small in the viewfinder that I missed a little, or when some birds took flight unexpectedly and I, not the camera, couldn’t catch up with them. Basically, the focus tracking worked amazingly well. The exposures were relatively good, but the bright white of the egrets did require some compensation in Aperture. I felt much more comfortable with the camera and could really concentrate on observing and composing. Amazingly, my wife almost seemed to appreciate my slideshow, although she’s gotten pretty good at faking it over the years.
You really have wet my appetite for enthusiastic shooting. Thanks so much. I hope that I get to travel and learn from you in Africa, if not next November, then sometime soon thereafter.