Walking about it’s clear even though I don’t think it’s spring yet the plants do. Cherry blossom is out, many of the streets in the city are bursting with the profound pink that Cherry blossom throws forth. Also the Magnolia in the area are starting to blossom. Magnolia fascinates me because it seems that depending…
Very close to home the last couple of weeks, but did have a chance to experiment with the Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D quite a bit. It’s a wonderful little lens and still does remarkably well on the D810. It’s sharper than the Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D but I wouldn’t say hugely so considering the few hundred dollars difference in price. Value for money, the Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D at just over a $100 (AU) is probably hands down winner of all the Nikkor lenses. It’s a great little lens that will go in your pocket easily and takes great shots. It’s just a simple thing made well. It’s not perfect, but for the price it’s unjustified to complain. If you have the budget the 1.4 gives you better shots, but those hundreds extra could go towards something else if you have the Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D. that said, Mina (featured image) was shot with the Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D. But one of my favourite shots of Tigga was with the Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D as was the little tweeter underneath. Also the self portrait I use for my business cards was shot with the Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D. It’s easy to see why the 50mm prime receives such reverence.
While visiting Andrew the other weekend I happened to be graced with Mina modelling herself on the kitchen table when I arrived. I was allowed a few shots before she decided that she’d done enough work, and wandered off to sleep on the window sill. Along with practising with the Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D I’ve begun to experiment with Lens Filters. I’m really appreciating the benefits such accessories bring to my photography. Of course these aren’t the only experiments going on at the moment, but more on that in a later post.
Well this evening I’ve upgraded my Paypal to a business account, and purchased a WordPress theme that I can host for my own online store complete with e-commerce integration. Obviously this is for the Photography not I.T. Should get it up and running this week. This saves me the hassle of having to code and fit’s within my existing System Architecture. I can host it myself or host it anywhere.
This is a demo: Darkroom 2 theme for Photocrati. These are obviously not my photographs. But you can click through to get an idea how the site will function.
When it’s up, http://shardsofarcadia.com/ will no longer redirect to Idyllic Moments in Time: Shards of Arcadia | How I’d like it to be… but be it’s own entity and allow e-business via Paypal & Credit Card.
Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours shooting Sundew that I have growing (natively) up the back of the yard. I’ve always been fascinated by Carnivorous Plants, and although Sundew aren’t as “notorious” as Venus Flytraps, or Pitcher Plants, they’re just as interesting. I think I’m very lucky to have these fascinating plants growing in my backyard “as is” mostly all year around. Not sure I’ve noticed them flowering every year though, but I guess they must.
These ones seem to have only a single flower at a time or possibly one only each time they flower (currently not sure). I believe this one to be Drosera Rosulata “giant” ( white flowers ), and I’m fairly certain the critters around the Stamen are Mites.
These were a good opportunity for the “Stacking” technique I’m using at times, as they are extremely low to the ground, so tend not to move even in a mild breeze. Of course there’s always the chance that the lighting levels can change drastically and quickly at this time of years, but I hoped to get around that by a higher number of shots with more overlap of DoF. That allowed me to drop several if I needed to because the light wasn’t consistent.
Although this shot had preliminary work in Lightroom (Ver. 6) it was then exported and worked on in Helicon Focus before being finally finished off in DXO (just to make you happy Stefan) which I’ve not used much yet. I think it’s come up quite well.
A few hours walking along the side of a road not far from home offers a range of Fungi different from the Chalet de Darriwell. Quite a few I’ve not seen before.
Armed with my new CamRanger, the trusty Nikon Micro 200mm F4, D600, mini tripod and iPad, I took a jaunt up Fisken’s Road on the suggestion of a Neighbour. I wasn’t disappointed (see Flora), I can easily spend another trip there just as enjoyably. I was treated to a variety of new Fungi, most of it Mushrooms. Late Autumn and early Winter can be just as “fruitful” as Summer.
Here’s a couple of shots done using the Focus Stacking technique not by hand, but rather using the Camranger & it’s associated software for the iPad. Click on each to see a better resolution for the photo.
From one side trying to pickup the back curl.
From another side trying to follow the curve along the gills.
Unfortunately for this mushroom, seconds after I finished shooting, it was broken in half by two furbags, one in hot pursuit of the other. All in fun, but not fun for the poor old fungi!
Well I was up serious about an early morning shoot to get back into the swing of things with a tryout of the Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 lens. But after a 5 minute wander outside at 05:30 I decided my cold infested lungs that felt like I had razor blades & ball bearings in the bottom of them were not up to the challenge. I’d stay inside and come up with something else. So I decided to do what I’d been intending to do all week since the arrival of said addition to the kit. This was create a new car kit, and review everything since I’d originally put it together as quite a few things have changed.
Gone is the D3100 that was tucked in there, I gave that away to a friend a couple of months ago after getting the D810. The D7000 now becomes the all reliable “yes you have a camera in the car”! It’s had a sensor clean, and I’ve given it the small backpack I was using as I’ve recently purchased a new manfrotto pack with more room for the larger lenses I’ve gained over recent times. So it was a shuffle of camera, lenses, cards, batteries, flash, remotes, and other peripheral gear between small pack, vest for other gear, and some for the larger back.
The D600 got a sensor clean, it’s needed one for a while, but finding quality cleaning gear cheaply is not easy. However it came up magnificently again, and is shooting as it did when I bought it. Those who know about the D600 know it was notorious very quickly for a defect where lubricant collected on the sensor. I had hoped I’d bought from a batch where the problem had been “silently” fixed as Nikon seems to be somewhat fond of doing in recent times. But in the last couple of months it seemed not so at some point it was going to require regular cleaning. I’ll see how it goes, it’s still a great camera despite this manufacturing defect. I took a chance, I was aware of the issue, and it seemed like as time went on your chances of getting one that didn’t have the issue seemed better. But that’s the crumbling cookie as they say. Anyway after the clean I had just enough light to run a quick test of the Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 and see what I was paying for in a big way.
And the attached Tiggakat is a nice start.
Wild and erratic temperatures, and from calm to gust in minutes. “Old Man” Winter is not far away, but there are “strands” of time standing still.
I have nothing to add that this photo doesn’t say without me.
Well I know I will pull better with this as I go, but I will definitely say I’m happy with the Glass. My Nikkor AF Micro 200mm F4D IF-ED arrived yesterday. It’s going to prove magnificent with more practise. The focus is wonderful and sensitive, feels responsive and solid. A pity I was lacking subjects today, light a bit on the poor side while I was trying to get used to it.
Still I was lucky enough to see some native bees, Nomia I think, out the front yard for something different. Challenging shoot though because the little fellows were continually moving. I had to open the aperture enough to be able to get a high enough shutter to freeze the action, and balance precariously on the tripod to be close enough to make it worth the shot!