Friday, March 27, 2009

Wild Horses of Eminence

On a recent trip to Eminence, Missouri I got to see two of the three wild horse heards roaming that county. The herds are federally protected and have been around for decades. The first heard I saw had nine members, the other one had around 18.

The three herds stay in the same general area, but it's a big enough that a little bit of luck and/or persistence is needed to see them.

Photo taken with the Canon Digital Rebel and Canon's 300 mm lens. ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/320 sec.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

CRAWFORD'S Building Entrance

Which city is known as the Athens of the Midwest?  Why, that would be our own St. Louis.  Architecture students the world over come here to view our town's past glories.  The old Crawford's building is the new home to Art St. Louis.  This photo is a section of the wonderful dome over the entrance, taken in available darkness, lit by orange sodium vapor street light bouncing off the sidewalk.
Technical: Nikon D700, 50mm f1.8D, ISO 1600, f/2.0 @ 1/20s hand held.  RAW file processed in Lightroom 2, using Nikon Camera Neutral calibration and color temp adjustment to 2000K.  

Skull Study #3

I've been shooting tests with the AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f2.8 D to see if I can make it work for portraits on the D700.  Where 85mm is the theoretical perfect focal length for portraits on DX format cameras, I like the slight additional flattening effect of the 105mm.  Most of the time I like a very shallow depth of field for portraits, which in turn makes bokeh an important consideration.  

From 1975 until 1984, most of my 35mm beauty shots were through an ancestor lens, the Micro-Nikkor 105mm f4.0s, which is razor sharp and has pretty good bokeh.  Like all Micro-Nikkors, however, it is little tiresome to because the effective aperature drops dramaticly when focusing closer than twelve feet.  I switched to a vintage Leica M2 and a Leitz 90mm f2.8 Elmarit, which seriously raised my appreciation for the contribution a velvety bokeh makes to a portrait.  

The bokeh in this picture is moderately harsh, I think.  At least, it isn't as objectionable as I predicted based on earlier highlight tests.  I'll be looking for portrait volunteers for additional tests... 

Technical: Nikon D700, ISO 200, AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f2.8 D, f/5.6 @ 1/90s, available window light, hand held.  Processed in Lightroom 2 with Mike Lao's "300" preset as a starting point.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bust of Hygia, 300 B.C.

I've been meaning to shoot this bust for years and the opportunity finally presented itself.  Nikon D700, ISO 200, 105mm f2.8 Micro Nikkor, f/3.3 @ 1/350 second.  Processed using Lightroom 2 to adjust color and crop.