After a week in England I took an 8 hour train up to Inverness in northern Scotland. Alison and Bobby Massie were wonderful hosts who took me into their home in Fortrose for my 3 day visit. Here are some photos from our day trip to Inverness, Loch Ness and the Clootie Well and my walk from Fairy Glen and along the Firth of Forth back to Fortrose.
Mitzy and I took a trip to England and Scotland this past May. While Mitzy had arrived a couple of weeks earlier, the first leg of our time together was in Cambridge, along with a jet lagged train ride to Brighton.
Picking the right photo equipment was a tough job but in the end I went with the D700, AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and AF-S 85mm f/1.8G. Too much weight to carry all together for an outing but not bad if I left a lens or two at the flat.
I had a great time this past weekend at the Starlight’s 10th anniversary block party in the parking lot behind the venue. Seven great bands, hundreds of people, great food and probably some beer too. I had my camera with me all day and these are some of my favourites from the 800+ photos I shot.
D700 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G
The 85mm G has a reputation of being one of the sharpest Nikon lenses out there and I see no reason to argue with that. For it’s price it really does a great job with bokeh, sharpness and colours. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
First, the comparison from f/1.8 to f/5.6:
And a few more examples:
Last weekend I had the pleasure of photographing Andrew and Erin’s wedding in Waterloo Park and Victoria Park. The day went off without a hitch, with perfect weather, great people and absolutely fantastic food.
Once I’ve edited my way through the massive number of photos I’ll write a full blog post, but for now I can say this. I have never been happier with the way my equipment performed at a wedding. The D300s + Sigma 50mm f/1.4 combination was an absolute dream when the girls were getting ready early in the day. The D7000 + AF-S 85mm f/1.8 worked flawlessly for portraits later on. Exposure and focus accuracy were at an all time high. Even the white balance was more accurate than normal. Together these are all adding up to a much more pleasurable editing experience than I’m used to.
To celebrate I had some fun playing around with a 50+ shot Brenizer method bokeh panorama of the bride and groom that I took in Waterloo Park with the D7000 and AF-S 85mm f/1.8G. First I’ll show the version that’s close to what I’ll give Andrew and Erin and then a more vintage-y black and white.
On the weekend I did a little photo shoot with Milosz for our new musical project, Catlantis. This particular photo is a bokeh panorama comprised of a full SEVENTY shots with a wide open Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8. My technique for making this kind of image, often known as a Brenizer Method composite, is to set the camera to small JPEG, manual focus, manual exposure and fixed white balance (not AUTO). There’s no need in having a large size JPEG as each shot will only make up a small part of the final. Manual focus, exposure and fixed white balance are important to keep the same look from shot to shot.
I use either Photoshop or Microsoft ICE to do the stitching. ICE seems to handle more complicated stitches better than Photoshop and has a very simple operation where you just drag the series of shots into it and let it run.
So here it is, my biggest Brenizer yet. Shot with the D300s with AF-S 85mm f/1.8G at f/1.8 1/500s ISO 100.
For the second post of my blog-a-day week I’ll share what I consider one of the loveliest spots near Waterloo, the crossing of the Conestogo River on Three Bridges Road. Located just west of St. Jacobs and a short drive from where I work, it’s a great spot to go during lunch or at the end of the day to grab a few shots.
In the summer, the river is shallow and slow-moving. In the late winter and early spring with a heavy melt, it’s a torrent and the low bridge is lost completely beneath the water. Regardless of the seasonal changes, I’m still amazed at how many different types of photos I can get at the same place. It just goes to show that you don’t have to travel far to get great shots (or pretty good shots, at least).
I used a wide range of equipment for these photos. The bodies (Nikon D300s, D7000 and N80, Bronica ETRS) were paired with lenses (Nikon 17-55 f/2.8, Nikon 35 f/1.8, Nikon 60 f/2.8G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.8G, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, Tokina 50-135 f/2.8, Sigma 50 f/1.4, Bronica MC 40 f/4, Bronica EII 75/2.8). On the self portraits I used Nikon SB-700 and SB-900 strobes with CLS control.
I’ll give a prize to the person who gets the most correct gear-to-photo matches!