Nikkor

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I took the time to head back to Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP), in Philadelphia, PA, this time with my Nikon D700,  my super wide-angle lens, the Nikkor 14-24, and my trusty Really Right Stuff tripod.  Admittedly, that kit is significantly heavier than rolling with just my iPhone, which I’ve been doing for many months now, but I think ESP is one of those places that justifies the hassle.  I’ve got a few other shots I’ll post over time, including one of Al Capone’s cell (he was a “guest” at ESP in 1929, for those of you who may not know).

Empty on the Inside

Yesterday, during a conversation with a dear friend here in Redding, California, we talked a bit about lives transformed.  He observed that, having met me and talked with me when I first arrived in Redding, back in July, he would never have guessed that I was anything but happy and fulfilled.  Truth be told, I informed him, I was “happy” on the outside, but pretty hollow inside.  My passions in life, of which I had many, were not where they needed to be.  That all changed in Redding, thankfully, and I’m a different man today.  All I had taken for granted, I now cherish, while all the things I “thought” I loved have taken their rightful place (either gone, forever, or refined).  I suppose my message to all of you reading this, during this season, is that I urge all of you to take stock of your lives.  Are your passions where they should be?  Is there someone out there you may have taken for granted for far too long?  I’m pretty sure you know the answer to those questions, given a little thought.  What you do with that truth is up to you!

Buck Wild!

Kenya is chock full of DLTs (that would be deer-lke things), and one of my favorites is the water-buck, pictured here.  Usually you’ll find these roaming around grassy plains and such, but I had never encountered one near or on the water.  This fella was about knee deep in Lake Naivasha, where we also came across LOTS of hippos.  What with the name water-buck and fact that he is actually hanging out in the lake, this has to be my favorite “environmental portrait” shots of one of these magnificent creatures.  We were in a long-boat when I shot this with the D700 and Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR set to 180mm.  Sure was cool to get so close to this guy and have him look up at me in time for the shot, though the boat was also moving (slowly) when I shot this.

Meet Junior!

While we were in Kenya, we took some time to visit the two wonderful Kenyan my daughters sponsor through the great organization, Compassion.  While visiting one of those children, Philes, in the village of Kiima Kiu, we met one of Philes’ friends, Junior.  When I saw him enjoying a small Cadbury chocolate bar by the wonderfully colored and textures door and wall, I asked if it was okay to take a picture.  I sure was glad he let me take this, as I think it came out pretty well.  I promised I’d send a copy once it was finished, which I’ll have to do through Compassion; sure hope he likes it.

Beautiful Noise

Warning!  Warning! Warning!  I love all kinds of music, from ABBA to ZZ Top and almost everything in between.  Ok, you’ve been warned, so let’s move on!  Today’s shot comes courtesy of… wait for it…  Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise!  I warned you!  Anyway, I love that song, and admit it, you do too.  And, it it fits nicely with what I want to tell ya’ll today.  NOISE (whether in some new music you may never have heard, or thought you’d care to hear, or in a digital photograph) can actually be good. I should note that I am basing this on my own observations when shooting with my Nikon D700, which renders, to my eyes at least, a wonderful, almost organic noise in high ISO images.  Take today’s image as an example (only ISO 1100, by the way).  I almost feel like I shot this with film, natural, tactile, textured, organic grain!  I love it!  To help you better see the quality of the noise the D700 produces, I’ve included some tight crops of the photograph below the main picture (don’t ask me if they are 100 % crops, ’cause I still don’t know what that means, though I suppose I should figure that out if I’m post crops on the ‘net.  I just cropped it in tight enough to show you the noise.  By the way, I shot this on my cluttered study desk, in very low light, using the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G.  Love that lens!

Nikon D700 with Nikkor 50mm f 1.4G, shot at f/1.4, ISO 1100, 1/60 sec.

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