Monday, July 1, 2013

Comeback Kid

After a long hiatus I'm back. Completed my grad school coursework and can now refocus my energies on photography and archaeology once again. 

On the photography end of things, I have recently fell in love with the nikon e-series lenses. Made in the 70's and 80's for a cheap li e of aperture priority only cameras, their quality compared to today's offerings from nikon is amazing. Both in terms of quality of workmanship (metal parts) and sharpness, theses lenses offer a great option for the budget minded photographer at around $50 a pop because nikon made so many of them. I have found myself leaving my expensive AF lenses at home and venturing out more and more often with my 50mm 1.8 and my new (to me) 28mm 2.8. Both take amazing photos, and coupled with the d7000's ability to handle non-CPU lenses, I can finally stop guessing at exposure. 

On the archaeology end, I am finally back working in the field for real once again for an environmental services firm named SWCA. Our current main project is a wind farm near Rawlins WY being built to supply power to Nevada. I'm just coming off of an almost month long session in this gorgeous area. 

These developments have given me the energy to re-devote myself to this blog in the hopes of pushing myself forward photographically. I hope everyone will enjoy what I'm doing, and feel free to drop a line if you have any questions or suggestions!










Tuesday, July 12, 2011

California

Here are some of my pics from my trip to CA a few weeks ago. I went to attend an immersive on digital photography for archaeology at the Center For Digital Archaeology (CODA) (http://www.codifi.info/) and do some work on my thesis. I had a great time during the immersive and afterwards the instructor Michael and his Wife were kind enough to let me stay with them while Michael and I worked on my thesis stuff. During this time I got to do more photography than I have been able to in almost a year and here are a few samples. More to come!








Monday, June 13, 2011

Aerial Photography

So I recently figured out how to make photos taken out of the shitty plastic windows on a standard commuter jet somewhat passable.  This was great because following an experience several years ago I had all but given up.  However, upon returning from LA a week or two ago (its tough to remember with the end of the quarter happening at the same time) I discovered some adjustments in camera RAW that remove a good majority of the haziness.

Setting out this morning, I resolved to try Aerial photos again.  Throughout the 2-3 hour flight to Oakland I shot whenever something caught my eye out the window.  its a shame that the flight path didn't go over southern Utah, but I think I got some decent stuff.  One thing I was proud of was that I was able to photograph features that I could either recognize or later geo-refference (coordinates next to each photo's name/description.  if you copy/paste into Google maps you will see the photographed feature)













Denver    39.742359,-105.004807













Golden, CO   39.756903,-105.222988

















Dillon, CO  39.630191,-106.044016


Other places, mostly in California but I have no idea where.








Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First real attempt at a night exposure

So I've been wanting to do real night exposures for awhile now, but my camera has always hampered me as it can only do 30 sec exposures maximum before going to bulb.  The problem was that to get exposures that werent too dark I would have toopen my apeture all the way and/or jack the ISO values, both of which created a fair ammount of grain, something that as a sharpness junkie I am firmly against.  So, since I actually was not in school for this week I went and blew the cash on a cable release which would allow me to do longer exposures and actually went out to do some photos.  "Hey" I said, "maybe I'll even do a blog post."


This ended up being either a 13 or a 20 min exposure at F8 with ISO set at 200.  The higher f-stop and low ISO value again designed to minimize grain, but the guy at the camera store said 400 would really be okay.  I may try this agian at 400, besides, I wanted to get some stars in there.




Sunday, December 5, 2010

Editing competition 1

The paintball forum that I am on is having a little editing contest in the photography sub-forum:  http://www.mcarterbrown.com/forums/photography/142396-editing-competition-1-a.html

Here is my submission for the first go-around:

Before:

After:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ægypt backlog part 1

After a long-ish hiatus I finally had a day off where I decided to sit down and do some work.  Here is a few images from Ægypt that hadn't made it online before I left:

OMG!  An agricultural field that isn't just corn or soybeans!  I had to get a picture of this...





 
A little Zen-type Setup G-Grizz and I created on a walk we took w/ Seth and Jen to the great Wadi.
Seth Hurries to get his Op map finished before we leave Abydos....
The apartments across the street from the hotel on our last night in Cairo.


Friday, June 4, 2010

New lenses

So this is a little backwards, but as I said in the last post, I was excited to process photo from my trip to the suburbs so this took a back-seat.  While still in Egypt I started to grow dissatisfied with my zoom lens due to a number of factors.  I had started to notice the sharpness I wanted wasnt always there, and I realized that whenever I was using my zoom, I was either shooting at 17mm or 50mm, nothing in-between.  Since the project had Nikon lenses I got a chance to try out some primes for the first time in my life and I found what I had been looking for.  I returned home and decided to off-load my flash unit that I never used and my zoom lens (which I still very much liked mind you) for 3 new lenses; a 20mm 1:2.8, a 55mm 1:3.5 micro(macro, Nikon is weird), and a 50mm 1:1.4.  Thus far I have recieved and used my 20mm (see last post), my 55mm, and my 50mm is on its way in the mail as we speak.

The greatest thing hands down about primes I believe is that it makes you a better photographer by limiting you to a certain focal length, which makes you deal with distance to the subject on a whole different level.  If you can't get close/far enough you either have to abandon the shot, or are forced to find a new way to make it work, something that zoom lenses don't really hold you to.

The quality and sharpness is really amazing too.  As long as you are mindful of the effects of diffraction fixed-focal-length name-brand lenses made by the camera companies are the way to go.  while third-party lenses can introduce AF problems, ones produced by Nikon for use on a Nikon body work wonders, and the less glass and distance the light has to travel through really make for a better image IMO.

Here are some images I shot fairly soon (often the very day) upon receiving my 55mm and then my 20mm lenses.

55mm 1:3.5 Micro
My trusted 17-50...you will be missed....

20mm 1:2.8