21 Aug 2013

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF-S G is my new Favourite Portrait Lens!

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while would have noticed that I really like the Nikon 50mm F1.8D on DX camera as a portrait lens, in fact it was my "go to" lens for several years when I needed to take portrait photos. This portrait was taken with the 50mm. I have not changed my opinion that the "nifty fifty" is a really nice lens for portraits, but the designation of "favourite" has now been reassigned to the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF-S G!

After several months of use I can say with full confidence that I highly recommend it as a head and shoulders portrait lens. The quality of the out of focus areas is sublime, and is only bettered by lenses costing at least two or three times as much. (The 50mm f1.8D is 4x cheaper than this 85mm, so if you are on a tighter budget then it still ranks right up there!)

The pic shown here is taken at f8.0 (on a Nikon D300s) and the background is still pleasingly blurred while beautifully sharp on the subject which isolates the subject from the background very nicely, thank you very much!

If you are from Malmö in Southern Sweden, then I highly recommend you get your own copy from Scandinavian Photo. They have it listed here: Nikon AF 85/1,8G AF-S Please note, I am not employed by or paid by Scandinavian Photo, but when I get great and friendly service from a company then I love to tell my friends about it! Tell them I sent you. :^)

16 Aug 2013

Is the Decline of Camera Sales Good For Photographers?

I have read a lot lately about the declining sales of dslr and mirrorless cameras in favour of phone cameras that have boomed onto the markets in an undeniable fashion. Apparently the major camera manufacturers are scrambling to revise their targets and adjust their production and bottom lines to better reflect the current market trend. I predict that this trend will continue and that we will see a partial return to pre digital camera times when Joe Public carried small, easily portable cameras and the big cameras were left to "pros" and serious amateurs.

The cameras embedded into every smartphone are now good enough to produce nice results for the average person to get acceptable photographs without having to take an expensive course and be able to directly load the results to Facebook, Blogger, etc. Convenience always wins with the consumer public majority!

Could I now also predict a possible upturn for photography as a profession as more people decide that they would rather have a pro with a big camera take their wedding photos than Uncle John with his shiny new camera that has detachable lenses and a big flash simply because Uncle John ditched the inconvenient to carry around and use camera and now only has a Samsung S4 instead?

My theory is that as fewer people have dslr's they will come to rely on someone else, possibly the local high street professional, for their serious photography needs again. I surmise that this transition will take time to become apparent because it takes a while for these things to trickle through, but maybe the pendulum has peaked to the top of it's swing and is about to swing back.

Anybody fancy a quick look into their crystal ball and see if I'm right, or if maybe I'm just a hopeful dreamer? Haha!

Meanwhile back on Planet Earth...

15 Aug 2013

Downtown Fredensborg - Deserted

Taken at 23:03 at night and totally deserted it's almost eerie, but great for taking photographs. At this time of night there was still enough light in the sky to balance nicely with the street lights and end up with a single shot containing a wide gamut of fairly even exposure. This sort of photography always requires a tripod as we have to deal with longish exposures and hand holding is impossible without getting a blurry and unusable photo. Tripod = sharp and clear. Get a good sturdy tripod, it'll do wonders for your photographs!

Most people shoot until the sun goes down and then they head indoors for dinner. I try to hang around for an hour or two (or more) after sunset to get this sort of light. It can make for long, cold, hungry evenings, but it gets pictures that very few people are willing or able to take simply because they lack the dedication and commitment to suffer a little inconvenience to get the photo they really want. But then maybe I'm a little too obsessive about these things? ;-)

Nikon D300s, Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 VR, sturdy tripod, remote trigger, f10.0, 13.0s, 18mm, VR off, ISO 200, Auto White Balance, Matrix Metering, Aperture Priority, quick run through Dx0 Optics Pro 8, and then some adjustments in the curves tool of PSP X5.

5 Aug 2013

Using the Sun as part of your Lighting Setup

I like to treat the Sun as an integral part of my outdoor lighting setups to add depth, warmth and ambiance to my subject. In this instance we were shooting some portraits down at the beach in Landskrona and the setting sun was giving a beautifully soft and warm light that was just perfect for portraits!

The light from the Sun is coming from near the horizon to camera right and I also have a Nikon sb700 on a pole shooting through a smallish brolly to camera left and a little above the subject. I had my assistant holding the flash and I let the Sun take care of itself. ;-)

Nikon D300s, Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G, 1/320s, f2.8, ISO 200, flash triggered via Nikons wonderful CLS wireless triggering system, hand held.

3 Aug 2013

Portrait on a Bridge

Nikon sb700 Speedlight on a pole shooting through a smallish Elinchrom shoot through umbrella to camera left and triggered via Nikon's super CLS wireless trigger system. Nikon D90 on manual mode at 1/60s, f7.1, ISO 200, handheld, with the wonderful Nikkor AFS 35mm DX f1.8 lens attached.

Taken on a bridge over the moat at the Landskrona Citadel shortly after sunset.