Gaff Tape - A Street Photographer's Tool

One of the biggest things I get asked when shooting street photography is if people are ok with me shoving a camera in their face. Many people don't understand the concept of candid yet non creepy photography. Once I try to explain that I'm not always trying to get my subjects attention but am more interested in the activity of their lives, many people find it funny to paint a word picture making me look like a total creep in a trench coat taking photos of people looking some private eye or worse depending on how crude they decide to describe the act. Though I usually laugh it off, I most always have to explain that street photography (at least to me) is more about daily life and capturing life that has nothing to do with celebrities or a major current event. 

In fact many people don't even realize there are street photographers around when they are capturing images the way I do, I find it best to blend in and not disrupt the routines or activities that you are trying to tell a story of. That's why I usually dress very simple and camouflage my cameras in a specific way. 

Gaff tape is used in the photo, film and stage industries because it has the holding power of duct tape: but it provides very little to no adhesive residue when removed. Another added bonus is that gaff tape is known for its not reflective surface so it attracts very little attention. 

I use gaff tape to cover my cameras for a few reasons, here's why:

#1 It makes my camera less noticeable 

By covering up all the logos and shiny bits of the camera, it makes the camera stand out much less. Not saying that it becomes invisible but it does cut down on the high contrast Nikon, Canon, or whatever else logo right near your forehead. 


#2 It protects the camera body

When shooting street, I don't like to carry much equipment, many times I don't even carry a bag; that means that that if I decide to rest for a moment my camera is now exposed to the elements it was set down on. Many of my vintage cameras are brass or some other type of metal covered either in enamel or in anodized coating, that are likely to be scratched or damaged when placed on a rough surface such as brick concrete or even wood tables. Gaff tape allows me to maintain as little damage to the camera body as possible while also protecting it from other elements such as sand water or any number of other things. 


#3 The tape protects me

No I have never been a thief, but I know that being a thief really counts on finding valuable things that can then be sold especially when pickpocketing. If I was going to steal from someone it would be from the person that I perceived had more valuable goods for me to steal. Covering up an expensive camera with Kate really makes the value of the camera visibly go down. Can always be removed it's important to not look too flashy when photographing on the street because you don't want to be targeted as someone with an item of value that is begging to be taken. Because of the small size that comes with my Fujifilm mirrorless  camera, taping up all the important real estate that is visible from the outside world, makes it look like nothing more than a very inexpensive point and shoot or beat up film camera. I'm much more likely to walk freely then to get beat up for something hanging around my neck if it looks like junk. 


If you like this video please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I will be posting more and more content about the gear that I use in the work that I make with it. 

DLSR + Rain = A Very Bad Day at The Zoo

If there is one thing that everyone knows, it is that electronics and water(for the most part) don't mix. All it takes is a little water in the wrong place to completely destroy a phone. I remember back in the day, I used my blackberry after washing my hands and because my hands were slightly wet, the trackball and and keyboard went haywire. Granted, I know that is the extreme of this type of situation, but still. Water is kryptonite to most things with a battery. Well besides the camera itself, lenses can also gather moisture which can lead to fungus, aperture blade malfunctions and focusing issues. All of which make it unusable and useless to sell (make it a coffee mug!)

So there you have it, your camera hates water. So what do you do when you are traveling and are unsure if you will hit water or not? Get a bag with a rain cover.

My bag is a Ruggard Outrigger 45 Backpack and I could not be more happy with it. The thing is snug on my back and can carry plenty:

Ruggard Outrigger 45 Backpack

My wife and I recently visited the Denver Zoo and had a wonderful time. Definitely the nicest zoo I have had the opportunity to visit. We had just driven 2 and a half hours through cloudy, snow storm occupied mountains and arrived in Denver assuming it was just going to snow. Well us beach kids didn't know the difference between snow and rain weather so we went to the zoo anyway.

To tell you the truth, I am so glad we did though. We almost had the place to ourselves and that was just so worth the price of admission alone. After the rain started, I had to put up all the gear and just wait it out. It was a little disappointing walking around all these wonderful animals with all my gear in a bag, but it was worth it knowing that I had it protected. The rain sleeve is hidden away in a bottom compartment and when needed, you just pull it out and stretch it over the bag. Even though the bag was packed to the gills( 2 DSLR's and 5 lenses, the sleeve still fit like a glove.

Ruggard Outrigger 45 Backpack

Ruggard Outrigger 45 Backpack

All in all, I still left with a wonderful group of photos which I will be sharing on some future blog posts! Thank you for reading and remember to protect your gear!

Making Room for Smaller Cameras

Today's technology is growing at such a rapid rate. At one point, I remember the phrase "Technology doubles every 18 months" being thrown around and though I have no way of proving that for sure I can say that I would not doubt it in even the slightest. Everything is becoming more powerful and in smaller packages. I remember my first computer, which was the nicest thing out at the time in the consumer market, had worse specs than my iPod. Not to even mention the fact that there are now phones that are faster and more capable than even my first laptop which I received as a graduation present in 2007! That's absolutely crazy to me. Just to know that there are more powerful things in smaller packages being made every day. Now, I said all that to say this: Cameras are moving in the same direction. The first professional digital cameras had price tags of thousands and thousands of dollars. With Nikon's first standalone DSLR, the D1, the price was around 5,000 depending on your model and the photos by today's standards could probably be beaten by an iPhone 4. But here is the dilemma. the D1 looks like a professional camera. It's metal body and rugged features makes the thing look like a big mean picture taking machine and if you show up taking photos with something of that size, most people would assume you know what you are doing. But what happens when you show up with something that looks like a toy?

Take this photo for instance, this is a photo taken with a Sony NEX camera system by Mr Trey Ratcliff(www.stuckincustoms.com). He took his NEX system on a helicopter photo tour with the sole purpose of creating professional images to sell on his website. How crazy do you think the pilot think he was for going up with a such a tiny camera?

Today's cameras are continuing to get smaller and smaller with the same amount, if not more, features. Bodies like the XPro-1 and the X-100s by Fujifilm have been proven to produce stellar work by some of the industry's greats. David Hobby and Zack Arias are both very heavy hitters in the photography game that both make their money for producing stellar images with such small tools. The reason why is because they know that the guts inside these small packages have all the pedigree of the large 5 pound metal DSLR thoroughbreds they left at home in the stable. With new cameras being released every day like the Sony A7 and A7r, who is to say that smaller cameras wont be the new professional camera?

Here's the kicker though, with all the innovations in technology, the population in mass has not accepted the fact that bigger does not always mean better. The Sony a7 is a visionary piece of gear that could very well be the first of a new era of cameras to come, but even Sony knows that professionals won't use these cameras in every situation because it is so small. They are now releasing a grip that almost doubles the size of the camera for this reason. Small cameras make people look at you funny when they have given you a large chunk of money at something like a wedding. But everyone wants the retro styled cameras that are inspired by the days of old. The new Olympus cameras look like near replicas of their ancestors at first glance, and the Fuji X series follow the path of the Leica M2.

My point is, where do you quit paying attention to what a camera looks like and more at what it produces? Some of the most amazing work comes from some of the craziest places, so why pay more attention to a camera that looks more expensive? Little cameras are the way of the future so all I say in advice, is be careful as to what you think about how crazy it looks for a grown man shooting professionally with something the smaller than his palm. He might be producing some of the most amazing images and just don't know it. If you have hired a photographer based on the portfolio you have seen, trust that he or she knows that the equipment they show up with will provide the caliber work that you agreed to pay for.

Thanks for reading!

5 Tips for better Landscape/Streetscape photos

Landscape and Streetscape Photography Tips I am not a certified teacher, nor do I have a case of awards and accolades at home for all my photographic adventures, but what I do have is experience and I hope you find this helpful in some way! If you are not a landscape photographer, you should still try using some of these ideas, because I have found it to be one of the most relaxing escapes to do these types of photos even though I am primarily a portrait and wedding photographer.

I love taking photos of people; I hear their stories and try to make myself blend in with them to where you can see the real them through their photos, but sometimes that can get very stressful. Zack Arias said in an interview once that his hobby is his passion and it also happens to be his career and that if he isn't spending time with his family, he is better honing his craft because it is what he loves. I firmly agree with that. I have been asked numerous times why I decided to start taking photos and my answer has always been "Because I can't afford hobbies that don't make money." Though of course this was said as a joke, it was true. I love photography, but I had to focus on it terribly hard because I wanted to become great at it.

Well after being well in to a year after my first paying gigs, I feel I have learned a lot and have definitely seen my stress level rise. One way I have found that I can continually sharpen my photographic skills, but relax is landscape photography. There is something relaxing about being by yourself in nature and not having to focus on what you see in someone but rather what is all around you.

Click "Continue Reading" to see my tips on better landscape photography!

#1 - Use a Tripod

Landscape and Streetscape Photography Tips

This of course is an obvious one. When anyone thinks about landscape photography, they see a camera on a tripod. Being a mostly handheld shooter myself, I had to really learn to work with the constriction caused by the handy device. I have used many types of tripods over the years and yes, having an extremely nice tripod is great but completely unnecessary unless you are doing some commissioned extra large prints for a client. For exposures under a minute, you can feel safe with a light tripod unless its an extremely windy. I do not have a very nice tripod. The legs are actually from a Targus tripod system I bought at Walmart and the head is a used Manfrotto head that I found on sale. Before that though, I was just using a bargain bin Kodak brand tripod that I picked up at a yard sale. (If you have a light or flimsy Tripod, make sure to weigh it down some how! I normally tie mine down with my camera bag. #2- Know When Not to Use a Tripod

Landscape and Streetscape Photography Tips

Tripods are not always a necessity. I personally have had five or six camera bags, some big and some small but the one thing they all have in common is that they make carrying a tripod cumbersome; even if there are straps on the side or bottom of the bag, it usually is more of a nuisance than anything else. There have been plenty of times where the light was just right and I pulled out my camera and got the shot I wanted. If there would have been the task of taking my tripod out and getting it set up, I could have missed the photo or lost the composition I had in my head because I had focused too hard on getting the tripod set up.

#3- You Don't Have to Use HDR

Landscape and Streetscape Photography Tips

Now I know that HDR is a beautiful thing at times, and when done right it can create some of the most astounding images. I have never been able to make an HDR that I was happy with and I choose not to. There are plenty of people out there with tutorials on how to make HDR images but I have found that shooting with RAW and exposing for the mid-tones, I can show the image a little love with the dodge and burn tools and be completely happy with detail in most all of the dynamic range.

#4- Stopping Down Isn't Always Needed

Landscape and Streetscape Photography Tips

When I first started doing long exposures and night photography, I was using really stopped down apertures such as f/16 or f/22. My thought was that the image would be sharper and more things would be in focus. But what I figured out, and you will too, is that smaller apertures focused at infinity will look the same but the larger aperture will take less time for the same exposure. For example: Having an exposure at f/16 ISO: 100 with a shutter speed of 30 seconds if the exact same exposure as F/4 ISO: 100 with a shutter speed of 2 seconds. How crazy is that!?!?

#5- Focal Length is Your Friend

Landscape and Streetscape Photography Tips

Now, I have seen some amazing landscapes taken with all types of focal lengths, but different focal lengths can create the exact look you are going for. When I go out shooting landscapes, I normally pack a standard length( 35mm or 50mm. Most likely the 35mm), an ultra wide (14mm) and a Fisheye. All of these lens types can be found for amazing deals. The Nikon 35mm 1.8 is sharp piece of glass for only $200 and Rokinon have manual lenses in all three of these types ranging from $200 - $500 each. With a longer focal length, such as a 50mm or and 85mm, it is very hard to hand hold without shake in lower light situation. I try to never shoot a focal length at a shutter speed slower than my focal length (Example: I wont shoot an 85mm at 1/60 of a second, but I will shoot a 50mm at 1/60th of a second.)

My favorite type of streetscapes are with my 14mm or 8mm fisheye where I steady myself up against a light pole or a wall and bring my shutter speed down to around 1/15 or 1/20 of a second (If I am really steady, I can do 1/2 second exposures this way. The image about is an example of this type) This allows me to catch the blur of cars going by and also expose for enough ambient light to capture the scene without causing too much if any camera shake. Are these pictures perfectly tack sharp? not in the slightest, but they are a ton of fun to take and extremely rewarding. All in all, a shorter focal length will produce better handheld shots than longer ones when using slower shutter speeds handheld.

These are just my opinions and take them as such. This is what I have found is very comfortable for the work I like to do and if you decide to start doing this as well, you will find what works best for you as well! I love learning and passing things along to others, so I hope you have enjoyed it!

Thank you very much for reading! Like and share with your friends to pass along the relaxing art of landscape and street scape photography!

Do you have any places you have been or would like to photograph? Let me know in the comments!

The "Froad Trip": My journey to Philadelphia

I have always been a fan of impromptu trips. I love just jumping in the car and going ridiculously long distances in a small amount of time. Maybe it's just the Smokey and The Bandit attitude of it all, but there is something very enticing about having "A long way to go, and a short time to get there". This trip falls under that category better than anything I have done in quite a long time.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB1dEKd9XGk&w=480&h=360]

I have always loved video tutorials and many of the photo techniques that are now second nature are only because I was very studious in watching an amalgamation educational tutorials through YouTube.  One of the largest contributors to that is Jared Polin, otherwise known as Fro Knows Photo. His videos are really informative and he is fun to listen to. There are many more that I have really enjoyed over the years, but Jared's videos have always been at the epicenter because of the community that comes along with it. I have been active on his forums, listen to his podcasts and participated in Spreecast videos with him (this was pre-Google hangout). Anyway, for 6 weeks, I listened to him talk about a get-together at his home photo store named Allen's Camera. They were going to be running specials, giving away lunch from this really groovy taco stand, as well as portfolio reviews.

There were plenty of people that showed up, and though we had driven the longest distance, there were people who had flown in from longer distances, even a few Canadians jumped the border and came down to have some fun. Though most people were just showing Jared their work on their phones or i devices, but a few had portfolios as I did. I took a book I had made where all the prints were full bleed, and more of my recent work loose in a blank scrapbook. I had planned to place them correctly in the book, but I didn't get my prints until the day before I was leaving and simply did not have the time. But just knowing that it wasn't an iPhone, made me feel better.

Photos after the jump!

Froadtrip-19

Froadtrip-13

Froadtrip-17

Froadtrip-10

Froadtrip-25

 

We left late Friday night, and were home in the early afternoon on Sunday. Crazy short trip and a ton of fun was had. Thank you for reading/looking/watching!

-Jarrett

Mobile Phone Photography

So, everyone and their brother have smartphones now and Instagram is flooded every day with square cropped images featuring anything from someone's beautiful hipster lunch to the most beautiful cliche sunset you have ever seen. But pro photographers have also jumped on board and started doing some amazing work with their phones. Some of my favorite work with phones are the numerous big name street photographers who like spending time away from their DSLRs and sometimes even find a small rangefinder bulky and in the way. There are so many beautiful images to be seen so I figured I would share some of mine! Enjoy!

Turn to clear vision

Sleepy kitty

Cortana chip

Baseball on the iPhone

Bird attack

Relaxing on the wal

Boat

Untitled

Double exposure

Barber shop

So do you take photos with your phone? Do you have something you would like to share? Well post it on my Facebook wall, on twitter or in the comments below!

Change your Perspective: Using a fisheye lens

060_Blackwattle Bay Rokinon 8mm Tests

First, let me say that the lens in discussion today is the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 fisheye. This a fully manual lens that allows you to fine tune every little detail but does not include the comforts of automatic modes of any kind (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, etc etc) or even autofocus. But what it offers are crisp beautiful images with plenty of contrast and clarity.

Fisheye lenses are nothing new. They were first invented to be used for weather instruments and astrophotographers, so the entire sky could be captured from horizon to horizon. I am not an astrophotographer.

They have since, been adapted to many different types of photography. The largest is definitely skateboarding and other extreme sports and the exaggeration of lines can turn a difficult trick and to something legendary on film. I am not a skateboard photographer or videographer.

So... why the heck do I have a fisheye lens?

Funny you should ask...

Street Photography

This is a given. Street photos can be taken with anything, if you go out looking for something in particular and that is exactly what I did with this particular outing. It was July 3rd and I was out at Barefoot Landing to capture some of the nightlife for my blog and the blogs for my day job. I think all in all, they turned out pretty well; either way, it was the perfect opportunity for me to realize how awesome this lens really is.

Barefoot 7-3-2013-8
Barefoot 7-3-2013-7

Real Estate Photography

This is something I do a lot of at my day job. The neat thing about this lens is that excites you about using it. I don't know how to explain it, but even using it in real estate photography makes that type of work fun again ( keep checking back for my upcoming full length post on real estate/resort photography!) It takes a little more work is post, to get the distortion to an acceptable level, but I think it is worth for the type of shots I have been able to get with it.

WB 332-8

Family and Beach Photography

This is by far my favorite application so far. With this lens, I am able to get family of 10 in to creative poses and have fun with needing a ladder or something crazy. In this particular shot, they decided they wanted a shot of everyone with their heads close together, so I slipped on the fisheye and was able to oblige with no resistance or time to figure out how to make it happen. But then I decided to keep it on for a few more shots including this jumping of all the grandkids.

Sellers Family-20
Sellers Family-18

Wedding Receptions

This is probably one of the most fun applications for this thing. Walking around, I was able to really get some great shots of people enjoying themselves on the dance floor and hanging out. Even a fun shot or two of the bride and groom.

Mitchell and Kaitlyn
Mitchell and Kaitlyn

What do you think would be a fun use for a fisheye lens? Maybe you have one, and use it for something in particular? Leave your opinions in a comment below! Be sure to subscribe to see some of the fun things we have coming up!

-Jarrett

Room to grow: Using my Nikon 105mm Micro Lens

So, many people have their favorite lenses that they own or have owned and many drool over certain pieces of glass that they feel will boost their photography to the next level. That piece for me was the 85mm 1.8. I had such of love affair with this lens and after getting it, I haven't really used it much. But still I was determined to continue my photographic journey to professional status so I started to use it and have really fallen in love with what I can produce with it, but I figured I needed to continue investing in to my equipment to take better photos. Well one day cruising around craigslist, I found a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 for sale just an hour away from me. I couldn't pass up the opportunity of at least inquiring about it. Well after a few emails, the seller informed me that she was parting with a bunch of her equipment. She knew what she had but was willing to make a deal. I ended up walking away with the 70-200mm Sigma. She also had a few other things that sparked my interest, like a 17-55mm 2.8 which I passed on but she did talk me in to coming home with the handy dandy Nikon 105mm 2.8g Micro. Both were in pristine condition but I still only paid around 60% less than retail which for such a big purchase is impressive.

Anyway, I used the 70-200 constantly on photo shoots, weddings, pretty much anything outdoors just because there is something commanding about a lens that size. I know that sounds ridiculous and a bit narcissistic, but every photographer starting out has issues with being taken seriously. This lens was my ticket to the "not to be taken lightly" glances by those around who thought of me as a just another kid who thinks he knows what he's doing.

Rebekah-10

Well all this time goes by, probably six months, and I haven't even touched the 105 macro. This is ridiculous because it is by far the most impressive lens I own but I can never make anything work right with it. It always produced blurry and soft images. Most would get annoyed, blame the equipment and sell it off; but I keep it. Why do I keep it?

Maybe it's because I suck at letting things go. I'm great at finding deals but I am awful at selling off things that I can't or don't use. I usually hold on to them for way to long and then it bites me in the butt when I finally decide to sell something and its three generations behind and.worth half of what I think it is. I have been burned like this plenty of times.

Brent and Hillary-32
Brent and Hillary-34

But.... this is not one of those times. See, I realized shortly after I bought it, that this lens was too much for me, I couldn't make it work because I didn't know how to yet. I was still stuck in the "I must shoot wide open all the time" phase and didn't understand how to use it to its potential.

Surprise Engagement-64

To tell you the truth, I still don't yet, but I'm learning and I am shooting with it at my level now. I am gaining an eye for it and I can see where this lens could be a permanent fixture in my lineup to come. More than just a few nice shots of engagement rings, this lens is great for all types of shots. One use I have found, is babies. Having my first encounter with baby portraits just recently, I learned how to make the distance and depth of field and all the magic inside this lens work for me.

Singleton Family-21
Singleton Family-25

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Please subscribe!

-Jarrett

Photo of The Day: Guessing Exposure

So, Film in itself is a dea art. Learning film now is like Sanscrit; a dead language you took in college. But it still is an acceptable way to take photographs and an enjoyable one if you know how to work one. My first love for photography came through graphic design and digital art so naturally I did not cling to film. But I have learned over the years the learning film is the root of what I have grown to love so much. So I decided to learn how to manually handle exposure without metering. If you don't count a Holga 35n or disposable throwaways from my childhood, my first film camera was a Mamiya NC1000. I picked up this little beauty at a local thrift store for near nothing. This is not a particularly nice camera, but it shoots well and thats all that matters.

The problem I had with the camera was that I thought that the battery only controlled the meter and not the shutter speed as well. I didn't realize this until I had already loaded the film, so I put myself in quite a predicament. Well logically I figured out that the fastest shutter speed was probably the default since this camera seemed to be mostly mechanical. So now I was challenged to make everything work at 1/1000th....I think.

I should have researched a little more before throwing film in it but oh well. I worked with the 50mm standard that was attached and it was a nice learning experience. Here is my best shot of the 24: Jasper-1

This was at f/5.6 at whatever shutter speed the camera is stuck to. I love the detail it pulled out and I enjoy the grainy feel as well.

Well hopefully I will have more posts including film soon! Thanks for reading!

 

-Jarrett

Learning how to Learn: 3 Steps to Educating Yourself

I am not ashamed to say that I am nowhere near as good as I wish I was. I fail constantly and maybe that's not such a bad thing. I learn new things every day and some times those things that I discover may be something that everyone else with a camera already knows, or something I learned in college but didn't appreciate until the moment I stumbled across it myself. Messing up is part of the artistic process. Many wonderful things we hold (or have held) in high esteem were invented on accident such as: Silly Putty, Play Dough, The Slinky, Potato Chips and even Fireworks. What all these things have in common is they bring joy to those who enjoy or have enjoyed them and that's what you have to bring to the table with your photography. I am not saying that I stumble upon the newest trends in photography or that I have found the perfect formula because I know that I haven't. But what I have found is a way to create images that my clients are fond of. It's a real joy to see posts from them on Facebook using one of my images as their profile photo.

I am not a professor; I am not the Strobist, nor do I have a fro; But if there is anything I can pass along to other photographers, it is to create a product your client is fond of. Know how to use your camera, and how to manipulate your images to create what you want but make sure what you are creating is of value. Anyone can pick up a camera and take a picture, never forget that. Photographers do more than battle other professionals for jobs, they have to fight back excitable parents and the high school kid with ambition who will do it for free. This happens all the time. Know your market and make them happy with your work. Doing this requires research, public relations, advertising but most of all, you have to educate yourself in your craft. I am a musician who spent a long time learning my instruments but I learned them my own way. When I started learning photography, I adapted the same process:

Here are my 3 Steps for educating yourself in photography:

1: Read and Watch A LOT:

Reading is fueling your brain with information. If you are reading credible sources on almost any topic you are expanding your horizons and therefor allowing yourself to grow. I love reading the DSLR magazines from the UK. Also, I enjoy thumbing through old film instructional books that go in to depth with traditional composition and lighting. As far as online sources, I enjoy watching videos online from FroKnowsPhoto, DigitalRev, Dombowerphoto, and FilmRiot on YouTube. I also enjoy reading The Strobist and the Improve Photography blogs. Do I put all of what they do in to practice? No, of course not but just as I would take one trick from one guitarist and make it my own, we also have to do that with our photography by choosing which styles work for us and make it our own.

2: Be An Assistant

Being an assistant, really made me learn how to become a photographer. Working under someone who has being doing this longer than you have is a good experience builder. Also, the beautiful part about being a second shooter, it opening yourself up to more creative shots, where the main photographer gets all the shots that he or she has envisioned themselves needing.

3:  Be social!

Use your Facebook for something other than Farmville and chain photos. Find other photographers around the world that you admire and like their pages. Keep up with them and send them messages. Start with someone that doesn't have a million followers and gets hounded every day. Find a photographer who you like and send them a message with a link to some of your photos and ask them what they think. Many are honored by the opportunity and love to share their opinion. This will help you understand what you could have done better and what you are already doing well.

D7100 - Worth The upgrade?

Though I have not had my hands on the wonderful piece of gear, what I have seen and read an immense amount over, I figured I would give my thoughts on this new camera.

The D7100 is the replacement for what now seems the slightly dated D7000. The D7100 now boasts a 24 megapixel ASP-C sensor and the legendary Expeed 3 image processor from the flagship Nikon D4. It boasts a 51 point AF system that is more spread out than it's predecessor with some new bells and whistles including 6 frames per second burst, a spot white balance mode, and a new 1.3x crop mode which will allow for smaller files(using only 15.4 megapixels), and faster burst(up to 7 frames per second in crop mode). At first I was completely convinced that this was only a ploy to market to nature and amateur sports photographer but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. I think my favorite thing about this crop feature is that it crops to where the focus points group, which means that there will accessible focus points on the very out skirts of your image that will deliver tack sharp images.

Another interesting thing about this camera is that it does not have a low pass filter. Similar to the D800E, this feature will allow for sharper images but could possibly cause moiré when shooting fabrics, feathers or other items with fine details. But overall I think the positive of not having the low pass filter outweighs the negatives for sure. On the back of the D7100 is the sharpest screen Nikon as used yet and on top is an OLED screen giving you your camera's vital information. The camera will have a max shutter speed of 1/8000 of a second and a flash sync speed of 1/250th of a second. Finally, one of the features so widely praised on the D600, the D7100 has dual SD card slots with the ability to share between them in numerous variations.

My thoughts:

It would be a wonderful workhorse of a camera. I like that it has a larger megapixel ratio and a faster burst of 6 frames per second which would be great for weddings, capturing certain moments, but I'm not sure it's enough.  I would really need to see some test shots showing off the ISO capability. Many weddings and concerts have dim lighting situations so I would need to see if the 24 megapixel sensor can handle to added stress of higher ISO's. I do not feel comfortable shoot my D5100 higher than 1600 ISO in any situation so if this camera could give my images less noise in a higher register, I would be on board.

I love the focus points and the ability to configure them according to your needs. Though I would love to go full frame, I'm not sure if it is worth the extra 5-600 dollars to reach for the D600. The price of the D7100 should land somewhere around 1200 body only. With D7100 I will have complete handle on all my lenses I currently own, plus open myself to d-series lenses because of the built in autofocus motor. For me, even waiting on test shots, I think I know what camera I am saving up for.

 

Videography rig for the Non-Videographer

Just a short little post today showing how I do video for the real estate packages I do here in the Grand Strand. Video is not my strong point but I certainly do enjoy it, I dont normally include video but was asked to by a client and after explaining I do not have the experience in it, I was willing to give it a try. This company in particular had purchased a camera for me to use for both video and stills. Luckily they took my advice on the type of camera to purchase and I was able to work with a Nikon 3200. Maybe this was a bit selfish because of my desire to work with this camera which is known for spectacular video on a budget. The kit lens is not the most amazing thing in the world but it was great for what they needed and because of the VR, I could almost handhold. I attached the camera to my tripod which is pretty heavy duty, then I hold out in front of me two of the legs to act as a steady cam. To further stabilize the video, I put the camera strap around my neck to hold everything together. With this setup I was able to walk around freely with smooth transitioning video.

Stay tuned for more!

tripod-video