Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lincoln Center Fountain

Everyone takes pictures of the fountain and pool at Lincoln Center. I rested the S100 on the granite ring around the pool to capture the reflection of the fountain and the Metropolitan Opera House.

Canon Powershot S100, 35mm EQ., F/5.6, 1/640 sec., ISO 200

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Post Snow Times Square

After about an inch of snow had mostly melted off, Times Square was cold and wet. I took a few quick shots to see what hand held photos from the S100 looked like in this setting.

Here are a couple:

Canon S100, 24mm EQ., f/2, 1/400 sec., ISO 400
Canon S100, 35mm EQ., f/2.8, 1/125 sec., ISO 400

Friday, January 25, 2013

Field Trip to NYC

I'm spending a few days in New York City. It's a family trip to enjoy Broadway and the Metropolitan Opera. I learned my lesson back in October about overloading myself with camera gear when I attended Photo Expo Plus for a day.

This time I brought only my Canon S100. Later tonight I hope to play around with the camera in Times Square.

I was surprised to look out the hotel window and see the New York Professional Performing Arts School. This is one of the New York City schools that inspired the movie and television shows "Fame." Exterior scenes from the series were shot outside this building. Alumni of the school include Alicia Keyes and Britney Spears.

I took this shot, through a somewhat dirty window, just before the light went away completely.

Canon Powershot S100, 28mm equiv., f/2.2,  1/80 sec., ISO 400

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Long Lens on the Cheap

Wildlife photography usually requires quality lenses in the 500mm to 600mm range. Sure backyard birds and some of the tamer mammals can be shot with 300mm lenses. But, unless you are somewhere really exotic, longer lenses are needed for birds in flight and wild animals.

The two long lenses I have owned are the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM and the EF 300mm f/4L IS USM. As I have mentioned, I sold the former when I purchased the latter figuring that the shorter minimum focusing distance and Image Stabilization of the latter lens would render it more useful than the former. Plus, the 300mm lens fits in camera bags better.

In general, I am happy with that decision. I have made lots of photos with a Canon 1.4X extender attached to the 300mm lens which creates a 420mm f/5.6 lens. But sometimes you need something longer. I used to attach the 1.4X extender to the 400mm lens which, with a 1.6 crop EOS 50D, rendered  a field of view equivalent to an 896mm lens on a 35mm SLR.  And while that setup wouldn't autofocus normally, I could use live view to focus on static subjects like wading shore birds.

Currently, my wildlife/sports camera body is an EOS 1D Mark III and while its crop factor is 1.3 rather than 1.6 due to its larger sensor, it will autofocus normally attached to a lens with a minimum aperture of f/8. So, I can use a 2X extender with my 300mm f/4 lens which creates a 600mm f/8 lens. This results in a lens/body combination with a field of view equivalent to a 780mm lens on a 35mm SLR and it can be focused normally and, with IS, handheld to a certain extent.

In practice, this combination operates as well as the 400mm f/5.6 lens alone on the 50D and is half again as long although with the larger sensor the apparent difference is only between 640mm and 780mm.

Below is a shot of a White-tailed Deer from about 120 yards away with the 1D Mark III, 300mm f/4 lens and 2X extender. The first photo is uncropped to show the field of view and the second photo is a 100% crop to show image quality. Exposure information is f/8, 1/500 sec., ISO 400.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stuck WIth The 50D?

I'm having no luck selling my EOS 50D which I bought from LensRentals last Summer and which has over 113,000 shutter actuations.

So, I decided to get it back out of the box and play with it for a bit. It's snowing this morning and there have been a couple of pairs of Northern Cardinals hanging around the feeding area. Here are photos of a malee and female, cropped so they are approximately the same size in the frame. I had added the 1.4X extender to the 300mm lens prior to the second photo so the first is cropped more. Also, the shots of the male were underexposed by about 1/2 stop so I increased the brightness when converting to JPGs.

Canon EOS 50D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, f/4, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800

Canon EOS 50D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM + 1.4X, f/5.6, 1/350 sec, ISO 800

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sundown on Peebles Island

I'm glad that the 12 Days of Christmas project is done and over with. By limiting myself to one camera and lens combination (5D Mark II and 40mm pancake) and committing to post a photo a day I found that I wasn't using any other gear.

The weather was also cold and snowy which was fine but limited the variety of photo opportunities I came up with. My area received 13.3 inches of snow in December this year. All but .7 inches fell between Christmas Eve and the end of the month. In 2011, the area received .7 inches of snow the whole month of December. In addition, the temperature reached -5 degrees Fahrenheit on January 3rd, the first sub zero reading for almost two years.

So yesterday, I chose a different camera and lens combination (1D Mark III and 17-40mmm) and hiked Peebles Island right before sunset. I was bracketing 5 exposures for HDR processing. Here are a few of the results.

All were made at f/8 and ISO 400. The first two were at the lenses widest focal length of 17mm (22mm field of view) and the sunset was made at 21mm (27mm field of view).