Tag Archives: Nikon

Sunrise Pier Wins Fourth Place

Sunrise Pier, Amelia Island, Florida

Sunrise Pier, Amelia Island, Florida

At the January Photo Review for RPS, Mark Alberhasky a Nikon-sponsored photographer, selected my Sunrise Pier image for Fourth Place in the Digital Category. Each month, RPS holds a photo review where a photo-professional is brought in to critique all submissions and then select First through Fourth and Honorable Mention awards.  The theme in January was Open (Vintage) which means that any photo taken by the individual in their lifetime was eligible for submission.  As I recall, there were over 40 images submitted in the digital category that evening.

Sunrise Pier was captured back in early December on a trip to Amelia Island Florida. Two co-workers and I arose early one morning to drive a couple of miles to the pier and begin to shoot the pier and its surrounding area while the sun arose.  This was one of my last shots of the morning and I had placed the camera low-to-ground (on a tripod) and the waves were actually washing over the tripod legs. This allowed the camera to capture the interesting bubbles in the foreground and through a long exposure create some softer texture and colors mid way through the image. The silhouetted pier against the vibrant colors of the horizons really cap off this image.

Posted in Awards, Photography, Portfolio, Roswell Photographic Society Also tagged , , , , , , |

Catalyst 2010 – Atlanta

Craig Groeschel - Catalyst 2010

Craig Groeschel – Catalyst 2010

I had the privilege of attending all three days of the Catalyst Conference 2010 in Atlanta (October 6-8) at the Gwinnett Arena. Catalyst is a leadership conference that is geared towards the Christian community. While many of the attendees work for a church or ministry, there are a number of people who attend for the leadership focus of the conference. As a result of the my 2009 Catalyst photos being picked up on the Catalyst Blog, I was provided an “all access” pass for this year’s event. The pass allowed me to go anywhere for photography purposes.

Part of a Team

There was a team of about ten photographers shooting the event so I was not alone (thank goodness!). While most of the other photographers were down at the stage or shooting in the staging area/green room, my goal was to capture the event more from the participant perspective. Many of my shots are taken from a seat or from within the crowd. I did take advantage of my access pass and went down to the stage on a couple of occasions.

Event Shooting

Shooting an environment like Catalyst can be challenging. Most of the time I was shooting at ISO 3200 as my preferred lens (Nikon 18-200mm VR) is a 4-5.6 lens, which is not very fast. I did pull out my trusty 50mm 1.8D lens a few times when I was next to the stage which allowed me to drop the ISO down to 1600.

Over the past year, shooting events like Catalyst and North Point Community Church, I have learned to ‘dial-down’ the exposure on my camera. Basically, the camera is seeing all this black in the background and attempts to compensate for that by increasing the exposure. The results are speakers/musicians that are over-exposed. Therefore, I typically ‘dial-down’ my exposure 1 or 2 stops when shooting events.


While there was a lot of great music, the noise that I encountered was the type you find on digital images. Because of the high ISO, there is going to be noise. Fortunately, the Nikon D90 is pretty good at 3200 and so when I process the photos in Adobe Lightroom 3, I slide the Luminance slider to 20 which removes most of the noise.


Catalyst will be using some of my photos over the next few months on their website and in their emails. I have also been able to share my photos on Flickr and Twitter which has helped gain more than 6,500 ‘views’ of my Flickr Catalyst photos (you can also view them on this site’s Catalyst 2010 gallery). In addition Brad Lomenick, President of Catalyst, even Tweeted my “Human Cannon” photo which has garnered more than 600 individual views.

Posted in Events, Photo Shoot, Photography Portfolio, Portfolio Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Inexpensive Macro Photography

Last week I came across this post from Photojojo where they removed a lens and placed it backwards against the camera to replicate macro-type photos. Interesting concept, but I have a method that is almost as inexpensive and provides the photographer with greater control.


Macro photography is a type of photography that has intrigued me, especially when it comes to flowers. I had the opportunity to borrow a friends Nikon 105mm macro lens back in Nikon 105mm Macro Lens Photograph2008 (see one of my photos shot with the lens on the right) and my desire to obtain one of these expensive pieces of glass was intensified. I told this to a mentor of mine and he gave me a piece of advice that I could barely believe. He said that inexpensive close-up filters are a great tool for duplicating the macro effect for a hobbyist like me.


Earlier this year I spent $18 on a set of three Adorama close-up filters (+1, +2, +4) that fit my Nikon 50mm 1.8D lens. After testing the filters out on several subjects, I was able to capture macro-type photographs similar to the dedicated macro lens  (see one of my photos taken with a close-up filter to the left).

How do they work?

Close-up filters simply screw on to the end of your lens. That’s the easy part. Once your behind a close-up filter you realize that you have to get really close to the subject in order to bring it into focus. Getting used to the shallow depth of focus is more difficult, but it just takes practice. Unlike the Photojojo solution, with close-up filters you can control the focus and depth of field. You get all this while holding your camera as you normally would. When shooting macro, I prefer to focus manually because each movement of the focus ring has such a great effect on the section of your subject that is in focus. It’s also best to use a tripod if you can, but I find that shooting hand held is easier when shooting low-to-the-ground subjects like flowers.

Purple Cone FlowerThe Result

I have been really pleased with the results I have obtained with the close-up filters. To the left is an example of a purple cone flower that I shot in my backyard Saturday right after an afternoon rain. I used the +4 filter, ISO 400, f/4.5 and hand held the camera. This photo is full-frame with no crop and is a great example of the types of photographs you can obtain with the inexpensive close-up filters. You can view other flower photos taken with the close-up filters in my Portfolio.

What’s your experience?

Have you used close-up filters? If you have, leave a comment and let me know your experience or any tips to pass along.

Posted in Filters, Lenses, Macro Photography, Photography Accessories Also tagged , , , , , , , , |