Sunday, March 12, 2006

Children's Festival of Art

I had a simply wonderful time at the Sixth annual Children's Festival of Art at Fort Worden here in Port Townsend. As the activities photographer for the Festival, I spent the entire day photographing kids having fun! Teresa was there too, helping the children with print making and doll making.

I found that the Nikon 18-200 zoom had the best focal length of my lenses for this event, with most of the images being shot at a focal length between 30 mm and 70 mm. Many of the images were not quite as sharp as I prefer, but that could be a result of shooting hand-held instead of using a tripod. After more than 2,500 shots, the D200 is still new to me. That translates to making mistakes. I didn't discover until after the day was over that the camera was still in bracketing mode. Fortunately, all of the indoor photographs were taken with the SB-800 flash, and that compensated for the incorrect camera setting.

Click on the photo or title above to link to the photo album for this day.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Rainbow in Port Townsend

Here in Port Townsend, rainbows are sudden and fleeting. Keeping the camera ready pays off in moments like this. The Victoria Clipper IV flies the rainbow on its way from Seattle to Victoria, British Columbia. We see the Clipper daily, but usually further offshore and without a rainbow.

Recently, I've been leaving the new Nikon 18-200 mm f3.5-5.6 AF-S VR zoom lens mounted on the camera. That lens lets me grab just about any shot I want without having to change lenses. The trade-off is that the lens is not as sharp as some of Nikon's best lenses. Sometimes that trade-off is worth it. In my testing, images taken with the camera mounted on a tripod are quite satisfactorily sharp. As might be expected, hand-held images are better with VR than without, but not as sharp as when using a tripod.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Almost Like Film

Just before leaving on vacation, we journeyed up to the Skagit River valley hoping to see lots of Bald Eagles. That's about a four hour drive from home. However, the weather was overcast and raining and the Skagit River was close to flooding. Flood warnings had been issued for many areas near the Cascade mountains that day. We saw perhaps a dozen eagles, all huddling in trees waiting for the weather to improve. Lower water in the river would probably have made the salmon more available too! We did see some swans in a field, probably early arrivals for the season.

It was cold, wet, and uncomfortable but provided an opportunity to experiment with my new Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0 zoom lens. The lens performed admirably. I processed the images to look like some of the vibrant color slide film that was more common when I was younger. This seemed to be a nice antidote to the day.