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“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ” Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above

Just another shot . . . with only six more days to go. 

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“In the perspective of every person lies a lens through which we may better understand ourselves.”  Ellen J. Langer 

I shot this in the bathroom mirror, then processed in Lightroom 4 with Trey Ratcliff’s “HDR in Lightroom: A Surprising Touch”.  I then brought it in to Photoshop CS6 where I masked the lens in from the original photo.    This is hand-held with the D800E and the 105mm VRII.  

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“In every drop of water, there is a story of life.” Leena Arif

I’m playing around with my D800E and the 105mm Macro lens.  Since the sprinklers were on in the garden it was a prime opportunity to get some cool water drop pics.  I have alot to learn to maximize the potential of this lens . . . but I was pretty impressed with what I did get.  Can you see my reflection in several of the water droplets?  I had to really decrease the size of this for posting purposes.  These images tend to start out (in RAW) at around 40 mb.  I’m finding I really don’t need to do much post processing other than maybe a tad bit of sharpening.  The SOOC quality is quite stunning.  Coming from a crop factor camera (the D7000), it’s quite incredible.  

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“Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” Alfred Stieglitz

We had to go back to the camera store today to return the CF card as it turned out not to be the right one for the D800E.  We’ll order on e-Bay and get a better price anyway.  We also picked up a couple more lenses – one that only works on the D7000 (18-200mm 3.5 VR) that is used and a good deal, as well as a wide angle 16-35mm 1:4 VR that will work on both cameras.  I took a few test shots at the front of the store in good light with the D7000 and the 18-200mm 3.5 VR.  This display case is full of old film cameras.  Kinda cool!  My reflection is in the glass . . . 

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“If I am through learning, I am through.”  John Wooden

I’ve downloaded this amazing e-book by Thom Hogan.  I browsed the manual that came with my new camera . . . but my goodness – the information presented in the e-book is so thorough, so complete, so overwhelming at times with the technical data he presents . . . but I’m learning so much!  It’s actually quite exciting . . . and I can’t get enough of it!  I still have not really shot anything with the D800E because I want to make sure the settings in-camera are optimal.  But it may take me awhile to absorb all 850 pages of this book!  Somehow I’m sure I’ll find a happy balance . . . 

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“The camera is much more than a recording apparatus. It is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.”  Orson Welles

I truly believe that it isn’t the equipment that makes the artist.  A good photographer will create amazing photos no matter what camera is used.  However . . . I can’t argue the point that the equipment sure makes a difference in the QUALITY of your photograph.  I have been trying to break in to the Stock Photography business for over a year now and have discovered how difficult it is to get a photograph accepted if it is not absolutely tack sharp and clean with no fuzziness at all.  I have lenses that we bought with our old FX (film) cameras.  At the time we switched to digital, we were so excited that we could use our film lenses on our D100 body.  When I got my D7000 in May 2010, I quickly discovered that the old lenses just didn’t quite do the job on this newer technology.  We bought a 50mm 1.8 and a 35mm 1.8.  The 35mm quickly became my go-to lens for just about everything.  Since I was really only doing close up work . . . it was a perfect fit.  Still though, I had issues with lack of clarity, tack sharpness and over all quality when it came to Stock.  An upgrade was the answer.  So . . . we’ve saved our pennies and finally made our purchase today!  Yay!  I now have a new Nikon D800E, 70-200mm 2.8 VRII, 105mm Macro 2.8 VRII, and a 16-35mm 1:4 VR.  For the D7000 we picked up an 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 VR.  We also picked up an ND8 filter.  I am now loaded for bear!!!  

This shot was taken with the D7000, as I hadn’t even taken the D800E out of the box yet . . . and the look on my face??  Holy #$^%!  What do I do now???  Another learning curve . . . 

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