Steal Nothing But Photographs
1Jul/160

The Barns of Delaware County, NY (Digital Fine Art):

I have traveled to Hobart, NY at least 100 times for work since about 1998. Hobart, The self proclaimed "Book village of the Catskills" is located smack dab at the beginning of the Delaware river in Delaware county. It is a small sleepy little town that happens to be home to one of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (The day job) facilities. In the past, I never took the time to explore the area in search of images because the Nikon D3S was just too much to deal with when traveling light and fast for work. The Leica M 240 has changed that in the sense that I carry it with me at all times. I upgraded to the ONA "Brixton" briefcase which is more of a camera bag with a sleeve for the iPad Pro. It works and it allows me to carry a real camera at all times. The Leica has opened my eyes to how beautiful the area is and forced me to get off the beaten path looking for one of my favorite things to photograph, Old barns, churches, and other structures. Make sure you click on them with your mouse to enjoy them in full sized glory.

I race past this little gem at 80mph+ everyday...

The Little Barn in Harpersfield (Leica M240, ISO200, f/8, 1/180th second through Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar ZM)


The Little Barn in Harpersfield (Leica M240, ISO200, f/8, 1/350th second through Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar ZM)


Abandoned Next to Center Brook (Leica M240, ISO200, f/8, 1/350th second through Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 Biogon ZM)

I happened across this old barn on County Road 29 in Jefferson, NY. Its distressed barnwood was calling out for a high contrast de-saturated image!

The Old Barn on 29 (Leica M240, ISO200, f/8, 1/250th second through Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 Biogon, ZM)

This Christian Church caught my attention so I stopped to shoot it on the way to Delhi, NY. When I saw that it was named "The Christian Church at Fitches Bridge" I had to find the bridge they were referring to.

The Christian Church at Fitches Bridge (Leica M240, ISO200, f/5.6, 1/25th seconds through Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 Biogon ZM)

I totally scored When I found out that Fitches Bridge was a covered bridge! It was lightly raining and very cloudy.

Fitches Bridge (Leica M240, ISO200, f/4, 1/25th second through Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 Biogon ZM)

Little did I know that when you cross Fitches Bridge you enter a little slice of rural heaven. By this time it wasn't just slightly raining, it was turning into a downpour. I was losing light and the rain was starting to soften my images. I managed to capture a nice panoramic of Maple Shade Farm before the elements and dinner plans ended the exploration.

Maple Shade Farm (Leica M240, ISO200, f/5.6, 1/12th second through Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 Biogon ZM)

Next time I visit Hobart, NY I'll definately be crossing back over Fitches Bridge to explore what else this awesome old Dairy Mecca of the Catskills has to offer.

Until the next Image Theft,

Enjoy!

24Jun/160

Fairmont – Vancouver, BC (The Castle in the City):

Vancouver Canada was the port in which the Grant family embarked upon their big summer vacation, a wonderful Disney Cruise aboard the "Wonder". I've always wanted to spend some time here after a brief business trip back in 2002 when I took notice of the great architectural features dropped smack into an amazing Oceanside Forest. I knew that there would be some great opportunities to steal some images here so I made sure that our vacation itinerary included a couple of days to explore a little of what this great Canadian city had to offer.  Although I literally have Millions of Hilton Honors Points thanks to a lifetime of engineering travel, we decided to splurge a little on the Hotel knowing we would be on a ship for 7 days.

Enter the Fairmont Hotel at the corner of West Georgia and Burrard, also known as the Castle in the City.  Remember to click on the images with your mouse to see them full size on your monitor!

The Castle (Leica M240, ISO200, f/4, 1/750th second through the Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 ZM)

 

The Castle from West Georgia (Leica M240, ISO200, f/4, 1/2000th second through Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 ZM)

This fantastic Art Deco building designed by Archibald and Schofield opened in 1939 and felt central to a lot of great places.  Even the view from the building demonstrated a nice example of Vancouver's more modern architecture:

The View (Leica M240, ISO200, f/9, 1/60th second through the Zeiss f/2.8 28mm ZM)

The bar at Notch 8 (Named from the fastest speed on a locomotive throttle) posed as an equally great subject for photography as well.  Their dinner was fantastic also!

Notch 8 Bar (Leica M240, ISO800, f/3.4, 1/15th second through Zeiss 28MM f/2.8 ZM)

Photogs Note:

Its time to kick this thing off again. I have been very lax in blogging. This will be the first of several blogs from the vacation to get the habit going again.  To be honest, Facebook has been just so damn easy to share images with friends.  That being said, I don't feel like I can share the photography techniques and inspiration on there with the non-Photogs so I'm anxious to get back to this.

Until the next image theft,

Enjoy!

24May/150

Jefferson Barracks (Digital Fine Art):

So its been ages since I posted on the blog. SEVEN months to be exact. Its hard to believe that something that was such a part of me has taken a back burner to other things. Its not that I haven't been engaged in photography. Lord knows that I have taken almost 7,000 images during that time, none of which were for me. Nothing artistic that inspired me to write about it. Until today....

Reverence of the Fallen (D3s, ISO200, HDR, f/5, 29mm through Nikkor 24-70mm)

This single gravestone caught my attention and I immediately visualized the above image. A simple sepia with the colors of the flag peeking through under the contrast of the amazing God Sky. There was something about how the wind had wrapped the fallen Veterans flag around the side of the stone. It ever so lightly touched the blue and white roses of his Spouses flowers, similar to how a young soldier might lovingly touch his wife's cheek for the last time before he left home to die for his country.  It compelled me to sit down in the grass, on the edge of the sunlight, where I quickly and quietly shot the 5 images that make up the picture above.  Make sure you click on it with your mouse to experience it full size on your monitor.

 

Memorial Day Preparations by the Boy Scouts at Jefferson Barracks:

For 66 years (since 1949) the St. Louis Area Boy scouts have placed a single flag at the base of each grave stone on this hollowed ground. Today, over 4900 people walked quietly and reverently through this National Cemetery and showed their respects for the fallen through this solemn act honoring their sacrifice.  It was an amazing experience.....

Honoring the Colors (D3s, ISO200, f/2.8, 1/4000sec, 24mm through Nikkor 24-70.

You can check out all the images I shot today HERE:

I promise not to stay away so long.

Until the next image theft,

Enjoy!

6Oct/140

Las Vegas Blvd (Fisheye Study):

Every now and again you realize there is a piece of glass in your bag that doesn't get a whole lotta love. The lonely Fisheye got the call for my recent trip to Vegas. As everyone knows, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" so unless your 4 idiots in a Wolfpack, the camera is better used for landscapes than portraiture. I decided that since just about everything is on a grand scale in Las Vegas, the fisheye would be a fun lens to capture the amazing structures on the strip (Inside and Out). Here are a few of the outdoor images I stole. Make sure you click on them with your mouse to experience them full size on your monitor!

There could be tougher views for a Gargoyle at the Venetian..

Gargoyle view from the Venetian (D3s, ISO400, f/2.8, HDR through Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye)

Paris Nevada (D3s, ISO200, f/2.8, HDR through Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye)

Sometimes you have to take another look from a cooler location:

Paris Nevada from the Shade (D3s, ISO200, f/2.8, HDR through Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye)

The money invested in the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, The Mirage, The Flamingo, Bally's, Harrah's, The Cromwell, and Paris is incredible:

Big Dogs of the Strip (D3s, ISO200, f/2.8, HDR Through Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye)

In my next post I'll share with you some fun techniques for interior spaces with the fisheye!

Until the next image theft...

17Jul/140

Big Island Hawaii (Akaka Falls):

Just outside of Hilo on the Big Island is a serene place called Akaka Falls State Park.  When you first get there it reminds you of the many other places you visit on the island, just the end of the line on a road to nowhere.  However you quickly get realize this place is a little commercial, people buzzing in and out of the bathrooms, a side effect of the long drive there.  Your immediately accosted by some dude making sure you pay your $5.00 to park and $1.00 per person to visit.  It took some "Essplaining" that I parked on the road but we made it through.  Credit Cards preferred, a machine/kiosk standing at the trail entrance.  All of this threatened to dampen the experience of pretending to discover some hidden gem in the middle of a rainforest but you get over it when you start walking along the "Trail".

The trail is actually a handrail lined concrete sidewalk with rainforest on either side.  The forest is very pretty and worthy of an image...

Akaka State Park Rainforest (D3s, ISO800, f/4.5 @ 14mm, HDR, Through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

Its pretty dark and raining but that just makes the images even better. Nothing makes foliage pop like a little water. In about two minutes the rain subsides and a different source of water is the visible to all. The purpose of the trip is Akaka Falls and it is something to see, and hear.

Akaka Falls (D3s, ISO400, f/4.5 @ 14mm, HDR, Through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

The overcast sky eliminated the possibility of a rainbow in the crater but lended a hand in giving the sky a little personality.

Definitely worth a detour on the way to Hilo.

Until the next Image theft, Enjoy!

Aloha!

16Jul/140

Big Island Hawaii (Green Beach):

If you ever get used to south point and decide to leave, you can hike 3+ miles up the seashore, through dunes, into sandblasting 30mph winds, and arrive at the most amazing beach. Green Beach at South Point (Ka Lae) is one of two green beaches in the world and the Grants have visited one! The other is in the Galapagos and is a place that is on our bucket list.  I'll get straight to the images....

This is without a doubt one of my favorite images from the trip:

You gotta Click Here to see this baby full size!

Green Beach (D3s, ISO125, f/5.6 @ 14mm, HDR, through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

 

Its hard to tell from the image but the entire beach is nestled into a bowl of some type of Volcanic Sandstone.  You can see the green of the beach (From the Olivine in the sand) if you look to the left side middle of the photograph.  Its hard to tell from the wide angle of the image but the beach is about 150' down from the top of the sand dunes.  You climb down this natural stairwell in the wall of the beach to get to the waters edge.

 

The Natural Stairwell (D3s, ISO125, f/5.6 @ 14mm, 1/250, ISO125 through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

The Grant Boyz weren't really happy about the hike in.  I hiked at least one mile and climbed about 150' of elevation with Wyatt on my shoulders.  At one point JD was walking with a scowl on his face and both hands were in fists.  I recommend walking in and riding out so that you can see the interesting features of the shore on the way there.  I think you can tell from the image below that the Grant Boyz "Let it Go" and had fun!

Boyz on Green (D3s, ISO125, f/5.6 @ 14mm, 1/500th sec, through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

 

The current washing out of the bowl of the beach is pretty strong so I wouldn't let the kids swim here.  This is pretty much at the end of the world here and I didn't want to risk someone getting into trouble.  Get sucked out of here in a rip current and your next stop is Antarctica!

I cannot wait to steal an image of the other Green beach in the Galapagos!

Aloha!

 

15Jul/140

Big Island Hawaii (South Point):

If you drive south on the Big Island until you cannot go any further, you have arrived at the southern most point in the United States of America. Any location that boasts such a important geographical designation obviously must be able to be worthy. South Point does not let you down. It is absolutely beautiful. The terrain is interesting and the Pacific is amazing. The waves and energy here are incredible and the sky is so clear that you swear that if you look hard enough you can see Fiji in the distance. We had a wonderful time hiking around the area and exploring the shore. As always, make sure you click on the images to experience them full size on your monitor...

Southern Tip of USA (D3s, ISO 200, f/2.8 @ 24mm, HDR, through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

South Point (D3s, ISO200, f/2.8 @ 14mm, HDR, Through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

Is that Fiji in the distance? (D3s, ISO200, f/6.3 @ 14mm, HDR, through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

South Point (D3s, ISO125, f/5.6 @ 24mm, HDR, Through Nikkor 14-24mm Lens)

Clark and Ellen Griswold (D3s, ISO125, f/2.8@14mm, 1/2500th, through Nikkor 14-24mm) Photo Credit: JD Grant.

Stay tuned for the next image theft at Green Beach!

Aloha!

14Jul/140

Big Island Hawaii ( Pololu Valley Black Beach):

If you continue north on Hawaii Highway 270 away from the Lapakahi State Park and slowly begin your transition away from the beautiful grasslands through a series of roadside bungalows (many of which are peddling fresh coconut water and fruits from the lush tropical vegetation) everything seems to come to an abrupt stop.

You have arrived at a location known for centuries as the beautiful Pololu Valley Lookout and it is literarily indescribable. You are approximately 550' above the ocean at this point and the scene can only be communicated via photograph:

The Amazing Pololu Valley Lookout (D3s, ISO200, f/7.1 @ 40mm, HDR, through Nikkor 24-70mm Lens)

Further investigation of the area yields a very steep trail that will take you all the way to sea level. Its a very simple descent that gives you very mixed emotions. On one hand You simply cannot wait to get below to experience your first black beach, on the other you know that the only way out is to climb up this trail in which you are descending. The trail leaves you in an odd oceanside forest with only a faint glimpse and echo of the ocean beyond it:

Path to Paradise (D3s, ISO200, f/5.6 @ 70mm, 1/2000th, through Nikkor 24-70mm Lens)

When you leave the trail you have the same feeling as if you walked from a dimly lit theatre into the sunlight on a bright afternoon. Its the kind of transition that makes you sneeze and inhale the ocean air. The scale of the entire area is so immense and you feel so tiny that the view of the valley really hasn't changed much even though you are 550' lower than when you experienced the first time.

Pololu Valley Black Beach (D3s, ISO200, f/7.1 @ 24mm, HDR, through Nikkor 24-70mm Lens)

The sand is a fine powder, further evidence of the beating that the crushing waves have been giving the volcanic rock here for centuries. You cannot resist the urge to remove your sandals and revive them in the cool ocean water after that rocky hike down from the top of the cliff:

Revive Those Toes (D3s, ISO200, f/5.6 @ 24mm, 1/1250 through Nikkor 24-70mm Lens)

Your so taken with the ocean and its beauty and power that you don't even realize what stands behind you. Your standing at the end of an immense valley that looks like something out of Fantasy Island or Lord of the Rings. This is one of my favorite images from the week.

The Pololu Valley (D3s, ISO200, f/5.6 @ 24mm, HDR, through Nikkor 24-70mm Lens)

Your so awestruck looking at this valley that you hardly even notice the 550' ascent back to the car.

13Jul/140

Big Island Hawaii (Lapakahi State Park):

If you drive north out of Kona on Highway 19 through the Ka'Upelehu lava flows, past the beautiful resorts of Waikoloa, and onto Highway 270 through the countryside west of Kohala Mountain you will find the ruins of an ancient fishing village at the Lapakahi State Park. This was my destination TWICE during my trip to the Big Island with the family. The first time to simply check it out and shoot a few pictures, the second was the turn around during a 56 mile cycling excursion from Waikoloa that almost killed me. The wind and hills of this place are second only to the beautiful vistas along the coast. I think you will agree! Make sure you click on the images to view them full screen on your monitor...

Ancient Fishing Village (D3S, ISO 200, f/6.3 @ 24 mm, HDR, through Nikkor 24-70mm lens)

Ancient Fishing Village II (D3s, ISO 200, f/6.3 @ 24 mm, HDR, through Nikkor 24-70mm lens)

I have a softspot for lonely tree's so I couldn't help but shoot this:

Oceanside Tree (D3S, ISO 200, f/6.3 @ 24 mm, HDR, through Nikkor 24-70mm Lens)

And one of my favorite images from the week is this one.

Northern Kohala Coast (D3S, ISO200, f/6.3 @ 38mm, HDR, through Nikkor 24-70mm Lens)

Who could forget a shot of my photo assistants on the shoot:

Photographic Posse (D3s, ISO 200, f/6.3 @ 24mm, 1/400th second, through Nikkor 24-70mm Lens)

All of the images above were handheld 5 shot brackets processed in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2, color corrected, and sharpened using Photoshop Lightroom. Interestingly enough, I did not boost any of the blues in these images. I did however use a polarizing filter to reduce glare from the ocean and give some "visibility" into the water.

Until the next Images of Hawaii...

Aloha!

 

Photogs Note:

This will be the first of several Hawaii images I shot during a trip to the Big Island. I have to warn you, the images are a bit mediocre. The purpose of this trip was to enjoy Hawaii with the family, not turn it into a photography shoot. I never spent more than about 15 seconds on an image and everything is handheld. Although, I doubt a tripod would have helped much on the island. I don't think I was ever in a place where the wind wasn't howling at 20-30 miles per hour so there are very few shots taken at low shutter speeds. During the week, it seemed that every destination ended with an arrival at 12:00 in the afternoon.  Every landscape or portrait photog worth their weight knows that anytime you visit someplace to take pictures at high noon, you cannot be too critical of the result since the lighting basically sucks.

20Feb/140

The High Desert (Sedona Red Rock):

Last weekend the family and I traveled to Phoenix for a baptism and we took a quick trip up to Sedona for some Jeep riding fun on the Broken Arrow Trail.  I purposely wanted to be there at sundown so I could capture the red rock flat top mesa's with the proper light.  The first image I shot right out of the camera from the Jeep was of the "Twisted Sisters", two trees screwed right out of the ground by the fabled Sedona Vortex Energy.  I thought they would be cool in Black and White so I didn't even mess with looking at them in color:

Twisted Sisters (D3S, ISO200, f/3.2, 1/320th, 24mm through Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8)

The light was fading fast and nothing is sweeter than direct warm light right on the red rocks of Sedona. Except maybe a handheld 5 exposure HDR image of those rocks!

Red Rock of Sedona (D3s, ISO200, f/3.2, HDR, 24mm through Nikkor 24-70mm)

The View From Submarine Rock (D3s, ISO200, f/6.3, HDR, 24mm through Nikkor 24-70mm)

Cupcake Rock (D3s, ISO400, f/6.3, HDR, 24mm through Nikkor 24-70mm)

Sedona at Sunset (D3s, ISO800, f/6.3, 66mm through Nikkor 24-70mm)

And the final image was of a Tree I believe our driver referred to as the Persistence Tree. This poor creature was thousands of years old, had been struck by lightning thousands of years ago, and was still hanging in there. It was screaming B&W as well to finish off the set.

Persistence Tree (D3s, ISO800, f/3.2, 1/100th, 24mm through Nikkor 24-70mm)

Remember to click on the images above to view them full size on your monitor. You'll be glad you did!

Until the next theft (Most Likely New York City).

Enjoy!

17Dec/130

A Rare Beauty (Digital Fine Art):

Anyone who has done anything for a long time will get stale and their passion fades.  If you have followed this blog long enough you know that there hasn't been an effort to obtain an artistic image here since back in March of 2013.  To be honest, until recently I really haven't had the energy or passion to go out and capture an image for the sake of finding something artistic, and burning it into digital form.  All of my photographs since March have been creative layups captured during a family event or childs sporting event.  To be clear, for at least nine months I have been a disimpassioned poser, not a photographer.

Capturing images for the purpose of sale is a very interesting endeavor.  It has always fascinated me to see the types of images that stir peoples soul and entice them to purchase.  A persons love of an image can be simply because of its artistic value, the color rendition or lack thereof, the angle chosen by the photographer, the uniqueness of the crop,  the creativity of the use of depth of field, or most importantly the images ability to stir your memory of an event or person.

As a photog, sometimes you have to be pushed to work at capturing a photograph.  Prodded out of your laziness by someone else if you will.  Challenged beyond a poser.  The image in this post had potential when I walked past it at the Missouri Botanical Gardens Glow, but I passed on it at first.  It took another person, a good friend to literally shove me into capturing it.  Often we don't realize how amazing something can be until we are shown by another person.

A Rare Beauty (Almost Missed) (D3S, F/4, Handheld HDR, ISO12,800, @24mm through Nikkor 24-70mm lens)

Make sure you click on the image above to experience it full size on your screen.

 Photogs Note:

What the heck is so special about this image you ask?  Simple.  For me the symbolism of the warm glow of the lights hanging from this lonely tree will remind me that its possible to find warmth out in the winter cold and the amazing beauty that can be discovered if you allow someone to show it to you.  It is an image that I will cherish deeply for the rest of my life.  It will forever remind me of a rare beauty I found in a frozen garden of thorns. And who knows, with a little luck in the future, maybe my friend can point out some more images before I keep walking past them.

 

30Sep/130

Night Soccer (HDR/Digital Fine Art):

I know its been several months since a post but unfortunately the photography has taken a back seat to at least a dozen other Family and Career obligations.  However, I often do get a chance to combine a few of these "obligations" and the results can be pretty cool.  Sunday night JD had a soccer game that ran into the evening.  It was the perfect storm for creativity (No Pun Intended).  Rain, Lights, Mist, Blue Hour, Soccer, Tree's, and a little god sky for good measure.  Goaaaaaaallllll!

To insure crisp sports images, I had to ditch the Nikkor TC-17E2 1.7X adapter and was living at f/2.8 and almost 16000 ISO most of the time to get the shutter above 1/400th of a second through the Nikkor 70-200mm.  A lesser camera than the D3S would have gone back to the car before the game began but the ISO capability on this beast is simply amazing.  Once things got really dark and high quality action shots was almost impossible due to the low light, I resorted to a little long exposure 5 image HDR, hand held against a fence.  Here is the result:

Night Soccer (D3s, ISO1600, f/2.8, 70mm through Nikkor 70-200mm, HDR)

Night Soccer (D3s, ISO1600, f/2.8, 70mm through Nikkor 70-200mm, HDR)

Be sure to click on the image to see it full scale in your monitor. I think you will agree that the noise reduction of an HDR at ISO 1600 is nothing short of remarkable.

Until the next image theft (Hopefully soon),

2Jun/130

Poor Man’s Safari (Disney Animal Kingdom):

The family spent 5 days in Orlando at Walt Disney World and I have to say, I was very impressed with the place.  They spared no expense on going after the "Feel" of a real experience.  At the Animal Kingdom I spent quite a bit of time in Africa and Asia and we all had a tremendous time.  The Kilimanjaro Safari was a fun ride through their animal park on a simulated Safari and we had a great time.  I did manage to steal a couple of HDR's (High Dynamic Range) of the Serengeti.  The truck would stop on occasion to give us a better look at the animals and I was lucky enough to be on the perfect side to capture a few images.  Make sure you click on them to see them full scale on your monitor!

The Disney Serengeti (D3S, ISO200, HDR, f/2.8, 70mm through Nikkor 24-70mm)

I wished I had my 70-200mm lens for this ride but it just wasn't reasonable to lug it around the park for a few pictures and have to deal with it on Roller-Coasters and such.  The 24-70mm had to go multi-purpose.

I also managed to steal this image of a Giraffe pruning the low hanging branches.

Pruning (D3s, ISO200, 70mm, HDR, f/2.8 through Nikkor 24-70mm)

I would have loved to bring the Trinity along (14-24mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm) but it is just too much to carry around for 12 hours a day.

I'm going to be milking these Disney Images for a few posts so stay tuned!

Ralph.

27Apr/130

Taxi Cab Confessions (Not Really):

So while in NY I blew about 150 bucks on cab rides.  I walked about 25 miles too but I did take a taxi when I wasn't sure where the heck I was going or whether the area would be safe at night etc.  I don't know what it is but there is something about a yellow taxi that screams NY.  I also wanted to have some sort of HDR image that had the "Broadway" street sign in it.  Here is the result.  A 3 image HDR shot of a taxi blasting by in Times Square....

Taxxiiii (D3s, ISO1600, f/5.6, HDR, Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 prime)

If you want to check it out full size on your monitor, just click on it. You will notice that it is not very sharp because it was handheld at shutter speeds around 1/25th and 1/50th. I think it still turned out kinda cool even though its not print worthy.

And here is a straight up image to go with it.

Zoom (D3s, ISO400, 1/50th, f/5.6, Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G Prime)

Until the next image theft...

26Apr/130

Times Square (Digital Fine Art):

Spent a couple of days at the Interphex Pharmaceutical Equipment Show in NY and managed to get out and shoot a few images. It was a busy couple of days with meetings and events so I didn't stray very far from the fabled times Square. Here is a little HDR to commemorate this historic location.

D3S, ISO200, 1/2000 @ f/1.4 through Nikkor 35mm f/1.4)

These images were all captured with the new Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 prime. What a tack sharp lens this copy is. I cannot wait to use it for some serious portrait work in the future.

Photogs Note:

So how the heck can the above image be so tack sharp if it was shot at f/1.4?  Isn't the depth of field of a lens very shallow on a fast lens at this f-stop?  The secret is understanding hyper-focal length and the depth of field of wide glass.  Google it to understand it fully!  Based on a little calculation work using the DOFMaster App for the iPhone I had pre-determine what the hyperfocal distance was for my new lens.  In a nutshell, the hyper-focal length is the distance in which your lens is in focus to infinity.  You simply calculate the hyper-focal distance (About 95 feet in this case) and everything from about 48 feet to infinity is tack ass in focus.  It is a huge tool to use for street photography etc.  You can go to www.dofmaster.com for free online caculators etc.  The wider your lens the greater the depth of field.  For example, on my Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 wide open, if I focus on something about 8 feet away, everything from 7 feet to infinity is in focus.  You don't even have to worry about focusing unless you are trying to capture things closer than 7 feet!  Another great use of this technique is at a football or soccer game.  Lets say you are at the 50 yard line at a football game with your Nikkor 70-200mm lens and want to capture the goaline action without worrying about focusing quickly.  All you do is focus on the goal marker and everything from 5 yards out to 5 yards in the endzone is tack focused since the DOF is about 30 feet or 10 yards.  Its an awesome technique I use all the time.  Try it sometime!