Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Smoke Photography with the Nikon D90!

Stuck in the house on a rainy day? Try some smoke photography for some indoors fun! Do you see in the image a profile of an old sea mariner with his hat and long beard, lol

So i decided to give this smoke photography a go and it turned out not so bad. Here's how i shot these photos with my D90 and what you'll need.

First I stopped by the fabric store and bought a yard and a half of black fabric for the background. Then I stopped at a smoke shop and got some incense sticks to use for the smoke. When i got home i waited until it was dark outside and went to work. I set the black fabric material up behind the table I was using, (make sure you set the background back pretty far because you don't want any light to hit it) next I stuck the incense stick in some wax and put it on a plate on the table.

Now for the flash and light. I used my SB600 flash off camera in commander mode and dialed down the power to -3.0. Next was the tricky part, I made a cone with a black piece of 8x10 craft paper and slid it on the flash and aimed the cone at were the smoke would be. Again the reason for this was to try and keep the light from the flash off the background. Next i got out my little head lamp and aimed it also at the spot (opposite side from the flash) the smoke would be. This was so I could manual focus on the smoke I was shooting in the dark. (you can leave this light on the whole time your snapping pictures so you can focus.

Now that i got everything set up I was ready to set up the D90. I put on my Tamron 17-50 lens and set the camera to aperture priority and went with f/8 and F/11. Since I was shooting flash the shutter speed was auto at 200. I did not use a tripod which made things a lot easier.

I fired up the incense and started snapping away at the smoke and that was it basically. When I was done I deleted the bad ones and uploaded the good ones to Photoshop elements 6 and started working with them.

Use your invert button to get a white background and back to get the black background. To add color I used the hue and saturation slider and played with that. To add color to specific areas I used the selection command and while selected I used the hue and saturation which works great! Anyway that's it...I hope you give it a try I'm sure I'll be doing some more soon.

Here's a good site that explains more.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Mavericks Surf Competition with the Nikon D90!

I'm sorry, hope you weren't expecting actual shots of the surfers because we couldn't even see them from the beach since the surfers were a half mile off shore and it was very hazy. So anyway the reason for the post is what was suppose to be all about the surf competition turned into about 50 or so spectators that were injured by a huge wave that just came up and wiped out everyone! We were on the beach also but were not hit by the big one...you probably heard about it on the news. I got one quick shot of the big one just as it was hitting the first people. I also videoed a little bit of a smaller wave as I and everyone else tried to scale the cliff to avoid it. It was quite the day at the beach......

Friday, February 12, 2010

Best Wide Angle Lens For the Nikon D90?

Recently I’ve been very intrigued by purchasing a true wide angle lens for my D90. When I say true wide angle I’m talking about anything under 18mm. I see there are a lot of choices out there but after researching a ton of information online it’s definitely apparent you or I will want to get a wide angle lens made specifically for our cameras APS-C type sensor. I read this from Tom Atkins over at Photo.net he said “One of the disadvantages of small sensor APS-C Digital SLR cameras is that the 1.6x multiplier/crop factor makes all your existing 35mm wide-angle lenses into "not so wide" angle lenses.” Our Nikon D90 camera is slightly better, with a 1.5x multiplier/crop, but still basically suffers from the same problem. So here are all the wide angle lenses that are made for our D90 APS-C sensor! If this is not correct please someone let me know, Thanks! I'm personally leaning toward the Tokina 11-16 2.8 right now.
Click a lens to read the user reviews!

1. Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED IF Autofocus DX Nikkor Zoom Lens
2. Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX for Nikon AF
3. Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X Pro DX for Nikon AF
4. Tamron SP AF11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di-II LD Aspherical [IF]
5. Tamron SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD Aspherical [IF]
6. Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon
7. New Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM

Hope this helps a little in your quest for an ultra wide angle lens for your D90!