Flowers in Macro/Indiana Photographer

Last night I chose to edit for me, my own personal photographs. On Wednesday, I received my new lens via UPS. I just love that guy…he always brings such nice items when he comes. I’ve been trying to decide what my next lens should be. Up until Wednesday, I only had the 18-55, 55-200 and my wonderful nifty fifty 50 1.4mm. I really never took off the 50mm lens because I love the sharpness. I hated using either of the other two lenses because it didn’t offer a full zoom. Anyway, I though about buying the 18-200mm lens from B&H and was just about ready to push the buy button when one of my fellow photographers pointed out that I wouldn’t be getting the quality out of that lens that I’m getting from the 50mm. That really did stop me in my tracks. So, I looked at another lens that I was eyeing, the Sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 lens for Nikon. It offers a wide shot at 2.8 (good light). I was really honest and asked myself, ‘how often do I really need to zoom in?’. I’m always needing to move back to get a subject’s entire body in the frame. So, anyway, I bought the Sigma and am very excited about it. It’s also a macro lens? I don’t know that it’s a true macro lens, but you can get pretty darn close to the flowers.

Here is a link to the lens at B&H.

Personal Portraits

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on natural light photography. The people that I’ve found through just generic searches don’t use any flash. I don’t know that I would be able to completely do away with my flash…but it’s a good goal. I think another thing that ensures sharp, crisp pictures without flash (for indoor photos) is a good fast lens. I’m looking at purchasing a 20mm 2.8 lens soon. I’ve also seen people using a 1.2 lens. I’ve been looking at B&H getting prices for those lenses.  Those images are amazing as that 1.2 allows alot of light in.

I took some of my oldest after a haircut she got…she looked so cute. The others are of my little one using only available light.

How to use a gray card

In yesterday’s post I showed pictures of my oldest that I did using the gray card to get the proper white balance. However, I didn’t include how to do that. So, I figured I would make a new post explaining how do use it. I’m by no means the expert on this because that set was my first time successfully doing it.

From what I read in the instructions, you can use the gray card to determine exposure, light ratio and color balance.  What you want is a peak right in the middle of the histogram. What I did for this set of photos I had her hold the gray balance card in front of her face. I switched my camera to manual focus and filled the frame with the card. Focused on the card then snapped a picture.  To determine a new white balance, select PRESET MANUAL and press the WB button until the “PRE” display starts to flash, then frame a white or gray object (or card)  full-frame in the view finder and press the shutter release button. The new value for the white balance will be stored in preset d-0. To copy a value from an existing photograph, (which is what I did) select preset  manual, and choose the preset where the value will be stored from preset d-1 to d-4, then choose select image and select the photograph you took of the gray card.

These are the instructions for the D90. I’m not sure about the D80 or any other model.

You want to make sure that you check your surroundings frequently as you photograph because if you move locations, the lighting conditions may have change on you. Someone once told me that when doing portraits for a wedding, using the gray card to set the white balance will help to avoid the “bluish” look in the white dresses.

B & H sells gray cards for around 11.00 dollars. I’ve included the link below.