Wednesday, February 22, 2006

President's Day Weekend 2006

A few photos from my President's Day weekend trip down the Gorge.

Multinomah Falls

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Thursday, February 16, 2006


Dripping Water, again. This time, in portrait mode.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Just in -- My New Nikon!

Being a Nikon freak, I just got another camera. Yes, I know, I just spent $350 on an 8008s system back in September, with a flash, two lenses the MF-21 back, and the remote cable. Aside from the back and the cable, however, I intended on the 8008s being a temporay fix until I could go digital. And, part of that investment would pay off, since the lenses and flash would work on the digital. Thanks to a decent refund check from Uncle Sam, I was finally able to get my digital SLR.

I'll have more discussion as to why I went with the Nikon D1H later, but I just wanted to get down some pictures.

I finally got to really play with my SB-28 (non-DX version) flash today -- the strobe feature which I really, really wanted to try out. After shooting about 5 frames in total darkness (and looking at the preview in the monitor), I finally captured what I intended on:

(Click on the above picture for a larger version.)

I tweaked the file in my digital darkroom (adding Nikon View to my image processing toolbox), converting it to black & white on the computer, and adding a soft-focus touch to draw you into the dropping water. If you want to examine the .NEF file, including the camera's EXIF info, here it is (3.90 mb -- You'll need either Picasa or Nikon view to open it, though -- fortunately both of which are free downloads). In the digital realm, this .NEF (RAW) file is very similar to a film's negative/slide. It's really, really cool that I can make an exact clone of this for backup purposes, and for futher processing. I'm pretty much going to try and shoot in RAW mode, since the 12-bit depth it offers is really cool. It looks like the EXIF didn't capture that I had the flash set to the strobe setting -- 50 Hz, 1/64th power and 3-4 flash bursts (not exactly sure).

I love this camera already! I can't wait for the spare batteries to come in, as I blew through this one pretty quickly (after waiting an extra 90 minutes for it to charge initially).

Here are a few more pictures with the flash (since it was dark by the time the battery was charged). The flash in A mode (instead of TTL, since the DX only works in TTL) certainly works just fine. I was a bit surprised that it kept up with my lens zoom adjustments, as well as my ISO tweaks. Of course, they're pictures of my son:

(Both images tweaked, of course, in the digital darkroom)

Finally, I wanted to test the motor drive and flash recycle rate in A mode. The batteries in the flash weren't exactly fresh, so I was only able to get four bursts whilest crankin' away at a 1/500 flash sync at 5 fps. I shrunk the image sizes down to 320x290, and made a quick Flash animation out of it. Check it out!

My inital reaction to this camera is that it is exactly what I expected. I'll have an adjustment period, I'm sure, and while Moose Peterson's Cliff's notes of the 225-page instruction manual really, really helps, I still have a ton to learn about this monster of a camera. Sure, it's 5-year-old technology. It still works for me!

If you'd like to use images in this blog post, please e-mail paul(at)