So now I need a telephoto that’s autofocus, at least 600mm, maybe 800 or even 1000mm. Here’s a pic I shot this morning of some dude at the Shores goofing around in the small surf on his longboard. He started out surfing it regularfoot but then dropped down to a seated Quasimoto or whatever. I broke out the old Sigma analog 600 f4 and set up with the tripod on the concrete boardwalk. In doing this I quickly discovered — I need to get a modern telephoto lens if I’m going to do any action sports photography. Unlike the shoot at Windansea last week with my Tamron 200 which had plenty of “tack sharp” crispness, these pics were all hit-and-miss. This shot was among the as-good-as-it-gets cetegory:
In the early 80’s I was out of high school and toying with the idea of contributing to the at that time many surfing magazines being published. Actually in the US there was only Ing, Out, and Er — which were Surfing Magazine, Breakout Magazine, and Surfer Magazine. George Salvadore, who was the editor at the Carlsbad-based Breakout Magazine at the time told me the formula for shooting surfing. It was this: use ASA 64 Kodachrome “Red” slide film, and shoot f4 at 250th of a second or faster. That was it. Today the technology’s improved so much you can shoot at a much higher ISO and stopped down for a larger depth of field and still get good results. But that’s what you had to do back then.
I do like my antique glass though. I’ll hang on to my 40 year-old Sigma monster 600. You can’t turn that tight focusing collar fast enough to stay on a rider but boy does it look impressive mounted on a ‘pod.
Due to our weather and fine economy San Diego and Southern California’s wedding season is all year long.
words and photos by me, Reviewer Rob
As you may know, dear reader, we here at Reviewer Magazine will do pretty much anything legal for money. If you can be paid decently to do it and and not get in trouble, then hey, this is 2017 and we’re all about meeting those bills.
I began shooting photos in my early twenties back in the late-1980’s and was asked to shoot weddings from the start. Over the last ten years I’ve elevated my event coverage and portraiture to world-class levels and include wedding packages that combine artistry and journalistic techniques in a very unique style.
One night a month The Office on 30th Street in San Diego (the classic old completely remodeled Scolari’s Office space, remember?) turns into a country-western honky tonk now and it’s a free for all on stage as local talent does their best Americana version of classic like Merle, Hank, Johnny, and others, as well as some originals. Bring a cowboy hat and drink Jack straight.
This photo was shot about an hour and a half ago at 6:05 p.m., from a parking lot up on a hilltop overlooking a freeway in north metro San Diego. The area directly in front of me below the plane of the moon was relatively free of urban and streetlight pollution, although there were some office parks about one mile away with similar light like the ones to my left and right in the parking lot I was in. I was using my Asahi Pentax 600mm f/4.5-f/45 fixed focal length lens on my Nikon D5300 set at ISO 100. I had the lens set at f/16.5, and shutter speed for this photo was 1/500 sec. There was some slight haze but it was overall a cloudless and clear night. Two days ago there was much drier conditions with a true Santa Ana. Too bad the Supermoon didn’t get scheduled for then.
This was the last of a series of 22 photos, and I used escalating shutter speeds from 200th up each notch to 500th, settling on 1/500th because my tripod is a little wiggly with a long lens. The faster shutter I shot it at the more crisp the image appeared in my viewfinder.
The RAW image was adjusted in Photoshop CC and then cropped out to isolate it in the field. Then I monochromed it to take out all the color. It’s dark, to highlight detail, but hey it’s the moon. It looks better dark and spooky.
‘Known as the Beaver Moon or Frost Moon, this one will be exceptionally large and bring higher than normal tides.
“The full moon of Nov. 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016 but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century,” Nasa said in a statement, adding the full moon will not come this close to Earth again until 25 November 2034.’
Why I shoot NEF RAW, and other superfluously obvious information
by Reviewer Rob
I was in Portland last weekend to finish up distributing a few hundred copies of issue 50 that had the Bundy Militia story in it. Ammon Bundy was on the cover in an article where Sarah Glass Shafer met him briefly at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff near Burns, Oregon, in January of this year, and on the back page was the article of her interview with militia spokesman LaVoy Finnicum. He’s the one who was eventually killed during a traffic stop with police about a month later after repeatedly taunting officers that they would have to shoot him. It was videoed by occupants of the vehicle he was driving as well as from police helicopter circling overheard. Very unfortunate.
So anyways, this is one reason why a couple of days before I arrived the not-guilty verdict in the federal trial of standoff participants was received as such good news by many members of the local public in Portland, and ehy it was important to get more copies of issue 50 up there ASAP. The recent verdict was the culmination of a big news story nationally.
While up there I had time to do some sightseeing, and there’s lots to see in the northwest. Portland is a fine combination of Big City and Great Outdoors because you’ve got all the elements of civilized society around you, yet wilderness is only a short car ride away. Witness the Willamette River: it’s a large tributary that flows into an even larger river, the Columbia, which can provide fresh water and power 365 days of the year. In the summer I’m a sure it’s an unending form of aquatic recreation too.
As for my photolog post, here it is:
I always set my cameras to shoot both JPEG and NEF RAW large/fine images. It takes up more space on the card but that’s okay, I just buy larger and more memory cards and more hard drives to archive shoots. I began shooting both several years ago while doing wedding gigs when the brides and grooms that hired me to shoot their ceremonies didn’t have the computer apps or know-how to process RAW images and needed their photos to be ready right away. But I also always wanted to have the RAW files on hand to do their custom image work separately. Below is an example of why.
The top photo is the original version. It was how the jpeg file looked when created, but the NEF RAW image was identical to it in appearance. The two below it contrast the limitations of the jpeg image against the versatility of the RAW file. Both were adjusted on in Photoshop until the best results could be achieved. The depth of color and detail retention of the RAW image at bottom can not be disputed, of course. Look at the wake behind the boat, and at what’s looks like a small sheltered cove only partially visible under the boat dock walk ramp in the upper left of the photo. You can see right into it in the RAW pic while in the jpeg it’s only a murky shadow. The state had experienced a very rainy October and although the image was slightly over exposed the brown color of the early November river water was well captured in RAW and brought out by the photo processing app. In the jpeg version not so much true color was recorded.
Clearly you should love shooting RAW and never settle for less.
Back to the subject of Portland. When I return, and I hope to very soon, I want to take my 600mm f4 and get some shots of the volcano Mount Hood. It has glaciers on it all the time and looks breathtaking at a distance against a cloudless blue sky.