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.
Newly acquired: an early Model Contaflex from the German company Zeiss Icon. Looks like the fixed lens version they came out with in the beginning before interchangeable lenses were included. It’s attractive and serviceable in working condition but will most likely be seen as a prop in a photo shoot long before I get around to loading it with a roll of Kodachrome. Although I keep my lenses forever I’ve never been too interested in the antique cameras. They call it progress for a reason.
Talking ink: Low Gallery in Barrio Logan at a mid-summer show during ComicCon
by Reviewer Rob
I had both my Nikons hanging on my neck this night with the goal of playing around with their capabilities. The D5200 and D5300 were set on their fastest ISOs for a shoot at Meegan’s art gallery/performance venue Low. I’d come to see a couple of bands play, Lisa Carver’s Suckdog and The Vaginals (Vaginals sounded great, by the way). It had been a couple of years since I’d last seen Meegan and I noticed she’d gotten a couple of new tattoos.
Meegan Nolan is the stylish owner and proprietor of Low Gallery. She’s all about art — the appreciation as well as the business of it — and only now while ‘shopping this pic did it dawn on me that she was wearing a stylin’ cartoon t-shirt (is that the Tazmanian Devil?). Classic, it was, after all, the weekend of the famous San Diego International ComicCon. Yes as a fashionista Meegan is also a triple threat. On this night her shiny gold pants were amazing. But these classic-era style tattoos were what I really liked. The symbolic “Black Rose” is on her right forearm and a standing nude ‘a la Sailor Jerry adorns her left.
I shot this while the bands were setting up for the show and Meegan was standing against the back wall of the space. No flash was used, just ambient light, so it’s grainy. Like I said, I was pushing what the low light ability of the cameras could do. I think at 1/100th of a second it’s pretty decent. Photoshop brought out more contrast and color from the original RAW image.
Image file info:
Tamron lens 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 DiII VC PZD B008N
Focal Length 18mm (in 35mm: 27mm)
Exposure: 1/100 sec; f/3.5; ISO 12800; Manual; Pattern Metering
Flash: Did not fire
Lisa Carver as “The Dying Mother” with Suckdog at Low Gallery in San Diego, July 2016
When Lisa Carver brought her Suckdog show to town last month I was ambivalent about attending but still probably would have gotten out to see it. Then I got (willingly) roped into driving her and her four-woman band up to L.A. the day after it so that made it required I show up. I took full advantage of the event and recorded Reviewer TV videos and shot photos of the Alternative-Popculture Star because few can argue she is anything but newsworthy. She may not be the Queen Of The Underground as some have accused her but she’s certainly the Dancing Queen.
While waiting outside Low Gallery for the doors to open (I found out later after calling Megan that the entrance was out back in the alley) I set my D5200 on one of its higher ISO setting of 6400 to shoot some photos of the neighborhood in the after-sunset streetlamp light of Barrio Logan with the Coronado Bridge in the background. Then when the show was going to start I began shooting crowd shots of the ten or so spectators that arrived to watch, keeping the settings the same. The idea was to use the camera mounted flash as little as possible so as not to distract the performers or the audience. I ended up using the flash a lot anyways but kept the speed fast. So the two pics below are a bit grainy but I fixed them and to some extent removed noise in Photoshop.
I had the camera-mounted tilt-flash on soft and in these vertical photos as in all of them I angled it towards the roof and used my cupped left hand as a block/reflector held above it to bounce some diffused light towards the subject.
I plan to begin setting up the GPS location info on my cameras because it looks like that’s been left out for some reason.
Both photos below were shot one after the other and were both vertical and full length but the one on top has been enlarged and cropped to reveal detail.
They were shot in quick succession with no adjustment and here’s the recorded image data taken from the bottom full-length photo:
Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di LD Aspherical IF B001N
at focal length 24mm (in 35mm: 24mm)
1/100 sec; f/4.5; ISO 6400; Manual; Pattern metering
Flash: Fired, Strobe return light not detected, Compulrsory flash firing, Flash function present, No red-eye reduction
I have two photo log blog entries to Photoshop, Lightroom gallery, upload and write. One from last night (6-15) where I was shooting ambient light with my D5300 and Vivitar analog 2.5 105mm fixed. and the other is from tonight when I finally got out to see the got (Industrial rock?) biggies My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult on stage at The Casbah. I wanted to shoot a video of the big radio play hit “Sex On Wheels”. And I did!
But then I met this girl Kate and her friend Nicole and they were all hip to get down and do some shooting right there in the club.
Everything else must wait now. Hot goth girls always, ALWAYS, get to go first.
So here’s an autogallery posted below that Adobe Lightroom cranked out. I shot RAW pics too so I will undoubtably do some Photoshopping of them for the upcoming print issue, Reviewer 51, where at least one or two will be on the pages.
I’ll try to get the other stuff up later, when I have more time.
In the meanwhile take a look at Kate and Nicole…
Gothy hot girls that perform for the camera, quite often nothing is better.