The Way I See It

Posts Tagged ‘review


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Tree Trunks I, Green Lake, 2012

Tree Trunks I, Green Lake, 2012

A friend asked what I think of the Sony NEX-7 for a travel kit so I have been diligently trying to put it through it’s paces.

I shot Tree Trunks I under the dense mid-summer tree canopy. The difference in EVs between the highlights and the rest of the bark was huge…maybe 5 or 6 stops. I processed the RAW file in Lightroom, doing a fair amount of dodging and burning to get the image to where it approximates what (I feel) the human eye/brain perceives. I was pleased to find that I could pull as much detail out of the highlights as I wanted.

Tree Trunks II was made under a typical cloudy Seattle sky. No direct sunlight to contend with but the location of this tree meant that certain portions of the frame were rather brightly illuminated by reflected light. In processing, I again applied some dodging and burning to even things out. The thing that pleased me about this image is that it shows how much detail the NEX sensor (+ inexpensive 55-210mm lens) is able to resolve.

Tree Trunks II, Green Lake, 2012

Tree Trunks II, Green Lake, 2012

Tree Trunks I: 1/25 second at f/13, ISO 400. Sony NEX-7 + E 55-210mm OSS.
Tree Trunks II: 1/60 second at f/8, ISO 400. Sony NEX-7 + E 55-210mm OSS.


Written by xinapray

August 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Spring Arrives

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It looks like we are finally into Spring. As the weather warms, one of the popular gathering places is the quadrangle (“The Quad”) at the University of Washington, which boasts a 60+ year-old collection of carefully curated Yoshino cherry trees that always seem to bloom in unison. When this happens, residents and visitors alike descend on campus; on sunny days, it reverberates with excited oohs and aahs, joyful giggling and delighted shrieking.  Most people see the quad experience as a celebration of the season. I see it as a celebration of life.

kids in trees iuntitled

kids in trees i

This year, while most people focused on the beautiful pale-peach blossoms, I decided to concentrate on the people, for it is the people who give this spring ritual life. I made these images in sunshine, clouds and rain, conditions that are typical of spring in the Northwest. If you are one of the people featured here, do drop me a note. I’d love to get a print to you.



Photo Notes
A major impetus behind the creation of these images is my ongoing evaluation of the Sony NEX-7 system. As such, these images were made with the 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 (SEL1855) and 55-210 mm f/4.5-6.3 (SEL55210) “kit” lenses. When proper technique, the JPG images that came out of the camera were very, very good. Nontheless, I chose to process the RAW files in Lightroom to get more familiar with both ARWs (Sony RAW files) and Lightroom. Coincidentally, the resulting images look very much like the out-of-camera JPGs. 😉



FlashBus 2011 Mini Review

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FlashBus 2011

I am primarily an available-light photographer. Landscapes, nature, travel. When the light is low, my trusty tripod and remote comfort me. Shoot with a Speedlight? Only when I’m forced to – and with some scepticism and a bit of apprehension. But when I read that two of the greats of modern strobe photography were putting on a road show (and heavens!, there was going to be a stop in Seattle!), I knew I had to sign up.

If you are a photographer who spends any time at all on the Web, you can’t help but recognize the names David Hobby (the Strobist) and Joe McNally (is there anyone famous that this guy hasn’t shot?). A combined 60 years experience between the two of ‘em. More magazine and website covers than you’d ever guess.

Hobby kicked off the show. His job was to ensure that we understood the fundamentals. This accomplished, he then guided us through his techniques and thought processes. McNally had the afternoon. Lots of “let’s do it right here, right now” show-and-tell. Both masters were entertaining beyond words. But more  importantly, they taught us stuff. Very, very useful stuff.

My takeaways?

1. Lighting with Speedlights is not magic. It’s science – primarily of physics and math. It employs elements of the scientific method – experimentation, measurement, prediction, repeatability. Do it enough times with the same equipment and you, too, can get that perfect exposure. Just like Hobby and McNally.

2. Making compelling images with Speedlights – that is art. It involves vision and experience and people skills. On top of the science, heap on gobs of creativity. Then turn on the charisma and the wit and the persuasion. Anyone with a human subject and a bunch of gear can make a portrait. But to get an already-jittery soprano to calm down and even agree to make an offbeat singing-in-the-shower image – that is what makes people like Hobby and McNally seem like gods among us mere click-happy mortals.

3. Bottom line – Flashbus is about light. How to see it, use it, bend it, shape it. As photographers, the more we know about light, the better we will be at our craft. My 100 bucks were incredibly well-spent.

You can see more here:

Written by xinapray

March 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

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