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Out and about at last with the D800


Stockton-on-Tees, UK
175 posts

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Zareeba Gold Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2008
Wed 03-Apr-13 05:23 PM

I got my D800 in December (27 December to be exact) and due to a combination of things (ill-health, horrible weather etc) I haven't had the opportunity to get out and about much with it. So with the weather today finally feeling like spring I decided to make the effort. I went to a park about 12 miles from where I live, which used to be part of a country estate. It has a large lake with meandering offshoots and several bridges, classical temples and Gothic 'ruins', and is a really pleasant place to spend a few hours. The lake is home to a large number of water birds - Canada geese, mallard ducks, coots and not least, a very large colony of mute swans. I love swans but I'm always a bit wary of them as they can get quite aggressive in spring during the nesting season, but the swans at Hardwick Park are quite tame and often go walkabout among the park's visitors without, as far as I can see, threatening anyone.

I only took one lens, because I was on my own (my porter, aka hubby, was otherwise engaged tinkering with car bits) and having a dodgy hip didn't want to be lugging too much gear around. For the same reason I didn't take my tripod or monopod, so all my shots were hand-held. Even with the MB-D12 grip in place, thanks to my Nikonians Pro strap I was able to carry the D800 for a considerable length of time without feeling weighted down. I was really pleased with the D800's performance; although I only had my 20-70mm zoom, I managed to get some usable shots of the wildlife, especially the swans, without having to approach too close (in any case some of the swans were quite far out on the lake), knowing that I could crop the shots in post-production with confidence.

Here is one of the swans (a young one, from the colouring) going walkabout along the lakeside path, and another out on the lake (minimal post-processing - just cropping followed by small adjustments in Lightroom to pull back the detail in the highlights; I'll eventually Photoshop out the tree trunk in the first pic ):

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D4, D800, D600

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