While I would really like to travel right now, as I would normally be doing to some degree, I am not yet comfortable taking that step (but I’m definitely giving it some thought). Covid-19 has all of us locked in place to some degree, depending on a variety of businesses that are affected, our geographic location and/or our health status. I’m not too worried about my health, even though I am 67, I have no underlying illnesses and my overall health is good, but I don’t want to get sick either! But, like most of us, I really want to photograph something, preferably some wildlife in a scenic setting but it looks like I won’t be doing that anytime soon.
Recently, I’ve taken to my porch to harass (theoretically speaking) the birds. A couple of weeks ago I finally received a telephoto lens that had been on back order for months so I’m using the time to learn the lens. I did not mind it being on back order since I was not sure I wanted to spend the money on it and I had actually forgotten about it, since B&H had told me so many times that it was not available. Then, it showed up at my door and now, after having used it to photograph from my porch, I guess I’m keeping it! Prior to taking to my porch I was able to get around in the county I live in to photograph wildflowers and it was nice to get out and photograph anything at that point. Having the opportunity to photograph both subjects let me use the Nikon D500 with the new Nikon 500mm PF lens as well as the Nikon Z7 with the Z-24-70 lens and the Nikon 24-170 lens with the Z converter. I don’t want to forget how to use my gear!
Poppy with Sky
Nikon Z7, Z 24-70 lens, f/5.6, 1/2000 second (hand-held), ISO 400
Click for an enlargement
As someone who likes to photograph many different types of subjects I’ve learned that each type of subject requires a very different approach, although there are always settings and techniques that overlap. There was a beautiful super-bloom of field poppies in a canyon about half an hour from my house in April that I was able to visit twice, but prior to that I was able to find other varieties of wildflowers on local hiking trails. As I love nature in general I can almost always find a flower or some other subject in nature to photograph in the hopes of turning the image into something even more beautiful that what I originally saw. I actually like to play around with software to process images as I enjoy attempting to create an image the way I want it to be seen. The image below is an Indian Paintbrush wildflower, this flower is indigenous to California and can be a challenge to shoot due to the difficulty that can be a part of photographing images that are red. If I were going to print this I’d probably have to use the Soft Proofing feature in LrC and proof it with different types of paper, carefully checking the gamut range for each paper. My intent with this image was to create something a little more mystical in nature than simply a red flower in nature. I toned down the blacks in the Basic panel and used the Brush tool to work on exposure in various parts of the image as well as to add texture on the flower. I went over the background of the image multiple times with the brush tool to further block out the black areas.
To read the rest of the article, please log in. This article is available to all Silver, Gold and Platinum Nikonians members. If you are not registered yet, please do so. To discover the world of Nikonians and the advantages of being a registered member, take our short discovery tour.
More articles that might interest you