Thursday, October 1, 2015

Walking Tour Itinerary and Plan - LHSA Annual Meeting - Georgetown, Washington DC, Thursday October 15, 2015

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, I will lead a walking tour as part of the program for the International Leica Society (LHSA)'s annual meeting. This year, the meeting will be held in Washington, DC. My tour will be a nice walk through Georgetown, and will last from 8:30AM to noon.
Here's the itinerary (total 2.8 miles walking), with likely photographic interests listed below each location:
8:30 AM: I will meet the group in the Marriott Lobby; we need to leave promptly at 8:30AM to catch an 8:45AM train at Crystal City Metro Station (8 minutes transport time). Fare is $3.20 (cash/fare card). For those who can, it will be very helpful if you can purchase Metro fare cards before the tour. A total of $6.40 per person should cover the Metro ride both ways.

9:00-9:20 AM: Begin walk from Rosslyn Metro Station across Key Bridge to Georgetown.
- nice views of the Potomac River, Roosevelt Island, Georgetown Waterfront from above

9:20-9:50 AM: Georgetown University (37th Ave NW from Prospect St North to O St NW).
- campus architecture, students

9:50-10:15 AM: Walk East on O St NW to Wisconsin Ave NW
- Cobblestone street, neighborhood architecture

10:15-10:45 AM: Walk South on Wisconsin Ave NW to Georgetown Waterfront
- people, street scenes, cross C&O canal

10:45-11:15 AM: Walk along Waterfront, up 33rd St NW to M St
- Potomac River, park

11:15-11:45 AM: Walk M St NW back to Key Bridge, back across bridge to Rosslyn Metro Station. Trains returning to Crystal City leave at 11:35AM and 11:47 AM (8 mins. transport time). Fare is $3.20 (cash/fare card).
- Street scenes

Here's a map of the walking portion of the tour:
The red dot in the image above is Rosslyn Station.
Here are some teaser images from my practice walk, to give you some ideas of what you may see on the tour:
Key Bridge:
Wisconsin Avenue:
Georgetown Waterfront:
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Washington, DC!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

That's Old Time

Banjo Player with Pokey LaFarge, by Reed A. George
Nikon Df, Nikkor 180mm f2.8 AF Lens
iso 1100, f2.8, 1/250 sec.
This guy has a very classic look. Easy to photograph.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Watching the Lanterns Lift Off

At the Watermelon Park Festival this last weekend, I got to spend some time with friends I haven't seen in a while. In this scene, as we sat around the campfire, my friend Rudy B and his lovely girlfriend Sarah watched as a group of people constructed, lit, and set free some Chinese Lanterns. They flew up and up, finally disappearing into the clouds of the night sky.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Frequency Shift

"If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration."
- Nikola Tesla
After more than three and a half years of writing every day, I'm going to take a step back.
I started this blog as a tool, to help me to explore my creative pursuit. Like any tool, its usefulness has changed over time. I've used it to explore being "The Lumix Guy," "The Film Guy," and to some extent a Leica, Nikon, Pentax, etc. guy. I've also used it to explore real photography, art, and thought. It has been a very good tool for me.
I'm not killing the blog, at least not at this moment. But, it won't be my daily breakfast companion for a while.
I will probably try to explore writing with lower frequency, but more depth. That's not how most blogs work, but this one is my own.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Learning the Nikon D810 - My Menu Settings

D810's "My Menu"
I've been using my new Nikon D810 almost exclusively for shooting birds with my 200-400mm f4 lens so far. Clearly, it's good for so much more in addition.
So, I've decided to figure out how to use all of the functions, and how to remember which are important to think of regularly as I change shooting conditions.
Among the features are Shooting and Custom Setting "Banks." These allow you to save settings for different applications and quickly switch between them. The big problem (unbelievable, really), is that if you're in a bank and change a setting, it remains changed, even after you turn off the camera. Basically they really only represent whatever your settings were last in that bank! Yes, you can get around this, if you can remember to reload settings each and every time you shoot. This requires not only a good memory, but also that you use the same memory card (where the settings are stored) every time, and don't format it. Not so useful.
A better option is to use "My Menu." This feature allows you to identify up to 20 settings from the menu system, which you want quick access to at any time. I went through every menu and selected which features I think I'll need regularly. Here they are:
  1. ISO sensitivity settings
  2. e3 Flash contrl for built-in flash
  3. e4 Exposure comp. for flash
  4. Image quality
  5. Battery info
  6. NEF (RAW) recording
  7. Manage Picture Control
  8. d13 Battery order
  9. d5 Electronic front-curtain shutter
  10. d4 Exposure delay mode
  11. c4 Monitor off delay
  12. c3 Self-timer
  13. c2 Standby timer
  14. b6 Center-weighted area
  15. a8 Number of focus points
  16. a4 AF activation
  17. a1 AF-C priority selection
  18. Long exposure NR
That still leaves two more features, should I decide to add them.
These are by and far the features that I'll use most. By having them in My Menu, I will only have to find them in a list of 18, rather than searching through the entire menu system when I need them. Win.
So, while I may not use the settings banks, My Menu will be key for my use of the D810.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Choosing Tools for Digital Black and White Conversion

Belle of the Plantation, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Summicron 35mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 400, f2, 1/60 sec.
I like to shoot in black and white. I quite often convert my color digital images to monochrome, to get the look I want.
I do have Nik's Silver Efex, which I use as a plug-in for Adobe Lightroom. It has a lot of flexibility, and works very well. More often than not, though, I do the conversion directly in Lightroom.
(Click Here) to read a post on Digital Photography School, where they present and compare five different plug-ins: Silver Efex Pro 2, Exposure, Perfect Black and White, B&W Effects 2, and DxO FilmPack. Lots of information to help you decide which plug-in may be best for you, if any.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

So, How Is the Nikon D810?

I'm still getting my feet wet with this camera, but check this out:
Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodius, by Reed A. George
Nikon D810, Nikkor 200-400mm f4 AF-S VR G Lens
iso 1600, f5, 1/2000 sec.
The detail in the print I made of this shot is just stupendous. iso 1600? Not a problem at all.
At 6400, I do see image quality start to drop off, but still quite impressive. At 1600, it's lovely.