Saturday, May 13, 2017

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum

I live very close to Dulles Airport, and the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.  The museum is incredible, and the collection includes many one-of-a-kind aircraft, including the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  Yet, I've always had trouble photographing there.  Essentially one huge open space, it's difficult to focus on any one thing or type of aircraft.  I'm shooting a jet fighter, and there's a biplane or helicopter, also in the field of view.

Well, today, I tried something different.  In order to isolate my subjects, I shot with a long telephoto lens (200mm f4 Micro-Nikkor, manual focus), which allowed me to focus on details of various air and space craft.  I cropped tight enough that the identity of any given aircraft is not obvious.  I also used a strong flash.  This allowed me to close down to smaller apertures, increasing depth of field, but more importantly allowed me to make anything in the background go completely black.  In other words, I only lit what I wanted to see, and the ambient light in the background was too low to show up in the pictures. 

Here are a few of my favorite results:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Live Dead '69

Last night, I attended an amazing live music show at Bright Box, in Winchester, Virginia.  A celebration of the Grateful Dead, the show was called "Live Dead '69," and featured former Grateful Dead pianist Tom Constanten, Slick Aguilar of Jefferson Starship and the David Crosby Band, and Mark Karan who played with The Other Ones and Ratdog.

All of these images were shot on the Nikon Df, with the Nikkor 20mm f1.8 AF-S, Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-S, and Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AF-D lenses.  Processed in Lightroom to emulate Ilford Delta 3200 film, a treatment that I really like for live music images.