A friend of ours was on her way through the hood and was able to stop by for a couple days visit. It was super fun to have Teresa and her (and our new) friend Talitha stop by. We haven’t hung out for many moons as Teresa and her husband have been living in New Zealand for a couple of years. Great to have them back in Canada! And, it was a grand occasion for me additionally because I got to play with the Nikon D800! Teresa is an awesome photographer now based out of Calgary, AB. Check her out at http://teresarehmann.com. We traded some photography as she needed some updated portraits and we needed a family photo that has all of us in it! bwahahhaah… 😎 And, I got to test the D800 extensively. And test I did, plugging all my lenses onto it and running it through it’s paces. I know the sensor is good. But I didn’t know it was THAT good. It is unbelievable. I’m really not exaggerating here. The image quality, the sharpness, the detail, the contrast, the colour, it’s nearly beyond description. And for what I do, portraits, landscapes and macro stuff, it’s a match made in heaven. HOWEVER. And it’s a big however, the files are so huge that they are unruly. We shot everything in RAW pretty much and editing them on my 3.06 iMac with 8 GB of RAM was painful. Slow. Excruciatingly so – packed in the whole Mac and needed a reset once. But it’s worth it! The images are unbelievable, especially with my 105mm macro lens. “Wicked sharp” has a whole new meaning to me! There’s just sooo much detail and nothing hides from that sensor. Probably need a new computer though . . . 😀
Winter has moods all its own. It can be happy and vibrant with colours or it can be dismal and bleak with fog! Living in the prairies gives you a taste of everything – and if you don’t like it, just wait 20 minutes and it will change! 😉 I was able to get out for a little walk two days ago and today and nab some landscapes. It’s such a wild difference in the mood of the photos. We had some nice sun on the 1st which made for beautiful skies that were cheerful and bright. But today was pea-soup fog that didn’t let up all day. The photos are so bleak and void of life that it’s depressing! Capturing both moods makes for a “cool” contrast in prairie winter scenes. 😎
I got up before the sunrise today! 😎 . . . only to get skunked by clouds and gloomy light. hehehehe…. always the way it goes. But I was able to make a couple of frames with the new lens. All the shots came out of the camera tack sharp from corner to corner at f/8. But they’re comparable wide open at f/4 too. The other thing is that the VR engine in the lens is quiet. Most of the time they warble and ping like a mouse was inside the lens doing a tap dance. But this thing is different. Sorry about the morbidity of the dead fox carcass in the road. But that’s life in the prairies in winter. Eat or be eaten!! 😉
When I woke up and looked out my window, the sun was just starting to peak over the horizon. There was scads of hoar frost everywhere and as the sun started to warm things up, I knew I had to go nab some shots! I drove south with my 16-85mm lens and went to work composing shots. There were pictures everywhere but I had a few spots in mind that I knew I had to stop at – mainly because I missed them last week when I was driving south without my camera! 😉 I threw my tripod in as well just in case some HDR opportunities showed arose – which they did.
I came across this really cool shed and the way the light was, I couldn’t quite get the exposure with one shot. I wanted to keep the detail on the shed so I did a five shot bracket and stitched it together with HDR eFex Pro. It is some awesome software. I did one more HDR shot of the road that I was parked on which turned out ok too. I didn’t push either of the images too much, just enough to get the colors and the structure I like in the snow.
Anyways, it was a very pleasant morning of shooting landscapes, despite it being really cold and freezing my hands. Guess I need to buy some gloves! 😉