Autumnal Leaf Detail
Comments? Copyright 2012 By Jeffrey Aiello Photography.
Make sure you’re there for this year’s New Hampshire Fall Colors Workshop, sign up now and receive your 10% discount!
Teton Reflections. Photographed this morning in Grand Teton NP. Comments? Copyright 2012 By Jeffrey Aiello Photography.
Continuing from my “Giving You Feedback On Your Photography” post here on my blog, here’s a couple of the most common problems that I see in the images that I’m asked to review and give feedback on. Have a look at the list and then your shots. Be honest… then, of course, we can discuss your shots!
1. The image is out of focus. Either the camera was moved while the shutter was open or autofocus was not used, or used correctly, or the shooter manually and incorrectly focused the shot. Most common reason, the camera was moved while the shutter was open.
2. THE IMAGE IS OUT OF FOCUS!! (For you Fight Club fans, think the first rule and second rule of Fight Club!)
3. The image is too dark or under exposed. I see this a lot. Most amateur photographers underexpose their images.
4. The image is too light or over exposed. This isn’t as common as under exposing images, but it’s a very common mistake.
5. The image lacks interest. Maybe this mistake should be 3 on this list… I see a lot of shots that make me ask “why?” “Why was this image taken?” So, ask yourself, why are you shooting this image? What’s interesting about it? What could draw someone into the image? What is going to capture and maintain a viewer’s mind and imagination?
6. There are things in the image that just don’t belong. Sure, you’ve shot a photo of an amazing sunset…. But… you shot it off your back porch, so instead of the viewer seeing a beautiful sunset and the mountains, the viewer sees the railing of the porch, an arm of a chair on the deck, cables running through the corner of the image and into the house, a telephone pole or two, telephone cables, maybe a stop sign, and then maybe a bit of the sunset. So, what could been amazing, well, isn’t. Take the time to compose your shots.
One sure-fire way to make sure you don’t repeatedly make the errors on this list is to take one of my workshops that are given around the country, Jeffrey Aiello Photography Workshops, one-on-one tutoring, and remote tutoring. Whether I’m giving a workshop or a private lesson, I work very hard to improve the photographic and photo editing skills of my students.
Workshops are great fun and you’ll learn more about photography than you ever imagined. Have a look at my testimonials page, Jeffrey Aiello Photography Testimonials, to get an idea as to what to expect from a multi-day workshop. If you don’t’ have the time to devote to a multi-day workshop, then a private lesson may just be the thing you need to ramp up your photo skills.
Have a look at what I offer and please contact me to sign up for workshop, private lesson, or remote tutoring and really take your photography to the next level!
The Grandstand is a monolith located on the north end of the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park. The Grandstand is the only vertical landmark in the bright and flat expanse of the 3 square mile Racetrack Playa.
Photographed during my Death Valley Spring Photo Workshop, with my Nikon D3x, and my Nikon Super Wide Angle AF-S Zoom Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Autofocus Lens.
I’d like to hear your comments and thoughts. Copyright 2012 by Jeffrey Aiello Photography.
I realize it’s after Valentine’s… but hey, it takes a few days for these roses to open! I’m thinking this is a Valentines card for next year? Thoughts?
Copyright 2012 by Jeffrey Aiello Photography. Please Do Not Download. Send me a message or log onto my site, Jeffrey Aiello Photography, to purchase your photograph!
I’ve just added a testimonials page to my website Jeffrey Aiello Photography. As you can imagine, everyone who takes one of my workshops or classes has their own reason(s) for wanting to improve their photography. Learing and understanding the technical aspects of photography or working on something in particular, such as filter usage, everyone can learn something in my workshops or classes.
I received so many complements and accolades, that I thought it was time to put up a Testimonials page. Please have a look at my Testimonials page and see what budding, and up and coming, photographers are saying about my workshops and classes.
If you want to improve your photography in general, or sell more of your art, or create award-winning photographs, one of my workshops is for you! Photographers that have taken my workshops and/or classes have gone on to win photography contests and greatly increased their sales.
One of my fans/friends on facebook sent me this recently “Nikon sells a ’18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II DX Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens.’ I’m a pretty serious amateur who is honestly more into the science than the art of photography and even I’m not 100% sure what all that really means after the focal length and f-stops. A blog explaining lens terminology would be a good read.” I’m sure he’s not alone in his confusion as to what all the numbers and letters in their various combinations means when looking at a lens model, so here you go.
My disclaimer: I’m only truly familiar with Nikon (Nikkor) lenses, so I can’t explain what the same numbers mean in Canon, Pentax, and other company’s lenses, but I’d expect they’d be similar, as they (Lens manufacture’s try to confuse the public any more than they have to, or so they say.)
The Lens model I’ve selected for this “breakdown” is my most often used landscape lens, my (this is what I would say in person) Nikon 17-35mm wide angle lens. Now, onto how the lens would be listed on Nikon’s website or at B & H, or other online retailers, or at your local camera store.
Here’s how the lens model reads on Nikon’s website:
AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED
I’ll break down each portion of the lens model name and then I’ll tell you what it all means, in as plain-as-possible English.
AF-S — Autofocus-Silent. This lens uses a “Silent Wave Motor”, so named by Nikon.
Zoom – This lens is capable of adjusting its focal length using a zoom ring.
Nikkor - This is the brand of lenses produced by Nikon Corporation, including camera lenses for the Nikon F-mount (DSLR and SLR camera bodies).
17-35mm - This lens is capable of adjusting its focal length (zooming) using its zoom ring from 17 millimeters to 35 millimeters.
f/2.8 - This is the maximum aperture of the lens. Since this is a low number, 2.8 compared to 5 for example, this is a “Fast” lens. Lens speed refers to the maximum aperture diameter, or minimum f-number, of a lens. A lens with a larger maximum aperture (that is, a smaller minimum f-number) is a fast lens because it delivers more light intensity (illuminance) to the focal plane, allowing a faster shutter speed. A smaller maximum aperture (larger minimum f-number) is “slow” because it delivers less light intensity and requires a slower shutter speed. Lens speed is important in taking pictures in dim light, and is a key variable in combination with other variables such as focal length and camera format size.
D – This is a lens with “D” functionality. When “D” is indicated after the f-number in the name, the lens electronically communicates focus distance information, which is incorporated into the camera’s exposure calculations in 3D Matrix Metering mode, and also D-TTL and I-TTL flash auto-exposure. All AF-I, AF-S, and G-type lenses are also D-type.
IF-ED – This lens has Internal Focus (IF) and “Extra-low Dispersion” (ED) glass. With internal focusing, focusing is accomplished through the movement of internal lens groups, eliminating extension and rotation of the front lens element, allowing focus to be driven quickly by a small motor. IF lenses allow the use of a polarizing filter without the need to readjust it after focus. Extra-low Dispersion glass is incorporated into the lens to reduce chromatic aberration. Lenses using ED elements usually carry a gold ring around the barrel to indicate that the lens incorporates ED glass.
So, my AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED, is a autofocus zoom lens with a silent-wave motor, that has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and a zoom range of 17-35mm and includes internal focusing and ED glass, made by Nikkor. If you ran into a fellow photographer (me for example) and asked them “Hey, what lens are you using?”, they’d probably reply with something like “a fast, wide-angle zoom by Nikon (or Nikkor).” They’d say something like “a 17-35″.
In addition to the above, you will often see “VR” or “VR II” on Nikon telephoto lenses, such at their AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens. For these lenses:
VR - Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization. Vibration Reduction, engineered specifically for each VR NIKKOR lens, enables handheld shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper still images and video capture.
II - This is a VR lens with Nikon’s second generation of Image stabilization.
So there you have it! If you’re shooting Nikon, that should be fairly complete. If you’re not shooting Nikon, you probably can still get a pretty good idea as to the lens(es) you may have or may be interested in buying.
As always, please ask me any questions you may have.
Photographers purchasing a new telephoto lens and/or teleconverter often have many unanswered questions regarding selecting a telephoto lens or teleconverter. How much reach will it give me? What’s that look like compared to my other lenses? How clear will my images be? And so on.
So, the other day, prompted by a belief that my Nikon TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter wasn’t working properly (as it turns out it was working fine), I headed out to the front yard to do some “semi” scientific testing.
First, some parameters:
The lenses and Nikon TC-14E teleconverter were all mounted to the same Nikon Pro DSLR (email/message me if you’d like to know which Nikon camera body I used for this test).
The primary test subject, a leaf on a peach tree, was about 15 ft. away from the Ballhead of my tripod. Note, not 15 ft. away from the end of the lens, since that distance varied due to the different sizes of the two lenses used.
The secondary-ish test subject, a speedy and elusive miniature poodle commonly referred to as “The Butt” varied in distance. He’s the black mass you’ll see in portions of the photos (and there may be a shot of him at the end of this post if he’s a good boy).
The photos are not cropped (with the exception of the last photo). Each photo is posted as it was captured. Most importantly, the photos were NOT sharpened.
NOTE: CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER and then click your brower’s “BACK” button to return to the blog.
Now, on to the test results:
This first shot was taken with a Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Lens at 200 mm.
In this shot, you can see the peach tree’s trunk, branches, leaves, The Butt lying on the grass, his collar, and so forth.
This second shot was taken with a Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Lens at 200mm and with the Nikon TC-14E teleconverter mounted on the lens. The focal length is now at 280mm.
In this shot, you see less of the peach tree’s trunk, less branch, and The Butt is gone (he probably moved…). The leaves are now significantly closer. You can clearly see the larger veins of the leaf on the far left and the veins of the other leaves as well. You can also see some of the leaf’s structure.
This third shot was taken with a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens at 400mm.
In this shot, the peach tree’s trunk is now gone, there is very little branch showing and The Butt is back (that’s how he rolls…). The leaves are even closer, with many of the leaves now out of the frame and the left most leaf now much more centered in the frame. You can very clearly see the veins of the leaf and the most of the leaf’s structure.
This fourth shot was taken with a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens at 400mm and with the Nikon TC-14E teleconverter mounted on the lens. Focal length is now at 550 mm.
In this shot, very little branch is left and The Butt’s gone (finally…). Most of the leaves are gone as well and the left most leaf is now nearly centered in the frame. You can very clearly see the leaf’s structure in its entirety and you can clearly see the serrated edge of the leaf as well.
This last shot IS CROPPED. It is a crop of the fourth shot above. WOW!!
In this crop of the fourth shot, you can only see the leaf. You feel like Chlorophyll or you’re in “A Bug’s Life”. You can imagine flowing through the leaf, bringing life to the peach tree, or being a bee landing to rest on the leaf, or maybe a caterpillar chomping on the leaf’s serrated edges. Regardless, you’re CLOSE and the image is CLEAR, from… 15 feet away. In a word, WOW!
A couple of footnotes: please note that the camera body, lenses, and teleconverter used to capture these images are all “professional” quality. You won’t be able to capture images of this quality with a consumer-level DSLR and telephoto lenses that cost around a couple hundred dollars. You can still get great images with those DSLRs and lenses, but not of this quality. However, always remember, glass (lenses) is king! If you can spend money on anything, such as your camera body or lens, always opt for the lens. You’ll never be sorry.
Since The Butt’s a good boy!
In addition to my photographic teachings and insights I’ve posted and will be posting and discussing in my blog, I also offer real, in person workshops and one-on-one training and mentoring.
Next month, yep, next month, I’m holding my second of three workshops this year. My Grand Teton National Park Photographic workshop is being held in one of the most memorable and popularly photographed National Parks in the world. In addition to the amazing Teton mountain range, there are lakes, streams, and rivers and an abundance of wildlife throughout the entire park.
We’ll have numerous photographic opportunities, but the emphasis of this workshop is to increase the photographic skill and knowledge of each participant, and will include both field work and class work. We’ll concentrate on achieving proper exposure of each photograph we shoot using a number of tools, such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, as well as using histograms to verify proper exposure. We’ll also work on composing images that are pleasing to the viewer. Join us and we’ll help you take your photographic art to new and creative heights in Grand Teton National Park!
I’m holding my third workshop of the year, my New Hampshire Fall Color Digital Photographic Workshop in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This workshop runs from October 17 – 20, 2011 and will focus on New Hampshire’s renowned beautiful Fall Foliage. Nowhere is the beauty of fall foliage more vibrant than in the White Mountains.
In additional to the spectacular fall foliage, the White Mountains feature a variety of waterways, waterfalls, and interesting geography that will provide us with a multitude of photo opportunities that we will exploit during the workshop.
Home base and accommodations for this workshop is The Buttonwood Inn on Mt. Surprise in North Conway, New Hampshire.
Please check out my workshops page on my site and sign up for one!
I also provide personalized, one-on-one photography tutoring and mentoring. Do you want help in a specific area, or areas, or do you want to gain some valuable in-field experience from one of the nation’s top nature photographers? Photographers of all levels, pursuits, and passions have come to me to improve their photographic knowledge and skills. I offer photography tutoring and mentoring specializing in nature photography, including landscapes, waterscapes, wildlife, botanicals, and other types of nature-centric photography. For my one-on-one tutoring, you set the agenda and then we’ll work together improve your photography.
Here are just a few areas where we work with you to improve your photography:
Acquiring basic camera & camera support gear
Understanding your digital camera & maximizing its performance
Proper use of wide angle and telephoto lenses
Photographing high contrast scenes
Digital darkroom & workflow
Portfolio review and suggestions
My one-on-one tutoring will help you break through any photographic obstacles standing in your way, to improve your skills and understanding of photography and take the best photos of your life.
Check my website for more details and to sign up for either of the remaining two workshops or a One-on-one session.