I just got my new Nikon 800mm F5.6 lens. Talk about the “Beauty and the Beast.”
It’s a beautifully engineered and constructed lens, and so sharp you can barely believe it’s true.
It does have a “beastly side to it: it is ungodly expensive and really heavy. No hand holding this puppy. But did I mention SHARP?! It also features incredibly fast focusing for a lens of this focal length, and is amazingly quiet.
I couldn’t wait to try it out, so I ventured to our local nature preserve. While it’s not the right season to capture a shot of migrating birds, I wanted to try it on what ever wildlife was present. I got several good shots of this bird (sorry, I’m not an expert on birds and don’t know their names) stalking its prey.
I had the lens configured with the mating 1.25 teleconverter that comes with it. The teleconverter is actually made with each lens for optimum sharpness. This combination makes for a 1000mm lens. I shot at 1/500 shutter speed F11 at ISO 800. The camera was the new Nikon D810
Even with this ultra long lens the bird was still quite small in the image. What you see here is an 8X10 crop out of the center. Despite this severe cropping the resulting image is still extremely sharp. Next time out I want to try it with Nikon’s 2X converter which will give me 1600mm.
For more photos check out my Natural Diversity Collection.
Just outside of Houston there is a wonderful little state park: Brazos State Park. This is one of my favorite paths. I love to go there and recharge my creative batteries. The grounds are truly magnificent. There’s a wonderful observatory as well as several ponds and lovely dirt trails. While your walking you can feel the sun on your skin and a gentle breeze blowing around you. The only sounds you hear are the birds in the trees. The overall effect is profoundly calming.
I don’t know what it is but periodically I am drawn to old cemeteries. Brownsville, TX has one that goes back to the 1800’s. The light on this day seemed perfect for photographing in a cemetery. It had a certain melancholy look about it. While the sun was out and the sky was bright the ground was somewhat gloomy because of the large billowing clouds. Light is everything in achieving the most impact for your photography.
I really love this photograph of the Houston skyline at night. I had been commissioned to create a series of images of a beautiful high-rise luxury apartment complex: “The Mosaic”, for the contractor JE Dunn. I had finished the project but was still looking for more interesting images. I ventured up to the 34th floor and stepped out onto one of the balconies. Wow! What a view! What you see here is what I saw. The sun had already set but there was still quite a bit of light in the sky. In fact, there was too much light. I started shooting and followed the light all the way as it slowly got darker, getting just the perfect proportion between light in the sky and the artificial lights of the city and traffic below. The overall blue color is natural effect. A result of getting it “just right”.
One of the big things about getting a perfect photograph is waiting for things to be “just right”. Too many don’t have enough patience. They just snap a picture hoping it will turn out right. Generally, that never works. You have to start out with a vision of what you want, then use every tool in your kit to bring it forth.
Check out my Houston Collection of fine art photography.
While driving around the back roads surrounding Brownsville, along the top of the levy that divides farm land from the Rio Grande River, which separates the United States and Mexico, I suddenly came face-to-face with the “border wall.”
Its construction was not what I expected. I have mixed feelings about its presence. On one hand, I completely believe we some form of barrier to keep out those wanting to enter our country illegally for the purpose of either sucking up our financial resources or doing us physical harm. On the other hand, I despise that its construction caused the private citizens who live along its path to have many acres of land stolen from them. I further dislike the fact that it passes through several beautiful state federal and local parks robbing them of their beauty.