Oct 272013

Cloudplay №10 (Mirrored) ©2013 April Siegfried

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Just the other day, shortly after sunrise, the waves of Lake Michigan were washing high over beaches near my home. Storm clouds reflected briefly in the backwash, before disappearing into the sand.

My first inclination, with so many beautiful images right in front of me, was to dive in and start shooting with the hope of capturing as many as possible. It soon became clear, however, that a scattershot approach wasn’t going to work. I was only getting frustrated.

Stop; breathe. What am I really seeing? Where? What shutter speed and aperture would best express that? Will I be satisfied with the ISO required to do so?

In landscape or nature photography, I always feel the pressure of time because conditions change so quickly. The scenes in this case were especially fleeting, never to recur in quite the same way again. Once I took a little time to just look and think about the technical questions, then I was able to slow down and perceive what was happening—ready to shoot when it did.

Nikon D300; 1/180 sec @ f16, ISO 720 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 26mm (39mm EFL); focus distance 3.76m

Mar 172013

Winding Road ©2013 by April Siegfried

Running errands is always more entertaining when I bring my camera! This was photographed in the parking lot of a grocery store.

Nikon D300; 1/45 sec @ f11, ISO 640 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance 2.66m

Feb 172013

three carp swimming in a dark pool

I like this image for its quiet nature and the blurring of lines between worlds. These fish aren’t actually swimming through plants in the pool, but through their reflections.

Nikon D300; 1/125 sec @ f11, ISO 3200 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 78mm (117mm EFL); focus distance 2.82m

Dec 092012

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I was surprised to note this was shot at 1/20 of a second, handheld. You have to love a stabilized lens in low light situations!

Nikon D300; 1/20 sec @ f5.6, ISO 3200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 46mm (69mm EFL); focus distance .67m

Nov 072012

Reflections on a Piano (№2)
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Nikon D300; 1/125 sec @ f11, ISO 500 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 180mm (270mm EFL); focus distance 1.68m

Reflections on a Piano (№1)
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Nikon D300; 1.5 sec @ f13, ISO 200 (Bogen Neotech tripod);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance 2m

When I think of a piano, it’s amazing how many images are stored in my mental database. The challenge is how to approach this mature subject, as if I’ve never seen one before.

One Miksang exercise is to spend at least 10 minutes simply looking, without the camera, and then spend another 20 minutes taking photographs. Fortunately my husband’s new piano is so rich and varied that 10 minutes seems like no time at all, so I intend to repeat this exercise over and over in the winter months. It’s especially fun when the piano tuner comes and takes it all apart. As he says, “I’m going to have to explode it.” 🙂

Sep 042012

Harbor Reflection (v1)
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Nikon D300; 1/250 sec @ f16, ISO 1400 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 180mm (450mm EFL); focus distance 11.9m

Harbor Reflection (v2)
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Nikon D300; 1/250 sec @ f16, ISO 1100 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 180mm (360mm EFL); focus distance 11.9m

Version 1 first caught my eye in the harbor, but I couldn’t resist also trying to capture version 2 as perhaps “more interesting”.  Second thought.

Aug 232012

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  1. A period of public revelry at a regular time each year…
  2. An exciting or riotous mixture of something.

Chicago is famous for its neighborhoods, and this reflection was photographed during the annual art fair held in ours last weekend. The event was definitely a “riotous mixture” of arts and crafts, food ranging from pizza through Ethiopian stew, and dancing in the streets to three (loud!) sound stages performing different styles of music all at once.

Nikon D300; 1/90 sec @ f5.6, ISO 200 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 145mm (217mm EFL); focus distance 3m

Aug 082012

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Sunlight breaking through clouds added beautiful dimension to reflections on water at Montrose Harbor this morning.

Nikon D300; 1/250 sec @ f11, ISO 1100 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 125mm (187mm EFL); focus distance 7.5m