Feb 282014

Three Vases ©2014 April Siegfried

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Sunlight changes so quickly. This moment made me stop, and then run for my camera—adjusting settings on the fly. There was no time for a tripod setup.

On first review, I was dismayed to see that even at f11—the best exposure I could capture handheld—focus on the foreground vases was soft. Then I realized what actually caught my eye was the background shadow and light, and that is sharp. Yes!

This camera has been my best friend for 6 years now, and is showing some signs of age. I know it so well I can shoot without thinking, and it’s going to be hard to move to a new system. However, the Fuji XT-1 sounds very appealing and would bring me full circle to my first love affair with digital: Fujifilm FinePix E900 (dating back to 2006). I still have that one, though it was re-purposed for a “shoebox camera” in 2009.


Nikon D300; 1/15 sec @ f11, ISO 3200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 112mm (168mm EFL); focus distance 1.5m

Feb 252014

Snowbound ©2014 April Siegfried

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Chicago has officially topped the 5 foot mark for snowfall this winter…so far. We’ve also “enjoyed” 19 days of sub-zero temperatures, with more just ahead and high temperatures running 30°(F) below normal.

Even so, when I do decide to bundle up and venture out, this winter is quite striking and beautiful.

Nikon D300; 1/500 sec @ f11, ISO 200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance 3.76m

Oct 172013

October 8th ©2013 by April Siegfried

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I cannot remember what I was intending to do when I walked through our living room and was stopped by this scene. “Where is my camera?!”

At this particular time of year and hour, on a sunny day, light plays through the windows of our home to create artwork on the walls that I could never imagine. 

Nikon D300; 1/20 sec @ f11, ISO 3200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 50mm (75mm EFL); focus distance 3.16m

Oct 132013

“Ordinary” Magic ©2013 by April Siegfried

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I’ve enjoyed playing in the sandbox of Photoshop since the first version for Windows was released in 1992, and can imagine there must be a way to digitally create this image if I’d come up with the idea. Instead, what a pleasure it was to look up at this moment—“whoa!”—and simply click the shutter release. Instant gratification.

Nikon D300; 1/45 sec @ f11, ISO 220 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 105mm (157mm EFL); focus distance 33.5m

Jul 132012

Vacation Day 5 (Morning)
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Nikon D300; 1/180 sec @ f11, ISO 200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 38mm (57mm EFL); focus distance .79m

Vacation Day 6 (Afternoon)
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Nikon D300; 1/90 sec @ f9.5, ISO 3200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 70mm (105mm EFL); focus distance 2m

Jul 062012

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I’m in Boulder, Colorado right now for another Miksang workshop. Yesterday, my husband and I moved up to the place we’re staying in the mountains. This was one sight which greeted me this morning. 🙂

Nikon D300; 1/180 sec @ f11, ISO 200 (handheld);
81-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 65mm (97mm EFL); focus distance 3.16m

Feb 052012

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Another image photographed in hard light around 1 p.m. The bright white and strong graphic elements jumped out at me while walking with my mother through the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina this past December. She was carrying her Lumix. 🙂

Nikon D300; 19.5 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 95mm (142mm EFL); focus distance 1.12m

Jan 292012

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Noticed from the corner of my eye, this scene caused me to do a double-take in passing.

The first captures, attempted by shooting over a fence, were marred by an intervening snowbank. I got lucky with clear skies again the next day, and was able to return at the same time to discover a better vantage point—without trespassing too far.  😉

Nikon D300; f9.5 @ 1/1000 sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 65mm (97mm EFL); focus distance 4.73m

Jan 142012

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Photographed near high noon, this capture reminds me there are delightful possibilities in hard light between the hours of dawn and dusk!

Nikon D300; f9.5 @ 1/75 sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 46mm (69mm EFL); focus distance 1.68m

Apr 072011

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Returning home one afternoon, this pattern of light and shadow on our front steps caught my eye. The hues actually shifted from warm to cool in the scene.

Nikon D300; f11 @ 1/125sec, ISO 200 (handheld);
50mm f/1.8 (75mm EFL); focus distance 2m