Category Archives: Destinations

Samples with the new AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Photo © Bob Krist

Nikon announced several new lenses today, one of which I got to play with a while ago.

Of course, I knew that an announcement was forthcoming, I just didn’t know when (because like the husband, the photographer is always the last to know).

In fact, If I hadn’t gotten a nasty email from a Czech photographer this morning who absolutely hated one of the pictures used in the official Nikon web announcement (namely, mine!), I would have never known the lens was launched.

Ah yes, there’s nothing quite like getting a new orifice torn while you’re enjoying your morning java to really jump start your day!

Unlike my critic, however, I was blessed with the opportunity to play with a prototype of the 28-300mm for a couple of days out in San Francisco last February.

I have to say that this lens, along with the venerable 18-200mm Nikkor, has completely turned my head around when it comes to the viability of a variable aperture uni-zoom as a professional tool. This one, in particular, blew my mind and spun my head around 360 degrees…(think Linda Blair in The Exorcist!). I couldn’t find a downside to it.

It’s sharp end to end, not too big or heavy, and ergonomically pleasing to use. It features a zoom lock, which is important because, while it’s not overly large for what it is, it’s a substantial piece of glass, and I highly recommend keeping the zoom lock on while you’re walking around. You can read about the specs here and also see the full-sized samples here .

You know I’m not too technical (they had to loan me an FX camera, a D700, to shoot with) but I can tell you that this is an awesome piece of glass. You literally could shoot a whole job with this baby with no compromise that I could discern (although I’m sure someone in, um, the Czech Republic might be able to!)

The VR works well and makes up for the F/5.6 at the long end (although, as a regular user of the 70-300mm VR on my D90, this is no surprise, or hardship, for me). If I were an FX travel shooter, this lens would be in my bag (paired, most likely, with the 16-35mm f/4 VR).

Man, that would be a combination (throw in the 24mm f/1.4  and the new  85mm f/1.4 for available light and bokeh issues, and you’re in FX travel-shooting heaven, my friends! Four lenses that can do it all).  But if you could only carry one lens for your FX explorations, this would be it, no doubt.

Here’s another frame of a very cool performance artist called Chi Energy, whom I bumped into while shooting the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco:

Photo © Bob Krist

Hit the jump for more of Chi and San Francisco with the new lens… Continue reading »

Also posted in Ironies, Photo Gear, Technology, Travel

Wide and Tight

Photo © Bob Krist

Tech info: D90, 18-200mm

One of my favorite ways to use a wideangle is to move in really tight on a subject, getting as close as I can to it (without being pecked, kicked, slapped or arrested) and have it fill one side of the frame, while letting the background fill the rest.

It’s a great way to create a strong, storytelling picture of inanimate objects or people (or roosters). You just have to be careful, with people, not to get so close that you distort their features (unless you want to).

Here’s another example, using one of the Gorgon heads at Magnis Lepta in Libya as an anchor for the composition:

Photo © Bob Krist

Tech: D70, 12-24mm

Or this shot of the Place of Refuge on the Big Island:

Photo © Bob Krist

Tech: D80, 12-24

Most of the time, the side of the frame I place the subject on depends on which way he, she, or it is looking. You always (well, almost always) want the subject looking into the frame (don’t ask me why, it just feels right).

For the Hawaii shot, it was a gray afternoon, and it wasn’t twilight yet, so I set the WB to tungsten, orange gelled my SB 800 flash (which was being held by my brother Gary, who was the writer on the piece, and fired through my little portable handheld umbrella system). I underexposed the background by about 2 stops and ramped up the flash till it looked right.

So move on in with the wide angle for stronger compositions….but be careful not to ruffle any feathers!

Also posted in Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Travel

Is Travel Photography Dead?

www.whattheduck.net

I just read Andrea Pistolesi’s post A Requiem for Travel Photography, (first brought to my attention on Tewfic El Sawy’s excellent Travel Photographer blog).

For those of you who may not recognize his name, Andrea is one of the busiest and most talented travel shooters around, with a string of publication credits that would choke a horse. If I had a quarter for every assignment I lost to Andrea over the years, I’d be very well off—this guy can shoot (and write, in English, even though he’s Italian!).

I highly recommend taking a read of the whole post, but to summarize, Andrea posits that travel photography as a profession is gone, primarily because most of the publications that made assignments are either gone or severely cutting back. But he ends with a very cogent and insightful observation:

“I keep thinking that the world has a lot of stories worth to be covered photographically. The real task is to modernize our scope, create new ways of distribution (using the new technologies, think of the iPad for example), reach the young reader.

For the Travel Photographer the time has come to drop the “Travel” label. Everybody has a camera in his pocket today. The photographer is somebody able to see in a personal, strong way, and pass the message on..

Wow, Andrea’s analysis really hits a home run (or, more culturally fitting, scores a big goooooaaaaaal). To find out what this might mean, hit the jump.

Continue reading »

Also posted in Career issues, Ironies, Multimedia, Technology, Travel

New and Old Friends

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of catching up with some old friends, and meeting some new colleagues, on a couple of projects I’ve been working on these last few weeks. I’ve learned a lot from these guys and I recommend hitting their websites/blogs for some excellent inspiration and instruction.

Reznicki Rules–I’ve known Jack Reznicki for years and long admired his people photography, but I had never heard him speak until I caught him at a recent conference. Wow, his talk was funny, informative, and just loaded with terrific images!  He is one of those rare shooters who not only makes great pictures, but he’s able to break it down and teach the process as well. His books and website are highly recommended. http://www.reznicki.com/

Dynamite Dave–Veteran sports shooter and speedlight maven Dave Black is a delightful guy, major talent, and great teacher. He regularly runs  “Workshops at the Ranch” which are always popular. I had a chance to watch Dave at work recently. Although Dave is famous for his sports photos (and rightfully so) I love his feature work and the stuff he’s done with lightpainting and speedlights, especially at Arlington National Cemetery….haunting and beautiful. http://www.daveblackphotography.com/

Corey is Cookin’–I also recently met Corey Rich , and he is a one man visual dynamo as well as an articulate teacher. Long known for his outstanding adventure and extreme sports photography, Corey has made the transition to video and has made it with a bang. I admire him not only for his eye, but for what he’s had to climb (hint: El Capitan, for one) to get that eye in the right place at the right time!  http://www.coreyrich.com/

Also posted in Career issues, Lighting, Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Technology, Travel, Workshops & Seminars

In Praise of Pea Soup

https://www.bobkrist.com/movies/New Project.mov
Also posted in Multimedia, Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Travel, Workshops & Seminars