Nevada’s Wisdom, Where’s Jim, Stephen’s High Jinx, Joe’s Swami….

© Bob Krist--Imagine shooting aerials without leaving the ground!

Some of my friends and colleagues have been sharing some great information lately.

Nevada Weir, adventure travel photographer extraordinaire, shares a great post: The 10 things she wished she knew before becoming a professional travel photographer and the 10 things she’s glad she knew. Take number three in the “glad she knew” category:

I knew that I had some great traits for a traveler: I can handle alcohol; I can sleep anywhere; I have an “iron stomach”; I have a bad sense of smell; and I remain very calm in times of stress or uncertainty. All very useful for the solo traveler.

Funnily enough, I have all those same traits (especially the alcohol-holding abilities) EXCEPT that I do go to pieces in times of stress and uncertainty….but I’m working on it, sometimes even without the alcohol part!

To find out where Jim Richardson has been parking his fedora,why Stephen Alvarez craves getting high above all things, and why Joe McNally won’t confess to a swami, hit the jump. (more…)

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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… (more…)

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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.

(more…)

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