Wintry Willow

By the end of this weekend I’ll have the first part of my Nikon D800 review ready. The review I’m working on is important to me, as it forces myself to get to understand all the options and functions and to be able to fully benefit from all its features.

However, in the mean time I want to share a recent picture (taking with the D800) with you, as I don’t want my blog to become too technique and equipment heavy: After all, trying to create and share captivating images is what it’s really all about for most photographers; whether you’re a professional , enthusiast amateur or just a happy smart phone snapper. Equipment is just one of the many factors in the creative process.

The image below was taken early April. After record highs in March, we suddenly got a late cold snap, including a snow storm (click on the image to enlarge).
It was pretty windy, constantly blowing the willow branch up and down out of the frame. To get a good shot with my macro lens, I used a relatively big aperture (by macro standards anyway) an ISO of 800 to get a sufficiently fast shutter speed. Technically I don’t find the image that great, but the content makes it appealing to me: In this area you won’t often find snow on top of flowering willows.

And since I can’t help myself from being very excited with the performance of the D800, check out this 100% crop of the same image (click on the image to enlarge):

I should mention that I did some basic sharpening and noise reduction, but still: The detail is amazing and that at ISO 800. Before I’ll review the image quality of this camera, I’ll be covering the build and handling of the Nikon D800 first in the next post this weekend.

Eyes on the puck!

If you wonder why there haven’t been any posts in the last week: I was busy enjoying the winter. I have the privilege of working in an office less than a hundred meters from a lake, which was frozen for the last couple of weeks.

Besides playing a bit myself, I took a few shots while recovering from all the aches that come with skating (mostly the falling bit). Here an image showing players doing what hockey players are always supposed to do: Keeping the eyes on the puck.

Although this isn’t a particularly good image, it does illustrate nicely how one can use composition, posture and lines to lead the viewers’ eye. If you didn’t spot the puck initially, chances are that the eyes of the players, all looking in the same direction, as well as the sticks, lead you right to it. So without having the puck in the center of the image, it does become (a) focus of the image.

The player coming from the right didn’t make it into this frame. Although one could argue that this makes the image less complete, at the same time just seeing the stick coming from the right creates some tension in the image. It keeps the viewer guessing as to who stole the puck from the pack on the left and what will happen next.