So I have been steadily growing my camera gear collection over the past 4 years, primarily focusing on the areas of photography that I am hired most for and that pay the bills (Real Estate, Weddings, Family Portraits, etc.). This requires some pretty specific gear to get the best results for these types of photo sessions. For my own enjoyment of photography as a hobby though, I've been wanting to get a lens that will allow me to get some better telephoto images for nature and wildlife. So....
I've had it for about 3 weeks now, and have gotten to take it on a few small outings: a trip to the coast for real estate, walking around the neighborhood in the evening, or visiting a small pond after a family portrait session. When I use it with my Nikon Z7ii 45MP camera body, I can crop in even further and still have great clarity in the image. I'm hoping that once sporting events start up again, I'll be able to use this at some games and competitions as well.
Below are some examples of the images I've taken so far with it. If you see an image and would like a print made of it (or you need a new coffee mug with a fancy photo, etc.), feel free to visit my online printing shop for options.
Ever wonder what a wary-yet-sleepy duck looks like when startled?
I've learned a lot about printing options (papers, finishes, color adjustments, etc.) and even more about framing (in particular that it seems to be a nightmare). I've realized that I like making slightly-panoramic images, which most normal frames and matting material dimesions don't seem to believe should exist. I ended up having to cut a lot of my own mat boards and fit them into more standard sized frames on short notice, which made me rethink some of my sizing/dimension choices in future photos.
The opening night itself was pretty fun, if not profitable. My kindergarten teacher (from 25 years ago?) showed up to see me and my photos, which was mind blowing in itself and made the show worth doing. I had some great conversations with some of the attendees about my photos, and people were interested in purchasing them in different sizes online, but didn't see any off the wall yet. The exhibition will be up for another week or so, but it is only open upon a requested/scheduled viewing. If anyone wants to hang out and hear the stories behind the photos, you can either contact me or the gallery to request a viewing through the 16th.
I'm also going to be doing another mini-gallery in Lake Oswego on May 6th. I play french horn in the Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band, and during every performance there are booths for local artists set up in the lobby for patrons to visit. Whatever prints I still have from the Brassworks Gallery will get to be displayed at that concert/gallery event as well. I'm also trying to get set up in some other galleries in the area, but it's early on in the process right now.
There is a Tulip Festival ("Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival") not too far away from where I live, and I've made it out there a few times this season. I try to time my visits so that I am there around sunrise or sunset, for the dramatic lighting and the potential for some nice cloud colors (which have proven more difficult with the non-stop rain this winter and spring!). It's a popular spot for photographers, and can get pretty crowded on days with nice weather or on the weekends. If you want to see all of my images from the event, or want any nice pictures for your desktop, photo frames, wall, etc. you can view all the images on my SmugMug site. Keep reading down below the slideshow to see some of the entertaining and silly stories and photos I experienced while photographing in the fields.
Besides trying to get images showing the beauty of the tulip fields, there were also quiet a few times where I found some humor. I enjoy people watching, and there were plenty of chances to do so out in the fields.
This was my first time going to this event, which is hard to believe since I have lived near it for most of my life! I definitely plan to go back next year again. The festival planners rotate which fields they plant and the patterns of flowers they use, so next year should allow for some new angles and images. I also just got some new professional grade lenses (more on that later) which should give me some better results with optical quality and bokeh (more on that later as well).