Florence, “Firenze” in Italian (I only point that out because I had no idea), is a beautiful, busy, and crowded city. Taking good pictures of the buildings would require a tilt-shift lens, but I was fascinated by the people taking selfies. I am not going to criticize them, I don’t think they were self-obsessed or narcissistic. In fact, most were taking pictures of themselves with others. And all to commemorate that they had been to this special city. People have been commemorating such pilgrimages since antiquity. Here are a few snaps of people snapping themselves.
For Episcopalians in the southeast Sewanee, the home of the University of the South, is considered the “Holy Mountain.” I am spending this year in Nashville and this week took a bit of a retreat to St. Mary’s Sewanee. We have had massive amounts of rain, but before the storms came I was able to take a quick hike out to “Bridal Veil Falls.” I did not have ND filters or a tripod so I do not have any photos of the falls with that smooth, graceful look. Still, I was a nice day to take a hike. This morning, in the fog and rain, I took a few shots with the iPhone 7 plus. A remarkably good camera as well. I have added those at the end.
Taking pictures of a concert aren’t easy. It requires fast glass and access. Recently I have met some wonderful people who just happen to be incredible musicians. SM invited me to a gig for the Beattles cover band he is a part of, SixtyFour. It was a small venue, a local wings bar, and a fun crowd of the older generation who danced to the tunes of their youth. The lighting was good, but not great. Once thing I have found is that the multicolor lights and various textures and elements often on a stage can be distracting. Solution: convert to black and white. For example, this is a nice image in color. Steve is crisp and clear, the Corona neon looks nice, and overall not a bad image.
But in B&W it has mood and character that the color just doesn’t have.
In the end, it is personal choice, but I like the black and white so here is a selection from the evening.
This morning as the sun came up the dew was thick upon the grass and near me was the camera with the 200-500mm lens on it. Nikon says it is good for macro photography so why not? Being a 6 pound lens it is a bit unwieldy for a lot of close work (close being relative, roughly 5 feet away) but it did yield nice, crisp shots with beautiful bokeh even at f5.6.
UPDATE: I spotted a hummingbird from a long way off. Take a look at the uncropped and cropped photos. Not bad. Remember this is with a D810 and the 200-500, handheld.
Yesterday the Nikkor 200-500mm f5.6E arrived and it seems like suddenly all the critters in the backyard disappeared! There will be a lot of experimenting to get used to it and find the best settings for various situations. I started this morning with a few shots of the dog and then, through a window, I managed to get this squirrel with a nut in its mouth running across the yard. So, early trials but it is a very solid lens and a great value.
When we stay in Freiburg we walk into town at least once a day, just to stretch our legs and pick up some groceries. (These little fridges make US-size shopping impossible!) Today I took my D810 and 50mm 1.8.
As many know, we are avid supporters of Penn State Men’s Soccer. The goalkeeping program is the recipient of the Mack Brady Fund in memory of our son and I am the “faculty partner.” All of that means I attend most of the games with camera in hand. As of a few weeks ago that camera is now a Nikon D810.
I was in the stands for the second round of NCAA playoffs called the “College Cup” in soccer, versus Syracuse and I was armed with my Nikkor 300mm f4 (the older version, not the newer version). Even so, I had a fairly good angle. Our lads lost but our keeper Andrew Wolverton had an incredible game, blocking 8 difficult shots. Connor Maloney scored on a PK and for a time quieted the 1500+ strong Orange crowd. Our Bhoys in Blue ended up losing 2-1, but it was a hard fought match and I could not be more proud of this great group of young men. Watch for some of these men to be playing in the MLS! Especially our Mack Brady Keeper, Wolvey.