Getting Used to the D4

I decided to get out of the office for a while and clear my head which never hurts to do. I grabbed the camera bag and headed south. Recently I was able to upgrade from the D3 to D4 and have been shooting with it over this past week. It’s a lot different than the D3 with the biggest being quality. Now I originally used the D2Hs as my first professional body and when I switched to the D3 I saw a difference. Now looking at these D4 files I’m just blown away. Everything you see here is pretty basic. Shot with the D4 and 70-200 VRII, and then finished in Silver Efex Pro. It just amazes me how going out and playing around can lead to something good. As for shooting with the D4, well I save that for another post when I have some more time in.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D4, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

The Sign Says it All!

This sign really does say it all. Sometimes it’s important to do just that. Stop. While out and about I came to the intersection of a ranch that happens to belong to a good friend of mine. This sign is right there at the intersection and I followed the instructions. I just stopped. It’s easy to forget why we started in photography and why we continue to put ourselves through these hoops so it is important to just stop and watch for a while. It’s an amazing world we live in and through the lens we get to see a unique side of it, even though we often get to wrapped up in the photo to see the world. That’s why we got to stop every now and then.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Looking down the Valley

I really don’t like grey skies. They are just boring and have no definition to them. Thankfully we had some more interesting skies come in that were actually worth doing something with. Now I have spent a fare amount of time on the east side of the Bridger Mountains trying to find that right angle to get the shot down the valley. My two favorite times to photograph the valley are to no surprise fall and winter. The hillside lights up with fall color in the autumn months and as you can see the pines are just stacked with snow when that good winter storm comes through. Well despite my attempts I have still not gotten that one shot that I have been looking for. Despite what you might think it’s actually a good thing.


Every time we go out searching for that one photo we are looking to bring back something that we didn’t have before. Either it’s entirely new or an improvement on the last one. If however every time we went out and got that perfect image that we were searching for then where would the challenge be? Where would the excitement be? Not always getting that image is part of the game and fighting for it is what makes the game great.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

The Peaks are Glowing

The other day I was out and about dealing with a couple chores and I was smart enough to bring a camera along. It was a gorgeous day out so after the work was done, I went out cruising for a little bit. I stopped at a spot a new about that gives a pretty good view of the Bridger’s. Well with the light coming through the clouds here and there I decided to go with the 70-200 VRII to isolate certain spots along the range where the light and shadows made for some dramatic views. It’s important when it comes to landscape photography to remember the small details as well as the whole picture.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

It’s Good to Get Outside

You know it’s been quite a busy few weeks since I got back from the Air Races and getting out shooting has been a challenge. Thankfully I got work done early last night and was able to escape from the computer to drive around for a couple hours. Winter has already set in up here, which amazes me how fast summer went by. We’ve had nothing but stormy weather for the last couple of weeks and for a change we had some decent clouds. Now it’s been mostly rain down below and some snow up above but clouds are clouds, and the moisture is good to have. As you can see there wasn’t much light to chase as the light disappeared behind the cloud bank rather quickly, but it was fun while it lasted.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

What to do when the light fades?

I see too often when around other photographers that they leave right after the color disappears. Yes shutter speeds go down, due to less light, making it harder to get good images but it’s also an opportunity to play with black and whites. The light is still there, just not as much. It’s in this time that you are working with a grey scale that makes for easy shots. Now of course the mountains here are back lit but as I said previously, on certain afternoons the clouds that role over the mountains from west to east, come in low and make for great subjects.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Sunset at Last

The east side of the Bridger’s is always a great place for sunrise. Yes I said sunrise not sunset, it kind of goes with that whole sun rises in the east thing. Well I often go to the back side for sunset, especially in the winter time and there is a reason for that. In winter the clouds are always a bit lower on the mountain tops as they pass from the west to the east. This tends to generate some great cloud formations as they head out into the valley. On days that are not just grey skies, it can be very beautiful. Sunday was one of those days.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Winter Takes a Toll on the House Around Here

One of the interesting features of the west is the amount of houses and buildings that over time have been abandoned and nature has taken it’s toll on them. I often wonder when I see one of these buildings what the story behind it is? Who lived there? Why did they leave? Why build in that place to begin with? I never seem to find any answers but there are always images present.

I saw this house and off to one side along the driveway was this exterior building. Not sure what it is for but it intrigued me nonetheless. When I captured the image I thought it would good as is but when I got back to the computer I started playing with SilverEfex Pro 2 and something in the snow on the driveway made me leave the image as a Black and White. It just goes to show that not always having a clear intent in mind when you take the image is a bad thing.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

A Nice Sunday Drive in the Mountains

I always love the weekends that come up when there aren’t many chores that need to get done. It always translates to more time playing, and in my case shooting. Now Saturday was kind of a drag weather wise, nothing but grey skies, yuck! I mean that’s just boring. Sunday on the other hand provided a nice day to be out. It was still quite cold, with a high of 18 degrees but there were patches of blue and some nice light to explore with.

I went up the usually ski route through the Bridgers and out the other side to the north east. The east side of the mountains are always interesting, I never know what might pop up back there. Over the last few years I have a couple spots marked that I know yield some good results. It is an important skill to learn, knowing places you can always go back to find good images. Along the way the road to the spots was nice enough to stop on a take a couple quick clicks.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Always Look Behind You

While the Bridger’s were a great subject the little voice in my head kept telling me to turn around.It’s often one of those hard learned lessons to turn around and see what you’re missing behind you. Getting so fixed on what’s in front of you it’s easy to do. In this case It was the sun going behind a low cloud and the corresponding mountains. Now I think it’s funny that it used to be that you weren’t supposed to shoot into the sun but nowadays everyone does, myself included from time to time.

I don’t know what grabbed me about this one but something about the fence being there intrigued me. In my mind I saw it as light not being be blocked by anything. That might sound a little corny but it fits.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70 f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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