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September 30, 2007

Weekly News from the Nikonians Academy

Nikonians Field Event of the Year enters second week
From the mobile desk of Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen:
Our 7th Annual Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT) participants are in the middle of the final week in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks.

Check out some of the picture posts at the ANPAT forum to see what the excitement is about.
As most of the Group One attendees headed home Group Two began their week-long adventure, and soon we'll be seeing a good selection of 7th ANPAT impressions in the Nikonians Galleries.

As we mentioned last week, we are currently evaluating a few locations for our 2008 ANPAT. Right now, we are considering a trip to the American Southwest for deserts, canyons and valleys. Alternatively, we are looking at the Northeast for Maine, fall colors and coastal landscapes. As soon as this ANPAT is concluded we'll have the 8th ANPAT forum opened, and we'll be looking for your suggestions. Stay tuned to the News Blog for updates.

Quick Tip:

Each week we receive numerous questions about camera techniques, methods, software, etc. This week I received a great question about photographing waterfalls that I'd thought would be a great tip to share with the rest of you. Connie from Portland, Oregon writes:

Mike, when shooting in Shutter Priority mode on the Nikon D200, I am having an awful time trying to get water movement in waves and streams. When I slow down the shutter speed, the exposure is burnt out... I don't know how to set the camera for both slow shutter AND proper exposure??? Help!

slow_shutter-250.jpg
Here's my answer to Connie:
In order to get a long exposure, it has to be relatively dark. On a cloudy day, if you shoot at ISO 100, you'll be lucky to get a 1/2 to 1/4 second exposure. That will give you a little bit of motion blur, but won't really result in silky smooth water.
The only way to really get what you are after is to decrease the amount of light coming into your camera. The best method for doing this is to use a neutral density filter. These are dark filters that simply fit over your lens and reduce the amount of light landing on your CCD. In my humble opinion, the best product on the market right now is made by Singh-Ray. It is pricey, but allows you to actually dial it in for a specific amount of light reduction.

For example, you can set it to reduce the light by 2 stops to 8 stops just by rotating the front element of the filter. There are other filters that are much less expensive and are usually designated as 1-stop, 2-stop or 3-stop filters.

Also, remember that in in shutter priority mode, you are setting your camera for a specific shutter speed (maybe 2-seconds) but the light is way too bright to get a decent shot. With a long exposure, your camera will have to choose an aperture of f22. Unfortunately, most lenses don't stop down any further than that, so there's no other way to reduce the light. The result is a blown out exposure. The neutral density filter is a great solution to your problem.

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Workshop bookings are getting rare:
We have a few seats remaining in our Orlando, Atlanta and Washington DC workshops. Many of the individual classes are sold out, but there are still some available for Nikon Capture NX in most cities during October.
In each city we'll be teaching the Nikon D200, Nikon D80/D70, Nikon Capture NX and Nikon iTTL Wireless Flash. Orlando is scheduled for October 11th - 14th. Both Atlanta and Washington DC are scheduled for October 25th - 28th. You can sign up for workshops on Nikon D200, Nikon D80/D70, Nikon Capture NX and Nikon iTTL Wireless Flash by visiting the Nikonians Academy.

Until next week -- keep shooting!


Posted by flashdeadline at September 30, 2007 8:00 PM