June 27, 2014
Berger Bros Special D810 Offer
Thinking about getting the brand new Nikon D810? Our friends at Berger Bros have a special offer, exclusive for Nikonians members, placing a pre-order on the upcoming camera body. A free Black Rapid Classic Strap ($59.99 value) is included with the purchase of a Nikon D810 Pre-Order + FREE UPS Delivery in the continental USA. Just mention that you are from Nikonians and include your username with the order.
Vibration Reduction - The way to a blurry free image?
Vibration reduction (VR) technology in a Nikkor lens is a great way to reduce shaky images in general. The technology may be great, but some users are confused about how it really works, and what it can and cannot do. To help ease that confusion, Jan Stimel presents the basics behind image stabilizing techniques and goes deeper into the topic of reducing shaky images with Nikon's VR. Read his article and learn more.
June 26, 2014
The Nikon D810: Faster, Smoother, Easier to use.
Nikon has announced their D810, calling it a multimedia marvel.
The new DSLR camera comes with an FX-format 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and will be available in late July for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $3,299.95 (USD) for the body only.
Here's a quick look at the key features (courtesy of Geoff Coulter, at Nikon USA Press):
• A multimedia HD-SLR for photographers and cinematographers
• New FX-format 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor with no optical low pass filter (OLPF)
• Extremely high-resolution, broad dynamic range and stellar sharpness
• Bolstered by EXPEED 4 Image Processor that offers enhanced image quality and a 30% overall boost in performance
• Overall performance enhancements (white balance, reduced false color/moiré)
• Wider ISO range (64-12,800) for improved low-light performance (expandable to ISO 32 and 51,200)
• Advanced Scene Recognition System, Picture Control Profiles, Highlight weighted metering options all contribute to enhancing image quality and resolution for all types of photographers
• Powerful video features for cinematographers
• Full HD 1920 x 1080 video at 60/30/24p and versatile FX and DX crop modes
• Uncompressed digital video HDMI output to an external device while recording to SD or CF
• Zebra stripes for over exposed areas, full manual controls and full time AF
• Enhanced 51 point Multi-Cam 3500 FX Autofocus system
• New RAW Size Small format (12 bit) provides increased flexibility in workflow
• Engineered for versatility and performance with bright viewfinder and 3.2-inch LCD screen
• “i” button added for quick access to commonly used settings
• Available in late July for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $3,299.95 (Body Only) and in multiple kit configurations
Nikon Tokyo Press Release (further details on new features)
June 25, 2014
Les Picker - Your photo guide in Sri LankaNikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen files his report on upcoming activities and also posts an interview with Les Picker.
The focus of the interview is the newest photo tour destination on the academy curriculum: Sri Lanka.
Here is Mike's report:
We are headed to the Giant Redwoods this week with Michael Mariant.
It's going to be a great week of incredible photographs. The four-day photo adventure runs Thursday, June 26 to Sunday, June 29.
Next up for us is Jim Stamates' wildlife photography trip to Alaska this July to photograph whales, bears and ice fields. This is a seven-day adventure (Friday July 18, to Thursday July 24).
Les Picker: Your guide to Sri Lanka
Nikonians is proud to offer a photo tour destination that is truly off the beaten path.
Academy faculty member Les Picker will be leading a tour of the island of Sri Lanka.
Every year the Earth seems to get smaller and photo destinations today are often overdone.
When I first visited Sri Lanka, I was incredibly impressed by its rich photographic potential. Warm weather, white sand beaches, cascading waterfalls, ancient temples, verdant landscapes and friendly people all line up for the perfect photographic environment.
So many of its attractions are still pristine, but will be changing rapidly in future years, so now is the best time to go.
Plus, costs for a Sri Lanka tour are a fraction of other exotic travel
Is it safe in Sri Lanka?
Quite safe. There was a long-standing civil insurrection that lasted for decades, but that ended many years ago.
Being a primarily Buddhist nation crime
is low. The Sri Lankans are very friendly and welcome tourists.
How are the accommodations?
The hotels we will use during the 11-night tour are all very good.
After a full day's photography, they offer a clean, welcoming environment. Food is fresh and high quality.
Most Buddhists follow a primarily vegetarian diet, although they
cater to tourists, so meats and fresh fish are offered.
Do participants have to be in top physical shape?
The short answer is, no. To clarify, we will be walking through temples and sites that require climbing some steps.
One site has many steps and another involves hiking. However, these can be done according to the person's abilities.
Perhaps you won't hike quite as far, but the sites you are able to
access will be fantastic! You will be able to hire a porter nearly anywhere we
stop for just a few dollars, so carrying your gear will not be an issue.
Are non-photographer spouses welcome?
Most definitely! There will be many sites that are just as interesting to the non-photographer or for a point-and-shoot enthusiast.
There are ancient temples that are still being used, historical sites, tea plantations, and tons of wildlife that anyone can enjoy, camera or not.
We encourage non-photographer
spouses to attend and know they will have a tremendous time.
Is there something for the landscape photographer?
Sri Lanka is a landscape photographer's paradise!
How about waterfalls, rolling hills of tea plants, grasses blowing in wide expanses of meadows, beaches, waterscapes and forests?
Are the people willing to be photographed?
As I said, Sri Lankans are a proud and exceptionally friendly people.
They are usually willing to have their pictures taken.
Of course, we always make it a practice to ask for permission first.
It is also nice to get your subject's
email address and send them a copy when you get home.
How about wildlife?
This is one of the most surprising things about Sri Lanka for those who do not know it.
It has amazing, abundant wildlife. Elephants abound and we will be visiting two parks that feature wild elephants.
The highlight of the trip for wildlife lovers, whether photographer or observer, is Yala National Park, where we will do five separate safari trips.
It has the highest density of leopards
in the world, plus elephants, water buffalo, a rare species of bear,
crocodiles, tropical birds, monkeys and much more.
Where can Nikonians get more information?
Check the Nikonians Academy site.
If you have further questions for Les, feel free to write him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sri Lanka Photos courtesy of Les Picker.
June 24, 2014
Think Tank Photo June Promotion: Test Drive A Shape Shifter Backpack For Free!
Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced a special program for June, as well as the release of three new products. Between now and June 30th you can test drive one of Think Tank’s award-winning SHAPE SHIFTER BACKPACKS for free for two weeks.
This revolutionary breakthrough in camera backpack design expands and contracts to fit your equipment. It carries monopods and tripods in the bottom front pocket, features a contoured harness for men and women with air channel, holds a full assortment of photo gear and a laptop up to 17”, and compresses to 3 inches in depth when gear is removed.
If you wish to test a Shape Shifter free for two weeks you must place your order by phoning 866-558-4465 ext. 1 and give them our special code name, which is “Nikonians.” If you don’t wish to keep the Shape Shifter you can return it to Think Tank and you won’t be charged for the backpack. Just remember you have to place the order by phone.
FOUR-WHEELED ROLLING CAMERA BAG
The Airport Roller Derby is ideal for travel, weddings and on-location assignments. It enables you to maneuver nimbly through crowded spaces and to minimize muscle fatigue. This high-capacity carry-on camera bag's weight distribution allows for easily transporting a 15” laptop in its own dedicated pocket, along with two standard DSLRs, a tripod, and multiple lenses and strobes. Its travel-ready security features including a lock & cable and lockable zippers to tether the bag for domestic and international travel.
Order here >>
TWO NEW LAPTOP BRIEFCASES FOR YOUR MOBILE OFFICE
The My 2nd Brain Briefcase 13 and My 2nd Brain Briefcase 15 improve the workflow by keeping your second brains–your laptops and accessories–organized and your workflow clutter-free. These lightweight, full-featured briefcases include easily identifiable dedicated clear padded pockets designed to hold the accessories most often used by serious Apple users. Their travel-ready design includes two compressible side pockets for water bottles or a compact umbrella, as well as a pass-through handle that slides over a rolling luggage handle. They come with their own rain cover, providing extra protection against the elements.
Order here >>
Don’t forget that with our partnership with Think Tank, whenever you order $50 or more of gear from them you will receive free gear with your order!
Why Post Process RAW Images?
Some people have asked what is the point of post processing images. Darrell Young shows you in his latest article an example of why he shoots in RAW and post processes afterwards.
June 18, 2014
Nikonians Academy summer workshops at a glanceSummer officially begins this weekend, and our Nikonians Academy instructors are planning summertime workshops in Canada, Washington, California and Alaska.
Steve Simon leads the way with three sessions in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:
▪ Master the Nikon D800, Df and D4 - In Depth 1 (June 19)
▪ Master the Nikon D800, Df and D4 - In Depth 2 (June 20)
▪ The Passionate Nikon Photographer Two-Day Mastery Workshop (starting June 21).
Richard Hulbert will be presenting his four-day Urban and Street Photography Workshop to Seattle starting Thursday (June 18). These workshops have been widely praised, with comments like:
“Just finished the Chicago Urban and Street Photography Workshop with Rick Hulbert – Fantastic! I learned a ton and had a great time. Rick is a fabulous teacher, photographer and architect. He really knows his stuff and isn’t shy about sharing his experience and knowledge. Well worth the money as I walked out of the workshop feeling as though I’m headed to the next level as opposed to walking out the workshop with a few good images but haven’t learned much.”
- Tom Ferguson
June concludes with Michael Mariant's four-day Giant Redwoods of Northern California photo adventure (June 26-29).
The towering, giant redwoods of Northern California are so wide at the base, it takes 20 grown men, linked hand-to-hand, to circle the circumference. Treetops are lost in the clouds as single redwood trees rise to heights greater then a 40-story building.
With thousands of redwood trees clustered in hundreds of groves tucked away in Northern California, this workshop brings you to the perfect and ideal redwood groves, at times and locations predetermined to be the best photographic opportunity.
July's schedule is dominated by Jim Stamates and his Alaska - Whales, Bears, and Ice Fields Wildlife Photography Adventure. This is a seven-day, seven-night session (July 18-24). Jim is eager to share his knowledge from 30 years as a professional wildlife photographer and his countless trips to Alaska.
He will teach his Three Keys to Great Photos, and how to get those stunning images of wildlife while using 'low impact field techniques.'
His entire workshop will be based out of Juneau in the Goldbelt Hotel. Each day you'll depart on adventures to photograph Alaska’s spectacular wildlife, scenery and landscapes.
June 12, 2014
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Review
The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM is an interesting lens with a constant f/1.8 aperture within the whole zoom range. Made exclusively for DX-format camera by Sigma Corporation its characteristics attract the attention of photographers. Jan Stimel performs a real-life test and compares it with two DX lenses: Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 and Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8. (Premium)
June 10, 2014
Nikonians Academy slots filling fastMasters Series workshops are still going strong for the Nikonians Academy staff. This week they are running classes in Calgary, Alberta (June 12-14) and Seattle, Washington (June 13-19).
Next week, they will be in Edmonton, AB (June 19-21) with our D800/D4/Df Mastery Series workshops.
We have a few spots remaining in each of these classes, so don't hesitate to sign up if you are in town.
Our next Urban and Street Photography workshop is set for beautiful Seattle, WA (June 19 – 22).
We have an entire series of Urban and Street Photography workshops scheduled all around the USA and know that you are going to absolutely love them.
Rick Hulbert is one of the brightest and best photographers out there.
He's also a master architect and knows how to pull hidden gems out of the urban landscape.
Our Fall workshops are set to provide excellent photo opportunities.
Travel with Les Picker to Acadia National Park (starting October 16) in search of beautiful autumn colors.
Les lived in Maine for ten years and received his doctorate in ecology from the University of Maine, using Acadia National Park for his research. Few photographers know the intricacies of Acadia as does Les.
This year Les will be accompanied by his video assistant, who will help participants learn how to more effectively use Nikon (or Canon) video on their DSLRs or point-and-shoot cameras. This creative outlet is increasingly being adopted by photographers to express their creative intent.
Also up are Yellowstone (September 22-25), Bishop for the Eastern Sierra & The Owens Valley adventure (September 18-21), Rocky Mountain National Park for the 14th ANPAT(September 28-October 4), Grand Tetons (September 29-October 2) and Yosemite (October 3-5).
We cover America's National Parks by the people who know them best.
Interested in an international photography adventure? Join Mike Hagen in Tanzania (November 4-15) for a wildlife photography adventure you will never forget.
Or, join professional wildlife photographer Jim Stamates for a rainforest trip to Costa Rica in February 2015.
April Master Your Vision contest congrats
Nikonians Contest Coordinator David Summers (dm1dave) has posted the results of the April Master Your Vision forum contests.
Check our six-image legend below and scroll down for the names of the winners and the photo links. The links will lead you to explanations behind some of the photographs and an overall look at the competition.
1- Wildlife – “Happy Accidents” winner Kelly Morris (Morris_in_MT) of Montana, USA with his image titled “High Key Loon”
2- Landscape – “Green” winner Scott Sternberg (Bump57), from Illinois, USA, with his image titled “Roaring Fork Creek...”
3- Macro – “The Eyes Have It” winner John McGarry (jtmcg) of Connecticut USA with his image titled “Old Blue Eyes.”
4- Sports – “Sports Equipment” winner Chris Casey (CCasey924), of Virginia, USA with his image titled "Train"
5- Travel – “Walking” winner Barbara Colbert (britbear), of Illinois, USA with her image titled “Alms Procession”
6 - Online Assignment – “Cover Shot - Field and Stream Magazine” winner Mark Morrison (Lunastar) of Minnesota, USA with his image titled “Spring Hunting DogTraining.”
Interested in submitting your photos? Check David's contest guide for more information.
Nikonians Good Locations June Special
We have a free Nikonians cap waiting for a lucky Gold or Platinum member.
Just add your best photographic locations to our Good Locations Site in the Nikonians wiki and get the chance to win the cap. Entries made throughout the month of June will qualify.
You can download the free Good Locations app from the iTunes store.
The latest version allows you to shoot your image while offline (or out of cell-phone range). You can capture the locations while being offline and then send them when you have network coverage.
Therefore, you can snap away regardless of available coverage (you would need GPS reception though) and then you can send the captured data at a later time. Make sure you download the latest version of the application to take advantage of this new feature.
The app includes publication ability to the Nikonians.org community, Facebook and Twitter.
Using the application, photographers can snap a location shot with their phone and upload the coordinates for future reference on shooting locations or for sharing with others.
As an example, the photo in this screenshot (at left) would also include specific directions via Google Maps to the shooting location in North Carolina.
Once you fill in your comments and press "send" your photo will quickly appear on our Good Locations Site.
The Google map pin shows your location, but don't expect it to always pinpoint your exact shooting angle. We tested it recently and in our Google Map satellite view you can see the photographer's position compared to the exact position (marked with the circled-X).
This is probably due to the Google Map seeking the nearest street to add to the caption information. When we uploaded the image, our comments input included Highway 70 but never mentioned Tourist Center Drive. That addition was courtesy of Google.
Complete information can be found at our Good Locations by Nikonians Wiki, and before you start using it keep in mind the privacy precautions which apply not only to this application but any software program that publishes the exact location a photograph was taken.
The iPhone app Good Locations by Nikonians V1.0 was released January 21st 2010.
V1.01 was released February 2nd 2010. This release includes support for several languages and fixed a bug with ratings which are now sent properly.
June 4, 2014
Negative space inspires creative imagesNikonians Photo Contest Director Dave Summers (dm1dave) has posted the results of our latest round of contests along with links to the original entries.
Check our ten-image legend below and scroll down for the names of the winners and the photo links. The links will lead you to explanations behind some of the photographs and an overall look at the competition.
1. Congratulations to Darryl Hodson (Skibreeze7), of Oregon, USA, overall winner of the first segment of the Best of Nikonians 2014 contest. The theme was "Negative Space."
His entry is titled “A Granddaughter's Smile”
Darryl's entry will join the nine below in advancing to the finals of the Best of Nikonians 2014 at the end of the year. All of the images are in the Best of Nikonians 2014 Gallery.
2. Christopher Casey (CCasey924), of Virginia, USA with his entry: "Stood Up."
3. Tom Ferguson (tekneektom) of Wisconsin, USA with his entry: "Spring Blossoms."
4. Carolyn Dalessandro (nikocarol) of New Mexico, USA with her entry: "Water lily."
5.Pete Wilson, of Michigan, USA with his entry titled "Serenity."
6. Sheri Becker (SheriB) of Pennsylvania, USA with her image titled: "Double Negative."
7. Paul Buckles (Shotglass) of Ohio, USA with his entry: "Symbol."
8. Don Menges (dmenges), of New York, USA with his entry "From the Cellar."
9. Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760) of Michigan, USA with his entry: "Candle and Lens."
10. Mike McLain (AUMike) of Alabama, USA, with his entry titled: "Just Chillin'."
The second segment theme is "Leading Lines." This segment will be open to entries from June 1 to July 15. Details are now posted in the “A Picture I Took” forum.
Summer schedule for Nikonians Academy includes new citiesNikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen reports the pace is picking up this summer for the instructor staff. He filed a quick brief while preparing for his trip to Seattle.
Here is Mike's report:
We'll also have dates set for Vancouver, BC set in the next couple of days. Next week, while I'm running workshops in Seattle, Steve Simon will bring his Masters series to Calgary and Edmonton (June 12-21).
Rick Hulbert's Urban and Street Photography workshops continue to receive tremendous customer reviews.
So much so, that we've added a host of new cities all around the USA and will be coming back to Europe in a few months. Next up are:
▪ Seattle, June 19
▪ Vancouver, July 10
▪ Houston, September 4
▪ San Antonio, September 11
▪ Los Angeles, December 11
We have big trips coming up this Summer and Fall.
We've already sold out of seats for Iceland and Galapagos and we are almost sold out for ANPAT 14.
Last year's Acadia photo adventure with Les Picker was incredible and we can't wait to go back again to capture the beautiful fall colors and coastline of Maine (starting October 16).
Looking ahead to 2015, our goal is to make it a great year for photography adventures.
We already have a trip set for Costa Rica in early 2015 and will also be running a number of trips like winter photography in Iceland, Northern India for mountains and tea harvest, and wildlife photography in Tanzania.
June 2, 2014
Top 10 Nikonians tweets from May 2014
May turned out to be a pretty successful month for us on Twitter and all popular tweets could easily make a list twice as long. This time discussions about camera bodies and lenses rule the chart.
Have a twitter account? Follow us here