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November 30, 2016

Congrats: Best of 2016 Contest Segment 4

Contest-BON-seg4--2016-Winner_110.jpgNikonians Contest coordinator David Summers (dm1dave) has announced the latest segment winner in our Best of Nikonians 2016 Contest.

Congratulations to Henning Bossen (henbo) from Denmark for his winning image in the Fourth Segment of the Best of Nikonians 2016.
The theme was "Places" and Henning's winning entry was titled Alpe di Siusi at sunrise. It was captured with his Nikon D3.


Four Honorable mentions go to:
2- Gary Shackelford (redbuffalo), from Wisconsin, USA with his image titled Arctic fogbow.

3- Kathy Cavallaro (Cavy2), from Pennsylvania, USA with her image titled Sunrise Portland Headlight.

4- William McEwen (Wolfgang55), from Connecticut, USA with his image titled Hartford.

5- Jeff Holdgate (Escaladieu) from France with his image titled France.

Posted by flashdeadline at 7:28 AM

November 23, 2016

Think Tank Photo Holiday Specials for Nikonians

Think-Tank-HolSpec-SQ_110.jpgOur friends at Think Tank Photo have announced two holiday special offers on their award-winning camera bags. The first is their Outlet Center, which is chock full of huge discounts.
Second, through December 31st whenever you buy a Think Tank rolling camera bag you will receive a Road Warrior Kit for free.

The Road Warrior Kit features 10 Red Whips cable ties, a Cable Management 10 pouch, an AA Battery Holder and a Travel Pouch.

That's $54.50 worth of accessories free.

And don't forget, with our Nikonians special relationship with Think Tank you will also receive a free gift and free shipping when you use this special URL.

Posted by flashdeadline at 10:51 AM

November 22, 2016

Mastering Nikon D500 debuts with Nikonians member input

Mastering-the-Nikon-D500_SQ_110.jpgThe latest in Darrell Young's "Mastering" series books is ready for download. 

The three eBook formats of Mastering the Nikon D500 are now available as a bundle from Rocky Nook.

Darrell tells us Nikonians can use the code YOUNG2016 for a 35% discount on the bundle

The printed book will be shipping within the next few weeks.

Darrell's traditional method for sharing with the Nikonians community is to invite members to submit photos to be used as full page Chapter Opening images.

All members who have an image included in the book will receive a free copy of Mastering the Nikon D500 and be listed in a special Credits for Chapter Opening Images section of the book, with information mentioned under tech specs.

Congratulations to the following members who provided images chosen for use in this book:

Chapter 1:
Big Bear © 2016 Deborah Albert (debalbe)

XZChapter_1_-_Deborah_Albert_(debalbe)_175.jpgSigma 150-600 f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM lens at 550mm, 1/800s at f/7.1, ISO 3200
The image was taken in Alligator River Park in NE North Carolina. The area has an abundance of black bears.
Many are quite shy, but this big boy was not disturbed by my presence and, in fact, walked ever closer until he stood straight up to scratch his back and then stared right at me.

What a privilege to be in his presence and what a gift to have a camera like the D500 that allowed me to capture many images hand held in early morning low light.

Chapter 2: Heisman Pose in Action © 2016 Milt Wentzel (mwentzel)

XZChapter_2_-_Milt_Wentzel_(mwentzel)[1].jpgAF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VRII lens, 1/1600s at f/2.8, ISO 200
This football image captured a Colerain High School running back bracing for impact.

It caught my attention during post processing because it bears a striking resemblance to the pose of the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded yearly to the most outstanding player in college football.

Chapter 3: Jolene at the Skyhoundz Qualifier © 2016 Eric Bowles (ericbowles)

XZChapter_3_-_Eric_Bowles_(ericbowles)[1].jpgAF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII lens at 70mm, 1/1250s at f/4, ISO 280
Jolene is a standard poodle competing in a qualifier for a national competition.

I used Manual Exposure Mode because the background composition changed rapidly although the light was constant. Using f/4 gave me shallow depth of field, and 1/1250s froze the action, allowing ISO 280 for correct exposure.

I used short bursts of 3-6 frames to capture the dog catching the disc. Jolene is a great subject.
The D500 was perfect for this kind of action due to the excellent AF, fast frame rate, and large buffer. I used a 64 GB Lexar 2933 XQD card to maximize speed.

Chapter 4: Nesting Great Blue Herons © 2016 Howie Grapek (howiegrapek)

XZChapter_4_-_Howie_Grapek_(howiegrapek)[1].jpgAF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR lens at 180mm, 1/1000s at f/5.6, ISO 180
I took this image in "Wakodahatchee Wetlands" in Delray Beach, Florida, USA. This area is known for nesting waterfowl native to South Florida.

The sun was getting close to the horizon providing beautiful warm light, when I spotted this pair of nesting Blue Herons in a tree about 50 yards away. They had donned their mating plumage and were demonstrating their ritual "courtship dance."

The sun was behind me and the birds were beautifully lit-- their eyes were glowing yellow. I hand held the camera, focused on their eyes, and took a few bursts of shots. I was absolutely thrilled with the quality of this image. Even at ISO 10000, there was virtually no noise.

Chapter 5: Western Gray Squirrel on Pine Tree © 2016 Stephen Weaver (sweaver)

XZChapter_5_-_Stephen_Weaver_(sweaver)[1].jpgAF-S Nikkor 24-120 f/4 lens at 120mm, 1/640s at f/5, ISO 400
I made this image on a late April morning on the Colorado College campus in Colorado Springs, CO.

I was testing out my new D500 with my 24-120 f/4 lens and thought the numerous friendly Western Gray Squirrels on campus would make good wildlife test subjects for the D500.

This individual ran up the tree and I was attracted to the beautiful morning sun backlight on his tail and his intent look.

Chapter 6: Kiwi the Parrot © 2016 Jim Keenan (Lomcevak)

XZChapter-6---James-Keenan-(Lomcevak).jpgAF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII lens at 200mm, 1/30s at f/8, ISO 200
Our 25-year-old Blue and Gold macaw named Kiwi sits for a portrait in the backyard.

I placed him in open shade with a Hoya plant as background and used a RRS tripod and ball head owing to slow shutter speed. 

Kiwi is naturally inquisitive and friendly and I just kept firing until I got a few shots I liked.

Chapter 7: Lilac in the Garden © 2016 Dennis Miller (dhmiller)
AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm at 400mm, 1/1000s at f/5.6, ISO 1000

XZChapter-7---Dennis-Miller-(dhmiller).jpgThis photo was taken in a communal garden behind the home I was renting in Philadelphia in summer, 2016.

I was lucky enough to capture the flower in full bloom.

The Genus/species name of the flower is: Iris sibirica, commonly known as Siberian iris or Siberian flag.

Chapter 8: Crossing the Finish Line © 2016 John McGarry (jtmcg)

XZChapter-8---John-McGarry-(jtmcg).jpgAF-S Nikkor Lens 80-400 f/4.5-5.6G at 98mm, 1/1250s at f/9, ISO 800
This was shot at the Greater Hartford Invitational Track and Field Meet held in Simsbury, CT. 

This event was the Girls 4x100 relay. I was positioned at the end of the final straightaway and fired a burst as the winner approached the finish line. 

The D500 nailed the focus on every shot in the 10 frame sequence.

Chapter 9: Woodchuck Paradise © 2016 Mark Morrison (Lunastar)

XZChapter-9---Mark-Morrison-(Lunastar).jpgAF-S Nikkor 70-200/f2.8G ED VRII lens at 200mm, 1/400s at f4, ISO 1250, -1/3 EV
I captured this handsome woodchuck near my Minnesota home as he paused briefly outside his hollow log den on a hot, overcast June day. 

I put the D500 through its paces that weekend and this image shows that the D500's sensor performs very well at higher ISO's. 

The color rendition is very good, easily besting its predecessor, the D300.

Chapter 10: Tiny Grandson Smile © 2106 Robert Patterson (bobpatter)

XZChapter-10---Robert-Patterson-(bobpatter).jpgAF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G lens, 1/160s at f/2.5m ISO 1250
This is a picture of my grandson and was taken in my great room with natural light and no flash.

The D500's white balance nailed the color in the shot, making it very easy to capture an image with correct skin tones.

Chapter 11: Majesty in Flight © 2016 Paul Sorrells (Rickman)

XZChapter-11---Paul-R-Sorrells-(Rickman).jpgTamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD at 550mm, 1/3200s at f/8, ISO Auto (250)
I took this photograph below the Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River in MD, at the top of the Chesapeake Bay.

The "Dam" is well known worldwide not only the resident Bald Eagles but also for the fall/winter influx of the many birds that migrate here each year.

The prime time for photographing eagles here is usually around Thanksgiving; however, this shot was taken on April 25th. The D500's autofocus tracking during continuous high speed shooting has drastically improved my success rate.

Chapter 12: Palouse Country © 2016 Michael R Goodman (mrginhop)

XZChapter-12---Mike-Goodman-(mrginhop).jpgNikon 70-200 F2.8 with 1.4X TC at 280mm, 1/25s at f/8, ISO 360
In eastern Washington state right on the Idaho border there are some amazing agricultural areas full of rolling hills called the Palouse Country. 

The hills "come alive" in very early or very late light. I took this picture during the transition of the wheat fields from green to gold in mid-summer. 

There are a few elevated areas where you can see these great vistas. Even though the photo is a scenic, I utilized my 70-200 with a 1.4X to really compress the vast distance you are seeing.

Chapter 13: Big Daddy Dune in Namibia © 2016 Bonnie Christensen (BChrisRad)


AF-S Nikkor 16-80mm f/2.8-4 at 16mm, 1/500s at f/7.1, ISO 320
Early morning hike up Big Daddy Dune in Sossusvlei area of Namibia in Namib-Naukluft National Park. 

We were the first ones up the dune and that made for some difficult hiking. 

It was a cold morning and we were initially disappointed to not have the sun, but the fog made for much more interesting photos.

Posted by flashdeadline at 10:26 PM

November 18, 2016

Clock is ticking on Nikon refurbished deal

10-percent_Nikon_SQ_110.jpgNikonians in the USA looking for Holiday bargains have a refurbished deal available from Nikon USA.

Called the 100-hour sale, the clock has already started.

10-percent_Nikon_325.jpgNote the asterisk next to the "10%" graphic.
It goes to fine print noting that this sale is:

Valid November 18, 2016 at 8:00 A.M. ET through November 22, 2016 at 12:00 P.M. ET. Offer valid only in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Offer not valid on previous purchases. Void where prohibited by law.

The Nikon Lens Instant Savings special is still running.

Posted by flashdeadline at 4:57 PM

November 16, 2016

Why buy "old?"

D300S-SQ-Close_120.jpgLooking to add a brand new Nikon to your inventory?

As a cost-saving measure, perhaps you might want to look at some of the older models still available on various markets (including our own I Want to Buy and I Want to Sell forums).

Take the Nikon D300s for example.

Silver member Simon Wallwork (Shy Talk) from Scotland recently posted a testimonial on his "old" camera:
Just a minute guys.
I bought my 12mp D300s back in 2011. Right from the start, the thing performed like a pro.
I'd come from Olys E-series cameras, where the AF effectively made photos of fast movers a really difficult thing to do.

d300s_325.jpgWhen I got my D300s, (£1000 with grip included) I was absolutely good to go. It did every single thing that it promised and made my Oly E-3 Look exactly like the fraud that it was.

Fast forward to today, and I'm sure the D300s is relatively old hat, but has my camera ever glitched, or let me down?

Even when getting dragged under fences, dropped on the desert, banged off raggedy bits of old airplane? Nope.

Do I look at my 300s pics and wish I'd more resolution? Sometimes- but only for 'spot the dot' types of pics.

This is one great camera. Mine is still my normal telephoto camera, and while I wish for the same quality, with 36mp, there's nothing wrong with it at all.

Equally interesting as Simon's testimonial are the like-minded responses, some with outstanding images as proof that the age of a good camera is not as important as the artistic creativity of the Nikonian behind the viewfinder.

Posted by flashdeadline at 3:59 PM

November 13, 2016

Super-duper Moon Monday Night

SuperMoonbyArlon-Motsch_110-SQ.jpgA reminder to our friends in the Astrophotography forum.
Our moon will be coming so close to Earth on Monday night (November 14) that it promises to be much larger in the night sky, and up to 30% brighter.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) tells us:
The full moon of November 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016 but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century. The full moon won't come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034.

SuperMoonbyArlon-Motsch_300.jpgThis astro-show by our moon makes for excellent opportunities to take images like the one we have illustrating this article.

It was captured by Silver member Arlon Motsch (arlon), from Texas, USA in July, 2014 with his Nikon D800E and a 600mm lens (boosted by a 2x teleconverter).

If astrophotography is one of your interests, check your local weather, hope for the best and train your eyes to the skies on the evening of November 14.

And make sure you share your best images here.

Photo-Tip: If you are not interested in astrophotography-style "shooting the moon" you may have a favorite nighttime cityscape or landscape in mind that would benefit from an extra-large moon in the sky above it.

Your next chance to capture the moon this close will be in 18 years (November 25, 2034).

Posted by flashdeadline at 4:00 PM

November 12, 2016

Matching your new Nikon with new lenses

D500-Body-Nikkors-SQ_110.jpgSilver member Bob Stanton (bobnd1) from Illinois, USA asks a question that many of us have seen in various forms for over 15 years.

He's got a new Nikon in mind, and is now researching lens options. The basic question may be familiar, but as technology improves and Nikon keeps pumping out new cameras and lenses, Bob's "old" question becomes a whole new topic.
Add the fact that we are constantly welcoming new members and it's time once again to discuss "Camera X and lens choices."

Here is Bob's question:
I've used a D300 with an 18-200 VR for the last ten years and have enjoyed that setup - decent images and a wide reach with the 18-200 which I often have with me be it on a beach, a golf course, just wandering somewhere, or over my shoulder while on a bicycle.

After considering the Sony Alpha R II, I've decided I want to buy a D500. I've always thought about getting the 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200 f 2.8 but I don't think (not sure) I want to always carry a bag of lenses. I like taking landscape, birding, and street/people pics, and of also the grandkids who will soon get into their efforts in sports.

D500-Bodyand-Nikkors_325.jpgThere are lenses like the 18-300, 70-300, 80-400, and 200-500 as options. Or, the three f 2.8 lenses which will give better images.

I do plan on keeping the D300 and along with the 18-200 lens as backup options.

So, given all of this (and the desire to continue to get closer with birding and sports pics), what would your recommendations be for the first, second, and third new lenses be to paired with a new D500. Is the 80-400, 70-300, or 18-300 a better carry around lens that is sharp and maybe a good choice or should I begin the collection of the f 2.8 zooms even though I may not want to carry all of them all the time and I still have the D300 with the 18-200 on hand.

I'm just a passionate hobby photographer who obviously doesn't totally understand the pros and cons of all the lens options so I hope my questions are not too basic ...

If you had Bob's camera (and his wallet), what lenses would you put on top of your shopping list?
Share your thoughts here.

Posted by flashdeadline at 1:55 PM

November 11, 2016

Watermarking Do's and Don'ts

WaterMarking-101-SQ_110.jpgSilver member Shannon Mason (mynetdude) from Oregon, USA has been researching watermark usage and he's wondering what our members are advising:

Ok... before you scream, I DID search "watermark" and I got a lot of good answers from that, but one question that hasn't been answered; and just a heads up, I'm probably not a newbie but not advanced either and in some areas, I'm probably intermediate or know nothing but I learn quick sometimes (when I want to) so know with confidence I'm not a total neophyte!

Do you watermark across the image (even faded) on a low res? I've read every thread from 2005 to 2013 since that is the last time anything related to watermark has been mentioned other than the new EXIF availability on this forum.

WaterMarking-101_325.jpgI don't know of any well-known photographers and their websites so it would be cool to get a couple of links in that regards so I can see how they are setting the standards when it comes to watermarks (or even if they are?)

How important is it to NOT throw your watermark across the image or even in the corner "large" but not across the image when it comes to someday selling, Shutterstock and many other sites literally plaster their watermarks right down the middle of their images but they kind of have to otherwise if they don't then many of the stock images are so easy to take without ever paying (such as backgrounds and some portraits or even some scenes in general).

I have looked at some of the copyright information even though some of it is old; many of it is still quite relevant so I'm familiar with what to do for the most part in that regards.

Lastly... I know nothing is foolproof short of never uploading it.

So--members, show us some of your favorite watermarks and tell us why you chose to go that route.

Posted by flashdeadline at 2:40 PM

November 8, 2016

Congrats September Contest winners

5-Digital-Art-hummingbird-SQ_120.jpgNikonians Contest Coordinator David Summers (dm1dave) has posted the results of the September contests. Congratulations to our winners!

Special congratulations go to Roberta Davidson (birdied) for excelling in two of our categories for September (Macro and Digital Artistry).

Our member driven contests are unique in many ways. Unlike most other photo contests the workings of our contests are transparent. Our members choose the monthly themes, all entries are visible to the entire community as they are posted and you are the judges not an invisible behind the scenes "expert."

Check our winning images legend below and scroll down for the names of the winners. Each photo title serves as a link, which will lead you to explanations behind some of the photographs and an overall look at the competition.

1. -- Wildlife "Garden Wildlife" theme winner Donna Knodle (dgknodle), from Michigan, USA with her image titled Common Garter Snake.

2. -- Landscape "Landscape with a single tree" theme winner Russ Glindmeier (russg)  from Arizona, USA with his image titled Meadview, Arizona.

3. --  Macro "Liquids" theme winner Roberta Davidson (birdied) from Louisiana, USA with her image titled The Dandelion Seed.

4. -- Travel "Iconic Landmarks" theme winner Henning Bossen (henbo), from  Denmark with his image titled Memorial - Reichstag reflection.

5. -- Digital Artistry "Color"  theme winner Roberta Davidson (birdied) from Louisiana, USA with her image titled Dahlia Loving Ruby.

6. -- Assignment "Environment" theme winner Mike Rheault (mikerofoto) from Ontario, Canada with his untitled image of Power Lines.

Interested in submitting your photos?

If you want to participate, please be sure to enter one of the monthly competitions listed in David Summers' contest guide.

The Online Photo Assignments category is coordinated by Rob Migliaccio (rmigliaccio) from Rhode Island, USA. You can check his recap of past winners here.

The current (November) assignment is "Abstract Body" - and this one has zero input at the current publication time. It's a tough one to visualize, so here is Rob's description:

"For a sense of what this month's assignment is, I recommend you Google "Abstract Body Photography". It is fascinating, really. The human body presents untold photographic opportunities. Whether you are photographing the entirety of the body, or a part, use your imagination to make the image interesting. Careful use of light, shadows or motion will make the image more abstract. Black and white is often used to intensify the image and make it grittier.

The goal of this assignment is not NSFW (Not Safe For Work) images, however, they may be included if they are tasteful and appropriately referenced as such in the title. This is a challenging assignment and I hope you all produce some great, wall-worthy images."


Posted by flashdeadline at 7:17 PM

November 1, 2016

Nikonians Academy Update

hagen_111107_SQ.jpgNikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen is headed to Tanzania for his annual African Photo Safari. He has already scheduled the next Safari for November 2017.
Mike tells us:
We are limiting the size to 12 participants and this number includes your Tour Leader.
One of the best aspects of this trip is that we are only allowing three photographers per vehicle. This means that each person will have an entire row to themselves with one seat for their camera gear and the other seat for themselves.
There will be plenty of room to move around and everyone will have perfect access to all photo opportunities.

Down the Road:

SteveSimon_125.jpgJoin Steve Simon for one of his two workshops to Cuba this December and January.

The US Government continues to reduce restrictions on travel to Cuba, which means the flood of tourists isn't far behind. If you've wanted to visit before the massive changes take place, then join Steve Simon and Nikonians Academy in December or January for his workshop, Cuba: The Passionate Street Photographer.

Steve Simon has been running photography workshops to Cuba for quite a few years and is uniquely qualified to show off this beautiful country to visitors. These two workshops are open to travelers whether or not you are a US Citizen. We'd love to have you along on the trip no matter where you are from.

Simon-Cuba_325.jpgThis intimate six-day masterclass (limited to 10 students) will take you to some of the most picturesque, interesting and exciting locations on and off the beaten path in Havana and beyond.

Steve has been traveling to Cuba for many years now and has a great knowledge of this country.

His workshops are based on the concepts from his best-selling book, The Passionate Photographer, and work to take the student from good to great. Steve's next trips begin December 10th and January 16th.

Hulbert_175.jpgRick Hulbert is running a really fun workshop to Budapest, Hungary in May, 2017.

His class will be a photographic exploration of this beautiful city that straddles the banks of the Danube River. This is a true photography workshop and Rick will be working with participants to improve their photography of urban areas, including buildings, man-made spaces, and street photography.

Rick stresses that you won't need fancy equipment to enjoy this trip. In fact, any and every brand of camera will work. So, feel free to bring your Nikon (of course!), Canon, Fuji, Pentax, Sony or iPhone.

Posted by flashdeadline at 8:24 PM