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June 28, 2017

Countdown to the Solar Eclipse


Here are some of the topics and news items we're tracking for our community this week. ---
USA Solar Eclipse less than two months away - What's your lemon test - Two cards a must? --- PLUS more....

1 -- Solar Eclipse creating gear and lodging shortages

Moderating Team member and Nikonians Academy Director Eric Bowles (ericbowles) has an update on filter availability for the upcoming Solar Eclipse event. In short, with less than two months to go, supply is having a hard time keeping up with demand.

Eric tells us: Thousand Oaks Optical is backordered on some of their solar filters. I just ordered a 77mm threaded filter, an 8-inch filter for use on my 600 f/4, and am backordered 4-6 weeks on a filter for my Tak FS-60. 

Eric's post is one of many eclipse-oriented discussions currently featured in our Astrophotography Forum

You can also check:

Solar filter for 400/2.8

100% solar eclipse

Nikon guide on how to photograph a solar eclipse 

More Solar Eclipse Questions

Lodging for total eclipse viewing...get it fast! 

2 -- What's your lemon test?

When you get your brand new camera, what do you do to quickly test it? Do you have a ritual series of actions that help assure you this particular model is not a lemon?

New member Brian Rose (kbobb) asks us what we prefer to use as our "new gear test" routines. He asks about a specific model, but this topic applies equally to most of our purchases:

Hi All,  Is there any special process you go through to check that all functions work properly on a new camera and images are appropriate both in camera and on the computer? Anything particular to Nikon, specifically the D750? I'd like to run through all functions before the return period expires.

Silver member Neal Nurmi (Wingman) responds with: 

This is actually an interesting question. All my cameras over the years have functioned as advertised, but these things have gotten so capable and so complex that a more systematic approach does make sense. It'll be interesting to see what sorts of replies you get to this.

Do you have a testing routine or do you just start shooting and wait for something weird to happen?

3 -- This CheatSheet makes editing RAW files easy!

You know you should be shooting RAW files. But, you've always thought they were too hard to edit.

Well, this PhotoBert CheatSheet for Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) makes it easy. 

Our extremely popular Adobe Camera Raw CheatSheet has been updated for V9+. 

It walks you thru each option in ACR and contains everything you need to know to edit your RAW files like a pro. We also have CheatSheets for Nikons and Canon DSLRs and most Speedlights, along with some great accessories. Save 20% on our legendary CheatSheets; 10% on Helicon Photo Software and 5% on accessories. 

Get the discount with this link. 

4 -- Can two cards save your day?

Gold member Jim Tubman (Tubman) from Alberta, Canada wonders whether any of our members have ever had a shooting session saved by dual card slots. When the chips are down -- Is two really better than one?

Here's the question:

One of the biggest and most repeated criticisms of the new D7500 is that, unlike the preceding models in that series, it does not have two card slots. So, who among you with a two-card camera has actually had one card fail and the other saved the day?

Hear me well: I am not passively-aggressively asserting that this has never happened. I had a card go wonky in my D5300 after I had shot my daughter's high school graduation (I could not write new pictures, but I could read all the ones I had taken). I just wonder if it is freakishly rare, or uncomfortably common. 

Have you had your day saved by that extra card slot? - Tell us what happened. 

5 -- Great Deals on new NIKKOR's

Berger Bros. is now taking orders for the three new lenses that were announced May 31st. Nikonians will get early allocation preference and free shipping (continental USA).

The lenses are: 

• AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR -- Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $309.95 USD with availability in late June.

• AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED -- Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $1249.95 USD. 

• AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED --  Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $1999.95 USD with availability in late June.

To take advantage of this special Nikonians offer, contact Brad Berger 516-816-4921 or -

6 -- Fix my sky

Moderating team member Gary Worrall (glxman) from South Australia pointed his camera up at a scenic image, but his result was the dreaded "blown sky."

Gary shows he's always ready to learn something new as he asks our members what they would do to fix the photo.

Here's the question:

Hi Guys, 
For the first time, I tried to get one of those "looking up to the canopy of the forest" shots. Whatever I did in LR with the blown-out sky, just went grey. Then had a play with HDR toning, (no Idea what I'm doing,) But I feel if I tone back the green and somehow squeeze some light blue in the sky, it will look OK?
Any way of fixing the sky? - Gary

If this looks like a problem you have solved in the past, feel free to show us how you made your corrections 

7 -- Gearing up for Alaska

Silver member M. Lange has a great trip coming up and he's asking for gear advice based on the location and his current inventory.

The cool part of this discussion is the number of our members who have posted images from the same destination.

Here's his situation:

I'm heading to Alaska (both cruise and inland tour), and planning to bring two bodies: a D5500 (which I like for its size) and my new D7500. I'll bring my 10-24 for landscape. I'll also want a telephoto for animals. My options are (a) carry both an 18-140 and a 70-300, and switch off as necessary; or (b) carry a 28-300. It would be great to not have to switch lenses, but if the image quality from the 18-140/70-300 combination is markedly better than that from the 28-300, I'm willing to. Would appreciate any thoughts.

Do you have advice (and Alaska pics) to share? Join the discussion.

8 -- The case of the missing images-Solved?

Silver member Jon Etkins (jetkins) from Texas, USA was trying to figure out what happened to some photos missing in his Lightroom.

It didn't take long before our members started leading him to a solid answer.

Jon described the problem: I've been using Lightroom for a couple of years now, and I just noticed that it appears to be hiding some of my images from me!  With All Photographs selected and filters disabled, it's only showing me 56,092 of my 56,178 photos. Any idea why it's decided to withhold 86 pictures, and how I can go about convincing it to cough them up again?

If this has happened to you, check the discussion for more tips on how to find those files.


That's it for this week. Make sure you grab your favorite camera and capture some images to share with family and friends (especially us at Nikonians). -- Tom Boné (flashdeadline)

Posted by flashdeadline at 1:05 AM

June 20, 2017

Fireworks - Tips, Tricks and more


Here are some of the topics and news items we're tracking for our community this week. ---
Time to share your favorite fireworks images, tips, techniques and tricks - Seven deadly photography sins - 32-bit bites dust--- PLUS more...

1 -- Fireworks - One of the Hottest Topics we share

We are fast approaching a significant increase in fireworks oriented photography, and this means we need to re-visit one of the most comprehensive posts on the topic. Our Café now has a link to the original post, along with an open invitation for our members to share their best images from last year, along with your descriptions of equipment used, techniques, tips and tricks that made them one of your favorites.

Here are just a few of the great tips we have already gathered:

• My tip is that when you are taking fireworks photos where the scene includes buildings that are important to the image, the exposure and focus must be coordinated to get the lighting on the buildings as well as the fireworks.

• Fireworks are bright, almost as intense as an afternoon sun, so your aperture should be set as if shooting during the day. The exception will be what you do with your shutter speed.

• Don't forget to photograph the amusing people and things that happen around you. If your children are with you, have them stand still while spinning some light sticks for some great effects.

There's plenty more advice available--Check it Out 

2 -- Think Tank Teams with SKB

Our friends at Think Tank Photo have just announced an exciting new partnership with hard-case manufacturer SKB.  Think Tank's designers have created internal divider sets, organizers, and a backpack designed specifically to fit within 10 SKB hard cases. 

There are times when you simply must use the airline gate-check procedure with your most precious photography equipment.  At moments like these, nothing will do a better job of protection than a hard case.  

But, one of the downsides of hard cases is that they are basically hard shells with not a lot of other features built into them. 

Think Tank's partnership with SKB solves this problem. 

The result is a perfect combination matching the best of a hard case with the best of internal organization.  Don't forget that with our special partnership with Think Tank that you receive free gear and free shipping when you order using our special link.  

3 -- Sounds easier than it looks

Silver member Robert Metheney (bobpilot) from Utah, USA has what seems to be a simple problem. He wants to change the background on an image from a dull white to pure white.

Bob quickly tells us he's not a Photoshop expert, and he's wondering if anyone has an easy to understand step-by-step guide that will help him solve the problem. 

Here's Bob's situation: 

I made a photograph of sunglasses for an acquaintance. He is trying to sell them and he wants a white a white background. Nothing artistic. The photo I made has an off-white background. I made the photo with the glasses on top of translum paper with a light above and below. 

We've already had a few members taking the original and transforming to the desired effect.

Check them out and see if you agree with the procedure. If not, show us your solution. Don't forget to explain how it was done.  

4 -- The Seven Deadly Sins in Photography - Part 1

Nikonians co-founder J. Ramón Palacios (jrp) has over 50 years of photography experience, nevertheless, he makes a review of the typical errors that he has committed and shares with us the solutions to improve our photography. His newest article is therefore a confession, an act of contrition and a fast mix of easy tips.

The author tells us:

There are seven days of the week, seven colors of the rainbow, seven notes on a musical scale, seven seas and seven continents in the world; seven branches for seven candles in the Menorah. On the lighter side, seven were the dwarfs chosen by Walt Disney's for Snow White. And just as there are seven deadly or cardinal sins that may prevent us to get to the seventh heaven, there are seven sins to avoid for good photography. I know because I have committed them all and even today I may occasionally forget to avoid. 

His article comes in multiple parts, and this edition explores the topic of subject centering. Here's a hint: Centering your subject in a frame tends to work against you.  

5 -- 32-Bit bites dust?

Nikonians Moderating team member Jonathan Kandel (JonK) sees a technological progression that spells doom for 32-bit apps.

He looked carefully at the preliminary results of a recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and noticed a trend.

Jon tells us:

The next operating system for the Mac, announced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference ten days ago but given more prominence next consumer play over the past two days is interesting -- and ominous.

The new system, called High Sierra, will be a complete 64-bit system with a new file system (faster and more secure), better graphics and VR, and enhancements to Safari and Mail. The troubling item in that last sentence is the 64-bit system.

Recent operating systems have supported 64-bit apps and 32-bit apps. High Sierra will do the same when released this coming October. But starting in January 2018 it will be no longer support 32-bit apps. Here's what I think that means (so far, more thought and research is required):

• That's the end of Nik.

• Many other plug-in and standalone enhancement apps are 32-bit -- and some are from small companies or solo practitioners who may not have the resources to rewrite code to 64-bit.

• While the major Adobe apps are currently 64-bit, some of the support software -- the desktop app and the loader app -- are not. They will obviously be rewritten to 64-bit, but I wonder if Adobe will take this "opportunity" to have the new loader not handle the standalone CS6 suite and move all Adobe software to the subscription model.

• The Microsoft Office Suite -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook -- has not been updated since 2011. Given the Mac's place in the marketplace (7% or so) I wonder if Microsoft will invest the resources necessary to rewrite four major apps (and related support software).

There are a myriad of other apps that many of us use -- i.e., the Pocketwizard loader, Camranger, device drivers, etc. -- for which we need to be mindful. 

Do you agree with Jon's analysis? Join the conversation 

6 -- 17th ANPAT (Fall) bookings gather

Bookings are moving along for our 17th ANPAT in the Fall to Acadia and Coastal Maine.

This area is a photography paradise, with rugged coastlines, iconic lighthouses, and warm tones of the northern light.

The ANPAT is scheduled for October 7, 2017 (arrival) to October 14, 2017 (departure).

October is the best time to be there; exquisite colors abound, not just on the trees, but also on the ground, thanks to the berry plants characteristic of the northern areas. 

Your early booking is highly appreciated as it helps to make early deposits to keep arrangements and negotiated rates.

Practically everything you want to know about lodgings, itineraries, special arrangements and clothing suggestions are contained in our 17th ANPAT in the Fall FAQ's 

7 -- Best choices - Matrix, Spot, Manual?  

Silver member Gary Pack (GaryPk) is wondering what are using us as your favorite metering mode when shooting landscapes. 

He's looking at a specific style of photo:

If I am shooting two of the same landscape with one exposed for the sky and the other for the foreground due to high dynamic range, should I be using Spot Metering Mode? Thanks, Gary 

Here are two suggestions pointing in different directions:

• I'll let the landscape masters give you the best answer, but for me, I would use matrix. If you have a mix of clouds in the sky, your metering will depend on where you put the spot. With matrix, you would get a better "average" of the exposure value (in my thinking). I would also move the meter around the sky to see how much it varies. You can also check your histogram to get an idea of what the meter is telling you. 

• Since you are probably going to be shooting from a tripod with the head locked (to ensure the two images will correctly register) Spot should work well. You could focus on the foreground and use spot metering (which is normally slaved to the focus point) for the first exposure. Then move the focus point to the sky (without re-focusing) and take the second exposure. 

What metering mode would you suggest 

8 -- Your vote matters

Moderating Team member Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760) is looking to add more votes to the month of May Digital Artistry contest results.

The theme was "Lines."

The instruction for those competing were simple:

Show us your digitally manipulated images of lines and objects in lines. Any photographic subject is acceptable so long as it meets the Nikonians terms of use. We want to see wall-worthy line abstracts, objects/people in lines, clothes lines, blurred movement lines, architectural lines, or any liney thing that tickles your fancy. Let your inner artist lead the way. 

For the longest time, we had a three-way tie, but now one image has picked up steam. It's still a close call, so Dan would appreciate your vote to help make the final decision. 


That's it for this week. Make sure you grab your favorite camera and capture some images to share with family and friends (especially us at Nikonians). -- Tom Boné (flashdeadline)

Posted by flashdeadline at 10:40 PM

June 13, 2017

D7500 Pro and Cons gather as camera ships


Here are some of the topics and news items we're tracking for our community this week. ---

D7500 cameras shipping as members share pros and cons, difficulties in photographing dogs, children and birds in flight, unintentional double exposure with a D810, travel camera decision may exclude Nikon --- PLUS more....

1 -- D7500 Pro and Cons gather as camera ships

Members are reporting the arrival of their brand new Nikon D7500 cameras.

Silver member Scott Ashley (scottashley) from Colorado, USA has been notified that his order is shipping, and our own Nikonians author Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) already received his D7500 from Berger Bros. Meanwhile, our member still "on the fence" are deliberating.

Darrell has started work on his new book on this camera and he has taken the extraordinary step of soliciting member input on the pros and cons.

If you are interested in seeing sample image gathered by Darrell check here.

If you are getting the new camera, keep in mind Darrell Young's Mastering the Nikon D7500 has already gone to the next stage of inviting our members to provide examples of photographs taken with the new camera for inclusion in the book.

This tradition of using Nikonian member images in these NikoniansPress books has been going on for many years. Your benefit is the chance to be published. All members who have a vertical image included in the book will receive a free copy of the book and be listed in a special Credits for Chapter Opening Images section with information on the tech specs (ISO, lens, aperture, shutter speed, shooting conditions, and a paragraph telling about the picture).

Details on the invitation can be found here.


2 -- Dog shooting is harder than ever?

Platinum member Iain Duncan (IainD) from Victoria, Australia has been dealing with two elusive subjects: children and dogs. He's looking for advice on equipment that would make his successful capture of these images easier.

Here's his description of the challenge:


I shoot events at our local dog club. Each event has an indoor session for puppies, often with child handlers. There is not much space and the lighting is poor.

Flash is necessary here. The dogs move fast and it is very difficult to get good shots, but sometimes I get some! I have a Nikon SB900, which tended to overheat and shut down sometimes after just a few shots, so I got a 910. Yesterday, at a fairly slow pace of shooting, about 1/3 of my shots had little or no flash. And that was the 910.

I use Eneloop batteries, and I thought I gave plenty of recycling time.

My question is: Is there a better flash for this type of event?

I have read mixed reviews of the Quantum flashes

They are expensive and some people find them poorly made.

What do you good strobists use for this type of situation? I would be grateful to hear!

Many thanks,


Have you dealt with similar challenges? What would you recommend?


3 -- Upgrade your Shutter!

This is the most inexpensive upgrade you can make to your camera. It is incredibly simple and useful. You'll be amazed nobody thought of this before! Each package contains 2 shutter upgrades (choose RED or BLACK). Fits all Nikon DSLRs. Click here to save 5% now.

Upgrade your photography with our legendary CheatSheets. Each of our CheatSheets is a work of art. You'll find them indispensable.

We have CheatSheets for ALL of Nikons DSLRs and most Speedlights,

Get infinite Depth of Field with Helicon Software (discounted 10%).

Save 20% on our legendary CheatSheets; 10% on Helicon Photo Software and 5% on accessories.

Get the discount with this link


4 -- Nikon D810 unintentional double exposure

Moderating Team member Brian Wong (blw) has run into what looks like a double exposure recorded by his Nikon D810. Can you get a double exposure without planning for one with a digital camera?

Brian posted his image and give us the background:

I had my D810 doing interval shooting over the weekend, and I found this frame right in the middle of 460 other perfectly normal shots:

There was nothing unusual going on. The frames were a minute apart, and the parameters as seen in the EXIF are hardly anything too unusual.

This file, like all the rest, was recorded on a SanDisk Extreme 32GB CF card. It's not new, having served for several years in my D3x.

Initial thoughts leaned towards card read error, but Brian is not convinced.

Have you ever had this happen to you? Did you figure out a solution? Tell us your story--Better yet--If you still have it--share the image.


5 -- Great Deals on new NIKKOR's

Berger Bros. is now taking orders for the three new lenses that were announced May 31st. Nikonians will get early allocation preference and free shipping (continental USA).

The lenses are:

• AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR -- Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $309.95 USD with availability in late June.

• AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED -- Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $1249.95 USD. 

• AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED --  Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $1999.95 USD with availability in late June.

To take advantage of this special Nikonians offer, contact Brad Berger 516-816-4921 or -


6 -- Off to Europe with or without Nikon D810?

Silver member Scott Arden (sparden) from New York, USA has a trip to Europe planned and he's wondering if he should entertain the possibility of leaving his Nikon D810 home. He's leaning towards a well-known brand with a ZEISS 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens. Good idea?

Here's the question:

Greetings all!

I have a D810, 50mm 1.4, 24-70, 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8. I am traveling to Europe shortly with my family (London, Paris, Amsterdam) for 10 days. I am beyond excited to take photographs, however lugging my equipment around has me less than. I have no intention of bringing the 70-200mm, but I would bring the two smaller lenses, a flash and a tripod. My shoulder/back hurts just thinking about it.

I also own a Sony RX 100 III which I do not use all that much. I am considering leaving my much beloved (though much bulkier) D810 at home and just bringing the small Sony. It has received very strong reviews but I feel on such a trip I should try to optimize the photos I take (not a professional, though if I get a great one I would consider blowing it up).

Any thoughts/suggestions here? I suppose I am looking for someone to convince me one way or the other.

Thanks all!


7 -- BIF equations - do they work?

Platinum member Richard J. Kish (Dickk) from England, The United Kingdom, has started a complex discussion on a difficult photography subject. He's trying to use sound math to solve difficulties of capturing images of an erratic bird in flight (BIF).

Here's the problem:


What are your opinions about a D5 being able to accurately track an object coming towards the camera at approx. 80ft/sec. With a shutter speed of 1/1600, my calculations show the subject moving 0.6inches during the open shutter. So, assuming the focus is spot-on when the shutter opens, I might expect a bit of blur because of the 0.6inch movement. But can I expect the focus to be spot-on when I hit the shutter release?

My subjects are flying puffins. (Incredibly exciting to attempt to capture in flight...but also incredibly frustrating). They're very erratic fliers, and difficult to keep focused, especially with a heavy wind blowing them/you/the camera around.

Are you a successful puffin BIF shooter? How do you handle it?


8 -- Lumens and lux - Research guide?

Silver member Marlin Collier (MS Photog) from Mississippi, USA is also having technical difficulties. He's looking for members who have experience with the topic of lumens and lux measurements.

Here's his dilemma:

I need help understanding how these items relate to each other. I have done some studio portrait work for years and always used a Honeywell strobe with modeling light I bought in the 1970's. This worked great for me in film days. I had so much trouble trying to use this with my D7000 because of no pc outlet. I bought an LED continuous light specified at 1000 watts equivalent. This works pretty well for portraits but is not quite powerful enough for the way I want to use it. I have been shopping for an improvement but have never done much research into how lumens and lux equate to exposure; therefore, when I get on B & H and Amazon I can't figure out what is what and what I need.

Can anyone recommend a good article on these lighting measurements? I have tried searching Nikonians but maybe I don't know what to write in the search box to find what I need.

We've had excellent suggestion so far, including one piece of hardware called Wein Safe-Sync.  Check the discussion and feel free to add your own suggestion.


That's it for this week. Make sure you grab your favorite camera and capture some images to share with family and friends (especially us at Nikonians). -- Tom Boné (flashdeadline)

Posted by flashdeadline at 11:33 PM

June 6, 2017

New gear from Nikon - Members react


Here are some of the topics and news items we're tracking for our community this week. --- Members react to three new NIKKOR lens announcements, congrats to our April competition participants, Nikon D5 error message mystery, what does FLC mean?--- PLUS more....

1 - New gear from Nikon - Members react

Nikon announced three new lenses and an updated version of a popular all-weather COOLPIX late last week and our members are looking forward to the creative possibilities. Here is a rundown along with links to our member reactions:

AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR -- an ultra-wide zoom and lightweight DX-format  lens described as an excellent value for budding shutterbugs and novice shooters looking to explore a wide-angle point of view. Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $309.95 USD with availability in late June.

AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED -- an FX-format circular fisheye noted as the first NIKKOR fisheye lens with zoom capability and the first NIKKOR fisheye zoom lens to support both circular and full-frame fisheye effects. Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $1249.95 USD.  Also being discussed here.

AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.4E ED a superior prime lens featuring a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture and nine blade rounded diaphragm, making it a great choice for shooting low light landscapes, interiors and events. Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $1999.95 USD with availability in late June.

COOLPIX W300, a rugged compact camera featuring 4K UHD in a body designed to be waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and dustproof.  Ideal for hiking, camping, skiing or relaxing on the beach. It also allows users to seamlessly share their latest adventures with built-in Wi-Fi3 and Bluetooth2 via the Nikon SnapBridge app1. Manufacturer Suggest Retail price (MSRP) of $389.95 USD.

Editor's Note: Berger Bros is now taking orders for the three new Nìkon lenses that were announced May 31st. Nikonians will get early allocation preference and free shipping (continental USA). Contact Brad Berger 516-816-4921 or -

2 - April Contest Congrats

Nikonians Contest Coordinator David Summers (dm1dave) has posted the results of the April contests. Congratulations to our winners! The Wildlife category has one of our rare ties.

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.

Here are the winners of the April Contests:

1-A -- Wildlife - "Wildlife Interacting with Water" theme winner Mark Morrison (Lunastar) from Minnesota, USA with his image titled Loon Wing Tips Cutting Water.

-- and --

1-B -- Gary Paige (JazzDoc) from New York, USA with his image titled Tufted Puffin at Takeoff.

2. -- Landscape -  "Symmetry" theme winner Scott Ashley (scottashley) from Colorado, USA with his image titled Maroon Bells reflection.
3. -- Macro - "Insect Detail" theme winner Donna Knodle (dgknodle) from Michigan, USA with her image titled Spotted Spreadwing Damselfly.
4. -- Travel  - "Night-time" theme winner Russell Whittemore (rosewood_ltd) from Ohio, USA with his image titled Night Rainstorm, Santa Fe.
5. -- Digital Artistry -  "Start with C" theme winner Darryl Hodson (skibreeze7) from Oregon, USA with his image titled Classic Car.
6. -- Assignment -  "Young" theme winner Jeff Atchley (Graceland) from Tennessee, USA with his image titled Eyes of Innocence.

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 assignments here.

The current (June) assignment is "The Color Black."
Here is Rob's description:

My suggestion is to Google "the color black" to get a sense of this month's assignment. You will come up with a ton of ideas that are associated with this color - what it means, what it evokes, how it affects us, etc.

Your job is to convert what the color means to you into a photograph. The assignment is easy, yet it will be hard.

3 - Big Day - Shot List?

Silver member Mel Lim (mel_klim) from California, USA is looking for advice on how help to honor an influential member of his community. This will be a big day and he wants to use every possible creative approach to mark the occasion.

Here's the background from Mel:

The minister of our church is retiring and a special church service will be held in his honor. I was asked to photograph the service which I've done in the past.

There will be the usual number of guest speakers and the giving of commendation, plaques, etc. Besides taking pictures of the handing of the plaques and certificates as they stand on the stage, what else can I do beyond the usual pics?

This sounds like an ideal question for our members who have photojournalism or wedding photography backgrounds.

One obvious approach is to try telling the story of the day from start to finish. What shots would you be recommending?

4 - Profiled: Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug)

Moderating Team member Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) has posted her latest chapter in the Nikonians member profile "I am Nikonians" series of articles.

Her subject in this installment is Gold member Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug) from South Carolina, USA.

Karen moved south three years ago, having departed Michigan where she was a member of the local Chapter of Nikonians.

She tells us:

I learned of Nikonians through a co-worker who was a member. I was impressed with the breadth of knowledge of the members of the community and the willingness of everyone to share information and offer suggestions for improvement and troubleshooting. I continue to value the community for these reasons and have found so many more things to appreciate.  The community provides a great opportunity to explore new areas of photography, to learn about post processing, to better master the equipment I have and learn about more that I may need/want, and to learn from other very talented members.  Every forum I explore at Nikonians adds a new dimension to my photography.

Check out the full article, and make sure you have a look at her gallery. It is a truly inspirational body of work.


5 - Sparkle to the rescue

Gold member David Gerhardt (thetardis) from California, USA got a strange error message from his Nikon D5 and he could not find what the "error" was. 

If you have a Nikon D5, you will be happy to know our members helped David understand the meaning behind "FLC."

Here is the original question:

I've had my D5 for about a year now, and recently (while on a trip to Japan), I got a strange error message of: "FLC", in the viewfinder. Note, this was NOT the "FuL" that indicates a card capacity problem; I'm virtually CERTAIN that it was "FLC". So,

1. Has anyone ELSE come across the uppercase error of "FLC"?

2. Is there a site either ONLINE, or a 3rd party compiled LIST of ALL the error codes which can occur with the D5? (with their meaning)

The list on pages 362-365 of the D5 User's Manual is pitiful for it's lack of information. If it helps, at the time I was using a Lexar 2933X, 128GB, "XQD" memory card during the error. I quit using the card when the error appeared (used a different 32GB card)... and the error NEVER reappeared.

Thanks for any help that is available!

Valerie Shoaps (Sparkle) from California, USA had the immediate answer, along with further follow-up. Have a look if you have seen this unusual error message on your Nikon camera. Here's a hint: It's not an error.

6 - Lens purchase options

Silver member Tyler Kenney (kenneyty) from California, USA is looking for lens advice, and we're getting suggestions for lenses that don't bear the famous "NIKKOR" name.

Here is the original question:

I've been trying to get a lot more serious with my photography, really learning to use my gear and slowly upgrade from all my kit lenses. I'll be going on a trip to Croatia this fall and want to make sure I have a good lens for capturing all the fantastic landscapes. My current gear is comprised of the following:

• D7100

• 24-70mm 2.8 G ED (yay!)

• 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 G ED VR

• 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 GII VR

• 50mm 1.8 D

Now, obviously the DX format camera is not the first choice for this task, but I am probably a year or two from picking up a D810 or whatever the then-equivalent is. For now, I'm focusing on glass. I'm of the mind that I'd rather just buy a good lens now than buy something I'm just going to trade in the not too distant future if I can manage it (as evidenced by the 24-70). That strategy works OK on the middle and long length lenses because I'm just gaining reach, but not as well with the wide where I don't want it.

Is my strategy making sense or should I just be focusing on DX lenses like the newly announced 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR? What lens would you pick up to shoot landscapes on a D7100? Buy for now, or buy for the future? Pretend cost isn't the issue. I'm more curious about the technical aspects. - Thanks ~ Tyler

Should he hold out for that new NIKKOR, or would a Tamron or Sigma do the trick?

7 - Your Magazine cover shot

Moderating Team member Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760) has posted a fun challenge in our Digital Artistry Contest forum. This is your shot at creating your own magazine cover!

Dan gives us the rules:

This contest features images that have been significantly manipulated for creative effect. The final output can be realistic, surreal, abstract, or fantastic.

The June challenge is-- Magazine Cover .

This challenge is inspired by Rob Migliaccio (rmiglaccio), the moderator of the Photo Assignments challenge. In 2014, Rob gave us a series of cover photo challenges that were a lot of fun. You can see the results by following the link and looking at the Cover Shot entries.

This challenge has some special rules:

-- The images must be in the vertical format. Vertical images display best when they are 900px tall.

-- If you submit without a cover logo, please let us know which magazine you are submitting to and the theme. In my example, the theme is Low Light Photography.

-- You have complete freedom to choose the magazine (whether real or imagined) and any subtext so long the image and content meets the Nikonians terms of use.

Your digital artistry skills will come in handy for this challenge. To get you started, I am including an image from a fictitious photo magazine (North Country Photographer).

8 - Digital Darkroom laptops - Your choice?

Gold member John A. Meiers (Dakotaboy) from North Dakota, USA has been looking into laptops for quick digital darkroom work. Here's your chance to tell us whether you prefer Mac or Windows platforms. Avoid the urge to yell at each other.

Let's start with the question:

Looking through this forum there was a similar discussion back in the late fall of 2014. I am figuring laptops have changed somewhat since then. What I am researching is a laptop for ease of portability when on photography tours. Nothing huge like my wife carries around on trips. A monster size HP with a 20" screen(?) that barely fits into a carry- on suitcase. Last trip we found out at check in that it weighs 8 pounds as we had to shift it to a different suitcase.

How small can one go with a laptop with a decent screen and enough room for Lightroom? Just need something to download my photos for the day and do a brief look at them for any group review. Any major processing will be done at home on my desktop.  - John Meiers

Suggestions so far include an assortment of MacBook Pros' and Windows based systems.

Check it out.  What did you choose?


That's it for this week. Make sure you grab your favorite camera and capture some images to share with family and friends (especially us at Nikonians). -- Tom Boné (flashdeadline)

Posted by flashdeadline at 11:04 PM