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April 12, 2018

It is all about you, Hercules

20180306_074859_4.teton_photospydie_120px.jpgIn the community, it is all about you. Your photographs, your skills and your gear.
Granted, it is also something about us, the platform of things we need to maintain and expand upon to stay up and around as a community.

But... from there on, when the platform is there, when Nikonians.org is up and running and humming, it is indeed all about you.

In the "I Am Nikonians" series Marsha Edmunds interviews you, the member of Nikonians. To date Marsha has interviewed 27 photographers (we don't count JRP), talented members that share their background and some of their work with us.

20180306_074859_4.teton_photospydie_600px.jpg

Grand Teton National Park by Carol Freshley (PhotoSpydie). Latest member to be interviewed.
Nikon D800, 24-120mm f/4 @ 98mm, ISO 400, f/11, 10s

The first seven photographer's of Marsha's series made it into our eBook "Inspirational Photography #1" with meanwhile over 10k (legal) copies in circulation. We will continue to expand our ways to publish our members work, eBooks being one channel.

If you too want us to look at your work and potentially highlight it in the I Am Nikonians series, please do give us a nudge. Best is to send JRP a private message in the forums.

One member that no longer nudge us is former beginner (ha!) and team member, award winning Marsel van Oosten. Marsel lent his appearance to Nikon for their booth at this year's National Association of Broadcaster's NAB show and has been working with Nikon on one of their D850 promo videos late last year, producing the time lapse "Nikon D850: Hercules Rising" (video on YouTube), background stuff on the video in Marsel's blog.

Through serious dedication, hard work and talent Marsel is not only a (role) model, but a great photographer. We recommend his workshops, which he and his team hold throughout the world. Check out his site for more information.

Let us all be Hercules.
Bo (bgs)

Posted by bgs at 9:20 PM

April 5, 2018

Sigma AF fails on Nikon with latest firmware

20180403_105022_-1-mixed_flowers_first_attempt_cassinetto_110px.jpgThis weeks update comes with information on issues with Sigma lenses not autofocusing on Nikon cameras using latest firmware and Connie Cassinetto sharing some excellent tips on shooting indoors in her latest premium article, using light box photography to achieve very pleasing results.

Plus, we have the monthly winners announced.

Read Connie's article "Shooting indoors - When Getting Outside Does Not Work for You"

20180403_105022_-1-mixed_flowers_first_attempt_cassinetto_600px.jpg

Mixed Flowers by Connie Cassinetto. First Attempt; Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm, ISO 100, 8.0 sec at f/8.0.
Shot in aperture priority mode in natural and added light.

From the forums

Sigma Lenses not autofocusing on Nikon cameras
Some Sigma lenses, such as the 50mm/1.4 DG HSM and 50-500/4.5-6.3 DG APO HSM do not AF on latest firmware V1.13 on several Nikon's including the D4s, D610, D800 and D810. Sigma lenses on Nikon D500 seem to work all fine.

Some other Sigma lenses, such as the 50mm/1.4 Art, 120-300mm/2.8 DG HSM and 150/2.8 EX DG APO HSM do not seem to be affected.

The solution is to update the lens firmware by sending it in to Sigma. Complete discussion thread

Portrait lens recommendation using a Nikon D300
Many recommendations in the forums in this thread

Monthly winners announced

Wildlife > Ian McNicol (Scotty45)
Landscape > Tom Egel (tegel)
Macro & Close-up > James Buch (jimray)
Travel > Richard Faris (Rrfaris)
Digital Artistry > Godofredo Baylon (GBaylon)
Online Assignment > Robert Wightman (robwig)
More info

I am wishing you a very productive, photogenic rest of the week
Bo (bgs)

Posted by bgs at 1:18 PM

March 29, 2018

Give your work more exposure

image-box-homepage-screenshot-110px.pngWe are launching several new things in the community today, 29-MAR-2018. Please give the team your feedback on this in this thread.

The main focus of our work has been to give your work more exposure, in and beyond the community.

Big thanks go out to our recently founded System Beta Group which has been working with the improvements throughout the last three months, including of course our developers and administrators.

The current improvements are:

1. Beta Homepage
To help you as a member getting more exposure of your work, we are starting a public beta (test phase) of showcasing images on the homepage of Nikonians. This is not the final version of the homepage, but rather "work in progress". The homepage will be decluttered and once we start with that, you will have a chance to see this progress as well. You can see the beta page here:
nikonians.org/beta2018

If you scroll down on that page you will find a new "image box" at the bottom with multiple tabs. One of the tabs is titled "Portfolios". This tab contains images from member portfolios.

image-box-homepage-600px.png

"Image box" with multiple tabs on beta homepage.

Clicking on an image on any tab except the portfolio tab leads to either the galleries or the forums. This behavior will change in due time for images from the galleries and we anticipate you will no longer be lead to the galleries, rather you will have the chance to comment and see more information right in the popup.

Clicking on an image top left corner (icon showing for image expansion) shows a popup with a larger view of the image. Here you can navigate between images, start/stop a slide show of the images and see more information including "liking" it.

Liking an image means (a) that it is added to your favorite images in the galleries and (b) that the photographer is informed about it under the "heart icon" at Nikonians.


2. Portfolios
Portfolios are available to all members on Gold and Platinum levels. Images in your portfolio are showcased on our homepage and will be included on another site of ours, greaterphoto.com as well. That site will be available end of April, 2018. More exposure capabilities of your best work is being planned as well and some further customization possibilities of your portfolio will be available.

Your portfolio is available under the address with the format of
nikonians.org/portfolio/YourUsername

Some sample portfolios:
nikonians.org/portfolio/dm1dave

nikonians.org/portfolio/Ferguson

nikonians.org/portfolio/GBaylis

portfolio-screenshot-jrp-600px.png
Another good example from our portfolios. This one being JRP's :-)


All available portfolios are shown here:
nikonians.org/portfolio

Please do start using the portfolio functionality today. Doing this ensures we are getting this right for you.

You can enable your portfolio in "My Profile" tab "Preferences". Adding images can be done directly from your gallery using the "Add to portfolio" link under your images or by using the "Add images" link on your portfolio page.


3. Editor's Choice
We will launch Editor's Choice in the next few weeks, where a team is selecting excellent photographs which then are shown on various locations, including on our homepage. There is a tab for this on the beta page as well. Currently included images on the beta page are only for test purposes and have not been going through our Editor's Choice process.


Other improvements

4. Follow a member instead of "friends"
The friends functionality will soon be replaced by a "Follow a member" functionality, a simpler way to be able to see posts and images done by fellow members, not needing a friendship request to be sent. For now, you can see the tab "Members I Follow" on the beta page, listing friends activities.

5. Worksafe browsing
We have introduced a worksafe mode, which you can set by using a small toggle in the galleries and on the beta homepage imagebox area. Any member can set the "Not safe for work" flag when uploading images into the galleries that might be sensitive for viewing in a work environment. The team can also set specific images as not being "safe for work". This is typically done for e.g. glamour-type photographs.

6. Shortcut buttons on top of homepage
For new visitors to Nikonians, we have some common "task buttons" at the top of the page currently leading to some intermediate pages, which will be improved in due time:

  • Learn more about my Nikon
  • Critique my photographs
  • Post a question
  • Display my photos
  • About Nikonians

Once the buttons are no longer needed, the cross at the top right corner can be used to "collapse" the button area.

7. More menu expanded
The top menu "More" has now gotten revamped, containing all the items of the footer.

Posted by bgs at 12:28 PM

March 13, 2018

Nikon photographers read

DSC_6399_copy-110px.jpgWe Nikon photographers are a lucky bunch. We have so much to read and there is always a lot to learn, no matter our current skill level; if we are professionally shooting, if photography is "only" our part time profession, or if it is a dear hobby to us.

Members Bonnie Christensen, Wasil Khan and Carol Freshley have been interviewed by Marsha, sharing their photography experiences, background and work in our I Am Nikonians series.

Connie Cassinetto helps us working towards getting successful wildlife photos and how to achieve our artistic photographic vision in her two latest, premium write-ups.

Jim Donelson tells us about the Japanese term Shoshin in photography and Darryll Schiff let's us do black and white photography in our own backyard.

DSC_6399_copy-3.jpg

Bella Wedding by hary21 from Indonesia is one of the many inspiring images you can find in the Nikonians wedding and social events gallery

Did you know that you can find articles at Nikonians based upon their key topics or "keywords"? This page helps you sort and find articles in a different way.

Behind the scenes
We are working hard behind the scenes (yes, really) and the testing team are busy reviewing new functionality. We are making it easier for members to get more exposure on their work and expect to go public beta with some good stuff really, really soon.

We are now sending out this email from a different server, hoping it does not get stuck in filters as much as it did earlier. Please do make sure you add our email address to your address book to ensure it comes through ok.

We went advertising free last year and that was taken very positive by many members. Our current fundraising campaign recently got a good boost by members Mike Sherwin and Mick Klass, big thanks! If you can, please participate and help out too, any amount is helpful.

Some other minor changes;

1. For the forums, you can now enable or disable "auto-jump" to oldest unread message in a message thread - more info

2. If someone likes an image of yours in the galleries marking it as a favorite, you are informed about this under the "heart" icon.

3. The gallery menu now contains a new section listing the main gallery categories.

I am wishing you a terrific rest of the week
Bo (bgs)

Posted by bgs at 9:38 AM

February 28, 2018

Firmware Updates & More...

feb28-18-110px.jpgFirmware updates, Shh...Silent Show, Wasil Khan (WK) Interview

This week Nikon released a number of firmware updates.

Cameras with updated firmware include: D4, D4S, DF, D800, D800E, D810, D810a, D7100, D7200.

You can find the new firmware at the Nikon Download Center.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I am Nikonians, Wasil Khan (WK) Interview

Wasil Khan (WK) joined Nikonians early in 2004. Not only he is a good example of the members who live our motto, learn, share, inspire, he also gives us a lesson to find beauty in subjects we would rather run from. Read more...

feb28-18-800px.jpg

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Shh...Silent Show

Gold Member Sarah Boser (Sara9) has introduced the concept of the 'Silent Show' to Nikonians.

"I recently had a conversation with an accomplished photographer about how he puts together an exhibit with a museum curator. He talked about how his process is based solely on visual impact and the emotional response, minus a linguistic component/ discussion of the images."

Join Sara in the A Picture I Took Forum to learn more and add your images to the Silent Show.

feb28-18x-800px.jpg

Posted by dm1dave at 9:57 PM

January 17, 2018

Using dedicated blur in your photographs

20180111_111939_4.peeks_saguaro_lake_hdr_russg_110px.jpgThe team has been busy and written several articles, starting with an inspirational piece by Marsha interviewing member Russ Glindmeier (russg). He shares some of his beautiful work for your inspiration.

Russ says "I am primarily a landscape shooter, but I've always owned a boat of some type or another, and I've found that a boat is an excellent platform for landscape photography, with an often unique perspective. The two activities go very well together."

Read the article

20180111_111939_4.peeks_saguaro_lake_hdr_russg_600px.jpg
Four Peaks from Saguaro Lake, Arizona by Russ Glindmeier.
Nikon D300, Nikon 16-85mm VR @ 58mm, f/5.6, ISO 200.
Hand held from a boat. Three exposures two f-stops apart and merged in Photomatix Pro.

I am wishing you a terrific rest of the week.
Bo (bgs)

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

The other items for this week are:

Getting artistic: Dedicated blur
Say welcome to our new author Darryll Schiff (DSchiff). Darryll writes up on sharpness and how using blur can be a good tool.

"...Generally most photographers desire their main subject to have that crispness. An out of focus background and/or foreground can add to the effect. But what about purposely making the whole image soft, out of focus? How about adding movement to the picture and enhancing that out of focus feel, and adding more interest to the photo..." Read Darryll's article

The learning pro: Planning the shoot
Martin has written a new episode in his premium series on studio photography.

..."Most photographers are not natural planners. If you come from a landscape background, you expect to be inspired by what you find. Photojournalists look for the decisive moment. Press photographers were always told 'f8 and be there'. But even the most spontaneous photographer needs at least the basic planning of having their equipment ready when the moment happens..." Read Martin's article

Learning and earning: Photo contest
Let's see your best work! The January contests in the Wildlife, Landscape, Macro, Travel, and Digital Artistry Forums, as well as our Online Assignment are ready for your submissions. Contests are open to Silver, Gold and Platinum members. More info

Moving about: Kick scooter or larger platform?
Tokyo_John decided to get a kick scooter to transport gear in his busy city. See his forum post

Whereas glxman from Australia decided to use a larger platform for his photography. See the forum post

Posted by bgs at 8:28 AM

January 6, 2018

Is the Nikkor 50mm/1.2 any good?

20180104_141217_07.santaf1.2_jnadelberg_110px.jpgI hope 2018 started off well for you. Snow sprinkles the fields outside my window while I am writing this years first newsletter here at the northern camp with temperatures a few degrees below zero C. The wind that made itself heard last night is resting its muscles and some black birds are fighting for top positions in a large tree nearby.

In the fifth part of "Mastering the art of photography" article series we are discussing a few more aspects of the "controlled spectrum", with thoughts on decision-making and consequences of our actions, or inactions. We are looking into taking risks, and freedom as a foundation for creativity. We are also coming back to physical exercise for helping creativity to flourish. Read the article

_PJJ6228-600px.jpg
A ballet dancer in the Primate's Palace of Bratislava, Slovakia. By Pascal Baetens (pbaetens).

I am wishing you good reading and a terrific, photographically pleasing week/end :-)
Bo

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The other items for this week are:

Lens review
Jon is looking into what his Nikkor 50mm/1.2 achieves on a full frame DSLR body and he enjoys the results, which he shares in this premium article. Read the review

20180104_141217_07.santaf1.2_jnadelberg_600px.jpg
Santa in front of a tree using the Nikkor 50mm/1.2.

Photo contest
Dave has announced the winners of November's contest.
See the announcement and images

Posted by bgs at 9:41 AM

December 21, 2017

What's your favorite image?

20171214_154412_pbaetens_wintersports_01-2-110px.jpgWe have four short items for this week;

1. The voting for the monthly contest is open. Please make sure you place your vote in wildlife, landscape, macro, travel and digital artistry.

2. Wintersports photography. Read Pascal Baeten's premium article on how to shoot skiers and snowboarders. To the article.

20171214_154412_pbaetens_wintersports_01-2-800px.jpg
Val D'isère, France by Pascal Baetens (pbaetens): in backlight conditions snow splashes look spectacular, shot high on a northern gradient (on the northern hemisphere). Position yourself so that the sun stands just above the horizon. Either wait for the right 'passenger', or give your model precise instructions about where exactly to pass and in which phase of turn he should be in. Ask him to watch his own shadow, it should point towards you. Don't forget to choose a safe spot, preferably at the side of a wide slope. (my good, old D70, 80-200mm/2.8 at 200 mm f9, 1/1250 sec, 200 ISO)

3. Now is a good idea to include the 18th ANPAT in the Spring on your shopping list, taking advantage of the early bird discount. More information (login required)

4. The whole team at Nikonians is wishing you and your family the very best for the holiday seasons and that you'll find plenty of opportunities to shoot some good photographs to share with others in the forums. We are back with the next newsletter January 4th, 20...18!

In the name of the whole team
Bo & Ramón

Posted by bgs at 11:54 AM

December 14, 2017

What is that "something" we take photographs of?

20171213_092303_2.manta_divers_marjani_110px.jpgThere is always something happening in the world of Nikonians. This week we have rolled out further improvements in the community: (1) it is now easier to see articles related to a specific topic (aka keyword/theme) (see this post) and (2) we are now showing small "overview thumbnails" of images linked into a discussion as well, not only for those that are uploaded.

Say welcome to our new writer Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens). She starts out with an interesting article about photography rules and "Putting Our Subject in its Place".

She says: "Many people advocate that we 'throw away the rules,' or use them 'with a grain of salt.' But it is my belief that if you are a photographer, like me, who wants to go that step above the mundane or ordinary it is imperative to learn all of these compositional rules and to know them so well that they can be used without conscious thought. Then, and only then, can you forget about the rules and toss them to the wind." Read her article.

Over to Marsha who has been interviewing Karen Willshaw (Marjani) for this weeks inspirational I Am Nikonians article, coming with some great images and background info.

20171213_092303_2.manta_divers_marjani_800px.jpg

Manta & Divers by Karen Willshaw
Nikon D300, Tokina 10-17mm @ f/10, 1/320s, ISO 160, Seatool housing

The team is working hard on new articles and there are more good ones due next week.

I am wishing you good reading and interesting light :-)
Bo

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Posted by bgs at 11:03 AM

December 7, 2017

How do you work with other people?

20171205_135229_07_final-eye-image_martinturner_110.jpg
Welcome to this weeks newsletter.

A new episode of Martin Turner's "Shooting the $2million image" premium article series is available. Martin discusses the "human factor" and how vital this is for successful professional photographers. He adds "One survey across many industries suggested that technical skills only accounted for around 20% of career success. The other 80% ? Ability to work with people." Read the article

This time of the year we might want to go through our gear, weed out what is no longer needed, maybe donate some of it and fine tune the arsenal in general. Ramón's article on filter systems might come in handy to answer questions you might have about one or the other filter system, which one to keep and what to get.

Ernesto Santos has a good write up on why one should bother about neutral density (ND) filters and why, if you have a circular graduated ND, you should definitely consider not keeping it: "Circular screw-on graduated neutral density filters are absolute rubbish. Do not buy one. If you own one, sell it to your worst enemy."

20171205_135229_07_final-eye-image_martinturner_800.jpg
Final eye image by Martin Turner

We have some minor changes in the community:
1) You can now navigate between forum overview pages by either (a) using the button arrows or (b) by directly entering the page number you want.

2) If you are using Skype as a messenger and want to show other members that they can reach you via this channel as well, you can store your Skype name in "My Profile" and "Preferences" tab. The previous settings for AOL messenger and ICQ have been removed.

As always, if you have feedback on anything in the community, please do use our About Nikonians forum.

I am wishing you a good rest of the week :-)
Bo

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Posted by bgs at 10:22 AM

November 30, 2017

Are you a beta user?

20160921_085824_1.stars_death_valley_jrp_110px.jpgIt is snowing this morning at my "southern" basecamp and I am looking forward to get out this afternoon hoping for some animals against the white backdrop.

The "motivation thread" from last week got some very good input. If you haven't read that yet, I suggest you do that. See the discussion on motivation

For me personally, motivation is not so much about using good gear as to really dig in and understand what went wrong, when it does; being failure-driven so to say. By trying to learn from my failures, I expect that my work can improve over time.

From failures to guarantees of continuous success; The development team at Nikonians is looking for dedicated volunteers that want to participate in our new "System Beta Group". The group will be limited to ten members, granted special access rights to testing grounds and it becomes an integral part of our future expansion.

For more information on this, please see my post in the About Nikonians forum

This might be a good time of the year to create your own custom signature that you can apply to your photographs. Team member Dave Summers walks you through how to achieve that. Read the article

20160921_085824_1.stars_death_valley_jrp_800px.jpg
Starry Sky in the Death Valley National Park by J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

Another good (re)read might be Ramóns how-to on starry night photography with the "500 rule".

I am wishing you a good start on the upcoming weekend, where ever your photography and the light might take you
Bo

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Posted by bgs at 10:18 AM

November 23, 2017

How to stay motivated?

20171121_140626_1.bald_eagle_pixures_110px.jpgBack to my southern basecamp looking through members images in our "Master your vision" galleries, something I seriously enjoy doing since it gives me a lot of good inspiration. I encourage you to do the same :)

Our Master your vision galleries contain a total of 18 main categories with everything from Astro, Glamour and Landscape to Travel, Underwater and Wildlife photography.

Please do welcome our new writer Kim Brasel (kjbrasel). She has been writing up a short article on playing tourist in your local area and that you don't need to travel far to get good shooting opportunities.

I am wishing you a great rest of the week with plenty of usable light :)
Bo

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

The other items for this week are:

Inspiration
Member Bill Naiman (pixures) was interviewed by Marsha for this week's I Am Nikonians article. Good photographs to get inspired by! To the article

20171121_140626_1.bald_eagle_pixures_600pxh-2.jpg
Bald Eagle
I loved the body position as the eagle began to swoop down for a snag.
Nikon D600, Nikon 80-400mm, @ 400mm, f/8, 1/1600s ISO 320

Motivation
What is keeping you motivated? Read what other members say about staying motivated. If you have any tips & tricks, do share them (login required).

Mastering the art
In the fourth part of mastering the art of photography series, we dig into the areas we have under control vs. the ones we don't. There are also a few action items mentioned worth trying out. Let us know your thoughts - and actions - in the Café.

Nikonians Community - It is all about you
Thanks to recent member feedback, we have improved the "Read new messages" page. It now shows small thumbnails in case a thread contains images and has the new page navigation arrows as well.

We have further improved the mobile display in forums and articles, making sure that the read new link and related ones are at the top of the screen.

Do you have anything you feel we should have and that you are missing, please do let us know in the About Nikonians forum.

Posted by bgs at 9:18 AM

November 16, 2017

We have improvements for you

_PJJ5256-110px.jpgThanks to additional traveling this week, I am keeping this one "short and sweet".

We have some new articles that are due out next week, including another Mastering the Art of Photography, please stay tuned. If you still have not read the first three you might want to do that.

Ramón has gotten some great input on his Premium article "Incorrect Focus" in his Seven Deadly Sins series. No matter what your thoughts on DOF are, his Kabul girl is a great idea to be inspired by.

Our ballet dancers keep on jumping high in the air thanks to all of you creative, inspiring photographers supporting us through your postings, feedback and also by your direct financial help in our fundraising and by your contributing memberships.

_PJJ5256-800px.jpg
A ballet dancer in the last evening light with the Danube river behind her, as seen by Pascal Baetens (pbaetens)

Not only have the community backend team been working on articles, but some improvements have been launched as well (see below). If you have feedback on these, please let us know in the About Nikonians forum. We are working hard to improve some major areas relating to give your work more exposure and I expect to have more information on this mid December.

I am wishing you many pleasurable photography moments for the rest of this week :-)
Bo (bgs)

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

The other items for this week are:

The community - It is all about you
Posting messages improved
369254.png
Clicking on a word or selecting multiple words with the keyboard when posting/editing a message allows you to select bold, italics, unordered list, ordered list or linking. If linking selected, a separate window opens up where you can enter the URL (address)

We hope this makes it easier for you to format your messages.

New navigation buttons
We have improved the navigation (a) when looking at a forum and (b) when reading a message thread.

a) You will find new left/right arrow buttons at the top of the page, to the left of "Post new message" (or on top of it on smaller screens) and at the bottom of each page.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 09.14.08.png
These should make it easier to navigate between forum pages. This navigation replaces the older version showing page numbers.

(b) In addition, and at the same location, we have introduced left/right arrows on message pages, for easy navigation between messages when reading.
Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 09.14.27.png

Posted by bgs at 9:37 AM

November 8, 2017

Is incorrect focus a deadly sin?

20171103_092354_1.cattle_egret_topper1946_600pxh-110.jpgHope your photography is doing well, no matter outside temperatures and the weather conditions that you might experience at your location. I am packing up at my nordic getaway heading "down south" to continental Europe this week and expect some good shooting opportunities along the way. We have lovely foggy mornings with plenty of roe deer and the odd moose out browsing and I will for sure keep some of Ramón's (jrp) "photography sins" in mind while shooting.

He has extended on his "seven deadly sins of photography" series with a new article, covering the sin of using incorrect focus. This is a premium article available to all members on Silver membership and higher. Read more

I am wishing you enjoyable photography moments behind the lens or screen for the rest of this week :-)
Bo (bgs)

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

The other items for this week are:

Inspiration

20171103_092354_1.cattle_egret_topper1946_600pxh.jpg
Cattle Egret by Judie Dunn
Nikon D7100, Tamron 150-600mm @ f/7.1, 1/800s, ISO 800

Member Judie Dunn (topper46) has been interviewed by Marsha (meadowlark2) for this weeks "I am Nikonians" series. She concludes that "Judie is an example of what can be achieved with careful observation of the work of others, study, making an effort to get out and find great subjects, and being alert to creative opportunities." Read more

There has been over 6,000 downloads of the community's eBook "Inspirational Photography #1" - download yours :-)

The community - It is all about you
Give us feedback, please
Ramón and I are using a serious amount of information provided to us by you, helping us prepare for our annual upcoming meeting. One important feedback channel is our survey and if you have not filled it out, please do that since it helps us improve the community further. Survey form

What makes the final image?
Member patinnv asks the good question what defines the line between enhancing an image and manipulation? See her discussion post (login required)

Thumbnails in discussion threads
Some members noticed a serious lag in showing forums heavy with images last week, such as in the contest forums. The lag has been taken care of and the pages are flying again, even when a lot of thumbnails are shown in the topic overviews.

Posted by bgs at 7:01 AM

October 31, 2017

Mastering photography (technique) vs. art

_PJJ2733-110px.jpgWriting this week from my nordic getaway, pretty much smack on the 60th north latitude. I am heading out to the Baltic coast today for some landscape and bird shooting and reminded myself to pack enough rain covers and cleaning cloths for the gear.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

I find that extra large microfiber cleaning cloths are working very well when out in this wet kind of weather.

I read something in the D850 forum that I found interesting, a question if one should bother to fine tune AF lenses or not. Member Pics905 is wondering if it's worth to fine tune his AF lenses on his new D850 and he gets some good con's and pro's on this from fellow members.

There were some good comments on the short MF lens summary mentioned in last weeks newsletter, where member GiantTristan thinks that only with these MF lenses he can take full advantage of his cameras image capturing qualities and member nikonzen thinks MF brings a zen-like moment to photography, forcing us to slow down.

I am wishing you a great, photographic week and wish me luck out at the coast :)

Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week are:

Mastery
In the third part of "mastering the art of photography" articles, I continue to explore what mastering this art form entails, discussing "is it really art?" and the creativity required to get "artsy enough".

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How long or short is the road?
It comes down to you; you are the key factor and you are more capable than you may think.
As seen by Pascal Baetens (pbaetens)

Just because one might be mastering the technique does not mean we are producing art, of course. Art is not technique; rather it is the result of creativity. I believe that truly creative artists often are not very good at the mundane, ordinary tasks of daily life. It seems to me that our specialized brain regions are not often articulated at the same time, resulting in us being either well centered in the daily life with organized schedules, or that we are less focused on those timelines and pressures while being capable of being truly creative. Read more

Your membership
We now show small thumbnails in the forum topic overviews. In case a forum post contains attached (uploaded) images, up to seven of the latest images are now shown in the topic overview. If you don't like this feature, e.g. because it takes some additional space, you can disable it under your preferences "Show thumbnails in topics overview".

Keep track on what other members you care for do by using the "Friends" function. Under "My Profile" and "Friends" tab you can send a friendship request to another member. This can be a good way to stay a bit closer in touch with some members. Any of your friends image uploads will show in the "Friends" activity box in the community, plus some other activities.

A good way to show appreciation towards other members is to recommend them. You can recommend a member by using the corresponding icon under the members image ("avatar") in the members posts. There is also an icon to send a friendship request located there.

Posted by bgs at 10:18 AM

October 26, 2017

Any reason going manual focus?

20171026_084915_5.foss_skiff_mklass_110pxh.jpgIs there really any reason for going manual focus when our autofocus (AF) systems are just getting better and better?

Yes, maybe there is. In this weeks newsletter I am shortly looking into one good reason.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

I am writing this from a cottage up in Sweden, far away from the big cities, looking out over the meadows where the light conditions at this time of the year are often less than optimal for us landscape shooters. This is though the season when we are getting that great foliage, the superb, low hanging fog or mist and the rutting dear or elk suddenly appearing in front of our camera.

Light, being of outmost importance to all of us photographers and maybe letting us sleep a bit later right now, might be a very good reason to consider really good glass. Some of it comes in MF-only packaging, such as that produced by Zeiss. We have a short wrap-up on the new Milvus 25mm/f1.4 in our article section.

This is a new, completely redesigned wide-angle lens for all of us who love great optics and don't mind to carry a bit more weight to achieve crisp, excellent edge-to-edge results.

Zita (zkemeny) in our back office just told me that over 5,000 members have downloaded their complimentary eBook "Inspirational Photography #1" in the first three weeks - I hope you have yours.

I am wishing you a great upcoming weekend, with the right kind of light for your photography.
Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week are:

Inspiration

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Foss Skiff by Mick Klass

Nikonians Platinum member Mick Klass (mklass) shares his work and background in this latest I Am Nikonians article.

Industry
Adobe has released Lightroom Classic CC. This is the former Lightroom running on your desktop with your regular files and folders based workflow whereas the new version is the cloud-only Lightroom CC, focused on a cloud-based workflow.

Comments on this by team member Eric Bowles (login required) and from Adobe

Your membership
Now easier to see if a forum discussion contains uploaded images. We are including thumbnails of the first seven images and show these in the topic overview. If you don't want to have thumbnails showing, disable this under your preferences "Show thumbnails in topics overview".

Nikonians Europe trip 2018 being planned. The trip will include shooting Alps locations, medieval towns, castles, wildlife plus a visit to the large, international imaging and photography exhibition Photokina in Cologne, Germany. If you are interested in joining, please do chime in and give us feedback at this early stage.

Your Nikonians gear profile has been extended with equipment such as the Nikon D850 and software packages such as the On1. If you are missing your favorite application, please let us know in the About Nikonians forum.

Our survey: If you've never had the chance to join our survey to help us improve, you might want to read this.

Sharing of images from our galleries now easier; just use the sharing buttons below the image.

Membership certificate: Remember to print it out and frame it. You'll find it under "My Profile" and "Membership" tab. Silver and higher.

Posted by bgs at 10:30 AM

October 19, 2017

A Nikon D850 job - What keeps us motivated?

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In this weeks newsletter we are looking into what members say about the Nikon D850 and what keeps us motivated when continuing on our quest to improve our photography.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

I hope your week has been good so far and that you are planning some shoots for the next few days. I am using the autumn light and turning leaves here in continental Europe to get inspired myself.

The members that were on this years annual trip (aka autumn ANPAT) are back after a week of shooting and it seems they are happy with their results. Just saw the first few shots from the Maine coast in the galleries and more should come.

The Nikon D850 is keeping many members extra active and happy. If you are interested in this camera, maybe considering even getting one, make sure you look at what members have to share in the D8XX forum. Member xtrememac did his first job using it and reports on that

Some members are comparing the output of their D810's with D850, like in this thread

Oh, and by the way. If you are interested in writing for Nikonians, see our open position on this

Talking about writing, or rather reading, if you are not one of the over 4,000 members that have downloaded your own, complimentary eBook, this is a good time to do it :-)

I am wishing you a great rest of the week with a lot of colorful leaves!
Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week are:

Mastery

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Ballet dancers practicing Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, as seen by Pascal Baetens (pbaetens).
What keeps us motivated to continue on our quest to improve our photography?

In the second part of the series on "Mastering the art of photography", we are digging into selecting one photography discipline that "resonates within you", plus what keeps us motivated to continue. On to the article

Your Membership
Images being uploaded in the forums which are within certain size limits are not touched by us. If you click on the preview image in a post you will see the original image. For the size/resolution limits when resizing kicks in, see the info box in the post message window.

A small but hopefully useful change: We are now showing your username together with your location under your "avatar", clearly flagging your location as such. This should fix the problem of jrp being called "Mr. Garza Garcia" ;-)

If you let your family, friends and colleagues know about the community, you can give him or her 20% off on a membership, while two additional months are added to your Silver, Gold or Platinum. See "My Profile" and "Invitations" tab.

If you are a member on a Gold or Platinum membership, remember to request your Photographer's ID under "My Profile" and "Membership" tab. You can also have your own @nikonians.org email address set up on the same tab.

Posted by bgs at 8:12 AM

October 14, 2017

Why bother about mastering photography?

_PJJ5004-110.jpgThis weeks newsletter is the weekend edition. That was not planned, but some network equipment at an Internet provider in Austria, where I am located right now, decided to give up and take a long, maybe well-earned rest. Next week is back to Thursdays.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

Our eBook "Inspirational Photography #1" has already been downloaded over 3,000 times in its first week. It's available to all members at no cost, no matter your membership level. It highlights seven talented photographers and includes five bonus chapters with how-to's and tips. A few members have found out there is a voucher for a discount at the end of the book as well.

The eBook is available in two formats, just download the one you want (or both) by clicking on the corresponding link below and open it in your e-Reader:

ePUB (for most eBook readers) and mobi (for Amazon Kindle)

I am wishing you a great weekend and a good start of the new week :-)
Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week:

Mastery
What does "mastering the art of photography" mean to you?

We are starting a new series of articles on "mastering the art of photography", where I want to discover the processes and methods supporting any photographer interested in consistently achieving better results.

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A ballet dancer may only achieve a level of mastery of the art after many years of hard work and practice. Photographed by Pascal Baetens (pbaetens) in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia in front of the presidential palace.

"To master the art of photography", that sounds big, maybe ominous or even impossible to achieve, right? Is it a level, an outmost goal, a high or the highest plateau of skills, knowledge and execution one can reach, probably with substantial effort invested? Or, is it rather the road itself, the path that we hopefully are on and that might never end?

Join me in the article

Your membership
Since many years, photography equipment is exchanging owners in our very popular "Want to Sell" & "Want to Buy" forums. Members can take leverage of these forums compared to e.g. online auction sites. If you have some gear you are no longer using or if you want to upgrade some accessories or bodies, this might be a good time to do so.

No matter your level of membership, we are now advertising free. Let us know what you think about this in the "About Nikonians" discussion thread

Posted by bgs at 3:39 PM

October 5, 2017

Your complimentary eBook

Inspirational_Photography_1_cover_110px.jpgUpdate October 5th, 2017

The highlight in this weeks newsletter is our new eBook "Inspirational Photography #1" where we are presenting seven ambitious, talented amateur photographers. The book also contains five bonus chapters with how-to's and tips.

Want to make sure you get our weekly update in your mailbox? Just subscribe.

This is the first of a new six-part series of books, where our community reaches out to help and hopefully inspire a larger audience of photographers, no matter your skill level, what kind of camera brand or model you might use.

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The image "Neatly Stacked" by Paul Ekman (pdekman) is decorating the front cover of our new eBook.
It is a winner in the Best of Nikonians 2015 contest, where the July theme was "Hunger".
He shot it with his Nikon D800, f/2.8, 1/1250s, ISO 360, 300mm/2.8 VR.

The eBook is available to all members and in two formats, no matter your membership level. Download the one you want (or both) by clicking on the corresponding link below and open it in your e-Reader: ePUB (for most eBook readers) and mobi (for Amazon Kindle) Download requires login/sign up.

Update 06-OCT-2017: If you are having a problem to download your eBook copy:

  1. If a link is not working on a mobile device/smart phone (nothing happens), then your browser likely blocks the link redirection we are doing. In this case, copy the link address by long tap, copy the link, open a new browser window and paste in the link.
  2. If links are not opening in a certain Internet browser: login first then try again.
  3. If login did not help, you might have an ePUB reader add-on in the browser which is not understanding the redirect we are doing. If so, disable the add-on temporarily, download the file, then enable the add-on again
  4. Last but not least, if all of that did not help, your browser might block redirects (high security setting). Temporarily lower that so you can download the file and then set it back again to where it was.
Hope you like the eBook and, enjoy your photography! Bo (bgs)

The other items for this week:

Inspiration
Artist Renée Renard shares her work, her moving family history in war torn Europe and thoughts around her cameras with us: How much are we emotionally connected to our cameras and what makes the bond so special? Is it just an instrument? Is the newest always "better" or do we have regrets leaving "the old one" behind? See her article

Exposure
Member Darryl Hodson (skibreeze7) announced as winner in the third segment, "Natural Patterns", in this years Best of Nikonians Contest. The 2017 segments are:
April - May: Black & White
June - July: Abandoned, Neglected and Forgotten
August - September: Natural Patterns - More info (login required)
October - November: Reflections

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Winning image "24 hrs at Bryce Canyon #6" by Darryl Hodson (skibreeze7).
Nikon D7000, f/14, 1/8s, ISO 100, 70-200/2.8 VRII @ 70mm.

If you are interested in participating in this years contest, while learning and earning exposure for your hard work, please do read what Dave Summers has to say (login required).

Mastery
In his second article of his new eight part series, Martin Turner continues with discussing and teaching us process before the shoot; the importance of thinking things through and to plan them. Follow him for planning and shooting an event. This is a premium article, available to all our members on a Silver membership or higher. Read this article or see the article series

Your membership
As already mentioned last week, you can now upload truly large JPG and PNG images in the forums. If the image is very large, it will be resized to a more easily viewed version automatically. This should make it easier for you to share your work and get input, no matter your level of membership.

Advice & critique are important to help you grow your skills. To receive that, you can either request it for an image of yours in the Nikonians image gallery (use link below your image), or you can upload your image directly to the Premium Advice & Critique forum. No matter which path you are using, your image will be shown in that forum and you will be notified via email as soon as there is a reply to your image.

This specific learning method is available to all members on a Gold or Platinum membership. If you are interested to try this out, use either method - See the Premium Advice & Critique forum. You can even upload a RAW file (NEF format, using direct upload to the forum and not via the galleries). Up to 50MB large JPGs and NEFs can be uploaded.

Industry news
In case you have missed it, the first Nikon D850 lab tests are becoming available and we have a summary on this in our article section

I am back next week with more inspirational items, information on photography, the community and, of course Nikon.

Posted by bgs at 4:16 AM

October 1, 2017

Inspiration and mastering the art - We are back to weekly

question-guy-bgs-110px.jpgInspiration, mastering the art of photography, professional tips and industrial news: The publishing of our weekly newsletter stopped mid July after we'd experienced some unplanned changes on the team. We are now getting back on track again and expect to be publishing weekly starting coming week.

The main items from this weeks newsletter are included in this blog below. The upcoming newsletter will be structured a bit differently, but we are working very hard trying to make it an easy to read, not too long & wordy.


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bgs and jrp, the two founders of the Nikonians Community, doing a podcast at the Crazy Horse Memorial.

If you are not subscribed to the newsletter and want to get inspiration, mastering the art of photography, professional tips and industrial news, sign-up for it today.

1. We are now advertising free.
The reason? The value of the advertising, for you as a member and for the community over all, is diminishing. Many of us are using ad blockers and if we do not, we hardly interact with the ads or view them. Let us know what you think In the About Nikonians forum (login required)

2. We now support (really) large file uploads in the forums
Starting right now, all of our forums allow for upload of files larger than the recommended 1200 pixel width for landscapes and max 900 pixels height for portraits. If the file is larger than 3MB in file size, it will automatically be resized as well. Motivation for this is to make it easier for you to upload files without having to bother about exact size of the original file, just because you wanted to share something. More in our blog

3. Our fundraising is up
We have already raised over $5,000 since we started early September. Our fundraising page has more info

4. Last days for the 50% discount on upgrading to a Gold membership
Last days to take advantage of a heavy discount on our popular membership level. Go head :-)

5. New, inspirational photography from members
We have some new articles up on inspirational photography and the members behind it
Kathy Cavallaro and Lawrence Treadwell

6. New functionality: Ask for critique on images directly from the galleries
We are running an open beta of a new functionality, making it possible to include images from your gallery for advice & critique. The new functionality is available to all members on Gold and Platinum. More info in the blog

7. Some more buttons, forums time-zone aware, comments on your images & more info on your membership
In case you've missed it, we now have a "Post a reply" button top right corner in the forums.
We further introduced a "Cancel" button in the post message window.

You can now set your timezone in your profile and you will see all posts with your correct time.

If someone posts a comment on an image of yours in the galleries, it now shows under the
"Heart" menu as well.

More details on your membership now showing under your profile, "Membership" tab.

Posted by bgs at 1:23 PM