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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Off to Patagonia

Indian Girl in Diwali Crown, Auckland
Hello Blog.
Sorry it as been so long since I have written something in you. Its not that nothing has been happening. Rather, its the reverse. Too much has been happening and it has prevented me from keeping you up to date. I do apologise.
I have recently returned from New Zealand where I spoke at the Annual Photographic Society of New Zealand Convention, which was held in Auckland. It is always an honour to be invited to speak at these conventions - flown over, chauffeured around and given some lovely accommodation. I was on the same bill as Australian landscape legend, Peter Walton - a photographer I have been wanting to meet since I was 17. What an honour to be on the same bill! I have recently interviewed Peter Walton for Total Image but i have yet to finish the interview. Perhaps I should have done that as we had breakfast together at our motel! On Saturday afternoon I went out with the club to photograph a very pretty young model named Madison, and then to be driven around with Peter Walton to shoot some landscapes. On Sunday I closed the convention with the second part of my lectures and was taken that afternoon to photograph the Diwali. Diwali is an Indian celebration filled with colour, costumes, culture and perhaps the prettiest girls I have ever seen gathered in one place. I photographed one young lady in the audience whose eyes were amazing. A moment later her father approached me. Naturally, as you can imagine, I thought I had some explaining to do! However, he very kindly asked me if I could photograph her away from the crowd as he wanted a lovely photograph of his beautiful daughter in her cultural costume. Being the wonderful human being that I am, I obliged of course.
While there in Auckland I also ran two photography workshops. The Monday saw me somewhat tired but waking to a beautiful day, ready to teach a group about wedding photography. The day went well and our two models, Michelle and Rob,were fantastic fun to work with. They are a couple so their interaction was fun and natural. Oh, and they could kiss on cue! Actually, they didn't even mind! Funny eh?
On Tuesday I ran my Creative Flash Photography Workshop and that was very well received by the group who attended. Flash can be a very confusing thing for many photographers and the workshop was an eye opener for them. I do love teaching, and the rewards for it are never just financial.
I recently received an email from one of the attendees, whose words were particularly kind. He said "Hi Shelton,we met when U were in Auckland and I attended the 2 sessions U conducted, remember? I meant to mail u earlier, but didnt get down to doing that, sorry. I read you're blog very often, and I've joined you're 5minutephotographer. I've also gone ahead and bought the reflectors and the triggers & receivers U showed us to use!! Now I need to practice and I'll send U results of what I've done.
I must thank you for being the wonderful teacher you are and more important, for being such a nice guy. All of us did learn a lot about photography, and I must say I learnt a lot about communication, reaching out to people from you. It makes a difference with people photography!!"

Well,..what can I say? How very kind!

However, after a tiring two days, it was time to go and photograph thousands of nesting Gannets for a bit of a change.
But today, I am off to Patagonia. I am leading a photography tour there and I am looking forward to it very much.I don't consider myself a landscape specialist, but this is a region of the world any photographer would love to get a lens into. So bear with me dear blog and dear readers. I will return forthwith with some great stories to tell you! Look out here and at my photography tutorials website...
See you when I get back!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My new Baby

Well, my new Baby has finally arrived. My Nikon D700 is here. And let me tell you this.Apart from perhaps the Nikon D3, I have never used a more impressive picture taking machine in my life! And I must admit, I think I would rather own two D700's than one D3, given the price. It is a beautifully engineered machine with images straight out of the camera that are truly impressive.I have mentioned this often at my photography tutorials website, Five Minute Photographer.
As part of my arrangement with Nikon Australia to procure said Nikon D700, I recently ran a D700 workshop for Camera Action Camera House at Abbotsford Convent here in Melbourne. It was a far less intense workshop than I usually run as of course it was a chance for all recent D700 owners to get their cameras out and simply stretch their legs. On hand was one of my favourite models, Soph, who made sure to keep us all in line.
At the workshop I was also in temporary possession of the new Sony Alpha A900. This is a great camera, and the Carl Zeiss lenses are to kill for. I thought I would give it a comparison test with the D700 at ISO 3200. It was kind of a Sony A900 vs Nikon D700 shootout...but without the animosity!
Now, remember, the Sony A900 has 24 megapixels and the D700 has 12. That being the case, the Sony is bound to have higher resolution, but more noise. And it did.
This is the image of Soph we use to make our comparision.
This is a section of Soph's sweater from the D700 at ISO 3200...And this is straight from the Sony A900, also at 3200 ISO...Clearly there is an obvious difference.
Having shot with both cameras, I can tell you that it is simply a case of 'Horses for Courses'. The Sony A900 is a wonderful camera.The resolution is wonderful. The lenses are incredibly sharp. The Steadyshot is unbelievably effective. But its not designed to shoot at high ISO's - making it a fantastic studio camera and landscape camera. I know. I used it in studio and made large prints from it that amazed me. However,for the available light photographer like myself, it is not the tool of choice.The Nikon D700's resolution is not to be laughed at either. After all, how many pixels do we really need?
Which is why I love my Nikon D700.
I really, really do.

The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

Images on this blog are copyright Shelton Muller