The monsoon season in Arizona brings with it many opportunities for photographing dramatic skies. With only a few days to capture the lake, I was hoping to capture some better, crazy, stormy scenes, but I had to take what I could get. This is one of my favorite shots taken right at sunset.
I upgraded my copy of Affinity Photo today. I had to test out the new features. I was excited to see free stock offerings from 3 different companies built right into Affinity Photo. I noticed the "refine selection" tool is much faster and precise. I was able to find a killer lion photo on the free stock images and decided I would create a cool baseball poster. Upgrading is worth it, it's free if you already purchased 1.6. My AP 1.6 was great but 1.7 is bad ass!
Banyan trees are so cool to look at. The main trunks have roots growing down to form new trees and looks like wax dripping down. I wanted to get a nice wide shot to showcase the length of the trees and also the roots that grow off of them.
Another studio session with the Sony a6000, Nikon Pocket Wizards (Plus III, MiniTT1, FlexTT5) and Nikon SB-900 & SB-800 Flashes. It's a little more work to use your flashes set to manual, but once set, they have been very reliable. The Pocket Wizards have really been working well with the Sony a6000 setup. I'm definitely enjoying flash photography again and not stressing out about misfires.
I've never owned a camera that could track subjects properly. In the photo sequence below, the Sony a6000 tracks Santa coming towards the camera and as I pan to the right the a6000 keeps focus until I'm done shooting. As the camera can shoot 11fps, it's pretty amazing that all my shots in the sequence stay sharp. I used the Sony a6000 with Sigma 19mm @ f4.5
I saw this bird standing in the water with nice light casting down on it. Even though the water background is a little busy and there are a lot of distractions, there is something I really like about this shot. I think it's just the colors: greens, dark blues and greys melding together. I could have shot this with a 200mm at 2.8 to help blur the background but I wanted to see the reflections of the palm trees.
The weather up in the Great Smoky Mountains didn't quite cooperate for grande landscapes so I decided to just "focus" on leaves and the colors they produce. My goal was to get some nice depth of field with color contrast. This photo is one of my favorites. The red pops out with greens and yellows behind them. It's almost like a painting. For this shot I really wanted shallow depth of field to produce nice bokeh in front and behind with just a little bit of the leaves in focus. To achieve this, I got as close as I could with my 60mm lens as wide open as possible f2.8.
Sometimes mother nature just doesn't quite cooperate. That's when you gotta just do the best you can. If the shot isn't there it's time to play around with different technique and use your imagination. I knew I wasn't going to get a great shot of the full super moon with all the different layers of storm clouds. So I just played around and tried some different things and came up with this photo below. At a 2 minute exposure I'm surprised the clouds aren't more blurry, but I like the smoothness of the ocean and the semi crisp clouds with the super moon rising behind them.
The super moon rising up in the east through the thick dark clouds. I barely got this shot off and just like that, it was gone. Completely covered by the multiple depths and layers of storm clouds.
One of the main things I wanted to know about the Sony a6000 was could I use my Nikon SB 900 & Nikon SB 800 Flashes with my Nikon Pocket Wizards. The answer is Yes! I actually think the pocket wizards work better on the Sony than on my Nikon D700. I had zero mis-fires, where as on my D700, I was always fiddling with the pocket wizards to work properly and even trigger. To get the pocket wizards to work on the Sony a6000 I had to go into the software and make them basic triggers, this means you have to work with your flashes manually no TTL. I also chose a channel for all of them (trigger and receiver) to share. So here is a list of the Pocket Wizard transmitters and receivers I got to work on the Sony a6000:
The only difference between the Nikon D700 & a6000 is sync speed, I can only get 1/160th max sync on the Sony a6000 with no TTL, but it's not that difficult to work the flashes manually.
Hopefully this will help others with this decision because it concerned me for the longest time and was the only decision not to buy the Sony a6000 because I have so much invested in my Nikon. Side note: the files seem to be way sharper than my D700 I almost don't need to sharpen them in post. The photo below was shot on standard profile
Testing late evening colors with the Sony a6000.
As I continue to test my Sony a6000 camera and push the raw files I am very impressed. The raw files aren't as good as my Nikon NEF's but they are really close. It must be the difference between the Sony's 12 bit raw and the Nikon's 14 bit raw. None the less, this camera is keeping up with my Nikon D700 and then some. I'm really enjoying the small form factor and portability of this power-packed camera. Image below: Black & White Double Rainbow
A road with no cars on it! That's what a good thunderstorm will do, get everyone off the roads so us photographers can capture a scene. I just really liked how this road looked as it led down into the glowing sky, then add to that the "do not enter" sign. - ominous
I've been shooting some test photos with the, not so new, Sony A6000. I think it has been out for a little over a year now. I have to say, it competes very well against my Nikon D700. At 1600 ISO the Nikon D700 is much cleaner than the Sony A6000 but I don't shoot all that much at that high of ISO. I'm also using the Sigma 19mm & 60mm Lens. Very, very impressed with this little camera