Monday, December 22, 2008

50mm f1.4G Sample Images

WOW! I love this lens. Haven't really had time to test it out much or be very creative but here are the first few shots I took. No editing.


Nikon D700, Nikon 50mm f1.4G, F1.4 ~ 1/60 ~ ISO200

Nikon D700, Nikon 50mm f1.4G, F1.4 ~ 1/60 ~ ISO200

I got it and you can too...

On December 5, 2008 I wrote of how impatient I am and how desperately I wanted the Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens. Well, I finally have it. :)

Last weekend, a Nikon representative at the Nikon School of Photography, told me that the 50mm 1.4G lens shipped to Nikon dealers on December 6, 2008. Sick of waiting on B&H to wake up and finally start selling the lens, I decided to try my luck with other Nikon dealers. I must have called more than 30 places this morning, including B&H (only because they are around the corner and it is below freezing in NYC today) who still claim not to have received the lens.

After an hour and a half on the phone, I am happy to announce that three places I called had the lens in stock. They are:

17th Street Photo Supply Inc. 34 West 17 Street, NY, NY 10011 212-366-9870
Price quoted: $439.00

Calumet Photographic Inc. 20 West 22nd Street, NY, NY 10010 212-989-8500
Price quoted: $429.99

Foto-Care Ltd. 136 West 21st Street, NY, NY 10011 212-741-2990
Price quoted: $440.00

Needless to say, I walked in freezing cold from 33rd & 10th to Calumet during my lunch break and got my 50mm 1.4G. Will try to test it out later today and post some sample shots.

Friday, December 19, 2008

From the latest job I did

Here is an image from the latest job I did. Something about it I just like. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photography Books I am currently reading

I am currently reading two photography books. Well, I am actually reading more but these two stand out of from the rest.

Composition - Photo Workshop by Blue Fier is an excellent book about composition. There are probably hundreds of books on this topic, yet, this one is special. it is very thorough and has great image examples. There is an abundance of information on its website and the best part is that it actually has Homework / Assignment sections. These are meant to encourage you to go out and shoot when you are done reading each section and then share your results on a designated webpage. It's great and I strongly recommend it.

Digital Retouching for Fashion, Beauty & Portrait Photography in Photoshop CS3 by Gry Garness This book is awesome. You don't generally find inside information in books and especially on the internet. I have seen very mixed reviews on the Internet and have to say that those that bash the book, obviously have not read it. It provides step by step tutorials with screen shots from photoshop. It also covers retouching techniques not found anywhere else. This book is certainly meant for the more advance kind, but can be followed by a complete novice in the field. I am learning a whole lot from it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

San Fransisco

My previous job often required me to travel to the Palo Alto and San Fransisco areas. I have to say that I always enjoyed those trips for the beauty of SF and of course for the laid back attitude in our PA office. I never went to SF without my camera and always tried to get at least a few hours of sightseeing and photography in. Here are some pictures from my archives.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Undecided on how I should feel about this...

I think I am beginning to get disappointed as I find FREE and publicly available instructional manuals with pictures and text identical to those from yesterdays "Light, Color, Technology" class on Nikon's website. I am disappointed because I just paid $159 for exactly the same thing. The difference is that I also got a presentation as well from Bill Durrence and Nick Didlick. However, as I find more material, I may change my recommendation and just suggest you look these materials up and save $159 on the class towards better use.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nikon School of Photography - Color, Light, Technology

Yesterday I wrote about my experience at the Nikon School of Photography.Today I attended a more advanced class about Color, Light and Technology. As promised, here is my take on the class. WOW! You get so much information, all for just $159.00. The instructors were Nick Didlick and Bill Durrence. Both were once again brilliant. They made the class entertaining and very informative. In addition to the class, they made themselves available to answer questions in between breaks and shared lots of information. The number of people attending was also half of those who attended yesterday. This contributed to the "I got my moneys worth" feeling you walked away with today. A lot of people who attended yesterdays introduction class returned for more. There were also quite a few professional photographers in the group. I would definitely recommend this class to those really interested in photography, the intermediate and perhaps even the pros.

Topics included:
  • Planning and packing for a photo trip
  • Importance of subject placement (spatial relationships)
  • DX and FX sensors
  • Speciality lenses and usage
  • File format choices, focusing on RAW (NEF)
  • Bit depth
  • Image processing menus and advanced choices
  • Color management (strong focus on White Balance): from camera to print
  • Light: how to control and create with multiple live demos which included studio set up, filters, gels and use of reflectors
  • Live demo of Nikon Capture NX 2 focusing on advanced editing features
  • Resizing, sharpening and soft proofing for output
  • Backup, Archiving and Cataloging
  • Building a slideshow
  • When to upgrade your camera and lenses
  • Tripods and Monopods
  • Overview of other Photography Workshops and Seminars
There were quite a few giveaways which included various training DVDs, one set of a monitor color calibration program by X-rite and two lucky attendees took home a full version of Nikon Capture NX 2. As always though, I didn't get anything. :(

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nikon School - Introduction to Digital SLR Photography

In one of my earlier posts I wrote that I will be attending the Nikon School of Photography. Well, today I completed the "Introduction to Digital SLR Photography" class at the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York. Are you ready? What did I really get for my hard earned $119.00? Here it comes... An Introduction to Digital Photography.

The class is exactly how Nikon describes it - "an ideal starting point". You sit through 7 hours of an overview to Digital Photography. To my surprise, 248 people attended. I would not recommend the class to the intermediate and certainly not to the pro photographers. However, if you are a beginner who has never dealt with a Digital SLR and are not the type to read through manuals, I strongly recommend sitting through the class. If you are slow and are only now switching from film to digital, it is probably a good idea to check them out. The instructors, Nick Didlick and Bill Durrence were brilliant and both highly recognized photographers. Bill is an excellent speaker as well, and has been teaching for over 30 years. He managed to turn the 7 hour class (there were two breaks and lunch, which was provided) into an entertaining and informative session. He also does private lessons and workshops. Check out his upcoming photo adventure - Tanzania Photo Safari.

I won't go into details but will say that the class covers basic techniques, shutter speeds, aperture, Nikon menu options, Nikon lenses, light, composition, framing, cropping, Nikon editing software as well as browsers, and backup solutions.

10 things I walked away with?
1. Composition pointers.
2. A better understanding of White Balance options.
3. A better understanding of the VR option on Nikkor lenses.
4. A stronger understanding of shutter speeds.
5. Importance of shooting RAW images.
6. Panning techniques.
7. Auto mode is actually an Auto PhD mode where PhD stands for "push here dummy".
8. A Nikon Calendar and study materials.
9. A Nikon School of Photography class completion certificate.
10. The satisfaction of having to pick a brain of Nikon Pros and having tested the best of Nikon cameras: D3, D3x, D700 (which I own), D90 and my favorite lenses: 50mm, 70-200mm and the 70-300mm.

See you all tomorrow after the Advance class of "Color, Light, Technology".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Will you be attending Photoshop World in Boston?

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Photoshop World!
# 10 Portfolio Reviews and Help Desk LIVE!
# 9 The Guru Awards
# 8 The Art of Digital Photography
# 7 The Keynote Speech
# 6 Midnight Madness
# 5 Pre-Con Workshops

stay tuned for more!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Icons of Glamour & Style: The Constantiner Collection

Christie's announced the sale of celebrity photos in NY which will take place on December 16 - 17, 2008. The auction was assembled by Leon & Michaela Constantiner featuring the work of Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe & Peter Lindbergh. The sale will include photos of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Kate Moss, Stephanie Seymour, Monica Bellucci & Madonna. More info here...

Trans Atlantic Regatta...or not!

This one is also from my 2005 archives. We went out to see the Trans Atlantic Regatta, however, due to unforeseen circumstance (the tragic crash of a small sight seeing plane on Brooklyn's Coney Island) we end up not seeing any sail boats and instead did some fishing and then sailing around the Jamaica Bay area.

Google To Add Magazines To Online Database...

December 10, 2008 - Undaunted by a $125 million copyright settlement over its efforts to build an online library, leading search engine company Google Inc. has announced that it will add magazines to its controversial online book database. The magazines to be added to the company's Google Book Search are New York Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Ebony, Popular Science and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Read more...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Have I become the ultimate procrastinator?

How often do you use the word procrastinator? I can’t say with certainty, but I think I use it at least once a month. For the sake of privacy and anonymity I won’t go into details of why I use it or whom I often call procrastinators. :) (Yes, I absolutely love the smiley faces, so what?)

Well the time has come, and I have recently been called a procrastinator myself. At first I didn't give it much thought but then I began to think about it a bit further. I began asking myself questions such as "What does it really mean to be a procrastinator? Is a procrastinator someone who deliberately delays everything until the last minute or someone who simply secretly hopes that if he/she waits just a bit longer, they won't have to deal with anything? Or is it simply someone who does not have the time to accomplish all that is expected of them in a timely fashion? Or do all of the above mean the same thing? Regardless of the answers, I believe that most of us deferred a task to a later time at one point or another. Let’s admit it, we are all human.

The bottom line is that I believe myself to have procrastinated reviewing, processing and posting many of my images online. Yes, guilty as charged. I am still to upload pictures from my trip to Israel (Dec. 2004), London (May 2005), Italy (June 2006), Spain (Aug. 2007), Portugal (Aug. 2007), Greece (Sept. 2007) and countless other images from the past 4 years, especially those of my 4 months old son. Some of my friends are loosing hope of ever seeing pictures of our endeavors together. My parents, the in-laws and my husband have already lost hope to ever seeing all of our wedding pictures.

Now that I started this blog, I ask myself "Am I procrastinating by finding other things to do instead of processing my pictures or am I being proactive by finally sharing my thoughts and images in a more meaningful way?" I am not yet sure of what the answer is. One thing for certain, every minute spent working on this blog is a minute spent away from photoshop and processing the images. Remember, I am also a mom and have a full time job.

Are you a procrastinator?

Yet another flashback from 2005

We love to sail in the summer, so I've found a few pictures from 2005 which I haven't posted before. Here they are...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Picture Flashback

I have been organizing my pictures at home and have found hundreds of photos that I have not processed or posted to my fotki page. Here is one of Feisty Julie from her 2005 Engagement party.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Alien Skin Software - Bokeh Lens Simulation Plug-in for Photoshop

Don't have the expensive lens you've been wanting? Did not use the correct apperture or shutter speed? Finally, a sofware which quickly and realistically manipulates image's focus just like fast expensive lenses. Alien Skin Software announced on December 1, 2008 the immediate availability of Bokeh™, its new lens simulation plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® and Photoshop Elements. Bokeh is used to draw attention to their subject by manipulating focus and depth of field after the shot has been taken. From changing the depth of field to placing a radial sweet spot and adding a vignette, Bokeh has many tools for realistic blurring and altering the mood of a scene. Bokeh is the first software based on mathematics sophisticated enough to produce distinctive natural blurring and creamy highlights of real lenses. Examples...

Nikon School of Photography

I've been thinking of taking up some formal photography classes since the last time I took a class was way before digital. This upcoming weekend I will take two classes at the Nikon School of Photography. Introduction to Digital SLR Photography and Color, Light, Technology. I will provide a review of the classes early next week, so make sure to come back and read it.


MELVILLE, N.Y. (Nov. 30, 2008) – Nikon Inc. announced the D3X, an FX-format digital SLR featuring extreme 24.5 mp resolution, superb low-noise capabilities, ISO 100 ~ 1,600, 5 FPS (7 FPS in DX crop) and an Eight Thousand dollar price tag! The problem is in deciding, is it really a masterpiece? Some say it's the same as the D3, with an extra "x" painted on with more pixels and much slower frame rates and ISOs. D3X image quality is about the same as the $2,700 Canon 5D Mark II. In my opinion, Nikon D3 is far better than Canon. But that's just because I love Nikon. Well, not just but... See my favorite comparison between Canon and Nikon here (comparison).

Making Plov

We had a few people come over yesterday for dinner, so Mike, my husband, decided to make plov. Plov by the way is the traditional dish of Central Asia. Depending on the recipe, plov is made of onions, carrots, lamb meat, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, salt to taste, olive oil, a few garlic heads and rice all in a very heavy pot. I personally love plov and can eat it all day, every day. :) The first time Mike made plov, the meat got a bit burned. Unfortunately, this time he forgot to salt it. Oh well, it was still very good and we all enjoyed it very much. Best of all, I had another cooking lesson.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Who said I am angry?

Many people ask me what I did to get my son to strike the pose above. Nothing I tell you, except take one too many pictures. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Top on my list this holiday season - AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

On September 22, 2008 at Germany's Photokina trade show Nikon finally announced an update to the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D. The updated lens 50mm f/1.4G is just perfect and can be used for just about anything. It is also compatible with FX and DX digital, as well as film.

The announcement said the lenses will be available in December. Back in September when the announcement came out I decided to wait to purchase the updated version. And those of you who know me, know that "waiting" is a very difficult task. I am a very impatient person. December 1st, I contacted B&H to see if the lens is available - the disappointing and unexpected answer - "no". The lens will not be available until January. The store does not have it, not even for display. I checked with a friend who works for B&H. Adorama has it listed as "not in stock"with no scheduled date for delivery. Bummer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Here are some more pictures!

Image Search Engine

TinEye Image Search Engine by Idee Inc. searches the internet for your images with your images. It's like google but for photographers. Check it out and try it for free.

Today's favorite

This image is from one of the parties that I shot in November.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Welcome to Irene Keselman's Photography Blog!

You will find some of my images on this blog. Comments are welcome!