Saturday, May 11, 2013

Walden Pond Project

I went back to Walden Pond to continue the work on my one year project to record the area as Thoreau might have seen it when he lived there in a one room cottage from 1844-45. This time I wanted to capture some of the early looks of spring to add to my Walden Pond Project.

My gadget bag included a Nikon D800 and assortment of lenses that would give me focal lengths from 18-280mm along with macro capability. Looks like a lot of stuff, but I actually find this to be a compact outfit.  While carrying the camera with one lens, I was able to fit the rest of the equipment in the pockets of my photo vest.

This is the assortment of gear I had with me. Two of the lenses are very recent additions to the Nikon lineup. Lenses included the new Nikon 18-35mm zoom, a 60mm Nikon macro, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, the new Nikon 70-400 f/4 zoom, a 1.4x tele converter to extend the long zoom to 280mm f/5.6. Additional equipment included polarizing filters, cable release, and very portable Gitzo tripod that fits in my back pack. One other camera I had with me was the Sony RX1 because I am running tests on it for an upcoming blog review. As you can see from the photos below, I used everything I brought with me.
I arrived at the pond late in the day at sunset just as a thunderstorm was clearing the area, and I was able to capture this image with the 18-35mm zoom set to 18mm focal length.
The next morning much of they rain from the previous night was resting on the foliage. This photo of water drops on spring leaves was taken with the Nikon 60mm macro lens. If I would change anything in my outfit, it might be to substitute a longer macro lens for close-up work.
For this early morning shot I wanted to separate the foreground leaves from the background so I put the 1.4x converter on the 70-200mm zoom and shot wide open at f/5.6 with a 270mm focal length..
Another instance of using the 18-35mm lens at 18mm zoom. I really like the quality of star effect this lens produces. An image like this illustrates the extreme dynamic range of the Nikon D800. There is detail in the sun and in the deepest shadows of the foreground tree. This is a single exposure, not a composite of exposures.
This close-up of tree lichen was taken with the Nikon 70-200mm set to 170mm. One of the nice qualities of this long zoom is its ability to focus very close.
This photo was taken with the Sony RX1 in 16:9 format to give a panoramic crop. More about that in an upcoming blog review of this camera.
And finally, this photo was taken with the Nikon 24-70mm lens, and so accounts for all the equipment I had with me on the trip.

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