I attended The Great Tennessee Air Show at the Smyrna Municipal airport on June 15th. This show featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels demonstration team. They did not disappoint! Flying FA-18 Hornets in tight formation and doing aerial acrobatics at 300+ mph is just crazy. These pilots are the absolute best! Here’s a video slide show of my photos from the day…Enjoy!
I recently purchased a used Elinchrom Quadra Ranger flash system. This is a portable studio strobe flash system and is much more powerful than speed lights. This system also has a very fast flash duration (1/4000 seconds) that can capture action shots. So, I thought I’d experiment trying to freeze splashes. As it turns out, this is more difficult than I had originally thought. It took me about 2 hours of practicing and re-configuring the set-up to finally get it right. Before I show you the results, here’s some technical information.
I set-up my slash studio in my garage. I used the Quadra Ranger system with 2 “A” heads…one directly above the container and one behind the backdrop. I needed a transluscent backdrop and my good photo buddy, Nick Coury, suggested that I use a shower curtain for that. It worked perfectly and cost $2.95 at Walmart. I hung this on a background stand. The strobe behind the curtain was plugged into the A port on the power pack and the strobe above the splash was plugged into the B port. I metered the light power to give me an f-stop of f/13 for the splash and about f/10 into the backdrop. I chose a small aperture to provide a good depth of field for the splash. I set-up the X-T1 with the Fuji 55-200 zoom lens on a tripod with a remote release. I used a set of nano poppers to wirelessly trigger the flashes when I took the shot.
Next, I set-up a glass on a table I had lying around in the garage. I used food coloring for the water to get different colors. Also note the towels on the floor…dropping items in water for slashes makes a mess! Speaking of dropping items in the water, I tried several different items but 2 worked the best…a fake plastic ice cube and a golf ball!
I used manual focus and put a heavy bolt in the middle of the glass to get accurate focus. I also used the focus peaking mode on the X-T1 to get dead accurate focus. It took me several attempts to get the timing down and then several attempts using the ice cube and golf balls.
So, here’s the results of a few that I particularly liked:
The last photo is when I quit. When I dropped the golf ball, it hit the edge of the glass and broke it. I’m pretty happy I got the breaking glass action photo though!
This was a fun experiment to try out. Now that I have some experience doing this, I’m going to think of new ways to get a bit more creative next time.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.
Thanks for looking!
Here is a set of images taken with the X-T1 using an adapted Nikon 105mm Micro lens. All shots used manual focusing with focus peaking and high magnification in the LCD. Also, a Nissin MF-18 set to 1/128th fine macro mode was used for lighting . This combination works quite well for macro photos with the X-T1.
I just got the new Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 XF lens yesterday from my good friend Nick at Dury’s in Nashville. The very first photo I took is of Nick…this is becoming the go to image for this new lens (inside joke). Anyway, I’ve only had limited time to play with this new lens on the Fuji X-T1 and Im very impressed. It focuses quickly and is incredibly sharp at f1.2. I had read excellent reviews of this lens before purchasing and I’m not disappointed. Fuji has dome it again and knocked the ball out-of-the-park with this incredible new lens. Below are a few images taken at f1.2 (except the Daffodil shot at f2.0) so you can judge for yourself.
The new Fuji X-T1 was released in late February, 2014. Fortunately for me, I got the new camera just a week before going on a Cruise vacation with my wife to the Caribbean. I got to use this new camera for the week, and it is the most enjoyable camera I’ve ever used. This camera is a marvel of technology. It’s small in size but large in stature. It allows the photographer to focus on the images rather than fooling with camera settings. The focus is quick, the dials on the camera allow you to immediately see or change the settings and the sensor is superior to any camera I’ve ever used. My belief is that Fuji has something magical going on with this technology and is on to something big for now and the forseeable future. If you’re thinking about getting the Fuji X-T1, My advice is not to hesitate a second!
I’ll let the images speak for themselves:
I took this shot of the “Super Moon” on May 5, 2012 using my Nikon D800 and Nikkor 300 f4.0 telephoto lens with the Nikon 2x teleconverter II. I also shot this in DX mode giving me 900mm equivalent. I used AF-F autofocus in Live View and this worked better than manually focusing the lens combo. My other setting for this shot were: ISO 200, f13 at 1/80s, Manual exposure, spot metering and Aut01 White Balance. I used in camera a custom Neutral Picture Control with the sharpening set to maximum for this image. I post-processed with the new Camera Raw 7.1 pre-release and sharpened and resized in Photoshop CS6.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Enjoy!!!