On the road with Nikon D800 Part 2

August 22, 2012 1 comment

I had the Nikon D800 with me on two trips now. Except Indonesia I took it for short weekend getaway to Vietnam where I photographed scenes in Mekong Delta. It is still not enough to get fully familiar with all the quirks  however there are definitely things that I can say about this camera. I am not experienced reviewer and I am not attempting to do a full review (Full review at dpreview.com). I purely describe my experience shooting with D800 for couple of days.

Is Nikon D800 really for me?

There are many discussions about Nikon D800 in terms of what kind of photographer is the camera for. I have to say honestly I didn’t really need D800. My good old D700 was just fine for everything I was shooting. I am not professional and I don’t do large prints. My photos go mostly on the web and occasionally I do a print or a book as a present for which the D700 resolution is more than good enough. However D800 is a new toy and try to explain a child that he doesn’t need a new toy when the old one is still good and usable. That is the my case, I just wanted it, so I got it 🙂 I usually shoot travel, documentary, landscapes and fine art style photography. This doesn’t require a machine gun ala D4 (I have tried it and it is like Kalashnikov) or Canon 1 DX. 4fps is plenty for me and I think for 36Mpix (cca 75MB filesize) is lighting fast. I never shot on the burst mode on the trip anyway. If I need faster I have my D700 as backup. As far as resolution and file size concerned, this can be really an issue in certain cases. memory cards and hard drives will fill up much faster. On a trip to more remote locations without access to electricity and computer there is a danger of running out of memory space rather quickly. Also storage at home suddenly feels little small. I think this camera requires a change of shooting style and much harsher selection process when editing and sorting the images. Camera certainly forces you to slow down and think before shooting. When shooting on continuous drive it is necessary to keep in mind that buffer fills up rather quickly.

I ventured into do time lapse photography with Nikon D700. I shot in RAW to give myself enough latitude when adjust the final sequence to my liking. With Nikon D800 it is much harder to do. Even big memory card can fill up quickly (unless you shoot JPEG). I have never tried to change memory card while doing time lapse shoot. Unfortunately when you shoot RAW with Nikon, there is no option to choose smaller image resolution as Canon offers. Only possible choice I see is to use DX crop mode but in that case our pretty expensive wide angle lenses just get multiplied by 1.5 crop factor.

I really want to get into DSLR video. This is my first DSLR with video capability so I consider it as one of the reasons I bough the camera. I cannot really comment on video mode at this point since I never done any and to this point my experience with DSLR video equals to zero.

Nikon D800 as a travel camera

It is heavy. When you hold it first time and you thing otherwise, I tell you. It is heavy …. for traveling.I’ve done two trips now and I know. The thing is, with this resolution you need the best lenses that are out there to brig the maximum from it. Best lenses usually pack lots of glass and glass is heavy too. Put a body and let’s say 24-70 and 70-200 zooms into your bag and try to walk around for hours. It is not fun and I bet you shoulders start hurting after a while. Add a tripod to it if you happened to shoot landscapes and you are done. For somebody who goes for expedition, organised trip etc. there is a chance that camera is going to be transported from place to place by a vehicle or porter. For solo traveler it is a shoulder or back. I am quite a big guy myself, yet I felt tired carrying it around. I don’t think it is ideal travel camera (unless it is for assignment when hight quality is a must).

Learning curve

My previous camera was Nikon D700. Switching to Nikon D800 was pretty easy. With some exceptions the buttons and menus are the same so even with no previous shooting experience I felt pretty much home soon enough. Camera is little lighter than D700 and little rounder but from usability point of view this has no effect whatsoever. You hold it and you know/feel it is a Nikon. There is nothing really that bugs me on the camera. Only thing I would change (it is just a personal preference) is a multi selector in favour of jog dial on Canon cameras. I feel I can cycle through menu or photos much faster using a dial than clicking on multi selector.

Focusing issue and green color cast

There are many reports and articles all over the internet about focusing issue and greenish colour cast on back display. As far as focusing goes, I took my body to Nikon service centre soon after purchase to get it checked and everything was as it should be. I guess my particular body was not from that faulty batch. With green colour cast it is a different story. I was travelling with friend of mine who had a Canon camera and I have to say yes the colours seem to bee shifted slightly to the cooler/greenish side. By the same token I can say Canon colours were much warmer and more saturated however I do not necessarily feel they represented the reality better. They just looked warmer and maybe little more pleasing to eye. As I shoot solely RAW, I am not too much concerned about this issue and I guess it will be addressed (if it is not already) by a firmware update.

In bad weather and environment

One of the reasons why we pay more for camera in this class is their ability to withstand various and not always favourable weather conditions and environments. I was not able to test it in wet environment but if it is same as D700 I have nothing to fear. However during Semeru climb the camera went through lots of bashing. If anyone visited Semeru or Bromo volcanoes in Indonesia, they can confirm that those two places are the very definition of dust. And boy, the camera got fair amount of time in that environment. After a few hours my camera didn’t look anything like a brand new one but it still operated perfectly. Dust sealing worked pretty well. After returning home I didn’t find any dust inside in the mirror area, neither I had dust spots on the sensor.

Resolution and consequences

36 Mpix is amazing but at the same time scary. D700’s 12 Mpix are much more forgiving. With Nikon D800 the focusing and shooting technique has to be top notch. I had a look at some files from my trip and I have to confirm this. This is also a reminder for me to really work on my technique. In most cases I tried to follow the basic rules of “sharp photography”. I used tripod whenever it was possible. I used fast shutter speed, high enough ISO to achieve sharp results. I have fairly good lenses. However I still felt my images are not sharp enough. At least those I shot hand held.  I do not blame the camera, I know it is me who have to make an improvement. 36Mpix is UNFORGIVING. However if the photo comes out sharp, it is amazing to look at.

Dynamic range and noise

Now dynamic range is where Nikon D800 really shines. Especially in shadows. I have never had so much detail there before. Even with very contrasty scenes, after checking my histogram I still had no pure black pixels. On the highlight side I think it is not as much improvement but overall this is beside the sensor resolution, this is the most impressive feature.

Battery life

As the trip was physically quite though and I wasn’t shooting as much as on my other trips I cannot really judge how good the battery life is. I had two with me and I didn’t even use one full charge. I took about 350 photographs and looked on the back screen frequently. Also batteries were exposed to cold environment (sub-zero during night) which should shorten their usage time but mine did just fine. so this is pretty much as much as I can say about it.

Conclusion

This is pretty much what I have to say about Nikon D800 at this point. It is still fairly new addition to my gear and as time goes by I probably find more things that is worth to discuss. Certainly one trip and 300+ photographs are not enough to get under the skin of this fine piece of equipment. So far it certainly didn’t disappoint. Could I be without it? Absolutely yes. And would be probably much smarter to use that money better and visit some places in the world I always wanted to visit. But hey… I am happy kid with new toy. Hopefully, if time allows me I will follow up with part 3 with some image samples. If not , there will be certainly additions in gallery either here on richardsimko.com or my 500px account.

Categories: Photography, Travel Tags: ,

At Gunung Bromo, East Java, Indonesia

August 22, 2012 Leave a comment

This article is the second part of my Indonesian trip coverage. In first part I visited and climbed  Gunung Semeru. Since I was in the area, I decided to pay the visit to Bromo as well (Bromo and Semeru are not that far apart). I have been there once in 2009 and I can say it is very nice and photogenic area. It is far more “touristy” as it is easily  accessible by car. There has been an eruption in 2010 and I was quite curious how the place looks like now.

The day after we returned from Semeru, we soon got ready to leave for Bromo. After quick breakfast we jumped into 4WD Toyota and made our way to Tengger Caldera, which is part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is located in East Java, Indonesia, to the east of Malang and to the south-east of Surabaya, the capital of East Java. It is the only conservation area in Indonesia that has a sand sea, the Tengger Sand Sea, across which is the caldera of an ancient volcano Tengger, from which four new volcanic cones have emerged. This unique feature covers a total area of 5,250 hectares at an altitude of about 2,100 m. Source: Wikipedia

Crater of Gunung Bromo before 2010 eruption

Gunung Bromo in 2009 eruption. Crater has no lake and big hole that appeared after 2010 eruption.


Soon after leaving Ranupani village we saw the ridge of Tengger Caldera. Car slowly made it’s way down to the bottom of it which is completely flat, partially covered with grass and areas around Bromo with sand and volcanic ash and dust. It took 20 minutes to drive across this giant crater. I soon realised that Bromo feels different. It looks lot more sandy and less rocky. At 10:30am  Sun already high in the sky showing it’s strength. Most of the tourist and local horsemen already left. (Bromo is usually climbed right after sunrise ). It was pretty windy so it really felt like Sea of Sand.

Bromo is very easy to climb. The elevation difference from start point to the edge of crater is not big at all. Cars usually bring tourists right to the mountain. First part is quite flat ascent and later there are stairs built on steeper part for easier access. Local horseman offer you horse transport right to the stairs. I think it is interesting only for ladies who forgot where they are and didn’t bring proper foot wear. On the way up I noticed how damaged the stairs were. The result of recent explosion. Once I looked inside the crater I noticed a big hole with turquoise mini lake in it.  Whole crater was very dusty like the outside part. and there was no steam coming out of the crater as last time. Well, this place will never look same like before. I didn’t spend there too much time and soon I made my way down. My knee still hurts after Semeru descent and I thought it is better to check in to the hotel, have little rest and then come out for sunset.

About 4pm I was out again scouting for a good location to shoot sunset. Bromo is famous mostly for sunrise and I had no idea how the light will play on sunset. But I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Besides it felt great to be alone away from people. Surroundings were nice and quiet only interrupted occasionaly by sound of Jeep or motorbike. I have found my location and set up for the shoot. Sunset happened very fast. I almost didn’t notice, that is how fast it was. Unfortunately it was not so dramatic as I expected. Sky was completely clear, no dramatic clouds and angle of the setting sun was not ideal from position where I was. I still made few shots and then returned back to hotel with plan to come out after the dark and photograph Milky Way one more time. Unfortunately skies were not favourable for this kind of shot. I decided to have rest and sleep since tomorrow we are off early morning for sunrise.

Crater of Gunung Bromo after 2010 eruption

Crater of Gunung Bromo after 2010 eruption looks more dusty and there is small turquoise at the bottom.

From experience I know that sunrise lookout is a crowded  place. Literally hundreds of Jeeps made their way from all hotels around the area to the lookout point. We started of at 4am morning, which I felt, is quite late to secure a good spot. After about 40 minutes long bumpy ride on the worst road in the world our Jeep climbed up to 2700m altitude and we quickly rushed to the spot. At first sight it looked full but then I managed to find empty spot on the right side to the main area. Unfortunately sun comes out on the other side but by the time I realised this it was probably too late to change my location. I decided to stay and started to set up for the shoot. Standard checklist, tripod, camera on manual, focus to infinity, low ISO, aperture around F8 to minimise diffraction, remote shutter release, mirror lock-up. al checked and double checked. Now only wait till I actually can see something.

There were lots of flashes firing all around. It is quite annoying since it can introduce unwanted light spillage into your photograph. Nothing one can do…sigh. I started to take shots. I have tried different zoom levels and framing. I also played with bracketing with HDR image in mind. Once again, there were no low lying clouds which took away a lot from usual drama. Bromo is very photogenic and most of the photographs are nice, they have only one problem. They look all the same. Same spot, same vantage point. I wish I had more time to scout the area more for better location and with less people around. At the time of writing this article I am sure I would do much better if I just stayed at the same spot I took my sunset pictures. I didn’t see many pictures from that vantage point if any at all.

Horseman from Bromo

Horseman leading his horse on the slopes of Mount Bromo

After having intimate encounter with bumpy road again, we had our breakfast and were ready to leave Bromo for Surabaya. There were couple of locals sitting around just across the road from hotel. Some resting, some selling coffee, food or souvenirs. I sat there for about 40 minutes trying to capture some shots. Light conditions rendered photographs very contrasty at that time. Still, I was amazed that camera was able to retain so much detail in shadows. It was not so good in sharpness. I am generally quite “wobbly” and I need to work on my hand-held shooting technique a lot.

Drive back to Surabaya felt quite long. Especially the middle part when we were caught in a traffic. actually we were involved in little accident when our driver went hard on breaks to avoid crash into car ahead of us. We had enough distance from them so we stopped safely but then we felt light bump. Quick look at the back mirror and we saw a motorbike with driver and female passenger on the ground. They obviously didn’t keep enough distance and  were not able to stop. Luckily nobody was seriously hurt that it would need a medical attention. It is kind of miracle that on crazy Indonesian roads nothing more serious happened.

Sunrise at Gunung Bromo

Sunrise at Gunung Bromo captured from “official” lookout at the rim of Tenger caldera.

After arriving to Surabaya we checked in the same hostel as first night. we had dinner at KFC (booooooo) and then just rest till next morning. Unfortunately we didn’t get too much sleep since there was some sort of argument between owner and I think one of the guests. It was dragging since 1am till 3:30 am. That was time we had to wake up anyway. Soon taxi was ready and we were on our way to airport.

There was a lot packed into these 5 days. Especially the first part, climbing Semeru was though. High altitude, long distance trekking with fairly heavy bags, extreme temperatures, lack of sleep and also slight fever took it’s toll. I have to say I was never so tired in my life, not even after getting up to Kalapattar in Himalayas (5545m). But I am glad I did this. Only regret I have is that due to physical exhaustion I was not able to take as many photographs as I wanted, especially to put my camera into a good test but this is how it was. And boy it was fun. I can recommend it to anybody who is not afraid to do some serious workout. Besides it is the best way how to loose weight … so I did, 3kg in 5 day. That is not bad 🙂

[tb_google_map address=”Bromo, indonesia” width=”100%” height=”300px” zoom=”12″ maptype=”satellite”]

 

Part 1: Climbing Gunung Semeru, East Java, Indonesia

Categories: Travel Tags: ,

Climbing Gunung Semeru, East Java, Indonesia

August 16, 2012 2 comments

I don’t know why, but I have weakness for volcanoes. There are plenty of them in Indonesia (in fact about 130 active). I just had to pick one. So I did. Gunung Semeru is the one I picked as my destination. It is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and it is also the highest point of Java at 3645m.

All the planning happened quite swiftly. Trek was booked with local indonesian travel agency, fairly cheap flight from Singapore to Surabaya with China Airlines. I opted for travel agency rather than independent travel due to lack of time. Itinerary had to fit into 5 days sharp. And there was lot to do. My aim was to climb Semeru and on the way back pay the second visit to Gudung Bromo with its famous sunrise. I was also curious how much it had changed after eruption in 2010. This time I didn’t travel alone. My buddy Dan was about to join me on this adventure.

Semeru, or Mount Semeru (Indonesian: Gunung Semeru), is a volcano located in East Java, Indonesia. It is the highest mountain on the island of Java. The stratovolcano is also known as Mahameru, meaning ‘The Great Mountain. The name derived from Hindu-Buddhist mythical mountain of Meru or Sumeru, the abode of gods. Source: Wikipedia

Milky Way shot at Kalimati, just below Gunung Semeru

Milky Way shot at Kalimati, just below Gunung Semeru

We spent first night in Surabaya in Da Riffi hostel just 3 km from Juanda Airport. Facilities and rooms are fairly basic but it was only for one night and for SGD $10 including breakfast it is a steal. Next day we were picked up by our guide and drove about 4-5 hours to Ranupani village, the starting point of our trek. On the way we stopped for mandatory health check which consisted of measuring height, weight, blood pressure and answering question about respiratory problems. While waiting for doctor we encountered fully naked woman walking on the streets which I found quite odd in any country but even more in conservative Indonesia. I guess she must have had some mental illness, I have no other explanation for that.

Anyway, that was a small intermezzo. We checked in to a home stay in Ranupani village. Again it was very basic but home family was extremely kind to us. Soon we discovered that main problem will be heat or cold for that matter. Village itself was in about 2000m above sea level and temperature in that altitude during night is quite low. Not to mention there was no heating in the house. That’s why hot tea for dinner was very welcome. Also shower, even hot, had very weak pressure but it was better than nothing. Preparing for the sleep meant put on few layers of clothing and covering ourselves with very thin blanket. Somehow it reminded me of my mandatory military service back home and cold winter nights in the barracks. And boy night was cold. I had very little sleep and when I managed to fall asleep I was woken up by early morning prayers. Dan did much better in this department and didn’t seemed to be bothered by anything.

I couldn’t wait for the breakfast and especially for hot tea which we really learned to appreciate. After that we packed our gear and of we went for 18km trek to the base camp. First part from Ranupani to Ranu Kumbolo we walked mostly in the forrest with occasional opening with view of the scenery. We saw the Semeru almost entire way puffing steam and gas regularly every 20-30 minutes. At Ranu Kumbolo, a half way stop, we had little longer break and lunch. After that we started to cut down the next 9km of walk all the way to Kalimati, our base camp, which was located just below the volcano. Terrain was not terribly difficult at this stage but heat and weight of luggage definitely sucked out lots of juice from me. Oddly enough, even though days are extremely hot with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, the nights are freezing cold with temperature dropping down all the way to zero or even lower. We were about to learn that on our own skin. In Kalimati, our base camp, guides and porters set up the tents and prepared the dinner. Sun set fairly quickly and at 6pm it was already dark. Sky was absolutely clear and soon we could see the Milky Way as clear as you possibly can without telescope. We managed to make some photographs but then we decided to have an early rest since tomorrow was a summit day, though climb starting at 2am.

Early rest was a good idea but it proved pretty hard to fall asleep. I was in a tent, had several layers of clothing but no sleeping bag. In 2700m altitude with night temperatures around freezing point it is not a good idea. Somehow there was an misunderstanding in communication with travel agency, however I remember specifically asking about sleeping bags. Nevertheless, this was the current situation and we had to cope wit it. Dan curled into a mat he was supposed to sleep on. I did pushups all night long to keep myself somewhat warm and thus I didn’t get much sleep. Unexpected exercise lasted till about 1am when I decided this makes no sense and I went for a little walk. Grass chunks were crispy covered with morning frost. Some porters were still awake engaged in conversation while some tried to sleep …. bare feet. Resilient people…but I think it is still crazy. I was walking around, jumping, squating, doing whatever I could to keep warm. Finaly one of the guides waved at me to join them by the fire. I cannot really describe how good it felt. Heat from fire and cup of coffee was all I needed. Sitting there starring into flames for another half an hour I tried to mentally prepare myself for what was coming. 30 minutes passed fast and it was time to get ready. I packed my camera and tripod and left everything else in the camp. Before we moved on our guide said a little prayer and we were on our way right after that.

Usually the climb from base camp consist from two stages. Reach the tree line, overnight there and then next day summit attack. We were about to do it in one go. That is altitude difference of nearly 1000m. It was very early morning with bright moonlight however we needed headlamps or torches to proceed. Soon after we started our ascent the cold just disappeared. Path lead almost straight up, only bending when avoiding trees. With quite steep slope it was soon clear this is not going to be that easy. After about two hours we reached the tree line. Sky was still very clear with thousands of stars, however Milky Way was not as visible as previous night. After little rest we caught up with breath and started our summit attack. This is where it got really though. For some reason I thought it is going to be rocky surface we will be climbing on but the mountain side was covered with thick layer of volcanic ash, dust and small loose rocks. This was the very definition of dusty environment. From this point the progress was very slow. Three steps ahead and then slide back two. Feet just had no grip on surface. There was occasional small rock or hardened ash that we could hold on to but that was it. It was to be like this all the way to the summit. We climbed in straight line on about 45 degrees slope. At first I was making so little progress that I thought I will never make it to the top. But after a while, using certain techniques I was able to move slowly up. I guess my weight didn’t help it too much either and I was still sliding downhill considerably. Essentially I had to kick my feet into the dust, find more less harder ground and then put my weight on it. Keep repeating this and you make a progress but it was not always easy to follow this technique. Air was full of dust and I had it everywhere. Air was also considerably thinner in this altitude. Dan did much better than me and he reached the summit about 10-20 minutes ahead of me. Eventually I made my last push too and reached the summit shortly after sunrise. We stood on the highest point of Java.

Gunung Semeru volcano

Semeru, the highest point on Java and one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia.

View was fascinating however it was very windy and also pretty cold there. After observing regular gas/steam eruption from a crater just bellow the summit and few photos, we were ready to get down. 45 minutes to an hour on the summit is good enough. We began our descent and this time  we really appreciated the dusty-ashy surface. Going down up to the tree line was kind of fun. It felt similar to skiing in fresh snow. It took more than two hours to climb up this section as opposed to coming down in less than 30 minutes. The forest section with dusty but hard surface  was a tougher cookie and this was typical descent with lots of strain on tights and knees. About mid way down I felt strong pain in my right knee and was unable to bend it fully and hold my weight on it. Dan didn’t do too well either. He got a stomach problem of some sort and his face was turning greenish. Also sun was showing it’s strength and it was getting really hot. It took quite lot of effort to get down to the base camp. I was dead tired and crawled straight to my tent. Somehow managed to get half of my body in, while feet were still sticking out and I just lied there for about 20 minutes completely motionless.

This was not the end of the hardship. We were about to get back to Ranupani village, our original starting point, which was about 18 km walk away. Not fun. Temperatures were well above 30 degrees Celsius and this time I had to carry my big backpack as well as camera bag.  Soon after breakfast we were on our way back. Usually the return trip feels much shorter and faster, but not this one. Our first milestone was Ranu Kumbolo  with it’s lake but it felt like somebody pushed it further away over the night. I felt we never going to reach the end of this leg. Eventually we made it and we had short 30 minute break before tackling the remaining section. I have to thank Dan, who took over my camera bag at this point. Big backpack alone was bloody heavy and my knee pain just got worse. I couldn’t keep the leg straight on uneven surface and bending it meant sharp pain every time I stepped on it or accidentally kicked something on the path. At first I felt it only when I was going downhill but now the pain was almost constant, no matter the terrain profile. This was the point when it was more matter of mental strength rather than physical. Progress was slow but eventually we reached the village, both completely exhausted, dusty, dirty, sweaty with feet in pieces. Nice shower, first in 2 days in dust, felt great 🙂 We stayed with the same lovely host family as before. They are very nice people. All of them Muslims but I noticed a Christian cross above one of the doors. There was also a Hindi temple in the village. Our guide was of Christian faith himself. This village was great example of religious tolerance and that is what this world needs. They all live here in harmony and peace and they are proof it is possible.

[tb_google_map address=”Semeru, indonesia” width=”100%” height=”300px” zoom=”12″ maptype=”satellite”]

 

This was the end of first part of the trip. Tomorrow we are off to Tengerr Caldera to visit the Gudung Bromo. It will be  my second time there and I am looking forward to revisit this magical place. As a conclusion to Semeru trek, it was one of the toughest things I ever done but I am glad I did it. It was a good test of resilience, physical and mental strength. Only downside was that I didn’t take as many photographs as I would like to mainly because of physical exhaustion.

Categories: Photography, Travel Tags: ,

On the road with Nikon D800 Part 1

August 7, 2012 1 comment

Nikon D800 with me in Indonesia and Vietnam

Some photographers say one should never go on assignment with a brand new camera without knowing it inside out in order to guarantee the outcome. Well, I am not professional photographer so I don’t have to worry about that much. However I am going to take Nikon D800 as my only camera for my 5 day trip to Indonesia. I didn’t take too many photos with it just yet. I briefly skimmed through manual, menus, controls but that is pretty much it.

First I thought I take my good old D700 with me but after holding my loaded camera bag I opted for one camera only, the D800.  I thought that controls on both cameras are nearly identical apart from few differences so it shouldn’t be a problem to pick it up easily.  I remember  taking D700 to Thailand few years ago without actually owning a Nikon camera before (well I had Fuji S3 Pro which is Nikon body based camera) and I had no problem to use the camera at all. Another reason for having two bodies was that I don’t have to swap lenses often and prevent the sensor to get dusty. However after giving it some thoughts I decided to leave D700 home.

To give you some idea what kind of environment I am going to use it as I mentioned I am going to Indonesia for 5 days. Ultimate goal is to climb the Mt Semeru, one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and also highest point on Java. Once in the area I also decided to pay a second visit to Mt Bromo. Environment I will be using the camera in ranges from hot and humid lowlands to much colder and also dustier places in Semeru and Bromo areas.

What is in my camera bag

  • Nikon D800 body
  • Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8
  • Nikkor 80-200mm 2.8
  • Nikkor 50mm 1.4
  • remote shutter release
  • spare batteries
  • ND and graduated ND Lee filters
  • IR filter
  • about 60GB worth CF cards
  • Macbook Air with Lightroom 4
  • medium sized Manfrotto tripod

Seems a lot huh? (This proved to be overkill for this particular trip) In fact my main backpack is lighter than camera bad. Well it always is 🙂 With huge size of D800 files there is never enough room on your CF cards so I decided to bring the computer and download the images on the go. It would be also good feedback to check upon images and see how sharp they are or if I need to brush up on my shooting technique (I am sure I will have to). There will be no attempt to do any image editing on Macbook Air. I do run Lightoom but the screen size and colours may not give the justice to files. What I can do is to see the overall image quality, do some basic sorting, key wording etc. In a perfect world I should have all the photographs backed up at least one more place but again, this is not a commercial shoot so I AM HOPING that nothing bad happens. I will also to try slow down a tad when taking photos and think first before pressing the shutter. My previous approach of taking thousands of shots and then pick one lucky sharp and well enough framed will not work with Nikon D800. So good luck to me.

I am not going to pixel peep the files, nor compare it to any other camera maybe with exception of D700 since I am familiar with it.  I am more curious about general handling, file management, performance in the field, answer the question about did I really need this camera? Well I can say I definitely did not….but I wanted it anyways. So folks, stay tuned. More to come….

Categories: Photography, Travel Tags: ,

Somaly Mam video

May 16, 2011 Leave a comment

2009 Frederick Douglass Award Winner – Sina Vann

May 16, 2011 Leave a comment

 

Interview with Somaly Mam

May 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I found these interview on various sites and I decided to share them further. The more people know about this huge problem the better chances we have tacking it effectively. Click “read more” for videos.
Read more…

Categories: Fighting sex slavery