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Pictures and gear

Yes, of course your eyes are more important than gear. Yet you can't make pictures without a camera and lenses. In these examples, I used the PCE Nikkor 24mm f/3.5, the AF-S Nikkor 85m f/1.4G, the AF-S and Z Nikkors 14-24mm f/2.8, the AF-S 300mm f/4 and the AF-S Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR II. Other lenses I use are the AF-S Nikkors 35mm f/1.4 and 58mm f/1.4 and the AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 plus TC-14E-II and the Micro-Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8 VR and 55mm AF. OK, I'm a bit of a exception because I want to take all kind of pictures for my books and maybe I just love lenses. I sold the 70-200 mm and the 300 mm by the way when I bought the 80-400mm.

P.S. It took me about twenty minutes to make the  picture of the Arc de Triomphe - apart from the many years we had to wait till Cristo's project was realized and then the days I had to wait for a blue sky. 

I used the PCE Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 and shifted it up approx. 80% to make the lines of the Arc de Triomphe parallel. But that still didn't make the picture convincing. The problem was, that the cars in the foreground draw attention to them, instead of the Arc. So I had to wait.  Maybe time is even more important than gear and vision. Photography is after all, about time and the decisive moments.


Happy 2020 with many great pictures!

I started 2020 the right way: by taking my camera with me and looking for the right spot for my pictures.

A few technical notes: the standard way to make firework pictures is to choose a very long exposure or even B or T. However, this will often lead to overexposed pictures. Making several exposures and combining them in Photoshop layers is a better solution. You should be careful anyway because not all firework has the same exposure and even things like fog have an influence on exposure. So it’s always a bit of trial & error. As a rule, you should use noise reduction for long exposures. In this case, I chose not to use it, because I was afraid I’d miss too many moments. I ended up making the shadows darker anyway, so there was no noise in the image. If you have camera with a smallish or less good sensor, NR in Photoshop might be a good solution.

For the blending mode of the layers, you might want to use lighten, or even hard light. Here I used mostly lighten but with one layer I used blending mode difference to get some extra colors.

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