Took my Lensbaby Twist to the Living Planet Aquarium near my house for some practice shooting. Turns out that my recent change in eyeglasses is making it really hard to manual focus, and add in fast moving animals and it was quite the challenge! I’m honestly amazed I got as many keepers as I did!
2016 was a year of big change and busyness for me, I did not get out to shoot for fun anywhere near as often as I would have liked. But I did get in some shooting! Here are my 12 favorites from 2016 – one for every month of the year!
When we moved this summer, I realized I have so many things that I don’t ever use. Time to clear out some space and get these things into the hands of those who will use them! All items are available for shipping to US addresses only. If you’re local to me (in Sandy UT) I will refund your shipping if the items are picked up within 24 hours of payment. Otherwise I keep the shipping and put it in the mail.
Think Tank Lily Deanne Tutto
I bought this bag, took the tissue paper off, loved it, but it’s been months and I keep finding reasons to not move into it, which tells me I’m just too attached to my old bag. Still has tags, original box, and is in perfect condition. Retails for $299, willing to sell it for $230 including shipping.
Tenba Shootout Small Backpack Olive/Black
• Water-repellent, dobby/diamond ripstop nylon shell – an optimum combination of light weight and durability.
• Special, YKK weather-sealed zippers keep the elements out.
• Compression straps prevent the load from shifting, and help keep the center of gravity as close to the body as possible.
• Jumbo, padded side pods can be used as separate accessory pockets or pass-through hatches for instant interior access.
• Exclusive, fully-adjustable, MSTC System securely accommodates all popular outdoor tripod types and sizes.
I used this for a few hikes and it’s very sturdy and the hip belt does a good job of helping support the load and keeping it from hurting the shoulders. I’ve since moved to a belt system and haven’t used this in years. It’s in great shape! Includes a CF wallet, phone pouch and has all the tripod accessories. This is an older model that I paid $180 for, selling this one for $115 including shipping.
Tamron 28-75 2.8
Full frame, constant aperture, mid range zoom for Nikon. Autofocus motor. This was my first full frame lens, and I used it until I got the Nikon 24-70. Kept it because it is much lighter for hiking, but haven’t used it much in years. In great shape, with the original box, front and rear lens caps, etc. Photos below include some sample images taken with the lens at both ends of the zoom range. Retails new for $500, selling this one for $400 including shipping.
Ray Ring Flash
Ring Flash for Nikon D900/910 with D1/D2/D3 or D/700 cameras. Light, portable, and does not require extra power. I primarily used it for creating soft, even light for macro work, and you can see examples of it below. Retails for $199, selling for $110 including shipping.
Zeikos Battery Pack
for Nikon D700, D300s, or D300
Bought this right before I upgraded from the D300s to a full frame, and never once used it. New in box, don’t know if I ever even opened it. Allows you to add another battery and also adds a button for shooting in portrait mode without reaching around your camera. I paid $50, will sell for $30 including shipping.
Lowepro Slim Lens Pouch 75AW
Sturdy lens pouch that fits most telephoto zoom lenses (up to 70-200mm f/2.8 – wither without the hood or with hood reversed) Collapses to be smaller on your body when working with lens; flattens for easy packing when traveling (it’s mostly flattened in the photo) Reinforced padding at top and bottom provides extra protection from impact at critical mount and glass points Hook/loop closure on front flap offers fast access to lens. Comes with a shoulder strap but also has SlipLock attachment tab on back so you can use it with compatible LowePro belts. I was able to use the velcro tabs to go around my Think Tank belt system. Used this a few times, then replaced it with a Lens Changer model. This Slim Pouch retails for $40, selling for $20 including shipping.
Soft, colorful PhatStrap camera strap, Approximately 36 inches from clip to clip. Camera attachment parts add a few more inches. I used this a few times as both a shoulder strap and a crossbody strap. Realized I like the crossbody strap method a lot better, and this is just a tad too short for a crossbody strap for a tall woman like me, I loved the soft minky lining! Can’t remember what I paid, thinking about $40. Will sell for $15 including shipping.
Visible Dust BriteView Sensor Loupe 7X
This is a lit, magnifier to check out your sensor and see if there is any dust on it. Has 6 small LEDs that provide even light for close examination of your sensor. I bought it with the sensor cleaning kit below, but it turns out I’m too lazy to do it myself and have just been paying the local camera shop to do it for me… Retails for $85, will sell for $40 including shipping. I forgot to turn it on when I was taking pictures, but it does work. Uses 2 small easily replaceable watch batteries.
Visible Dust Artic Butterfly Sensor Cleaning Kit
These reusable brushes are for dry cleaning your sensor. Specially coated with nanoparticles to attract dust, and the largest brush can be spun to discharge particles and avoid static issues. (Note: it says all over the instructions not to spin it in your camera, so please make sure you don’t do that!) Again, I bought this kit to clean my own sensors, but every time they need cleaning I get lazy and drop it off to be cleaned. Might as well let someone else save the money! Retails for $130 will sell for $100 including shipping.
Hoodman Hood EYE Eye Cup for Nikon *Square* Eyepieces
I have a camera with a round eyepiece, and my husband bought me this one for square eyepieces. I love, love, love the one on my camera. So very helpful when you shoot with glasses! Works for either the right eye or the left eye (you can rotate it either way) so no matter how you shoot this can help. Retails for $20, selling for $12 including shipping.
Lensbaby: Bending Your Perspective
by Corey Hilz
2010 edition, lots of great info on using the old school Lensbaby optics (double glass, etc.) Out of print. Selling for $10 including shipping.
Light it! Shoot it! Retouch it!
by Scott Kelby
Great book where Scott Kelby walks you through several photo shoots, demonstrating exactly how to set up lighting, how to shoot, and how to edit. Retails for $33, will sell for $15 including shipping.
Took two of my daughters out to the Bonneville Salt Flats last weekend for some “just for fun” portraits. Such a gorgeous location! It was the first time I’ve gone out with my camera in months so it felt great to be creative again.
My youngest is FINALLY taller than both of her sisters. I’ve known this would happen since before she was in kindergarten, but it was fun to take some pictures to commemorate the event. She’s proudly calling herself the “supreme sibling” every chance she gets!
They had some specific ideas they wanted to do, one of them was sparklers!
So my series on “Outside My Window” just got a pretty big upgrade. You see, we moved to a new house, one that has an incredible view. (The view was what sold us on it, actually!) So far I haven’t been able to shoot with my big camera (SO MUCH TO DO…) but here are a few phone photos to give you an idea. I’m really looking forward to a good thunderstorm!
Last year I had a hummingbird feeder for the first time. Unfortunately, it leaked, quite a bit. I found this one last fall on a clearance rack and it’s finally warm enough to hang it. I haven’t yet seen any hummingbirds, but my daughter has, so I’m looking forward to their arrival soon!
But in the meantime, it looked visually interesting on a rainy day…
In some ways, dance is remarkable similar to theater, especially musical theater. In other ways, it is remarkably different. I’ve already addressed how to get in to shoot dress rehearsals, general stage shooting, and theater specific tips, so here are tips specific to dance:
Don’t worry about specular highlights on sparkly costumes – dance can have lots of sparkle and shine, and it’s perfectly fine for some of those highlights to be completely blown. Expose for something NOT sparkly and unless the costume is 100% sequins and the bright lights are bringing it ALL out, let the chips fall where they may. (And if that’s your situation, God bless you!) Thankfully my daughter’s dance studio is not into sparkly costumes much.
Anticipate the action Try to catch the movement at it’s fullest extension or most fluid look. This is easiest when you find and watch for a repeated phrasing in the dance.
Anticipate and try to catch swirls and flow in costumes
Be aware of shapes and lines in the individual dancer and in groups Look for them and catch them!
Repeated elements are also common – you can emphasize the pattern my extending it past the margins of the image.
Just like with theater, look for smaller groupings within the large group and highlight them. At the time I shot these dancers, there were two other small groups, one on either side.
Look for repetition with multiple dancers Patterns and repetition often happen in dance, and photos highlighting this can be nice compositions.
Don’t be afraid to catch closeups of hands or feet
Small well timed bursts can be useful. Whenever I anticipate a leap, I do a short burst. In this example, I shot a burst of 4 images as the dancer leapt. Two will be deleted. I personally love the bottom left, thought the top right comes a close second! Don’t overdo it with burst mode or you’ll hate yourself come culling!
Use symmetry Because it has such a nice balance, symmetry is a common element in dance, and I particularly like using a square composition with it.
Find and use reflections and shadows The shiny floors and bright lights can make for some interesting effects, if you can find a way to include them in your compositions.
I’ve had the opportunity to shoot my daughter’s dance company in some unusual locations off site that have been an amazing experience. Some times for shooting dance other than on a stage:
Take advantage of a different vantage point For this shoot at the public library, I chose to take a spot on an upper floor and shoot down for a different look.
Shoot wide Include elements of the space for the dancers and the surrounding area.
We’ve had plenty of April showers – and there are lots of flowers and blossoms to show for it! I spent some time shooting with my Lensbaby Velvet 56 at a local garden. The wisteria was blooming, and that’s among my favorite things to shoot! The smell, the color, the clumps of blooms hanging down – all beautiful!
Please follow the circle around to Jen Bantle!