Recently a reader asked about the camera I use for these blog posts. I have been wanting for some time to describe how I go about writing a post – so here’s my chance.
For me, they usually revolve around photos. that’s how I organize a lecture, and it’s how I write articles usually too. In the shop, here’s what it often looks like when I am planning a post:
and my shot ends up like this:
The camera is a Nikon D80, usually fitted with a Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm lens. When I have the time, and have the place to myself, I kill the overhead lights & try to light things the way I need them. I often will bracket the shots; my shop has windows behind me, so I usually will over-expose in the bracketing.
The camera sits on a Bogen/Manfrotto tripod, a hand-me-down from Alexander who once used my cheaper Bogen & sent me this one instead.
I use a remote trigger for the shutter; sometimes it ends up in detail shots, here it’s in my left hand. It can shoot right away, or with a delayed timer ticking down. My kids love to take pictures with it.
The lights are ones I bought several years ago. I am brain-dead when it comes to flash systems, so I like to use continuous lighting. The lights are OK – they could be stronger. Next ones will be. These were designed for product shots for Ebay – http://store.tabletopstudio-store.com/lightbulbs.html I got the 55 watt bulbs. The stands and fixtures are too flimsy. I hope to upgrade this end of things in 2012.
Much of the year, my shop is mayhem; open to the public 7 days a week, and other craftsmen & women in the room. So I sometimes shoot very quickly, and those pictures show it. But I always use the tripod, and when I can, try to light it with the daylight-balanced lights. If the shots are going to be keepers beyond the blog, then I certainly kill the overhead fluorescents. In the winter, the museum is closed, that’s why the winter months I get more blog posts out – I keep the lights & tripod out all the time, so I can set up a shot easier.
For the birds, I switch lenses to a 55-300mm zoom. But that’s a small lens for birds. You still have to get real close to them…