Portraits from Nikon D100 in 2002

Nikon D100, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, ƒ/8, 1/180 – 4 Alienbees B1600s

I have been looking through some older photos. I started pulling all of our photos of our daughter for a project we are working on.

Most of the photos have been on CDs and DVDs and I am putting them onto a hard drive. I will be going through them and selecting our favorites and then putting them into categories like Birthdays and Holidays.

For these photos I found I also had a picture of the setup. Here is that photo for you to see how I setup the lights in our garage in my older house.

Here are a few of the different shots from that day back in October 31, 2002.

What I think is great about these photos is they were shot on my first digital DSLR camera. It was the Nikon D100.

The Nikon D100 had a 6.1 Effective Megapixel CCD for 3,008 x 2,000-pixel images. The D100 had about 7.5 stops of dynamic range as compared to today’s cameras of about 12 to 14 stops.

Just a comparison of Nikon D100 and 13 years later the D5

Nikon D100 Key Specs Nikon D5 Key Specs
Announcement Date: 2002-07-26
6MP – APS-C CCD Sensor
ISO 200 – 1600
Nikon F Mount
1.8″ Fixed Type Screen
Optical (pentaprism) viewfinder
3 fps continuous shooting
No Video Mode
780g. 144 x 116 x 81 mm
Announcement Date: 2016-01-05
21MP – Full frame CMOS Sensor
No Anti-aliasing (AA) filter
ISO 100 – 3280000
Nikon F Mount
3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
Optical (pentaprism) viewfinder
14.0 fps continuous shooting
3840 x 2160 video resolution
1415g. 160 x 158.5 x 92 mm
Weather Sealed Body
Replaced Nikon D4s

Some of my favorite Sports photos

Nikon D3, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 1000, ƒ/8, 1/2000

I just thought I would share some of my favorite sports images that I now have in my most recent “Sports Portfolio.”

This first photo is of Kerri Walsh spikes the volleyball against Jenny Krop & teammate Nancy Mason in the 3rd round of the Women’s $100,000 AVP Crocs Tour at Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 36000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

Georgia Bulldog’s #2 Defensive Back Maurice Smith breaks up the pass to North Carolina Tarheel’s #3 Ryan Switzer in their win over UNC 33 to 24 during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the Georgia Dome.

What I love about the photo is there is an anticipation of the big play and we see both the offense and defense in a very competitive and athletic moment. Both players appear to be giving it their all in the moment.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 45600, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

Georgia Bulldog’s Freshman Running Back #35 Brian Herrien Scores his very first collegiate touch down while UNC’s Safety #15 Donnie Miles was unable to stop him during tonights Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.

I love the effort made by both the teams in the moment of competition. This is what the game is all about, getting a touchdown and defending all wrapped up in a split second.

Nikon D100, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, ISO 1600, ƒ/2.8, 1/350

Jaron Nunnemaker attempts to ride Hot Rod during the 2004 RBR Atlanta Classic at the Georgia Dome.

Bull Riding is the wildest and most dangerous event in rodeo. In the American tradition the rider must stay atop the bucking bull for eight full seconds to count as a qualified ride. The rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope. It is a risky sport and has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.”

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 64000, ƒ/2.8, 1/2000

The bulls are rated and even more famous in many ways than the cowboys who ride them. This bull here had 27 consecutive buck offs, now that is 28. A cowboy must stay on the bull 8 seconds for the ride to count. Then they get a score which takes into account the bull they are riding.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 64000, ƒ/2.8, 1/2000
Every once in a while when a bull is determined unrideable the Professional Bull Riders Association has a million dollar ride. At $125,000 per second, this bonus ride is offering one of the largest payouts any athlete has ever received for the amount of time they are required to compete. In comparison, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo received roughly $12 million dollars to play in 15 NFL games in 2013.  At 54,000 seconds per season, it took Romo 4,500 seconds to make $1 million.
Nikon D100, Sigma 15-30mm, ISO 400, ƒ/6.7, 1/180
Georgia Tech’s #1 B. J. Elder lays up and passes Duke’s #2 Luol Deng during second half play at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia.
I love basketball and for those teams that take it to the net this is my favorite place to photograph. You get to see the effort in the face expressions and how close they are to either making the basket or defending it.
Nikon D100, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 400, ƒ/6.7, 1/180
Georgia Tech’s #2 Isma’il Muhammad slams one early over NC State’s #11 Gavin Grant during play at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia.
This is one of those photos most players either love or hate. Love that Isma’l flew over the NC State player Gavin for a slam. It made the ESPN highlights during that week and was played over and over. When Isma’l graduated the coach had a large print made and gave it to him.
Nikon D2X, Sigma 120-300 mm f/2.8 DG EX APO IF HSM, Sigma 2x, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/3000
Mike Trapani is chased down by Chris Campbell  and finally tagged out by Nick Chigges  of the College of Charleston during play at the Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
I love the steal in baseball and if I am in the right position as here can capture the effort of both offense and defense as they both are trying to advance a base or stop it.
Nikon D2X, Nikon 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6,  ISO 100, ƒ/16, 1/200–[6] Alienbees B1600
Sometimes my favorite moments were when I made the team photo that would help sell tickets for the season. Seeing this photo on the side of buses around town to promote Calvin Johnson and the rest of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2006 season was a pleasure.
Hope you enjoyed some of the moments in sports of mine through the years.

Understanding Copyright and Cost of doing business isn’t the secret to success

Nikon D3S, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 4–Alienbees B1600, ISO 200, ƒ/11, 1/160

For the past 20+ years the photography community has been pushing for photographers to know their rights. Copyright is at the top of that list. Right next to it was you knowing the cost of doing business.

I even perpetuated many of these tips that photographers needed to know to be sure they were running a healthy business.

Before 2002 quality images were hard to come by versus today where almost daily the amount of well exposed, in focus images are being created faster than we can calculate. The reason I picked the year 2002 is that is when a 6-megapixel camera went from $25,000 to under $2,000. This made if very affordable for the masses.

Today there are so many images available that for the most part photography is now a commodity.

As photographers were pushing for more from customers and trying to explain why they must get more money the customer needed them less and less.

Let me start the business lesson where we never did in the past for photographers. We need to start running our business based on the customer/audience.

Nikon D100, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM,, ISO 200, ƒ/22, 1/160

What is the customer’s problem?

The best possible customer for you is the one going through a major crisis. You can be the super hero and help save their business. You can see plainly their problem and you have a solution that will not only fix the problem but also help them be more successful.

The reality is that this is your only kind of a customer. If they have no problem needing to be fixed with your services they do not need you. Businesses don’t spend money on things that will not help them reach their objective. At least we know they cannot afford to do that very often without going out of business.

Next you need to figure out how much it costs you to provide that solution to the client.

You see if you don’t know the problems you are solving for a business you cannot figure out what you need to be doing in the first place.

[Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 36000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000]

Do the math

Now this math you are going to do has two parts. You have what we call ongoing expenses, which you must spread over all your jobs. This is not just what money you need to pay your home budget needs, but also your business budget. This includes your gear, your costs to find out about customers and costs to communicate to them about your solutions. Remember you have to do all this because they may not hire you and you still have to pay for it somehow.

This cost of doing business is then spread out over all your jobs through a year. Maybe that figure is about $600 per the average job you must build into the price.

Next you must do your math again and add up all the expenses to do the specific job to solve this client’s problem.

You add these together and this is what you must make to stay in business.

How you arrived at this price or what this figure is should never be discussed with the client. This is for you only.

Now if you have a client for example in a ditch with their car in the middle of no where and you have a tow truck and are there to help them you are in a great position, especially if they are in a hurry. This is when you can get a lot more money than had you been in a large city with many more options for the customer to choose from than just you.

Take the time to get to know your market and what prices are typically being charged for these services.

Determine your Target Audience

Now if the going rates are lower than your figure you need to charge you have a problem. You will need to somehow convince people that you are a better solution. That is possible because an oil change can run from $19.95 to $20,000 for a Bugatti Veyron.

Believe it or not there is a formula for true luxury and it is called the Intrinsic Value Dependency Index. Now I am not an expert in this, but in general a product must be of the best quality and in the process creates a space in the market of it’s own. It is important that this item be rare as well. True luxury comes with over the top service as well.

When you get a $20,000 oil change they are doing a lot more than you driving into a bay and stay in the car while they change your oil. They are offering your wine, Champaign or a wonderful latte. Good chance they even picked up your car from your home and brought it back to you at your convenience.

Once you know your figures that you need to charge and you know the market place and have decided where you want to be in that market you not only set your price you create a marketing plan to execute.

You have a website, portfolio, brochures, business cards and other materials you will use to help showcase your work, which is a solution for the customers problem.

Going back to the side of the road with our customer in distress you give them your sales pitch. I am here to help you. I can have my limo driver come and pick you up and take you to where you need to be next and while that is happening I can get your car out of the ditch and take this to the repair shop of your choosing. If you don’t have a repair shop you prefer I have a few that I use regularly that will work with your insurance and get you back up and running.

They love it and ask you how much. You give them the price and they gladly pay. Your limo driver picks them up and offers them some beverages and takes them to their appointment.

Your business is grounded as every other business–you solve other people’s problems. The key is much more than the cost of doing business, copyright or having the latest camera gear. Knowing your client first and foremost is the key.

Photography/Video/Multimedia is the tool to solving problems for customers. Those who are the most successful are not waiting by the phone like a plumber getting a call because a toilet overflowed. The most successful are like Steve Jobs creating products to solve the problems for clients that they didn’t even know they had until they saw the solution.

Summary:

  1. Start with the problem of the client
  2. Come up with a solution to that problem
  3. Know all the costs involved in providing that solution
  4. Create the sales pitch that addresses their problem with your solution and how the outcome will look if they use your services.
  5. Create a price that will cover your costs and help position your services within the market place. Hopefully one that is a luxury and not a commodity.

The secret to successful business is one that is focused on solving clients problems.

Favorite 4th of July Photos

Nikon D100, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 200, ƒ/8, 19 seconds [Emerald Isle, NC 2004]

I just wanted to share a few of my 4th of July photos through the years. I hope you enjoy them and also go out and make some photos for you to cherish through the years.

Settings and gear are below the images.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 15-30mm, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 19 seconds [The Fourth of July Fireworks over Lake Mohawk on July 3, 2005 in Sparta, New Jersey.]

Nikon D2X, Sigma 15-30mm, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 40 seconds [The Fourth of July Fireworks over Lake Mohawk on July 3, 2005 in Sparta, New Jersey.]
Nikon D3, 24-120mm VR, ISO 100, ƒ/16, 14 seconds [The Fourth of July Fireworks over Panama City, Florida, July 4, 2008]
Nikon D3, 24-120mm VR, ISO 100, ƒ/16, 11 seconds [The Fourth of July Fireworks over Panama City, Florida, July 4, 2008]


Tripod and Cable Release

I recommend using a tripod and a cable release.  This will keep the camera as still as possible during a long exposure.

This is the Nikon MC-30 that I have used for years on different Nikon Cameras.


Camera Settings

  • Manual
  • White Balance – Daylight
  • ISO 100
  • ƒ/8
  • Bulb Shutter-speed and keep open for two bursts of fireworks using cable release
My exposures were from 6 seconds to about 12 seconds on average. I typically might shoot 75 to 100 photos and only really like about 10 of those shots.

Photography is about anticipating

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 800, ƒ/5.6, 8.6 sec.

I posted this photo on Facebook last night and a friend said “I love this photo it really looks a post card. What are the settings you used?”

This makes me want to say Patience Young Grasshopper. If you are not old enough in the 1970s was a TV show Kung Fu. Here is the scene that I loved:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGblsNXkJog]
You need patience to make the photo I made. Often when people travel they see a beautiful scene and take a photo, few will return to the spot to take it at a better moment.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm ISO 200, ƒ/22, 1/10

While I love this photo just as much as the night time photo, I like it for different reasons. It has a different mood about the photo.

I also took this photo later in the week while in Kona, Hawaii.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/5

What I realized was if I could just wait and capture a car driving down the hill I could have their headlights light up the road and the red tail lights add just a little color.

I tried the photo with cars coming up the hill, but felt the headlights were too bright. Maybe you like this better. Here is one of those photos.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 800, ƒ/5.6, 7 sec.

To take the photo I put the camera on a tripod and then timed how long it was taking cars to go down the hill.  I wanted between a 6 to 10 second exposure to have the lights move enough through the scene. I played with the ISO, ƒ-stop until I found something that worked to give me about 7 to 8 second exposures.

The other thing is that this need to be done at dusk and not too late or the sky would be black.

The lesson here can apply to all of photography. You need to find a good composition and then wait for the action to develop. You are anticipating what will happen.

Nikon D100, Sigma 15-35mm, ISO 400, ƒ/6.7, 1/180

I arrived early for a basketball game to put a camera behind the backboard and to put 4 strobes in the ceiling to light the basketball court. I then had to wait for what I had anticipated would happen in the game.

Ansel Adams called this pre-visualization. For me I have seen many scenes before and now I would plan to capture them.

What will you photograph today that will require you to arrive early and wait?