Thursday, May 21, 2009

On the rekindling of my love affair with the Nikkor 35mm f/2

I bought my Nikkor 35mm f/2 back in my Nikon D50 (a "DX" or crop-sensored DSLR) days and even when I upgraded to the Nikon D200 (also a DX sensor) I just never liked the quality of the images it produced. I can't explain exactly what it was, it just didn't do anything for me. I later bought a DX-sensored Sigma 30mm f/1.4, which is just the bees knees...focuses fast, is sharp and is a great all-around "normal" focal length on those APS-C sensored DX cameras.

Ever since upgrading to a Nikon D700, which is an "FX" or full-frame (35mm) sensored DSLR, the Nikor 35mm f/2 has been a star player! Again, I can't put my finger on what it is about the quality of this lens but, much like the Sigma sang on a DX camera, the 35mm f/2 is singing loud and pretty-like on an FX camera.

Plus McKenna makes it ever so easy to love this lens.




What's your favorite lens?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How I Lit It: vSpring Capital's Dr. Dinesh Patel

Dinesh Patel

Dr. Dinesh Patel
Managing Director, vSpring Capital
Winner of the 2009 Utah Genius Award

Salt Lake City, UT
Nikon D700
Nikkor 35mm f/2

This is an outtake from an assignment for Utah CEO Magazine but I thought it would make for a good example for my "How I Lit It" series.

These executive portraits are normally short on time as the executives have understandably busy schedules. The last few executives I've photographed had only about 15-20 minutes available for shooting and I've learned both from experience and from pros like David X. Tejada that arriving early (up to an hour if possible) to scout, set up lights and test is highly beneficial. In this case I had about 30-34 mins to find two locations and test lighting them using a mix of available light and my three Nikon Speedlights.

In the above outtake I used a stand-mounted Nikon SB-800 as my key light, which was immediately camera right, shooting through a 43" white shoot-through umbrella and was gelled 1/2 CTO to warm it up a touch to match the ambient color temperature (a mix of diffuse daylight and artificial lights). For a hairlight/rimlight I used a stand-mounted Nikon SB-600 that was positioned camera left and behind Dr. Patel, shooting through a homemade 2" gridded snoot and also gelled 1/2 CTO. Both Speedlights were fired via the Nikon D700's popup flash using Nikon CLS (Creative Lighting System).

Here's a diagram of the lighting setup:


Speedlights are perfect for situations like these. They're light, require no cabling for power or triggering and are quick to setup/takedown - all positives when shooting on-the-go. With Nikon's CLS controlling them it's easy to either dial in manual power adjustments via the camera or just use TTL (through-the-lens) metering to let the camera control all exposures.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My first print ad

I recently created my own print ad for a regional magazine for which I've done a lot of photography, namely Wasatch Woman Magazine based here in Salt Lake City, UT. It was difficult to narrow down my focus to one theme but in the ended I decided to advertise one of my favorite subjects, maternity and newborn photography.

Calanan Photography Maternity Ad

Based on the recommendations of Wasatch Woman's graphic designer, StephAnn Knotts, I decided to keep the layout relatively clean and simple and I opted to run three of my favorite maternity/newborn photos in black-and-white on a black background. My logo was created by a friend and talented graphic designer, Andrew Lager.

What are your thoughts on the ad? What would you have done differently?

Here are larger versions of the three images, all were taken of a single (fantastic) family, Brandon and Nicki Fuller and their gorgeous baby, Quinn.

Here's Nicki the evening before she gave birth to Quinn - she actually went into labor later that evening/early the next morning!


Proud Dad Brandon holding Quinn

Brandon and M

All the posing we did that day tuckered Quinn out


Friday, May 8, 2009

David X Tejada: Buffalo Central Terminal Small Strobes, Big Results

News flash for my photog friends back in Buffalo, NY:

Photographer David X Tejada will be coming to Buffalo on 28 June to give a Small Strobes, Big Results Workshop at the Buffalo Central Terminal.

From his most recent blog post:

It's official! The June 28th Small Strobes, Big Results workshops has been granted permission to shoot inside the historic Buffalo Central Terminal Train Station. I am very excited about this particular workshop, what a fantastic location to shoot in!

His course teaches you how to effectively and creatively use small strobes, like Nikon Speedlights...from the SSBR site:

You'll learn how to:

• control and modify the quality of light produced from a typical shoe mounted flash;
• properly use umbrellas, soft boxes, snoots, grids, silks and bounce techniques;
• use a single strobe combined with existing light as well as more complicated multiple light set-ups

I've no affiliation with David, just an admirer of his work and follower of his blog, to which the announcement was just posted.


- mike

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The indefatigable Mike Terry

The indefatigable Mike Terry
Salt Lake City, UT
Nikon D700
Sigma 30mm f/1.4

Manray and I bumped into Mike while while walking Kerby, thankfully I had the camera with me!

Mike's a fantastic photojournalist, he shoots for Salt Lake's Deseret News and posts much of his work on his blog, what it all looks like. Mike is also on Twitter @MiguelitoTerry (& I'm @calanan).

Check out his work, I guarantee you'll be amazed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jeepers, creamers...take two

Ol' Blue eyes
Ol' Blue Eyes
Denver, CO
Nikon D700
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

My wife, Renee is the latest participant in my Creamer Eyes Flickr Group, a group featuring portraits of folks using creamers as spectacles. :)

The group was kicked off with a portrait of our cousin, Jeff:

Jeepers, creamers...

And was recently updated with a portrait from a past This Is Their Place participant, Sarah Nielson.

Country Creamer Eyes

Join the fun and add your own Creamer Eyes portrait to the Flickr Group Pool!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

When in Denver...

. .

Colorado Blvd and Mississippi
Denver, CO

Nikon D700
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

[Part of my "Drive-By Shootings" street photography series]