There are two types of corporate photography – event photography and portrait photography. Event photography means taking pictures of employees and guests in corporate events such as conferences, birthday parties, Christmas parties, receptions and sales events. Corporate portrait photography means taking formal pictures of employees for websites, magazines and other various publications. In this article, I will provide some tips on how to photograph corporate events.
The latest generation of the 70-200mm lens is no exception – Nikon completely redesigned the lens, adding more “ED” (Extra-Low Dispersion) optical elements, making this lens sharper than the previous version. Nikon also added the new “N” (Nano Crystal Coating) to this lens, which is supposed to minimize ghosting and lens flare. Other new features include a brand new “VR II” vibration reduction system, which provides a four stop benefit over non-VR systems and a new “A/M” focus mode for auto-focus priority.
Nikon has just released an update to the superb Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lens, along with an update to the TC-20E teleconverter. The new lens is now called “AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II” and the TC is “Nikon AF-S TC-20E III“. Both are targeted for professional sports, nature and wildlife photographers that need the best of the class. The Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lenses have always been the sharpest lenses in Nikon’s arsenal – that’s why Nikon calls them the “pinnacle of image quality”. There is a big reason why the teleconverter was released together with the 300mm f/2.8 lens, because normally 2x teleconverters substantially degrade image quality on most lenses, but not this one. The 300mm line is known to work best with all teleconverters, including the 2x TC.
If you own a DSLR or a point and shoot with an optical zoom, I’m sure that every once in a while you see a beautiful moon and you think about taking a picture of it, especially when the moon is full and beautiful. There are other times when you spot a news announcement about a Lunar Eclipse and you think about capturing the moment, but do not know how to do it right. Or you want to capture the moon together with a foreground object such as a house or a lone tree, but the picture is not coming out right because the moon is much smaller and looks like a white blob. If you had any of these situations or simply want to find out how to take a picture of the moon with a digital camera, then this guide is for you.
Bird photography, especially wild bird photography can be quite challenging. There are many articles on the Internet that cover everything from “bird photography tips” to “the art of bird photography”, but I found that many of them are not detailed enough and do not contain as much information for an amateur bird photographer. After several years of photographing birds, I decided to write this “How to photograph birds” guide and include everything I know about taking good pictures of birds. Since most of the bird photography nowadays is done on digital, the instructions below would work great for digital cameras. If you are still shooting film, just skip the parts that do not apply to film (such as RAW format, etc). Parts of this article also apply to birding or bird watching, so if you like birds and just want to be able to approach and watch them closely, read the Locating Birds and Approaching Birds sections only.
Note: This guide will work for any DSLR camera, but since I am a Nikonian, I will only cover settings for Nikon DSLRs and provide detailed information on Nikon lenses that are best for bird photography. This guide could be used for any type of wildlife photography, but I will be concentrating on fast-moving birds and birds in flight, so if you are taking a picture of a fast-moving animal, feel free to use the same camera settings.
How to photograph birds or
A photographer’s step-by-step guide to bird photography
1) First things first – Your camera equipment
Unfortunately, camera gear is the most important part of wild bird photography. Forget about taking pictures of birds with a point and shoot or a DSLR with a wide angle lens, unless you are standing close and photographing ducks and geese that are not afraid of people. If you want to shoot wild birds, prepare yourself to invest in a fast DSLR camera and one or more telephoto lenses.
Nikon has just announced the new Nikon D300s, so I decided to post a quick comparison between the old Nikon D300 and the new Nikon D300s.
Basically, the new D300s is exactly the same camera as the D300 in terms of features, except for the following:
- D300s shoots HD movies at 720p resolution, 24 FPS with stereo audio. Maximum length is 5 minutes for 720p and 20 mins for lower video resolutions.
- D300s is slightly faster than the D300, shooting 7 FPS in Ch mode (Nikon D300 is 6 FPS). With MB-D10 battery pack, it will shoot 8 FPS.
- A new release mode “Q” (quiet shutter-release) is added to the dial right after Ch (continuous high speed).
- Dual card slots – the Nikon D300s features dual card slots to work with both CompactFlash and SD (SDHC-compliant) cards. Either card can be used as the primary card. Secondary card can be used for overflow or backup storage, or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images and images can be copied between cards.
- Active D-Lighting now has “Auto” and “Extra High” added. “Auto” is something expected, as both D700 and D90 have this mode. The “Extra High” is something new though.
- Nikon D300s is slightly heavier than the D300, adding 15 more grams of weight, weighing total 840g total.
- Nikon D300s has a dedicated “Lv” (LiveView) and “Info” buttons on the back of the camera.
- Nikon D300s has a virtual horizon now (D300 did not).
Along with the new Nikon D300s, Nikon released an entry-level Nikon D3000 (which replaces D60) and two updated lenses – Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 DX and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II. I really don’t care about the 18-200mm lens update, since I sold mine and I’d rather be shooting with quality primes instead, but the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II is definitely a worthy update that everyone has been waiting for. However, the 70-200mm price point left me scratching my head…$2,400 is too darn expensive! That’s $500 over what the current version of 70-200mm f/2.8 is selling for.
Is D300s worth the upgrade? If you already have a D300 and do not care about the video feature (which kind of sucks, since I was expecting full HD at 1080p), it is not worth the upgrade. The sensor of the new D300s is basically identical to the older D300. It is nice that the D300s has dual slots and faster frame rate, but it is nothing extraordinary.
If you are a birder, you have only two choices for Nikon – either the 300mm f/4.0 AF-S or an expensive/heavy professional lens such as the 600mm f/4.0 VR. All other semi-professional lenses by Nikon are not good enough/long enough for birding. The 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D VR is too slow to focus and a lot of people are frustrated with it because smaller birds are constantly on the move and won’t just sit there for you to take your time. I have been using this lens for almost two years now and have been very pleased with the results. I take it with me everywhere I go and have used it more than any other lens so far (my second most used lens is the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4). It is relatively light and I primarily use it handheld for shooting birds and other wildlife of Colorado.
This test shows focal length comparison on a 1.5 crop factor camera (all Nikon DX cameras) from 12mm to 500mm. All images were taken on Nikon D300 with ISO 200, f/10. The focal lengths are not 100% accurate because of different lens sizes and mounts (when short lenses such as the 50mm f/1.4 were used, the camera was mounted on the tripod, while zoom lenses had to be mounted via lens collars). The tripod was never moved (just slightly re-adjusted to focus on the top-left portion of the blue ornament). The 420 and 500mm shots are a little soft because of slight vibration and use of a teleconverter.
The shots were taken indoors because it was too cold outside :)