Puerto Rico – Part 1

It all started with my flight from Denver to Atlanta, where only about 10 passengers in total boarded the plane. It was an early flight, but a very pleasant one, since I got to sit where I wanted and really enjoyed the flight in a very quiet environment. After arriving to the busiest airport in the world, I thought things would change, but they didn’t – only quarter of the plane to San Juan was occupied, which was once again very nice.

San Juan through clouds

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/1600, f/5.6

After the plane landed, I headed off to a shuttle that drove us from San Juan to El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, which took about an hour.

The resort looked beautiful and once I got off the bus, I took a picture of a fountain that was sitting right outside the main entrance to the lobby. I really wanted to test the sharpness of the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G, so I took a few shots at different apertures. This one was taken at f/8.0 and I highly recommend seeing the full version here (6.6 Mb).


NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 800, 1/25, f/8.0

Damn this lens, it is just too good of a lens when it comes to sharpness and colors. I screwed up a little by shooting at 1/25th of a second, which is why the tree leaves on the left look blurry.

Anyway, right after the check-in process, I left my luggage in the room and went out to take a couple of pictures before dinner. Captured the pools with the 24mm from the stairs:


NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/640, f/2.8

Then a statue of a boy with a bird:

Boy Statue

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/800, f/4.0

Another swimming pool:

Swimming Pool

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/200, f/8.0

Outside deck:


NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/400, f/8.0


NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/400, f/8.0

And some flowers:


NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 800, 1/50, f/4.0

After the dinner reception, I headed out to the bay area to take some nighttime shots of the resort:

El Conquistador at Night

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 10/1, f/8.0

Nothing interesting here, but I still went ahead and posted the picture to show the wonderful star-shaped lights the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G produces. The lens is definitely a night photographer’s dream!

Palomino Island #1

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 1600, 1/13, f/4.0

The Palomino Island that is located close to the resort has some stunning views. Unfortunately, we arrived there after sunset and there was not much to photograph.

Palomino Island #2

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 1600, 1/60, f/2.0

How dark was it? The yellow color on the tree and sand is lamp light coming from the left side…

Palomino Island #3

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 3200, 1/8, f/2.0

All three of the above images were shot with the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens, hand-held. As you can see, it works very well for these types of shots.

I did not get a chance to photograph people, but managed to get this shot of a man making cigars:

Making Cigars

NIKON D700 @ 24mm, ISO 800, 1/160, f/1.8

The next two days were horrible in terms of weather, because it was rainy and windy. Waking up for sunrise was useless, because the clouds filled up the sky and did not let a single sun ray through. After seeing this through the balcony window, I would just go back to sleep in frustration. At times the sky cleared up temporarily and I would immediately grab the camera to capture more images like this one:

Bay Area at Sunset

NIKON D700 @ 14mm, ISO 800, 1/1250, f/2.8

The above image was shot with the legendary Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G – another stellar, super-sharp Nikon lens, which I used a lot during the last day of the trip while visiting Old San Juan.

I also used the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II + 1.7x TC to see how the combo performs for birding and macro. I was pleasantly surprised to see the results (more info here), although focusing was a little slower than what I am used to. I know, I am spoiled :) Here is a quick shot of flowers with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G + TC-17e II:

More Flowers

NIKON D700 @ 340mm, ISO 1400, 1/1250, f/6.3

Nothing interesting to post from the next two days due to bad weather, so Part II will be all about Old San Juan and the large fort the Spanish built to defend against British and Dutch armies.


  1. 1) Игонин Алексей
    May 11, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Красиво. На фото с Palomino Island ББ выставлен в автомате или ручную? Или раскрашивали в шопе? Интересные цвета. Очень красиво. Спасибо.

    • May 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      White Balance был авто, я чуточку поменял в Lightroom и экспортировал. Фотошопом красить не умею :)


  2. 2) Dennis
    May 12, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Peaceful island. I quite like that place from your photos.
    What are those 3 hand-held night shots shutter speed that you used? At a higher ISO to get a fairly faster shutter? I often try to do hand-held if I can, I thought is a good practice.


    • May 12, 2010 at 10:40 am

      Dennis, the shutter speeds varied between 1/8th of a second to 1/60th of a second. Shooting 1/8th of a second at 24mm can be quite difficult, but I used a good hand-holding technique and I was able to capture the image with no blur. And yes, I did shoot at higher ISO (1600) to be able to get a faster shutter speed…

      • 2.1.1) Dennis
        May 13, 2010 at 6:04 am

        Nasim, thanks for sharing. I haven’t able to take a steady image at 1/8. Hopefully practice will make perfect. Thanks.

  3. 3) Arlan
    June 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Hello Nasim, heven’t seen you for a long time.
    I haven’t visited your site for a long time. I really wanted to do that meny times before. Nasim, I have a question: “Why did you deleted your profile in pixland?”. I am sorry, if it’s anything wrong in my comment, it’s more simoly me to write in Russian, but after reading your article i decidet to write in english.

    • June 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      Arlan, yeah, I have been busy with so many things that I have not had a chance to post much on the website :)

      You can definitely write in Russian, I will respond to you in Russian as well. In terms of Pixland, I left because I was wasting too much time there. It was too damn addictive :)

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