Sunday, February 13, 2011

WSSM 2011 Senior Frogs Party, A Different Valentines Day :)

For some strange reason it was a long shooting day yesterday, Valentines Day. (or should I say, Valentines day "Party" day)

Shooting a young band at three locations ... and on the way to the third location ... they (the Band) gets busted for a Safety Check violation. lol
Isn't it a little "cliche"  when a band drives around in a  "piece of $hit" car?
So, we arrive at the last location that "had" nice light at sunset.  I really wanted to shoot this natural light (the sun had dropped and the street lights was already on).

Well,  what is interesting about my last shot was ... I did it at iso6400 , handheld at 1/30, 80mm, f2.8  ... I had lighting (my portable strobist stuff), so I did not have to shoot Natural light/high ISO.  But, I had made up my mind I was going to do this all ambiant ... and here it is.
Only in LR , shot RAW  ... NO  Noise reduction at all  ... so any grain in the shot, is what is there on the D700 at iso6400.
What was nice is ... I probably would have "added" grain , after the shot  ... but instead ,  I did it with iso6400, no NR at all.

Here is the shot:

Here's the bust:
Note:  notice the officer "Texting"  while his partner is  checking the reg and papers :) ... "Seriously?", really?.     Wonder if he was checking out the bands Facebook page?    maybe he was Friend-ing them. :)

Here's a shot from that location  lol:
talking right at the spot of the bust ...

After this shoot.  It was on to a Party by WSSM (Women's Surf Style Magazine)  at Senor Frogs in Waikiki.
"Valentines Day" themed Party.
It's a tough job ... but, someone had to do it.  lol

* Now, imagine  the RAP song "Black and Yellow"  blasting from the speakers ... standing room only ... and then you got the feeling. :)

It was a long day ... and that party was going past 2am  ... but  FUN.
Like I said before,   It's a tough job,  and someone had to do it  :)

Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Friday, February 11, 2011

How to program a Button to do Handheld HDR, on a Nikon D700/D3

Nikon D700/D3, How to program a Button to do Handheld HDR

I am not sure why it was so hard to find some instructions on how to do this.
fyi I even emailed Nikon, and on there Service site they told me it could not be done (they probably did not understand what I wanted to do)

* FIRST,  I need to say ... basically all you are doing is assigning  BKT to the FUNC button.

Here is a short List of Menu changes to make it simple:

* b2) 1 step
* e6) Flash/speed
* e7)  MTR-Under-Over
* f6) Preview button press: BKT
   f6) Preview + command dials: BKT
*Set release to Ch
* Press INFO/Preview button and turn dial to 5F
* Set exposure in A mode  , I also like to set the ISO
* Focus
* Hold Release button down until it stops firing.

* If more than five shots are required, press the FUNC button to change 5 to 9.

NOW the LONG verson:
imho,  programs like  PS CS5 combined with LR v3.3 is making it easier to create HDR images.

So, now what you need is your camera (in my case a Nikon D700) to be able to fire off  at least three exposures ... EV0, EV-2, EV+2  ,  a Normal exposure, a 2 stop under , and a 2 stop over file.
and to do it as Quickly and easily as possible.  To eliminate as much movement while doing the shot.

The idea of doing it Handheld is to press one button and have it fire off the shots as quickly as possible.

Here's how it is done:

1)  what I like to do is make sure to set the ISO value ... and make sure at "that ISO value" the -2 EV shot is not tooo slow of a shutter and is something I can handhold. 

* I normally will use Aperture Priority and have the  "Shutter value"  change on the bracket.

So, selecting a ISO value is finding that balance of  Noise and Shutter handhold ability.

2)  Depending on how much time I have to set up the shot ...  might  lock my  AF so the AF point does not change.   but, most of the time I do not.  imho, it's easy enough to make sure my AF point is over a subject that is big enough and will not move. :)

OK,  now on setting up the D700/D3

3)  Set ... Menu - e5  Auto Bracketing set - AE only
Basically set up to bracket exposure

4)  Now to assign the Bracketing to the FUNC button ... on the D700 it would be the bottom button up front on the right.
Set .... Menu - f5   Assign FUNC. button - set "both" LINES * top FUNC. button press to BKT Bracketing burst  .... and the * bottom  FUNC. button + dials to BKT Auto bracketing

5)  I "also" like to set f1 change  to Both  ... with allows me to turn the shutter switch to the right to both turn on the LCD light and to show INFO on the LCD.
OR you can simply look at the top LCD.

6)  So, if you  look at the Top LCD , AND then press the   FUNC button .. you can roll the Back wheel to set How many Frames you will shoot on a Bracket (set to 5),  and use the Front wheel to set the  EV value (set to 1) , unfortunately Nikon only lets you  bracket at 1 stop increments.
To end up with at least one file at EV-2 and one file EV+2  ... you actually need 5 shots at 1 EV increments.

So, set the Bracket at 5 frames at 1 EV increments ... this will give you  "EV0" , EV-1 , "EV-2" , EV+1 , "EV+2"  ...   but, imho you need only the three files  EV0, EV-2, EV+2  (I delete the other two)

7)  this last step is not necessary ,  BUT if you "don't"  want to have to count off  5 shots , and have the camera STOP after 5 shots for you ... change the top/left dial to "S"  Single shot.

Even at this "S" Single Shot setting , the Nikon D700 will fire off 5 frames at the Highest Rate possible ... when you hold down the shutter.

side note:
Someone discovered that if you set the e5 Auto bracketing set to "flash only" , and then have the PopUP flash DOWN, you will fire them "even" faster , which is aprox.  6 frames per second , without a grip.  Yes, this is faster than the 5fps that the D700 is supposed to do "without" a grip.  Nice!   a FW bug that works in your favor.

NOW  ... if you followed me so far ...  :)

ALL you need to do now  ... when you are walking around  ... and want to fire off 5 frames Bracketed:

* Half press to lock your AF , press & hold the FUNC button  , then full shutter =  The D700 will then fire off 5 frames at full speed and stop , Bracketed.

Now how coool is that !

p.s. After you are DONE shooting HDR,  Don't forget to change back ... FUNC button 5 f (5 frames) to 0 ( zero frames )  on  BKT.
Press the FUNC button and Back Wheel  roll to 0.

What if you want to  HDR bracket properly on a Tripod.
Well,  you can add these functions ...  (I ADD it to the MY Menu so I can find it fast).

* d9  Exposure Delay mode  ...  which delays the shutter until 1 second after the mirror is raised.
(just remember to turn this OFF after your HDR shot on a tripod)
* Interval timer shooting  ... found on the shooting menu  ...   You can set this a 1 sec  ..  and 1x5 shots ( 1 set , 5 shots )  ...  so, it will basically fire after you take your hand off it.

Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light