Messing With the Camera When I Shoulda Been Fishin’

Well, I have returned from this year’s ice fishing trip in one piece.  I actually returned last Sunday but have not had a chance to sit down and write anything for the blog since then.  The trip was a great success if you consider coming back non-frostbitten and not-drowned a success.  If you think that actually catching fish is a prerequisite for success then, it wasn’t successful.  Regardless of your impressions of a successful fishing trip, we had a great time and bonded well well for 2 days.  There was a lot of deer, moose, beans and beverages consumed and there were a lot of laughs.


The Nikon 50mm 1:1.4

I spent some time messing with my camera, a Nikon D70.  I was trying to use an old lens that my father had given me.   Mike had suggested it would be a great portrait lens and I remember my father taking some pretty impressive shots with it. It is fantastic glass and takes great, sharp shots if you can get your subject in focus.  The problem with mounting it on my D70 is that it is not autofocus and manual focus is a bit tough because of the lack of the old-style split focus view that you got in the traditional SLRs.  This was especially evident in some of the shots that I took in low light with no flash and with an aperture of f1.4.  While it collects all sorts of light and makes for a great shot when in focus, the depth of field is very limited resulting in a lot of soft focus or even totally out of focus shots.  Not a problem with someone posing for a shot who is patient and has time to wait for you to focus.  It is a bit of a problem for someone who has had a few beers and is trying to take ‘candid’ shots of his buddies and they can’t understand why you are taking so many shots of them drinking beer and chatting.

Anyway, it did capture some nice shots and it is worth trying some more with it.  Otherwise, I may need to pay the 300 dollars for the autofocus version or settle with a 1.8 version of the lens for about a third of the price.

Here are a couple of shots from the weekend.

Bobby poses nicely for the camera
The guys share some drinks and laughs. You can see the shallow DoF here
Dave ‘waits’ for the fish. Doug and Dave fishing

Below is a slide show of some of the better shots.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

On the first night there I was able to catch a bit of video of these deer having a snack at Don’s snack bar next to the main cottage.

I’m beginning to really enjoy editing video and making little movies.  I made this one in Windows Movie Maker and am starting to see some of the limitations of it but it still seems pretty good for the basics.  I have just downloaded the trial version of Vegas Movie Studio 9 and will need to try my hand at that in the next couple of days/weeks before the 30 day trial expires.  It appears to have a lot of bells and whistles that may confuse things but I’m pretty sure that I can learn it fairly quickly.  Now I just need to shoot some real content.  Time to write a short script I think.


5 comments on “Messing With the Camera When I Shoulda Been Fishin’

  1. Hey Doug, really great stuff. I enjoyed seeing all the boys (sorry – men) having a good time. Just glad it is at a different cottage. Bobby looks great, has he thought about being in a movie? He has a great face. The deer obviously are plentiful, I could not help but see how much they look like donkies! (Are they stand-ins with white tails attached?) Truly good work.

  2. Great post! (You’re lucky, we’ve been waiting a while).

    Truly multimedia; I think the only thing missing was interpretive dance. I’d love to see “the landing of the pickerel” as visualized, interpreted, choreographed and performed by Bobby D.

    Being not drowned and not frostbitten = WIN.

  3. I believe there was an interpretive dance that I was unable to capture appropriately on camera. I believe it involved some firewood, a snowy porch and a move that looked a lot like a slip and fall; followed by a LOT of laughing.

  4. Since I’ve been wearing glasses for a quarter century now, and am prone to shooting the manual-focus lenses wide-open for simple ease of focus, I quite like the shallow-DOF look: it jives nicely with my view of the world.

    I still have yet to hit upon the right recipe for successful portraiture; roughly 3-4 feet away to allow for interaction with the subject (none of this your-features-need-flattening-with-a-telephoto stuff), sufficient depth of field to allow for at least both eyes in focus, and critically, a remote control — being the guy they’re talking to while the camera takes pictures on its own is different than being the guy behind the camera, no matter how unobtrusive the camera may be — it forms a sort of mental barrier between subject and photographer, I think, unless the subject is so used to the camera that there’s no affectation.

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