Thursday, March 4, 2010

Odds and Ends

 Pileated Woodpecker
Nikon 300mm F4 AF-S, ISO200, 1/500s @F8

Not doing a lot again this week, from a photographic standpoint, but there are a few things that I want to comment on. Today's photo is of the Pileated Woodpecker that I photographed, and mentioned in this Monday's post. This bird was extremely hard to photograph, since it was very shy, and would fly off at the first sign of a person approaching. Since I was working with a 300mm lens on a crop sensor body, that meant I had to be very careful in how I approached the bird. Walking in zig zag patters, rather than in a straight line, and being extremely quiet, were requirements to say the least. The latter, walking quietly was tough, considering the path I was on was covered in loose gravel. In all I was able to take just over 60 images, of which only a few were up to the standard I would accept as being good. If I'd had more time to think about settings, I would have bumped up the flash power by half a stop or more, but I didn't so I got what I got.

Software Updates, and Camera Straps 

In other news, Apple released Pro Kit update 5.1 today, which addresses some issues with Apple Pro software, including Aperture. One of the areas that this update is supposed to address is the memory leak that Apple's Pro apps are suffering from. After a few quick test I found little to no performance gains in Aperture 3, while others are reporting a significant performance gain. I may try removing all Aperture related files and reinstalling the software from scratch, just to make sure there is nothing left of Aperture 2 on my system to cause conflicts.

Although we do not often think about the strap on our cameras, the straps can make a difference in how we handle our cameras, and how our body feels about lugging them around with us. I bring this up because I bought myself a new camera hand strap last week. I often find the neck strap on my D300 (not the one that came with the camera) gets in the way when I am trying to shoot vertically. Most of the time that is not a problem, but when I am trying to shoot vertically with the grip on the D300, the strap will continually swing towards the back of the camera and block the viewfinder, annoying to say the least! So far the hand strap is a big improvement, but I'll have to do some field testing before I make a final decision  on the matter.