Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wreath Removal Houston National Cemetery

I made it. Getting out of the house is difficult. Getting out of the house before noon is almost impossible. Today was an exception. They were removing the wreaths at Houston National Cemetery today and I wanted to be there to take a few photographs and I made it.

I wanted to be there for two reasons. First I had spent two days photographing the laying of the wreaths by Wreaths Across American and I wanted these photographs to complete the story. Secondly, I have been invited to photograph a clay pigeon shoot at the end of the month where the proceeds go to Homes for Veterans. I’m not much of an “events” photographer and I didn’t improve much today but I had an idea that I wanted to try out.

Regardless of what lens I have on the camera it is never the correct focal length for what I want and events don’t leave a lot of time for changing lenses. When I was shooting the D200 my go to lens, even though I had others, was the 18-200mm zoom. It is not Nikon’s best glass but it was more than adequate. I miss that versatility. So I came up with this brilliant idea for events photography—use the 18-200mm on the D700. Yeah, I know you said, “Duh!” It is not exactly a, Duh. The 18-200mm is an APS sensor lens and will not cover the full frame on the D700. However, the D700 does have a DX crop built in so that you can use DX lenses without getting vignetting. The catch is pixels. When I was using the 18-200mm on the D200 I was getting 10mp images. When I crop the DX out of the full frame on the D700 I am reduced to 5mp.

I concluded that if any of the photographs are used they are going to be below 8”x10” anyway and a 5mp capture on the D700 translates to around (without cropping) a 6”x9” image. I seriously doubt that any of the photographs would need to exceed that because most would be used on the Web where there is no problem at all with 5mp or in pamphlets where the photographs would be printed very small. So my thinking is, “Why not?” I wanted to give this a try at the wreath cleanup. I doubt that any of these photographs would ever be used for anything and I would be able to give my theory a work out. I am posting this before I have seen more than a half dozen of the photographs but at this point I would say the plan is viable.

BTW: For the purists in the crowd, these were shot on full automatic. Yes, automatic focus and and the dasterdly Program Mode. They are both SOOC except for lightening the woman's face on the top photo. Sure, I could have shot on Manual, wasted all the technology of the camera, and probably got the same thing, but why? Could someone explain why other than ego inflation? If there's anything I don't need it is ego inflation, would just soar away faster than a weather balloon.

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