Entries Tagged as 'D7000'

Missing from the EXIF: Electric Melbourne

Electric Melbourne

Wow, I finally got the lightning shot I’ve been hunting.  By finally, I mean after 5 years of owning a Digital SLR.

This of shot of course was not without a bucket load of luck.  Luck in the form of the following, lightning at the right time, not raining at the time, not windy at the time, the #wolfcatcubs down and asleep, and that is just for starters.

Taken at my favourite location at the end of North Road, I was chasing a certain storm cell I had seen on radar 30 min before. A cell that hit Ballart hard with hail and severe winds causing a lot of damage as well.

Setting up in my fav location, phone in hand with WeatherzonePro+hooked up to my Weatherzone Pro account I could track the storm cells and lightning as well.  The first batch of photos were shots chasing the cell which passed near Geelong.  Whilst I managed to get a few strikes on camera they just weren’t that “photogenic“.

Checking the radar told me to wait a bit longer, whilst a few drops of rain had fallen, I knew it wasn’t going to rain hard for a while yet.

I repositioned the camera to focus on a potential cell over the city.  Whilst visible on radar, it wasn’t to the naked eye. I had the intervalometer mode enabled on the D7000, shooting an 8second exposure every 9 seconds.  At which point a lot of luck came into play.  A lightning strike lasts for less than a second, so I had the camera shooting for exposures which would have been to dark for ordinary use, but to compensate for the bright flash that lightning would produce.

I had joked with some people at the location, what I was after was a couple of bolts dropping just over the CBD, for that magic shot.  My joke came true. As you can see in the radar capture from the time, my location was in a hook in the rain, even more luck.

I took over 100 shots that night at one location.  But this shot is a one shot wonder, all of these strikes are as you see in one shot.  Often people merge multiple lightning strikes into one image, this is an in camera image, which is how I prefer to shoot.

The corrections in lightroom were a small crop, lens correction and a slight push to black levels, nothing more. Whilst I could have corrected the white balance, the blue cast adds to the image in my opinion.

I hope you enjoy this shot as much as I did.

Please support my camera habit by buying this image by click on it below.

The EXIF Info:

Camera Nikon D7000
Exposure 8seconds
Aperture f/7.1
Focal Length 18 mm
ISO Speed 200
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash Off, Did not fire
Software AdobePhotoshopLightroom4.2 (Windows)
Date and Time (Modified) 2012:11:30 22:55:20
Exposure Program Manual
Focal Length (35mm format) 27 mm
Lens Model 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
GPS Latitude 37 deg 53′ 53.81″ S
GPS Longitude 144 deg 59′ 5.63″ E
GPS Altitude Ref Above Sea Level
GPS Altitude 16 m
GPS Satellites 10




Vale Peter Giafis – A true Gentleman and a Mentor

It was very sad to learn late last night that Peter Giafis had passed away.  Peter was an institution in the ABC at Southbank Melbourne, always with one of his Nikon’s over his shoulder.

For my last few years at ABC Southbank Peter was someone I looked up to ( and not just because he was tall ), but for his help, guidance and amazing knowledge of photography.  Knowledge that he shared so willingly with all those that asked. I am a better photographer than I could have ever been thanks to his guidance and support.

His curiosity about cameras and photography helped shaped my photography is many ways.  His quiet nature in taking “the” shot and how he blended into the background is a skill I struggle to master. His use of light and subject have lead to many photos that recorded history in not just the ABC, but around Australia.

Lighting at SouthbankI will always have fond memories of chasing lightning photos with Peter on the roof of the Southbank building, discussing the latest in Nikon gear and which lens to use for which purpose. Sharing what I had shot with him over the weekend to see what I could improve on.

Big lensHis generosity even lent to him bring his prize 600mm F4 lens to work so we could test if the D90 really could run any lens. Which the camera passed in flying colours of course. Even with the Bigma lens, my camera still misses the beauty that was the 600mm lens.

In 2010 it was amazing to be a finalist in the  2010 Getty Images Grab competition along side Peter,  ( Finalists Flickr Link ) and whilst neither of us won, to be shortlisted along side Peter gave me a major confidence boost.

Oh look nikon-itis' shootingAfter I left Aunty I still ran into Peter at a number of events that he was photographing.  I had the pleasure of a whole day with him at the Point Cook airshow early this year. The last time I saw Peter was a discussion just before the Moomba fireworks on the best place to shoot them.

Of course he got the one shot that I missed that day at Point Cook, that killer shot of luck and the real photographers eye, but I still have the daytime lightning shot that he missed.
Mustang & Moon

Peter was a true gentleman in every meaning of the word.  The world of photography suffered a loss this week.

My deepest sympathy to those the knew him and to his partner  condolences to his partner Effie Katrakazos.

Vale Peter.


(The photos are in order: ABC photo of Peter, daytime lightning taken at ABC Southbank Vic, Peter’s photo of me with his 600mm lens, Peter at Point Cook this year, and Peters shot of a Mustang with the Moon from Point Cook )



Missing from the EXIF: Dawn

Between a rushed trip to NZ to deal with issues arising from Grandparents moving into a home, to working 5 jobs. Well 1 day job and looking after the #wolfcatcubs and being really crook for the last week, the poor blog has been somewhat lacking in updates.

So here is a quick one, looking at one of the shots from the #wolfcatnz trip.

This was Dawn over Golden Bay. I am also more impressed that I was even up that early given the large percentage of a bottle of Bushmill’s Black Bush that my Grandfather and I manged to drink the night before.

Given my lack of predilection to being up at this hour, the shot was taken in Auto No Flash Mode.

The following are the screen shots for the “Developing” I did in Lightroom 3.6.

This was about 5 min of work in total.

( Each of these images opens in a new window to Flickr, where you can view the full size screen grab )

As with most of my photography, I’d like to give a big shout out to the location for making the shot possible.

Stage 1 – The Raw File
Lightroom Edits - Dawn Stage 1

Stage 2
– Auto Tone ( can be handy to see what needs to be corrected, although I find it tends to over expose to my taste )

Lightroom Edits - Dawn Stage 2

Stage 3 – Lens Correction.  Having these built in saves so much time.  In this case, it was for my good old Sigma 18-200mm.

Lightroom Edits - Dawn Stage 3

Stage 4 – Camera Profile – Vivid.  To bring out the richness of the tones I was looking for in the image. ( ah shooting Raw I do love thee )

Lightroom Edits - Dawn Stage 4

Stage 5 – Clarity/Saturation/Vibrance – Tweeks to make the image sing that little bit more.

Lightroom Edits - Dawn Stage 5

Stage 6 – The all important crop.  Bring the image down to where I wanted it.  Not so top heavy for starters.

Lightroom Edits - Dawn Stage 6

Stage 7
– Graduated Filter. With the sun quite high in the sky and focal points being on the shadowed hills, the sky was a touch over blown.  ( and while yes a set of Grad Filters is on my to buy list, I don’t have them yet. )

Lightroom Edits - Dawn Stage 7

Stage 8 – I often refer to this stage as the … oh didn’t see that till I uploaded it to Flickr Stage.  In this case, Stage 8 involved a small correction to the crop angle and I removed one spot of reflection from a building.  When looking at the image large, the sun hotspot reflection draws your eye in the wrong direction.

Lightroom Edits - Dawn Stage 8

I hope you are as happy with the final image as I am.  Five min in lightroom can be well worth your time.

And the EXIF Data.

Camera Nikon D7000
Exposure 0.001 sec (1/1000)
Aperture f/6.0
Focal Length 155 mm
ISO Speed 560
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Software Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.6 (Windows)
Exposure Program Auto No Flash
Date and Time (Original) 2012:03:23 06:06:38
Date and Time (Digitized) 2012:03:23 06:06:38
Max Aperture Value 5.9
Subject Distance 4294967295 m
Lens Info 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3
GPS Version ID
GPS Latitude 40 deg 48′ 34.12″ S
GPS Longitude 172 deg 47′ 26.59″ E
GPS Altitude Ref Above Sea Level
GPS Altitude 34 m
GPS Time Stamp 19:06:37
GPS Satellites 11
Creator Tool Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.6 (Windows)
Metadata Date 2012:03:27 21:58:40+11:00
Lens 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-6.3
History Parameters converted from image/x-nikon-nef to image/jpeg, saved to new location

And of course… Here is what the Framed version looks like if you were to buy it via RedBubble ( go on click it…. 🙂 🙂 )

1000mm Focal Length Test Shots – Kenko 2x Teleplus Pro 300 DGX and a Sigma 150-500mm.

So I ended up choosing to get a Kenko 2x Teleplus Pro 300 DGX for my latest camera toy.

A few quick impressions.  Yes the Sigma 150-500mm will try and auto-focus with this converter…. but and it is a big one.. it won’t be very successful.  In bright light you can get focus but it requires a tripod and a lot of luck at the long end of the range.  So you are better off switching to manual focus.  In fully auto mode I found the d7000 tended to over compensate for the F stop which pushed out to f13 at 500mm, and so the ISO jumps to 1600.  So, once again push to manual. Even my Nikkor 18-105mm does autofocus with this teleconverter.

It is going to take me a while to get the hang of this new teleconverter, but first impressions they say are the ones that count.  My impressions are nice.  Yes images aren’t as sharp, there are issues with focus.  But the EXIF data is all correct, the Kenko works with my Sigma perfectly.

Part of the major issue with focus is that most of my lenses don’t hard stop at infinity.  Which means looking through the view finder to get the image as sharp as possible. Quiet hard to do when a mm movement will reduce sharpness dramatically.

And if you have ANY dust devils on your sensor… you will notice them straight away.  I am going to have to get the D7000 cleaned before the Point Cook Airshow, at f13 the shots are full of dust.

So here are two moon shots the settings in camera and are copied from one shot to the other in lightroom3 so are identical. These are the uncropped versions, click on the images for the bigger versions on Flickr. ( But I did do a dust clean up on them )

The Moon at 500mm
The Moon - 500mm Test Shot


The Moon at 1000mm
The Moon - 1000mm Test Shot

The Set up:

Nikon D7000 with Sigma 150-500mm and Kenko 2x converter


( See also 11mm to 1000mm a slideshow showing shots from one location zooming in on the complete focal range I have access to. )

This shot is from 8.5km away…

And people say Twitter is helpful….

People say that Twitter is great for getting help….

well I posted this

“help twitter… mrs wolfcat is holding my new 2xteleconverter ransom … she won’t release it until more chores are done”

below are the replies…

( The names have been deleted to protect the innocent )

Female: one is free to throw oneself on ones own sword, [howls with laughter :0))]
Male: if she breaks the teleconverter, you’ll have to buy a new, high-res D4 / D800 and crop 🙂
Male: 2 options comply or dare, comply you’re done. Dare she’ll break everything you care about until you’re done are we clear yet?
Female: Well do the chores then! #UsGirlsStickTogether
Female: no mercy, dude, no mercy
you’re on your own mate :/
Female: well then, you’d better hurry up and finish up those chores…
Male: Definitely by the short and curlies 😉
Male:  We have a policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

To be honest the not “not negotiating with terrorists” is about the most useful…

anyway I must get on and back to my chores…  review of the teleconverter will have to wait.


Update – the next morning…

I was finally told the secret hiding location… in typical Mrs Wolfcat fashion it was in plain sight all along..


Yes... the lens can get bigger...

… Next step the D800…..

FAB the #wolfcatcubs are go…

The Wolfcatcubs in their Jolly Jumper’s

Happiness is a Jolly JumperThis pic is Erin in her Jolly Jumper.  I must say I am a big fan of the Jolly Jumpers, it also helps that the Cubs are as well. The one tip I would give anyway is always put a rug underneath the child.  If it isn’t vomit from bouncing there will be litres of drool that soak into the floor.

The advantage of twins is that you can put them both in the jumpers they do amuse each other.  This gives parents 30 min or so to run around and get some chores done. An added bonus it that they are still where you left them and at the same time wears them out (ready for  a nap) like nothing else yet.

Oh yeah and they are cute too boot as well.


What should be my next camera toy?

Finally getting some more money from all those kind folks that have purchased stuff from my Redbubble Account.

Due to the Wolfcatcubs currently (and for the next 30+ years I think) Redbubble is the only money that I have to spend on new toys for the camera. ( Hint hint hint )  Of course in the last few days I have no offers on my $5999 print, so no new d4 for me, but I will have about $400 to spend in the next few weeks.

With so many toys I still NEED, I thought I would put out my list of possibles and see what others think.

I could get one of the following… to go with a Nikon 90 and D7000

  • AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G
  • Cokin U960 Z-Pro Graduated Neutral Density Kit
  • or either the 1.4 or 2x Teleconverter for my Sigma 150-500mm

of course I’d like all of these… but you can’t have it all can you.

Perhaps there is something else in the ballpark that I really should get?

Thoughts below please…


update: brought a Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 2x Converter.


This Photo is worth $USD5̶9̶9̶9̶ RRP ( Now $USD 3300 RRP ) – Update -2 NOW $2,100

Now, regular followers of mine on Twitter and this blog know that I am a keen amateur photographer.

But that is not to say I will just give away my work.

In light of a number of recent posts people have done about “free” photography and the real cost of getting some of these shots, I have done some thinking around commercial use of my photography. I have decided in no way related to the announcement last week of the Nikon D4 that the shot below is worth USD $5999 RRP. (for the autographed version ( Limited edition of 1 ))

—  Update —

In NO way related to the announcement of the Nikon D800e today… none what so ever… I have decided that this image is on sale at USD $3300


—  Update  2 —

Well well, what would you know… I still haven’t sold it, but in no way related to the just announced Nikon D600 Full Frame DSLR I have now decided that this image is worth$2100.  A bargin if ever there was one. Think of me as one of those closing down rug stores.



Monstering Melbourne

I could tell you about how much the camera cost, the lens, the tripod, the fuel for the car to get to the location, the time and planning to get the shot, the years of waiting for just the right moment, the software and computer equipment to process the shot.

I could point out how this has a lot more going for it that a shot of a field ( even if that shot is 3meters across ) and is dramatically cheaper.

I could say how people want to just use my shot and give me credit for it in the hope that it gives me more publicity…

I could just tell you about the new Nikon D4 and how cool that camera sounds.

( Excuse me whilst I wipe drool up from my keyboard )

Completely unrelated to the last statement I promise….. this shot is now worth the same as the Nikon D4….

and all the details on when and how this shot was taken are in my Missing from the EXIF blog post

or you can buy it Redbubble but that version is unsigned…

The $5999 $3300 $2100 version will be signed. Perhaps it is my signature that is worth the most money after all.




ok.. really the just confirmed D600 is best suited to my style of photography…  24megapixel FX with 10megapixel DX for my DX lenses…  drool…..

Just think what I could do….


My Top 10 Images that I took in 2011

These are my top 10 images from 2011.  Some are shots that are for sale, others are stories and events.

I’d like to thank all those that encourage my photography over the last 12 months from those that purchased prints, to the countless who RT’d my tweets and left comments here and on Flickr.  And thanks for putting up with all the #wolfcatcubs photos as well.

Hopefully next year I will be able to get out some more… but I doubt it.



In reverse order of date taken.

Now that is a bolt of lightning
Now that is a bolt of lightning
Finally got a nice clear bolt of lightning… now if only I had a clear view of the sky…..

Monstering Melbourne
Monstering Melbourne
Over 20,000 views makes this my most popular image on flickr.

and all the details on when and how this shot was taken are in my Missing from the EXIF blog post

And for sale at Redbubble


This has a Japanese feel to it for me. Shot from the End of North Road, at 500mm.

And for sale at Redbubble


Something about this shot sings to me. The simplicity, the story and the power.

And for sale at Redbubble


Mum and Zara
Mum and Zara
Choosing one shot of the #wolfcatcubs was hard, this one for me says it all.


Red and White – Moomba Fireworks
Red and White - Moomba Fireworks
The first time I actually went to Moomba.

And for sale at Redbubble


The Belly of The Beast
The Belly of The Beast
After a number of trips to Avalon, I finally got lucky. Not only did I have the right gear, (Nikon D7000 + Sigma 150-500mm Lens) but I got to see this aircraft fly.


Contemplating the day that was
Contemplating the day that was
One of the first shots taken with my Sigma 150-500mm. A lens that 12 months later I am still in love with.

Step by Step, showing the Lightroom processing for the the shot here

And for sale at Redbubble


Keep your Cool
Keep your Cool ( B&W Version )
(from one of the only out of the city photo trips I did all year)

And for sale at Redbubble


The long shot… North Road Jetty #nyemelb
Midnight Fireworks in Melbourne #nyemelb

Details and Background about this shot here

And for sale at Redbubble



Missing from the EXIF: Monstering Melbourne

Must say it is nice to have 10 min to myself to finally update the blog with a non Wolfcatcubs related photo and Behind the Exif Blog Post.

So this is the story of this image…

Monstering Melbourne

I’ll break down the day as it happened as was planned.  Now Melbourne is not known for its tropical storms.  This is both good and bad for me.  Good as I hate humidity and the last few days in Melbourne have been torture, but very bad for taking storm photos. The BOM had been saying for a few days that big storms were due.  So the night before involved checking all the gear, making sure the camera was charged, the Solmeta GPS was charged and the cards were emptied.  Nothing worse than a rare storm event and not having something right 🙂

The above radar image shows the time I left home. I’d been watching the weather all day and had a rough idea on when it was due, seeing this cell and its track meant I knew it would miss me, but it would provide some good shots.

Lucky for me, there was a second cell on the radar.  The second cell was the one that I would get my shot from.  The first cell did provide some nice outflow clouds and I saw a few lightning bolts, but nothing on camera.

There were a number of people down at my fav location.  The trusty End of North Road location.  The advantage of heading here was that I knew how to look at the radar on my HTC Incredible S in comparison to my location which told me to stay longer than the first cell passing as well.

So with all the gear set up, I was ready for the storm.  The second radar image is approx when the shot was taken.

And thus here is the gear as the storm moved in.
The setup for "monstering Melbourne"

It was also the first time I got to test out my new tripod the Manfrotto MT294A3 290 with 804RC2 Head.  Must say it worked a treat even in the strong outflow winds.  (Look at the strap on the camera)

The shot is taken on manual mode to address the issue of the balance from the dark side of the image under the cloud with the bright side of the sun coming through.

Post processing consisted on a small lens correction and crop, with a touch of a graduated filter to address the slightly over exposed right side of the image.

As the storm got closer I timed the run back to the car with about 1/2 second to spare. Whilst the D7000 is listed as water resistant, the Tokina 11-16mm and the Solmeta GPS Pro aren’t. Further given the solid wall of rain that was coming sideways, I’m sure the D7000 would not have coped.

So days of planning went into this shot, and oh yeah mother nature help as well 🙂

This shot is now my most popular on flickr for favs and comments…  so thanks to all of your for the comments.


And of course you can buy this image as well ( just think Xmas is coming 🙂  )


And the EXIF Data

Camera Nikon D7000
Exposure 0.013 sec (1/80)
Aperture f/7.1
Focal Length 11 mm
ISO Speed 200
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash Off, Did not fire
Software Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.5 (Windows)
Exposure Program Manual
Date and Time (Original) 2011:11:09 18:42:47
Exposure Mode Manual
White Balance Auto
Digital Zoom Ratio 1
Focal Length In35mm Format 16 mm
Scene Capture Type Standard
GPS Latitude 37 deg 53′ 54.02″ S
GPS Longitude 144 deg 59′ 4.71″ E
GPS Altitude Ref Above Sea Level
GPS Altitude 10 m
GPS Time Stamp 07:42:44
GPS Satellites 10