I did not grow up with “Nature-Deficit Disorder”, as Richard Louv puts it. Thankfully, I grew up exploring the outdoors, climbing trees and rocks, going camping, and eventually going on more arduous adventures to extremely remote places. Continue reading
Author Archives: matthewsaville
Since acquiring one of the most amazing compact super-zoom digital cameras ever, the Sony RX10 mk2, I have been earnestly testing Sony’s USB power input. All of of the newer (mk2) A7-series mirrorless full-frame bodies, for example, can run off a 5V power bank using a USB cable. (Previously, the Sony USB port could only charge a battery while the camera was off, apparently.)
My goal is to see just how ready (if at all) mirrorless cameras are for all-night astro-landscape timelapse shooting.
Ugh, I can’t believe this is still making headlines. And now March 1st is just a few days away. But I think the news reports, and the social media hype, are all extremely short on details, and heavy on conclusion and bandwagon-jumping. So, is it justified?
The Whole History of Yosemite VS DNC
Let’s go back all the way. Curry Village for example, was officially named in 1970. So DNC did not give it its name, that’s for darn sure. According to Wikipedia, the concession contract was granted/purchased by DNC back in 1993, for $115M in today’s dollars. (Does anybody care to do the inflation math in reverse?) This sale did include some sort of “intellectual property” however you’ll have to get back to me if the specific word “trademark” is anywhere in that original sale.. (I don’t know if the “intellectual property” was itemized in the sale, either.) Continue reading
Testing out some new blog sharpening algorithms, and some night exposures with the Sony RX10 mk2. It appears that although I’m displaying the original size images, WordPress is in fact changing the fine detail ever-so-slightly. Bummer. Might have to go back to uploading to SmugMug, and hotlinking the image URL.
Enjoying the Sony RX10 II for night photography. Considering it’s a bit noisy at all ISO’s, 30 sec exposures at ISO 100 feel about the same as ISO 400-800 exposures on my D750, which gives a natural grain look to night shots. I’m actually adding a bit of “silver rich” grain. Continue reading
There are fewer and fewer things that I get very excited about these days, as far as photography equipment goes. We’re pretty close to having the “ultimate” camera bodies, the “ultimate” lenses, and amazing other tools for the astro-landscape work that I am passionate about. I could use cameras and gear from this current generation for the rest of my life, and be quite happy. Continue reading
I’m always on a quest for ultra-lightweight, simple, and affordable equipment.
That’s one of the main reasons why, despite owning two full-frame cameras and a handful of lenses, I still frequently reach for my crop-sensor Nikon D5300 and Tokina 11-16mm for creating both still images and timelapse footage.
I obsess over weight for reasons other than just being a sissy, by the way. (Although that may be one of the reasons.) I obsess over weight because the lighter the gear, the easier it is to bring two or three cameras into the wilderness! (Watch this video if you haven’t already)
I obsess over price for reasons other than just being cheap-o, too. (Although, again, that could be one of the reasons…) Mostly, I like affordable gear because it makes me a little more willing to take a risk I might not be willing to take if $5,000 is at stake. (Either by destruction, theft, or confiscation by authorities… ;-) Continue reading
The sunset on February 27th was nice, but not as epic as it could have been considering how much dramatic weather was swirling around. And just after sunset, it started snowing moderately fiercely. The Forester (stock road tires) actually slid around a bit for the very first time! (Well, on paved roads. Getting to White Pocket a year ago was a whole different ballgame!)
The next morning, waking before sunrise, it was completely dark, grey, and still lightly snowing outside.
It was also nice and warm in bed.
Get up and go, the little voice said. (Also, my wife Joy said…) Bad weather is awesome. YUP, it sure is! Continue reading
For those of you who are gear heads and weight weenies, …enjoy!
Why do I complain about wanting more lightweight camera gear?
I didn’t realize just how much I sound like a whiney kid until I watched this clip later, so my apologies lol. Maybe I am indeed a sissy for not being able to lug THREE D810’s or 5D mk3’s up a hill, mounted to multiple 14-24’s or 24-70’s or other 2.8 full-frame DSLR zooms. Also, just maybe, …next time I should count my blessings and and enjoy watching the sunrise while my camera does its thing… ;-) Continue reading
In short, I’m a bit torn- in many ways, this is my dream lens. It’s light, small, and doesn’t cost $2,000. (I’m looking at you, 14-24!!!!) Oh, and those sunstars!!!! Continue reading
After watching Frans Lanting and Tom Mangelsen on Creative Live in late 2014, I didn’t think it could get any better. Frans Lanting’s closing presentation was mind-blowing and truly inspiring, and Tom Mangelsen’s personal dedication to conservation had me in tears once or twice. Continue reading
In October, not much happened in the way of astro-landscapes, or any types of adventures or landscape photography at all for that matter. Other than one of the most notable events in any astro-landscape photographers story book, an essentially perfect lunar eclipse. Continue reading
The Canon 7D mk2 can do over 3 hrs of continuous timelapse exposures (at 30 sec exposures) on a single freshly charged battery. Not bad!
I’m currently testing the Nikon D750 and will post again when I know more about its battery life, but based on white paper comparisons between the D750 and the D610 and D810, things are looking good!
It’s official, I pulled the trigger on a Nikon “downgrade”. I went from a D800e to a D750. Continue reading
I’ve been watching as the reviews start to come in for this exciting new lens from Nikon. So far, the results are extremely promising! Consensus being: this lens is highly optimized for astro-landscape work, as it ought to be, with very low vignetting and almost zero coma, the two things were almost every other lens falls flat on its face. The one thing remaining for me to determine is, how this lens handles field curvature at infinity (star) focus. Pretty much every lens ever made wider than 50mm has at least some issues with field curvature, either right out of the box or at least after a year or two of heavy use. Continue reading
Upon buying a mint D800e, of course the very first thing I did was timelapse it on my balcony. At average outdoor (warm) summer temps, (good for battery performance, not so good for exposures longer than 30 seconds due to christmas light noise) …I was able to pull off 99 1-minute exposures (11 minutes short of 2 hrs) with something like 15-20% of battery life to spare. Continue reading
Only the latest Nikon DSLRs currently have an extra exposure mode, listed as “–” on your cameras display. (My D800e does NOT, but the D810 does, for example…) Continue reading