Enjoy the Process

The featured image is one I recently took of a friend’s car. It has just over 5,000 miles and only thing this had done to it (before I got my hands on it Smiling Face With Horns on Apple iOS 10.2) was a muffler delete kit. It’s rare and pleasing to find such an unmodified, clean Mustang these days.

Car guy drooling aside, I got ready my camera and circled the car like a shark, getting close to it, then far away, then tilting my frame, then laying on the floor, climbing the stairs, and finally, feeling that I had satisfied my desire to take photos. I love this process, it forces me to bring out a creative side which I otherwise don’t utilize, and I learn something every time.

However, I was not impressed with myself when I went to edit these photos. I opened up the SD card folder and scanned through them, displeased with the settings I had chosen for the occasion. I took them in a garage, which only had fluorescent ceiling lights in the front portion – the car was in the back.  I went with f/1.8 (the lowest f stop my lens had to offer) and compromised at 1/60 shutter speed, because I wasn’t using a tripod, but didn’t have much light to work with. And, the overhead lights gave me lovely reflections to work with (sarcasm).

Alas, I went on to choosing my favorites of the photos. I have this process where I scan through every photo I’ve taken, put the ones I liked a lot in a separate folder, then scan through them to weed out similar angles and lesser quality ones. I’m not sure if this is a normal photographer thing, but it’s what I do. I began to play with the highlights and shadows to get rid of the horrid glare produced by the lights. I sharpened the image and increased the clarity to really define the features of the car. I adjusted the white balance until the color really popped like it does when standing in front of the car. Forgetting that I had ever been disappointed with them, I happily went on editing.

Still, these pictures did not come out how I’d hoped, for any number of reasons. I overdid it with the vignette and should have used a tripod. But I never thought about it while taking the pictures or editing them. This brought about a small revelation to me, and that’s the point of this post. The process of taking pictures and editing them is incredibly enjoyable and stress-relieving for me, even when the end results are not what I’ve hoped for.

The rest of the photos of this car can be seen under the Photo Projects section of my site. Feel free to critique them further. Grabber Blue 2014 Mustang GT

My new lens – Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

I recently purchased a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 to capture wider-angle images. I had been shooting mostly with my 50mm, which is a great lens, but you can’t capture quite as much with it as you want in certain situations. The kit lens was so inferior to my 50 at that point that I needed an upgrade.

Here are a few examples; these were taken without a tripod on my D3200. I know they’re not photos of the alps at sunrise, but it gives you an idea of the kind of quality this lens is capable of using fairly fast settings without a tripod, and on a DX frame.

 

Also, if you’re looking to get into Astrophotography, this is a fantastic lens for it. A good friend of mine take stunning pictures of the night sky using this lens on his D7100. You can see some of his images here -> Rajeet Kashikar.

The only drawback is that it does produce some grainy shots – you can probably see that in the photos above. For lower light scenarios, where you can use a tripod, slow settings, and a low ISO, you’re golden. But at just over $400, there is no close comparison