Ryan Pendleton

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St. Louis Storm - How To

Published June 30th, 2011

If I go too long without taking and posting a decent photo, it's all I think about. Last June this was the case when I heard of an incoming storm. As soon as I got off work I ran home and grabbed my camera bag and headed downtown (St. Louis) to the arch grounds to wait for the storm.

I took some sample shots while I was waiting and got my positioning/framing established. Then, just waited. Finally the clouds began rolling in and I set things up for the final photo.

I positioned my D700 on my tripod, on the steps of the arch so that only half of it was in frame. In this instance, the independent action of the tripod legs really helped to position my camera on the steps both safely and effectively. I set the exposure to 25 seconds @ f/22 to maximize both my chances of catching a lightning strike and in order to maximize my depth of field. My ISO was set to 200 to minimize noise. I used a Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens and a remote trigger to fire the camera from where I was standing approximat ...

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Lit - How To

Published June 29th, 2011

I had a vision of myself standing outside, in the snow or rain with my coat on, lighting a cigarette. It was a shot I wanted to try for awhile but I was tired of waiting for the snow and/or rain so I set up my gear inside and did it this way:

Tripod-mounted D700 with Nikon 24-70 2.8 lens. I set the ISO to 200 to minimize noise, as I knew much of the photo was going to be black or very dark. I had my aperture set at f/11 in order to have sharpness throughout the photo and my shutter speed (after several test shots) turned out to be 1/50th of a second for optimal results.

I stood in the dark with a cigarette in my mouth and an SB-600 unit in my hands, turned down to 1/3rd power so as to not overpower my face. This needed to resemble a lighter so I covered the front of the SB unit with a 'Full-Cut' CTO gel which gave it the orange glow. Also in my hand was my remote trigger which fired the camera...

I'll eventually try this in the snow or rain but, for now, this will hold me over...

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Light Reading - How To

Published June 28th, 2011

Tripod Mounted D700

Nikon 50mm 1.8 Lens

2 Second Exposure @ f/8

SB-600 in Umbrella, triggered with D700

Flash in TTL Mode with -0.7 EV

Self Portrait

For this shot I set my D700 up inside the house, facing outward. I placed my Nikon SB-600 unit up inside the metal frame of a photographic umbrella.

I asked my wife to stand-in on a mark while I locked down the focus. After focusing on her face, I changed the camera to manual focus mode. From that point forward, as long as I stood on my mark, I was good-to-go with regard to focus.

The flash was set to TTL with a negative EV dialed in as to not overpower the shot with blown areas, and I began with the camera set to about 1/125th of a second. This produced some nice shots but the rain was frozen as round droplets and it didn't give the desired effect. So, I began to slow the shutter down to draw out the droplets into streaks as you see here.

Now, the flash is what freezes the action in this instance, and not the shutter. You might think ...

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