Taken with a Nikon D800e, Nikon 24-120mm lens, at around 35mm F5.6 iso 100 single exposure. This is one of the places I have driven by many times on the way to Woolum Ford on the Buffalo River. The home itself is in a total state of disrepair, but if you look closely at the front the woodwork there is most impressive. I would love to go up closer, but this is on private land. The weeds that have grown up around the front bothered me at first, but then after looking at the shot, I felt that they just added in. I love that fact that there are no power lines running to the building as they can be a pain to work with in post production. Someone spent a great deal of time on the decorative wood work on the front and most of it is still in place. One of the many old wonders in Arkansas.
Taken with a Nikon D800 Nikon 14-24 Lens at 20mm, F 7.1, 1/20th of sec exposure, ISO 200. Photograph developed from a single file. The view of Downtown Little Rock is a great place to catch a sunrise especially if you can find the Arkansas River still to allow for the best reflections. I made this trip with Todd Smith, another noted photographer in Little Rock. Todd and I were also very lucky to have a setting waning moon directly over the city. This when combined with the sunrise rise lighting the clouds in the background made for a wonder shot. Once again the Nikon D800 did not disappoint me in that I was able to work up this from a single raw file, something that would not have been possible in my days with Canon. In the distant background you can also see a flock of birds that were flying down river. What I liked the most about this shot is how the sun was just starting to rise and was only hitting the Regions and Stephens buildings. In the foreground is the Junction bridge and the Main street bridge is directly behind it. Since late December, Little Rock has been lighting all the bridges at night with a bright red light. Some of this light is responsible for the color on the water in the foreground.
Taken with a Nikon D800, Nikkor 14-24 lens, F 5.0, iso 400 for a 16 second exposure. One of the most favorite spots that my wife and I love to visit is the Lodge on Mt. Magazine. Since it reopened several years ago, it has become one of the most impressive spots in Arkansas. The Lodge is on the very top of the mountain and runs is situated in a north to south layout. You have a magnificent view to the south from the lodge and on a clear day you can easily see for 50 miles. In this shot I am looking due east. The moon was just past full and provided excellent illumination of the lodge and the night sky. You can also see Orion off to the right. The lodge has 60 rooms and there are also 13 cabins for rental. The cabins are 5 star and are well worth the rental. You can make reservations in advance for up to 1 year. Mt Magazine is the highest spot in Arkansas and in the Ozark Mountains and is the southern terminus for the Ozarks. The mountains you see when you look to the south are the Ouachita mountains.
10/24/13 Featured Arkansas Photography–Sunset from Cameron Bluff on Mt. Magazine (a camera perspective)
Taken with a Canon 6D, 15mm Fisheye, F5.6, iso 250, handheld, iso 250. I love to work various spots on Mt. Magazine for both sunrise and sunset scenes. Mt. Magazine is unique in that it’s the southern most part of the Ozark Mountains and also the tallest spot in Arkansas at over 2700 feet tall. There are literally hundreds of spots to find great vantage points for sunsets/sunrises and I am constantly looking for new ones. On this evening, there wasn’t too much to look for, just a bright orb of the sun, so I decided to try something different and add in one of my cameras which is a Nikon D800. The fisheye effect of the 15mm lens added to the effect. You can definitely see that there is a lot of time before the peak fall color hits this spot.
Taken with a Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24 lens @ 14mm, F 8, iso 100, exposure bracketed in 4 series. Petit Jean State Park (which was able to stay open throughout all of the stupid government shutdown) has some wonderful places for sunrise/sunset photography. The mountain has one long section that runs along the length of the Arkansas River and the eastern most end has a great view of the river as it turns due west towards the city of Morrellton. During certain times of the year, you can catch the sun where it will briefly (for about 5 minutes) totally illuminate the rocks below the summit. I have worked this spot hundreds of times over the year, but didn’t realize that this scene was possible until last December. You can also see on the large rock to the left what appears to be the profile of a face. On this day there was just a small amount of fog in the valley off in the distance and when the sun popped up over the horizon, the glow was amazing. I took this photograph with a Nikon D800 with 4 exposure brackets but due to the amazing dynamic range of the D800 at iso 100, I only ended up need 2.
Taken with a Nikon D800e, Nikkor 14-24 lens at 14mm F11, iso 100, for approximately 1/250th of a second. Mt. Magazine at 2,700 feet is the tallest spot in Arkansas, and what is so interesting is that it’s south of the Arkansas River, and much closer to the Ouachita Mountains than the rest of the Ozarks. I like to work around on Magazine as there are several great spots to get sunsets and sunrises. I am hoping to get back to this spot soon with the fall colors soon approaching, and since the Buffalo National River is still closed due to the ignorance in Washington, Magazine may be a haven since it’s a state park not Federal. I still find it sad that the ignorance of a few hundred congressmen and senators has closed all the National Parks and similar areas down. Back to the photo, it was a single shot from a Nikon D800e and I exposed for highlights, then pulled up the shadows later on in post. The Nikon D800 family of cameras have an amazing range of dynamic range in the iso 100 to 400 settings.
Taken with a Nikon D800e, Nion 24mm 1.4 lens @ F7.1 1/250 of a sec shutter speed, iso 200. On this day, the conditions were constantly changing. I had been up on top of Roark Bluff most of the morning, but a large mass of clouds rolled in and pretty much shut things down for the morning. I had gone back to my truck and I was figuring out where to head next when the clouds started to part. The blue sky came out and within 20 minutes all of the clouds were gone! I prefer to have some clouds in the sky when working with large masses of blue since the clouds will help break up the sky and allow for the use of a polarizer on a wide angle lens. If I had just been shooting a solid blue sky, even at 24mm, due to the angle of the sun I would of had the classic dark to light polarized effect that wide angle lenses can create. However on a day like this with muted sunlight, you really want to have a polarizer on since it will make the colors in the leaves really stand out. The polarizer also defeated any refection I was going to get on this shot but I felt it was a fair trade off.
Taken with a Canon 1ds mkII, Canon 70-300 lens, F11, iso 200, Composite shot taken as a manual exposure bracket. If you get a chance to visit this area you won’t be disappointed by what you find. Flatside is the 3rd in a series of pinnacles that I consider to be the gateway to the Ouachita mountains. In Pulaski County, you have Pinnacle Mountain, then just a bit east from Flatside, there is Northside Pinnacle. These are followed in turn by Flatside and then Forked Mountain. Forked mountain can easily be seen in the distance from the summit of Flatside. Forked Mt. is a considerably harder climb than Flatside but the view from it’s summit is worth the hike. I like to shoot to the west from the summit of Flatside after the sun has dropped below the horizon as you then can pick up the rolling hills out towards the west. I worked this shot up from 5 separate exposures in a classic exposure bracketed series, which was required back when I was shooting with the Canon 1ds series of cameras, now with Nikon’s newer cameras like the D800, I should be able to get the same shot with 2 or 3 frames max due to the extra dynamic range of the Nikon sensors. The trail runs up the back of Flatside mountain and right now there are several large trees down that make the hike take a bit longer. The trail is an easy 1/4 hike from where you park your car.
Click on any of the thumbnails for a larger view of the image.
Since I purchased my Nikon D800, I have added the new Nikon MB-D12 battery grip. I am planning to write a full review of the grip in use with the D800, but this is a quick view of the grip. The pictures show the grip installed on a Nikon D800, the various battery holders that come with the grip and the grip and an L bracket. Overall the grip is nice addition to the D800 and with it installed you gain quite a bit of extra run time by using either another Nikon battery or a series of 8 AA batteries. It’s a nice feature to be able to use AA batteries as if you are in the field/remote parts of the United States, you can almost always find somewhere to purchase AA batteries. Also if you used the energizer AA lithium AA batteries, you may be able to last for 3 to 4 days without having to change out the cells.
There now appear to be several clones available for this product costing hundreds of dollars less. You can find both of them along with the NIkon MB-D12 on Amazon.com The early reviews are that both the clone grips seem to have similar build quality to the Nikon MB-D12.
From my daily usage I have found that the MB-D12 adds a good deal of heft to the entire D800 camera when carried. The grip is rather wide at the bottom, considerable wider than the build in grip in the higher end Nikon D4. When you add a L bracket like the one from Really Right Stuff, the camera, Grip, AA batteries, and L bracket with a Nikon 14-24 lens mounted are close to around 5 lb. total weight. I have not yet tried the standard Nikon Lithium battery in the grip yet, but it will have a bit less weight than 8 AA Ni-Mh cells. I was able to use a Nikon D4 for a few days and the weight/heft of the D4 is much more manageable however at a much higher price point with considerably less pixels. The run time with both the internal Nikon Lithium battery and the batteries in the grip allows for a tremendous amount of shots and review of those shots. It also makes the use of live view in the field a bit more manageable since with only one battery installed live view seems to drain the camera pretty quickly.