Search for  20/2.8  found 4 posts
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Nov 26, 2013, Tuesday
Sea Lion Caves    28-200 20/2.8 Vancouver Isl  
Nov 26, 2013, Tuesday
Apr 22, 2018, Sunday
Verticals and horizontals    HDR Real estate Checklist 20/2.8  
Apr 22, 2018, Sunday
Apr 24, 2018, Tuesday
Residence for sale    HDR Real estate 20/2.8  
Apr 24, 2018, Tuesday
May 8, 2018, Tuesday
May 8, 2018, Tuesday

Sea Lion Caves

November 26, 2013   28-200, 20/2.8, Vancouver Isl

Yesterday I hiked the sea lion caves trail, which leads to a community of large, fleshy, and boisterous beasts on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.

The hike takes about two hours each way and briefly shares space with the Juan de Fuca Trail. The sea lions trail head is south of Port Renfrew, near the bridge over Jack Elliot creek. The first third of the hike is an easy walk on a fire road but the rest is a challenging scramble over and around and under a gnarly and slippery mass of roots and limbs. Following a narrow spine that falls away sharply on both sides, the path is not for the faint of heart. But as one approaches the coast, the call of the sea lions beckon. While listening to this odd soundtrack, the barely-a-path becomes a slip and slide down a long slope to the rock shore, assisted only by a worn rope with an occasional knot. Gloves are recommended for the belay down, and then the back up on return. 

I traveled light, taking only a 20/2.8d and the almost-as-small 28-200g for the D800E. The 28-200 hasn't been out since being on a Nikon D70 in Peru in 2005. I've kept the 28-200 as a candidate travel lens, though its quality and ergonomics - the plastic mount and the short-throw between extreme focal lengths - pale in comparison to my other lenses. The 70-300, with its longer reach and VR, would have served better for capturing the sunning sea lions and the swimming silver-backed seals, but the 28-200 served me well. 

Vancouver Island shoreline      
Sea lions      
Hikers, Sea Lions cave trail      
Vancouver Island shore

Verticals and horizontals

A checklist for photographing interiors
April 22, 2018   HDR, Real estate, Checklist, 20/2.8
Last week I came home with a set of real-estate photos and found I'd overlooked a camera setting. Damn. The next day I re-shot them and I started this checklist for photographing interiors.

The challenge with interiors is small spaces, uneven lighting, and windows. Since these scenes are static the answer, of course, is to use HDR. You can do hand held HDR but a tripod allows the slow shutter speeds necessary include things that are dark or poorly illuminated.


  • Dark clothing to minimize reflections
  • Wide-angle lens, the wider the better
  • Remote control, the camera's timer will work in a pinch
  • Tripod + L-bracket
  • Circular polarizer

Set up the camera:

  • Aperture priority
  • AE bracketing on, typically 5-shot brackets in intervals of 1
  • Auto ISO off. You're using a tripod, you aren't shooting movement, so you don't need auto iso which otherwise I totally depend on.
  • Set white balance
  • Attach polarizer
  • Aperture set for maximum depth of focus and sharpness, f/8 is good
  • File type depends on processor. Photomatix can process Nikon raw but cannot process Fuji nef.

Check the rooms:

  • Turn on all the lights
  • Look for reflections in mirrors, windows, cabinets
  • Look for anything out of place such as:
    • Clothes
    • Towels
    • Papers
    • Pillows
    • Wires, dishes, etc.

Back at the computer:

  1. Copy images to file-type-specific folder.
  2. Batch process with Photomatix after setting bracket number and output folder
  3. Bring results into Lightroom then develop as follows:
    • Fix verticals and horizontals
    • Sharpen
    • Adjust contrast, clarity, shadows, etc.
    • Crop

Photomatix processing speed depends on the computer, the files, and output type chosen. I tend to generate several outputs but usually I only keep those marked Enhanced. On this day I shot 34 scenes, each with a 5-shot bracket, which produced 170 files and Photomatix took 3 1/3 hours.

The last step for each HDR photo is a trip through Lightroom for sharpening, color adjustment, and to fix the verticals and horizontals. While you don't always have horizontal lines to fix vertical lines are really common, fixing them makes a big visual impact, and ot's ridiculously easy with a tool such as Lightroom.

This is also when I process the exterior shots, like stitching together several shots to create a panorama. Lightroom does well with panoramas.

The full set will appear in the next post.

And while I'm waiting I'm listening to Vasen's Mitt I Livet (In the middle of life).


I'm only partially happy with this picture. Even with a polarizer it has reflections in the window and the glass shelves. But it's good enough for my needs which is to show the interior with a view out the window to the Sooke basin and the Strait of Juan De Fuca in the distance.

Residence for sale

April 24, 2018   HDR, Real estate, 20/2.8

Here are the rest of the shots of the Harbourside residence for sale.


Stitching a panorama with ICE

May 8, 2018   Panorama, 20/2.8

I recently had five photos I needed to stitch, something I've done countless times, but Lightroom for some reason wouldn't stitch 'em. It'll do the right-most two, but no more. That's annoying.

But just in time I ran into Microsoft's free Image Composite Editor which effortlessly stitched all five. Plus, it offers additional stitching options and a more flexible workflow. I like this product.

Harbourside common house panorama