Wednesday, June 3, 2009 (19/365)

Finally, a day captured by Bellatrix 🙂

Little text today, as the pictures dominate. I want to first share a picture that I actually took yesterday. This was the very first picture taken with Bella. It is of my son, and he was in his usual form:

This was taken fresh out of the box, no fresh charge on the battery, no settings changed, nothing. Later, I learned that this was shot on the default ISO, so the shutter speed was super slow (I think this was a handheld 1/10th second, but with the lens vibration reduction feature, it allows you to get away with getting a handheld shot under 1/60th sec). The focus isn’t great, but Braeden’s expression makes up for it!

The second round of photos was shot this morning at our Class of 2013 orientation, where the eighth graders from our feeder schools visited for a few hours to learn about all of the opportunities in their freshmen year. We had performances by several groups; I captured two pictures of our senior dance troup and our choir:

This first picture was taken at ISO 1600 to avoid using the flash. One of the benefits of having a lens with a 2.8 aperture is it lets in a lot of natural light, even in low-light situations. This was cropped out of a much larger picture with dancers on the right. Still a little out of focus from a low shutter speed, but the VR makes it a satisfactory shot.

I wish you could have seen how low-light the conditions were. Yet, this camera does an amazing job of working with existing light; combined with the ISO 1600 and the VR feature, I was able to get this shot from about 60 feet away.

Later in the day, after school, I met with a fellow writer at our local haunt, the Bean Hollow. Steve allowed me to take a few pictures of him working on his next novel. I like this one the best, I think, though I wish I would have recomposed the shot so that he didn’t have a coffee roaster coming out of his head…I cropped the photo to make it less noticeable, but still…. I was trying to avoid some blue plastic bins that behind his right shoulder. Must always be mindful of even the most natural of backgrounds when composing through the lens!

Later in the night, we proudly attended Holland’s induction ceremony into the National Junior Honor Society. It’s such a sacred ritual, in my mind, and I was a little frustrated that so many things weren’t polished. The microphone was never checked, and as a result there were a half-dozen speakers, including students, who had to project to the entire audience. The lighting was awful, there was no air conditioning running before the ceremony (although they turned something on in the beginning of the ceremony which made it even more challenging to hear the speakers), and one of the candles would not light because of a short wick. I know these are all little things, but for a ceremony so important (the principal even noted that it was one of the highlights of the year to hold such an honorable event), I expected that they would have taken care of these small issues that can really take away from an otherwise celebratory night.

Anyway, I took this picture of Holland as she was lighting her candle. I was maybe 75-90 feet away, working in extremely low light, but I refused to use the flash. Once again, I traded sharp focus for natural lighting. Anything artificial would have compromised the evening’s sacred beauty….

So proud of Holland…She has worked so hard all year. I am not a big fan of the “This Looks Good To Colleges” attitude when it comes to such accolades; however, I am glad that there are organizations like NJHS that recognize the efforts Holland and other students put into their studies and her community service every year.

Hope you enjoyed your day!

One thought on “Wednesday, June 3, 2009 (19/365)

  1. Beautiful shots! Can’t wait to see the camera. The low-light conditions was one of the things I loved about this camera.
    Re: the ceremony at Holland’s school. I heard similar complaints about an out of county graduation ceremony last week. I think most people don’t appreciate how well we do things in Howard county… if they could only see the way the rest of the world operates!

    Like

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