– an eclectic blog

First Serious Outing with the New Nikon

July 10th, 2011 by kimly

For its first real workout, I took the camera to Italy from June 23 – July 2, 2011 and dragged it over four major cities (Rome, Florence, Siena and Lucca), the Chianti country-side and a horticulture museum/farm. About the biggest thing I learned was that although a UV filter may defuse some off colors due to bright sunlight, when shooting into the sun, reflection is a major issue. I ended up with several pretty good shots marred by colored dots.

ponte vecchio
Ponte Vecchio – Firenze
Duomo – Firenze
duomo & bell tower
Duomo & Bell Tower – Firenze

A new feature of this camera (for me anyway) is the ability for the photographer to select a specific color in the frame and have the camera create the shot with the rest of the image in grayscale. Below are some of my experiments with the feature. I didn’t find the selection method to be intuitive. The instructions were necessary. I especially like how the camera picks up the color specified in locations not necessarily anticipated – like in the last picture of the rose, the red tinting of the leaves.

flowers - full color
Full Color
flowers - pink only
Pink Only
bush - red only
Red Only
Temple of Saturn - full color
Full Color
Temple of Saturn - blue only
Blue Only
rose - red only
Red Only

We went to Siena on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. That evening the first of three days of trial races were being held for il Palio being run on Saturday. Il Palio is a centuries old horse race around the main piazza (or square) in the town. We managed a rail position and I set the camera on continuous and just fired. The shots below are the horses coming out of the first turn at the start of the race.

il palio il palio il palio
il palio il palio il palio

Finally, I took a couple series of shots to make panoramas. I tried stitching them together first with Serif PanoramaPlus Starter Edition – was less than thrilled with the results so I tried the panorama feature in Windows Live Photo Gallery. I am usually the last one to sing the praises of Microsoft, but it did a wonderful job – see the results below. No tweaking, no settings, just select the photos (these were 3 each) and presto. The Nikon 5100 does not have a panorama assist feature, but that doesn’t seem to be a limitation as long as there are landmarks to judge the next shot by.

[I’ll post a couple panoramas of Inner Harbor in Baltimore made with 4 shots in a bit.]

tuscany 1
Tuscany from the Villa
tuscany 2
Tuscany from the Villa
tuscany 3
Tuscany from the Villa
tuscan panorama
Completed Panorama
cropped panorama
Cropped Panorama
sting's 1
Countryside from the top terrace at Sting’s
sting's 2
Countryside from the top terrace at Sting’s
sting's 3
Countryside from the top terrace at Sting’s
sting's panorama
Completed, Cropped, Panorama

Posted in Photos, Review

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