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Awesome photos, Alex! Love that hair flip! Nice car too, though I personally want to try a Tesla more than anything Razz
Thanks! So many of the hair flips didn't turn out; I had to prefocus before she put her head down and then hoped she was in the same spot at the end or along the way. Posture could have been a lot better too but that's all for next time. And there will be a next time. I'm hoping to visit again in Spring but it may be earlier.

We did some pirouette shots with the skirt but none of those are in focus. She either moved from the focal point or I had it set a little forward. I also think part of it has to do with the very wide aperture, I kept it at f/1.4 and I probably would have been fine at f/2.8. I wish there were other color flowers; yellow is great but I think it's a tad much with the yellow skirt and flowers. So I'm hoping Spring will be better. If I visit earlier, we'll definitely do snow and winter shots.

At the end of the trip we walked away with awesome memories, great shots, ideas to try, and ways to improve for next time.

More on the gear. A 135mm or a 200mm wasn't the only thing I was left wanting after this; I want a camera body with a faster SD card slot and a faster FPS rate. My camera has like a 4.5fps and a 7 photo buffer. It also doesn't record the photos very fast, I think the camera body can only write at SDHC speeds.

So, a new camera body that can shoot faster FPS and either has dual SD card slots OR can write at SDXC speeds is an eventual buy. The 5D Mark IV checks a lot of those boxes. I wish I had 1D X Mark II money, that 14fps is godly, but I'll never really need that sort of speed as I'm not a sports photographer. It's also the sports car of the camera world, if you can't afford the car you sure as hell can't afford to service it. The memory cards for the 1D X Mark II are up in the $200 range. So... yeah...

I do have a 1D Mark II though, hardly use it as it's got an 8MP sensor and I can never figure out how to charge the batteries. Sad You gotta plug them in then press a button on the charger, but if they charge too long then the charger starts to uncharge them or something. It's confusing and I just never put in time to figure it out. It's probably really simple but it's nothing like a traditional battery where it just starts charging automatically.
I recently created an Instagram account to share some of the nicer photos I took, and am currently in the process of reviewing, choosing, and editing older shots.

This one I made in the summer of 2017 and apparently had not watched my composition, so the paddlers ended up somewhere close to the edge and the background weather phenomena were cut off. Fortunately I took multiple shots from the same position with similar settings and all of them were framed differently, so I had some material to work with. I managed to stitch the images together into something more passable:


I might make a topic describing various Photoshop techniques I use (probably all of which will in principle apply to GIMP and similar software), including the one for stitching as used here, if anyone is interested.
Looks great, Nik! What kind of camera was that shot on?
Just followed you!

And that is a very smart way to get more room around the paddlers. I've only done that once and it was with a photo of a hawk in a tree. Nice shot and I'm looking forward to more!
Michael2_3B wrote:
Looks great, Nik! What kind of camera was that shot on?
My trusty Sony DSC HX400V! Smile It is a bridge camera with a non-changeable zoom lens and I think a 20 MP sensor. I like it as an all-rounder which serves me for anything from sunsets and portraits to astrophotography, though the latter is a bit problematic. Wink A major downside it has is the noise you can see even at the lowest ISO settings (visible if you zoom in on the image I posted, for example). As far as I know there is no way around that, it is probably due to the quality of the sensor and one of the places where Sony has cut the costs.

Alex wrote:
I've only done that once
I have only recently tried to stitch two images together for the first time myself. It involved scanning a printed photo which would not fit into the scanner. The idea was to make two photos of different halves and mate them together digitally. I learned that aligning two images is rather simple in Photoshop, you just put them into different layers, set the upper one at half transparency and align and rotate as needed via the transform tool. If the white balance, exposure or something else is off, it can be matched manually. To finally stitch the layers together, simply erasing the boundary region with a soft brush eliminates any remaining visible edges. I have done this a few times since then and it seems to work quickly and easily once you get the hang of it - obviously it is best if the framing is good right out of the camera, but this does provide an option to save or improve an image in some cases.
  
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