It's now late September. My summer has flown by. I've got some updates for you guys about some new pieces of equipment I picked up over the summer that I've been having a great time with. In my last blog post, you guys may have read about my drone purchase and the fun I had shooting the transition from winter to spring with a view from above. Well, over the summer, I haven't given myself as much drone time as I would have liked, but that's because I finally purchased a full frame camera. I've been gushing over this camera, the Nikon D810, since the moment it arrived.
I ordered the camera on Amazon, used, from a private seller. When I got it, it had about 40,000 shutter actuations on it and it was purchased for less than half the retail value - quite a bargain from my perspective! It showed virtually no sign of physical use. The grips are still in great condition, the battery door and memory card door still operate properly, and most importantly, it takes beautiful images. Fortunately, I already had a full frame F mount lens, my trusty Tamron 70-200 f/2.8, so I spent a good bit of time shooting with that combo. I've done a senior photo session, photographed the beautiful Milky Way galaxy, and have had the honor of shooting four weddings this summer with this combination. This summer has given me some great opportunity to shoot a variety of subjects, but one thing that has caught my focus has been wildlife.
Since my capture of the young deer in the forest during the springtime, I've been fortunate enough to purchase a dedicated wildlife lens to continue my interest in wildlife photography in true form. On many occasions, I've awoken hours before sunrise to get to a location to photograph animals that I could find around the Jordan River and elsewhere in the Charlevoix County area. I've put together some images below to show off what the Tamron 150-600mm. can do for me. These aren't extraordinary; some sandhill cranes, a beaver, and a sandpiper, but the potential for me to capture these creatures in much better ways is now so much more. I can't wait to get in some more time with the northern Michigan wildlife.
In addition to wildlife, the D810, when equipped with my new Samyang 14mm f/2.8 lens, can also capture some stunning imagery of the night sky, especially when the milky way is showing off. The D810 has an incredible sensor on it. I'd happily pushed the ISO to 10,000, and sometimes higher to get very acceptable results. Here are a few images I captured in East Jordan, Michigan at a high point in the milky way season.
I bought a small piece of kit that's made a huge difference for me while out shooting like this. The company, 3 Legged Thing, makes an aluminum bracket, called an L-Bracket, specifically for the D810, that I purchased for my use on a tripod. It's been such a convenience to be able to quickly switch into portrait orientation without throwing the ball head on its side to get my camera over 90 degrees. The L-Bracket they make seems to be very high quality. It's sleek and lightweight. I haven't purchased other things from this company, but they've made a good first impression on me.
I mentioned that I had four weddings this season, and I have been so very happy with the performance out of the D810 in all the conditions that come with various locations for weddings. From dimly-lit churches, to ultra-bright outdoor scenes, to multi-colored dance floors when the sun goes down, it has given me every bit value for my dollar. Check out some of the shots I've been pleased with from my earlier weddings this year.
Looking forward, now that my wedding season has come to an end for this year, I plan to get the drone in the air a few times as the leaves continue to turn and the landscapes make some dramatic changes. I have a U.P. trip planned for early October and, traditionally, I like to take a second fall trip up early in November as well as the leaves are fully turned and the tourist locations are cleared of people. I'm looking forward to taking the D810 up north with me and capturing some new landscape photography, hopefully visiting some sites I've never been to before, and making more thorough discoveries of places I already love. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @_DavidSargent to keep up with me as I go on my adventures; I tend to pack my IG stories as I'm out. Follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/davidsargentphotography where you can check out my print shop and order one of my inventoried images to have for yourself. Thank you for reading - see you next time!