June 1999

In June I purchased a used Nikon F5 and began to shoot Fuji Velvia slide film. These were my first attempts at serious photography.  They are not great but I like them and it is interesting to compare these to later shots taken with more experience.

3D Flower

This was one the first pictures I took with my new F5.  I had gotten up before sunrise on a Saturday morning in June and gone to Shelby Farms.  I was having a hard time finding a suitable landscape shot so I resorted to using the macro setting on my 28-105 zoom lens to get things started.  I found these flowers and took what I thought would be a nice but plain picture.  This was slide number four of my first role of film in my new Nikon F5.  I was using Fuji Velvia which is fine grained and has very saturated colors.  When I put this slide on my light table and examined it.  I was astounded at the three dimensional quality.  The foreground flower looked as if it were popping out of the slide.  That effect is lost somewhat when viewing on a computer monitor or in print.  I have since found out, that is a common first time reaction to viewing slides on a light table with a good loupe.  Anyway I cropped this photo a little to get the view you see here.  I really had to play around with the levels command in PhotoShop to get the white to approach the brilliance that it had on the light table, while trying to avoid losing any detail.

Flowers and Reflected Sky

On that same morning, I passed by this lake when I noticed how still the water was and how well it was reflecting the sky.  There were some clouds illuminated with the pink glow of the sunrise so I looked for a suitable foreground object which I found in some yellow flowers next to the pond's bank.  This image has been cropped down somewhat to isolate the best flowers and to eliminate some of the dark shadows at the top of the frame.  I remember thinking that it would be nice if the flowers were facing towards me but I guess that they follow the sun which was in front of me.

Dirt Bank Lake

This is one of my favorite spots at Shelby Farms.  This lake is located near the Walnut Grove/Germantown Parkway intersection across Walnut Grove from the Agricenter.  It is out of site of the roads and is not near any of the gates to the park.  Consequently it is somewhat secluded (except for the bicyclers who come through on the Wolf River trail near here.  This lake was still so I was able to get a good reflection of the other bank.  I like the framing with the nearby branches and for some odd reason I like the color of the dirt bank on the other side.  This is still from my first roll and day with my Nikon F5.

This was one of my first macro shots taken with my F5 in the summer of 1999 when I decided to step up my pursuit of fine photography.  The flowers were probably moving a bit in the breeze when I released the shutter, thus the focus is a little blurred.  On a cloudy day or in the morning, the wind has to be very still to get a good shot.

My first picture with the F5.  Not too good really.  I knew about positioning things off-center but I forgot about the rule of thirds.  Actually there were some telephone poles to the left of the frame that I wanted out of the shot.

Another shot off the first roll from my F5.  The pink in the blue clouds was attractive to me.

I wanted to shoot the interesting underside of the mushroom but I could not get my camera that low.  I picked the mushroom and carefully placed it upside down on top of another mushroom.  About the size of a 50 cent piece.

It is difficult to get the right color on a scan from the Fuji Velvia slide of a purple object.  But this looks right.