Newly repaired lens. Check.
New Nikon D7000. Check.
Partly cloudy skies. Check.
After checking off my list, I had the right ingredients for field testing my new toy…the Nikon D7000.
After thinking about where to do some field-testing, I decided to head to Lake Mead National Recreation Area rather than Valley of Fire State Park. I chose Lake Mead as my shooting location because I’m still not familiar with my camera and didn’t want drive an hour to possibly come home with a shot that I wasn’t satisfied with.
I left the house at 4 am and finally arrived at Lake Mead. Shortly after I arrived, the skies were lighting up in a fiery orange. I knew these were going to be some real ideal conditions for testing out the dynamic range of my new camera. My D7000 didn’t disappoint! Shot after shot I was hardly getting blown highlights despite shooting into a bright light source. With the help of my GND filters the camera preserved the detail in the skies beautifully. The darker areas even had a great amount of detail. Needless to say the dynamic range of the D7000 is incredible.
The image quality of this camera is amazing! With the combonation of a relatively sharp lens and this new camera I came home with the sharpest pictures I’ve ever taken. The color straight out of the camera from the RAW file was even real good.
When I first purchased the camera I struggled to get good and sharp pictures because of the learning curve. The D7000 is a huge jump from a D40. After having the camera for a month I’m finally starting to get good pictures.
Lake Mead isn’t really that beautiful or photogenic. You have to photograph this lake when the light and clouds are just right otherwise it’s just another lake in an arid desert. Last year it was easy to photograph this lake because the shrinking shoreline exposed many boulders and incredible textures. After having an above average snowpack in the Rockies the lake levels are expected to rise by 20 feet. That means this lake will be real tough to photograph because there won’t be any rock or boulders that can be used as foreground interest. Also all the exposed texture will once again be submerged. This boulder was the only intresting thing on the shoreline.
- Nikon D7000
- Sigma 10-20mm lens
- Slik tripod
- Nikon ML-L3 remote
- Lee filter holder
- (2) Lee .6 GND filter
- Manual mode
- 13mm, 2.5 sec. @ f16
- ISO 200
Post-Processing, Software and Hardware:
- Edited on an Apple Macbook Pro (Dual Core 2.4 GHz, 4 GB RAM)
- Huey Pantone screen color calibrator
In Lightroom 3:
- Edited from a single RAW file (No HDR!)
- Adjusted white balance and cooled the picture
- Adjusted clarity, vibrancy, saturation and contrast
- Added fill light
- Sharpen RAW
- Some burning on the boulder to add dimension
- Cloned out a stray piece of plant
- Added a GND filter in Lightroom to darken the skies a tad bit
- Desaturated the sunrise glow
- Processed two exposures, one for the foreground and the other for the sky
- Sharpen RAW
- Sharpened for internet and computer screens upon export
In Photoshop CS3:
- Manually blended two exposures
- Selectively sharpened the background mountains (it was a tad too soft)
This image is copyrighted. Please don't use my images in any way without my permission.