Landscape Photography eBook Cover | Moeraki Boulders at dawn

 

Long exposure image of Sunrise over the Moeraki Boulders, Otago New Zealand

Long exposure image of Sunrise over the Moeraki Boulders, Otago New Zealand

Crikey! It’s been a while…

I had actually forgotten that I have this blog, but I received some emails over the weekend that I have some new ‘followers’ (anyone who follows me is surely a misguided soul) so I thought I had better pony up some new content.  The plan was, by now, to have migrated our blogging to our new website.  The new website has now been in ‘development’ for so long that our developer fears that it is looking dated before it even launches!

Living Landscapes a guide to stunning landscape photography. eBook available for purchase 25 July

Living Landscapes a guide to stunning landscape photography. eBook available for purchase 25 July

This image is one of a series of images that I captured on a stunning morning at Moeraki.  It has been selected as the cover shot for our upcoming instructional ebook Living Landscapes which goes on  sale as of Thursday via Digital Photography School.  Living Landscapes reveals all of our artistic tips and tricks along with the essential technical considerations behind making great images.

I will keep you posted as to the purchasing details once they come to hand.

cheers – Todd

Nikon D800 Recommended Lens | Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – Landscape Photography Review

 

 

Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens for landscape and nature
The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – Does A classic portrait lens belong in a landscape photographer’s bag?  It’s damn well staying in mine!

You can read my full Nikon 85mm f/1.4G landscape lens review on sisson – New Zealand photography

Background

I don’t recall having been on a drunken bender last April, but it may explain why I have little recollection as to how I ended up owning a Nikon AF-S 85mm f1.4G.  This lens is really not a traditional fit for a landscape photographer, in-fact the B&H description for the lens has “Traditional Portraiture Lens” splashed all over it.   Anyhow, I did order it,  so it was time to see how I could incorporate the lens into my landscape photography repertoire.  I am pleased to report that the 85mm f1.4 is now one of my favourite landscape lenses. Thank God – it wasn’t cheap…..

In all seriousness, I purchased the 85mm f1.4 in preparation for the delivery of my new Nikon D800e.  Prior to the D800e I had been shooting Nikon DX and Canon Full Frame (5dmkii), I had wanted to return full time to Nikon for several years, but the right DSLR body for my needs had not been in the Nikon line-up.  When the D800 was announced it was obvious that it’s 36MP sensor would settle for nothing short of premium optics and I had nothing in my bag that would stand the D800’s onslaught of pixels.

The 85mm is an ‘overlap lens’ in my bag as I also own the superb Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRii (review) however, I purchased the prime mainly because I love defocus in my portrait photography (mainly my kids these days) – the 85mm f1.4 is renowned for it’s silky bokeh and after 12 years of professional photography, I figured it was time to treat myself to something a little exotic.

Unfortunately, that is not sound business practice for me – I make my money from landscapes, so I had to figure out a way to make the 85mm f/1.4G earn it’s keep – here’s how I use it for landscape photography…..

What’s It For?

I consider the Nikon 85mm f1.4G to be one of the most ‘creative’ lenses in my camera bag.  By that, I mean that I rarely shoot ‘standard’ landscape images on the 85mm f/1.4 – I find that have to consciously seek uses for the 85mm.  Now, that may seem like putting the tractor before the haybale but for me that is a good thing – I need to stretch my photographic boundaries –  I think that the 85mm makes me a little bit more complete as a photographer.  So far,  I use this lens for four primary uses:

1. Subject Isolation Via Defocus

Frosty Tree: D800e, Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – @ f/1.4.  Shooting at f/1.8 delivered the razor thin DOF required  to successfully isolate this frosty little tree.  I enoy the creative overlap of applying portrait techniques to nature photography. 

(Download full resolution D800e & Nikon 85mm f/1.4g sample jpeg – password = freeD800pics

2. Panoramic stitching

I like to shoot panoramic stitches that compress distance, primarily to give greater visual presence to distant mountains – I find 50mm and 85mm to be my most commonly used focal lengths for this purpose.  The 85mm f/1.4 provides unparalleled sharpness and detail when paired with the Nikon D800e.

I always shoot in vertical orientation in order to gain the maximum resolution from my stitched files – 85mm provides an excellent field of view when used in this way.

The following stitched panorama is 21,000 x 6,600 pixels wide and prints at 2.1 metres @300 DPI without any enlargement.

Panoramic Stitch from Nikon D800e and Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Lens. It’s a little hard to get impressed this wide – how about a 100% crop….

100% crops from the above panoramic Stitch from Nikon D800e and Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Lens. The level of detail is simply stunning (a little sharpening has been applied) – this would happily enlarge to a 4m+ wide print. Please note that these look slightly better in the original file – pre-JPEG compression.

read the full nikon 85mm f/1.4 review  >>>>>

Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park New Zealand – Volcanic Eruption Photos

mt-ruapehu-eruption-tongariro-park-1995-1

Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park New Zealand erupting during the 1995 event. I have a full eruption sequence on our website – click the image to view it.

This is what Volcano looks like during an eruption!  I can’t say that it is an experience that I want to repeat, but it was an experience…..Over here in New Zealand,  Mt Tongariro blew it’s lid this week (sadly, it did so in the middle of the night, so there are no interesting images of it).I thought I would share these shots that I made from the 1995 Ruapehu eruption. At the time I wasn’t a photographer, I just had a crappy point and shoot – and somehow I ended up shooting full eruption sequence by accident – I then panicked an drove for my life…..

Check out the full sequence (from puff of steam to bigger than this) on my website: sisson New Zealand photography
Cheers – Todd

Moody Milford Magic | Dusk Milford Sound, Fiordland New Zealand

New Zealand Photo | Dusk Mitre Peak , Milford Sound dusk, Fiordland National Park

Long exposure of Mitre Peak , Milford Sound at dusk, Fiordland National Park New Zealand. Photography by Todd Sisson

This is a long exposure made during dusk a few years back in Milford Sound.

This was one of our images pulled for inclusion in a little photo article on environmental graffiti a couple of weeks back – and I figured I would keep the recent Fiordland theme rolling (you’ll have to go back through my posts for the rest – go on, don’t be slothful – it’s only a mouse click…. :-)

Also, if any of you Pressers want to get SPAMMED* by me in your inbox once or twice a month you should sign up for our mailing list:  http://eepurl.com/k_zeT

* I am clinically proven to be too doggoned lazy to be a spammer…..

Cheers – Todd

Lake Tekapo Lupin Workshop | Dates & Pricing Announcement

New Zealand Landscape Photos | Lupines & Sunset Sky

New Zealand Landscape Photography Workshop | Lake Tekapo New Zealand – This is the sort of vibrant lupin action that we will be chasing during our upcoming lupines photo workshops

 

I am super-duper stoked to be announcing the launch-eroo of our Lake Tekapo Lupines Landscape Photography Workshops  right slap-dap here on WordPress today (was that intro Ned Flanders enough for you?)

I have been planning this photo workshop for nearly a year now and after several long days of chasing my tail in the back-end of our website I now have dates, and pricing all loaded up and ready to go!

Lupines on the shores of Lake Alexandrina, near Lake Tekapo, McKenzie Country, South Island, New Zealand. Another one of our workshop locations.

 

I have chunked the workshop down into modules to ensure that there are price and time options that will suit all budgets – prices start from a very reasonable $275 NZ for a afternoon/evening workshop session.  Groups are limited to 4 or 5 students depending upon the session ensuring that you will get a huge amount of information out of a workshop session.

What are you waiting for? A TomKat reunion?, the next Greek bailout? no-scrub oven cleaner that actually works?  get on over to our website and

Book Now for a New Zealand Landscape Photography Workshops

The Road To St Bathans, Central Otago, South Island New Zealand

The road to St Bathans Central Otago New Zealand

Today’s New Zealand Photo: The road to St Bathans Central Otago New Zealand

Your New Zealand photo of the day – proudly brought to you by sisson New Zealand photography (that’s me and my wifey Sarah :-)

Cheers – Todd