Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Going Where No Workshop Has Gone Before...

I’m a Nikonian.  It’s sort of like “Trekkkie” but with a camera. I speak fluent Nikonian, which is a cross between English and Klingon.  I don’t “beam-up”.  Instead, I “light up”. 
My tricorder is referred to as a Sekonic L358, my phaser is a D3, DSLR, FX format with 12.1 mega pixels and an ISO of 6400.
In “Nikonian”, the D3 has a 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image-processing pipeline with lateral chromatic aberration reduction with a high dynamic range and shoots 9 fps in FX format and 11 in DX includes 51 AF points with Scene Recognition System producing a 1005-pixel RGB sensor.  Add to this a sophisticated 3D color-matrix metering system and auto white balance and you have one hell of a weapon.
To top it off it’s not my only one.  I’m also the proud owner of a D300 and D200.
Now you don’t become a Nikonian overnight.  I have over 30 years of exploring and photographing images from under the world’s oceans in the Far East and a few local weddings or two.  Today my photography is a little more mundane -- portraits, boudoir, glamour -- with an occasional shark dive.
Even with all this experience it’s still important to keep pace with new technologies and have a total understanding the capabilities of your camera. There are numerous books, on-line videos and DVDs available, which all help.  But there’s nothing like hands-on, real time training. Especially from someone who speaks fluent “Nikonian”.
That’s where Mike Hagen comes in.  He’s the “Scotty” of all things Nikon.  I met Mike shortly after converting to digital from film, which is like going from prop to warp speed.
I understood photography, lighting, shutter speeds and F-stops. But now I had to work it out on a computer that shape shifted into the familiar look and feel of a camera.  I needed to get a handle on this new technology, and Hagen was the one to get me started.  I contacted the Federation of Nikonians and was beamed over to their workshop personnel section.  According to the schedule, Mike was to be transported to a Hilton in New Jersey the following month. The purpose of his visit was training fellow Nikonians  in understanding the operation of the Nikon D200 camera in detail.  I wanted in on this mission and proceeded to sign on.  I cut my teeth on digital when Nikon introduced the D100 back in 2003.  I was hooked.  Digital was the future of photography.  From here there was no place else to go but up.  When the D200 made its debut in 2005, I was impressed with its technological advances and wanted a faster way to gain control over the new features.  When Mike arrived the following month, I set a course for New Jersey with camera in hand.  In the span of two days Mike covered everything the D200 had to offer and then some.  Several other Nikonians and I hung on his every word and followed along, working the console array on the camera’s back.

Since that time I’ve had the pleasure of attending other workshops Mike facilitated from Nikon’s Total Lighting System to NX software, along with new and more advanced camera systems like the D3 and D300.  I still carry a few cheat sheets I got from Mike as references for quick review.  If you want to gain a better understanding of your camera system and a few photo tips as well, beam on over to the Nikonians website and check when Mike will be transporting to a location near you.  Till then “Expose Long and Photoshop”.

1 comment:

  1. Love the analogy!
    Regards from Bern, Switzerland
    Ruedi (a fellow Nikonian)