Sunday, May 28, 2023
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Hands On Review of The Nikon D7100 (VIDEO)

We met up with Nathaniel Johnston, the owner of NJohnston Photography, for an hour and recorded him as he shot with the Nikon D7100. He shares his thoughts on the new camera in this video.

Nikon D7100

Below are a few facts that Nathaniel shared with us that didn’t make it to the video:

Onboard Audio

The D7100 has onboard Stereo Microphones which capture better audio than most DSLR cameras have currently. There is also a headphone port so that you can monitor sound while recording.

Recording Video

The AF tracking mode while recording video becomes useless, it is really just for still shots. However, the quality of the film is good and has a great dynamic range.

The Kit Lens

The 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Lens is light and steady with good VR. All in all, it’s a good value for the money.

So should you get a D7100?

The Nikon D7100 is not a replacement for the D7000. Rather, it is meant to be alongside it as the Flagship model in the DX format range. So, if you are looking to level up to a higher level DSLR, definitely give the D7100 consideration. If you already have a high power DSLR, the 7100 is a great camera to consider as a secondary or backup camera to add to your arsenal.


Long Exposure Photography with Point and Shoot Cameras


 The Theme of this week’s photo contest is long exposure photography! Click here for more details.

Don’t be discouraged from long exposure photography just because you don’t have a DSLR camera! Yes, you probably won’t be able to capture the quintessential flowing waterfall photo, but there are many other ways to utilize long exposures!

Does your camera let you change exposure time? ISO?  If not, does it have a “fireworks” or “night time” scene setting? If the answer is yes to any of the above, you can take long exposure photos with  your camera. We used a Sony Cyber-shot WX80 to take the following photos, but any camera of the same level should work fine.

These first photos we did by putting the Camera on manual and adjusting the ISO. Then we turned the light off, lit a match, and captured the trails of light as we waved it in front of the camera. *NOTE: all photos aside from the “ISO 100, taken with tripod” were taken without using a tripod. We did so for the expediency of creating this blog post, and apologize for the hypocrisy. We still highly suggest using a tripod when shooting long exposures! (However, as you can see it is not the end of the world if you do not have one.)

ISO100 (2)  ISO100

ISO 100 (Taken without Tripod)

iso100tripod2 iso100tripod

ISO 100, Taken with Tripod (much sharper! use a tripod!)

These next two photos were taken by putting the camera on “Fireworks” scene setting: fireworks (2) fireworks

Finally, we tried the “Nighttime” setting:

twilight (2) twilight

As you can see, the coloring changed slightly with the different settings. We suggest you explore them on your camera and find out which one you like best. The scene might not be named “fireworks” or “nighttime”, but any “low light” scene setting will lower the ISO. ISO of 60-100 is ideal, but if your camera cannot go that low try experimenting with its lowest possible setting. Below we have some examples of photos with higher ISO’s:

ISO3400 (2) iso12800

ISO 3400                                                                                                 ISO 12,800

As you can see, the higher the ISO, the more light in the picture, but also more noise. Also, remember to disable your flash if you are shooting at night.

So, time to pull out your point and shoot, and see what it can do! If you are interested in learning more about long exposure photography, or have a DSLR and want to try it at the next level, we liked this article of 8 Tips For Long Exposure Photography from Digital Photography School. It talks about neutral density filters and DSLR settings and timing.

Happy photographing!


Natural Light Photography: Bioluminescence



Japanese photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu took these slow shutter and multi-exposure composites of fireflies in Japan during the mating season (end of May through July) when they come out in large numbers and blink their lights to find a mate. It is a natural light made from a chemical reaction in the insects abdomen.

He used a Nikon D800 to capture these beautiful and surreal photographs. To see more of his work look at the Digital Photo Blog, or his portfolio.


The theme of our weekly photo contest this week is natural light! To see more about it go here:


What Makes the “Golden Hour” Magic?


The “Golden Hour” is a term used by photographers for the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset when light is especially conducive to beautiful pictures. During sunrise and sunset, when the sun is near or below the horizon, its light has to travel through more of the earth’s atmosphere before it reaches you. This decreases the intensity of direct sunlight, and so it is more balanced with the indirect light coming from the sky, creating less glare spots or shadows on your subjects. Think of it as being in a studio, and using only one 1500 Watt diffused light (midday sun), vs. using a 1000 Watt and a 500 watt diffused light (Golden Hour).

Stuckincustoms The Golden Horse in Iceland by Trey Ratcliff

The “golden” or softer orange and red tones come from the light being more diffused by traveling through more of the atmosphere before it reaches your eyes. Purple and Blue light have short wavelengths and scatter over the longer distance, while colors with longer wavelengths like reds and oranges continue on their way and are seen the most during sunrise and sunset.

Sandy ReddingJoshua Tree at Sunset by Sandy Redding

There are many factors that affect how long the golden hour in any given location might last. Locations far from the equator where during certain seasons the sun never fully rises, the golden hour can last all day. Locations closer to the equator where the sun makes a complete arc year round will have a shorter golden hour.

Bagan-by-Martin-Sojka Bagan Balloons, Mynamar by Martin Sojka

So if you are an early riser, wake up and explore the sunrise with your camera. If you like to sleep in, pay attention to when the sun sets in your location, and plan to head out and photograph then. Shooting during the golden hour doesn’t ensure amazing photographs, but it is a great way to test your creativity and learn more about light!

Urban Landscape Photography Tips with Corey Benoit

We took a trip around Grand Central Station with Corey of Faymus Media ( and he told us some interesting insight and helpful tips for taking urban landscape photos. We were chilled to the bone from the wind, but had a lot of fun capturing the city life!

Equipment VS. Photographer

What happens when 6 photography greats are given a Fujifilm X-Series Camera to make their art?

We found out at the exhibition “Photography” curated by Ken Miller which opened at the Aperture Gallery on the 31st of January. Presenting the work of William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, Ryan McGinley, Martin Parr, Terry Richardson, and Stephen Shore, Photography is an interesting look at how each photographer produces unique results all while using the same camera in the Fujifilm X-Series. With a price range of $400 to $1,400 dollars, Fujifilm’s X-series consists of high end digital cameras aimed at professional photographers and enthusiasts. The newest additions to the X series were announced at the CES conference in January of 2013: The top of the line X100s, the mid range X20, and Fujifilms competitor in the tough and rugged category, the XP60.

We found the wide range of photographs very compelling, with at least one one standout photograph from every photographer. Here at Focus Camera we firmly believe in having quality equipment for all photography situations. Image quality, even in abstract photographs, is a must, and having a camera that limits the image quality in turn limits the photographer.  However, even someone given the highest ranked equipment available still needs to have a multitude of skills like composition, lighting, and more in order to produce captivating photographs. So what do you think, does the equipment make the photograph, or does the Photographer?


A Modern Renaissance: Natura Morta With Paulette Tavormina

Last night Focus Camera attended the opening reception for a new photography exhibition by Paulette Tavormina: Natura Morta. The event took places at the Robert Mann Gallery in Chelsea.

Tavormina’s work is inspired by the artistry of Old Master Still Life painters like Giovanna Garzoni, Francisco de Zurbarán, and Adriaen Coorte. As she asserts in her artist’s statement:

“Seventeenth century Europe witnessed an explosion of interest in the natural world. Botanical encyclopedias from the period are records of the discoveries made on extensive explorations during this “Golden Age” of global trading. Still life painters incorporated shells, insects, exotic fruits, and flowers found abroad alongside Venetian glass and Chinese porcelain. Their vignettes served as a tribute to newly discovered corners of the world. Worldly in their composition, these paintings also speak to universal themes as relevant then as now: the fragility of life and love, fleeting beauty and tempus fugit, the swift passage of time.”

The only thing that is richer than the color in these photographs is the details. We could have stood for an hour at each one, finding secrets of a hidden ladybug or stray leaf. However, we were on a mission to make a video!

The Focus Camera team was very happy to talk to many enthusiastic gallery attendees including Jeffrey Kane—a representative of the company printed the photographs—and Paulette Tavormina herself! We would like to thank everyone we interviewed for being so gracious and eloquent.

Natura Morta With Paulette TavorminaNatura Morta With Paulette Tavormina

We highly recommend you go and see these enchanting photographs with your own eyes at the Robert Mann Gallery.