Month: February 2012

Is the CANON Speedlite 420EX compatible with NIKON D3100?

I use the CANON Speedlite 420EX with my NIKON D3100.

Every once in awhile, I take a search term from my blog, that some reader used to search for topics on my blog.  The question was: 

Is the CANON Speedlite 420EX compatible with NIKON D3100?

In my younger days as a photographer (in my teens), I read camera manuals like novels.  I took what they said literally.  It was the same when I got to the “How to Use Your Flash with your Camera,” section: The way I read the flash recommendation pages in the manuals was also literally. What I always saw and visualized when I read the warnings about using other flash brands with your camera, was alarming to a young photographer. I thought that if I used anything other than the camera’s own flash brand, with the camera, then the flash would melt, go “KER’BLEW’Y”, or brake-in-half!

What I interpreted the camera maker writing in the manual was EXTREME’O to the 29th degree. I believed that ONLY Nikon flash units could be used with their cameras, or there could be dire consequences (those were my nightmares). I had a vision of doom in my mind if I used any other flash brand with my NIKON cameras – after all, my crazy visions seemed to be based on some sort of proof that was as strong as oak.

What I believe the camera manufacturers mean to tell people, in their manuals, is that to use all the wonderful functions of the NIKON flash units, you need to use them with NIKON cameras.  That is true.  All of the little metal buttons on the flash line up with perfection with all the metal buttons on the camera’s hot-shoe. 

However, what is it really like to use your CANON Speedlite with your NIKON Camera?

Well, that is what I do, so I will relate my experience with this wonderful combination.  I typically use Manual Mode on my NIKON D3100, and that is what is available with a CANON Speedlite when attached to the NIKON.  Therefore, ah, perfection.  Because I also use remote firing devices with my flash units, there is no problem using CANON Speedlites with your NIKON Camera. 

However, if you want to have all the capabilities available between a FLASH and a CAMERA, and have one flash attached to the camera be able to trigger other flash units remotely, and all the other cool things that NIKON Flash to NIKON Camera Body, can do…then it’s better to use a NIKON Speedlight with the NIKON Camera.

My camera has not melted down, and there has never been any damage of any kind to my camera or my flash unit when using my CANON, my METZ, or my VIVITAR flash units with my NIKON camera bodies. 

Other peoples’ experiences may be similar.

You can try it at your own risk – All I can say is that I have never had any problems with the CANON Flash to NIKON Body combo.

Girl and Cat - Photograph taken with my NIKON D3100 using off-camera CANON Speedlite 420EX.

How to FOCUS when you have too many tasks to complete all of a sudden?

The planner in me says, prioritize the tasks, and rank from most urgent to least urgent.

Well, that doesn’t help when everything seems urgent – so I sit here with half a dozen software programs open, each one dedicated to a different task, frantically switching from one to the other, without a major plan.  This is what is called, shotgun approach, or “cluster-bombing” the workload.  That is not the best way, nope.  That’s a hit-and-miss methodology:  You make a lot of little advances but leave a lot of holes in the work.  That’s not what I want, but when I panic about a lot of tasks, it tends to be the unconscious thing that magically happens.  I think it is better to make a huge splash with one task, complete it, and then move on to the second major task, complete it, and so on.  And that is what I will calmly do.

BLUE SPLASH 2D

If NOT NOW, then WHEN?

This is a good question:  “If not now, then when?”

It is easy to come up with all kinds of reasons why NOT to do something; but, the real power comes when you decide the time is now, when that ‘something’ should, or must, be done.

Waiting or not doing something may seem like the safe thing to do when something challenging comes along, speaking in terms of self-preservation.  However, are you really preserving yourself, or are you just agonizing through to a slow-painful-death…so to speak.

When faced with something new, I think it is not advantageous to start worrying about the intricacies of the challenge, not yet, not at the beginning.  If you do that, and I know I feel this way too, from time-to-time, the task will feel overwhelming, and then your insecure thoughts will knock you back into self-preservation mode again.

Climb the stairs friends and reach a new level.  THE TIME IS NOW! 

SPIRAL STAIRWAY, RAINBOW PARADISE, 2012, BY NAWFAL JOHNSON NUR

CRACKED, CHIPPED, and ROUGH Art Photography Series

CRACKED, CHIPPED, and ROUGH, a new eFolio collection by Photographer, Nawfal Johnson Nur.  This is an Abstract Expressionistic Photography collection of 15 Black & White and Color images.  The subject of this collection is old, peeling, and cracked paint on walls.  All of the photographs were captured in the Tanjong Tokong district of Penang, Malaysia.  The images were designed during 2011, to 14 Feb 2012.  The eFolio collection is available for sale at LULU.Com, http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/cracked-chipped-and-rough/18891296

CRACKED, CHIPPED, and ROUGH, a new eFolio collection by Photographer, Nawfal Johnson Nur. This is an Abstract Expressionistic Photography collection of 15 Black & White and Color images. The subject of this collection is old, peeling, and cracked paint on walls. All of the photographs were captured in the Tanjong Tokong district of Penang, Malaysia. The images were designed during 2011, to 14 Feb 2012. The eFolio collection is available for sale at LULU.Com, http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/cracked-chipped-and-rough/18891296

A New Art Photography Series called CRACKED, CHIPPED, and ROUGH

CRACKED, CHIPPED, and ROUGH is my new eFolio collection of Abstract Art Photography.  The subjects of the photographs are old, cracked, chipped, and rough-looking paint that is crumbling and peeling off from old walls.  Don’t let “old cracked paint” deter you from having a look at my new art photography collection:  The results of my endeavors photographing peeling paint are, if I may say so, pretty interesting.  Please give it a look – there is a Preview at my product page where you can see about half of the eFolio.

I love macro photography, and I like to get in close on small areas of space to design photographs of textures, shapes, lines, and tones.  My cracked paint images, in this series, have all of those characteristics as key focal points.  In other words, I attempted to merge and stress textures, shapes, lines, and tones, in all the cracked paint images.

Yes, cracked paint is a rather ‘dry’ subject, pun kind of intended.  And, that was the challenge.  To make the typical dry paint scene totally atypical and spectacular.  I was drawn to the subject, and basically, wanted to experiment how to give this mundane and rather flat subject (old dry paint on walls), some interest, some 3-D perspective when photographing it from a close proximity.

Please have a look at my CRACKED, CHIPPED, and ROUGH Photography Collection.

DROWNING IN THOUGHT

DROWNING IN THOUGHT:  Kick’en the tires of my new, well, homemade, water-proof flash housing / light enhancer.

Drowning in Thought, Version 1, Crop 1, by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 8 Feb 2012.

Drowning in Thought, Version 1, Crop 1, by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 8 Feb 2012.

Photographs Details:

All Photos are Copyright 2012 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Subject:  Me – Couldn’t ask anyone else to be my test subject.
Titles:  Versions of “Drowning in Thought.”
Lens:  NIKKOR 35-70mm f/3.3 (set at 70mm) – fully manual lens (now).
Shutter Speed:  1/80 sec.
Aperture:  f/16.
Flash:  One Canon Speedlite 420EX, inside my homemade water-proof housing, that’s also a light modifier.  (It’s not much to look at, but I really like the results; and, I had the flash about 9-inches from me as the water was splashing all over – In the end, the flash was totally dry!)  The housing was getting hit with buckets of water, but my flash on the inside stayed dry – awesome – at least that was a success, “Hur’rah!”

Why “Drowning in Thought”?

My self-portrait photographs are figurative, and also literal:  Sometimes it is easier to make images to express feelings and show emotions.  The image is a semi-representative effort of what is going on in the mind, or so I think it can work in this way with some success.

Well, maybe I’ve just run head-on into a strange phase of life, which is, for lack of a better string of words, “Just Heavy…”  Therefore, I thought the titles of these images, “Drowning in Thought” was pretty appropriate.

Drowning in Thought, Version 2, Crop 1a, NJN665, Copyright 2012 by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 8 Feb 2012.

Drowning in Thought, Version 2, Crop 1a, NJN665, Copyright 2012 by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 8 Feb 2012.

Drowning in Thought, Version 3, Crop 1, NJN665, Copyright 2012 by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 8 Feb 2012.

Drowning in Thought, Version 3, Crop 1, NJN665, Copyright 2012 by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 8 Feb 2012.

ABSTRACT ME

Nawfal, SELF-PORTRAIT, 2012-02-02, Edit G, Head Shot, NJN665

ABSTRACT ME – 2012 SELF-PORTRAIT

At least ONCE a year, I design a new self-portrait; not for any amount or reason for ego’s sake, or for self-absorption.  The fact that I usually only do this once a year, should explain away any need to use myself as “subject”. 

Self-portraits, for me, are more a learning process.  I ask myself:  “OK, what strange thing can I do to produce an interesting self-portrait…this year.”  I like paint, painting and art, so I thought I would just use myself as the canvas and make an “Abstract Me” for my 2012 Self-Portrait.

THE WORST PART

The worst thing about paint on skin is when it starts to dry – feels strange, uncomfortable, and of course, it is a mess.  Once I was painted up, I needed the help of an assistant, but there are a few things I did prior to the painting.

The camera and lighting need to be set up and exposures tested ahead of the self-painting.  Once painted, I had to work fast, and get the assistance of an assistant to press the shutter button. 

The shutter speed was 1/50 sec, and the aperture was f/11.  I used the internal flash set at –3.0, of course, aimed directly.  On camera-right, I used a 600-Watt studio light without any light modification – it was set at 1/2 power.

REDISCOVERY OF FULLY MANUAL – THOUGHT-PROVOKING TECHNICALITIES

I am so glad that I re-discovered my NIKKOR 35-70, f/3.3 lens:  It is the lens I used for this self-portrait.  It is an EXTREMELY thought-provoking lens.  By “thought-provoking” I mean that it is an auto-focus lens, but using it with my newer NIKON camera body, it is TOTALLY manual. 

There is a story that goes along with this lens: long-ago, when I got this lens, it developed fungus on one of the inner most lens elements.  Therefore, I totally dismantled the lens, element by element, and hand cleaned each piece of glass, and then reassembled the lens.  Unfortunately, I damaged the auto-focus electronics at some point in my lens home surgery. 

Therefore, when using this lens with my new NIKON camera body, there is NO auto focus – NO auto exposure – and NO auto TTL Flash:  It is FULLY MANUAL.  I think it is so awesome that I have a lens that makes me think like a photographer again.  There is NO Auto anything, so I have to calculate everything, pre-focus, and guesstamate my exposure settings, making test shots to pre-focus, tweak exposure settings, and plan my flash set-ups.

SO THERE…

So there it is, my 2012 Self-Portrait.