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A picture of the Yellowstone River

This page contains a few thoughts and links to other pages relating to photography, cameras, etc. More to come later.

Improving Nikon D300 Skin tones

The Nikon D300 is a remarkable camera, but many users have commented on difficulties getting good skin tones. The "standard" picture control seems a bit saturated, and "neutral" needs some tuning up to get close. Nikon also provides the oddly named D2XMODE1, which attempts to match mode 1 of the D2X cameras. Sometimes it's OK, but sometimes you get strange green casts.

Nikon has now released new downloadable picture controls you can load into your D300, D700, D3 or D3X, and also into Nikon software such as ViewNX and CaptureNX. The download page is at: Note that there is a separate download labeled "Nikon Software" that you use if you want to add the new control to your Nikon PC or Mac software.

The portrait control is like having a new camera, or at least a new film.. I use it for almost all pictures involving people, and if you upgrade your software you can also apply it even to RAW files shot years before the new control was available. To my eye, the colors somewhat resemble old Agfachrome. Anyway, it's highly recommended. There's also a new Landscape control available from the same page, but I don't use it much.

Favorite photographers

Some of my favorite photographers include:

Cameras I've owned

First was a Kodak Brownie Starlet. Then, when I was 8 years old, I got really excited about photography when a neighbor showed me how to develop film and prints in his little bathroom darkroom. A year later, some very generous friends got me a a Yashica 44a. Then, in 1963, I inherited my grandfather's classic Contax III, which I used until about 1967. After saving all my money for nearly 2 years, I bought my pride and joy, a Honeywell Pentax H1A. In perhaps 1985, I got the camera I had dreamed of since I was small: a Nikon SLR. I got an FE2, a wonderful camera that I still miss. Unfortunately, almost all of this equipment, except for the Yashica (which I still have) was lost in a fire in 1994

After the fire, I got a Nikon N70, which I liked very much, and which I used until recently. I always preferred to get medium-quality bodies, and put the money saved into good quality prime lenses, which also tend to be economical. I wound up with the Nikor 50mm F1.4, 35mm F2.0, and 85mm F1.8. The latter, especially, is a lovely lens. I held off "going digital" until the quality got close to that of low speed film, but I took the plunge last year and have been learning a lot from working with my new D300. I got the AF-S 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 VR DX, which turns out to be a remarkably good lens for the price. The first zoom I've been happy with, and except for distortion, nearly comparable to my prime lenses. I also recently picked up the 28mm F2.8 used, thinking that the zoom wouldn't be good enough. Except when photographing buildings or on rare occasions where I need the wider lens, the zoom turns out to be fine.