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Too much lens

by Nate Billings and Sarah Phipps Modified: April 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm •  Published: July 6, 2010
A bald eagle named Gussie watches visitors at the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
A bald eagle named Gussie watches visitors at the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

Here’s a little technical info for the photography enthusiasts out there. When I was assigned to photograph the bald eagles at the Oklahoma City Zoo last week, I brought way too much lens. I used a 400mm @2.8 and a 2x converter. The converter doubles the length, but you also lose two stops of light. So instead of a 400mm @2.8, I had an 800 @5.6, which is fine because the eagles were in the shade on a bright, sunny day.

In their enclosure on the Oklahoma Trails at the Oklahoma City Zoo, the eagles feel like they are very close. I probably could have used a 300mm, but the tighter I filled the frame with the eagles, the more the background dropped out of focus. If I’d used a 80-200mm, I’d have similar pictures, but I’d have to crop in too much and the backgrounds would be very distracting.

A bald eagle named Gussie watches visitors at the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
A bald eagle named Gussie watches visitors at the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

And speaking camera settings and technical stuff, Nate Billings and Sarah Phipps photographed fireworks this weekend. Sarah’s picture, that you can see here, was taken with a Canon 24mm lens, ISO 400, a 4.5 f-stop and a half second shutter speed. For the picture below, Nate used a 35mm, 200 ISO, f/16, and a 3 second shutter speed.

4TH OF JULY / FOURTH OF JULY /  ACTIVITIES / FESTIVITIES: Spectators watch a fireworks display during the Independence Day celebration Red, White, and Boom! east of the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Saturday, July 3, 2010. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
4TH OF JULY / FOURTH OF JULY / ACTIVITIES / FESTIVITIES: Spectators watch a fireworks display during the Independence Day celebration Red, White, and Boom! east of the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Saturday, July 3, 2010. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

-John Clanton

by Nate Billings
Photographer
Nate Billings never planned to become a photojournalist. He took pictures as a hobby growing up and worked as an assistant for his father, a commercial still and video photographer, but chose to study English Literature in college. Billings did...
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by Sarah Phipps
Photographer
Born in Missouri, Sarah Phipps graduated of Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in Mass Communication and French in 1999. After an internship with the St. Joe News-press, Sarah moved to Oklahoma for a full-time job at the...
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