Monday, December 30, 2013

Pensive Heyokha

Dewey Beach had the worst weather this year in the five times that I've gone: windy and sometimes rainy, but mostly windy. The wind did not seem to bother the Greyhounds on the beach much but it did make things miserable for their humans. I had to cancel or reschedule some appointments for Thursday and Friday because of it.

On Saturday I did a couple sessions and then headed back to the rental house. My friends Meredith and Mitch's dog, Heyokha, was lying on the big sofa that turned out to be a popular sleeping spot for the hounds during the weekend. Lying on the new purple bed sheet protecting the sofa, Heyokha was bathed in the light flooding through the big sliding glass window and door that led out to the beach-facing deck.

He is an active, big boy. But at this moment he was quietly watching something (I don't remember what). I started taking a few pictures using center-weighted metering, zero exposure compensation, and aperture-priority:

  

(Note: On the Nikon the exposure compensation button is marked with "+/-" and sits next to the power switch.)

It's much too light, although I could fix that in post-processing. And he doesn't have the expression I want. I adjusted my exposure compensation to -1 (one stop), moved to his left, and tried again:


This looks better to me: the sunlit side of his face is not as blown-out as in the first picture while still retaining detail in the shadows. But I thought I'd switch to matrix metering and turn down the exposure compensation even further to -1.3:


I like this even better and I got a different (and better, I think) expression this time. Switching to matrix metering (the light meter samples everything in the viewfinder to determine what it thinks is the proper exposure; center-weighted emphasizes what's in the center of the viewfinder and less in the corners) got me the darker image I had in mind.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 105mm VR lens; aperture-priority with aperture set to f/4; ISO 800; normal JPG.)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

An extraordinary face

When I flew to Baltimore last October to go to Dewey Beach, I was picked up at the airport by my friend Aimée, her husband, and the two Greys they brought with them, Boo and Dazzle. I had met Dazzle when I first to Dewey back in 2009. It was good to see Dazzle because during Dewey 2012 she became extremely ill while Aimée was away at Dewey — so ill that Aimée nearly flew back home to be with her. (Fortunately, Dazzle recovered and is doing well.)

But I was looking forward to meeting Boo from the first picture that I saw of her. My sixth picture of Boo will explain why:


She is one of the most unusually-marked Greyhounds I've ever seen. The feature reminded me of the Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." Aimée and her husband took Boo in after a very close friend of hers fell gravely ill and could no longer care for her.

What a snuggly dog! The instant after I sat in the third-row seat of their van after getting in, Boo almost immediately rested her head against my leg so I could start scratching and stroking her head. She stayed like that for quite a number of minutes — until I had to move my legs to stay comfortable. After allowing me that little break, she came back for more head-scratching. I can't say I've ever been approached by a dog I'd never met before and be obliged to give it so much attention (these ex-racing Greyhounds are known to be like this):


Boo is truly a wonderful dog and I'm so glad I got to be with her for a few days. (Note: in both pictures I focused on her eye and set my aperture to near wide-open to keep my depth-of-field shallow.)

(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 105mm f/2.8 VR lens; aperture-priority with aperture at f/4; shutter speed 1/125 second at ISO 2800 (top), and 5600 (bottom); matrix-metered, auto white balance; normal JPG.)

Friday, December 27, 2013

She who shall not be moved

Isis the Imperturbable.


She is "bombproof", as they say. There really was nothing that was going to make her move off the bed. And even lowering the dishwasher door onto her did not bother her in the least. Besides, we really did not have the nerve to move her; she looked so comfortable.

If someone was looking for a Greyhound that was so easy to care for, Isis is the dog. Everyone loves her.

(Shot with the iPhone 5; 4.12 mm at f/2.4 at ISO 400.)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Twenty years and a month...

...since we adopted our first retired greyhound, Alex (racing name Sanja Blackeyes).


(He came from Oklahoma; his breeder was James Hicks.)

Twenty years? I can't believe it either.


Maggie is still here

For those of you who are not familiar with Greyhound health issues, it won't take too long before you'll come across stories of those who have been diagnosed with, or have succumbed to, osteosarcoma. Katie was the first Greyhound that we adopted to get it in the twenty years that we've had these retired racing dogs. I suppose it was bound to happen to us eventually, but we had hoped that we would not be so unlucky.

Usually the first sign of trouble is that the Greyhound begins to suddenly limp (in Katie's case she couldn't settle down in bed after waking up one night; her limp began a few hours later). By this time the osteo is well-advanced and has likely started spreading to other areas in the body, particularly the lungs. Depending on how early one finds it (and we thought we had detected Katie's OSA early because her humerus had quite a bit bone left that had not yet been eaten away by the tumor) an owner can be advised to amputate the limb and start chemo. Unfortunately for other owners, the way they found out their Greyhound had OSA was when the leg broke because it had been so weakened by the cancer. In these sad cases the only choice is to put the Greyhound to sleep quickly. Depending on how early the cancer is found and what treatment is rendered to the dog, one can expect the Greyhound to live for a few months to possibly a year or more.

There are exceptions to the rule, though: there are Greyhounds that have survived far, far beyond expectations. One of them is Maggie. She's survived six years post-amputation.


I had the pleasure to meet her and her owners at Dewey Beach. On a windy Thursday evening they all came by our rental and spent some time with us. I had to try and get a few photos in of her. She's a blue Greyhound (an unusual and rare color), and spent most of the time curled up in her bed that was placed in the middle of the kitchen floor. She even roached while she slept:


It is heartening to see that it is possible for a Greyhound to survive years after a limb amputation due to OSA. Seeing hounds like her, and reading of some of the discoveries that researchers have made this year, gives us owners hope that a cure for this disease will be found in the not-too-distant future.

(Top picture shot with the Nikon D600 using the 105mm VR macro; aperture-priority mode with aperture at f/4; shutter speed 1/50 second at ISO 6400; bottom picture shot using the iPhone 5.)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Three months

It's been three months since Katie's death from lymphoma.

I think of her (and of our other two departed greys, Alex and Nikki) every day. And there are many days where I browse through some of the several thousand pictures that I took of her. She was with us for nearly nine years, and even now those thousands of pictures seem inadequate. Oh, most are terrible and not worth sharing with everyone, to be sure, but I saved them.

I cling to these pictures as a way to hang onto her for as long as I can. I won't say that looking at these pictures always brings me comfort — it doesn't. But when it does I go back and think of how well she recovered from her amputation. We were so pleased and happy for her that she gained weight during her chemo treatments because it can cause appetite loss and Katie was never really food-motivated.

I'm rambling now and I can't write a coherent train of thought, so I will leave you with this picture of Katie as she was back in 2008, a couple of months after Nikki had died:

I used light coming in through a window to get this. I added +0.7 exposure compensation because I didn't want the light meter to render her in a dull gray. She had this wondering look on her face as Sadie was standing in front of her. Katie's eyes were wonderful and I tried to capture that.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 and the 18-200mm zoom; aperture-priority with aperture set to f/4.8, ISO 1100 at shutter speed of 1/30 second; cloudy-weather white balance; +0.7 exposure compensation; normal JPG.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Katie's memorial portrait

We were informed yesterday that an artist friend of ours, Xan Blackburn, was commissioned by a group of greyhound friends to do a memorial portrait of Katie, based on a photograph I had taken of her back in 2011. Xan is writing a work-in-progress post on her blog about the portrait, and using this photo as reference:


I don't really know what to say about this kindness shown to us by our greyhound friends. We've always wanted a Xan painting on our walls but never got around to getting one. But now we'll have one, featuring our very own Katie. We can't thank Xan or our greyhound friends enough for making this happen.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

More passings

Tex (1998 - 2013)



Winnie (2000 - 2013)


Pistachio (? - 2013)


Rest well, all of you.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kali


Our rental townhouse in Dewey Beach has big sliding glass doors and windows, and I love the light that, while they face east and not north, comes through them. While we were biding some time on Monday morning before we all headed home, I got a picture using my iPhone and Camera Awesome of Kali lying on one of the few remaining dog beds.

Normally I don't particularly like overly processed pictures, but with this image I went ahead and had a little fun with going against the grain.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Passings

Several weeks ago I was contacted about a photo I had taken of a senior greyhound during GIG on Saturday. Jasmine was her name. She fell ill later and died the following day.


Her owner was told of these pictures of her, and was very thankful that they were taken.

I didn't know what to say when I found out about her passing. She was just here -- and now she's not.

One week ago today I saw a Facebook posting from the Greyhound adoption group we've adopted all our hounds and learned by Pie Sky (profiled in this post) had passed that day due to a possible heart attack. She was just five years old.


I had thought it might have made an interesting picture if I was able to have both Katie and Pie pose side-by-side. Unfortunately I'll never get that chance.

Rest in peace, Jasmine and Pie.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Violet and Heyokha


Heyokha (on the right) gradually got the nerve to rest his head on Violet's thigh. He need not have worried: she never paid any attention to him but continued to nap during that windy Sunday afternoon at Dewey.

Monday, September 9, 2013

An hour in the life of Pie

On Father's Day I met with the family who had won an hour-long session that I donated to photograph their three greyhounds. One of the three was Pi, who arrived from Caliente a year ago. I took several photographs of her because I loved her ears:


It was not long after this that she was found to have osteo in her left foreleg, which was amputated.

Despite having recently-discovered lung nodules which, thankfully, have not grown, Pi was in good spirits. We met at a local park that was bisected by a small stream. I had her pose on a wooden bridge that crossed the stream:


(Her leash was digitally removed.)

After crossing the bridge we walked a bit downstream and stopped in a shady spot. I took a few shots while she laid on the grass:


I had her go back over the bridge so I could get a shot of her ears:


She went back over the bridge a third time to lie down as it had become a little warm for everyone:


Her scar has healed nicely. I marvelled when I looked at it.

I grabbed a couple more shots of her with ears erect, then we called it a day.

Pi's arrival from the track and her subsequent osteo diagnosis and amputation had caught my attention more than most other greys that I've seen at other retirement days. I was glad to see that she was doing well.

How strange that this session foreshadowed what was to come for us, although none of us could see it: just two days later we started our own osteo journey.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Katie goes for a ride

I thought I'd write something about Katie enjoying a short ride down the street from our home and blah blah blah...

I'll let Katie's face tell you all you need to know how she's doing these days.


(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 18-35mm zoom; program mode; 1/250 second at f/8 at ISO 800; auto white balance; center-weighted metered; shot in RAW, converted to DNG and imported into Lightroom.)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Katie 48 days post-amp

After attempting to take a few more pictures of Katie in the early evening light while I had her standing on our front lawn and not being happy with the results, I led both her and Sadie back to our front door to let them inside. While Katie was standing there, waiting, I took one snap and hoped I could at least get a bit of eye color to show up.

Most of the time her eyes look like a couple of black holes in her face. And if you try to compensate for that by opening up your aperture more, you'll overexpose her white fur too much.


I really cropped closely around her eyes, and used an adjustment brush to lighten them to make them a little more visible. At first I thought I should add a little warmth to eliminate the bluish tint (it comes from standing in the shade) by increasing the white balance temperature but I thought, nah -- I liked it better this way. I also sharpened her eyes and the area between them a little, but not too much.

Katie is coming along nicely: she weighs nearly four pounds more than after losing her leg. She barks at the inivisible mailman, sometimes claws us with her leg, and leaps into the back of our van when she goes for a ride.

Speaking of rides, I have another picture to share...

(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 50mm f/1.8 lens; aperture-priority, with aperture set to f/2.8; shutter speed 1/500 second at ISO 800; center-weighted; auto white balance; shot in RAW, converted to DNG and imported into Lightroom.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

What is yours is mine...

...and what is mine, is mine.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Katie...I get it: you might be minus a limb but you still claim my pillow any chance you get.


Katie was 41 days post-amp when this picture was taken.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 50mm f/1.8 lens; aperture-priority, with aperture set to f/1.8, shutter speed 1/50 second at ISO 220; auto white balance; normal JPG; imported and converted to black-and-white using Lightroom.)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Katie 25 days post-amp

I needed an excuse to practice with my Pocket Wizards and the SB-800 flash, so I decided I'd try them out with Katie as I had never made even a half-serious attempt to try them on her yet.. I had made an attempt with her previously by taking her outside and using my umbrella, but it was clear from the one picture where she stood still long enough that I didn't know what I was doing. So just to simplify things I tried to get a picture of her indoors, dispense with the umbrella stand and just hold the flash in my left hand while holding the camera with my right.

Katie was clearly up to posing for me as I took a few snaps: she'd been feeling more like herself after her first chemo dose a couple of weeks earlier. So it wasn't too hard to get her attention by saying a few choice words to her and ending up with a picture this:


I bounced the flash off the ceiling and used a large aperture to blur the background. After importing the picture into Lightroom I lightened and added a bit of clarity and saturation to her eyes. It's not a good picture by any means, but I wanted to capture that expression of hers.

(Shot with the Nikon D600, SB-800, and Pocket Wizards; aperture priority with aperture set to f/2.8 at 1/60 second and ISO 400; center-weighted; normal JPG.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Eric (2001 - 2013)

Our daughter's greyhound boyfriend, Eric, was put down this past weekend. They were always happy to see each other when he visited the animal hospital where she works. I was lucky to have photographed Eric for two consecutive years in Solvang during the greyhound gathering there.

I will remember him for a distinctive scar on his face:


He always struck me as being happy all the time:


I will remember him for his running in several of the Solvang Streaks -- running with a wild abandon as he sped from one end of the enclosed run to the other. He was so excited to go after the lure -- and had such a hard time with letting go of it once he had captured it.

This picture that I took of him running in the 2009 Solvang Streak makes me smile every time I see it:


He has the lure in his sights, and he will not be denied.

I am glad that he was Rachel's greyhound boyfriend -- I'm only sorry that their relationship did not last longer.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 70-200mm VR zoom; shutter-priority mode, with shutter speed set at 1/2000 second at f/5.6 at ISO 800; cloudy weather white balance; normal JPG.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Getting into a habit

Since Katie's amputation the girls have gotten into the habit of wanting to nap in the back of our van.


(Taken with the iPhone and processed using Camera Awesome.)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Katie hears a noise -- 11 days post-amp

By eleven days post-amp, when this picture was taken, Katie had been going outdoors to lie on our front lawn for awhile. Sometimes she would take a short nap in the sun; other times I thought it was to get out of the house at night because it was cooler outdoors.

Before spending a few minutes on the front lawn with her, I had my iPhone with me and tried to get a few pictures. I lay prone on the sidewalk to get a little below her eye level. Then I waited for a moment. I used the Camera Awesome app to get this vintage effect of Katie hearing something going on in the alley across the street:


Sometimes I don't feel like taking my Nikon outside: it's so much easier to just pull my iPhone out of my pocket and take a snap. Cell phone cameras were terrible when they first came out, but the iPhone camera is very good, and it is so easy to share a photo on Facebook with those you know.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Katie doesn't always misbehave...

Since her leg amputation surgery over two weeks ago Katie has been very good (for the most part) about leaving her incision alone as it healed. I have caught her licking the area of the t-shirt that covers the scar, but she could be so much worse about it. I don't doubt for a moment that it has to be itchy.

A week ago she wanted to go into our bedroom where one of her dog beds is (most Greyhounds have several dog beds in the house). She has this habit of leaning over one side of the bed and placing her front leg outside and alongside it, and assumes this particular pose. It looks kind of confident and self-assured. Anyway, after she had laid down for a few minutes, I thought I'd better check on her to make sure she wasn't licking the wound since I was in another room. When I peeked in I saw her posing, so I walked over to the dining room where my camera was, switched lenses, and returned to the bedroom. She was still there, posing, so I took a few quick snaps and hoped I got a good image. Unfortunately, the color on her head in the picture was really bizarre compared to her body, so I converted it to black-and-white. Even then, the conversion was not very good, although I liked her pose and the expression on her face.

I thought I'd make an image macro of it just for fun, so here's the end result:


By the way Katie got her staples out several days ago and got her first dose of chemo. Now we need to make sure she gets enough calories to gain some weight.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 105mm macro lens; aperture-priority, aperture set to f/4.5, shutter speed 1/40 second at ISO 6400; auto white balance; imported into Lightroom and converted to black-and-white; normal JPG.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sadie and Katie snuggle

Sadie is a snuggler; Katie is not. Sadie is needy and likes reassurance; Katie, not so much. Katie is not particularly fond of anyone lying very close to her. She will not bite if it happens, but she will usually get up and leave to go lie down somewhere else.

So to find Katie sleeping in a dog bed with Sadie's face so close to hers last week as Katie continued to recover from her surgery...well, we had to get a few pictures.


They slept together like this for awhile. It was comforting to see them like this.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 18-35mm zoom at 35mm; aperture-priority, with aperture set to f/4.5; shutter speed of 1/15 second at ISO 6400; auto white balance; imported and converted to black-and-white using Lightroom; normal JPG.)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Katie -- one week post-amp


(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 18-35mm zoom lens at 35mm; aperture-priority with aperture set at f/4.5; shutter speed 1/40 second at ISO 4000; +0.7 exposure compensation; center-weighted metered; normal JPG; imported into Lightroom and processed using the blue filter preset.)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Waiting...

This past week we've been preparing for Katie's surgery tomorrow to amputate her right front leg. Last Tuesday Katie went to see a canine oncologist for an FNA appointment. The oncologist thought the humerus had not eroded enough to allow an FNA to be done -- and she was right. We took that as a good thing.

We are probably making it harder on ourselves by all the fretting we're doing. In the meantime, Katie just lives for the present and keeps things simple. Katie looked like this yesterday afternoon when I offered her a cookie:


If you have a moment and think of it, keep her in your thoughts tomorrow and for the days ahead.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 50mm f/1.8 lens; aperture-priority, with aperture set to f/5.6; 1/100 second at ISO 6400; center-weighted; +0.7 exposure compensation; normal JPG.)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Irish, Maia, and Midori

Friday afternoon at GIG was warmer than I preferred. I don't particularly like photographing dogs with their tongues dangling and with them panting, trying to stay cool. Some Greyhounds are not overly fond of warm weather, so I try to find shade wherever possible for them as I photograph.

Irish, Maia, and Midori belong to a volunteer of the Greyhound adoption group that ran GIG this year. I thought it might be nice to have the hounds pose by one of the numerous rail fences that cover the Gettysburg field. I had a certain image in mind before I had them pose, but it required a different time of day.

Anyway, the volunteer's father offered to hold the leashes while I photographed. I particularly like how all three Greyhounds are "smiling" and have their ears at half-mast; Maia (in the middle) is starting to tongue-dangle but not enough to be distracting. I knelt down below their eye level and tried to keep Sickels Road off in camera right out of view. If I had to do this over I would've asked for the leashes to be down on the ground and then threaded through the fence.

When I returned home and started processing the photos in this session I was amused by Irish's (on the left) expression -- almost as if he saw something funny was going to happen to me. I hadn't noticed this at the time I took this picture. I like their relaxed faces and how they're all looking in my direction.


Tintype and wet-plate post-processing is kind of an interesting effect at the moment. I had one preset to mimic 19th century film processing, so I applied it to this picture since we were in a Civil War battlefield. I am pleased with how this turned out overall.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 10-24mm zoom lens and SB-400 flash; shutter-priority with shutter speed set to 1/250 second; aperture set to f/14 at ISO 200; -0.7 exposure compensation; center-weighted metered; shot in RAW, imported in Lightroom and DxO Film Pack 3.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sadie, tonight.

I don't get to practice with my off-camera flash much, so tonight I had Sadie go outside with me. I got to practice for all of five minutes.


(Shot with the Nikon D600 using the 50mm f/1.8 lens, SB-400 on shoot-through umbrella, and PocketWizard Nikon MiniTT1 and FlexTT5; program mode; shutter speed 1/60 second at f/5.6 and ISO 400; auto white balance; converted to black and white using Lightroom; normal JPG.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Andrew (2000 - 2013)


"...He took my heart and ran with it, and he's running still, fast and strong, a piece of my heart bound up with his, forever."

-- Excerpt from For The Love Of A Dog by Patricia McConnell


Photograph of Andrew taken during his photo session with me at Royal Copenhagen Inn, Solvang, CA, at the Solvang Greyhound Fest in February, 2013.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Miami #2


I had hoped for more clouds in the western sky for a more dramatic sunset, but what the heck -- it's Gettysburg and there are so many places to photograph. I had Miami pose for me in the grassy fields north of the peach orchard. I added some fill in post-process because using a flash here would've made its presence too obvious.

The Sherfy barn, which sits next to Emmitsburg Road, is the red building in the background.

The leash was digitally removed in case you were wondering.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 10-24mm zoom; manual mode; 20mm, 1/60 second at f/4.5 and ISO 200; auto white balance; center-weighted metered; +1 exposure compensation; shot in RAW and imported into Lightroom.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tangerine

Both pictures taken at Sachs Covered Bridge in Gettysburg, PA during GIG 2013.



(Shot with the Nikon D600 and 105mm VR macro lens; aperture-priority mode; aperture set to f/4 (top picture) and f/8 (bottom picture); shutter speed 1/250 second (top) and 1/125 second (bottom) at ISO 100 (top) and 160 (bottom); center-weighted; auto white balance; shot in RAW, converted to DNG and imported into Lightroom.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Miami


Another shot taken in a grass field north of the infamous peach orchard in Gettysburg, PA. during GIG 2013. I was attracted to how the setting sun acted as a rim light on his legs, brisket, and ears. I couldn't use fill flash here to lighten his body because the grass he's standing in would be illuminated in a pool of light from the flash. I elected to add some fill in post-processing, and used a graduated filter to the sky to bring out some of the clouds. His leash was digitally removed, too, so just know that he wasn't off-lead here.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 and 10-24mm zoom; aperture-priority with aperture set to f/5.6; camera set shutter speed of 1/200 second at ISO 200; center-weighted; +1 exposure compensation; shot in RAW and imported into Lightroom.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Izaskun the galga at sunset


(Note: leash digitally removed.)

(Shot with the Nikon D300 and the 10-24mm zoom at 17mm; aperture-priority, with aperture set at f/5.6; camera set shutter speed of 1/125 second at ISO 200; auto white balance; matrix-metered; shot in RAW and converted in Lightroom.)

Harry

Early Friday morning at GIG I met Harry and his owner, Nancy. Remember Harry (he's the greyhound with the Roman nose) and the session I did with him at Dewey? They drove all the way from Massachusetts to meet me at Sachs Covered Bridge for another session while attending GIG (I'm lucky that I have repeat customers -- I will not take that for granted).

The mid-morning light was not too harsh when we started photographing, but once the sun rose above the tree line the shadows got really hard. The light also didn't make Harry's coat too shiny or make too many hotspots (always a problem with black greyhounds).

He walked onto a stony stretch alongside Marsh Creek, and then stopped to watch something on the opposite bank. I took a picture as he stood and watched:


(I digitally removed his leash from the picture.)

Harry is one of those Greyhounds with a Roman nose, as well as having a lower right canine that protrudes. It's pretty hard to not love a face like his:


After taking a few pictures of him in the creek we had Harry step atop a bank while I knelt down on the stony stretch so I could look up at him for a different perspective:


I was trying to find shady spots to photograph him in but they were few and far between. At least here, even though he's in the sunlight, he doesn't come off being too shiny.

Towards the end of his session we returned to the grassy field next to the bridge's "parking lot" and took a few snaps there:


(I removed the leash digitally here, too.)

Harry was easy to work with -- as he was when I first met him at Dewey two years ago.

(Shot with the Nikon D600 with the 105mm lens (first, third, and fourth picture), and the Nikon D300 with the 10-24mm zoom (second picture); auto white balance; aperture-priority mode; shot in RAW and converted to JPG using Lightroom.)