Thursday, February 28, 2008

Nikon D3 Test (NCDT Ballet Photos)

Photographing the North Carolina Dance Theatre's (NCDT) dress rehearsal for "Rhoden, Bolero and Balanchine" was the perfect opportunity to test out my new Nikon D3 camera.
I've been photographing ballet for more than decade and I've transitioned from film to a variety of digital cameras. Ballet presents many technical challenges as you endeavor to photograph movement in typically low, ever-changing light.
I was excited to test the capabilities of the D3 after hearing great things about the camera's performance at high ISOs.
(For the non-photographers, a camera's ISO function sets the light sensitivity of the camera's image sensor - similar to the speed rating of film. Typically, the higher the ISO the greater the amount of noise or grain in the image).
I have to say that among the many great things about this camera, the ability to increase the ISO up to 6400 while maintaining image quality is nothing short of remarkable.
I've heard others make this comment as well, but this camera allows me to make photographs that weren't possible before.
Keep in mind that I'm not being paid by Nikon (although I would be open to such an arrangement), but I am a long-time Nikon user.
The D3 also has a blazing 9-frames-per second motor drive (when shooting with non-DX lenes) and the full-frame sensor which adds a new dimension to lens selection. (Previous digital Nikons all had a conversion factor which changed the actual focal length of the lens.)
The ability to shoot at the higher ISOs allows the use of higher shutter speeds, which enables the photographer to better freeze the moving, leaping dancers. In the past, I would have to use very slow (1/30th of a second) shutter speeds as I would have to time the shot at the moment of least movement.
Well that's enough technical talk. It's been my great pleasure to photograph these wonderful dancers over the years and I'm always amazed by their talent. Charlotte is so lucky to have such an incredible dance troupe led by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and his wife Patricia McBride.
Performances run tonight through Saturday (Feb. 1-March 1) and then Thursday through Saturday (March 6-8) next week.
You won't be disappointed in this entertaining, versatile show.
(A reminder, click on the photo for a better look and then hit the back button to return to the blog. I'm including some technical information for the photographers in the crowd. Enjoy!)

Traci Gilchrest lets her hair down
(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/640 at f2.8)

Joseph Watson and Seia Rassenti
(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/200th at f2.8)

Sasha Janes and Alessandra Ball
(Nikon D3 ISO 3200 1/250th at f2.8)

Alessandra Ball gives a curtain call
(Nikon D3 ISO 3200 1/4ooth f2.8)

Kara Wilkes and David Ingram
(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/200th f2.8)

Anna Gerberich in the wings
(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/100th f2.8)

Seia Rassenti
(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/200th f2.8)

(Nikon D3 ISO 3200 1/400th at f2.8)

(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/400th f2.8)

Kara Wilkes and David Ingram
(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/320th f2.8)

Sasha Janes
(Nikon D3 ISO 4000 1/400th f2.8)

Seia Rassenti and Joseph Watson
(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/160th f2.8)

Sasha Janes and Anna Gerberich
(Nikon D3 ISO 2500 1/320th f2.8)

(Nikon D3 ISO 2500 1/500th f2.8)

Kara Wilkes
(Nikon D3 ISO 5000 1/500th f2.8)

(Nikon D3 ISO 2500 1/500th f2.8)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ali in England and Nikon news

Alison is having a grand time living and working in London. (For those new to the blog, our daughter Ali loves to travel and has been back-and-forth to Europe several times.)
She and her friend Amanda took a train to Wales this past weekend to see Amanda's aunt and uncle.
Alison's next planned adventure is to spend St. Patrick's Day in Dublin...

Amanda, Amanda's aunt and Ali (L-R)

On the photography front, I'm excited about our latest purchase - the Nikon D3.
This amazing new camera offers technical advancements that will allow us to give our clients fantastic results in a wide variety of lighting situations.
For the photographers out there, the D3 yields beautiful results at ISOs up to 6400 and beyond. This feature will allow available light photography in many more situations than were previously possible.
I'm going to be testing the camera out at the North Carolina Dance Theatre's upcoming dress rehearsal so check back to see the images.

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Faces of Davidson" Update

We're very pleased with the response we're getting to our "Faces of Davidson" portrait project.
The calls and emails have been streaming in. Keep them coming!
Remember, we're looking for interesting people from throughout the community.
We'll continue to gather names through Feb. 29th and we hope to start the portrait sessions in mid-March.
Betsy is coordinating the event and you can reach her at or by calling our studio at 704.892.9662.
Thank you for all of your great ideas!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Davidson Does it Again (basketball photos)

With the Davidson College regular season winding down, I wanted to make sure to photograph some of the remaining home games.
The Wildcats took care of business again last night downing UNC Greensboro, 75-66, on the way to their 18th Southern Conference win.
I'm looking forward to following Davidson's progress in March.
(Remember to click on the photos for better viewing. Hit the back button to return).
We're also excited about out "Faces of Davidson" photo project. I want to thank David Boraks for the nice mention in today.
Please send us your suggestions. Don't be shy. Tell us who you think we should include and why. Email us a
We're in the process of gathering names and we'll release more details about the dates of the portrait sessions soon.

Is this the so-called "Sixth Man?"


Boris Meno rejects UNCG's Kyle Hines

Curry drives

Thomas Sander hits the floor for a loose ball

"Mr. Assist" Jason Richards shoots one himself

Drawing a foul

Sideline humor

Happy Cats

McKillop and company are 18-0 in the conference

Monday, February 18, 2008

Portrait Project: "Faces of Davidson"

I’m happy to announce an exciting new portrait project we are organizing to help us to get to know more people in the Davidson community.
Tentatively titled “Faces of Davidson" we plan to photograph a diverse mix of people in what we hope will be a local exhibit.
We’re seeking suggestions of people in the area who we should feature in the portraits.
We are looking for interesting community leaders, business people, students, familiar faces and a variety of people from Davidson College. We're trying to get the names in hand by Friday Feb. 29th.
We will photograph individuals in our studio, Christopher Record Photography, above Main Street Books in Davidson. We’ll schedule several times when the selected individuals can visit the studio for a portrait sessions.
There will be no charge for the portrait sessions and we plan to post images online that will be available for purchase.
Please email ( us with any ideas and with suggestions of people you feel should be included.
You can also contact the studio at 704.892.9662. We look forward to hearing your ideas!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Davidson basketball photos (Part 2)

I got the opportunity to do some more sports photography Saturday when Davidson faced Furman in a Southern Conference matchup at Belk Arena.
Our son Sean tagged along as well and got some amazing shots. Sean first started taking pictures at the Carolina Panthers training camp with me about four years ago. He never ceases to amaze me with some of the photos he comes up with. (You can see one of his shots at the bottom of the post).
Davidson stayed undefeated in the conference with another strong showing from Stephen Curry and reserve sophomore guard William Archambault had a breakout performance with 28 points.
Thanks to my new friend Tim for making all of the arrangements.

The Davidson bench cheers as the reserves finish off Furman

Stephen Curry warms up

The fans were ready for a fight

Stephen Curry

Curry drives

Will Archambault had a huge game

Davidson coach Bob McKillop

Fans show their appreciation

The Record boys

Sean got many excellent photos and I really liked this one of Curry finishing off a great play

Monday, February 11, 2008

Basketball photos

Saturday was fun as I took in the Davidson College-College of Charleston basketball game with our son Sean.
Sean and I were a bit nonchalant as we rolled up very close to tipoff, and we ended up parking close to a mile from the arena. (Sometimes I really miss press parking). We hadn't anticipated the large crowd that turned out to see the Wildcats and super sophomore Stephen Curry.
We ended up in the nosebleed section which made my photography efforts a bit more challenging. (I also miss seats right on the floor but I'd much rather go to the game with Sean). I made do with a 70-200mm lens and got a few nice shots.
Davidson, which is undefeated in Southern Conference play, won easily and Curry scored 26 points. I had photographed Curry's father, Dell, when he played for the then Charlotte Hornets.
It's a rare treat to see such a talented player at a small college and we try to get to as many games as we can.
We're hoping Davidson makes another appearance in the NCAA Tournament in March.

Stephen Curry drives to the hoop

Davidson coach Bob McKillop talks to his team

More from Curry

McKillop congratulates Curry as he leaves the game