Technical Information
about Bob Cantor's National Parks Photo Gallery

obligatory photographer self-portrait in mirror

The pictures here come have come from 8 different cameras: Canon EOS Rebel T3, Sony A200, Nikon Coolpix S3500, Nikon Coolpix 2100, Nikon FE, Nikon one-touch zoom, Olympus zoom wide 80, and a Kodak disposable underwater camera. Each of these cameras is discussed below.

I am currently using the Canon T3, an entry level digital SLR with 13 megapixel resolution. It was purchased in 2011 to replace my first DSLR which had been stolen. I usually have a Tamron 18-200mm lens on it, but use the kit EFS 18-55mm lens for specific situations where it has superior performance. Since most of my Sony accessories had been stolen with the camera, I wasn't tied to that brand and felt that the new Sony entry level cameras no longer had the advantages which the A200 had offered. Contact me if you'd like details about the advantages and disadvantages of these cameras or the lenses.

The Nikon Coolpix S3500 was purchased in 2013. It's a tiny camera which can easily be slipped into my pocket, but it comes with 7X optical zoom and 20 megapixels, all for under $100. Compared to my previous experiences with point-and-shoot cameras, this one is surprisingly fast and does an excellent job of coming up with the best default settings, although it often has difficulty trying to get candid shots and has a lot of noise in low light situations. It's capable of taking excellent macro shots but only on those occasions when it can actually focus on a close-up subject, which is about half the time. The picture of the sweat bee is one of the photographs from this camera.

The Sony A200 DSLR was purchased in 2008 to replace my 35mm film camera and I haven't used a film camera since. The Sony Alpha came with 10 megapixels resolution and a kit 18-70mm lens (35mm equivalent = 27-105). I chose this model because I liked the feel of it and the layout of the controls, and believed it was the best value among the entry level DSLRs at the time. I eventually replaced the kit lens with the same Tamron 18-200mm lens which I would later purchase for the Canon T3.

Most of the pictures prior to 2008 were taken using color negative film and my trusty Nikon FE, a full-sized semi-automatic 35mm SLR bought around 1982. I had the camera equipped with a wonderful 28mm F2.8 Nikkor Lens and an inexpensive 70-210mm zoom. I always kept a skylight filter on the wide-angle lens (which probably did save the lens on the one occasion I dropped the camera) and occasionally used a polarizer. After one minor repair and a refurbishing, this camera was still going strong when I finally replaced it. I'd originally planned to use this camera for the rest of my life: it was built like a tank, the tiny battery would last 10-15 years, it could take pictures even when the battery was dead, it could take photographs just as good as the newest models, and it would've never become obsolete if it weren't for the introduction of digital photography.

My first compact digital camera was acquired in 2004, the Nikon Coolpix 2100 with 2.0 megapixels and 3X optical zoom. The Spiderwort photo from Shenandoah NP was taken using its macro focusing mode.

The Olympus zoom wide 80 was a weatherproof compact 35mm camera with a 28mm to 80mm zoom. I purchased it in 1999 and would still be using it if the price on the more convenient compact digital cameras had not come down so drastically. It worked best with 400 ASA film or faster.

My Nikon one-touch zoom was a compact 35mm camera with fixed focal lengths of 35 and 70mm. I bought that in 1987 and retired it in 1999 when it started acting flaky. The 3 pictures from inside the Grand Canyon and some of the pictures from Olympic National Park, Colorado, and Kauai were taken with this camera. The one black-and-white photo from the Grand Canyon is the only film photo on these pages which didn't use color negative film.

The picture from Virgin Islands National Park was taken with a disposable Kodak underwater camera loaded with 800 ASA film. The above water pictures came out quite nice, but even in strong sunlight the underwater shots did not have much color to them.

When using film, the photos were scanned from prints on an HP combination printer/scanner. All of the images were adjusted, sized and saved in JPEG format using Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Whenever I adjust contrast or colors, it is always to try to make the photograph as realistic as possible. I usually avoid any significant cropping of the image, preferring to use the composition I created when taking the photo (many of the wildlife and flower photographs are exceptions, however). There are several panamora shots which were created by knitting 2 or more photos together, doing this manually at first, then using PanoramaMaker 3.0, and now using Canon PhotoStitch. There is also a shot from the Badlands where I combined two photos from the same spot in order to get the maximum depth-of-field.

In only one photo did I actually remove something - this picture of Hurricane Ridge originally had an RV which was positioned so as to appear to be emerging uncomfortably from the rear of the deer (it's amazing how you can completely miss this when taking the photo).

Return to the Gallery.
©1997-2016 by Robert Cantor