Adventures with a D500

After a bit of saving up a little bit of research I was able to upgrade my camera body after almost six years with my D3100. Naturally I would make decide to make a "small jump" all the way up to a D500. This blog is basically a write up of the first few trips with the camera and some of the learning going from a Geo Metro to a Chevy Camaro

I always have a weird tradition that no matter what the first photo I take with a new camera or lens I always save and publish it. The honor of the first shot was of a couple cigar humidors on my counter

The first outing with my new camera was to a park a couple miles down the street from me. This park has a lake and a lot of ducks and for some reason I always like taking pictures of ducks

As you can see there are a ton of ducks. It also helped there was a young family walking around feeding them so thats why there were so many in a such a large group

It was late evening so I was also able to try out taking some nice lakeside sunset shots

Thanks to the tilting screen on the D500 I was able to get a low angle shot of this duck walking around the shoreline. This little feature will save my knees in the future

Another purchase along with my camera was an external flash unit as the D500 has no flash built in. As someone who has never used an external flash it is another piece to learn how to use. I used it to backlight this duck swimming in the water

The next night I attended the local run what you brung night at Wild Horse. The main goal of this was to test and learn about the low light capabilities of the D500

One of the big reasons I chose the D500 was what I read about its superior low light performance. This shot of a Pontiac GTO was shot at 12800 iso and it came out pretty good.

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Even testing the upper end of the iso range at 20000iso the images were not too grainy.

Another selling point was its superior auto focusing performance. I was amazed how even in low light with a big lens it could pick up these two Corvettes traveling at different speeds

One cool thing about the Friday Night Drags is it a run what you brung street car event and you will see come cool and fast everyday drivers. 

This rough looking Chevy C10 actually ran 12 seconds

After waking up before sunrise the next morning and not being able to go back to sleep I went back to the park to do some nighttime & sunrise shots. Once again learning different techniques and trying to shoot landscape which I have very little experience doing

While not the sharpest photo I like the colors from this early sunrise shot. 

One thing I like in landscape photos are many layers. I always try to find a spot to shoot multiple layered images. This was a good shot of some trees in the foreground and the Estrella Mountains in the background

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Just walking around to got these photos of some trees. I always like to take photos in the early morning or at sunrise because the colors pop

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Another thing I like to do is underexpose photos to get a nice silhouette of the foreground

While at the NHRA Preseason test shooting photos for my blog on Scott Palmer Racing I was able to sneak away and get some other photos at the test. 

Here is local top fuel racer Jim Maroney warming up the Davidson family Top Fuel dragster

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Mike Salinas now with the backing of legendary tuner Alan Johnson making a strong afternoon test pass

Jim Maroney making the 2nd test pass for the brand new Davidson team. Kim & Michelle Davidson had previously run a Top Fuel Hydro and are switching to a dragster this year

Defending World Champion JR Todd making a mid afternoon test pass.

2X Pro Stock World Champion warming up her brand new Camaro for the first time in preseason testing

One of the biggest thrills of the test was shooting along the wall as the cars launched. While I technically was not suppose to be there it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I took advantage. I had never been that close and it was an experience all in itself. The icing on the cake was shooting next to one of the people I look up to Gil Rebilas for the evening test runs.

It is one thing to be in the stands and feel the vibration of the cars as they go by but along the wall 5 feet from the cars as they rocket by. This was about 200ft off the line and by this point they are traveling well over 150 mph

Mike Salinas making another test pass here

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Mike's daughter Jianna making some of her first licensing runs on a pro stock motorcycle. She is going to run for rookie of the year in the class. I love how the sun light in this photo bounces off the windscreen and lights the eyes so you can see her intense focus

Jonnie Lindberg driving Jim Head's wild looking funny car. 

3X Champion and the winningest female in NHRA history Angelle Sampey on her new Vance & Hines Harley

This was a surprising off season move because she was a long time and bitter rival of the team

Former World Champion Robert Hight performing a burnout

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In the only side by side runs of the test had Robert Hight against Bob Tasca III

Jim Maroney on the maiden voyage for the Davidson team

Shawn Langdon making a late evening run

In the final pass of the night saw Clay Millican's new look team take to the track

So this wraps up my latest blog on the first few outings with my brand new Nikon D500. I still have a lot to learn with the new camera but as I said when I first started this website the goal was to learn more about photography and tell a story about the journey.

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