How Jay Shoots – Telephoto Eyes that See in Color

How Jay shoots:

  • One camera, one lens
  • Nikon D3s (full-frame)
  • 28-300mm (often in the 150-300 range)
  • 1600 ISO
  • Bracket -1, 0, +1 (ALWAYS)
  • RAW + jpeg
  • Sets his in-camera jpeg settings to Vivid and highest sharpness
  • Picks  his best images and preferred exposure as the reference image for his assistant to match in print
  • Reviews images as 12×18 inches printed in house on a big Epson printer on Epson Luster paper
  • No retouching, no after capture cropping

The capabilities of today’s digital SLRs are completely incorporated into Jay’s technical approach to shooting. He shoots exclusively at ISO 1600 to keep the shutter speed high avoiding either camera motion blur or subject motion blur. On the Nikon D3s the noise is pretty imperceptible. I’m not sure that my Canon 5dMkII can quite match the D3s performance, but it is surely acceptable as I too shot at 1600 ISO for the week. He also shoots exclusively with the Nikon 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S lens and he uses the long range of the lens (150mm to 300mm) more often than the short range. He explains “he has telephoto eyes”. When you study his images, you see the pristine compositions that the narrow field of view allows him. When asked if he would shoot in B&W, he smiles and says “I see in color, even when I shot black and white film, I saw in color”.

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