Saturday, February 11, 2006

Stablized Lenses for Digital Photography

Photograph Stephenie Hollyman, Copyright 2006, All Rights Reserved

The photo to the right probably leads you to ask," Why are these two men laughing? " Well they just bumped into each other after leaving the stage of a press conference at a Dead Sea hotel in Jordan and I was able to grab it because I had a stabilized lens. You can read about the new generation of digital stabilized lenses in NY Times story. . I took this picture as an afterthought two years ago, while traveling as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's photographer in Jordan while he attended the Quartet negotiations, seeking with others to broker a "roadmap towards Middle East peace."

I rushed ahead of the SG at the end of the press conference in order to get in the motorcade that would leave without me. Before heading out the door I turned around quickly and snapped this photo at 800 ASA with my lens in AF and stabilized mode, I had no idea I had captured this moment until later.

Once in the motorcade whizzing back to Amman from the Dead Sea, at maybe 80 miles per hour, I decided to test the
" sports" ( horizontal panning ) stabilizer selection on my then new, 70-200 F. 2.8 lens. I had previously used it hand held to shoot meetings of the UN Security Council leading up to the war in Iraq, but never used the lens in action. So while we blazed down a highway with sirens blasting, I set my Canon 10D camera to follow focus mode ( sports mode) and chose some flags out on the highway for my test.

Back in Amman while editing and transmitting the pix I was stunned. Although the meetings with SG, Colin Powell and the " Quartet" that day in attempt to broker a Middle East peace had gone nowhere, at least my test photos of the flags were acceptably sharp.

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