In trying to familiarize myself with my new Nikon D40 SLR, I went in and around the Seminary this morning, snapping a few pictures and testing some of the features of the D40. I was extremely pleased with the results, and I'll share some of the pictures with you here. (You can find a lot more of the pictures I took this morning on my Seminary Pictures page).
1/125, f/5.6, ISO 200 (cropped, lightened)
This image, taken at the Seminary's Marian grotto, was made using my Raynox .66x wide-angle conversion lens. You can see a lot of blurring on the outer edges of the photo; I think the wide-angle lens was meant for a little longer focal length on the camera lens than the 18mm wide end of the kit lens on my D40. However, the 'zoom blur' effect can have it's use. I can't wait until spring, when the flowers are all in bloom! I'll be sure to snap a few photos of the grotto then.
1/15, f/4.2, ISO 400 (converted to B&W in Photoshop)
Pitured above is the St. Jean-Marie (John) Vianney statue in the Seminary's main (St. Joseph) chapel. I took a picture of this statue last year with my Canon PowerShot S2 IS, at ISO 50, with the shutter open for 2 seconds, while on a tripod, and got a very clean (low-noise) and sharp picture. With the Nikon SLR, I could easily go to ISO 400, or even 800, before noise is a real issue, and I can hand-hold the camera with a 1/15 second shutter speed. This is simply one of the areas where digital SLRs truly play on a different field than any point-and-shoot camera, mostly because of the bigger image sensor in SLRs.
1/15, f/4.0, ISO 560
This picture of one of the two wooden confessionals in the St. Joseph's chapel (both of which were installed last year) was taken using the .66x wide-angle lens. In this one, the edge blur actually helps the image (at least, in my opinion!). I think the St. Joseph's chapel is on of the most beautiful areas in the Seminary (and rightly so!), and the new wooden confessional add even more beauty.
Look at the rest of the pictures I took this morning on my Seminary Pictures page.