Lest We Forget – an Anzac Day essay

I’ve just spent a couple of hours photographing the Anzac parade in Brisbane.

Apart from wanting to show my gratitude to those who have fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy, I thought I’d take the opportunity to play with Nikon’s new Z 70-200mm telephoto lens (you’re looking at about AUD$4,000).

It’s been a bit of a long morning though. I set off in my car at sparrows for the dawn service and drove around the city for more than half an hour looking for a park. Nothing. In desperation, I sped home, jumped on my pushbike and rocketed back as fast as my chicken legs would take me to arrive just in time to find the Eternal Flame flickering without an audience, and the TV crews packing their gear. Argghhhhh.

Still, there was comfort to be found sitting in the sunshine on a clear, crisp day at Southbank where I quaffed a coffee n croissant, and waited for the crowd to start building for the 10 O’clock parade.

Here’s a handful of photographs I captured this morning using only the 70-200mm lens (before my battery ran out, he confesses):

Celebrating the Anzac spirit – the ladies of the Redland Drum Corp
an admiring onlooker
A quiet moment of reflection

70-200mm Review: The strength of using any 70-200mm lens is that you can photograph your subjects unintrusively, as I’ve done with the majority of these photos. And it’s great – clean, fast, sharp – can’t fault it. As a travel photographer, you can’t do without it in your armory.
That said, using this lens highlighted a shortfall in the autofocus system in Nikon’s Z7, which you’re a lot more dependent on if you want sharpness at a distance shooting a shallow depth-of-field. More than two decades ago, I chose Nikon over Canon for its autofocus system. When it focused on a subject back then, it locked on – clunk – you knew what you were shooting. With the new Z series, it’s not the case. To my eye, it’s way too sensitive and prone to distraction within the focus square, particularly if the subject is not stationary, or you’re shooting in low light conditions. Nikon claims to have resolved this with two firmware updates (which at least indicates they recognise the issue) but I’ve not detected a discernible difference since upgrading my camera. And, since going on line to find out more about it, all I’ve read about is how vastly superior Sony’s autofocus system is (which doesn’t help if you’re a Nikon user). Hopefully, the next firmware update will bring the improvement needed.
And a quick tip to owners of the Z7 using the 70-200mm lens. Make sure you bring extra batteries (fully charged would be handy, he says, given his weren’t 😱) because the combination will drain your batteries pretty quickly.

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.



E-mail: david@kirklandphotos.com

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