My personal journey into digital photography started in 2004 when I purchased the newly launched Nikon D2H 4. 1 Million Pixels 8X frames per second camera. Commercially viable digital photography was still in its infancy with very little professional support.
I edited in Photoshop and considered myself good at editing. That I contributed to being in a Black & White darkroom since the age of 14 years and because by the time I purchased the D2H I have been developing my own large format colour prints for more than 20 years. I understood colour. My Digital Workflow was managed in Breeze Browser and I felt on top of the world.
In February 2006 Nikon South Africa send me to Rome for the launch of Nikon Capture NX 1 Software. Something exciting was brewing.
Cape Cobra On Gravel Road -Namibia 2004 Nikon D2H with Nikon 300mm F4.0 Lens/F10 @ 1/320 Sec/ISO- Unknown/ EV 0.0
Nikon taking Software serious ? Surely not?
Apart from Nikon representatives from across the globe I sat amongst Europe’s elite photographic magazine editors when we were totally floored with Colour Control Point Technology.
My Photoshop editing time was reduced by 90%+, and managing my workflow was now done in View NX. Nothing less than photographic Nirvana for me then!
Springbok Pronking - Kgalagadi South Africa 2008 Nikon D3 with Nikon 400mm F2.8 + 2.0 X Converter/ F8 @1/2500sec/ISO 800/ EV-0.7
Male South African Shelduck On the Attack - Etosha Namibia 2008 Nikon D700 with Nikon 600mm F4.0 + 1.4 X Converter = 840mm/ F5.6 @ 1/6400Sec/ISO 800/ EV -0.7
In June 2008 I was in Paris when Nikon Launched Nikon Capture NX2. WOW!
Selective Control Point along with Black & White Control Point Technology was launched. The impact of these new tools was life changing and up till this day I have not come across more powerful editing tools. PERIOD!
Preceding South Africa hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup as tradition dictates South Africa hosted the 2009 Confederation Cub. My son Hendri was then Head of NPS Nikon SA and organised his dad a seat amongst 150 elite International Sports Photographers to photograph the opening game between SA and Brazil (and those that followed),
– which we lost but the blow was soften by my experiences that night.
At that stage of my career I was a photography fit Wildlife Photography professional and I have always mocked my mates that no athletes on earth can get even close to matching a Lilac-breasted Roller for speed!
This point was later proofed in a very unexpected way.
Confederation Cub - South Africa June 2009 Nikon D3 wit Nikon 400mm F2.8 / F2.8 @ 1/1250sec/ ISO 1100/ EV-0.7
What is more for 3 successive years during the 1990’s I was awarded a top 3 position in the Allied Bank South African Professional Sport Photographer Of The Year Awards (3rd the one year, 2nd the next and finally I was the overall winner). Although it was the first time in 15 years that I photographed sport again I took the action photography in my stride on that cold June evening in 2009
My love affair with converters go back 25 years and I have quickly learned then that the only pre requisite for obtaining sharp photographs with converters was enough shutter speed so I played around with various converter options while photographing the Confederation Cub.
Author Lou Coetzer
CNP Founder, Author, Mentor & International Travel host.