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2012 © Charles K. Hardin

This week’s Fan Photo of the Week was taken by photographer Charles Hardin made with the 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM. He tells us:

Cathedral Falls is located behind Living Water Ministry in Western North Carolina. Walter Arnold showed me this one April 2010 for the first time. It’s located off of highway 215, I use the highway to get to the Blue Ridge Parkway quite often. This falls is just off the road and very easy to get to. I usually stop here a couple times a year. After a trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway on Sunday June 17, I decided to stop by Cathedral. My sunrise on the Parkway didn’t happen Clouds rolled in at daybreak. But cloudy skies are great for waterfall photography. Water level was perfect, this allowed me to cross some of the water to get a little more depth. What you can’t see in the photo is there’s a falls behind me The French Broad Falls (which is a river). Cathedral by far is the most photogenic of the 2. A wide angle works best for this one but I left my Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 on my D-300s. The area has a fair amount of contrast so I used 5 shot brackets and paned for 3 brackets, total of 15 shots to make this image. I shoot in Manual Mode most of the time but for Pans I always use Aperture-Priority Mode. First shot was 1/20 of a second – .8 seconds for the 5th shot. F-10, ISO 200, focal length was 17mm. As much as I really like this shot I was a little disappointed, see I was wanting a little more sky in the shot. I always use a Polarizer, for this one I also used a ND filter to slow things down a bit.

About Charles: My name is Charles K. Hardin, I live in Taylor SC, I’m married with one child (19 year old) My hobby is photography, hope someday to be able to make enough money to support new equipment for my photography. This can be an expensive hobby.

I bought a SLR back in the early 80s after getting Married in 1990 I quit taking photos until 2005. I brought a 5.2mp HP point and shoot and knew right away I wanted more. My next step was a Nikon D-60. I decide I want a really good lens for a medium distance and purchased a Sigma 70-200 F2.8.

What a great len. I was now hooked on Sigma lenes. I wanted to get better at photography at this point, so I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a book on exposure and they were out. While there I came across a book on HDR photography. I knew then what and how I wanted to shoot. I then came across a blog Jack Howard did with a young man named Walter Arnold on HDR photography. Walter had some contact info and I e-mailed him. Walter spent an afternoon and evening working with me and my photography show immediate improvement. Many thanks to Walter and Amanda. By this time I was shooting with a used Nikon D-200. I needed a better lens than the kit lens that came with the D-60 so I then purchased a Sigma 17-50mm. This is my len’s of choice. This is my go to len. I’m now shooting with a Nikon D-300s. I was once asked if something happen to my 17-50mm F2.8 would I but another one. I said yes. I had to replace it after dropping it back in the winter. I didn’t hesitate on purchasing a new one. Sigma make some of the best glass available at any price! I also have a Sigma 18-250 I bought to do some photos at my son Graduation last year and for a walk around len’s. This too is a Great len’s. Many thanks for such fine product. Hopefully my photography will continue to improve and I can create some very stunning work to show case what a fine product you have…

Check out some of Charles’ work on Flickr, Google+ and Facebook!

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