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Photographer Vincent Versace test drives the Nikon D300.

Advertorial he Nikon D300 sets a new standard for compact professional function in a digital camera. With lightning-fast response and impeccable color precision, the D300 is able to produce high-quality images. It is also a durable, easyto-use, anywhere-anytime workhorse. Photographer Vincent Versace used the camera for the first time on a recent trip to Vietnam and returned singing its praises. “Did I mention how absolutely spot-on the color is?” he says.


While Burma was Vincent Versace’s original destination of choice, he had to re-think his trip because the country was in crisis and rendered unsafe for travel. He felt that visiting Vietnam was an opportunity for him to see places and a way of life that he had known of from childhood, but only through the news broadcasts and headlines of wartime. The resulting photographs of his three-week journey show a multifaceted country at peace, its beauty and grace apparent. “As is always the case, good things come from the unexpected,” Versace says.


“The story here is one of setting the stage and hoping the players will come,” says Versace. As luck would have it, the ideal player happened purposefully by at just the right moment. “This was taken in the town of Hoi,” the photographer recalls. Hoi is a beautiful, atmospheric town that has remained virtually unchanged since the time of French colonialism. The Vietnamese woman in the image is both iconic and of a time that is rapidly vanishing into an increasingly modern world. “Vietnam is on its way to exploding as a country,” Versace says of its impending modernity. “I feel lucky to have seen it now.” He noted that nobody on the streets seemed bothered by him and his camera, which allowed him to capture many images—like that of the Vietnamese woman in Hoi—that are priceless for their ordinary authenticity. “The 3D-focusing system combined with the superior 14-bit color as well as the exposure accuracy of the D300’s metering system is what made this shot happen,” Versace says.



For Versace, the allure of this image has everything to do with the geometry in play behind and around his two subjects. “It was sunrise. These two Vietnamese ladies were waiting for a fishing boat to come in, and I was watching them,” he explains. “They had no idea they were being photographed.” According to Versace, the visual pattern of the tattered structures before him juxtaposed with the two ladies in the foreground brought the pensiveness of their waiting into focus. He credits Nikon’s new Scene Recognition System for the enhancing the geometry of the scene. The Scene Recognition System uses a modified version of Nikon’s 1005-pixel RGB color sensor to recognize shapes and positions prior to an image being captured, which aids the camera’s new 51-Point Autofocus system in tracking subjects by their color, while enhancing the accuracy of exposure and white balance metering. “It is all about the color,” Versace says, “specifically the accuracy and fidelity of that color.”


The same 51-Point Autofocus system was essential for the image of two new subjects: Vietnamese boys enjoying a meal at a local café. “I was caught in a monsoon and had to run for cover,” Versace recalls. “The closest place was an outdoor café. I was sitting down at a table and my camera was still on the tripod, so I quietly moved the camera, framed the shot to focus on the little boy facing the camera, and turned the manual focus off. Then, with a cable release, I took pictures while appearing to look the other way.” Versace says that no other camera could have been trusted with such accuracy as the D300 is equipped with an extraordinary piece of technology for just such a circumstance. “It comes back to the superb exposure capability of the metering system: the 51 focus points—I had one focus point right on the lead boy’s eye—and the new color system.” Because the Nikon D300’s 51-Point Autofocus system is able to track subjects by their color and enhance exposure accuracy, Versace never needed to keep his eye on the viewfinder to ensure he was getting the shot. As a result, the two little boys never noticed the camera, allowing for an entirely unselfconscious moment to be captured. When Versace returned from his Vietnam trip, he bought a second D300, which he plans on modifying to shoot digital infrared. “The new color system is amazing,” he says. “Nikon didn’t just hit the ball out of the ball park, they hit the ball into the opposing team’s home ball park. I found the D300 to be the most accurate camera I have ever shot with.”

Nikon D300


Profile for Vincent Versace


FROM FPO Photographer Vincent Versace test drives the Nikon D300. ALL PHOTOS © TO B E AN NOU NC ED © TO B E AN NOU NC ED SETTING AND COLOR P...


FROM FPO Photographer Vincent Versace test drives the Nikon D300. ALL PHOTOS © TO B E AN NOU NC ED © TO B E AN NOU NC ED SETTING AND COLOR P...