Photo Blog 43

30 04 2009

So today’s photo’s come from 2 sources; the first being me screwing around at work and the second being one of my assignment shots (more about that later).

Ok, so the first image is a self portrait I’ve been thinking about taking for a while and though the result isn’t that great it is still worth sharing. Basically the camera is just behind my computer monitor and is connected to the computer so I take an image by clicking the mouse. Getting the focus right was a real pain and the reflection still isn’t that great. My only consolation is that I took it in the 10 minutes of lunch break I had remaining so it was done under time pressure :-)

Reflected Self (f4.0 1/13 105mm)

Reflected Self (f4.0 1/13 105mm)


I desaturated the desk and tried to lower the exposure of outside the window a little.

The second image comes from an assignment for the Continuing Education course I’m doing at UoA. For it we have to create a series of images that meet certain criteria. Namely in 4 categories:

  1. Subject in a central position vs subject off center
  2. Subject cut off by the edge of the frame
  3. Landscape vs Portrait format
  4. Subject taking 1/3 of the frame vs 2/3 of the frame

While I don’t have all the images I need yet, my progress so far is here. And the image I’ve chosen as part of my photo blog is one of the off center or 1/3 images which I quite like because of the converging lines.

Waterfront Tracks (f4.0 4/5 24mm)

Waterfront Tracks (f4.0 4/5 24mm)





Photo Blog 41

29 04 2009

Tried for another carpark roof today in the viaduct but to be honest it wasn’t that great a spot. So instead I tried leaning over the edges and taking some shots of things on the ground. Some of the perspective ones looking down the street weren’t too bad but they were still a bit blah.

The only real object of interest was a dumpster on the edge of the new NZI building site. I really liked the contrasting colours of the blue bags and red skip and the general mess around about. The only thing that was disappointing was that at 0.5s there was no chance of keeping the camera perfectly still so there is a lot of motion-introduced blur. But I still like it…

Dumpster (f4.0 1/2 75mm)

Dumpster (f4.0 1/2 75mm)


The only thing I’ve done is add a slight vignette.

The second image was taken on the ground where there was some interesting lighting in a planter outside one of the apartment buildings. I’ve started trying to play with perspective so that was the aim and I quite like the angles of the bottom of the light and the way the foreground plant dominates the images. Not a great image I think and the bleeding around some of the plant leaves is distracting but the best I could manage today :-)

Planter (f4.0 1/10 24mm)

Planter (f4.0 1/10 24mm)


Slight rotation to correct the vertical and resulting crop were the only modifications…





Photo Blog 41

29 04 2009

So it appears that the QoS on our internet connection isn’t up to scratch so while I took and processed the photos last night there was no way of getting them up here without a working internet connection so I’m doing this as a ‘break’ at work…

The first image was taken while playing around in the lobby at work last night waiting for a ride home (it was pissing down). Playing with long-ish exposures I tried to take shots of the turntables and while it isn’t an amazing composition it was something. And worth putting up here anyway ;-)

Decks (f16 1/6 105mm)

Decks (f16 1/6 105mm)

While in the car I was also trying to take shots of the raindrops on the window and how they refracted the light from behind. There were some ok images from that but I found that by focusing on the raindrops you can get crisp images of large droplets with only a little interesting colour or by focusing on the scene outside you can get blurry images of the scene but that the drops don’t do much more than degrade quality and don’t add much. The balance I found was by focusing slightly behind the drops so neither was in focus as then some interesting abstract stuff appears. One image I liked was this one:

Abstract before (f4.0 1/10 55mm)

Abstract before (f4.0 1/10 55mm)

But because I had the time I decided to play with it a bit and use a technique described on the digital photography school website here to make it look like it was taken with a ‘Lomo’ camera. While the choice of image isn’t what that technique is intended for, it does make it nicely framed and a bit nicer (to me):

Abstract Lomo (f4.0 1/10 55mm)

Abstract Lomo (f4.0 1/10 55mm)





Photo Blog 40

27 04 2009

Dinner today was a walk up to Gina’s for some excellent takeaways (even if the walk back might make it a bit colder, the anticipation makes up for it!). So I took the camera and was taking random photos along the way but by far the most interesting were the ones I sneaked while waiting at the restaurant.

The first is one of the cashier passing off a bill to one of the wait staff. I’m really lucky that the focus was so good but I think it was just chance that I was f4.0 instead of f1.8 which is what I was using the whole way, otherwise I doubt it would be as good. I like the action in the shot and the candidness of the interaction. The only thing it doesn’t capture is how loud he was talking :-)

Gina's Duty Manager (f4.0 1/30 50mm)

Gina's Duty Manager (f4.0 1/30 50mm)

I was also playing with the reflection of the outdoors backlit sign in the door. I thought the etched sign in the door would come out more but I wasn’t checking on the camera and instead it is too blurry to make out. But I like the subtlety. In all it is too busy and I’d prefer it to take it again with better framing (i.e. with the ‘PI’ in ‘PIZZA still there). But that teaches me for not paying attention…

Gina's Reflected (f1.8 1/100 50mm)

Gina's Reflected (f1.8 1/100 50mm)





Photo Blog 39

22 04 2009

Daniel and I have been meaning to go for a lunch time photo walk around Victoria Park for a couple of weeks since he first suggested it. So today we managed to go today and apart from the nice trees and such the really interesting bit turned out to be the skate park. There were heaps of kids there (school holidays?) and some opportunities for some cool action shots. I’m still playing with dodge and burn and I think I’m a bit hack-and-slash with it so it leaves something to be desired still. But still makes it better :-)

For comparison:

BMX original (f4.0 1/500 105mm)

BMX original (f4.0 1/500 105mm)

BMX (f4.0 1/500 105mm)

BMX (f4.0 1/500 105mm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second image was not far away where these little kids were doing some pretty impressive things which I think if I tried would end up with a broken hip or something! The image I chose was as one of them turned in front of the others. With a bit more playing with dodge & burn to make the kids stand out it looks a bit better:

Skaters (f4.0 1/250 105mm)

Skaters (f4.0 1/250 105mm)





Photo Blog 38

21 04 2009

Managed to actually get away from work on time today before the sunset so went for a walk through the Viaduct with my camera. To be honest there weren’t too many shots that jumped out as things looked kind of blasé but there were some really nice fishing boats against one of the wharfs. Almost looked like an iconic scene from the Mediterranean. I took a few shots and the one I’ve chosen I played with just a little as I’m trying to use the ‘dodge’ and ‘burn’ tools. In this case I increased the boats just a little to make them pop a little more:

Fishing Boats (f5.6 1/8 70mm)

Fishing Boats (f5.6 1/8 70mm)


It is still a little under exposed but that reflects more accurately the fact that it was a little dark and if I increased it more it didn’t look like a twilight shot anymore…

The second image is a bit more experimental in that I was trying to capture the traffic at the corner of Albert and Quay Streets. The one I chose was because it wasn’t too busy (only one moving vehicle) but still had some cool light effects. I also like the traffic light on the left kind of framing things… even if technically it is ‘clutter’ and should have been cropped away. I did try the crop but I didn’t like it.

Traffic (f5.6 1/5 24mm)

Traffic (f5.6 1/5 24mm)





Photo Blog 37

20 04 2009

Today’s photo blog is really Saturday’s photo blog but this is the first chance I’ve had to upload the images :-)

I was at a party in the countryside outside Hamilton on Saturday night and the landscape and lighting (and company) were absolutely stunning. So today’s images are just two of many that I took but are the pick of the bunch.

The first is one of some hills where the light looked great and there was some really interesting contrast in the scene (maybe helped only a little by Photoshop in post).

Hills (f4.0 1/80 40mm)

Hills (f4.0 1/80 40mm)

The second is an HDR shot looking down a long hedge towards the horizon. I really liked the way that the lines draw you into the center of the image and even though I know the horizon should be on one of the thirds instead of smack bang in the middle I really do prefer it this way…

Waikato HDR (f4.0 1/2500 1/640 1/160 50mm)

Waikato HDR (f4.0 1/2500 1/640 1/160 50mm)

I think this is the first of my HDR attempts where I have really been pleased with the result :-)

edit: Victor reckons it looks better when it is cropped, so here is a slightly different form factor with a very different feel:

Waikato HDR (f4.0 1/2500 1/640 1/160 50mm)

Waikato HDR (f4.0 1/2500 1/640 1/160 50mm)