Thursday, 26 March 2009

Weekend in Amsterdam

We just spent a fabulous weekend in Amsterdam where I took many photos. The city is great for walking around and I was specifically noticing a lot of colour and shapes (aiming for my next projects and assignment). I will share one photo now (with a fancy border I just tried out in photoshop).

24mm, 1/400sec, f/6.3, ISO400, neutral density filter

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Project 13: The Golden Section

We had to think about photos for this project for a while, so it's a compilation of different locations, all trying to find the 'golden section' in a photograph. Here is a link to wikipedia's definition, and a link to a nice simple site which helps you to test our your photos for golden ratios. I also like this short article on the same site with some examples. So we're looking at ratios - the same shape somewhere inside the photograph as the total photograph. As a lover of mathematics myself I find it interesting that there is this defined ratio that can be seen in many artworks that are supposedly undefined and totally creative! I love patterns in all things, and it's something I often search out when I'm forming a photograph. Anyway, all that aside, here are some photographs of mine which have elements of golden ratio, not exact of course.
And since I've been just this minute reading more about golden ratios I'm going to go and shoot some more and will add another post later about it (stay tuned!).

Photo 1: Taken in Spain at Christmas-time.
70mm, 1/80sec, f/16, ISO200

Photo 2: Taken in Madrid city at Christmas-time.
42mm, 1/125sec, f/5.6, ISO400

Photo 3: Taken in Madrid city at Christmas-time.
70mm, 1/125sec, f/11, ISO640

Photo 4: Taken in Madrid city at Christmas-time.
38mm, 1/50sec, f/9, ISO200

Photo 5: On Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, a self-portrait.
27mm, 1/5sec, f/16, ISO100, Tripod

Photo 6: Taken in Munich in a cold-snap in January. Frozen shooting finger!
38mm, 1/40sec, f/5.6, ISO200

Photo 7: Taken in Munich in a cold-snap in January. A monument in the gardens Hofgarten.
24mm, 1/125sec, f/11, ISO100, Tripod

Photo 8: Taken while waiting 45minutes for the tube one morning when it was about minus 20. Not happy but at least I had my camera with me!
42mm, 1/100sec, f/5, ISO200

Photo 9: York, UK.
24mm, 1/15sec, f/10, ISO200, Tripod

Photo 10: York
34mm, 1/50sec, f/13, ISO200, Tripod

... on the lookout for some cool 'golden triangles' and maybe even a 'golden spiral'... be back soon!

A new toy...

Yes I splurged a little on the weekend and bought myself (finally) a Cokin filter holder and bits to fit onto a couple of my lenses, both film and digital. I also bought a graduated neutral density filter and I love it! It's lovely to use and nicely darkens the sky when I want it to, and because it's a Cokin I can just rotate it around as I need to. Here are some example photos from the weekend:

This photo in Marchmont, Edinburgh was taken on a severe angle but I just swivelled my ND filter to match the brightness of the sky. I have post-processed quite heavily because I thought it added a bit of punch to the image.
35mm, f/11, 1/60sec, ISO400, Tripod

A street in Marchmont, Edinburgh. I have used the ND to darken the sky and boost the clouds a little. I used a long lens to compress the buildings.70mm, f/8, 1/125sec, ISO200, Tripod

The Meadows, Edinburgh, I have used the ND to darken the sky a little. I like the paths leading off at different ang
25mm, f/8, 1/60sec, ISO400, Tripod

Silhouette over a building site adjacent to the Edinburgh canal. I have used a wide angle and used the ND to heavily darken the clouds and sky - I think it is quite effective.
40mm, f/7.1, 1/200sec, ISO200, Tripod

The brewery building in Edinburgh - here the ND has darkened the sky gently.
28mm, f/6.3, 1/50sec, ISO200, Tripod

And a couple that didn't use the filter but I thought I'd share anyway:

Here I was trying to show perspective by having the bars blurred but looking deep into the derelict building.
28mm, f/2.8, 1/50sec, ISO400, Tripod

And here I was looking for a different 'spring' image by blurring the daffodils as they moved in the gale force winds on the weekend!
70mm, f/13, 1/2sec, ISO100, Tripod

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Project 10: Focal lengths and different viewpoints

OK, so this is a project I should have done a while ago but I've found a little unsatisfactory. I tried it with my extreme range of lenses, from 17mm all the way to 200mm, or even just 100mm, but I found it very difficult to get a subject that I could photograph with both of these ranges. So I have done this project with a couple of subjects to try to get the effect. The aim was to fill the frame with the same subject matter using the two extremes of lens length.

Photo 1. 100mm view zoomed in to yellow door on pub.
100mm, f/3.5, 1/100sec, ISO200

Photo 2: 17mm view up close to the pub.
17mm, f/4, 1/100sec, ISO200

Photo 3: 70mm view of the meadows.
70mm, f/6.3, 1/25sec, ISO200, Tripod

Photo 4: 24mm view of the meadows, up closer to the tree.
24mm, f/6.3, 1/30sec, ISO200, Tripod

I found it challenging (hence the late post for this project) to find suitable scenes and focal lengths which would fulfil the objective. It was interesting to see the differences between the two ends of the spectrum, the perspectives are certainly different, proving that different lenses are suitable for different subjects (possibly why I found this difficult?)
The wide angle shot of the pub makes us feel closer to the door, and thus perhaps more _involved_ in the image. The opposite is true for the meadows - the wider angle allows us to see what else is out there (open space, other buildings etc) which gives more of interest to look at in the photo, a sense of opening up the view.
As we would expect, in both scenes the telephoto version gives the image a compressed feel.