28 Dec 2012

Agfa Isolette

I originally posted a little about this camera here: Girl with Agfa Isolette, but this time around I just got a better pic of the camera. More about it at the Camerapedia website, simply CLICK HERE.

Some time or the other I need to get all the ingredients to develop my own film and then I may have a stab at actually using it.

Nikon D300s, Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro, 80x80cm light tent, 2xElinchrom D-Lite-it 4's shot through their softboxes on either side of the tent.

Photographing Weddings is Fun!

Although stressful at times, and tiring to shoot when it stretches to a 12 hour day, I have always enjoyed shooting weddings! I really love to work with people, especially people who are having a whole lot of fun themselves, and at weddings mostly people are very happy, relaxed and in a great mood.

Being properly prepared ahead of time takes most of the stress out of it, however no matter how well you prepare there are always going to be a few surprises along the way, but if you have done the groundwork ahead of time then you should be able to handle the little niggles that come along a whole lot better.

What has always helped me a lot is building a very good relationship with my clients ahead of time, so that on the day they trust me and don't have to stress themselves worrying about whether I am up to documenting their one off very special event that will (hopefully) never be repeated ever again. Some photographers can't deal with that sort of responsibility and hate to shoot weddings, but it is exactly that aspect that gets me revved up! Bring it on!

25 Dec 2012

Bride and Groom Kissing outside the Chapel

An oldie from my days of film, and still one of my favourite wedding photos. I was shooting with a Nikon F801s camera and a Nikkor 50mm f1.8D lens, a real workhorse combination that served me well for many years!

I would still be happily shooting film but in South Africa it became harder and harder to find anybody who could still process film properly and without leaving smudgy fingerprints on my negatives. I think that as time went on and the old film guys who knew what they were doing in the darkroom retired they were replaced by anyone (young, cheap and inexperienced) who thought they could punch the right buttons on the mini lab machine, and the darkroom art died out.

This is the way of the world and unfortunately profits drive everything. Having recently moved to Sweden I have discovered that local processing labs simply don't exist, so film use seems to be off the cards unless I decide to process my own... C'est la vie, now I have been shooting digital for a number of years and the "old days" of film remain as a pleasant memory.

21 Dec 2012

Christmas Candles

Nikon D300s, Manual Mode, Nikon 18-105mm DX F3.5-5.6 VR, VR on, hand held, f/5,6, 1/80s, ISO200, edited in Lightroom 4.3.

1 Dec 2012

Elvis Impersonator in the Mall.

...and he was really good at it too!

If anybody in South Africa knows where I can get in contact with him, please send me an email (lanthus.clark*at*gmail.com) with his email address so I can forward some pics to him.

Nikon D90, Aperture Priority Mode, Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX, hand held, f/2.5, 1/200s, ISO400, Nikon sb600 pointing upish and bounced off the ceiling.

Venetian Painted Mask - a one light portrait.

Another version of a previous pic (in colour) from the same session that I posted here: Venetian Painted Mask

Nikon D90, Aperture Priority Mode, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 105mm with VR on, hand held, f/5.6, 1/200s, ISO200, Nikon sb600 fired into a bounce umbrella to camera left.

21 Nov 2012

Toni (with an "i"), photographed in my "Strobist" style studio.

Nikon D90, Manual Mode, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 105mm with VR on, hand held, f/11, 1/200s, ISO200.
A Nikon sb600 bounced in an umbrella to camera left set just slightly higher than the subject, and a Nikon sb700 bounced in an umbrella to camera right and somewhat higher than the subject (about 45 degrees), with both sb's on light stands and triggered via Nikon's excellent CLS.
Edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

31 Oct 2012

A Quick Portrait.

Took a quick portrait this evening, setting up lights, shooting and packing back down all done in about 20 minutes!

Nikon D90, Manual Mode, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 90mm with VR on, hand held, f/11, 1/200s, ISO200, two Nikon sb's bounced into two bounce umbrellas, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

10 Oct 2012

So what exactly does a Circular Polarising Filter do?

I was asked by someone recently what a polarizing filter does and was it worth paying so money much for one? Well, the only way to answer this question is by example, so I set up, with a little help from God and nature, a perfect test area with a huge amount of reflection on wet leaves coming from the diffused light of the sun. Please note, these are for test and display purposes only and are not meant to look remotely pleasant to the eyes.

Here is the special test area unpolarized:

The leaves are wet and reflecting a lot of light into the lens and giving much less than desirable results. Or to use a highly technical term, "it looks yucky"!

Here is the exact same scene, a few seconds later, with the polarizing filter applied. It is simple enough to use, you simply rotate it until the shine goes away! Just remember to look through the viewer while you are doing this or you will not be able to see when you have achieved optimal effect. Live view works just as well.

The first thing you will notice, of course, is that the shine is gone! Vanished into thin air! The second thing that you will notice, is that the greens of the leaves are beautifully saturated, and the picture just looks better in every way. All that shine plays havoc with metering and exposure.

If you intend to photograph gardens, landscapes or shiny cars and buildings a circular polariser is a great idea that will assist you to get much better results by taking away the shine. In landscapes it will also give a beautiful deep blue sky, but it may not look great using wider lenses because the polariser will only turn part of the sky dark blue and it could all end up looking a little strange. Some people like this effect and do it on purpose.

Please note that the polariser reduces the amount of light entering the lens and so in low light shutter speeds may drop too low to hand hold requiring you to use a tripod.

Happy light hunting!

24 Sep 2012

Another Simple Portrait

Another simple portrait with a plain white background.

Nikon D90, Manual Mode, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 52mm with VR on, hand held, f/8, 1/80s, ISO200, bunch of various small Nikon sb's and some umbrellas, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

22 Sep 2012

A Simple Portrait

A simple portrait with a plain white background.

Nikon D90, Manual Mode, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 52mm with VR on, hand held, f/8, 1/80s, ISO200, bunch of various small Nikon sb's and some umbrellas, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

18 Sep 2012

Tivoli Gardens - Fountains - Copenhagen

Another view of the fountains at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm with VR off, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/10, 1.3s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

10 Sep 2012

Having Fun with Effects in Picasa!

Some times I like to play and see how many ways I can alter a photo. All just for fun of course! Here I took one of the sunflower photos from a couple of days ago and ran it through various permutations in Picasa and ended up with the following results:

For those who don't know, Picasa is a completely free and very basic photo editor that you can download from the Picasa Webpage. It is simple, fast, easy to use and will take care of most of your snaps from your holiday, birthday party or romantic weekend away. It is far too limited for "pro" work, but when I just want to get through stuff for Facebook or email fast, then Picasa is where I go.

The photo at top left is the original, the rest were achieved via standard pre-sets or combo's of the same. If you right click and open the montage above in a new tab then you can see it in higher resolution.

Now go have fun. Go! Go now! You know you want to!

8 Sep 2012

4 Sep 2012

Deliberate Defocussing!

Ever had the unexplained urge to take photos that are completely out of focus? If so then just give in to the urge and see where it takes you!

This is one result.

Here are some more:
Abstract Art From Film
Our Christmas tree is up...

Nikon D90, Nikkor 35mm f1.8DX, ISO800, f1.8, 1/8s, deliberate manual defocus.

1 Sep 2012

Sunset over Johannesburg - South Africa.

Taken from Northcliff Ridge.

It took several rolls of film before I was certain that it was impossible to catch the swallows in flight, so imagine my surprise when the film was developed and not only did I get the elusive swallow, but also what appears to be a Black Eagle in the distance! There is a breeding pair of eagles not too far from this spot. There were always pleasant surprises with film! :^)

Nikon f801s and junky 3rd party lens. Cheap ISO200 Fuji Superior film, developed and badly scanned at a cheap local lab.

31 Aug 2012

Book Recommendation!

I just posted a thank you letter to Kirk Tuck on his Visual Science Lab blog. Instead of posting something different here, I'll simply repost the letter. I highly recommend the book by the way!

Hi Kirk!

I finally found out about Amazons Kindle software for PC yesterday, (a little behind?) so I checked out your books on Amazon and finally got to purchase "Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography". Now via Kindle's pc software I can open and read it on my laptop! Hooray!

I am already about halfway through the book and have found it to both practical and informative, written in language I can understand! Thank you so much for showing that studio lighting is not as mysterious as it can sometimes be made out to be.

Although I already employ some of the techniques you explain there is a lot of info detailing (for me) new ideas, or old ideas in a new way, or just simply ideas that make me want to kick my own butt wondering why I didn't think about that!

I look forward to reading your other books in time, and learning even more!

Have a great day!

Lanthus Clark


You can purchase the book here: Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography [Kindle Edition]

25 Aug 2012

The Fountains in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen.

Another after dark, motion blur, magic/blue hour, long exposure photograph, and yes it looks soooo much better at night! :^)

Take a look at the fountains during the day:

23 Aug 2012

Tivoli After Dark

It's a great place to take photos after dark, I highly recommend it!

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod with VR off, f/10, 15.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

22 Aug 2012

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. After Sunset.

Taken in Tivoli Copenhagen about 40 minutes after sunset. Still lots of blue light left in the sky but it is dark enough to balance nicely with the lights on the building and in the pond.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm with VR off, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/10, 2.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

Motion Blur - another good reason to shoot after dark!

Motion blur is a really easy effect to achieve, as long as you have a good tripod and a lot of patience.

You also need a good working knowledge of your cameras settings as the "auto" setting just simply won't get the effect right most of the time.

19 Aug 2012

Why I like to take Photographs at Night!

When I am out taking photos at night I often get asked by passers by why I am "shooting in the dark"! Until I show them the pics on the LCD screen of the camera and then they are sold on the idea. ;-) But I thought it might be a good idea to illustrate the difference between the results of daytime and night-time photography.

The photo at the top of this post was taken in Tivoli (Copenhagen) about an hour after sunset on a sturdy tripod and

13 Aug 2012

Nikon Distortion Control Firmware Update

Ok, this firmware update has been out for a while and I have known about it but I simply haven't had the time or inclination to install it onto my camera yet. Until today. It simply updates your camera's firmware to include Distortion Control for a large selection of Nikkor lenses.

Download update here: http://nikonimglib.com/dcdata/index.html.en#os-windows
Installation instructions here: http://nikonimglib.com/dcdata/manual/En/lensprofile_win_en_ABF.html

I have the pleasure of letting you know that it works. If you do the correction in-camera and you are happy to deal with a jpg file from that moment on. It doesn't do it automatically, so you have to physically push buttons and select distortion control to implement it. Oh woe is us, more buttons to press! ;-)

Photo of blinds taken with an AF-S Nikkor 35mm f1.8G DX and unfixed by Nikon's in-camera Distortion Control software:

As you can see it has a fair bit of barrel distortion when you do stupid things like shoot blinds (or brick walls). If you don't do something that stupid, then you probably won't notice it at all. Like here. Best advice: don't do stupid things like this... ;-)

Photo of blinds taken with an

12 Aug 2012

Just for the Colour Of It! (1)

Photography is a wonderful thing! Sometimes it can be utilised to document an event, or a newsworthy happening, it can bring home a message about a situation halfway around the world, or it can be used to convey emotion through an artistic rendition of a beautiful natural phenomenon, or something beautifully contrived. But sometimes it is just for fun, for our own benefit, simply because we like to take certain pictures that tickle our fancy. Sometimes I just take pictures for the colour of it! For fun! Just because it's what I like to do. :-)

Nikon D90, Nikkor 35mm f1.8G DX, ISO200, Aperture Priority mode, f8, 1/160s, polarising filter, hand held, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

9 Aug 2012

Heliga Trefaldighets Kyrka Kristianstad 2

Looking the other way... and that's the old organ down at the end above the entrance.
Gotta admire the architecture!

Geek info mostly all the same as the previous pic. ;^)

8 Aug 2012

Heliga Trefaldighets Kyrka Kristianstad 1

I am not normally a great fan of a lot of HDR type pics that I see on the internet, but if handled properly it can certainly assist in order to handle the big range between the interior and exterior better. I try to simply get closer to the amazing dynamic range that our eyes are able to see.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/11.0, ISO200, 3 bracketed photos merged and edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

2 Aug 2012

Helsingborg at Night 5

One of my favourite pics of the night!
Plenty of light reflections and ghosting though... :-)

Helsingborg at Night 4

The Helsingborg Castle looking up the main stairs towards the impressive Keep.

Talk about mixed light sources! There were also loads of people walking up and down the stairs right in front of my camera, but because of the long exposure time they were rendered pretty much invisible.

At the bottom of the frame the stairs look quite distorted, but that has nothing to do with lens distortion (which I corrected) instead it is the result of hundreds of years and hundreds of thousands of people walking up and down which have worn them out in the middle.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/11.0, 30.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

29 Jul 2012

Helsingborg at Night 2

Same as the shot below, but zoomed in a bit.

Helsingborg at Night 1

One of the first shots of the evening, still a fair bit of natural light, but the artificial light is coming in nicely. With the Helsingborg Music Festival on I wanted to get this unusual photo with a fun fair down at the harbour and a large tent in the main road leading up to the Helsingborg Castle. Which is where I took this photograph from actually.

More coming soon!

22 Jul 2012

Lomma, Sweden (5)

It was so dark at this point that I had to focus on the triangular wood thingamabob just below the tungsten light, the boat in the water was proving impossible to lock on to. But thirty seconds of exposure managed to reveal details that my naked eye could not see. If you look too close there is some noise in the shadow areas, but in a normal size print (maybe up to 10" across) it will not be visible at all.

I like the contrast between the yellow under the lights and the blue sky, with the purple container on the left adding a little interest too.

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 80mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/11.0, 30.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

Lomma, Sweden (4)

The interesting building on the right with the mottled lighting on it is the Lomma Biblioteket (Library).

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/11.0, 30.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

21 Jul 2012

Lomma, Sweden (3)

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/11.0, 30.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

20 Jul 2012

Lomma, Sweden (2)

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/11.0, 30.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

Lomma, Sweden (1)

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens at 18mm, Velbon Sherpa tripod, f/11.0, 20.0s, ISO200, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

17 Jul 2012

Inside St Petri Church - Malmö

With the predominance of white inside this church the exposure was a little trickier than I anticipated, but I think I got it about right in the end. The photo was taken from a low vantage point at the rear of the church, and so it was probably fitting that I was in fact on my knees in a church! :-)

Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens, on a tripod, edited in Corel Paintshop Pro X4.

16 Jul 2012