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.

29 Oct 2012

26 Oct 2012

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 Sept 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 Sept 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.

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]

28 Jun 2012

A Rust Coloured Sun Rises in a Blue Sky!

...or a bit of rust on blue paint... either way it is one of those little details I always look for!
... eller lite rost på blå färg ... hursomhelst är det en av de små detaljer jag alltid leta efter!

More little details HERE and HERE.

12 Jun 2012

What does it take to shoot good photographs?

I get asked by quite a lot of my friends how I get my photos to look so different/better than the photos that they take with their own expensive dslr's when they have the same (and more often better) camera. Shouldn't the camera take just as great photos regardless of who uses it?

Well, the short answer is. No!

The slightly longer answer is, cameras don't take photographs, people do.

A little simplistic maybe, so let me try the long winded approach. Bear with me.

24 May 2012

Online Depth of Field Calculator

Most of you have probably seen this handy site before, but for us uninformed few it is still a handy learning tool:

Online Depth of Field Calculator

Just don't get too carried away by all this geeky calculation business, simply learn what you can then get out and shoot photos in real everyday situations. It's still the best way to learn!
(Although it's kinda fun to release the inner geek just a little bit! Haha!)

20 May 2012


I'm sure I posted this a long time ago, but I am revisiting some of my old pics. This one is from a small town in South Africa called Potchefstroom, and once a year they have a big "cultural" festival that has degenerated into an excuse to drink too much alcohol and behave badly.

If I remember correctly, this was shot with a Nikon F65 and 50mm f1.8D combination. A real light weight setup at the time and great for "street" pics! Ilford XP2 Super 400 film, if memory serves...

16 May 2012

Harbour in Lomma, Sweden.

3 second exposure with camera propped firmly down onto a jetty while I am lying flat on my stomach.

I tore a strip off the skin of my little finger getting down on the old worn wood of the jetty, I console myself with the knowledge that at last I am suffering for my art! ;-)

9 May 2012

Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8G

As long as you don't need to get too close to small creatures that might be scared witless by the front element of the lens looming menacingly at them causing them to take off to safer pastures, this lens makes an excellent bang for not much buck!

6 May 2012

"Walking Street", Copenhagen, Denmark.

Thousands of people and not a single smile among them. What gives in Copenhagen?

Taken with the fantastic el-cheapo Nikon Coolpix L21.

18 Apr 2012

Hamlet and Ophelia - Helsingør Station

The statues of Hamlet and Ophelia, from Shakespeare's play "Hamlet", grace the railway station in Helsingør. They apparently are only here temporarily after being moved to several locations since they were crafted in 1937. They have been here since 2008, and I hope they stay here as they really fit with the beautiful architecture of the station building, and of course they have a view from here of the castle in Helsingør that is believed to have inspired Shakespeare as the castle that Hamlet was based in. They were made by the Danish artist Rudolph Tegner, who was also supposed to do a statue of Shakespeare at the same time but apparently, for some reason, never got around to doing it.

Isn't history fun!? :-)

15 Apr 2012

Looking at history in Helsingør, Denmark.

There is a lot of history here in the land of Vikings! If only these old streets could talk, I'll wager they could tell us a lot about the original inhabitants and their daily lives. The origin of this place dates back to about 1231, with one debatable document claiming it's history goes as far back as 70BC. Whatever it is, I feel a great affinity with this whole area because, after all, my Scottish ancestors were from Viking stock originally!

I am having a lot of fun here in Scandinavia! :-)

12 Apr 2012

Ferries arriving - Helsingør Harbour

These ferries shuttle people, cars, buses and trucks back and forth all day long from Helsingborg in Sweden to Helsingør in Denmark, linking the two "Helsings". Normally you can see Helsingborg quite clearly from Helsingør harbour, but the mist is shrouding it almost completely in this shot. Just to the left of this picture (out of picture) is the castle that Hamlet was based in from Shakespeare's play.

10 Apr 2012

Early Morning Walk in Fredensborg Palace Gardens

Walking through the Fredensborg Palace Gardens down towards the royal boathouse (Skipperhuset) at the lake, you can just make out the building erected by Frederik IV for the royal yachts. The mist gives it all a kind of magical quality! Well worth braving the winter cold.

12 Mar 2012

They've taken the Hobbits to Isengard!

I have seen a lot of photographers lately that do these "cinegraphic" style photos and I haven't been bothered simply because I am too lazy to fanny about with such time consuming things... until now that is! The latest Picasa automates the whole thing so it can be done with a simple click or two, and the results don't look half bad either. If you want a simple graphics program, then Picasa might provide the answer. It is very basic and doesn't do much, but what it does do it does well. And then there is the fact that it is free, who can't love free? ;-)

10 Mar 2012

A Swedish Farm in Södermanland

I went for a drive in the Swedish countryside today and I really love the landscape here! This is a typical Swedish farm in a province called Södermanland.

5 Mar 2012

Another of the Kyrka in Mellösa

This time colour worked for me. I think it may be because of the contrast of the red building with the rest of the scene. A little red always seems to liven up a photograph.

29 Feb 2012

Side street in Malmö Sweden

A small side street in Malmö Sweden. The old parts of the city are just beautiful, and a treat to explore!

Taken with the cheapest Nikon point and shoot camera we could find last year, the Nikon Coolpix L21. Not bad considering it only cost about US$50! That's less than taking my family to eat out at a cheap restaurant... ;-)

27 Feb 2012

Church in Mellösa Sweden

Some things are just better in black and white, it's like an unveiling of the heart and soul to lay bare the essentials of our emotions and reveal what lies within.

It is especially effective when photographing spiritual things like people and churches.

18 Feb 2012

Mor Mor

My Danish mother-in-law, a real lady!

Nikon D90, Nikkor 35mm f1.8DX, hand held, ISO400, f3.5, 1/250s, natural light from a window, edited for contrast and cropped in Corel Paint Shop Pro X4. Did I mention that the 35mm f1.8DX is a really great lens? ;-)