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.

18 Sept 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 Sept 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 Sept 2012

Droplets on Sunflower

Nikon D90, AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G, ISO800, Manual mode, f25, 1/125s, Nikon sb700 bounced into an umbrella to camera left.

4 Sept 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 Sept 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]

27 Aug 2012

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: