14 Oct 2013

I think in FOV therefore I'm a photographer!

It's a funny thing being a photographer because I find that everywhere I go I see photographs I want to take. The worst part of it is that I tend to see everything in a "normal" FOV (field of view) which is not so unusual because my eyes just naturally see a, um, normal FOV. I say the worst thing, but of course that is actually a good thing because I can pick up my camera and get a bunch of pics really quickly without having to think a whole lot about it as it just comes naturally. The bad part is that when I don't have a camera with me I still find myself seeing the shots, and not being able to take them which leads to regret about not carrying my camera with me more and then I get home p-eed off with myself because I missed that shot of the double rainbow over the sundrenched city with dark stormclouds in the background that I will never ever see again!

12 Oct 2013

Direct Flash vs Bounced Flash

I am often asked by people how they can improve their photography or which camera they should buy to take better photographs. My advice is always the same, if you already have a dslr then you don't need a "better" camera or lens. There are many skills you can learn to improve your photography, some complicated, but most as simple as riding a bicycle.

One of the simplest ways to improve a photograph is to learn how to use light properly and there are several simple techniques with an on camera flash that will step up your game and produce much better quality photos. For instance, I am always amazed by how something as simple as bouncing a flash off a wall can improve a photograph by 100%.

11 Oct 2013

Samsung S3 mini pics - no wonder traditional style camera sales are down

Every now and then I see something and I want to photograph it but I don't have my camera with me. At these times I naturally pull out the camera I have in my pocket all the time, my Samsung S3 mini, and take a few snaps. When I have done this and I finally get to view the pics on my computer screen at home I am normally amazed by how far cell phone cameras have come and it sinks in again just why the camera companies are reporting a slump in sales and smartphone manufacturers are booming! Take a look at these snaps of some autumn foliage I took today on my way home. I edited them in the very handy Snapseed program on the phone before sending them to my computer where I simply resized and branded them before posting.

All Alone in the Night - Time-lapse footage of the Earth as seen from th...

This really has to be watched in HD and fullscreen in order to fully appreciate this truly awesome time lapse photography video at it best.

9 Oct 2013

Portrait with Nikon AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX

If you want a very cheap but excellent quality "normal" lens for your crop sensor Nikon camera then I highly recommend the Nikon AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX. Here you have a lightweight and handy piece of glass that is sharp all the way from f1.8 but will not break the bank. I like to use it for anything from portraits to landscapes and it never lets me down in terms of image quality.

Since I bought it the second cheapest of Nikon's lens lineup has almost always been on my camera and sees more use than any other lens I own. No zoom? Who cares, at the price it outperforms every other Nikon lens ever made at simple IQ per $! Zoom by walking back and forth, the exercise will do you a lot of good... ;-)

7 Oct 2013

More from Inside the Spooky Crypt!

Another from the crypt beneath the Domkyrkan in Lund. If you are ever in the area it really is worth spending a couple of hours in there with your camera and a tripod.

Getting creative with the white balance slider got me closer to the effect I was really after!

1 Oct 2013

Spectacular Scandinavian Sunset

With so many people all over the world raving on about African sunsets and how wonderful they are we tend to forget that other parts of the world also have beautiful sunsets. I am currently living in Southern Sweden and in the now almost two years that I have been here I can tell you that even these northern climes produce awesomely beautiful sunsets, maybe just not as regularly. Take the photo below for instance, taken in a small town called Lomma at the river right by the start of the harbour just where the bridge crosses over with some shiny new apartment blocks on the other side. Scandinavian light can be wonderfully soft and pastel like, and lasts for a whole lot longer than the beautiful but abrupt African sunsets from my home country.

Moral of the story is that you don't need to travel all the way to Africa, or some other exotic location, to photograph beautiful sunsets. All you need to do is get out with your camera more regularly and take many more photographs because beauty exists everywhere if you take the time to find it!

21 Sept 2013

DxO FilmPack 3 Essential - Tested

This morning I posted a link to the DxO website where they were offering a free license for DxO FilmPack 3 Essential. Since then I installed it and in use it looks like this:

Screen Shot of DxO FilmPack 3 Essential in use.

It is very easy to use and does what it is advertised to do. It makes digital photographs emulate various types of film, and it does it quickly and with the minimum of fuss. The film purists will no doubt scoff and say that none of these look anything like the results you can get from simply using real film and having it processed the original way. I agree. I also think real film has a look of it's own and the results from programs like this don't quite match up... but then these sort of programs are also simpler, faster, and cheaper than shooting film in our modern world. This topic can lead in a whole other direction very quickly, so I will leave it at that and move quickly on by showing what DxO FilmPack 3 Essential can do.

Free License of DxO FilmPack 3 Essential

I have never used DxO FilmPack 3, but if it's as good as the very excellent DxO Optic Pro which I use every single day then it is probably very good. What makes it even better is that in some kind of deal between Sony and DxO they have made DxO FilmPack 3 Essential available as a free download. Mine is downloading as I type so if you are interested (and lets face it who isn't interested in FREE?) click on the ad below to go directly to the download page.

There is a time limit to this offer, so do not delay, get DxO FilmPack 3 Essential today!

15 Sept 2013

Good Bye Summer!

With the advent of autumn the "lazy hazy crazy days of summer" are finally gone until next year. I will miss the long warm Scandinavian evenings of cycling along the coast and sipping beer on the patio while sunset lingers on seemingly forever.

Now roll on the magical snow filled "winter wonderland" instead!

Life is good!

14 Sept 2013

This "painting" was sold for $43,845,000

I think this is a deeply thought out piece of critique on the social imbalances prevailing in our modern society which lingers between threats of war and a Utopian vision of peace that seems so elusive to us all in the short term.

The skilled strokes of the artist are resplendent in metaphors of righteous indignation steeled by cold hard reality as the faint chant of the disappointed mass of humanity cries for the right to a new and brave world of integrity amongst the political elite whose subversion of basic human rights and mores is anathema to the objectives we all yearn and long for like a fish longs for the cool refreshing waters unpolluted by man!

The uneven shades and streaky brush strokes hail to an incompleteness in every human heart as we bemoan the fact that indeed our own lives are severely lacking in the sort of spiritual completeness that used to define us as a species many years hence. Will we find joy in our meaningless existence once more or are we doomed to a life of increasing frailty, overshadowed by the dark side of our incomplete and unloved psyche?

"How long?", cries the artists voice from the deep empty darkness that defines the world of modern art, "How long before I can cash my cheque?"

11 Sept 2013

Mixed Light Sources - Window Light with Speedlight for a Quick Portrait

Recently I took the above portrait in the lounge of a private home. I used a blank white wall as a plain background, light from the open window provided the strong side light and background light, and a camera mounted sb700 pointed into the corner of the ceiling and wall behind me provided the main light. All in all it worked out quite well for a "high key" type portrait.

I shot this with my now favourite portrait lens, the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G on the D300s.

2 Sept 2013

Three Bottles of Campari on a Seamless White Background

Nikon D300s, Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G, f/11.0, 1/160s, ISO 200, 1x Elinchrom D-Lite-it 2, 2x  Elinchrom D-Lite-it 4, 1x Large Sheet of White Cardstock, 2x Long Narrow Strips of Black Cardstock on each side of product, 1x Sheet of Clear Glass.