16 Aug 2023

Kruger National Park 07-08-2023 (sunset)

 Who can resist an African sunset? Not this guy! I moved around a bit and took several.

Sunsets with a telephoto lens are fantastic for zooming in and picking out details in a landscape as well as filling the sensor with those great sunset colours.

Kruger National Park 07-08-2023 (part 2)

 More from day one:

15 Aug 2023

Kruger National Park 07-08-2023 (part 1)

My wife and I just returned from a trip to the Kruger National Park and over the next few days I will be posting some of the photographs I took while there. I took along my D850 as well as a 24-120mm and a 70-300mm, however most of these pics were taken with the 70-300mm. I mainly used aperture priority with f8 most (but not all) of the time & auto iso between 64 and 4000 with a minimum shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. I just adjusted as needed when the light started to fade in the evenings. This setup made for easy and quick shooting in fast changing scenes and I think the results are sufficiently good to make me very happy.

I highly recommend the Kruger National Park in South Africa not only for it's great facilities and service, but also for the abundance of game in a pristine natural African landscape.

Here then are the first five from day one:

13 Jul 2023

Visit to Mölle 1

Visited a small town called Mölle today, a harbour town that provides plenty of photographic opportunities. On previous visits I took the more conventional tourist pics of the harbour and surrounds but this time I was a little more interested in details, colour, texture, etc. 

Took my D850 with the awesome 50mm f1.8 G "nifty fifty" attached. I also had a polarizing filter screwed on the front to get rid of reflections and boost colour, especially in the sky.

I'll split the pics over a couple of posts.

3 Jun 2023

Snapseed Photo Editing App

My go-to photo editor on phone and iPad is the wonderful and surprisingly adept Snapseed app which is available for free on android and Apple devices. If you have not tried it out then give it a whirl and see for yourself what the fuss is all about.

I took a portrait of the plastic model head earlier today and then converted it to jpg via RawTherapee on Linux, transferred it to my Apple phone, played around a bit with Snapseed and then transferred them back to the computer and resized in the free GIMP photo editor.

 I have posted a random selection of various versions of the portrait below for you to peruse. 

Personally I am impressed by the quality of the output from Snapseed and also that it is so wonderfully versatile & handy to use to get some interesting looks. It isn't for everyone, but it's free and it just works.

The original portrait photograph

Six examples of the Snapseed treatment:

10 Apr 2023

Rare Selfie Time...

It's not often that photographs get taken of me, mostly because I am always behind the camera. Today, just for once, I wanted to try out the portrait set-up that I have been shooting with the plastic head but using a real human head for a change and the only available (read "willing") sucker human at home today was me. So for better or worse you get to see my scruffy face today... 😱

First shot is a colour version of my scruffy face, second is the whole set-up but with the plastic head in my place, third shot is a 100% crop to show the totally insane resolution of the D850, and finally a B&W version of my scruffy face. B&W doesn't make me look any better though...

Colour version

Set-up shot

100% crop

B&W version

8 Apr 2023

Final Fun With the Plastic Head (for now)

 Ok, just one more post featuring the world's most patient head-shot model. At least for now... it has been fun though.

As before I used my D750 and three Speedlights controlled wirelessly. The only change was using an Elinchrom softbox for the rear fill instead of the reflector I used before. 

Just two pics (plus one bonus pic...), the final image and a pull-back shot. You get the picture.

In the "bonus" pic below I just substituted some Christmas lights in the place of the Speedlight powered gobo used above to provide a somewhat sparkly background for a change.

7 Apr 2023

Another Day Another Portrait Setup...

Another day another portrait setup in my little studio. This time my main light is an SB-910 shot through a gridded 95cm octobox, fill light is an SB-700 shot through a gridded 18cm reflector and the background light is an SB-600 shot through a gobo to provide a single ray of light. All speedlights are controlled wirelessly via Nikons CLS system useing an SU-800 Commander unit mounted to a D750. 

I really like the quality of the light from the octobox, it is large enough to give a nice fall-off of light around the face, has two diffusers to soften and even up the light and doesn't show any hotspots anywhere on the face.

Final image

Pull-back shot so you can see where the lights are placed

1 Apr 2023

Three Light Portrait

 The plastic fantastic headshot model agreed to sit for another portrait session today (well she didn't say no...) and I decided to go with three lights this time around. The main light is an sb700 shot through reflector with grid attached from camera right. Fill light is an sb600 also through a reflector with grid attached. The background light is an sb910 shot through a gobo and fresnel lens system from MagMod. All taken with a D750 and 24-120mm f4 lens at 120mm & aperture priority f5.6. The lights were all controlled and fired wirelessly via an su-800 Commander unit.

The first image is the final shot, followed by a pullback set-up shot and then main and background light individually just to show the effect each light has on the image, with final shot to show the fill in the shadows.

Final image.

26 Mar 2023

World's Most Patient Portrait Photography Model...

I have been taking portraits for many years, in fact the earliest photos I can remember taking were portraits with my old Box Brownie. I still have those photographs and they are some of my favourite pics of my family.

The biggest problem for me through the years has been finding patient subjects to experiment on while I try out poses, lighting configurations etc. ...but no more! I have found the ultimate model who never complains, whines that they are hungry or needs to go for a toilet break. Meet my new plastic fantastic cheapo headshot model from Amazon.

Now I can experiment to my hearts content without being pressured to feel guilty because they are tired or their neck hurts or the flash is starting to make them jumpy. (Bunch of whiners...) 😜  

Also, never blinks. It's an all round win!

These were all taken with my trusty D750 and either the 80mm f1.8 or the 24-120mm f4 at 120mm. The lights are three Nikon Speedlights, an SB-910, an SB-700 and an SB-600. All were controlled remotely in separate groups by my SU-800 Commander that allows me to adjust each light simply, easily and quickly. The light modifiers are all from Elinchrom and include softboxes, snoots, reflectors, grids, etc. and are mounted to Godox adapters that my Speedlights clamp into. I have rolls of coloured gels that I cut to size and insert to change the colour of the lights. Backdrops are either fabric mounted to a backdrop stand or the bare off-white studio wall, whichever takes my fancy at the time to achieve the look I want.
All photos were taken in RAW format and processed in RawTherapee on an iMac running Linux which is part of an experiment in seeing if I can adapt my workflow completely to an opensource software environment. So far it looks quite positive... more about that coming in a future post.
Plastic head is mounted onto an old mic stand from my singing days. Fully height adjustable!

27 Jan 2023

Sunset over the Öresund

Sunset Friday 27-01-2023.

Nikon D750 with 50mm f1.8G attached. All hand held, f8.0, highlight-weighted metering, auto iso, edited in RawTherapee on Ubuntu Linux.

22 Oct 2022

Light, Form and Texture 5

On a discovery of minimalist black and white photography where light, form and texture are more important than subject matter.

Nikon D750 & NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. Handheld.

24 Jul 2022

Landskrona Energi Building

 The rather eye-catching Landskrona Energi building photographed at night with my Nikon D750 and the very handy 24-120mm lens, handheld at 24mm, iso3200, 1/200s, f5.6 and -1ev. The photo is clean, sharp and has great colour & contrast. Certainly a very capable camera and lens combination.

2 Jul 2022

Cathedral in Lund, Southern Sweden

Used my Nikon D850 & 24-120mm f4 combo in the cathedral in the city of Lund in Southern Sweden. The conditions inside the cathedral itself was typically quite dim but down in the crypt it was quite dark with very subtle artificial lights and natural light from some small windows. I set the camera to aperture priority f8, auto iso between 65 and 4000, RAW format as always and shot these all hand held. The camera predictably chose iso 4000 in pretty much all of these photos. I then ran them quickly through DXO Photolab 4 to work it's magic and exported to jpg format. None of these has been colour corrected or sharpened or had the exposure adjusted aside from whatever standard tweaks DXO PL 4 does when processing the RAW files.


12 May 2022

Glimmingehus in Southern Sweden

Sunday family outing to Glimmingehus, a medieval era castle located in southern Sweden, built in 1499-1506. Took my Nikon D850 with the wonderful Nikon 24-120mm f4 kit lens that outperforms it's price-point by some margin. All photos were taken hand held, I had the auto iso set to choose between 64 and 4000 and outside it chose 64 and inside it was mostly 4000 with the VR of the lens taking the slower shots in stride without missing a step. I am very happy with sharpness, colour contrast and the clean pics at higher iso's.