I’ve always shied away from portraits in black and white, because it always seemed less forgiving than colour, but it’s really not that scary! Like with everything else, you just need to play to the strengths of the medium you choose. I was trying to create a moodier shot with this particular photo, and I think that’s a domain in which black and white photos really shine. It also helps if you have a pre-determined plan/vision in mind, rather than just shooting and hoping for the best.
PS: Tiff actually made that top herself. Details here, if you’re also into sewing and all that jazz.
Ducks are pretty great. Not as good as dogs, mind you, but pretty close. Multiple ducks eating in synchrony is even better! Although, these ducks will sometimes charge at you mouth open and squawking if you get too close. It’s actually as adorable as it sounds, though I’m sure the duck in question thinks it’s meant to be scary?
Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 f/5.6 14.o sec ISO 100
Here’s everyone’s favourite beagle! I can’t claim full credit for this one – it was Tiff who did the actual light painting in this case. If you have never tried light painting, you really should give it a go. All you need is a tripod, a dark room and a pen torch. Put your camera into bulb-mode, press the shutter and start drawing in the air with light! It can take a bit of trial and error, but when you pull it off, the results can be pretty darn cool. Technically any light source would work, but I find that pen torches allow for the right level of brightness and dexterity to pull off cool art.
This is probably one of my favourites at the moment. I’ve always had a soft spot for extended exposures taken at night. I finally got a chance to do just that when I was at Surfer’s Paradise at the Gold Coast. It was a bit of a challenge actually, because I had to battle a pretty strong seabreeze. I was surprised at just how much I was being buffeted around. Of course, even the slightest movement would destroy a photo like this, so definitely find yourself a sturdy tripod if you’re going to try! I was fortunate enough to find a little alcove next to a staircase that protected me from most of the wind.
PS: If you looks super closely, you’ll be able to see blurry white blobs near the water. Those were seagulls walking around (how cute!)
So I’ve been meaning to shoot more portrait photos for a very long time now, but haven’t had the means or equipment to do so. I always thought that good portraits need plenty of equipment, space and a dedicated area. Oh how wrong I was!
The biggest challenge that I’ve had is lighting. It just always seemed like good portrait photographers had reflectors, at least one flash, backdrops, studios, etc., so it felt out-of-reach. In what I suppose was a flash of inspiration recently, I found out that none of that is actually necessary if you’re smart about your surroundings. I remember reading tips about maximising natural lighting in any given situation, but none of that really made sense until I tried it myself. I used zero special equipment in the above photo (featuring Tiff, my fiancee). It was simply a bed, behind which was a large window with the sunlight streaming through. I initially found the sunlight to be just a bit too harsh, so closing the sheer curtains behind her gave the light just that extra softness I was looking for.
To be fair though, we were in a hotel room on the 21st floor, with a floor-to-ceiling window but still, the same principle would work anywhere, so long as you try and make the most of your environment! It took a bit of fiddling with the manual settings, but after a while I was able to get it just right, so that Tiff really stood out against a brilliant white background.
PS: I actually think my photo ended up looking a lot like a stock photo. I’m not quite sure if that’s a good thing or not?
If it seems like I’ve been posting quite a few black and white photos recently, it’s because I happened upon Leanne’s blog, where she recently started issuing weekly black and white photography challenges (or “Monochrome Madness”, as it’s now called). It’s been fun to get out there and frame/shoot photos that I want to be black and white. With this photo, I realise that building-shots are a little overdone, but I just love playing around with geometry like that.
As an aside, I’m going to start watermarking my photos starting from now. I’ll try to keep it as unintrusive as possible and I hope it’s not too annoying.
Olympus Zuiko M 40-150mm at 40mm f/4.0 1/60 sec ISO 1600
So, I’m pretty sure that this was/is meant to be Brisbane’s answer to the London Eye, but it falls very, very short. I haven’t personally been on it, but I’ve been told many-a-time that it’s really not worth the money or effort. On the plus side, it makes for a pretty picture at night, so I guess that’s a small victory? I figured that it would make a fantastic black & white shot since, well, it’s pretty much black and white anyway!
Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 f/16 1/160 sec ISO 200
Recently, I’ve been enraptured by the idea of street photography. There’s just something great about getting out there and trying to capture the essence of the city around you. I think what’s been stopping me is the innate human tendency to dismiss familiar environments as uninteresting, so I hadn’t been shooting much of the style. Once I broke free of that mentality, however, it became a lot easier to spot good photos.
Once, a friend told me that he like to go on half-marathon weekend jogs because that’s the one time of the week that he’s able to let go, be free of everyday stresses and be able to think about other things. Well, I suppose that’s what photography is to me. I realise that with digital cameras it’s really easy to get trigger happy and shoot hundreds of photos and then find the real gems afterwards, but I find it to be quite cathartic to slow down, frame my shot and then wait. And wait.
Take the above photo, for example. I had a very specific shot in mind, so I sat there and waited for the opportunity to arise. I’m not sure how long I waited, but it was quite interesting just to take in the environment, as well as the people around me. I’m not sure if any of this is just me being old-fashioned, but I enjoy it. Looking at the photo now, I probably should’ve used that time to adjust the framing since the lines are slightly off, but oh well. I know that Photoshop can fix that, but I prefer to just chalk it up to another lesson learned.
I’m no botanist so I can’t tell you what kind of flowers these are, but I do like the contrast between flowers and what I presume are budding flowers. I don’t have much else to say about this photo – there are some flowers. Have at it.