Where is my DSLR?

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This was taken a while back when I want to Kaohsiung, Tainan.  It was actually taken after my breakfast, I left my DSLR in the room and I only had my point & shoot with me.  The view and light was excellent and so I just shot the photo in Panorama mode in the Sony DC (it was a TX-10), the result was pretty pleasing.

I did some post processing adding some noise and tweaked with some curves to get the film effect.

As cliche as it is, the best camera is the camera you have with you; of course you can say you will return to the place 30 mins later, a day later, a week later…  but it will never be the same, so shoot it when you see it.  Even your camera on your smartphone will suffice…

Enjoy!

TL

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Eye of the City

Have been rather lazy for the past few weeks (I think its at least a month since I wrote a post)…

Haven’t been shooting a lot recently, as always a lot of excuses, being busy, tired, distracted, procrastinating etc… I’ve got to be more disciplined.

Well, not that I have been totally stopped thinking about photography.  I have been trying more new things, shoot in a way I never shot before.  Using new “techniques”, angle of approach to places where I have been to thousands of times.  Trying to make the subject looking like something else.

The above was shot in the middle a local wet market.  It is a busy street, and people around me kept looking above their heads, being curious about what I am actually shooting.  Well, the buildings are actually rather close to each other, and looking up with my fish-eye actually made the street looked like an eye…

Slow shutter speeds

First try to step outside the comfort zone, using slower shutter speeds, catching the movement in the photos, even under bright sunlight.

The above photo was taken in Berlin, and I managed to capture a cyclist along the Berlin wall, with a clear wall drawing in the background.

I think its not a bad start for my challenge!

TL

The little things…

Sometimes it is important to include the little things that lead to your final shot.  Let me explain….

just like the photo on the top, it is actually the footprints of a cheetah which led to the discovery of the actual cheetah hunting for its prey.  These little pieces of information not only is an interesting photo on its own, but it also tells a story when combined with the final photo, the one below.

Photos is a media for you to express your feelings and to tell a story, always try to capture the interesting things around you (especially in this digital age), these little pieces may actually link up to a grand story!

TL

Simplify

One of the techniques I like to use is simplify.  This idea was further consolidated during my OUHK class, “Photography Lighting Techniques”.  The teacher introduced the idea of noise, not the unwanted colours and spots when you shoot at high ISOs, but the unwanted and distracting objects in your frame.  They will make your photo concept “fuzzy”, which is worse than a fuzzy image (out of focus).

Anyway, the above photo was another evidence for my love for simplification.  The hippo was yawning, with a quarter of its body out of the water.  The photo was so simply construed, that all the attention will be focused on the hippo alone.  Then the slight reflection of the grass on the side of the pool gives some context of the location.

Less is more, it applies to photography.  Think clearly about what you want to show before pressing the shutter button, and make “clear” and “sharp” images; remember its the concept that counts before the quality of the photo!

TL

Landscape x Wildlife

The perfect image in my head before taking this shot was that the cheetah looking towards the right with its head held up high.  However, after shooting wildlife for a few days, I realise that luck plays some part in great wildlife photography.  You are unable to predict what exactly will they do, and it is very very difficult to get the photo you were expecting.

I was very lucky that we followed the cheetah for a bit, and it climbed up on a fallen tree, make the scene almost a perfect frame of Africa.

Looking at this photo brings back happy memories of my trip!

TL

Street photography – Lights in Berlin

Photography, the art of light.

The above shot was taken in one of the streets in Berlin at dawn.  I managed to capture all the red lights on the street, the large traffic light in the middle and also the bright moon.

Be sensitive to all the light source around you and make your own art.

TL

 

Alternate landscape photography

Its easy to get absorbed by beautiful scenery and will shoot a landscape shot.  Usually we will use a rock, trees, boats etc to be our foreground when shooting at the seaside.  for my last trip I saw this interesting scenery where a mother and her daughter holding hands on the beach which made an interesting foreground subject.  The whole photo becomes a landscape/snapshot style frame.

Always try something different and practice your creativity!

TL

At the Beach… and afterwards

I took a lot of photos along the beach in To Wo Sha last month.  It was quite a fruitful photo trip with a friend.  It was the first time I properly go out and shoot with my fish eye zoom (Canon EF8-15 f4L).

With the ultra wide angle and the intended distortions, composition becomes different from the norm when using a wide or a standard lens.  More things will be captured and you need to be very careful to avoid or include things you want.  Peripheral vision becomes necessary.  It will come with a lot of practice, so shoot more.

For this blog I want to share some tips of taking care of your gear, rather than photo skills.  Especially after a long day hot day at the beach, your lens and camera will be covered in salty moist air, and maybe some small sand blowing onto your precious class.  If you did some lens changes there may also be some which went into the camera body.  So you must remember to use your dust blower to clean your lens, the body with a dry cloth, and the sensor/mirror to make sure everything is kept properly, otherwise the salt and moisture will corrode your gear which can be rather costly.  The gear should also be placed into a moisture controlled container.  There are a lot of choices in the market, for simple seal plastic box with some dehydration packs, to electric ones which cost around HKD1000 (depending on volume).  These will keep your camera dry and in top form, and is a must for anyone serious about photography.  Go get one!

TL

Street Snap – Prague

Whilst walking around Prague during my Europe trip last year trying to get a good landscape on the Vltara River with the bridges, I saw 3 teenagers sitting on a low wall.  With a wide angle lens (24-70mm f2.8L), I quickly shot a few frames of this interesting view.  I captured the bridges on Vltara River, giving the photo some background.  The subjects were showing a relaxed and happy sentiment, even thought we cannot see much of their faces.

The challenge to take good street photography is not only capturing the moment of your subjects, but also to be aware of the surrounding environment, the background, the sky etc.  You have to make quick decisions and execute, it all comes down to practice, practice, review and practice…

TL