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

HDR on the beach

Just for sharing…  trying out my fish-eye zoom lens.

TL

Landscape with Flare

We usually like our landscapes to be perfect.  Trees to be green, skies are blue, etc.  This time I try to process the photo so that the tones are cool, and there is heavy flare in the middle of the photo, giving it a little twist from the typical landscape photos.

I am actually very satisfied with the outcome.  A perfect sunset in Prague.

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

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

Super Wide Landscape

The sun was setting and the rays made a golden line on the sea.  The fisherman’s boat met the golden line, highlighting the boat.  On the other hand the bridge in the foreground becomes another straight line, linking the two lines is the horizon in the background, making it an inverted triangle composition.

Be aware of the “lines” in your frame, and you may be surprised by the simple shapes it makes; these shapes will help your composition significantly.

Enjoy shooting!

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

Lightroom 4

I just got a copy of the new Lightroom last week, and started using their new developing tools.  At first I thought it is more of a renaming exercise, where the “recovery” bar is gone… yet after a while, I realise the changes made a lot of sense, and its much more intuitive to use.

The above photo was post-processed in LR only, reducing the highlights by almost -100 (this automatically did the recovery a la Lr3).  Also I boosted the shadows by around 30.  Added a graduated exposure filter for the sky, boosted the clarity and vibrance.  This got me a slight HDR feel with high contrast and strong colours.  Obviously the beautiful scenery of the New Swan Castle also helped.

Give it a go with the new Lightroom, you may actually like it over the existing version.

TL

Shoot your friends!

Of course I don’t mean using a gun…

I am sure after you have picked up photography as a hobby, you will start to realise that some of your friends also share the same interest, or you meet new people whom is also a budding photographer.  Logically you will start organising photo trips and tours to shoot with them (which I high recommend for good learning, giving constructive feedback to each other and improve).

You may start out shooting a lot of landscape shots and after a while you feel a little exhausted.  Whilst running out of inspiration, why not shooting your friends in action?  They can be perfect models for you (its also free!).  Try to compose your shots with your friends inside the frame, maybe to give some context on what they are doing.

The above photos was taken during my last photo outing with my friend.  I shot both the photos with my fish-eye zoom at the telephoto end (15mm).  Its slightly challenging to do portraits with such a wide angle, but it allows me to capture the surroundings giving the photos the contexts that I was trying to achieve.  The first photo looks like a camera bag commercial photo, and the second one I tried using the extreme back light of the sun to draw attention to the photographer.

Thanks Day!

TL