Tag Archives: photography

Featured image by Rebecca Krebs – Fabiola – CC – https://www.flickr.com/photos/missturner/17102516750/

2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 39: PORTRAITS IN NATURE

Gary and I are filling in for Trevor on the Portrait Challenges. Portraiture is far from my forte, and this one kept me up all night as I tried to come up with something new and unique in order to break the monotony of portraits. Being outdoors in the wilderness for the better part of my days, I figured Nature could be an intricate part of a portrait, not just a background, but a prop for your subject to immerse in.

toddler nature

Being an editorial photographer, the first thing that comes to my mind is documenting a discovery experience in nature. Children’s expression as they discover nature can be just priceless.

Face of the Nature

Framing a child with leaves can enhance a look of innocence. Leaves have a tendency to reflect light, so pay attention as to not let those reflections distract from your subject. Using a polarized filter can also help. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your light by using reflectors and diffusers…

Tina in Field

Blurred out foreground vegetation can add depth and mood to your portrait. Pay attention to direct sunlight on your subject, a diffuser can soften the light. Take great care in properly orienting your subject so the light is just right for the photograph you want to create.

Untitled

Not all vegetation needs to be lush and green, dried out vegetation can add a more dramatic impact to your image. Post processing, contrast and monochrome tones can further enhance the impact.

Serie :: the Children of Ilúvatar 2

Don’t be afraid to create a fantasy scene, nature can provide the ideal setting to let your imagination run wild.

November sun

At times nature can bring on such a sensation of pleasure that it just needs to be photographed and immortalized.

The original goal of the portrait challenges, as introduced by Trevor, was to use a different subject at every challenge. This challenge is as much a great opportunity for a self portrait as it is a great family activity in the great outdoors.

Collapsible reflectors and diffusers are a great tool as well as a polarized filter. If you can get your subject to stay absolutely still by running water, a VND or ND filter can create some amazing effects.

As usual, I always recommend a tripod. It allows you to take your time, think and experiment.

When outdoors please take great care, nature can have a few surprises waiting for you. Educate yourself on plants, insects and animals that can harm you or at times kill you. Don’t rely on what you once knew, nature is changing and adapting to changing climate. Plants like Giant Hogweed can now be found in places you’d least expect. Insecticides based on essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus can protect you from ticks and mosquitos and are less harmful than DEET based products for humans and their pet companions.

hallowwen

Coming this October, a month long PhotoChallenge for Halloween!

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

 

Featured image by Rebecca Krebs – Fabiola – CC – https://www.flickr.com/photos/missturner/17102516750/

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2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 38: MIRRORED WATER REFLECTIONS

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: Art In and Around the City / Expositions d'art &emdash; Reflections of a Sea-Goddess - Amphitrite

 

Water from puddles to the Oceans is an incredible medium in photography. Still water has the ability to produce stunning mirror-like reflections. I took the above image at the World Trade Center in Montreal. The double staircase harbors a statue of the Sea-Goddess, Amphitrite. In front, a large table slab of black marble with water evenly flowing over it. The result, a symmetrical reflection of the scene.

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: City Streets / Rue de la Ville &emdash; From the Old to the New / De l'ancien au nouveau

 

Water reflections can be especially interesting at night.  Textures and ripples in your water reflections add a higher level of reality and more depth to your image. Some scenes may necessitate the use of HDR techniques, don’t be afraid to push your limits to capture the image you want.

 

Steve Troletti Editorial, Nature and Wildlife Photographer: City Streets / Rue de la Ville &emdash; Lactantia at night / Lactantia de nuit

 

On a windy night on a reservoir filled with Snow Geese, your reflections can become quite abstract, yet the effect remains spectacular and enhances your overall image. This is a long exposure, over a minute. It allowed for the geese to disappear out of my scene and maximize the reflection.

 

September is a great time for Chinese Lanterns as many botanical gardens and municipalities around the world showcase them. Long exposures allow you to smooth out your reflections, while faster exposures reveal more of the water textures. Infrared is also a great medium to photograph Chinese Lanterns during the day.

 

...reflection...

 

Don’t be afraid to frame your reflections, it can be very efficient when it comes to adding perspective to your landscape images.

 

Puddle Mirror Reflection on Notre Dame
You can also better isolate your subject by framing both the real and the reflected image. This tunnel facing Notre Dame is a perfect example.

 

What you will need to complete your challenge:

  • I almost always use a tripod, especially for night photography. A tripod will allow you to better work your scene and experiment with multiple types of exposures.
  • You may want to use a Circular Polarizer Filter. It will enhance contrasts and will allow you to control the intensity of your reflections. Be careful as it can entirely eliminate reflections.
  • An ND (Neutral Density) filter or a VND (Variable Neutral Density) filter are a great tool to help you acquire longer exposure times during daylight hours.

 

Your final image should have both the subject (People, Structures, Nature…) and it’s reflection on water. It can be captured as a COLOR, B&W or INFRARED image. I highly encourage enhancing the look of your image with LONG EXPOSURES and/or HDR. Don’t be afraid to be creative during your shoot or/and in post processing.

hallowwen

Coming this October, a month long PhotoChallenge for Halloween!

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
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2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE, WEEK 30: INFRARED PHOTOGRAPHY

For those of you who were with us last year for Halloween, we had a Spooky Infrared Challenge, 2015 CHALLENGE WEEK 43: SPOOKY HALLOWEEN INFRARED ANIMATED GIF. I suggest you read it as it is still full of useful tips for this challenge.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

It was challenging above and beyond the photography aspect as it had many technical twists of fabricating a series of infrared images and animating them in post production. For this Challenge, I want us to focus on all the proper aspects of photography and create a well balanced image.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Le chenal La Passe - IR

The above image is your stereotypical IR image from a converted DSLR. In this case, a Nikon D300s converted to full spectrum with a 720nm filter on the lens. You get your bluish tones with whitish vegetation. Being a converted camera you also have the luxury of maintaining your exposure speed.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; The First Emperor's Procession IR - The Magic of Lanterns 2011

In contrast, the above image is created with a non-converted entry level Nikon DSLR with it’s plastic kit lens. (BTW: those cheap plastic kit lens from Nikon are great for IR photography) I composed my image with the camera set atop a tripod. Once everything looked good, I slipped on a Cokin IR filter and made a few exposures between 15 and 30 seconds. It’s that long exposure time that gave me the slick mirror like look on the water. The long exposure also lets in more natural light which in turn contaminated the true IR look. However the final image was an award wining image thanks to this unusual look.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Base of Dorwin Falls / Base des chutes Dorwin

The above image is with the same basic Nikon DSLR. The only difference is I used a Hoya R72 720nm filter. It’s an image of a waterfall in winter from high above. Again a long exposure, especially due to the fact that it was an overcast day with a non-converted camera.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Basilique Sainte-Anne de Varennes - IR

What if you don’t have a infrared filter or a converted camera? Not a problem, even your smartphone will do. I’ve been giving out some D.I.Y. links over the years to make your own filter. A very simple process, buy a positive slide film, don’t expose it, get it processed unexposed. Once you get it back, just cut it to size. Naturally that just works for smaller cameras and phones. There are some exceptions, my fisheye lens has a tiny flat back-end allowing me to tape the film to it. The result, this church above…

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Site archéologique Boucher-de-Grosbois - IR

Here’s an other one with the exact same D.I.Y. setup. I had to put it into practice as I’m recommending it to others. Basically I bought a slide film on liquidation and got it processed immediately, unexposed. All for under $15. I imagine that the lower ISO film will produce a better image, at least be a better IR filter, but that’s just a guess.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Ferme - IR - Farm

Let’s focus on the challenge. I would like you to create an Infrared Image with a mix of vegetation and man made objects. Using the above image as a baseline, you should have a pretty good idea of the direction we’re taking. Remember that even though there’s a great deal of science behind IR photography, the end result is much more art then science.

ir-challenge

Your results are going to vary greatly from one member to an other. The reason is very simple, White Balance, Filter, Lens and Camera combinations will be different. Then there’s the post processing. Some of you may get IR Hot-Spots with a specific lens and you may choose to convert to B&W, while others may choose to conquer the mess of colors in front of them, colors that are just far from reality. The above images demonstrate exactly my point. Two different Lens/Filter combinations gave me two completely different results.

Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Pont de bois à l'île Grosbois - IR

What you’ll need to complete your challenge:

  • A Tripod – As usual I always suggest a tripod. It keeps your camera steady and maintains your composition, giving you time to think and experiment. For non-converted cameras it’s a must as you will need to keep your camera steady for long exposures.
  • An Infrared Filter – There’s no getting around it, we need to block out visible light as much as possible, letting only the upper spectrum of light into the camera. Filters vary greatly. Your standard IR filter is 720nm but you can find them as low as 560nm. Those in the 800nm spectrum will only produce a B&W image. The D.I.Y. approach is a economic way to experiment. You can even stack two filters together.
  • A Cable Release – A remote way to trigger your camera is always a good way to increase stability with a tripod.

 

WARNING : NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN THROUGH AN IR FILTER

IT MAY APPEAR SAFE BUT WILL STILL DAMAGE YOUR EYES

 

CLICK HERE for a DIY Infrared Filter search on Google

CLICK HERE for an Infrared Post Processing search on Google

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.
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2016 Challenge, WEEK 26 – OUTDOOR – Water (Long Exposure)

Whether you’re photographing a cascading stream, river or ocean waves breaking on a beach, you can always make your images more interesting by using a slower shutter speed. Doing so may seem intimidating or even expensive. This week we’ll explore low cost tricks and techniques to add a little spice to your images using slow shutter speeds and long exposures..

Montreal Back River at Sunset (Start of Fall)

In the above image I simply took advantage of the lower light situation at the end of the day to acquire a slower shutter speed. The fast moving water combined with a slow shutter speed of 1/30th of a second captured the illusion of movement. It was captured hand held leaning against a tree for stability. I also used a 50mm lens on a full frame (35mm on crop factor DSLRs) It’s easier to hold stable a wider angle lens than a longer focal one.

Steve Troletti Photography: NATURE & LANDSCAPES &emdash; Lanaudieres River - Downstream from Dorwin falls in Rawdon

In the river above, a 30 second exposure was used. I didn’t have ND (Neutral Density) filters on me to slow down the scene. I decided to use a polarized filter to get some help in lowering my light by a stop or so. I also reduced my ISO to 100 and closed my lens down to f/22 at 18mm. Again the lower light of an overcast and rainy day gave me an edge. In some cases, when I use a compact camera or my smartphone, I can achieve similar results by placing my sunglasses, polarized or not, in front of my lens.

macgyver-style iphone tripod

Although a tripod and a remote shutter (wired / Wireless) simplify the task of taking long exposures images, there are plenty of options. I’ve never let the lack of gear and gadget stop me. Almost all cameras including smartphones have a timer release mode. This will allow you to trigger your camera without shaking or moving it. You can always use your environment to help you stabilize your equipment. Rocks, branches, leaves and even trash can all help you point your camera in the right direction when used wisely. Just give it a little MacGyver. I personally always carry a small roll of duck tape and electrical tape to help out with these situations.

Liffey Falls

Using your environment to stabilize your equipment will often keep you low to the ground. That can open up a whole new world of composition ideas as in the above image. In many cases, taking your photos lower than eye level will add a perspective of grandiose to your images.

Misty river

Long exposure on apparently still bodies of water will also bring out interesting effect of smoothness and textures. Water almost always moves. The wind can create movement and texture that will add a surreal look to your images.

To fully take advantage of the sunlight, early mornings and late afternoons will provide a lower angle and softer light to work with.

I personally love Neutral Density and Variable ND Filters. Here’s a little test I did with the Tiffen Variable ND filter a couple years back – Tiffen Variable ND Filter for Photography and Video – First Impressions. The image below was created with that very same Tiffen filter.

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The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org. or #photochallenge2014.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2016 PhotoChallenge, Week 8: Dominant Depth of Field Blur – Guest Post

This week’s challenge is to create a photo with shallow DOF blur dominating the frame, in both the foreground and the background, with only the most important part of the scene (Your Subject) in sharp focus.

Depth of field

The challenge here is to do this in camera, not in post-processing…do not photoshop blur into your picture!!!

Stand out

Those photographers who have this technique already under control might want to try doing it with a lens much shorter or longer than the one they usually work with.

Magnetic-core Memory

Pay attention to all the elements of your photo, not just the ones in focus, because lines and contrasts can distract from the main subject even when they are blurred. Keep your compositions simple with an interesting subject.

leaf

You probably will have to work closer to your subject than you usually do. Using manual focus makes close work much easier. This site has a calculator which will help you determine how far your subject must be from your lens to be sharp: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm.

 

Challenge by Michelle Maani: I started my photography journey in 2006 when I bought my first digital camera, a pocket point and shoot that I bought to record a trip to Europe that summer. I was very disappointed with my shots! I’ve gradually worked my way up through better cameras and learning how to use them. At some point I became enamored with bird photography, and that has been my primary focus for several years.  Now that I have retired I am taking classes and learning what I can do with my camera and about other forms of photography, and I feel like a whole new world has opened. I live in the “other Vancouver”, in Washington state in the US.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

 

 

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2016 PHOTOCHALLENGE WEEK 2: VIEW FROM UNDER THE BRIDGE – HDR

First and foremost, I want to wish you all a Wonderful New Year and a BIG THANK YOU for being part of the 2016 PhotoChallenge.

Here it is, my first PhotoChallenge of the year. Keeping up with my traditional Outdoor Photography themes, I’ll be bringing a multitude of different techniques to apply in both urban and natural settings. As you all know by now, every 4th 2016 PhotoChallenge will be a guest post from one of you. You’re all welcome to volunteer and contact me with your contribution to become one of our next Guest Challengers.

Snowy Winter Scenes are a real challenge on this El Niño year. Suisse Romande, the western French speaking part of Switzerland has yet to accumulate any snow in the lower elevations. Montreal, Canada had no snow for Christmas and this weekend the temps are above freezing. Winter snow storms are translating into torrential downpours.  Southern California has been anything but sunny.

For this second PhotoChallenge of the year, I decided to get us to photograph a point of view from under a bridge. One, it will keep the rain off our heads. Second, it’s challenging from a composition point of view. The true challenge remains lighting. It’s generally darker under the bridge than it is out in the open. Since I want you to include parts of the bridge’s understructure, I’m making this an HDR PhotoChallenge.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash;

I chose to photograph my PhotoChallenge image above with a full-frame fisheye lens. Your perspective will vary greatly depending on the focal length of the lens you choose. I added an extra ounce of challenge by including the bright soon to set Sun piercing through the clouds in my image.  I also applied a little defishing to the final image to give it a more linear feel.

challenge-hdr-sample-steve-troletti

As illustrated by my RAW Image Thumbnails above, I initially shot 10 images each at 1.5 stops interval. This allows me to get some detail in the bright sunlit areas to the poorly lit underparts of the bridge. In post processing I selected only 5 of the 10 images, those I felt gave me the range I needed to get the most out of every area of my composition. To keep things simple I used LightRoom’s HDR merge and completed to final image adjustments in Photoshop. Third Party dedicated HDR software will give you a much higher image quality. On the flip side, you can use the built in HDR features of your camera or smartphone as in the image below.

DSC_8733-HDR-Edit-under-papineau-bridge-sm2

To complete this challenge I highly suggest you use a tripod. Even when using the built in HDR camera functions, stability is your best friend. Your image will need to illustrate a landscape/cityscape style view from under a bridge. It must also include elements of the underparts of a bridge’s structure. Depending on your focal length you may end up slightly next to the bridge. Please be careful not to put yourself in arms way of falling objects. Remember snow plows also clear bridges projecting snow to either side.

I want to stress that for the 2016 PhotoChallenge, we’re emphasizing taking your time to properly compose and capture your scene. This is meant to be photography, not a snapshot session. The final result should be a well composed image with well balanced light that is pleasing to the eye. Don’t be afraid to experiment with manual settings, different apertures and shutter speeds. In the right circumstances, long exposures can add a dramatic effect.

Here are some inspiring examples found on Flickr

HDR Photo of a Lifeguard Tower on Singer Island

Elisabeth Bridge

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org and #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2016 PhotoChallenge Week 1: B&W – MINIMALISM

Welcome to the the 2016 PhotoChallenge! Like last year, Trevor, Steve, and I will each stick to a theme throughout the year. My theme for the year goes back to the roots of photography: black and white. The subject matter will change and will vary widely, but will be designed to emphasize aspects of black and white photography.

I took a photography class many, many years ago in high school and fell in love with black and white. That was before digital photography, so I spent a lot of hours in the dark room, and seeing my images appear on paper hooked me. Now my daughter is taking photography in high school and got a Pentax K-1000 film camera for Christmas. I guess she was the inspiration for my 2016 theme. Seeing her film photos brought me back to the darkroom. I plan on going back to my roots this year and building a dark room out in the garage, so might even use film for some of the challenges.

We’ll get 2016 started with MINIMALISM. For minimalism you want to keep the shot as simple as possible. Minimalism in photography follows the same general principles of minimalist art by focusing on color, lines, shapes, and geometry to convey meaning. Since this is a black and white challenge, color won’t be something you can use. Your goal is to reduce the number of elements and keep the photo as simple as possible while focusing on the composition.
on the deck

Minimalism in photography often means isolating a subject from the surroundings, or picking subjects is stark or simple environments. In the example above, the photographer isolated a single leaf, but there were likely many more leaves on the deck. Isolation can be a key to minimalism, but this shot also employs strong compositional elements and contrast to convey a since of isolation. The deck lines divide the frame into three parts (rule of odds) and the placement of the leaf follows the rule of thirds.

All You Need is Money and Nerves of Steel

Lines and contrast are often used in minimalist photography. Lines lead your eye through a frame while contrast can be used to strengthen those lines. The shot above uses leading lines to convey a sense of the infinite. The shot below also uses lines and contrast, but conveys an entirely different feeling.

There's Love If You Want It

Minimalism often focuses on shapes, and shadows emphasize shapes. The shot below uses the repetitive shadows of a fence, but disrupts that repetition with a solitary bird.
rail fence
Minimalism, like all photography and art, means something different to each person. You can choose to find a subject, like the leaf, or focus on lines and shapes.

An open door

For me, minimalism is about removing distractions and focusing on one thing. With minimalism less is more – the simpler, the better. Keep your eye out for shapes and strong lines, then frame the shot to emphasize a single element.

If you need more inspiration for minimalism, here are a few links:

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org and #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

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2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 47: LONG EXPOSURE NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

Just had a photographer friend of mine, Eric Constantineau, give a conference at the Montreal Camera Club. It was on Night Photography and Long Exposures. I guess you can all figure out where the inspiration for this week’s Challenge came from.

For this week’s challenge, we’re combining both the night aspect and the long exposures. The reduced light from dusk on makes it easier to get nice long exposures. Anything from stars to automobile lights come to life. A tripod will be necessary to stabilize your camera. A polarized filter or/and a light ND filter wlil help depending on the light conditions.

Steve Troletti Photography: Winter Festivals / Festivals d'hiver &emdash; Ferris Wheel / La Grande Roue

My personal favorite, Ferris Wheels in motion at night. You’ll have to shoot in manual mode. I like to work with 30 second exposures as it gives plenty of time to get plenty of action in front of the lens. I always shoot at my camera’s native ISO to reduce noise in long exposures. Pay attention not to over expose lights as you will loose details in those areas. In this case the long exposure also minimized the appearance of individuals walking by.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Lactantia at night

For the sake of clarity and sharpness, I never recommend completely stepping down your lens. However the more you do the more you will get a star-shape effect from fixed lighting. At first glance this image may not seem like a very long exposure. It’s a 2 minute long exposure. We can see a stream of car lights above the water line. The real catch, thousands of Snow Geese are swimming along in front of me in the water. Except for a white smudgy texture they’re completely gone due to the long exposure time.

Berlin Night

The hustle and bustle of city life offers constant movement by night. From the rotating advertisement cylinder, to the bus light trails and the movement of the clouds, this image has multiple aspects of captured motion.

 

Surprise! Another Fireworks Shot!   Fireworks themselves are captured with long exposures. Although a relatively short, long exposure, will give you amazing results, a much longer controlled exposure allows you to capture multiple facets of a fireworks presentation onto one image. Keep your shutter open in BULB mode. Cover your lens with a black hat or other object. I use a cut down neoprene bottle cooler. Uncover the lens for just the parts you want exposed and cover it up again when you don’t want your scene exposed.     Light Painting 008   Naturally night time long exposures wouldn’t be complete without Light Painting. I would recommend flashlights over the above technique of twirling burning steel wool. If you choose to do so, please read up on all the safety concerns and don’t leave home without a fire extinguisher. Use all the protective gear you may need as this stuff burns clothing, skin, hair and eyes. If you’ve never done this before, I suggest you attend a workshop first. As you can see the possibilities are truly limitless. With the days getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere and not too long in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the perfect time of year to practice your night photography.  

This will be more of an interpretive challenge leaving the door wide open to your imagination. To complete your challenge your image will have to have been taken at night and demonstrate an effect such as movement from the long exposure.

 

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

2015 CHALLENGE WEEK 40: ROOM WITH A VIEW – HDR

Filling in for Trevor I’ll focus on his Architectural theme for the PhotoChallenge. This week I was thinking of a little technique that is often used for real estate photography and portraying rooms in a catalog.

Kabania – Cabanitas – Totoche – Interieur / Inside – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

HDR is often used to portray the inside of a room with the outdoor view from the windows on one well exposed image. A minimum of two images is necessary, although three works better. One with the room well exposed and one with the windows well exposed. Once blended in HDR, you will have a well balanced image of the interior and the exterior view. The above HDR image is in a 360 degree photosphere which is great for online virtual tours. Good Morning

If you don’t use HDR with at least two images and rely on your camera’s automatic settings, you’ll have an image resembling the one above. The result, blown out details in the window and most probably an underexposed interior.

Room View, Hollywood Beach Marriot

Nothing can be more inviting than being able to show an ocean view from inside the room. In this case the view sells the room.

Living Room View

Same goes for this living room view above. The view is as much part of the decor as the leather couch and the wood log interior. The final image was created from 11 images incrementally exposed. To make the look real, we usually use what is referred to as a PHOTO REALISTIC HDR rendition. HDR often results in a cartoonish look. That’s not what we’re looking for. We want it to look as natural as possible. You’ll have to pay attention to color saturation and hue when blending your images.

To complete this challenge you will have to:

  • Capture at least two images with different exposures to create one well balanced image of an interior with it’s view clearly visible. The image can be a standard flat two dimensional image or a 360 degree photosphere. (Refer to our photosphere challenge)
  • Blend the two or more exposures to create one image that has a photo realistic look.

Your image has to document the room as well as the view. Make sure the room elements such as decor and walls are present in your image. We want more than just a window frame with a view. We want to feel the hidden charms behind the room in question.

Both Lightroom and Photoshop now include HDR functions. HDR blending options are now available in most photo editing software including mobile phone apps. They are often now part of your camera settings and can be programmed and blended in your camera or phone. Therefore the tools to complete this challenge are now readily available for mainstream photography as well as mobile phone photographers.

Your best friend in this case will be a tripod to stabilize your camera or phone. Each image as to match exactly in order to be well blended to one HDR image.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three)
  • Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video. Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
Apionid CC license

2015 CHALLENGE WEEK 39: PANNING

Since the November 25, 2015 Challenge will involve a great deal of work, I decided to be nice and base this week’s Challenge on an easy but seldom practiced technique called PANNING. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the above cover image by Apionid  😉

panning jeep

Panning usually involves moving your camera along an horizontal axis while following a moving subject. It can be anything in movement such as a bird in flight, cyclist or a jeep as in the above image. A slower shutter  speed is used to accentuate the movement in the background while following the subject to keep it relatively sharp.   Red Fox Chasing Squirrel by Steve Troletti If you have multiple subjects moving at different speeds then you will only have one subject showing up clearly on your image. In the above image the Squirrel is moving faster than the Red Fox. I was panning and focused on the Fox’s head in addition to the reduced depth of field of my Telephoto Lens.   kick scooter panning, bilbao

A slower moving subject will be easier to manage as it will more easily remain in sharper focus. Although I’ve done panning at Formula One Races with fast moving cars, I always practiced ahead of time with Cyclists using the track outside event schedules. In this case the B&W look adds to the overall artistic feeling of the image.

Guglielmo in altalena

A few tips you may find useful:

  • Shoot handheld for freedom of movement. A monopod to remove vertical movement may be useful but not a Tripod unless the scene is really rehearsed.
  • If your subject is close enough you can use a Flash to help make your subject sharper. The strobe will freeze motion at 1/1000th of a second or faster.
  • Use a 50mm Full Frame equivalent or wider to maintain stability and depth of field. The wider the lens the easier to control.
  • Experiment with different shutter speeds (I.E. 1/15, 1/30, 1/60…) depending on your subject’s speed and ambient light.
  • Keep your camera in continuous focus mode in order to better track your subject.
  • A smaller apperture to increase depth of field will help keep the subject in focus as well.
  • ALWAYS REMAIN AWARE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT. YOU DON’T WANT TO GET HIT BY YOUR SUBJECT OR ANY OTHER MOVING OBJECT.

HEADS UP:

As I previously mentioned my next challenge is a Spooky Infrared Challenge for the entire week preceding Halloween. An Infrared filter will be necessary. You don’t need a modified camera but keep in mind that all camera/lens combinations will give different results. Image quality won’t be the primary factor so you can procure yourself a lesser quality filter for the challenge. It should be a 720nm Infrared Filter similar to the HOYA R72. You can even make your own as in this DIY Project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CveDYDieaFg

 

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.