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Showing posts from February, 2007

Maternal bond

A newborn baby looks up at her mother.

I took this using only available light and as it was going toward evening the circumstances were a bit of a challenge. Using my 70-200L lens stopped down to f4 to ensure enough depth of field but still make the best use of the light I had to bump the ISO up to 1600. Luckily the Canon 5D produces very little noise even at high ISO's.

I processed the shot out of RAW using Canon's own software, Digital Professional Photographer and then imported the image into CS2. There I converted it to monochrome via LAB colour to ensure the best grey values. Reconverted it to RGB mode and toned the image.

I wanted a soft look. In the darkroom I was quite fond of doing stocking prints. You tie a piece of stocking over the enlarger lens to diffuse the light. This causes the blacks to bleed out. I love the effect. In Photoshop you can use the glow filter to achieve a similar effect, which is what I did here. I feel it contributes to the mood and atmosphere in …

Great websites for photographers

I saw his wonderful glowing white beard and hair through the window of his shop, went in and asked if I could make a portrait.

Pierre agreed immediately. He was very friendly and patient. My wife and fellow photographer, Magda, chatted to him while I made several portraits.

He is a sculptor and a real craftsman with his frames. If you're in Ostend,in the Kerkstraat, pop in and visit.

I prefer not to use flash if at all possible, so these were all shot at 1600 ISO.

Now as promised here are some excellent websites for photographers

www.photokaboom.com
www.aphotoaday.org
www.lightstalkers.org
Photostream
The big picture

And my friend David Toyne's new blog Digital SLR Photography Articles

Enjoy!

All the best,
Paul

Business as usual

Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk, Belgium


No rest for the wicked. I've been on my travels again, hence the recent silence on the blog front.

The image above was taken in Ostend Belgium. The Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk is a very impressive building, which was completed in 1905. The detail and ornamentation are extraordinary.

Here I attempted to balance the light inside the church, showing through the stained glass window, the light in the towers, the floodlights on the building and the ambient daylight. As you can imagine the exposure was tricky.

I really like photographing in twilight, mixing artificial and natural light. There's a small time-frame when the light is beautifully balanced. The evening glow fills in details in the shadows and the sky.

I used photoshop to correct the verticals and remove most of the wide-angle distortion.

In the end the image is quite magical and I think it complements the architect's vision. It was quite a challenge to get this shot with people wandering ab…

Swan design

This swan represents the caligraphy of nature to me.

Nature's designs are wonderful and photographers have always had a fascination with them. Recently I've become increasingly fascinated with using the principles design when creating images.

However I hope my touch remains light and avoids the contrived.

This was taken on the banks of the river Wharf in Leeds where three swans seem to have taken up temporary residence.

I hope to find the time to continue my series on using design principles soon.

Cheers,
Paul

A question of authorship

My Head in the Clouds - Magda Indigo

My wife and fellow professional photographer, Magda Indigo, uploaded this image on a photo sharing website yesterday. In her text supporting the image she had said, in all her honesty, that I had pressed the shutter button for her. It was deleted by the owner of the site as someone complained that she had not actually taken the image.

This is an interesting case and it raises questions of authorship. The rules of the site say that you can only upload images that you've taken. The narrowest interpretation of this is pictures that you took by pressing the shutter button on your camera. A wider interpretation would be images of which you are the author and copyright holder.

According to the wider interpretation this image is Magda's. She had the idea. Set the composition up. Decided on the framing. She borrowed my camera and set it up on the tripod. Because of the distance involved and the precise positioning, the self timer would have been trick…

Feel it. How to get emotion in your images.

The series of articles on using design in photography will continue soon but first I wanted to make an important point about how to get emotion in your images.

When you see something you've got to put the feeling in the image as you are taking it. It is a real challenge for me to try to communicate what I mean here. Perhaps a few examples would help.

A photographer is commissioned to produce an image of a sports car. He looks at it and the sleek lines excite him. His challenge is to convey that feeling of excitement in the image he produces. He has to feel the excitement in order to really put what is in his mind and heart into the final image so that when the viewer sees it they also get excited. He then looks at the trim in the cockpit and admires the fine finish and quality. Now he has to find a way to show that quality to the viewer, using lighting, angles etc.

Another photographer is commissioned to do a portrait of a beautiful woman. She must look at her subject and ask hersel…

Design in photography #1

As promised here is the first article in the series on using design principles to improve your photography.

The primary concepts you need to think about when designing an image in your mind are:

Balance - symetrical or more pleasing to the eye, asymetrical. All images need to be in balance to work wellConsistency - this applies across a whole range of aspects, whether working on a series of pictures or in the visual treatment of a single imageContrast - this is a wonderful element to play with and an essential part of designProportion - the relative size of objects but also the relative importance of visual elementsProximity - this is the single most important design concept for creating meaning in an image. Two elements close together will effect each other's meaning in a fundamental waySimplicity - keep it simple. Single concepts work best. Try to say too much and all messages get lostUnity - this can apply to the overall colour tone, to the harmony in shapes across th…