September 24, 2011

Rust again...

I cannot simply walk by when I see "something" rusty! I makes me grip my camera automatically and put it to my eye. The result is just a small crop from a larger photo that I might one day reveal (see: "slow reveal" ;-)). It looks like multiple suns over a calm sea.
This study in rust shows (again) how powerful the orange/blue contrast is...

Lined up 4 31342

Quite heavily post-processed with curves and color-tuning, but still only emphasizing what was originally there.

September 07, 2011

Thoughts on reflections

The example of a reflective shot in the previous post show-cases some of the distinctive effects you can achieve by shooting into some reflective surface:
- The image acquires a tint from the color of the reflective surface. If strong enough the original colors are drained out and you get a two-toned image*
- the reflected image becomes structured by the uneven surface*
- you can use the frame of the reflector for creating a frame around your subject that's often astonishing, like a puddle after rain.
- you can play objects on the surface against the reflected image of the background in ways that are often not possible without the reflector (like your own person, or clouds that reflect in water or other wet surfaces)

And there are other quite interesting effects that do not show up in this specific example:
- Esp. when shooting against wet surfaces on ground level while standing on them you create the illusion of a "submerged" vantage point. For this effect to work properly it helps to display the image upside down so that the reflected subjects appear in their normal upright position.
- You can show the front and the (reflected) backside of a subject at the same time, sort of "bending the light" around your subject
- With curved reflectors (like Christmas tree balls) you get a strong warping of the subject
- Capturing the original and the reflected subject in one image creates symmetry
- Or you use the reflective surface simply to project additional (colored, structured) light on your subject. Which seems the least "intrusive" way of using a reflector.

Btw. If you want to find all my blogposts related to the topic of reflections simply click on the label "reflection" under this post or head over to the page "Use Keyword Search!" and click on the respective keyword there.
There you can find further examples of the effects described above.

*does not work when you use a mirror, so mirrors are not as interesting as other reflective surfaces.

September 06, 2011


Next-up will be some thoughts about the abstractifying powers of reflections:

Selfportrait with Mermaid 31258

I'm just posting this so you can enjoy one of the most interesting shots I did while visiting (again) one of the most beautiful cities in North-Holland: Alkmaar.
Will post some thoughts on the special effects of this image after a short break...

The repetitive nature of ... nature

I was after this shot for a long time. I knew this neck of the wood quite well and was always amazed by its ugliness: rows and rows of pine trees with little vegetation in between.
But I was looking after some special shot to exhibit the boring and repetitive nature of this type of vegetation, to bring the trunks of these trees together in an impenetrable wall of wood. Well, here it is:

Wall of Wood 31234

I was happy with the VR supported quality of the 1/30 sec capture at 70mm (=105mm equivalent on my D300) and used some post-processing to emphasize the blandness of the original.

Has this image some abstract quality about it? Well, I think the pattern (or if you like texture) and reduced color-palette makes for some degree of abstractification. But to be honest: I like it especially because it's still very close to original life impression that you'd get standing there at my view-point. That comes as a special shock to people that are normally not interested in the "abstract" side of pictorial art - but have to realize that there is some abstract quality inherent in their surroundings...