Saturday, June 2, 2012

Yellow fields

There are some ideas of pictures that you always keep in your mind and never take. You just think always "next time", because it is so easy and everywhere, and this "next time" might never come. 
The yellow fields that are everywhere in this time of the year were for me one of these ideas...

So, finally I did it.. I took some pictures of these bright yellow fields. And actually, considering the weather conditions, it appeared to be not that straightforward...

Though the weather was very good for such scenery, there were certain factors that made it a little bit complicated to take the shots I wanted.

First of all, though it was a day time, there was not enough light to use lowest possible ISO. So, I had to increase at first to ISO 200, and then finally to ISO 320. 

24mm; f/22; 1/60 sec; ISO 320
Secondly, I had to wait and quickly react, when sun suddenly came out of the cloud, because then the color of the field and the juxtaposion of the field and the sky was the best. 

68mm; f/22; 1/60 sec; ISO 320

And the main problem was, that though I was using tripod, I could not go down to very low shutter speed, because it was very windy, and to maintain the focus I had to go down to not more than 1/60 sec. I didn't want to increase aperture too much, so that depth of field was enough for this kind of picture. In other words, I just wanted all these yellow flowers through the whole picture stay in focus area.

12mm; f/20; 1/80 sec; ISO 320

For the last shot it was a compromise, where I went down to f/20, because I was not using tripod there.

In general - I like the colors, I like these little yellow flowers and contrast against the cloudy sky. This is one of the good things about summer - you can find a lot of colors everywhere.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Night pictures 1

After finishing the Art of Photography course, I was looking for some topics that were not covered by the course materials. One of them that I found especially interesting was night photography on longer shutter speed. 

I wanted to take some pictures of traffic streams, that would show the lights of cars in both directions - white and red colors. However, it appeared to be quite difficult to find appropriate point to take such pictures. In ideal situation this kind of shots should be taken on some distance from the road and preferably the road should turn and have nice background to result in a balanced composition. The other difficulty that I found in Tallinn was to find busy road with tight cars streams in both directions (to have the white and red color lines of the same density. It is getting dark at around 20.00 a.m. now in Tallinn and the roads are not busy at all at this time.

However, I accidentally found  and interesting subject to experiment on - trams. And the place where the trams are turning. Here are some of my attempts of taking pictures of trams on longer shutter speed.

Three of them I have turned into black and white, because they create some special mood without other colors.

55mm; f/9.0; 8 sec; ISO100 

...On slightly longer focal distance of 80mm:
 80mm; f/9.0; 8 sec; ISO100

...With slightly different composition...

80mm; f/9.0; 8 sec; ISO100 

... and tram moving in different direction, which allowed to take picture of front orange light... 

80mm; f/9.0; 8 sec; ISO100

I do not give up to find a proper location to take pictures of front and back car lights. Next time... 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Assignment 5 - Applying the techniques of illustration

The aim of the last assignment was to tell a story with pictures, and apply some of the techniques described in this part of the course.

I decided to create a travel guide or a small brochure for somebody traveling around Estonia, and took one place outside Tallinn as an example of where the one could go. It is a small town on the north-western part of the country - Paldiski.

First of all, I will show the images that I have included into the assignment.

The first picture is a view of the coast line. Probably, it is one of the most interesting things to see in Paldiski. That's why, I would put it on the cover page of the brochure.

18mm; f/13.0; 1/80 sec; ISO 200

Starting the story with arrival to the place...

18mm; f/5,6; 1/160; ISO 200

12mm; f/7.1; 1/160sec; ISO 200

The only reason to shoot this cat with wide angle lens was to manage to catch this moment...

12mm; f/7.1; 1/160 sec

The next two pictures I would use in combination, as an example of juxtaposition, and showing some of the interesting objects on the coast...

90mm; f/10.0; 1/200; ISO 200

14mm; f/13; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

 The next one is to continue the story about the the coastline that was started on the cover of the brochure.

14mm; f/13.0; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

Continue the story with a couple of shots from the town itself, and another example of juxtaposition...

12mm; f/6.3; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

92mm; f/6.3; 1/60 sec

And as a separate chapter of the trip - some pictures of the industrial part of the town..

These pictures are more like strange symbols of industrial content of the town - black leaves, bricks, walls on the background, broken windows, and a graffiti - "Merry Nuclear Christmas" and "Do not Smoke!".

65mm; f/5.6; 1/80 sec

38mm; f/5.6; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

A couple of very straightforward objects of industrial content of the town.

65mm; f/6.3; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

18mm; f/6.3; 1/100 sec; ISO 200

And  a logical final shot for the trip - getting dark, sun going down... the end of the trip...

185mm; f/6.3; 1/125 sec; ISO 200

And here is the brochure that I would put together with the pictures above. This would be a small brochure, from three parts, that are put together, and can be one of those advertising stuff that can be normally found for free in the hotel, trains or bus stations, airports, etc.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Exercise 5.5 - Juxtaposition

For this task the main idea was to photograph the objects that would have connection with each other. This was the easiest part of the exercise.

90mm; f/3.2; 1/13 sec; 
white balance - incandesce; 
with flash and diffusing filter 

And I would use this picture as an illustration to the book of poems. However, I would use the shot with another white balance, if it was to illustrate the book. The background should look a bit colder and contrast with red berries. 

Furthermore, I would even play a bit with the background and colours and wold eliminate all other than red colours from the picture.

This would be a small book with short poems, one on every page. And the name of this book would be something like "The Colour of the Soul" (of course, written in some thin Italic style). And the colour of the berries would depend on the poems in the book. 
At the moment I left them as dark red... Switch on your imagination to think of the poems that would be associated with this colour...   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Exercise 5.4 - Rain

The main idea of this exercise was to illustrate the rain in one picture, keeping it simple, trying to avoid middle-distance shots of rainy street, trying to make it attractive.

Well... I don't know, how attractive it is, but I personally like the shot I have made. This is rain from behind the window. And I could not choose, which shot I like more, so I decided to place both of them here.

46mm; f/9.0; 1/125 sec 

30mm; f/8.0; 1/80sec

The first thought that I have, looking at these two shots is that it was very rainy that day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Exercise 5.3 - Symbols

The idea of this exercise was to list the symbols for several subjects. For some of those I have even found some pictures taken by myself some time ago.

1. Growth:

The first thing that comes to my mind is growing tree or a flower.

2. Excess 

It can be anything. One thing that could definitely work is the excess of snow we had in Estonia previous winter.

3.  Crime 

There are several options possible as well:  from dark streets to the strangers in the streets and views of the old prisons. One of those I have found among my pictures:

4. Silence 

Here I have chosen the picture of the sea during sundown. It always leaves the impression of patience and silence. The single person on the picture adds up to the composition.

 5. Poverty

The best shots that I could come up with were from one local market in Shanghai. The second shot would also work for excess subject.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Exercise 5.2 - Evidence of action

The idea of this task was to show some action or something that has happened with just one shot.
As I was shooting my niece during her aerobics competition just recently, I decided to use one of these shots for this task. I thought that it was illustrative enough for this exercise.

200mm; f/6.3; 1/200sec; ISO 800

The lighting was not very good in the sport hall. And to have the picture of the moving child sharp enough, I had to use the high ISO sensitivity. 

I think that the posture, the moving hand and the face show exactly what is needed to show here. It is the aerobics performance, and the child is trying really hard to make it good.