Posts tagged “Fujifilm

Brutalism and Contrast (Two Photographs)

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With all my writing about contrast this week, I could not leave out one other observation. When it comes to photos with significant contrast black and white or colour are not at issue either one will do. However, one area for creative post-processing is in the luminance of the different parts of the photograph. It is possible to increase the contrasting light by adding or subtracting light with graduated software filters.


Drama (Three Photographs)

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Nothing like a little drama. Muting colours, adding contrast, luminosity masks, all add a touch of drama to an overcast and other wise indifferent day. Shot with a Fuji XT-3, 18-55 lens, exposure bracketed shots, HDR in Photoshop.

 


Windows (Two Photographs)

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Windows often make me curious and I have several photos of great windows. Of these two photos the circular window is in the building where Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, lived before defecting in 1945.


Trees (Two Photographs)

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With the bad weather lingering on we have not seen many trees with leaves yet and I decided to take advantage of this with some slightly surreal images. If the weather doesn’t cooperate why not try something new.


A Little Pepper (Two Photographs)

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This was a test of two things that generally apply in photography: hard light versus soft light and post-processing reduction of specular highlights. The shadows show the difference in hard versus soft light, and I think most would prefer softer lighting. Specular highlights are areas where the bright light almost obliterates the subject and leaves a white spot. While healing tools can fix this, to keep things natural I have kept the range of tonality.


Contrast (Three Photographs)

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There is one thing I look for when doing city/street/urban landscapes and that is contrast. Contrast means I have a choice of colour or black and white. It makes the photo stand out that much better. In my view, color contrast, contrast between objects etc. make for great photos.


Aside

White on White (Two Photographs)

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Horizons are important I have found out, as is both on set and post production cleaning of the image. Still the results can be dramatic. The lighting is challenging if you want realistic shadows; I went for hard light to accentuate the shadows.


What Camera? (Two Photographs)

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If you have been asked what camera to buy or asked the question yourself, you are certainly not alone. It’s one of the most frequently asked questions. In my nature photography book I devoted a section to the question. While I love my Fuji XT for the street, I don’t think it can compete with Nikon D500 and 200-500 lens just yet. Mirrorless are coming along but the lenses are expensive. Many nature photographers use bridge cameras and don’t worry too much about the limitations.  In my view mirrorless are great for family, street, portraits, but DSLRs still rule most other areas like nature photography. That said the future is mirrorless. Fuji is hindered by a lack of third party lenses, but Sony, Nikon and Canon are coming along fast.


Garlic (Two Photographs)

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Having gone through two other similar set ups, the lighting for this subject was easier. This is one of the all time truths of photography. Every genre has a learning curve and at first it’s daunting and a bit of perseverance is the only solution. You read the manual and the solution never quite comes out the same, the recipe needs your own touch.


An Apple, A Pear and Lime (Three Photographs)

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I am gaining great respect for product photographers and still life photographers. The set-up and lighting is one thing, editing is another. All have a learning curve, until you figure things out. There is some educational material on the web for lighting, some on composition but little on editing, and all of it is subject dependant (e.g. glass, metal, opaque subjects etc.). But after this studio work, I went out into the forest today and had a better appreciation for the light I saw.


Artichokes (Two Photographs)

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There is a fair amount of work required in the processing of still life; to clean up, to adjust colour, and to ensure a usable background. These shots proved easier than most, and I found the black and white versions far superior to the original colour versions.


Admonition (Two Photographs)

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Bricking in the door is bit more effective than a puny sign. The idea here is you have two contrasting shots and they have a link. Makes an audience think when they are side by side. Trying new ideas to attract a viewer’s eye can’t hurt.


More Fun With Backlighting (Three Photographs)

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I am shooting with my Fuji X-3 and Godox flash gear (AD200, 860 II, 350 F) and a Godox controller. Still life Photography set-ups are an area of photography that can be quite interesting (and challenging). I am trying various set ups with small things to see what works. In the third photograph only the fill light fired and my main light shooting from behind failed to shoot. Even accidents are lessons in photography.


Street Photography (Two Photographs)

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My street photography has lacked a human dimension, by that I mean people. But I hope to change that and borrow some techniques I have seen used by other photographers. In the first the dutch tilt makes it look like the camera is grasping at meaning, and in the second leading lines direct the eye to a rather fuzzy conclusion.


Side-lit and Back-lit (Three Photographs)

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I tried side lighting, very much like window lighting (first colour photograph), and it worked especially with a polarizing filter to tone down some of the highlights. The black and white and second colour were back-lit. I am told this is done quite a bit with food photography (you bounce the light back into the front the subjects with a white board or reflector. The idea is the light pulls the viewer in as the light spills over the top or so I am told (certainly a lighting pattern to try again to see what other results I can get).


Backgrounds (Three Pictures)

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Backgrounds in still life are just as important as in bird photography. Here I used table cloths, (plastic and cloth) both helped with texture, luminance and added interest. In hindsight, in the photo of the pot I should have lowered my horizon by raising my camera or moving the objects closer, a lesson learned.


City Quirks (Three Photographs)

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I have had a great deal of fun taking photos like these, call them intimate urban landscapes. They lend themselves to a bit of creativity and thought. They also permit some creative editing (removing the odd poster or an out of place paint streak).


Shadows and Highlights (Three Photographs)

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With studio strobe lighting you get a very sharp tool as opposed to using continuous light, everything is a matter of inches. Realistic shadows are the next thing I will tackle. The shadows here are too subtle. I figured out a polarizing filter would help tone down highlights that were too bright. One step forward at the very least.


Allegory (Two Photographs)

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These are photos of elements of the Arthur Erickson extension to the Bank of Canada (it used to be publicly accessible but no longer). I think the photos make a great allegory for the state of the world economy and its complexity.


Dust and Other Issues (Three Photographs)

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Cleaning the metal objects turned out to be easier in Photoshop than in the real world. I was able to mitigate the glare on the fruit with a polarizing filter. This was the first time in a long time that I shot a piece of reflective steel. The angle of your camera relative to the light is key but I did not want the highlights to go completely so I compromised. Still more to learn on perspective and depth of field but my lighting experiments are coming along. An Xrite colour checker is coming in handy, when I remember to use it, for white balance, and I am tethering the camera to a laptop, giving an easier way to look at composition and lighting before taking the picture, and reviewing the results immediately afterwards.


The Plastic Plant Light Test (Thee Photographs)

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For a few years now I have shared what I have learned in photography. I have recently been experimenting with strobes. In this case the object of my study was both direction of light, subtle shadow as well as the quality of light in terms of colour. Yes I processed them and tweaked them. What did I learn? Controlling shadow is not as easy as it looks or experts tell you. What looks good in the camera may be too subtle. Thirdly, that white balance takes on a crucial role in studio work. Lastly I need to watch depth of field more carefully than I would with nature photography. Being in total control of subject and light has its challenges.


Quirky (Two Photographs)

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Because the leading lines go in the opposite direction than doctrine would suggest, the photograph is somewhat quirky. The idea in my mind was it illustrated that whatever is deposited goes into the unknown.


Garden (Two Photographs)

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I keep coming across these lawns where attempts have been made to garden. Trying to get the right angle on the best part of these “wild” urban gardens is the biggest challenge. But the effort often pays off in a nice photo.

 

 


Window (Two Photographs)

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Reflections are an interesting area of photography, and I am fond of window reflections. But I need to remind myself that windows tend to be dirty and it would be hard to remove the dirt without killing the reflected subject, so we will just call it grunge. I sometimes have to carefully clone myself out of the photo. The processing should emphasize the detail in the window and recognize that in many cases we have two photographs (one inside the other) and they need to be handled differently.