3526 – Only 10 More Steps

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3526 – Only 10 More Steps
Jun 142016
 

This is f5.6 at an effective focal length of 300 mm, focused on the two people walking towards “Villach’s probably most beautiful terrace along river Drau” (love those overly specific claims!). As you see, there’s plenty of DOF, but I don’t mind.

Much to the contrany in fact. Normally my problem with long lenses is, that I can’t use them to capture what I see. Depth of field is a simple physical characteristic of a lens, but it gets much mor ecomplicated when it comes to the human eye and to the brain doing the final processing.

We are vigilant creatures by nature. Our eyes constantly scan the environment, flicking across the scene, always re-focusing. In the brain these raw signals are merged together. Much detail is immediately dropped, different depth layers are mentally joined into one image, and sometimes this process of merging even goes along the time axis.

Therefore, if I want to isolate a certain depth layer, I can easily do it with a long lens completely opened up. In many ways that is satisfying, not because it perfectly records what we see, it’s because our eyes never see that way. It’s the exotic that we love in shallow DOF images.

If I strive for more compositional photography by cutting a frame from reality, then shallow DOF gets in my way.

3507 – Lonely Stairs at the Railway Station

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3507 – Lonely Stairs at the Railway Station
May 262016
 

This image was taken at f5.6, 1/20s and ISO 1600. I wouldn’t have needed DxO to process it. I did, just to try out their keystone correction tool.

Well, it works 😀

In the end, the result of my evaluation of DxO Optics Pro 10 was that I bought it. You need the “Elite” version in order to get PRIME noise reduction, and while I was at it, I just bought the whole suite, including Viewpoint (the geometry correction tool, also with support for eye-friendly de-fishing) and Filmpack.

Since then I have hardly used it – but still, for the things it does well, mostly high ISO noise reduction, it is a nice arrow to have in your quiver.

3472 – The Bark

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3472 – The Bark
Apr 212016
 

I think I haven’t taken less images in any period of the last ten years than in in the last few months. Here we have the sole survivor of a desperate attempt one afternoon in Villach. Nevertheless, in black and white it even turned out interesting.

It’s hard to tell what the reason for my dwindling interest in photography was. A that time, in late December, I didn’t have the stress at work that I currently have, and I didn’t have anything else that occupied me or my mind. It was just some kind of sluggishness. Thankfully that seems to be over now 🙂

3444 – The Wooden Tower

 Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95  Comments Off on 3444 – The Wooden Tower
Mar 242016
 

Here we have two images of the new wooden tower on Pyramidenkogel (“Pyramid Hill”), a free-standing hill with a great view over most of Carinthia.

It was the first time I’ve been there since they’ve replaced the old concrete tower, and unfortunately while I drove the 20 km from Villach down to the tower, clouds gathered. When I arrived, the sun was gone and the light flat. I decided to skip buying a ticket and try it another time.

The images were taken with the Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95 at something like f4 or f5.6.

Mar 182016
 

You’ve probably seen a lot of such images. I follow a number of architecture photographers on Flickr, who use such a style of black and white images, frequently coupled with long exposures.

I always wanted to know whether an image taken on a bright, sunny day can be converted in that way without resorting to optical filters and without Photoshop. There’s nothing wrong with Photoshop, but for my daily work I much prefer the simplicity and speed of Lightroom.

Well, here we are: it works. This image has been processed exclusively in Lightroom 🙂

3434 – Complicated Shadows

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3434 – Complicated Shadows
Mar 142016
 

This is on the roof terrace of the building where I work. I noticed the shadows and the reflections, I went for the camera and took the image, and when I finally saw it on the screen … I was disappointed. The distribution of light and of contrast, nothing worked at all.

In such cases I frequently go for black and white. Suddenly doing extreme contrast changes is easy, shadow noise is much less visible and the result looks much more abstract. And in the end I liked what I saw 🙂

3340 – The Window

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3340 – The Window
Dec 112015
 

We’ve left the Cathedral, following Rua Augusto Rosa along its north side and then Rua Limoeiro further up the hill, where we reached Miradouro de Santa Luzia. This is one of those magic places that give you a sudden and often breathtaking view over city and river. For now we duck behind a wall and just have a glance through a pretty window.