Tag Archives: Plants

3591 – Ivy

I see, I see: this was “Cheap Week” πŸ™‚

The Image of the Day was made with another cheap and light lens, the collapsible pancake lens Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm 3.5-5.6 ASPH. You have to admit, this is pretty much of a name for such a small and light piece of almost nothing πŸ˜€

I rarely use it nowadays, but really, it is a lens good enough for a trip to sunny places. I certainly could have used it in Lisbon for most of the images made with the much more expensive, much bigger and much heavier 12-40/2.8 PRO. The collapsing mechanism is something that I need to get used to, but after an hour it feels natural enough.

This small zoom, the plastic 40-150, and probably the Olympus 9-18 if I need it real wide, that’s probably as light as it gets. Occasionally I may have to raise ISO to 1600 or even 3200, but then I can always process with DxO. Oh yes, and: you won’t shoot action with that combo. The cheap 40-150 focuses abysmally slow. For my kind of images it doesn’t matter though. My subjects rarely move.

3418 – Patterns of Light and Shadow

Being in a mundane environment has many advantages as well. For instance you see what you see over and again in always different lighting situations.

Time of the day, angle of the sun, weather, seasons, really, don’t expect that you can always come back if you miss an image. It may take years until you see the same constellation again.

On the other hand, it may be worth trying, and still being there the next day at least gives you an option.

2672 – Field Of Reeds

No images today, here’s one from early January instead. I’ve taken it in a park in Vienna. It was not particularly cold and neither was there snow. We used to talk of snow-less winters and the warmest January in ages. I guess, on average we’re back to normal πŸ˜€

The Song of the Day is the title song of the 2013 These New Puritans album “Field Of Reeds”. In certain aspects it reminds me of the Incredible String Band, in others … not at all. Anyway, interesting music. Hear it on YouTube.

2600 – Draw Me Nearer

The 12-40/2.8 is not a fast lens. For instance the Panasonic 25/1.4 was faster by two stops, but a wide aperture is only one part of the recipe to gorgeous bokeh. The other part is focus distance, or to be precise, the relation between focus distance and distance to the out-of-focus background. The nearer you get, the easier it is to throw the background out of focus. Ever wondered why you have so much trouble getting usable DOF while shooting macro? Well, that’s why.

Normally non-macro lenses are either good or they focus near. Traditional lens design tends to always trade near focus for lack of distortion, but this lens is an exception. It focuses almost down to the front element, and it does so in all focal lengths. Thus it is easy to get deliciously creamy bokeh even at 12 mm. I’ve always liked that in my Sigma 20/1.8 and 28/1.8 for Nikon, and I am certain to like it here.

The Song of the Day is “Draw Me Nearer” by Nina Simone. Hear it on YouTube.

2569 – Really Hard

Editing color images is really hard. It’s surprisingly hard when you think of the fact that the world around us is full of colors. What could be easier than to record them and present them just as they were?

Turns out that’s far from easy. Today’s image is optimized for the screen. Well, all my images are and if I need to print one, I make a version optimized for paper. Sometimes it does not matter, sometimes it makes a big difference. Here it’s the big difference.

The dynamic range of computer monitors is pretty good these days, but it is not a match for what our eyes encounter on autumn afternoons when colored foliage is back-illuminated by a dying sun.

There is not much you can do. You can do tone mapping (aka HDR), but you end up with something that does not look real. It does not glow. Don’t get me wrong, HDR is OK for many applications, only not for this. If it’s got to glow, you have to replace tonal range by saturation. That’s what I did here πŸ™‚

The Song of the Day is “Really Hard” from the 1986 James album “Stutter”. Hear it on YouTube.

2529 – What It Is II

A few days ago April Siegfried commented on these two images on Flickr.

Such a light touch on this (and the previous) image. It is what it is.

Searching for a title for this post, I thought to myself, why not, yes, it is what it is. That certainly describes April’s Miksang photography, and in many cases it works well for my own πŸ™‚

To make it easier for me to find a matching song, I have shortened the title to “What It Is“. I have three songs with that title in my library. I’ve used the one by Mark Knopfler in “845 – What It Is“, a post referencing the work of Mark “The Landscapist” Hobson, another fellow photographer and blogger.

This time it is Paul McCartney on his 1999 album “Run Devil Run”. Hear it on YouTube.

2446 – The Spur Of The Moment

Sometimes I get accused of careless driving. “You always look to the sides for possible pictures”, I keep hearing, but rest assured, nothing could be further from the truth πŸ˜€

Let me use this image for an example. I was driving a winding road along a river, and suddenly I knew I had to stop and take a picture. There was something that I had seen, that had fascinated me, but even if my life had depended on it, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what it was. In fact I had not the slightest idea.

Thus, when I stopped and went the maybe 100 meters back, I was curious myself what I would find.

Being already outside of the car, I made two pictures along the short way, each time completely confident that what I saw was not what had made me stop in the first place. On the other hand, when I saw what became this picture, I immediately knew that this fallen tree drowning in plants had been the reason why I was there.

The point of the story? Doing something like photography for a long time changes your perception and shifts much of the process into the unconscious. You stop taking photographs, you become a photographer.

The Song of the Day is “The Spur Of The Moment” from the 1955 album “The Jazz Experiments of Charlie Mingus”. Hear it on YouTube.