Adding a texture to a photo can be a creative way to enhance a photo. I prefere to make my own textures and you can see my public collection here (feel free to use them).
Above photo is a combination of the following two photos:
It is debatable whether I have improved the original photo or not by adding this texture, but I thin it made the photo more interesting.
My "Project 365" has now been running for three months. To celebrate this achievement I photographed three trees and added some Iris Blur - a new tool in Adobe CS6. In LR4 this photo went through a range of other processing steps to end up as this infra red version.
I hope that the coming three months will be equal challenging and sharpen my ability to find a prober subject in the ordinary and my creativity. I guess that from May three happy years of shooting with my Nikon D300 will end and the Nikon D800 will step into the scene and take over :-)
Yesterday I received the first D800 and delivered it to a customer, and today I met Joe McNally - a living legend within photography and one of my inspirations.
Unfortunately I didn't bring my D300 to this event arranged by NPS - Nikon Professional Services - but I had to have a photo of Joe - even a low resolution iPhone one. Third from left you can see the also famous Bill Frakes - a sports photographer shooting for Sports Illustrated. Joe McNally is famous for his extensive experience shooting with Nikon Speedlights, his deep understanding about light and of course his over 20 years as a National Geographic photographer.
Both Joe McNally and Bill Flakes delivered a fantastic presentation with amazing photos from their career and the stories behind. I've been shooting for 30 years and know my way around a camera and basic light usage, but I'm still an infantile compared to those two giants. I have much to learn and that just makes me so happy! Today at the age of 50 I fully regret that I didn't follow my young heart and became a full time photographer - never ever turn your back on your passion!
If you are into photography you must read Joe's blog and Bill's blog.
And yes - I played around with both the Nikon D4 and Nikon D800 - all equipped with fantastics primes and telezoom lenses. A perfect pair is the Nikon D800 with MB-D12 grib and a AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8. I took some photos in those low light conditions and was blown away over the quality and sharpness of the photos on screen.
Today I'm early out with the "Photo of the day". The reason is pure excitement as I have received the first Nikon D800 of the lot I have in back order.
Through my e-store - nikonphotoexpert.com - I sell Nikon equipment and now the first D800 can be delivered to a customer. I couldn't resist and had to unpack the D800 just to feel it in my hands - only for a split moment - before I repacked it and mailed it to my customer who of course has sent his family away for the week-end so he can focus 100% on his new "baby" fulfilling his NAS.
I hope to get my own D800 during April, but I have no confirmed delivery date(s) for the next shipments of Nikon D800 to Denmark. It was hard to let this one go....... But customers first!
My first round of golf in 2012 took place today. Together with 3 friends we were blessed with close to summer weather, only a slight breeze and a clear sky. Perfect for golf. During my round I snapped a couple of photos with my iPhone, imported them to LR4 and tried to do prober post processing. Even though the iPhone 4S has a much improved camera there is still a looong way up to even the cheapest DSLR camera in terms of picture quality. But it's handy and for close up in good lighting conditions an iPhone 4S is not that bad.
Macro photographing is exiting. Grab your camera - mount a macro lens and start looking for scenes in your own garden. I needed to focus on small details after attenting a full day M&A seminar :-)
I found those withered petals and photographed them using my Nikon D300 with a AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8. The camera was on a tripod and I used MirrorUp and a Nikon MC-36 cable release to avoid any vibrations. It is still impressive what a 12MP camera can do in terms of sharpness, tonality and details. Both photos where post processed in LR4 and a bit of sharpness was applied also.
This photograph of a Rhododendron in our garden is captured at broad daylight. In the post processing the back ground has been darkened. For artistic reason I changed into b/w and added a split toning (Highlights: Hue 29 Saturation 50 / Shadows: Hue 306 Saturation 30 / Balance +80) and some grain.
I know, I know - this is not a very creative photography - but hey - it's my project 365, so quality can vary and photos also have to mirror my life - not that I'm eating king size steaks every day!
Here we have three large chunks of Cote de Boeuf being pre grilled before they went to the oven for 1 hour at 200 degree C. A perfect and very tasty piece of meat.
Yesterday my good friends Finn and Peter joined me for a ride stretching 90 km during 3.5 hours (with breaks). It was a fantastic ride. We started in sunshine from Lyngby and hit the seldom phenomenon sea fog when we reached the city Hornbæk located at the north coast of Zealand and the temperature dropped 5 degrees (C). On the way back along the coast towards Copenhagen the sun reemerged and then Finn had a puncture. Fixing a puncture is a necessary skill that need to be trained to perfection. During a race - where your final time is on stake - fixing a puncture must go swift. The spirit where high during the whole ride and we shared 3.5 perfect hours together exercising our body and mind while riding with the wind and sun in our face. Eventhough I'm between jobs or maybe exactly therefore I feel like ending this story with a small quote:
”Det er de færreste der, når de ligger på dødslejet, fortryder, at de ikke brugte flere timer på kontoret.”
"Only few people, when on the deathbed, do regret that they didn't spend more hours at the office"
While going through my LinkedIn network with over 1.200 1st level contacts it becomes evident for me, that many people are in the same situation as me - looking for a new challenge - especially on executive level. Based on talks with executive search companies it is my estimate that finding a new job on executive level can take between 6-18 month and more likely between 12-24 month - unless the general market conditions improves substantially during 2012. And I don't see this happening. During the past three years mane industries, markets and companies has been taken apart and rebuild -- and it will take another three years before global market mechanism has been restored and growth is again happening at a stable level. Through my board responsibilities I know that market conditions are improving and jobs are being created - just not from the top level yet - but more on middle management level and operational level - and that is good. Let's continue the search....
Being connected is so important nowadays. Sitting at home waiting for one of the executive search companies to call is merely not enough - you need to involve a relavant part of your network to multiply your impact towards your future employer. Metaphorical speaking I most be ready to act on an opportunity that has arrived through my network as a "strong "iron" connection.
On LinkedIn I'm connected to 1.145 people giving me over 242.300 2nd degree connections. But my guess is, that only a very small percentage of those 1.145 1st level connections are capable of opening an opportunity for me. But who?
Therefore I'm spending hours each day going through each of my 1.145 connections to evaluate their ability to help me with my next career opportunity. To find those "iron" connections.
Capturing photographs with an iPhone during night time is possible with the app - SlowShutter. This photo is "SOOC" (Straight Out Of Camera) - I only added a frame. In SlowShutter I dialed in a shutter speed of 1/4 sec and an exposure of -0.75. The partly visible track and the green light adds a special atmosphere of solitude and danger.
Another photo from the same walk with my dog. With a slow shutter speed of 1 sec and the exposure set to HDR, I achieved a "flash light in the dark night" scene with kind of a looming feeling.
One of the most difficult areas to grasp within photography is the Depth of Field factor (DoF). Depth of Field refers to the range of distance that appears acceptably sharp. Four major factors influence the DoF - the camera model (type), focal length (lens model), aperture and distance to subject.
My subject is a withered flower placed on a table with a brick wall as a back drop. I want the brick wall to be out of focus and the complete flower to be in focus. Normally I would chose a high aperture (small f-value) like f/1.4. The distance from the camera to the flower is 0.5 meter. The distance from the flower to the wall is 3 meters. I'm using my Nikon D300 with a AF 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. If I add those parameters into a DoF calculator the following appears:
My DoF is only 0.005 meter - that is 0.5 cm! So roughly a few millimeters on each side of the focus point would be in focus.
Here is a photo where I used an aperture of f/6.3. From the enhanced section it is clear that only the first part of the "optimal focus area" is in focus.
What happens if I change the aperture to f/11?
The range that will appear sharp changes to 4.2 cm. A huge difference.
I used an aperture of f/10 for the photograph of the small flower at the top of this blog article and maintained acceptable sharpness.
I used an aperture of f/10 for the photograph of the small flower at the top of this blog article and maintained acceptable sharpness.
I use an app for the iPhone called DoF Calc.
You can find an "On line Depth of Field calculator" here.
You can find an "On line Depth of Field calculator" here.
Exploring the CS5 toolbox is interesting. In 99.8% of my work I wouldn't never use the Art History Brush tool, but now that I have tried it on a rather doll photo, I might find other focus arreas for this tool.
Here is the original photo - nothing special. I use Content Aware fill to remove some objects.
And here is the same photo transformed by the Art History Tool. Remember to convert the photo to 8-bit or otherwise the tool won't work.
My good friend Ole Brix celebrated his 50th birthday yesterday. This photo is captured after midnight, so making it eligible for the "photo of the day" today. Behind Ole a live band is playing a tune to his honour.
Nikon D300 with AF-S 18-70mm and handheld SB-900 connected to the camera through a TTL Sync cable (SC-29). I shot in jpg (took a lot of photos) and post processed in LR4. Converted to B/W and added a bit of grain.
Another portrait assignment was on the agenda today.
A profile photo for various social networks shouldn't just be a snapshot done with an mobile camera, but a portrait that encapsulates a person's personality. My friend Karina Iversen asked me if we could make a personal and strong portrait photo for her LinkedIn profile.
Karina thinks a professional profile photo is important - and it is! When we all visit a LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter page of a person, we look at the profile photo to get a first impression. If we like what we see then we definitely look for more information about this person. If the profile photo fails to make an impression, then we might move on without looking at the persons wall, stream, tweets or what ever it is called.
For a photoshoot like this I normally end up with 200 photos from which the client can choose 5-10 for further processing. Now Karina hasn't had a chance to select her 5-10 photos yet, but I took the liberty to select one my self that I think encapsulates Karina's personality. Let us hope she likes it :-)
By the way - the price for a photo session that will give you 5-10 profile photos in color, black & white or both delivered as digital files, is 500 DKK + VAT.
I have over 10.000 digital files - many of which I still need to "develop" in LR. But I also have over 3.000 paper photos that we don't look at anymore as they are hidden away in a "ShoeBox".
Then I read about a new app to iPhone 4 making it possible to convert my analog shoebox to a digital shoebox - only by using my iPhone as a scanner.
Here is the link to the app.
Above photo shows a handfull of paper photos of my daughter Camilla when she was only 2 month old. The top one - me holding Camilla - I then photographed with my iPhone4S. In the ShoeBox app there is some basic editing options like crop, color adjustment and light/shadow adjustment. You can also add a text, a date, a location and tags. In the web application it is possible to invite family members to join the album, build a family tree and upload to Facebook and Twitter.
By why not use a flatbed scanner? The quality of camera phones has increased a lot and the new iPhone 4S offers a 8 MP camera that takes images at a 2448 x 3264 resolution. So a typical 4"x6" (10x15 cm) photo produces a DPI of 550, which is a very high quality.
"Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen" goes the famous song about our lovely capital in Denmark. And today Denmark and Copenhagen experienced the first real spring day with clear blue sky and a warm sun luring everybody outside to enjoy a drink in the warmth.
I was on my way to a board meeting at N'Age at Kongens Nytorv. As always I carried my Nikon D300 with me and was able to photograph Nyhavn embracing spring.
I'm feeling blue. What does that mean? If I look up the idiom definitions for "feeling blue" it covers an emotional stage where you are feeling unwell, mainly associated with depression or unhappiness.
Loosing a job can make you feel blue. Loosing a love one like wise. So of course there are grades to associate with feeling blue. IMO feeling blue is a mild temporary stage initiated by us leaving our comfort zone.
What is the opposite of feeling blue? Looking into color theory an "opposite" color is a complementary color, that when mixed with its counterpart produces either white, black or grey. The complementary color to blue is yellow.
If I google "feeling yellow" it means many things - the main is feeling cowardly. If you are feeling green then you are feeling envy. I'll stop pondering over this subject. It is none conclusive.
I just like the color blue - so I don't mind "feeling blue". I my vocabulary it is associated with a stage where there are more opportunities than challenges and where I really have the chance to change course. This evokes uncertainty and anxiety - but in a positive way.
Yesterday I did some corporate portraits using my AF 20mm f/2.8 and a SB-900 on-camera. At home flipping through the files in LR4 I was not satisfied with the sharpness of the photos - especially those photos shot at a distance to the subject and wide open (f/2.8-f/3.5-f/4.0-f/4.5).
So my assignment for today was to investigate if this could be true or if I was not able to hand hold a camera at an exposure time of 1/80 sec (and/or manage the flash output correctly).
The set-up was two identical lanterns positioned on a table against a wall in a wind free area. My Nikon D300 was on a tripod and release was done using a Nikon MC-36 cable release (highly recommendable). Obviously the lens was my AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8.
Here is the original frame.
From there I shot a frame for each f-stop - (f/2.8/3.5/4.0/4.5/5.0/5.6/6.3/7.1/8.0/9.0/10.0/11.0/13.0/14.0/16.0/18.0/20.0/22.0). Instead of showing all those photos I have chosen a photo representing both f/2.8 and f/22.
It is evident that the f/2.8 is sharper than the f/22. The loss of sharpness occurred already at f/16. So the verdict over my blurred photos yesterday is clear. It was 100% the photographer's fault - not the equipment ;-).
The final photo - at the top of this article - gas undergone carefull but extensive post processing in LR4.
Corporate portraits are a special area within portrait photography. The person has to look honest and professional - relaxed and trust worthy - in their work environment. My job today was to shoot two new employees joining the fast growing "Customer Engagement" company - Spitze & Co.
I chose to work with Speedlights only - one SB-700 and one SB-900. I will post the light diagram and the final portrait another day.
I also used the time to "snap shot" photograph the two owners - Martine and Jimmi - that you see here. You be the judge whether I have obtained my "corporate portrait" ambitions. I'm far from finished editing and cropping those files, so this only represent my first try. I used one on camera SB-900 with diffuser and indirect flash light for those shots.
Today I was tired after 2 hours of spinning, so creativity and energy was low. But my wife had just bought a lovely bouquet of tulips, so why not target them as a subject for the "photo of the day".
Above is my final image after I added lots of flash light and did some heavy post processing in both LR4 and CS5.
Here is the starting image where both a SB-700 and a SB-900 is shooting at their lowest flash output (controlled through PW's - PocketWizard Flex TT5 x 2, PW Mini TT1, PW AC3).
From here I started to positioning the two Speedlights and increased their flash output until the wall behind the flowers was completely white (done with a SB-700 lashing the wall from the right side and with a SB-900 front left lighting both the tulips and the wall on the left). I used a white reflector to reflect light from the wall to the bottom half of the vase. A Nikon MC-36 remote cable release unit was used to trigger the camera (Nikon D300 with Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8).
Here is my set-up :-)
Today I decided to "go macro". So I found a suitable leaf in my garden, mounted my Nikon D300 with a AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm on a tripod, positioned a SB-700 and through the use of PocketWizard's (FlexTT5 on the SB-700 and MiniTT1 + AC3 on the Nikon D300) I controlled the flash output to the a desirable level where I achieved a nice level of shadows without loosing details in the midtones.
In LR4 I created the middle "Golden" version and from the "Golden" version I created the "B/W" version by using a Silver Shadows 2.0 preset (1:12 Sing Song Blues). Those two images I exported to CS5 where the "B/W" was merged with the "Golden" through blend mode "Darken" at opacity 90%.
This evening I attended a networking meeting at the University of Copenhagen, where Lykke Friis was invited as a guest speaker. Very interesting - she is a very engaged speaker.
Our host told us, that the oldest house (1420) in Copenhagen - Konsistoriehuset - was within the central yard and visible from the windows of our meeting room. What an opportunity to capture the "photo of the day". It's the red brick house behind the tree.
Later the same evening I had to visit the restroom and while conducting "my task" I gazed out from the skylight window at the tower of Vor Frue church.
Both photos was captured using an iPhone 4S and post processed in LR4 - jus released today.
During my visit to Stockholm today I also took time to visit the marvelous ship Vasa. It is the most popular attraction in Stockholm with 1.2 mio visitors every year.
Vasa was built top-heavy and had insufficient ballast. Despite an obvious lack of stability in port, it was allowed to set sail and foundered only a few minutes after it first encountered a wind stronger than a breeze.
You can read the story about Vasa here.
Days are going by - time is flying - we are getting older - the world is moving. Tic Tac Tic Tac.
My professional career has come to a halt and it's time to reflect about the possibilities that opens up in such a situation. It's been a month since I stopped at Strålfors and all days (and some nights) has been used to reflect upon this situation. I've chosen to follow the obvious path - find a new job - and all my network is being activated. But another path has slowly emerged - and to no ones surprise - this path evolves around photography. I'm not talking about becoming a photographer, but to become part of the industry. Tomorrow I'll fly to Stockholm to meet some interesting people who successfully has opened a photography museum in Stockholm - Fotografiska.eu - and I'm going to here about their project and journey.
The photo that I shot this afternoon in the woods nearby my home symbolise the break from Strålfors and the two new paths that I've chosen to follow.
This photo - not very exiting I know - is the result of a experiment shooting tethered using the app DSLRemote Pro for iPad.
My MacBook is connected to a WiFi and so is the iPad. The Nikon D300 is connected to the MacBook through the normal USB-cable that follows the camera. So it is a really easy setup. The app DSLRemote Pro also need a client to be installed on the MacBook (get it from the developers home page), that will set-up your MacBook as a "server" (harmless). Start the DSLRemote Pro app on the iPad and as soon as it has found the "server" and connected to the camera through the "server" you can control the D300 through the use of various controls on the iPad.
It worker flawless for me and as you can see from the photo, I managed to "shoot" a pigeon. The autofocus function works by putting your point finger on the "release" bottom on the iPad screen and hold it there while the AF is working. Releasing your finger will take the shot.
Here is my set-up :-)