Shooting knights with D800

I was hired to photograph two men dressed like knights representing the fight between "good" and "bad". A photo of each knight will be combined to one where they are standing opposite each other in a confronting manner. The final photo will be used on big posters, a website and in various marketing and PR material.

It was a great occasion to test my new Elinchrom Portalite soft box and Elinchrom reflector with grid (more directional light). We shot against a black wall and although there were some light spill - it wasn't critical.

Here are my post processed versions. I'm not assigned to do the post and have delivered all files as none processed RAW-files to the customer. So I'm exited to see the final outcome.

And here is a very short video with just a glims of how we arranged the light and worked with the model.


My first baby photo assignment

How difficult can it be was my initial thought when I asked to photograph (I don't want to use the word "shoot") a baby. The mother Malene is a former colleague and I also know her husband Rasmus. It's a lovely family and they live on the country side in a small town just aside a corn field. Lot's of good natural light and a fairly spacious home.

The day we had chosen for the event turned out to be one of the hottest days in Denmark ever recorded. And there was no wind. The sun was burning hot and bright from a clear sky, so I had to photograph indoors using my Elinchrom D-Lite lamps and a California Sunbounce. My assistent (my daughter) was a great help. As you can imaging we were all sweating a lot and the little newborn - Emma - was also not comfortable. In addition the D-Lite lamps produced additional heat.
My equipment was a Nikon D800 with an AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. In close quarters like this I couldn't use the AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8. I used both D-Lite lamps (200W / 400W) with various soft boxes like an Elinchrom Minisoft-44 (Beauty Dish) and an Elinchrom Portalite 66x66. I went all manual and used a Sekonic Flashmate L-308S to meter the light.

I found it very difficult to create calm back drops and position 1-4 persons so they would appear to be comfortable and at the same time finding the right angle to capture the moment. The benefit of having a studio is that you can easily arrange a number of set-ups and offer a selection of items to include in the frame or to help fix a gaze from the new born. On location you just have to improvise. Luckily I also brought a wide platin colored paper back drop which we used at the final stage of the event.

I came home with over 150 photos from a two hour session. The Nikon D800 produces huge files and loading them from camera to my MacBook Pro took several hours. In post I use both LR4, CS6 and Silver Efex Pro 2 and the whole work process has slowed down tremendously after moving to Nikon D800. My next purchase decision is going to be tough - a new AF-S 12-24mm f/2.8 or a new MacBook Pro?!

Okay - it's still early in the post processing phase but enclosed is a couple of examples. If you have critics and suggestion to how I can improve those photos, please feel free to comment.

An of course we must not forget the lovely sister Naia...



When we drove back to Denmark from our summer home in Piemont, Italy, we decided to break the trip in two and stay over in Würzburg. We found a lovely little hotel a couple of hundred meters from the Old Main Bridge to the old city centre. As you can see on the first photo its a gorgeous old bridge and many locals was having a glas of wine various places in the bridge. In photo two you can see the Fortress Marienberg. Next year we will play our stay over so we get enough time to take a closer look at this lovely city.

The following text is from Wikipedia:

On 16 March 1945, about 90% of the city full of civilians was destroyed in 17 minutes by 225 British Lancaster bombers during a World War II air raid. All of the city's churches, cathedrals, and other monuments were heavily damaged or destroyed. The city center, which dated from medieval times, was totally destroyed in a firestorm in which 5,000 people perished. Over the next 20 years, the buildings of historical importance were painstakingly and accurately replicated. The citizens who rebuilt the city immediately after the end of the war were mostly women – Trümmerfrauen ("rubble women") – because the men were either dead or taken prisoner of war. In comparison, Würzburg was destroyed to a larger extent than was Dresden in a firebombing the previous month.
On April 3, 1945, Würzburg was attacked by the US 12th Armored Division and US 42nd Infantry Division in a series of frontal assaults masked by smokescreens. The battle continued until the final German resistance was defeated 5 April 1945.[6]After the war, Würzburg was host to the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army Hospital and various other U.S. military units that maintained a presence in Germany. The U.S. units were withdrawn from Würzburg in 2008, bringing an end to over 60 years of U.S. military presence in Würzburg.


Radiant Tree

Even a boring scene can be turned into something interesting in post processing. The special radiant effect was achieved in PS by blending a color layer and b/w layer. Both photos got prepared in LR4 and exported to CS6 as layers.

Exposure: 1/125 sex at f/5.6, 0EV, ISO 100, A program, 56mm
Equipment: Nikon D800 with AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8


Press photographer has to face a lot of moral issues

Every year we hear about press photographers being killed while trying to capture a decisive photo and document the truth. They also have to face a bunch of moral issues while being close to death and people in need of help. In my opinion it is vital to capture a photo that can influence decisions on a large scale. But when faced with the choice of either keep taking pictures or trying to change the course of a situation by personal interaction (and maybe risk your own life), I can only imaging the moral issues a press photographer must deal with in a few decisive seconds.


The hunt for scenes

As amateur photographers we start shoot everything and hence nothing. I have been doing this for so many years that I'm embarrassed to count them. But in 2012 I decided upon a photographic project involving grafitti on metal surfaces. I will made 3 triptych - in total nine square photos - and each photo has to fit visually nice to its neighbor.

The first triptych is ready and is measuring 80 x 30 cm.

Now I'm hunting for the next three square grafitti on metal scenes. I think I found one in Milan last week. What do you think?

Now I have to find other scenes that visually matches this one. The hunt has begone....