The blazing heat continues across Germany. Photographers complain about the harsh light and mute colors, especially during the day. But as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, grab salt and tequila. Episode 31 of my “Instant Inspirations” talks about high contrast monochrome photographs.Continue reading “Instant Inspiration (31) – Go for contrast”
No, “Danger Zone” was not a song from the King of Rock n’Roll. But this is a photo straight from the danger zone. In multiple aspects.
I stopped by Graceland on my way to Memphis Airport. I intended it as a bit of time filler before my return flight, as the mansion is just a ten minute drive from the rental car return. After all, the Significant Other and I have visited before, although we’re not on the same page what year exactly, but both suspecting it was in the very early 90’s. So I figured a quick tour would bring back the memories into the digital age.
Getting in was not all that difficult, no line, a quick tour of the house where Elvis and his family lived from 1958 until his much too early passing in 1977. It was so wonderful retro (I have a post about it coming up). The thing is, they have built a huge Elvis Experience Park across the street. Plenty of dedicated expositions showing his car and motorcycle collection, memorabilia from his stint with the US military in Germany, an area about his acting career and another about his music, with plenty of multimedia content and artifacts. I totally lost my time, so much I enjoyed this new part of the Graceland experience that wasn’t there when we first visited. Which is not a good thing if you have to catch a plane – and gas up the car before returning it – and buy a Powerball ticket (no, we didn’t win the jackpot).
Something else probably sensing some looming danger was the big Olympus in my backpack. It got to tour Graceland. But it didn’t make it out of the bag, as the iPhone was handling all shooting duties. And it did just fine. Wait for the post.
And by the way – “Danger Zone” was a song performed by Kenny Loggins in the movie “Top Gun”.
Wish you a great start into the week!
I believe every photographer, when editing the day’s harvest, would for some images ponder the decision whether an image would look better in color or monochrome. For me, this happens mainly with photographs that have a high contrast range, like this scene I took in the Lobby of the Ice Bar Berlin (ever had a drink in an arctic environment?). I was attracted by the harmony of the colors, in addition to the playful lighting effects), so I shot this in color with my PEN-F and the 12mm f/2 prime lens (image specs 1/80 sec @ f/2.2 and ISO 2000). When processing the photo in Lightroom CC Classic, I was seeing the potential for a monochrome conversion, and applied a high contrast preset, that also introduced some grain, mimicking an analogue film (as you see above, the PEN-F has no noise issues at ISO 2000, at least if you keep the image at a reasonable size). I like both version, but if I need to pick one I tend to take the colored version. I would be interested in your views, please comment below.
I’m back in the Pacific Northwest, but this time for work again. It has been a busy week, thus the lack of posts and opportunities to venture out and shoot in the streets. I’m heading to Seattle for the weekend, so this will change 🙂
Wish you a great Friday
In time for the weekend here is episode 24 of my “Instant Inspirations”, my series for you if you look for something to overcome “Photographer’s Block” or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried, or at least not recently.
Today I want to inspire you to go on a safari. A fine art photo safari. Something everyone can do that has a zoo or wildlife park in the vicinity. All you need in terms of gear is a camera with a zoom. While enjoying a stroll through the zoo, look for wildlife in high contrast lighting situations. You are almost guaranteed to find such situations during any visit. Shoot with a wider aperture, to throw the background out of focus.
To find out how to shoot this type of scenes, a bit of post processing advice and some more high contrast fine art wildlife photos from my last “safari” continue after the jump… Continue reading “Instant Inspiration (24) – Fine Art Wildlife”
The Friday preceding Easter Sunday is Good Friday, a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Black Friday.
We are spending Easter at a very good friend’s house in the Lungau region in the Austrian Alps. Not really the place for Street Photography, but the opportunity to capture some monochrome landscapes.
The weather was not all that great, rather fitting for the subdued mood of Good Friday. While the kids took to the slopes, the Significant Other and I hiked up the Weißpriachtal along the Longa River. Readers of this blog might remember my post about High Contrast Landscape Photography, where I took some Ansel Adams like images on a sunny December day in the very same valley during an earlier visit.
Today there were only low hanging clouds, nothing spectacular to photograph, so we just enjoyed the hike. Only when returning, I took my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the 12-100mm F/4 Pro Zoom out of my backpack and shot a few detail shots of what nature gave me. Kind of zen-like. Probably nothing anyone apart from me would look at, but really satisfying me as a visual artist. I will share these images tomorrow.
My photo of the day was that of the mountain above us, in a brief moment when the clouds opened up and gave us a vista of a moody mountainscape. Perfect for a Good Friday.
Image specs are 1/640 sec @ f/7.1 and ISO 200, focal length 100mm (equals 200mm full frame equivalent).
Wish you all a great start into a hopefully splendid Easter weekend!
Preparing for the trip to the Big Apple a week from Sunday, I was looking at some old photographs from my last visits in 2010 and 2012.
Just to play around, I was looking for some images with high contrasts, that I could convert to monochrome. All of those places (Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial / Top of the Rocks) are on our to-do list for our upcoming trip. The Significant Other even secured tickets to visit Lady Liberty’s Crown. Can’t wait!
All photographs were taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the mZuiko 14-150 F4-5.6 Travel Zoom. RAW and monochrome conversion in Lightroom CC Classic.
Have a peaceful Good Friday
No, you don’t have to worry about my mental well being, with all the high contrast monochrome photographs I’m posting lately. I’m perfectly fine and there is plenty of sunshine in my heart. It’s just that I more drawn to black & white work these days.
So I’m using the first “Weekly Photo Challenge” of 2018 to add some more monochrome images to this blog. The title is “growth“. The only things that are growing these days in our house are the tulips I got from my wife as birthday flowers, and the Amaryllis she planted in December and that are growing splendidly.
As with my limited time I didn’t get into town for some street photography, I did a little setup on our living room table, using a black cardboard as background, positioning flowers in front of it and using a movable desk lamp to shed some direct lights on the flowers. Then I snapped away with my PEN-F and my 14-150 F/4-5.6 zoom, shooting at 1/100 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 200. Easy setup, great results. Monochrome conversion done in Lightroom Classic CC. For the rest of the photos continue after the jump…. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth”
Thinking in monochrome is nothing unusual for us street photographers. But when shooting landscapes it is nothing that I normally consciously look for. Today it was different. While the significant other and the big girl took to the slopes today on this marvelous winter day in the Austrian Alps, I grabbed the PEN-F with the 14-150mm travel zoom and my walking poles and hiked up the Weißpriachtal along the Longa River. I had this stunning valley all to myself, during my 3 hour hike I passed only 2 other walkers on this freezing cold winter day.
The sun was shining on 2 feet of freshly fallen snow, and there was a lot of contrast in this high altitude mountain valley. When I passed a small bend of the Longa River that lowed with the reflection of the snowy peak behind, I couldn’t help thinking of Ansel Adams and is beautiful high contrast landscape photographs. And this was enough inspiration to get going myself. I set the PEN-F to its high contrast monochrome program which helped me look for and compose my own high contrast landscapes. I dialed in ISO 200 and an aperture of f/10, which gave me shutter speeds between 1/320 and 1/500 sec.
Remember how to capture the rays of the sun? You need to shoot with a narrow (small) aperture, like F16 or F22. If you also line up the sun just peaking around the corner of solid object, you are bound to get yourself some nice bursting rays in your image. This one was taken with F/18 and 1/60 sec at ISO 500.
I hope you liked my little excursion into landscape photography. This is what holidays are for, to wander off the beaten paths of what we normally do. What have you shot these past days that are outside your normal realm of photography? Feel free to share your results via the comment section.
All photographs were taken with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 Travel Zoom. RAW conversion and high contrast monochrome treatment in Lightroom Classic CC.
I wish you all a great last weekend of 2017!