“Out of This World” is the theme of this week’s WPC. A place where I always feel detached from the hectic and challenges of this world is at the seashore, taking in the ever present magic light and the roaring surf of the big ocean.
Shooting becomes something truly meditative, I set shutter speed to about 6 seconds and click, moving the camera ever so slight, creative experiments with the impossible mission to transfer the sights and sounds of an ocean evening onto the sensor of my camera…..
All around, no flowers in bloom
Nor maple leaves in glare,
A solitary fisherman’s hut alone
On the twilight shore
Of this autumn eve.
Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241)
This morning I read this beautiful, almost nine hundred years old Japanese poem in the (most interesting) book “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers”. And somehow it reflects the mood of this day at the very end of our two week Christmas break. Tomorrow it is back to the job that pays the bills.
I took the photo on a gloomy day at Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. I wanted to capture the motion of the dark, fast moving clouds, so I dialed in the lowest native ISO on my PEN-F, the narrowest aperture (f/22), with resulted in a shutter speed of 56 seconds. Obviously, the cam was sitting on a tripod. It resulted in a kind of Zen-ish image, a creative genre of photography that I want to explore a bit more this year besides my usual street work.
Driving on African gravel roads is tiring. The landscape around you is fantastic, bit keeping the car steady on the gravel or sandy roads takes a lot of effort, you can never drive on “autopilot”. After a 380 kilometer and 6 hour trip on unpaved roads we arrived at the coastal town of Swakopmund. After checking into our B&B we went straight to the historic jetty to experience the African sunset behind the Southern Atlantic Ocean.
Despite having a coastline of 1400 kilometers, Namibia has only two natural ports, Luderitz Bay in the south and Walvis Bay just 30 kilometers south of Swakopmund. As Luderitz was limited to the diamond mining operations and had no real access to the rest of the country due to being isolated by the Namib desert, and Walvis Bay was British, the German colonial authorities founded Swakopmund as a city that had at least some access too fresh water and decided to built a Jetty in 1905 to help the unloading of cargo from ships and support the settling activities. At the Ocean end of the Jetty is a great restaurant where we enjoyed a great fish dinner after getting the obligatory sunset pictures first.
The Ocean waves where impressive, as was the colors of the sky after the sun went down behind the great Oceans waves. I wanted to create a long exposure image of the waves, creating that dreamy effect. In order to achieve the longest possible exposure time I set the PEN-F to its smallest aperture of f/22 and the lowest native ISO of 200, resulting in a 6 second exposure time, long enough to create what I was after.
To keep it simple, I did not attach any filters, and neither I used a tripod. I simply set the camera on on of the rocks between the road and the beach and used a 2 second self timer to avoid any camera shake after pressing the shutter.
The photograph is a jpg out of camera, no postprocessing was applied.
“Elemental” is the current theme of the weekly photo challenge (WPC) from Word Press’ “The Daily Post”. So I share four long exposure photographs representing the elements “fire”, “water”, “earth” and “air”. Anyone remembering the movie “Angels & Demons” ? First comes fire, where I experimented with long exposures to create the streaks. Image was taken with the Olympus PEN-F, specs are 1,6 sec @ f/2.8 ISO 80 (which is ISO Low on the Oly) and 30mm focal length. The rest of the elements you find after the jump…. (more…)
This week the weekly photo challenge (WPC) from Word Press’ “The Daily Post” has the theme “Delta“. We are called to share a photo that signifies transitions and change. As this is very close last week’s challenge “Transient” I take a slight angle on the theme.
A delta is also the difference between two locations, the difference in time and distance between two locations. Both interpretations are covered by the above Street Photo I took in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The guy in the video screen of the gigantic clock working to determine the exact time by drawing a new minute hand. The plane behind the huge windows ready to cover the delta in distance and time to its overseas destination. Coincidentally, the big Airbus is from Delta Airlines. I took the photo with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the mZuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom.
Astoria-Megler-Bridge | Oregon | 2017
To also cover the much more traditional interpretation of a river delta here are two photographs from the Columbia River Delta in Oregon. The image of the Astoria-Megler-Bridge spanning the mouth of the Columbia River was taken at 13sec, f/20 and ISO 200. The photo of the ship was taken from the old docks in Astoria, image specs are 8sec f/16 and ISO 200. Both photos were taken with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom.
Columbia River Delta | Oregon | 2017
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Ocean Dreams | South Africa | 2015 | 1/4 sec @ f/5,6, ISO 1000 and 300mm focal length
In time for the weekend here is another edition of “Instant Inspirations”, my series for you if you feel you suffer from “Photographer’s Block” or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried. Or at least not recently. With Episode 15 I encourage you to keep the camera out after sunset, leveraging the low light to achieve slow shutter speeds without the help of ND filters. But unlike in Episode 14, I leave the tripod at home because I want to combine motion blur with a bit of intentional camera movement (ICM) to create dreamy waterscapes at the wild coast of the Indian Ocean at Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. For the how-to, more images and links to all previous editions of “Instant Inspirations” continue reading after the jump…. (more…)
Columbia River | Oregon | 2017 | 8sec @ f/16 and ISO 200, ND3
Inspired by some photos I took during last weekend’s trips around beautiful Oregon I found it is time for another “Instant Inspirations” post. This is my series for you if you feel you suffer from “Photographer’s Block” or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried. Or at least not recently. With Episode 15 I want to inspire you to go out and shoot long exposure waterscapes. For the how-to, more images and links to all previous editions of “Instant Inspirations” continue reading after the jump…. (more…)
Yesterday I did a nice tour from Portland, driving up along the Columbia River to Astoria where the mighty river flows into the Pacific, then down the coast to Cannon Beach and finally back to PDX. All in all I was 14 hours on the road. The weather was very oregonic, starting with pouring rain along the river, turning to a sun / show mix on the coast and eventually finishing in a nice sunset. I will need to hit the digital darkroom over the next days to look through my images, but I’ll show you a first photo from the mouth of the Columbia River, where a mighty, 4.1 mile long bridge takes Route 101 across and connects Astoria in Oregon with Megler in Washington State. It opened in 1966. The south part has a 200 ft clearance so oceangoing ships can pass on their way to the upstream harbors of Portland and Vancouver.
I took this long exposure image from the Cannery Pier just west of it. To smooth out the water and clouds I dialed in a 13 second shutter speed, closed aperture down to f/20 and used the lowest ISO of my PEN-F. To avoid overexposure I had attached my Haida ND3.0 neutral density filter, essentially a piece of darkened glass that reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor by 10 stops, the only way to achieve these long shutter speeds in bright daylight. The camera was mounted on a tripod and I used the Haida ND3.0 filter.
I converted the RAW file to monochrome in Lightroom CC, using a monochrome preset as a starting point and then mainly adjusting the gradation curves.
You will get to see more of this trip in the next days. Today will be all rain and I haven’t decided if I drive up to the Columbia Gorge to see the waterfalls.
I never expected the positive response to my first “Monday Mountains” post last week, showing an areal view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya. So here is the second edition. As my blog is running on CET this post might actually show as being published on Tuesday, but as I’m currently on a business trip to Los Angeles this technically is still Monday evening due to the nine-hour time difference. So it counts 😉 ….
The mountain depicted here is the Watzmann, a mountain in the Bavarian Alps south of the village of Berchtesgaden. Rising to 2713 meters (8900 feet) it is the third highest peak in Germany, and the highest located entirely on German territory.
As in last weeks Monday Mountains I gave some tips towards shooting out of an airplane window, this week I can give you some inspirations towards night photography. When I took this image of Mt. Watzmann from the balcony of a hotel room in Berchtesgaden it was actually pitch dark outside. Mounted on a tripod I set my Nikon D80 (that I was using back then) to an exposure time of 164 seconds, so almost three minutes. The f-stop (aperture) was f/5. As the camera was mounted on a tripod I used the lowest ISO of 100 for maximum image quality. I used self timer (2 seconds) to avoid any camera shake after pressing the shutter. Due to the long exposure time the star trails also nicely appeared in the night sky.
The details that come out of a long exposure night photography are simply amazing. Moonlight is very soft, so it maximizes the textures that come out of an image. You have to try this!