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All posts for the month July, 2011

For several years I’ve been subscribing to Practical Photographer, a UK photography magazine. They do a Photographer of the Year competition every year, and in 2009 my tiger (yeah, that one ;) ) was runner-up in round 7 (the Natural World) of the competition. This year I entered one of my favorite portraits into the portrait round (round 2) of the competition.

1 in 1000 Portrait

D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm

It was shortlisted out of about 1,500 entries. In the end it didn’t win, but I was already very happy it got this far (how could it not, anyway? She’s such a lovely, pretty girl! :) ).
It was published in the August 2011 issue of Practical Photography.

The opinions of the judges can be viewed in the online video. I’m in around 2:27.

I’m not one of those fanatic guys who’s got one of his old camera bodies converted to an infrared camera, I’m using an infrared filter.
Which I hadn’t used in aaaages, I must add. It was nice to dig it out and have a go at it again, even if it almost cost me my camera, because a big wave came rolling in while the camera was balancing on a rock (without tripod, where are they when you need them??) during the 76 seconds exposure time and almost took me and the camera back in.

Here’s the out-of-camera shot:

Infrared photography

D700, ISO200, 76 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm, Tiffen 87 Infrared filter

That lens flare was annoying, but there wasn’t much I could to about it with the image that I wanted to take, so… But with a bit of post-processing, conversion, dodging and burning in Photoshop it came out quite ok:

Infrared photography

Same specs as above, but with some additional work in Photoshop.

My friend also brought his companion. The sweetest dog, crazy about bananas. Yep, really!
And such a good and patient model. As a reward she got to walk around in the sun and through the forest the whole day! :)

Sunny

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/11, Tamron 90mm macro, on-camera (fill) flash

A lot of things make good test objects, and sometimes it’ll turn out to be really funky (at least I think so ;) ).
So we were out hiking and came across this branch. I thought it may look good in black and white, with the patterns on the stem and everything. Tried some things when I got home, but it was basically a boring image without much potential. Until I started messing around with it in Photoshop.
So here’s the original:

Branch

D700, ISO200, 1/8000 sec @ f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm

Quite boring, no?
But then, after like 10 adjustment layers in Photoshop it turned into this:

Branch

Same as above, but with "some" adjustments in Photoshop.

A few weeks ago a friend-photographer took me to a place not far from here. It’s a lesser known “beach” area where you can pretty much spend a whole day baking in the sun, swimming, baking in the sun, swimming, etc. etc. (which I did the day after, this day I mainly shot pictures ;) ).
The difference with a “normal” beach is that you’re not lying on sand, but on the smoothest, most beautifully decorated rock formations you can imagine. The intricate patterns and shapes are just mind-blowing!

Porkkala

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/19, Tamron 90mm macro

Porkkala

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/19, Tamron 90mm macro

Porkkala

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm

Porkkala

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm

Porkkala

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm

Porkkala

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 14-24mm

BMX is something I’ve done myself for 20 years. I love it. And even if I haven’t ridden a BMX in like… 6 or 7 years, I still love it. So when round 11 and 12 of the European Championships 2011 came to Haaksbergen, a place about 20 minutes from my birth-town, I decided I wanted to be there.
And I was there. And boy, did that itch come back full force! I wanted to bike so badly!
Great experience, great to see those guys (and gals) fly over the track. Great to see how things have staid the same, yet have changed so much.

Too bad Finland doesn’t have a BMX-racing scene. I definitely would be part of it if it would have (something anywhere close)…

Haaksbergen, European Championships BMX 2011, Round 11

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 70-200mm

Haaksbergen, European Championships BMX 2011, Round 11

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 70-200mm

Haaksbergen, European Championships BMX 2011, Round 11

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/6.7, Nikkor 14-24mm

The first image, as were most of the other images I shot during this day, was part of a burst of images I shot. I put one of them together in an image sequence, so you can see part of the awesomeness of this exhilarating (and since the last Olympics in Beijing) an official Olympic sport!

Haaksbergen, European Championships BMX 2011, Round 11

Haaksbergen, European Championships BMX 2011, Round 11

For more images check www.stockphotography.nu.

Some time ago I had -another one of those- issues with a magazine that I had ordered but never got…
Maybe you remember

Photo Paper

image courtesy of The Photo Paper

Seriously… I would still be interested in getting the magazine, and that’s why (for some reason, yeah, I know…) I keep on visiting back to that website. But I keep on getting -more and more- this icky feeling that there’s something dodgy going on with this whole thing.
I checked it out again today, to see what was going on, and now the first issue is supposed to be published in August 2011.
That’s over a year later than the initial publication date of the first issue. Now is that weird or not?
I doubt if they’ll even make it to publishing the thing in August 2011.
Heck… I doubt if they’ll even publish the thing AT ALL!! And I wonder if I’m the only one who was impatient enough to claim a refund, which, by the way, I actually did get. So no complaints from me there ;)

I’m sure by now most of you have heard about Google+, right?
After trying and trying, and failing and failing to bring something on the market which could compete with Facebook and Twitter, they’ve come up with Google+. A Facebook clone with an extra feature called Circles or something like that in which you can create groups of your contacts to share specific things with, I think is how it works (though I think you can do something similar already in Facebook, too, so in the end it seems that Google just made something existing with a better and cleaner interface, and is probably going to fail again).

Anyway… I’ve written before about both Facebook and Google and their Terms and Conditions and along the way I’ve written a couple of other pieces in which I warn everyone to always read the small print before signing up and agreeing to anything.

Right now Google+ is still in the “invite-only” stage, and if you get your hands on it, I again stress that you read Google’s Terms and Conditions (which are by the way Google’s GENERAL Terms and Conditions and not only for Google+), because they’re having another go at building a nice little catalog free of use for them. You probably wouldn’t really notice it so much with google mail or using the search engine, but if Google+ is more like Facebook or Twitpic, they will get a handsome amount of imagery uploaded to their servers. And the below quote tells you exactly what they *COULD* do with that content:

11. Content license from you
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.

They do write that This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services, but you never know where this little bit is conveniently forgotten or overlooked.
So…. Once again, to all of you: READ THE SMALL PRINT BEFORE YOU AGREE!!!

Just before that big mansion was a funny tree standing on the side of the road.
All by itself like that it didn’t look all that impressive. But looking at it from a different angle (it took me a handful of mosquito bites, and some nettle itch because of me running around on flip flops in a ditch ;) ) this made a whole big difference.
From the point where I took this picture, I was probably half a meter below the base of that tree. And with the wide angle, the stormy clouds in the background and it being black and white, it all of a sudden looks a lot more dooming than it really was.

Stormy sky

D700, ISO200, 1/750 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 14-24mm

For the times you drive around and happen to DO have your camera along for a change, you might actually get rewarded with a scene worth photographing. The other day I was driving around through the country side just before a massive pour-down started. Just enough time to get the picture without getting wet.

Storm

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/6.7, Nikkor 50mm