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All posts for the month March, 2012

About a year and a half ago I went through my parents’ house to see if there was something interesting to shoot. Flowers are always good, and since my mom’s pretty much an orchid magician and there’s always one blooming, there’s always a flower to photograph. However, since she manages to keep the things blooming, there’s not much turn-around in the variety of them, there’s only so much you can do without things getting the same.

So the one that I shot this time looks like this i color:

D200, ISO100, 1,5 sec @ f/11, Tamron 90mm macro, SB-800 off-camera flash

It didn’t have quite as much flowers as last time around, but that would’ve made this time’s version probably too busy.
Here’s the new version:

Orchid

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800

 

I guess you can say I’ve gotten myself into the night photography stuff a bit. I know the pictures with the light trails are pretty much as cliché as clichés come, but I always try to look at it from… well… a different angle :D
I’ve tried that with the images you’ve found here that I took from the window of my apartment. I’ve tried that with for example the dead badger (talking about different angles, if any ;) although that wasn’t really about the light trails, I had completely different intentions with that one). And I’ve shot a few mushrooms with light trails in the background, so I guess in many ways I’ve managed to get it a bit un-cliché.

My aim is always to not go stand on a straight road. Not to shoot at that “normal” angle. That would be plain boring. I usually try to find a point of view or a location where several roads collide. And then it usually still takes some post-processing, because I think it’s virtually impossible to get light trails to actually visibly cross in one exposure of say 10-30 seconds.

Traffic

D700, ISO200, 10 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 14-24mm

Okokok, my godson is the absolute cutest boy in the world, but these two girls must be the absolute cutest girls in the world.
I was asked to do a shoot with them, and so I did. We spent the afternoon with the family, got some really good food, and I got some really nice pictures. It took some improvisation here and there, because I don’t pose them, I don’t tell them where to go stand and how to smile and where to look. Especially with kids in this age that’s just a pain in the neck. So I shoot them as they come along. I don’t keep the camera in their face all the time, but I keep it near so I can grab it quickly.
Admittedly you miss moments, but on the other side, you get pictures you don’t get when you have the kids pose for you. It’s so much more natural like this, and it’s so much more satisfying. For me in any case, but I think also for the parents, because they get pictures of their little treasures/goofs (or both ;) ) that actually shows who they REALLY are, and not what the photographer wants them to be.

Girl

D700, ISO1600, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

Girl

D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Girl

D700, ISO1600, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Girl

D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

Girl

D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

Girl

D700, ISO1600, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

It’s almost a month ago since I stood on the sea taking pictures of the sunrise. Last week I was out there again. A whole different story now. And a lot earlier, too. Pff… And I almost missed it. Thought I’d be in time when I set the alarm on 5am, but boy, it was close. The civil twilight was already on its way out when I came to the spot.

The sea was starting to open up already again, even if it hasn’t been above zero very much, yet. The ice is still very thick in most places, but for the pictures that I shot I went right up to the water.
And when that boat passed, and everything started cracking and moaning around me, it did give me a slight tingle of discomfort. But owwell… There where I was standing the water can’t’ve been really deep ;)
Also… It’s rather worrying how the thick ice chunks appeal to you (or me in this case), they’re almost beckoning you to jump on them and see how far you can walk out on the sea…
But anyway… I could withstand the draw of the ice, but I did shoot some wonderful pictures of the sunrise.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/8 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm, and a second slightly shorter exposure, which I merged in Photoshop into the above HDR result.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 2 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 14-24mm, and a second slightly shorter exposure, which I merged in Photoshop into the above HDR result.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

Some things you just don’t do by yourself. You need someone else to invite you to it, and then you think “Hmm… that may actually be interesting”.
Even if I’m Dutch, I’m not a football (soccer, for you Americans ;) ) fan. I don’t care about the leagues. I may watch the match when the Dutch national team is playing but that’s about it. I’ve never been to a football stadium in my life other than for a concert or a festival. And it would never have crossed my mind to do a “tour” in the Amsterdam Arena (I actually never had been there before even for a concert), so when some friends told us they were going to do the tour and asked if we’d like to come along we did think “Hmm… that may actually be interesting”. So we went. The day before the Campions League match between Ajax and Manchester (which Ajax miserably lost, by the way). Preps were in full swing and well, you gotta give it to them (even if the guy was so happily (and funnily) full of how Ajax was the best, and how the Arena was the best, and how the Grass there was the best, and how they have 1400 seats more than their direct competitor in Holland – Feyenoord Rotterdam): everything did look perfect. And we did get to see some parts of the stadium that you usually don’t get to see.

The Ajax Arena - football stadium in Amsterdam

D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm

Ajax and Manchester United flags in the Ajax Amsterdam Arena football stadium

D700, ISO400, 1/250 sec @ f/1.7, Nikkor 50mm

A classic picture of birds sitting on a fence. And more classic images of swans. But well, you gotta have them in your portfolio, right?
And try to give a bit of a different swing to it than everyone else.

Seagulls

D700, ISO200, 1/1000 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70x200mm

Swan

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/6,7, Nikkor 70-200mm

Swan

D700, ISO200, 1/500 sec @ f/6,7, Nikkor 70-200mm

The last time we were in Holland we spent a few nights at friends with cats. It’s funny how cats always seem to notice that you know how to handle them, or that you have (had) cats (before) yourself. These two are also a couple of funky little creatures, with their own little attitudes :D

Swiffer

D700, ISO800, 1/250 sec @ f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm

Dani

D700, ISO200, 1/1000 sec @ f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm

Did I ever mention I luuuuuuuuuuv my 50mm f/1.4? Love the depth of field, love the bokeh, love its sharpness… If you don’t have a 50mm prime like that, go get one. Now!!

I need not repeat anymore that anything is a potential subject, especially in macro photography. You can turn pretty much everything into some sort of abstract, you just need to be able to visualize it for yourself.

Iron wire

D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/4.5, Tamron 90mm macro

Cleaning rags

D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/4.5, Tamrin 90mm macro