Here are some pictures that every photographer should have in his or her portfolio. I think ;)
One of those images is a very cliché image of birds sitting on an electricity wire. Where I’m currently residing, obviously birds aren’t all that keen on sitting on an electricity wire in big numbers, and I’ve been looking out for an image like that for I don’t know how long. Over time I’ve seen some sitting here and there, but I never wanted to take the shot, because, cliché as it already is, I did want to have a version that stands out from the pack at least that much.
During our holidays in Oregon I finally came across a scene that could fit the description. And when I moved in closer, camera at the ready, and the birds got restless and started flying away, I think I finally got my shot.
Below a few of (a good number) of the images I shot and the last one would be my favorite…

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

Usually I know it instantly.
I see things in black and white when they “need” to be in black and white. Or at least when I think they “need” to be, since that’s a personal taste matter.
But this particular image was one of those ones of which I wasn’t quite sure. And I do think it works very well in both color and black and white…

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Sigma 10-20mm

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Sigma 10-20mm

Same camera settings, converted to black and white in Photoshop with some dodging and burning in the sky

Same camera settings, converted to black and white in Photoshop with some dodging and burning in the sky

Boy, is that a milked cow, or what?
These days the whole HDR thing is SO overdone! It seems like people don’t seem to understand the true meaning of this technique anymore.
True, you can do some funky stuff with it (although then it’s not really called HDR anymore but cross-processing), but some people really just don’t know when to stop and go waaay overboard with it.
So here’s a little 1-2-3 on HDR:
1) the abbreviation HDR stands for High Dynamic Range
2) the meaning of this High Dynamic Range is to capture a range of contrast with a series of exposures of the same subject, which your camera wouldn’t be able to capture in a single exposure
3) the result of of a true High Dynamic Range image is a believable image which doesn’t have HDR written all over it.

The exposures:

Sunset HDR exposures

Left: D200, ISO100, 1/3 sec @ f/11, Sigma 10-20mm. Right: D200, ISO100, 1/30 sec @ f/11, Sigma 10-20mm.

The outcome:

Sunset HDR

Compiled from 2 images shown above

Compiled from 2 images as shown above

Compiled from 2 images shown above

Soo… What happened now, you may wonder…
Well… some idiots thought it funny to hack into my blog, and that it was – with its whopping average of 20-30 visitors a day – a good source for traffic to get to all kinds of viagra and other medicinal crap.

Things got outdated on this blog already anyway, so what time is a better time to update than this time?

So here you have it.
From a different angle from a different angle. If you get my drift.
Enjoy!

It’s one of those underestimated holiday places, I think. You probably won’t find it in the travel tour guide catalog. And yet, it’s such a gorgeous place.
We were there in early March, which is probably not the best time to go, because it rains cats and dogs, but we were told we were still lucky with 3 dry days out of the 8 we were there.
The fact that it’s so humid there pretty much relates into everything you see…

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO100, 1/2 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO100, 1/2 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/3 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO200, 1/3 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

So yeah, it’s been awhile…
Things have been stupidly busy.
Oh, and I’ve been on holiday.
Oxymoron, right? ;)

I won’t bother you with a day-to-day photo-thingy like I did with the Canaries, but there are some pictures you should see.

When we were in Portland, our host there was the proud owner of two gorgeous cats. Having two cats myself, I just couldn’t help myself…

D700, ISO400, 1/320 sec @ f/6.7, Nikkor 50mm 1.4, on-camera flash

D700, ISO400, 1/320 sec @ f/6.7, Nikkor 50mm 1.4, on-camera flash

D700, ISO1600, 1/125 sec @ f/2.4, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

D700, ISO1600, 1/125 sec @ f/2.4, Nikkor 50mm 1.4

I’ve written about it before, especially in relation to Facebook and Google, who initially had some dubious passages in their Terms and Conditions in regards to uploaded (photographic) material.
But also organizers of photo contests seem to have a knack of trying to grab the rights of images uploaded to their contests.
So again, everyone who’s taking part in or who’s planning to take part in a contest: read the terms and conditions, and make sure that the organizers don’t have a clause in the terms where it says that they can use the image for whatever they want, how long they want without payment.

Following the initiative of Chris Barton (from Fair Trade Photographer) who wrote an excellent piece on a contest organized by Great British Life with such a clause in their terms, I’m gonna copy-paste the link to his Great British Life blog post here as a warning for other photographers out there.

So beware… there are a bunch of sneakies among us…

Being out in the cold is fun. I don’t mind cold. You can dress for it.
Being out in the cold and having to operate your camera, that’s a whole different story. You can still dress for it, but the handling of the camera gets a whole lot more uncomfortable.

Luckily it was dark, and I could just leave the exposure time on 30 seconds. That way I didn’t have to take off the gloves that much ;)

Wishing everyone a great, great 2010 with lots of good moments, and as little moments as possible where you wish you had your camera with you but you didn’t :D

D200, ISO100, 30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

D200, ISO100, 30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

D200, ISO100, 30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

D200, ISO100, 30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

D200, ISO100, 30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

D200, ISO100, 30 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

Tis done, finally. All images sorted, processed and keyworded.
I figured that you could pick out the ones you like yourself, and I don’t need to write 320 Canary Island entries.

Go check them out, there really are a bunch of good ones among them ;)

Travel to Canary Islands

Oh, and of course: A very VERY happy New Year!

It’s been awhile… It’s been madhouse in this end of the line.
It’s been long days and short nights. And it will be like this for a while still, it seems.

I’ve got some Canary Island stuff still in queue, but this is going first. There’s no way anyone’s going to out-cute this ;)

Nikon D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50 mm, off-camera SB-800

Nikon D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50 mm, off-camera SB-800