Sunday, 6 April 2014

Layers of time...

I always end up bringing my biggus-lens with me on my numerous walkabouts in the wilderness of Assistens Cemetery, hoping to get that perfect shot of the sparrow hawk hunting.

However, it´s hard to walk around here without noting the marvelous colors and textures of decaying tombs. It seems as if all efforts to paint over forgotten centuries just cant keep these time pockets from revealing themselves everywhere.

Finally, I decided to bring my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 to capture these layers of time...

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All images were shot around F/9.0 to get crisp details (ISO320 and a shutter speed ranging from 1/60 - 1/125 sek, depending on available light). Just added a some contrast (clarity) and slightly desaturated images a bit in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5    

Monday, 3 March 2014

Portable mini studio

Ever considered setting up your own home photo studio, but gave up the idea due to lack of space and hard earned cash?

Well, it actually doesn´t have to cost you an arm and a leg, plus it is easily stored away in a camera bag. With just a few extra accesories to what you probably already own, you can achieve lightening as with these images below.

I just went out to get myself a nice 2in1 black/white collapsible background from Walimex, so that I could achieve a nice and uniform background when shooting portraits at home. It turned out to be just awesome: it takes 20 secs to unfold and 60 secs to fold back into its case again!

Here are some samples:

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The lightening in these images is as simple as it gets: one speedlight placed at a 45º angle relative to the baby to achieve this kind of dramatic shadow effect on the one side of the face. I aimed the flash in the opposite directon of the baby and used an Westcott umrella placed slightly above the baby´s head, to bounce back and embrace the model with a soft, even light.

The images were shot at 1/125 sek, F/4,5-5 and ISO 100-160.

Tip: Start out with the flash turned off and take an image - e.g. with the settings above. The models should hardly be visible and you want the background to be black (no window lights should lighten up your nice, black background). Now, turn off your flash, set it to manual at a low setting (e.g. 1/64 of full power) and adjust the power up or down if you are way out of league. If you are almost there, but the image is a little to light, you can go from e.g. F/5 to F/5,6 - or the other way around if its too dark.

 Here is an overview over the setup and how the flash/umbrella were fixed:

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The cheap, but great, Cactus duo V5 radio-triggers were used to fire the flash off camera, and the Wallimex background did its job to eliminate any distracting elements behind the models.

Equipment used (bying equipment via the links below supports maintenance of this site):

Canon EOS 7D
Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
Westcott White Satin Umbrella
Umbrella Mount Bracket
Slik Compact Lightweight Tripod "
Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Trigger
Walimex collapsible background, black/white 150x200 cm

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Diving the Similan Islands

A few days have passed since we came back from our home away from home, Thailand. Loads of pics to go through, some of them will soon find their way to the blog.

As I brought my underwater housing all the way, I just had to try it out in open water (for the first time). I booked a 1-day trip to Koh Bon at the Similan Islands, where Mette and I had been diving with a dozen of manta rays in 2008 (same time of the year). So I hoped to capture the scene!

Unfortunately, the mantas have not really been seen at Koh Bon in recent time, and nobody knows why they have disappeared. We jumped into the water and enjoyed the life at the reef - however, we were a bit surprised how crowded this dive place has become. As in OVER CROWDED! Divers everywhere, many of them not paying attention to where they kick their fins. 

It was saddening to see how much the corals have been damaged within a few years - by ignorant divers grabbing onto this and that. Well, what a surprise that the mantas were all gone...

Anyway, as we swam around I had time to play a bit with my camera and shoot this video:

The video was shot with a Canon 7D + Sigma 10-20mm in Hugyfot underwater housing, at 1920x1080p with 30fps at F/4.0-5.6 at 1/60 sek and ISO 320. Post production in Adobe Premiere Pro.

I was so obsessed by shooting video that I totally neglected taking photos. Only a few frames made it to the memory card:

Curious moray eel peeking out from its hide, F/9.0 at 1/50 sek.

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School of yellowfin goatfish, F/9.0 at 1/80 sek.

As you saw in the video, the reef was absolutely packed with fry, F/16 at 1/25 sek.

Giant puffer hovering over the reef, F/10 at 1/60 sek.

All together, a great day under the surface even though we did´nt get to see the mantas :-( So I´ll post a few pics from our 2008 trip to the exact same spot... Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Manta photos shot with Canon s70 in Canon underwater housing