Monthly Archives: June 2016

It so often happens that I’m in need of a good tripod. Usually it’s when I shoot during the night. Night is one of my favorite times for taking photos but I almost never take tripod with me. That’s probably why many of my shots end up being blurry or noisy. Or both.

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One very good example:

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If you’re like me I strongly suggest that you take the time and:

  • Find a good tripod
  • Find a nice way of carrying it with you – attached to your backpack is a nice way
  • Use it often 🙂

I will try to take this advice seriously too.

That is the question…? Not really. For me Lightroom and Photoshop are the end of any shooting session. Even the best of photos need a little adjustment and that’s why I always shoot raw. Here’s one example when both auto balance, metering and exposure were challenged:

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I love shooting at low light. The night for me is a scene by itself. So post-processing is important so I can develop the photo I’m trying to make. Even with the best camera and tripod it’s not possible to grab a perfect shot just by pressing the shutter. You will need to work it out.

I like knowing that I can tune white balance if I don’t get it right on camera. It’s not that I don’t think about it or sometimes adjust it while shooting but the reality is that I almost never use my gray card and the auto white balance is almost always on. There are some cases when metering and white balance will fail me completely but in most cases the deviation is little and there is an easy fix for it in the post-process.

Few other things that I really need is opening the shadows, tune the contrast and apply some minor sharpening and noise reduction. Those steps finish up a shot for me – I don’t think the image is ready on its own coming out raw straight from the camera. I know that many purists will object and point out that this is how photography is supposed to be. That’s how it was in the old days. Well – that’s not true. In the old days you had the dark room. That was your Photoshop and now it’s all different in the digital age yet some practices follow up on the same path. We still finish our images in post-process. We don’t just develop them all in the same way so it makes little sense to just copy them from the memory card and post them online or print them.

I’ve never been more excited about shooting the unseen. Yes, I’m into conceptual photography and I often shoot abstract photos mostly in black and white. Going to IR was a different experience for me. Seeing the world at 690 nm is not something we are used to.

At first every photo I took was interesting. Seeing a white tree for example. Then I started experiencing my usual way of shooting with the infrared camera. That was not working very well because everything was different. Even exposure is working differently because IR is only seen by sensor but with the penta mirror on it’s hard for the camera to meter correctly.

So I took my time and eventually I decided to get this camera with me in the local mountains. I quickly realized that the shade under the trees behaves differently. It’s somehow lighter than it seems. We were out around noon and there was lots of light and hard shadows but when I made few shots I saw on the small display on the back of my camera that it doesn’t seems so for that type of shooting. So I kept going. The results are pretty interesting.

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What is really interesting are the portraits. Infrared does something great to skin – it makes it nice and smooth. What it also does is take down most of the distracting elements and keep the shot constrained to what matters – the model.

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It’s exciting to take a bike downtown. Capturing shots as you go could be very rewarding. It’s calming to move on wheels and I know it’s sometimes hard to visualize a shot from the speed you’re going. That’s not the point. Usually when I see something interesting I either go for it and stop driving or I keep it in mind.

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I’m trying to go through the process of visualization even when I’m not shooting.
It’s important to see photos in your mind. See how the world could look like if you take out your camera and start shooting. Work out the scene mentally first.