One of the most useful features of the digital camera is the histogram. This is a diagram that shows how you shot was exposed after you take it. It is invaluable to avoid over- and under exposure, but also when shooting in manual mode because just looking at the LCD is most of the time very difficult to see exactly how the exposure works.
During the Summerhack 2008 I was asked by a dear friend to take some pictures when she was training with her dog. It’s a retreiving dog, in Swedish we call it ”Apport” which comes from the French ”apportér” to fetch or retrieve something.
It was in the evening so the light was not the best. I started with the Nikkor 18-200mm set at maximum aperture of f/3,5 and deliberately slightly under exposure to keep the shutter time up. After a couple of sessions I switched to the Tamron 90mm f/2,8 since it made for better shutter times and quite sharp pictures.
The odd thing about the Tamron 90mm is that it is nice and sharp and fine, but it seems it throws off the color balance compared with the Nikkor 18-200. I am not sure why this is but pictures that comes out with the Tamron is definitely a shade more blue than the pictures coming out from the Nikkor. And this is with the camera white balance set to auto, I should try to fix it to daylight perhaps and see what that makes in difference. This is not the first time I have noticed this.
Here in scandinavia we live with long cold and foremost dark winters. Tends to make us gloomy and more than a bit depressed but when the summer time comes we can enjoy very long days, the sun rises right now where I am around 3.30 in the mornign and does not set until after nine.
Here are some pictures that to me represents Swedish summer. They were shot near a small cottage that we tend to stay in when we have some time off during the summer.
A beercan to represent the garden parties, the evening barbecues or just quenching thirst on a lazy day in the sun, preferably spent in a hammock with a good book to read.
Macedonia is a country located just north of Greece. It’s official name is still F.Y.R.O.M which means ”Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The Greeks are contesting the name ”Macedonia” for the country because Macedonia also refers to a region which is partly in Greek territory still.
The ancient city Ohrid is located on the lake Ohrid shore. The lake is mainly located within Macedonia but borders also towards Albania so there has always been connections to Albania via this place. It is a wonderful place in the summertime, many Macedonians go here to spend some holiday time and although not so many tourists have discovered Macedonia yet it is one of my favourite countries.
I had the good fortune to travel to Macedonia many times in the past and work there with some great people that took me around. I would like to return for a holiday some day and stay a while more in the Ohrid area which is very interesting.
Gamla Stan is the old town in Stockholm. It is generally a lovely and photogenic place but also very often full of tourists. To avoid the crowds I made a date with a good friend JAKB there to shoot some early morning pictures and this is the result of this excursion.
The light at this time of day is quite fantastic, especially from a cloud-less sky in the summer time as this day was. Even if it was a little chilly the light was quite fantastic and walking through old town at this hour with hardly anyone else about is a very nice feeling.
I shot this recently using SB-600 and silver umbrella on stand to the right of Jeanette. The main light is therefore the flash and the fill is natural light coming from the window she is looking out. It was a great test of my umbrella and the shot turned out very much like I wanted it to on the first try.
It is easy to start wanting more gadgets but in reality you do not need so many different things in order to get going with proper lighting. And the key is to keep experimenting because that is how you learn what happens and how you can go at it.
I was surprised how well the texture and bit of shadow came out of the white walls that is the background for this shot.
I want to redo this again but this time use the flash as a fill rather than the main light, getting the main light from the window, perhaps in the evening when the light temperature is a little lower and the light is more redshifted than in the broad daylight.
The background here is just the white wall behind Jeanette and I think it turned out great even though the lens gave a sligt vignetting here.