Alien Life

BWP green

This was one of my first creative photos where I did lots of post-processing in order to get the effect I was looking for. The phot was taken a cold winter night, the structure you can see are the branches of a tree. The black mist is the smoke from me exhaling in front of the camera just as the photo was taken.

In post-process I have colorized it green then inverted the dark areas for the bright ones. The smoke and branches are therefore brightly lit by the flash in the original picture but turned dark in post-process. Fortsätt läsa Alien Life

Glass Bottle : Tullamore Dew

Rough Country - Smooth WhiskEy

One of the more difficult things to light are glassware and bottles containing liquids. I experimented quite some time before I got something that was reasonable here. I am using a cheap light tent to get an even spread of the lights here and it still took some doing.

I am using two tungsten lights of 50 W each and my SB-600 flash aimed at the background. Camera WB is set for tungsten so the flash becomes very blu-ish in color which was the idea, this masks the creases and wrinkles in the white backdrop for some reason. Fortsätt läsa Glass Bottle : Tullamore Dew

Three Gringos

Three Gringos
Three Gringos, A Study in Friendship

I just got an email and with it I got the result back from my friends, they have now made a poste of the shoot we did earlier that I wrote about here and the result was great.

Additional artistic work by Patrik Freij <farbrorfreij@tele2.se>, photograph by me!

I think the first poster is the best one really, I was never a hundred percent on the lower part of the table and so by putting the logos on top of a brown background like that is perfect. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, and it was great fun!

You can see the original photograph and the painting we set this scene up after here.

Here is a variation of the same poster:

Vänner Affischbild
"Vänner" means "Friends"

I believe I will go there soon to shoot the repetion of their play!

I was using a 50mm f/1.8 lens when shooting this, it was the perfect focal length (even on my DX camera) and the sharpness and definition of the 50mm is almost scary sometimes. Post-Processing was done on the original photograph with Adobe Lightroom, The GIMP and Photoshop CS3. The main actions was to mask the actors and darken the background a bit further than what we managed to do in the photo.

[Swedish] Ni hittar all information om teatergruppen på http://www.varieteteatern.se/.

Geotag your photographs

This is going to be a rather lengthy post again but bear with me. It will also be a bit technical so I will have to explain some of the basic technical points before we start on the really nifty things here. But in the end you will learn how to use your GPS receiver to track your movments when shooting outdoor, you will learn how to download this information and use it to geocode your pictures so that when they are uploaded on sites such as Flickr your photographs will automatically appear on the map in the correct location.

The resons for geotagging

It is a way of organising your photographs that is pretty new actually. Never before has it been so easy to know where a certain photograph was taken and it is a great way of finding other people’s photographs from a certain location.

Hacking in the tent
My good friend Torbjörn hacking in the tent

It also means that if you use your GPSr when you are on holiday you know exactly on which spot you were when you took that picture and it is a great way of sharing information about good photographic spots, not to mention that it sort of becomes a photographic diary, tracking your movements around with your camera and GPSr.

There many be also personal reasons for geotagging, for me it started because I am a map freak. I love maps in all sorts of ways and I spend half a fortune on them. These days I mostly use electronic maps because they are more versatile but when I go hiking I always have a paper map as a backup – you never know when electronic will fail you.

There are two kinds of photographers, those who has experienced equipment failure and those who will.

This is very true.
Fortsätt läsa Geotag your photographs

Solna Badlands

The Solna Badlands is a term created jokingly when we went there to photograph the industrial decay in the area that was partly due to that all companies had to leave the place in order to make room for the new national arena.

Towards the National Swedbank Arena
Me in front of some chucked away coucht. Camera on tripod with 18-200mm. B&W and square crop in post-processing

Several companies dealing in scrap metal and other such businesses were more or less abandoned over the day and this resulted in an interesting place where we set off to document it before everything was torn down to make room for ”Swedbank Arena” the new national arena here.

So we set off on a cloudy overcast day to the Solna Badlands. Some of us had been there before and for some it was the first time. We found several interesting motifs to photograph and here is a collection of my own personal favourites from the expedition. Fortsätt läsa Solna Badlands

The Cement Factory

Chimneys
The big chimneys that have now stopped smoking a long time ago...

In Stora Vika south east of Stockholm towards Nynäshamn there is a curious old abandoned factory. It used to be a cement factory and has been left to its own demise for the last twenty years or so. Not entirely true since several companies have bought hand used parts of the facilities but most of it has not been touched much since the closing. The area is owned by TallOil right now, a company producting pellets for heating.

I have been trying to contact them for getting permissions to go on site properly and shoot some interior pictures but it has proved difficult to find someone who could do that. Instead I climbed the nearby hills and shot from above in infrared and natural light and the result was these pictures where I was trying to show some of the decay of the old factory.

The first thing you notice are the immense chimneys from the plant. They can be seen from hills very far away and they are still standing without maintenance for such long time, says something about the quality of the structures they built in these days. Many other similar places have had their chimneys demolised long ago.

Fortsätt läsa The Cement Factory

The Card Players

le joueuers des cartes
Paul Cezanne: The Card Players

This was some photographs I did for some good friends who has a theatre. They had this play and when they played it people from the audience came to them and asked if the play was based around the famous painting by Paul Cezanne called ”The Card Players” or ”Les joueuers de carted” as it is called in French.

They asked me to shoot a similar shot, based on the paiting, for a promotional poster for the theatre group and the play that they were setting up. Which I thought was a wonderful idea so we went ahead trying to find the right costumes and other props.

We set it up where the theatre use to make their repetitions. We had to be a little inventive trying to recreate the moods. We used stage lighting to light the picture and I shot it with Nikon D70s using Nikkor AF 50mm f/1,8 lens, one of the sharpest tools in the tool box.

DSC_0321-Edit-2
D70s with 50mm Nikkor f/1.8, studio lighting (tungsten) and gelled highlights.

The bottle is a port wine bottle I brought last time we visited.

In the final edit the background is darkened more to look more like the painting and the window frame visible is blurred. I may post the final edit when they have their posters printed!

It was great fun making a poster like this when there was a very set theme. We had a printout of the original painting to study and the actors here where quite used at getting in the mood so they sat down and nailed everything immediately.

I had to take a few angles before I found what I was looking for in the camera viewfinder.

Infrared of Dalälven

Infrared shot of the river Dalälven
Shot using IR filter from Skutskär looking west upwards of the river. There is a bridge in the background with three lights on that I really liked the effect of in IR.

I am presently at the Sommarhack 2008 conference in Skutskär but we had time to also do some photographing in the night. This is an infrared shot I took of the river while the others kept on hacking. Since the light was very low it is a little grainy even if the shutter time is over 2 minutes and ISO set to 200.

Infrared photography is a passion of mine and there will be a dedicated article on how to get started taking infrared pictures. It is not so hard, but it does require a little understanding on the physics behind it and how to use the camera in a completely manual mode.

Post processing was quite heavy, contrast and exposure adjustment, added vignetting, adjusted ”clarity” in lightroom and a few more touch-ups here and there. I like the result even if it is slightly grainy due to having to ”lift” it quite heavy in post-processing.

Using the Histogram for Exposure Control

This article can also be found in Swedish here.

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.

Fortsätt läsa Using the Histogram for Exposure Control

Retriever Dog

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 is a selection of the pictures, the rest of them can be viewed here.

Apportering
Apportering Apportering
Apportering Apportering

Photos and other rants