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

The Summer

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.

Summertime

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.

Fortsätt läsa ”The Summer”

Ohrid

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.

Ohrid City
The city Ohrid

Fortsätt läsa ”Ohrid”

Early Morning in Gamla Stan

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.

Almost Seven

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.

Fortsätt läsa ”Early Morning in Gamla Stan”

Jeanette by the Window

Jeanette
Lighting info: One SB-600 into 109cm silver umbrella camera right. Natural light through window to camera left.

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.