Monday, August 30, 2010

More Shots from the Hip

Here I am in The Eternal City. The place is full of Roman ruins, ancient statues, Renaissance art and armed police officers.

And the latter have handguns on their hips. I tried candid photographs at the airport, bu a combination of low light, fast movement and a desire not to be arrested produced blurred and generally useless pictures.

But here's one taken outside the Capitoline museums. There are thousands of cameras all around, and I was some distance away. Check out the minuscule depth of field.

Nikon D300s
Tamron 200-400 at 400mm
ISO 200

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Calling the shots

What might you find on your hip? Why, a hip flask, of course.

And what does a hip flask contain? Shots!

So this month's subject matter, Shots from the Hip (flask) becomes rather easy. Less easy was finding a hip flask - I don't own one - and setting up the shot.

What I've ended up with is two different techniques on the same subject. Both involve a dark wood table, dark background wall, and reflections in the shiny table. So the decision boils down to this: To flash or not to flash? That is the question.

Nikon D300s
Sigma NiftiFifti
ISO 200

I like the dark, moody lighting. The lamp provides all the illumination, but despite most of the subject being dark, the bulb holder and top of the lamp have blown out to white. All detail is lost and no amount of burning it in will produce detail that's simply not there.

Nikon D300s
Sigma NiftiFifti
ISO 200
Camera-mounted flash

The flash brings some life to the picture, with all those shiny reflective surfaces. But the lamp is flat. However, the texture on the lamp has not been lost, and the bulb holder is visible.

So I'm torn. Which is the better, or at least the preferred, photograph?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

reposting of the old man

B+W Barrow Boy

OK, this is for Stephen, who wanted to see a B+W image of the barrow boy. For this, I bumped up the red and dropped the blue, then I messed around blindly with the curves again. I think it's a bit cluttered, but after a day of sitting in front of a computer, there is no way I'm going to teach myself more gimp tricks tonight.
(God that sounds dodgy...)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Shot from the hip

I was really looking forward to this assignment. I saw a great photo in National Geographic once were the guy photographed a monkey in a market in (central?) Asia somewhere. To avoid a fight, he shot from the hip, capturing a look of absolute hopelessness on the poor monkey's face. The light was all fluoros, the composition and framing was crap, but the image was really powerful.

I am not, unfortunately, a National Geographic photographer. And so the images I had in mind when I set out on Thursday night to do the homework failed to materialise onto my camera's sensor.

But with Sarah gone for August I decided to take on the advice from last month and play around with the RAW files. And to make up for recent poor posts, I've gone for quantity today.

But first, one from the back catalogue which I kind of like:

Sally (she'd kill me if she knew I posted this)
20mm, 1/15, f2.8, ISO400

This was the best photo from a party where I hardly framed a single shot. I'd just gotten the lens for this exact thing. It brings out the subject really well, much better, I think, than a zoom lens, as you can get really close. No post processing, in-camera B+W.

Moving on, and staying in B+W land:
Jaywalking 20mm, 1/400, f14, ISO400

OK, here I was going for a verité look (I think that's the right word). The sky is intentionally washed out and the contrast bumped up a bit by playing around with some kind of curve in Ufraw. The angle is due to my trying to be surreptitious.

Smoko. Or The bleak existence of Ramadan 20mm, 1/500, f2.8, ISO400
In colour this was washed out and just looked crap, so I returned, via RAW, to good ol' B+W to bring out the details a bit more. Now it's not so washed out, at least, and I think the tonal balance is better than it was. I'm not thrilled about the pot plant on the left, but I couldn't crop without putting the guy right off to the side. And I prefer the full frame.

Barrow boy
20mm, 1/200, f7.1, ISO400

To prove I still know what colour is, and to try my hand at those crazy settings in photo-editing software, I present Barrow Boy. I know, the framing is terrible but it's the best I could do without looking either before, during or after the shot. Anyway, I kind of liked the contrast between 21st century car and 16th century barrow (with pneumatic tyres). And with the camera tilt it looks like he's trying to stop that thing rolling down the hill and crushing him. To try to improve it I played around with the saturation and the curves, but I have to confess, I have no idea how to use them.

Two more.
20mm, 1/50, f22, ISO400

By this time is was getting dark, so as I passed this kid and shot him from behind my arse I managed to get the blighter slightly out of focus and everything was quite dark. But it perhaps best shows the hip shot as you'll see it's taken at his head level. Anyway, I used the manual settings on the colour balance here in Ufraw to bring out the sky, and the noise makes everything quite grainy. It takes me back to my darkroom days but without the smells.

Finally, a bit of a weird composition:

20mm, 1/50, f22, ISO400

OK, can someone please explain to me what the curves mean and do in photo-editing software, because I'm really just playing around with no clue. Here I managed to wash things out a bit while increasing a bit of contrast in the stones. I was trying to keep/enhance the evening light, but as I say, I don't really get it just yet.

Shooting from the hip

Sorry chaps but u have been busting my brain to think of something for this title and I'm really struggling. I like Mr B's play on it, literally shot from the hip.

But I'm afraid I just can't find inspiration for what should be a fun title to play with. In the end I spotted this gate which I liked the colours as the sunset behind mr refected off the metal. Only connection being I shot it at hip height.

For any of you who are fans of you may be amused at the ferry company operatives inability to work out how to use a pad lock on this gate. The gate wasn't in use, and should certainly have been locked as is keeps joe public away from interesting stuff that makes the ferry terminal work. Fail!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, August 2, 2010

Child bearing HIPS

Hi All,

Okay very very tenuous link to this months shooting from the hip but I'm a bit busy, so close enough.
Also was very much shot on the run, so also kind of shooting from the hip.

They say the softer the subject the softer the lens, well I guess you can't get much softer.

So here she is, Elizabeth Rose Bailey (aka Bess) born 11:30 Friday night, 3.505 KG, 56cm for those who want the EXIF data.

Other EXIF
Manual mode, f1.4, 1/100 sec, ISO 100, and then flash on camera bounced of the ceiling in eTTL mode.

A very small hint of a pink vignette to accentuate the one that was already there from the blankets.
No other real PP.

==== EDIT ====
Please feel free for C&C

Richard B.