Stock Photo Gallery

Monday, November 29, 2010

The work in progress

Sometimes, when I shoot I'm not sure of what I want to achieve, but when I see the image in Lightroom I start thinking about it and the ideas start flowing to my mind while I play with the software. Thus, there are other situations when by the moment I glue my eye to the visor that I know what I want to say, what the image means to me or what I can do with it during the editing process. 

This image, when it happened, it was quite clear, even though I understand it can give room to many different interpretations. The simple and plain idea was: a lonely man walking away from the camera in a sad and moody autumn’s afternoon. If you give it a deeper look, you will notice that at the end of the walk is not exactly clear what he will find. The trees are quite thick and apparently there’s no sign of another track going anywhere else. Is he about to get lost in the park or swallowed by the dark trees? This uncertainty probably adds a bit more of pathos to the frame, but the main thing, if we don’t want to get too far and clever in the interpretation is that is sad and moody. 

This is the key scheme of the shot but to achieve that I had to work on the best composition, even before the man arrived. I had the camera on the tripod because I was working on a slow shutter speed (1/4 sec) and had to wait until the man was a tad farther from me, right in the place where I wanted him to be. At home, later, I had to convert the shot to black and white, quite gloomy and blue, while it was originally a decent afternoon with the sun setting nicely.

Not every time I have the chance to think so much about a photo and to be able to explain it decently, as I hope I did here. Usually is my gut that keeps me pushing the shutter button, and the brain start working later, especially when I’m on the “reporter” mood. Every once in a while I will post some “image with a thought” and comment it for those willing to read about it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another great fly fishing video from NZ

Fly Fishing New Zealand DVD Video Trailer. what can I say... I want to visit New Zealand and I want to fish for those huge Brown Trouts, even though I have never been a Trout fisherman... The scenary is just stunning, NZ must be a photographic heaven, I cannot believ I haven't bene there yet. A terrible mistake I have to fix asap

Check this out folks...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lumiquest Softbox LTp

Lumiquest has another cool light modifier for us, chek this video, it looks like a pretty darn good idea

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall and the light

Fall is here, this week we had the first severe whip of the season after some beautiful days around 21C. My daughter came back home with a bunch of fallen leaves and she is pretty serious about painting them: “Before you paint them – I asked her – wouldn’t you like to take some photos of it?” She happily accepted and helped me setting up a transparent tray with a flash underneath it. To get a more even spread of the light, I put a Lumiquest Softbox III and on top of the flash a white piece of paper on top of the diffuser.

Nothing especially fancy of complicated, a very basic backlit studio set, just what I needed. I took the D90 with the Tokina 100mm f2.8 A-TX Macro and a small ladder and started playing with the light power on my CLS control. My daughter eventually lost interest in what I was doing and anyway had to do her homework, and the little old kid started shooting. The result is here, a “group” shot and a lone leaf, enough before we had a blackout and had to light up some candles to fix dinner….

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Light trails

There are amazing things that can be done using your camera’s slow shutter speed properly; one of them is taking pictures of car light trails. What you need is pretty basic: camera, lens, tripod, maybe a graduate filter and a remote control to release your shutter when you are in “bulb” mode, or at least you need it if you own a Nikon. I like these images especially when is not 100% dark, in fact at twilight you get the best colour of the sky, far from being black it turns into an amazing blue. Put your camera on the tripod and secure it properly, compose your scene. Take an exposure reading of the ambient light; let not the car’s lights fool your meter into underexposing the scene. The light will be burned anyway, and that’s what it is, just light that will decorate your scene.

If you need to balance the sky use a grad filter but I don’t think you will need it unless you have a strong backlit image with the sun too high. Now, I assume that if you are like me you are in manual exposure; if not maybe you should try. A (aperture) is ok too, but you will need to compensate the exposure through the exposure compensation button, hence in manual will probably be faster. If your shutter speed is within the 30 you will probably be able to use the self timer to trigger the camera, but if you have very little light and need to go over 30” you will need to put your shutter speed to “bulb” and then you will only be able to take the shot using the remote control (no worries, is not an expensive gimmick).

When everything is set, with your ISO as low as you can, the lens clean to reduce the problems with flare, and the tripod well set you start shooting, Most of the times is a trial and error business, until you find the right light and the right “traffic” to get the image you need.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Retiro Park, Madrid

For somedody who live sin Madrid and loves photography paying a visit to this beautiful park is almot a duty, or at least it should be. During my stay in this city, now since 1995 I have been to the Retiro several time, yen never with my camera. I fixed this obscene issue last week, a short visit during abeautiful fall's afternoon: my D90, the Tokina 100 f.28, the Nikkor 18-70 f3.5-4.5 and the tripod, here to follow the result of the visit

Backlit iamegs are my favourite, and if there's a human being in the shot much better
Fall is quite a romantic or depressing season, is just a matter of taste. For me is the "Antipasto" of the winter, which I hate... The lone man walking on the park adds something to the shot

Sidelight, almost backlit I should say. Warm and beautiful
Light and water, a combination that always attracts me

The "classic" Retiro shot, the pond and the monument to Alfonso the XII

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Slow shutter speed maybe... ?

No way, it wasn’t necessary at all. Usually to get an image like this you need to put your camera on a tripod and go for the slowest shutter speed you need in order to achieve the effect you need. In this case the wind was so strong that I managed to shot hand held with the Nikkor 70-200VR at… 1/2000sec

Weeds shaking under a strong wind. Backlit image shot with Nikkor 70-200 VR I
This is just weeds, ready to dry and fall under the winter freeze. I could barely stand and my Nikon was shaking like a leaf, this is why I wanted to use such high shutter speed, but is not the only reason. I also wanted to have quite a narrow depth of field using a very wide aperture, I shot at f2.8 and that gave the extra boost to the shutter.

The whole idea was to make an image with not many defined shapes, where personal interpretation could play an important role. In Lightroom the main job was to put the white balance at 10750kto add warmth, play with the blacks, whites, and contrast, boost the saturation and most of all bring the clarity down to -100. A bit of vignetting added the final touch.

The result, a very high….slow shutter speed image