Painting with light

Painting with light

Concert with Vassendgutane

photoPosted by simonaldra Sun, May 23, 2010 16:01:36

Vassendgutane is a Norwegian band using dialects and amusing texts.

The concert in Sandnessj√łen drew more than 1000 visitors, the concert went well.

When color just works

photoPosted by simonaldra Thu, December 17, 2009 14:40:51

Sometimes it's best just leaving black and white behind and going old school with color.

In my last post, I talked about how black and white is sometimes pointless, but how some photos just work in b/w.

Well, this photo would never work in b/w. It just wouldn't. The lesson? Adapt your post production to the photo.

Just my 0.2..

The virtue of black and white

photoPosted by simonaldra Wed, December 09, 2009 20:20:08

Black and white photography is great. When it fits.

Colors are nice. They have their own atmosphere, they are very popular. Like pop music, and as we know, that hasn't been any good since the early 80s..

What's the point of black and white? Well, it's nice, somehow. It's retro, it's cool, it's different, it's arty.

And those are a couple of reasons why you shouldn't use it. If your only reason for going the B/W route is because it's retro, cool, different, arty or all of the mentioned, you're doing it wrong. At least I think so.

So why should you use B/W? Well.. it all depends, don't it?

This leads us to the sheeps. I like it, it reminds me of us people, how we all are different, how we all have our different postures, our different places to stand, and so on. But here's the point. I took this in color. I take all my photos in color. You can always turn a color photo into a B/W, making a B/W into a color photo is possible, but that's something that'll take a lot of time, and quite frankly, I can't be bothered.

But my point is, this photo is rubbish in color. It's not that the colors are wrong, it's just that the sheep get lost in their surroundings. Their tonality aren't very nice in color.

In B/W, though, it works. It's not the picture of the year, far from it. But I still love it for it's raw simplicity. And here's the point. It's born for B/W.

Good shooting.

Diving into the cold without gloves

photoPosted by simonaldra Fri, December 04, 2009 01:37:06

Tonight was a bloody cold night, cold, dry, windy and dark. But I got some nice photos, so who gives a damn?

It was a cold night in the dock area in Sandnessj√łen, I was sent out to make a story about a couple of local divers who participated on an attempt on the world record for the number of divers in the water at the same time.

I expected poor light and bad conditions, this is, after all, a long way up north..

So I picked up my trusty E-3 with my new favorite lens, the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4. It's a sweet lens, if you haven't got one, and you can afford one (and of course, you're using the Fourthirds system), you need to get one. Just do it. I actually think it might be illegal not to get it.

Anyhow, the lens worked like a dream, as I expected. But it's one thing to photograph when you're in the general direction of a lot of light, but in darker light, you do have to work a lot more on your exposures to get them to stick.

I'm not for one moment going to say that there is such a thing as the perfect exposure. It all depends on a lot, the atmosphere you wish to create for one, but of course, also on wether or not you're actually able to be picky. This was one of those jobs when f/1.4 and ISO between 800 and 3200 was a given.

Now, what am I on about when I say "diving into the story"? It's not like I was going into the water (the E-3 is water sealed, but not that water sealed, after all). But it was damn misrable out there. A couple of degrees under freezing might not sound a lot, but it does get a lot worse once you're close to the coast. As the guys were diving, this wasn't just close to the coast, this was the coast, heck, it was five meters from the bloody ocean. That makes a difference. Add into that the wind (Helgeland is regarded by the Norwegian meterology service as a bloody confusing part of Norway weather wise), and you've got a recipee for a very cold photographer indeed!

Well, it's not like I'm really one for complaining over cold weather (I've slept with the window open every day of every year of every decade the last decade, and even if the window's not five meters from the ocean, it is about 30 meters from the ocean), but I've learned one crucial thing.

Don't leave the bloody gloves at home!

Why I don't like flashes

photoPosted by simonaldra Mon, November 30, 2009 20:49:34

Lorem ipsum and all that, I thought it might be an idea to inogerate my blog by preaching the virtues of using the light God (or whoever you believe in) gave you.

I used to debate this issue with a friend of mine, he was a master of strobes, and his results always looked supreme. He had, and probably still have the idea that you can never get the same level of control over your light without using strobes. And you know what? He was right. Absolutely right.

But then again, that's generally just relevant for portraits. Flash on camera looks horrific. Sure, there are situations where you just need to use a flash, darkness, lots of movement, and so one and so forth. But in most situations, we're not talking about those kinds of conditions, we're not talking about portraits. Using a flash when it's avoidable when you're photographing documentary is.. in lack of a better word salty.

Why natural light?

1. It's natural. It's what's there, it's closer to reality, in these sorts of situations.
2. You get a better mood in your photos.
3. You're not taking the role as a bloody lighthouse.

I won't say it's wrong to do it any other way, that'd be fascism, and I don't like fascism. People do what they do, and I won't get mixed into that. But if you want to get close and personal, you have to agree that flash is really out of the question, wouldn't you?

The photo that tops this post is a good example of it. I was using a normal camera with a standard prime. It's not picture of the year, but one thing's for sure; it wouldn't look half as good if I'd used flash. And if you think about it, you agree with me on that, don't you? :-)

Good shooting, break a leg and all that.