September 08, 2013

Swan

This beautiful mute swan was swimming around the bay. As I was sitting on the rocks I saw it was a bit curious of me. I started to whistle and this swan came to me instantly, like it knew that me whistling was a calling for it. It came close, put it's head below the water, got up and stared at me and made some odd noises. And I took some photos of it, of course.

This photo came out fabulous. Swan's own body made the background, drops off water glimmering on it's face and nearby bushes set some very nice decor elements to the edges. I'm so satisfied with the result.

And what a beautiful bird.

September 01, 2013

Abandoned boat

I heard there was an old sunken abandoned boat at the coast of Emäsalo, Porvoo. So I just had to go see it to take few photos. I had imagined the boat a bit different but it wasn't a negative surprise. It was just different. I also had imagined different kind of conditions for my photos but yet again, you can't choose the weather. Anyhow.. I'm quite happy of the photos nevertheless. Pretty sure I will go see this another day too, but I will watch on the weather... And maybe go later towards the night.

Here's a photo of it followed by few detail shots.







August 24, 2013

A white house

How to make a building or parts of it look interesting? Or how to make the building as one interesting part of the photo?

The starting point is this house here, which itself many interesting details and nice overall look:







































First look... yeah, it's a photo. But there just is too many distractions.
- Both sides of the photo are restless
- Plants on the left distract from the building
- Distortion is a bit uneven and awkward
- Tones are bland
- Details are unvisible
- Most of the photo is about dull sky
etc... etc...

What can I do? Of course... To try different compositions. Try to eliminate those distracting components of the photo. If not all at once, try one at a time and go on from there.

In this next photo I've taken the pavement as part of the photo. Also I've lowered the perspective and fixed some distortions. I kept the bland colors, or actually even put them down some to loose the distraction from the plants but also brightened the white tones. Looking much better aye?







































The options are endless if you really think of it and I believe there, almost every time, can be found a solution that represents the building well. And this is what I came up with. No distortions, real life colors and contrasts, a little bit of the environment for the feel. Now, this what I saw when I was there. Not the parking lot or railroad cars on the left. By getting closer the building stands out for itself against the right part, which is not that kind of a distraction anymore. Plain easy to look photo of a nice building.


Such buildings, of course, have a lot details due to the buildings aging if not otherwise. Again the compositions are endless but lets just see couple of possibilities.

By concentrating on the door part you get nice frame to the picture naturally. I find this to be quite balanced composition.


You can take the surroundings and make it as part of the photo as well as a subject in it, like this:


Or make the surroundings as a strong main subject and use some of the buildings nice details as balancing element and to make the photo a bit more interesting (compared to without it). Like this:


Now... Go out and find a building you like. And use it!


August 19, 2013

Jukola Games XXXIV

Our neighbourhood has it's own local sports event every year which is very fun for all young and old. The neighbourhood is divided to 12 teams who compete the cup, which is the Jukolan Kivi (Jukola Stone). These Jukola Games have been now held 34 times in a row, which is amazing for such local event and the event really haves some tradition. All the sports are not so traditional though. Team events include the decibel contest, wheelbarrow relay and sack race for example. Single events vary from throwing boots and matchsticks to cutting wood and the "main events" such as running or 3-year olds biking with 3-wheelers. Teams get points for taking part and also based on events rankings.

These shots are from the decibel contest where teams have 3 participants and they scream and shout as loud as they can to make the most dB.

This is what more than 115 dB looks like.
(I think the winner team had more than 120 dB)

August 15, 2013

Be brave, be square!

I think I have written about square a bit also before but the square is a very interesting format. It works well many things and has many working solutions from composition point of view.

Here's a trio of trees and forest in square format, every very different from each other but at least I myself find all of these quite working solutions.

Lets see...

First is a composition of field filling in 2/3 of the photo and the objects are placed in the middle of the top part. The field part gives the photo depth and makes it more interesting as a picture. Bushes soften the area at 2/3 a little and yellow of the birches bring them out of the picture as clear point to look at. I find this works quite well together.


































This second one is a black and white photo without any clear point to look at. So there's not much common with the previous photo. Trees on the left and right frame the view but as the left one is much stronger, I have left it as much smaller component than the tree on the right. Tree on the right is a much lighter element so it fills much more but as I see it, these two elements are quite balanced together like they are now. Rest is the view without any tricks. Soothing image you can look a little longer but it's not in any way "fast food" of photography. No "wow" effects, just plain relaxing photo.

































As third of the bunch I've made a texture type of photo from treetops. Still also very different than the two above. It's a quite typical northern Finland forest and I guess almost any kind of composition of the forest would work from this upper point of view. To this I've managed to get some gradient from the sunset. It's brings in some depth. Anyhow, with texture type of photos, square format works pretty much every time.




































Now go and compose in square!

August 13, 2013

Macro photography

What do you do when you first time get a camera with decent macro capabilities?

You go crazy! That's what happens.

I remember when that happened... it was back in 2003 when I really started get more into photography. I bought a Fujifilm camera that was able to focus to 1 cm and it really took me away. I was really just going crazy with it, shooting everything in closeup. Laying in dirt just to be able to get some shots of bugs etc. It's a whole new world out there... and then... you fill internet with all your macro shots which you think are really amazing. But as so many cameras are now able to shoot decent macro it's not that new thing to the audience anymore and it just does not hit everyone as it used to BUT I highly recommend to do some diggin' with macro. It really takes you away. Still after 10 years of running after those "#%& insects. :D

But if you haven't tried it yet, I recommend you to give it a shot. It's fascinating. Oh well, even if you shoot a lot of macros, go out and do macro anyhow!

And here's some of my macro shots. A lot of them are bugs. BTW the mosquito and the nightly fly are taken with the Fuji back in 2004 or so.






















Thanks for visiting and happy macro shootings!


July 29, 2013

Holocaust memorial, Berlin

Most likely one of the most photographed tourist attractions and most likely all photos of this place have been already taken several times. Still, interesting place and most interesting place to photograph in. And I'm going to bother you with some of my photos of it. ;)
Tourist

Concrete

Taking a photo

Girl arching.

Three elements
You are not allowed to jump from platform to another, yet still people do it.

Let there be light


Thanks for watching!



July 26, 2013

Sigma 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM

Berlin Berlin Berlin... Hotel Berlin, Berlin.

Oh... I mean TRAVELING.

I visited Berlin recently and the first thing I wanted to do is to buy a decent travel lens. You know, the kit lens (18-55mm)won't get to far when it comes to photographing. Pictures itself are fine and all, it's light and easy. Simply ok for what it is, almost a free lens with the camera body. Then I have the 70-300 lens which is pretty much ok too for what it is. It was cheap but even it was a bit soft everywhere it did decent enough pictures. But when traveling, you don't want to carry several lenses around. You could but if you want to see the city and walk around, that really doesn't make much sense. Also when something happens you most likely have the wrong lens on.

After some studying I decided I would go for this Sigma 18-250 mm lens of which the latest version is now called "Sigma 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM". Latest addition for the lens it the tag "MACRO" and that's what you want to look for when buying a Sigma 18-250 mm. The older seem to be just fine too but this is better if you can rely on all the reviews. It's also smaller and lighter so much more easier to carry around. So far I've been impressed. It REALLY is a do-it-all. I'll attach a few real world samples straight out from the camera to show you the potential. There are also few shots that would have been easily missed with the kit lens I've been previously using when traveling.

But again, now to the pictures!
FULL SIZED JPG's straight out from the camera ARE FOUND HERE: Link to set
and most likely I will add more shots to this same place later too.

Sigma 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
Nikon D3100 @ 18mm (27mm), F8, 1/250, ISO 180 (auto)
Handheld.


































Sigma 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
Nikon D3100 @ 155mm (232mm), F8, 1/250, ISO 320 (auto)
Handheld.


Sigma 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
Nikon D3100 @ 210mm (315mm), F8, 1/250, ISO 220 (auto)
Handheld.


Testing the zoom range... This and the next shot taken from the same spot!
Sigma 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
Nikon D3100 @ 18mm (27mm), F8, 1/200, ISO 100 (auto)
Handheld.

























Testing the zoom range... This and the previous shot taken from the same spot!
Sigma 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
Nikon D3100 @ 250mm (375mm), F8, 1/500, ISO 100 (auto)
Handheld.








































A Shot that could have been missed with the old kit lens. Emergency helicopter landing in the middle of the busiest street of Berlin, Kurfürstendamm. And I have to say it was Hollywood-style exciting. Police rushing in with cars and motorcycles to stop the traffic and keep people away. And the people were taken aback on what's happening.

Sigma 18-250 mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
Nikon D3100 @ 75mm (112mm), F8, 1/250, ISO 125 (auto)
Handheld.


Happy photoshootings! :)

July 17, 2013

Friendly neighbourhood hedgehog

European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), our friendly neighbour. This huge individual for a hedgehog (most likely the biggest I've ever seen) wandered to our backyard. Or well, frontyard, anyhow... First it startled and took cover but as soon as it saw I wasn't going to do anything it continued it's activities groveling around in the bushes. It also came out from the bushes even I was there and it looked at me. Then it sniffed the surrounding rose bushes and after a while it just trotted away. It seemed friendly towards me and I saw it felt safe. Funny little guy, hope to see you soon. ;)





July 12, 2013

Three times cotton grass

Same thing can be photographed in so many ways. This is cotton grass in a swamp late at night, by day and in black and white with a hooded crow walking across the field. One of the fun things in photography is the ways you can look at the world. Options are Limitless. (fine movie btw ;) )

Cotton grass, Eriophorum vaginatum (Tupasvilla in Finnish.)