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!