Tag: strobist blog

Against a Reflective Surface – Christmas Lights

Leaving school, against the blackness of night, I encountered beautiful hoarfrost on an Aspen Willow tree – a reverse silhouette (white against black). I started my pickup truck and used the engine’s warm-up time to explore the silhouetted Willow. Again, the camera is atop the tripod and again I’m using the 60D’s live view to ensure that I find crisp detail in manual focus. I took three shots of the tree – one I include here; the composition needs work but I’m happy to have captured this image. Consideration – my shots are better and more well-composed when I’m warm and taking time to look seriously around the frame to see what’s there and to capture the image; in winter photography I’ll have winter outwear on … something I didn’t have leaving school tonight.

Later, at home, in front of our Christmas tree the recommendation of photographing Christmas lights against a reflective surface came to mind. Our Christmas tree, like most others, stands in front of our window as Christmas beacon to others in our neighbourhood; this evening, I just needed to recognize its beauty and its potential. I put my Canon 50mm prime f-1.4 lens on my Canon 60D and attached the 60D to my tripod; I worked with live view to find focus detail and to establish bokeh (blurring of lights). I turned out lights in our living room and kitchen making all dark except for our Christmas tree and its lights. I began exploring bokeh, using a small depth of field (lens aperture f-1.4) and blurred Christmas lights against the reflective surface of the window. The images I include appeal to me in terms of shape, colour, texture and mood.

Tonight (15 December 2011) – listening to Martyn Joseph’s ‘Have an Angel Walk with Her,’ from his ‘Evolved’ album http://www.martynjoseph.net/ .

Christmas Lights – Around Town (attempt #1)

Christmas lights were the subject of last night’s foray into picture taking around town. A friend’s home had good oblique angles and provided dark architectural landscape that her Christmas lights outlined and accentuated.  And, in most instances Christmas lights highlighted architectural shape against night’s darkness, making homes look like Gingerbread houses. Beyond this, Christmas lights add atmosphere and mood with their reds, greens, blues, purple and clear white colours, all of which have a gradient of reflection upon surrounding snow. So, I began the endeavour of capturing Christmas and the Christmas spirit around town.

Tonight, I’ve just read an article on the Strobist blog, ‘Photographing Christmas Lights,’ http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/12/how-to-photograph-christmas-lights.html  and it contains six recommendations for capturing the outdoor beauty of Christmas. One key concept is that Christmas lights reveal themselves best in fading ambient light following sunset and that the trick is to balance the Christmas lights against the ambient light. Here, framing shots would make intentional use of the sky as background to composition; I would need to shoot across the subject (lights) into the ambient light. And, where I began shooting Christmas lights at 8:30 p.m. I would need to move the photography three hours ahead to 4:30-5:30 p.m. to find the sweet spot of the ambient light fading into background glow. In terms of camera settings, where I had my white balance set to custom at K 10000, the Strobist article recommends using the tungsten setting to bring out a royal blue in the sky. I did use my tripod and took shots from low level, eye level and from the deck of my pick-up truck box as a means to find best angle of view.  Strobist recommends a low level shot so as to use much more of the sky as background in the composition. In terms of foreground in most shots I did utilize the light, reflective surface of the snow to create foreground interest; here, there may be better ways to explore foreground use.  In the shots I took last night snow tends to add the feel of a large blanket insulating the earth below it.

So, I’ll be out and about in the next few nights, right after work.

FRANK KING PHOTOS

Natural, rural and urban images

Perspective Art

Surreal Landscapes by Maikhail Buzhinskiy

roads bel travelled

Exploring open roads without breaking the bank

ixnews.win/

Health Breakthroughs

TravelwithIgor

Expeditions - explorations - adventures

Old School Contemporary

'Why be reliant upon secular media sources, literary works penned by atheists, and embittered hearsay to inform your views on religiosity, or worse still to bring about the lack thereof, isn't that as sensible as asking directions to KFC from Ronald McDonald?' ―T. C. M

Mistakes & Adventures

What I've always wanted

Alexis Chateau

Jamaican Author & Entrepreneur

SouL SpeakS

He started Writing, The paper started speaking...

gianni trudu photos

L'occhio ritaglia il soggetto, e l'apparecchio deve solo fare il suo lavoro, che consiste nell'imprimere sulla pellicola la decisione dell'occhio

Bon Voyage

Traveler & photographer with a passion for everything

Schnippelboy

Ein Tagebuch unserer Alltagsküche-Leicht zum Nachkochen

Peter "Just Loves Flying"

Peter Joseph Singhatey - "Just Love Flying"

Cargo Solutions

GROUND OR AIR THERE IS NO STOPPING FOR US

Rashmi Tiwari

Power Of Thinking can create Miracles

Ricardo Sexton

.Welcome To My Metaphors.

sistahval

Graced By God To Inspire!

harrie nijland 2

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Aerial Horizon

Forget where your feet are and simply enjoy the view.

oats

welcome!