Catchy Color

Few blocks away we’ve got several house ruins and an alley which have been painted by some sort of unknown “artists”. My photographic “spider sense” tingled a little bit and I couldn’t hold back the urge to take some shots. Here are two of them 🙂

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Morning Sun at Grand Puri Laras (Multiple Exposure Shot)

It was Monday – 6.30 AM.

Grand Puri Laras

Grand Puri Laras – 11 August 2014 – 6.30 AM

Right after taking the boy to School, on my way back to home, I noticed how lovely the Clouds and Sun are. Once I got back, I immediately grabbed the Camera, CPL filter and Tripod. Take a short stroll away and got these shots.

Some of you may already know, it is impossible to get everything perfectly exposed in one shot, compared to the scene that our eyes can see.

When the sky is properly exposed (blue clouds, orange sun), the rest of the picture would become dark/under exposed. Vice versa, when the grass, cars, houses are correctly exposed (just as what they supposed to be), the sky would be blown up/white.

The solution is, of course, to capture multiple exposure shots, and then utilize Image Processing Software to combine and get the best of the shots.

Simply follow these steps :

In this scenario, I’ve set :
1. Setup exposure bracketing to 5 shots, 1EV increment (Exposure Value). Make sure that the most under-exposed setting would expose the Sun correctly (the brightest spot in the picture).
2. Set the camera to 2 seconds timer (to minimize shake/hand intervention)
3. Set picture output to RAW (to maximize quality and flexibility in post-processing)
4. Of course, set the camera on tripod to minimize shake
5. Twist the CPL filter to get the best angle especially for the Clouds
6. Take the shot. With 2 seconds timer, the camera will take 5 hosts right away in one-go
7. Modify the exposure bracketing setting to over-exposed
8. Take the 2nd shot.
9. Download the pictures and merge them using Post Processing Software.

My own critics to the Photo:
1. It looks a bit flat, no foreground object and does not seem to invoke Mood. According to Cliff Mautner, a (good) photo should have 3 criteria : Texture, Dimension, and Mood.
2. It has lens issue called Converging Verticals. Some of the vertical lines (Buildings, Poles, etc) seems to be converging towards to top of the Frame. It requires fix on Post Processing Software.
3. It has Purple fringe issue/chromatic aberration. Look at the top-right of the photo, you can see purple line around a roof and top of a tree. Usually happen on high contrast spots. It requires fix on Post Processing Software.

Well, anyway, this is the first time I produced multiple exposures picture, (hopefully) things will (have to) get better over time. Cheers!

(Amateurish) Steam Photography

Had a really tough times to produce the shots I wanted – especially with the lack of powerful Light to illuminate the steams.

Source of Lights :
– SUN from 2 O’clock angle
– Tungsten study lamp from 10 O’clock

Materials :
– Hot Tea
– Piece of rug
– Cup
– As a background, Black plastic attached to my kid’s stroller (Yep!)

Place of Shot:
– Where else? Kitchen area!


Focus on Lighting Photos (Part 3)

21. Polarizing Filter. Do we want better color, or glare? Glare can be good too. Think of seeing the ripples in the water (glare) or the fish beneath the surface (no surface glare interference). 

22. UV or haze filter. Ultraviolet dulls the visible color especially over great distance (because there is more air between us and subject). UV filter blocks UV to increase color saturation. UV Filter at close distances has essentially no effect on the color.

23. It’s always better to make color adjustments in the camera rather than later with software (eq set the correct White Balance). When we want the image to be as close to the way we perceive the scene, set the camera to match our light source.

24. When the Sun strikes the subject directly, we see warmer light. When the day is bright but the sun doesn’t strike directly, the color is cooler.

25. Tungsten lights produce yellow/orange light.

26. Photographers call a shadow hard or soft, depending on how sharp its edge is. Hard edged shadows produced by a small light source with little shadow detail. Distant lights (unclouded sun) always behave as small lights.

27. The Hardness of a shadow has nothing to do with how dark the shadow is. Only the sharpness of its edge matters.

28. Shadows give shape to our subjects. Hard shadows can emphasize texture. To produce it, work without diffusion or move the flash farther away (making it smaller light source).

29. The farther away the flash is from the diffusion material, the larger the light becomes. The closer the diffusion material is to the subject, the larger the light becomes.

30. Photographers have to use the play of light and shadow to create depth. It is how the viewer gets a sense of scale, shape and texture. The keys to excellent photography are good composition, correct exposure, and good light.

Focus on Lighting Photos (Part 2)

This is the second compilation of important points I have captured from “Focus on Lighting Photos” book. 








11. To overcome raccoon eyes: The flash we bounce off the ceiling is almost always an external light. We still have that built-in flash on our camera to illuminate those shadows, or we can use a fill card.

12. The photo produced by ceiling bounce and fill card is a basic, competent picture but not an exciting one.

13.  In case where it is not possible to bounce light to ceiling or wall : big bounce card, an umbrella and a collapsible ring reflector.

14. As a reflector, umbrella behaves like big bounce card with one important exception. If we are shooting a portrait, the reflection from human skin will be identical. However if we photograph a mirror-like subject such as glass or metal, the shape of light will be apparent in the reflection (can be quite ugly).

15. A black-backed umbrella is useful when we work in tight space. It keeps light from going through the umbrella and reflecting from walls or other surfaces. The black cloth is removable. This is the best umbrella to have.

16. Circular reflector has an advantage over big bounce card which is more stability in wind. Cloth allows some air to blow through it while paper and plastic blow over to the ground more easily.

17. Softbox creates beautiful soft light.

18. Remember that the closer the light is to the subject, the bigger it effectively becomes.

19. If we have full manual control, we maybe able to set the flash for a long lens (narrow angle of coverage) and then actually use a much shorter lens. This gives the flash a slight spotlight effect.

20. In a black-and-white picture, a yellow, orange or red filter could dramatically darken a too-bright sky; a green one could greatly increase detail in leaves.