zondag 25 maart 2012

reflections in a pond     
rippled architecture

zaterdag 17 maart 2012

different reflections
more silent lights
Yesterday I took some more shots of the lights along the river. The weather had changed and so had the reflections of the light in the water.

vrijdag 16 maart 2012

looking up
stretching my perspective

Tracey Clark and Bindu Wiles' 'Two Takes' class has inspired me to go out with my camera and approach my subject from different angles. So today i went to the shopping mall and looked up and stretched my neck...   Here's what i saw.

Some wonderful colors and shapes attached to the apartment-building just around the corner. Interesting diagonal and horizontal lines and triangular shapes on the roof, and a bright yellow emergency-stairwell curving down from the top.

Next to the mall i noticed this church bell for the first time in 12 years.... It is placed within an intricate steel construction and the bell itself is beautifully shaped

donderdag 15 maart 2012

more night photography  
fog on the river   

Last night the sky was clear and crisp, the water still and there was a soft layer of fog hovering over the river.

The colors were a bit yellowish green instead of the usual hazy orange glow. Very mysterious. I love how this streetlight illuminates the lonely bench and waste bin, if you look carefully you can even see a faint foggy silhouette reflected in the water.

Near the edge of town the lights were warmer and the atmosphere less surreal. The yellow lights transformed and almost swallowed the eerie layer of fog.

On my way back i went through the twilight-zone again.... 

woensdag 14 maart 2012

Blues before sunrise    
Steve McQueen's silent blue lights in Amsterdam's Vondelpark
Yesterday I took my camera for a walk through an eerie and mysterious Vondelpark where artist Steve McQueen and the Stedelijk Museum have changed the color of all the streetlights into a purplish blue, changing the atmosphere of the park dramatically. 

dinsdag 13 maart 2012

spring is coming....
and so are the grebes
Today i saw the first grebe couple in the river, swimming and diving.

I grabbed my camera and followed, managing to capture them at the exact moment the male came up from a long dive to join the female...

maandag 12 maart 2012

night photography     
capturing the silent lights
Every night when i go out with my dogs along the river, i am captivated by the wonderful reflections of the lights in the water. Every night they are different. Every night they take my breath away. I've been wanting to photograph them from the moment i moved here 12 years ago. And now, thanks to an upgrade of my technical knowledge and photography equipment i am finally able to capture and honor what i call the 'silent lights'.

This shot, taken last friday night, is my favorite from last week so i am entering it in shutter sisters'  Best Shot Monday
Here are some  more shots from that same night.

Thanks to Elisha Snow's Mastering Manual Mode i have been daring and able to take these pictures with manual settings, combining a narrow aperture (between f14 and f22) with a very long shutter speed. (between 4 and 15 seconds)
Thanks to the 2 second shutter delay in my Olympus PEN P3 and a gorilla pod fastened on the steering wheel of my electric scooter i was able to prevent camera shake and blurriness.


zondag 11 maart 2012

balancing shapes pt 2
arranging moving objects

Kat Sloma's theme went with me on my photo journeys these past days. Every time i took a shot i was considering balance. Today i stood at the shore of the lake and took pictures of the ships sailing by. I usually wait for a boat to 'enter' my frame and shoot as soon as it has reached the right position. This time i tried to wait for the right balance.

In these shots the division of the frame is the same: two thirds is taken up by the sky and one third by the water. I followed the boat with my lens and kept it close to the middle of the frame. The difference in these images lies in the orientation and distance of the boat and the size and shape of the horizon.

For me this shot has the right balance. There is movement: the boat is sailing out of the frame and the sails are nicely curved by the wind, the horizon has no distracting shapes, the mill is a nice bonus and exactly in the right position and the blurry reeds in the foreground add a subtle touch.

Here are some horizontal shots with a completely different impact. Again the sky and the water are divided into thirds, but there is a lot more space for the boat, so it needs to be in a different position in order to create a well-balanced shot.

This one is my favorite. I like the boat in the first third of the space, with movement implied by the diagonal line of the sail and the wake be hid the boat, and at the same time a lot of space to the right (two thirds) suggesting a wide open space beyond the frame where the boat will go on sailing indefinitely.

vrijdag 9 maart 2012

balancing shapes
arranging space within the frame

KatEye Studio's theme this month is about composition. About balancing the space, objects, colors and shapes within a photograph in different ways, trying to create an arrangement that catches the eye. 

Some weeks ago I visited my dad and saw an almost empty office building standing in a square pond with lots of dead leaves in it, big red 'for rent' posters behind the tinted glass windows and a red plastic bag floating around on the water. I was immediately drawn to this interesting combination of shapes, textures, elements and colors and took a couple of shots, trying to create a compelling image.

Browsing through my shots i chose the one below as my absolute favorite. All the shapes and colors are in perfect balance, a perfect example of the effectiveness of the rule of thirds.  What i like most of all is that this balance is slightly disrupted by the red plastic bag floating on the water: it is the same color as the two posters but the only object in the image that doesn't have a reflection. It stands (or rather: floats) on it's own. I really, really like it when rules and conventions are broken like this....