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The Week in Review.

This week began with a family trip to the Botanical Gardens and proved to be a productive one with the weakest photo coming at the very beginning, and the photos improving in quality as the week progressed. I am pleased overall with the variety and quality of my photos this week though, I think it is the best week I’ve had in a while.

(remember, click any photo to see it larger on my photo site)

Sunday 5th September

Botanical Branch

One of the biggest problems with displaying pictures on the internet is the low resolution nature of displays combined with the fact that you can rarely see an image at a reasonable size. You are limited by the physical size and low resolution of a monitor. As a result if an image isn’t flashily composed, or if a viewer can’t apply their mental rule of thirds grid to an image, then its no good.

If you were to look at a print of the image above, you would possibly see what I saw in it. You may still judge it as a poor image, but that is a matter of taste. I like it because of the depth and the textures and fine detail. None of that can be seen in a thumbnail, but in the image I can see the depth of the grass, the fine textures of the dead branch and the soft tones and shadows. Not a bad shot in my view.

Monday 6th September

The Tao of Self

Move along, nothing much to see here 🙂 I’ve been taking photos for a few years now and have never managed to take a decent self portrait. I’ve either been too high concept, or too no concept. It was a rainy Monday, so no going out for a walk on the street with Mike. I decided to make some use of my father’s office which is endlessly stocked with photo opportunities.

I artfully tossed an open book on the desk, and artfully tossed my spectacles on the artfully tossed book, then artlessly arranged myself for the enigmatic photo of the enigmatic photographer 🙂

From the outset I wanted a high speed black and white film look, so the contrast is very strongly pushed to achieve a steep drop off from midtones to black and from light tones to white. It is not quite as high contrast as some b&w films, but I prefer it this way. There is also a significant amount of grain added.

Tuesday 7th September

Ol' Time Rebel

During the ’80s when I was in high school the motorcycle to lust for was the Rebel. I am still not sure who made them. And if you are wondering how I could be 29 now and in high school in the 80s, well, I was a child prodigy (in another 10 years it is going be really hard to explain how I am 29 and know the meaning of “hammertime” :)).

I passed by this spot during midday, but couldn’t stop. I had my fingers crossed all afternoon until I could come back. The light wasn’t as dramatic as when I got here, so the contrasts were a bit softer. The bike had also been moved from its midday position. Still, a photogenic scene.

Wednesday 8th September

Flooded Sidewalk

A typical occurrence in front of my office when it rains heavily and the tide is high, is that the water cannot drain off. Particularly if the Central Government and the Municipal Government are currently engaged in one of their love spats. I suppose if things were going smoothly, then I wouldn’t have had a photo opportunity. I might have to go find some butterflies or nice flowers (not that there is anything wrong with that :)).

This would have been a boring photo, of course, without the lady and her red umbrella reflecting in the water. I must have looked quite weird with my camera glued to my eye waiting for someone to walk past and reflect nicely in the water. There were other passers by, but  serendipity intervened and I managed not only to get a shot of her in the perfect spot, but she went out of her way to make sure she was sufficiently colourful to reflect nicely.

I did crop this one a tiny bit to get rid of a bit of the road which show above the puddle of water. Rather than the reflection going right to the edge of the frame, there was a millimeter or two of road showing.

Thursday 9th September

Reflecting Redly

This is the south western corner of Avenue of the Republic and Robb Street. I had already taken many photos for the day and had been, shortly before this picture was taken, trying to find out how many caipirinhas it would take before a caipirinha began to look photogenic. I came around the block to drop of Mike, and was on my way home. But the scenes just cried out for a good camera. Unfortunately, I was the only one around. So I circled the block again, and got out.

It’s hard sometimes to chose the picture I am going to post as the photo of the day when I’ve got a number of good ones. I asked my wife for guidance and she chose this one. Had I not gotten the shot above, I probably would have chosen the market stall photo myself, but the scene at the corner was different, taken at night with the flooded sidewalk reflecting the light and colour. I couldn’t resist.

Friday 10th September

Cool Move

No big story to tell here. I was just stalking the scene with the camera stopped all the way down to try and get a panning shot of a person walking along. I wanted specifically to capture a sense of movement, the rush of a weekday morning. This one happened to come out the best.

I took another photo of him on his way to collect his load of ice. In some ways I preferred that shot. It is less perfectly composed and gives a better sense of the rush and excitement of moving quickly to catch the shot, without time to perfectly compose and focus. Have a look here. This one just came out too well though.

Saturday 11th September

Delight in the Afternoon

Again, not much to say here. I actually wanted to try a technique I recently learned about called the Brenizer Method. It is a way of getting low depth of field of a fast telephoto combined with the wide angle of view of a wide angle lens; and involves taking a series of photos to cover a wide area, then stitching them to form a panorama.

Wide angle lenses tend to have very deep depth of field, even the fast ones. For a dramatic wide view with nicely blurred out of focus areas, the Brenizer Method is useful.

Unfortunately, I waited until the nice warm sunset light was almost gone before getting Sharon to actually pose. So when I realised that I had missed focus a bit, it was too late to get her to sit down again for another series. Thankfully, I took this shot as a backup in case the experiment didn’t work, which it didn’t.

As I write this it has now been about 24 hours since I took this photo. It already has 60 views. The self portrait that I took almost a week ago only now has 68 views. I guess I know now which of us people prefer to see 🙂

Have a good week.

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. Michael Lam says: September 13, 2010

    Now that’s a nice variety of shots for one week, crosses a variety of styles although your preference for street photography shows more than others 🙂 I like your works on the portraits, more so for Sharon’s than your own, but you self-portrait makes an interesting point, you chose as your setting a law office and law books over something with photographic paraphernalia.
    I look forward to next week’s images 🙂


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