Posts Tagged ‘light’

And Now For Something Completely Different. Again.

November 25th, 2010

The 2010 Formula 1 season came to a close with a dramatic sunset race in Abu Dhabi on the 14th of November, 2010.

Here are a few shots from that eventful day.

Above, a plane from Abu Dhabi Formula 1 sponsor Etihad Airways flies overhead before the start of the race.

Below is a shot of the aftermath of Schumacher’s terrible accident with Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi, mere moments after the race began. I was lucky enough to be seated in the North Grandstand with a spectacular view directly onto the spot where the accident occurred. You can find a short article in which Schumacher describes the experience here.

Thankfully, neither Schumacher nor Liuzzi was injured and both walked away fine, to cheering crowds. You can watch YouTube videos of the crash from different angles here and here.

Crew worked quite quickly to clear away the wreckage and debris, as the safety car led the remaining contenders on slow (for F1) laps around the circuit. The cars followed an alternate route avoiding the crash site until it was cleared.

Soon the race was under way again. Below is a shot from another location on the North Grandstand after the sun had set.

I didn’t take many pictures of the cars as they zipped by this race. I guess I must have gotten it out of my system during the first one.

I was more interested in taking different types of shots this time. Like the above view onto the race track with a man silhouetted and this silhouette of a woman sat alone while her companions went for drinks and food. It kinda looks like the entire race is stretched out only for her.

As you no doubt know, the race went to Red Bull Racing’s Vettel, who thereby secured the championship this year. Abu Dhabi seems to bring good luck to Red Bull Racing and to Sebastian Vettel in particular as this is the second time he’s won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I could I rephrase that in quite a few ways, and in doing so raise quite different connotations: Vettel has won every single Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to date. Vettel has won two Abu Dhabi Grand Prix races in a row. And so on…

On another note, check out the following:

Also, a quick note: If you’re in Kuwait, or planning to travel there, be aware that it seems Kuwaiti authorities have banned the use of DSLR cameras in public places. Check out the Kuwaiti Times article here. You might want to break out your EVIL cameras instead. ;)

More coming soon!

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Posted in Interesting Stuff, Travel/Urban | Comments (0)

The Tea Cup

September 1st, 2010

This is a shot from my archives, taken on the plane on the way to Bangalore, India for a wedding in October of last year.

I was setting up to make the portrait of an elderly gentleman and realised that I had packed my speedlights in my suitcase, which was *cough* conveniently in the plane’s hold.

So, I had to work with available light. Must say, not much light on a plane. I ended up switching on every reading light I could find and directing it, so far as possible, in the direction of my subject (which is why there are so many spots of light reflecting in the kind old man’s eyes).

I made a number of test shots, with the kind assistance of my frs. This was one of them. I loved how it turned out.

More coming soon!

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Posted in People, Portraits | Comments (0)

The Kids

June 23rd, 2010

I have a newfound respect for photographers who specialise in portraits of children.

A while back I set up to make portraits of my little cousins (10, 7 and 4), who are shining stars each. We turned the photography project into a game and made an afternoon of it. But my, was it challenging. They seemed to always manage to sit still for just long enough for me to compose a shot, but would then move at the precise moment I’d press the shutter. Gah.

That wouldn’t have been so bad except I was also experimenting with light. I had them backlit by a harsh flash (set on any of floor, a table, or sofa) while another flash (mostly hand-held to camera left) provided a softer light to illuminate their features and bring out a catch-light in their eyes.

Here are some of the results.

More pictures coming soon!

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Experiments in Light

January 29th, 2010

I was at a house party a while back when one of my friends walked into the path of an overhead spotlight. The play of light sparked an idea. I whipped out the camera and gear, and ended up roping most everybody into a somewhat mad photo shoot. Here are two of the results.

The first image was taken with the available light from a small overhead spotlight.

More pictures coming soon!

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AD Light by Night

September 25th, 2009

Abu Dhabi is a very different place by night.

It has an intriguing palette of multi-coloured incandescent and fluorescent lights that all but chase the darkness away. Here are two shots taken from opposite ends of the city.

Emirates Palace Gate at 2am (Nikon D80, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 @f5.6, ISO 400, 122mm, 0.6sec)

Under Construction

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Photography Books

September 19th, 2009

People often ask me what good photography books there are out there.

So I decided to put together a little list of good books I own, or have come across, and have found particularly useful.

Here they are in no particular order. Click the links below to finds out more about the books:

General How-Tos, Why-Tos, Tips & Techniques

  1. The Digital Photography Book
  2. The Digital Photography Book V2
  3. The Digital Photography Book V3
  4. Michael Freeman’s Top Digital Photography Tips
  5. The Moment it Clicks: Photography Secrets from One of the World’s Top Shooters
  6. Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera
  7. Understanding Shutter Speed: Creative Action and Low-Light Photography Beyond 1/125 Second
  8. How to Photograph Absolutely Everything: Successful Pictures from Your Digital Camera
  9. Waiting for the Light
  10. The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
  11. Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision
  12. The Digital SLR Handbook
  13. National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Secrets to Making Great Pictures
  14. National Geographic Photography Field Guide: People and Portraits
  15. The Complete Guide to Night and Low-Light Photography

Lighting

  1. The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light From Small Flashes
  2. Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography
  3. Master lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers
  4. The Nikon Creative Lighting System: Using the SB-600, SB-800, SB-900 and R1C1 Flashes

HDR

  1. Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography

Lightroom 2 Guides

  1. The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers
  2. The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers

Macro Guides

  1. Closeup Shooting: A Guide to Closeup, Tabletop and Macro Photography
  2. Macro Photography Workshop
  3. Understanding Close-up Photography: Creative Close Encounters with or without a Macro Lens

Guide to Filters

  1. Digital Photographers Guide to Filters: The Complete Guide to Hardware and Software Filtration

Inspiration

  1. Wisdom: 50 Unique and Original Portraits
  2. A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005
  3. Annie Leibovitz at Work
  4. Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs
  5. Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Celebrity and Editorial Photography
  6. Ocean: The World’s Last Wilderness Revealed
  7. Portraits
  8. Earth from Above
  9. The World’s Top Photographers: Portraits: And the Stories Behind Their Greatest Images
  10. National Geographic: The Photographs
  11. 100 Photographs That Changed the World

Other

  1. Photographer’s Legal Guide
  2. New Epson Complete Guide to Digital Printing *Note: This book may be useful to you even if not using Epson equipment. It’s that kind of book.

The above is by no means a complete list.

FI haven’t put up any Photoshop books as I don’t use the software and am not familiar with it. Another notable absence from the list are books tackling aspects specific to film photography.

If you think there’s a great or essential photography book that’s missing from the above, by all means do share. See also here, for a top 10 list that mentions a few titles that aren’t listed in the above.

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Posted in Books/Resources | Comments (2)

Making Faces

September 2nd, 2009

The Mischievous OnePeople are so interesting.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoy taking portraits so much; To try and catch something about them – something we don’t often see.

There’s something about faces that gets me most.

Eyes in particular: They can reveal so much about a person. Contemplation

Expression

Control of light is key. Anything that can help soften the light can help there – especially where the light is very bright (which I wanted it to be). Anything – such as my trusty Ezybox Lastolite softbox.

Unfortunately, it takes up space. Not much space. But any space counts when travelling on a short trip. So…

The Handsome Devil

When I travelled to Beirut, I debated taking only the barest gear. But in a sudden rush of madness I decided to leave my tripod behind and instead take the Ezybox.Cheeky-Haughty

Thankfully, I managed to put the Ezybox to good use. Which is very fortunate, as I really missed the use of my tripod.

For example, I took the Ezybox along to a dinner. I set up the soft box in a few minutes under the puzzled look of my fellow dinner guests. Then I made myself a makeshift modifier with one of the diffusing cloths that came in the kit with the softbox, a clothes hanger and some tape (thank you Strobist!)Gentle

Once that was done, I got people to, one by one, variously stand or sit for portraits.

I placed my SB800 in the softbox behind their heads to light them from behind.

To light them from the front/side, as I was wont, I occasionally managed to get my favourite Voice Activated Lightstand (aka my mum) to hand-hold my SB900 strobe unit behind the makeshift light modifier.Quirky

With everything in place, I just chatted with my subjects, asked them to try on different expressions, and waited until the moment it clicked.

Or at least, until the moment I thought it did. :)

So here are some of the results for your viewing pleasure.The Little AngelTwisty

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The Wandering Photographer

August 19th, 2009

Today is my good friend Dan’s birthday!

Soon, Dan is about to begin a new chapter in a rather well-lived life. After much soul-searching, he has decided to leave the UAE to travel the world hunting for the light. He has decided to combine his travel dreams with a jump into the world of professional photography. And more power to him.

He is passionate, dedicated to his art, has a great eye and a thirst for new experiences.

And he has a number of projects up his sleeve.

I dare say he’ll go far.

That said, it saddens me to see him go. I’m going to miss him. But I’m very proud of him for having the faith to make the leap where many others in his position otherwise wouldn’t, and for having the courage and conviction to follow his dreams.

In view of his imminent departure, he’s set up a photo blog on which you can track his adventures. Check it out here.

You can also see Dan’s fantastic work on his website. And for a behind-the-scenes look at some of his work, check here.

On that note, I’m off to celebrate with Dan.

Happy birthday buddy!

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Prince of Arabia

August 17th, 2009

The PrinceA short while ago, I bribed a very good friend of mine into using him as a guinea pig in a lighting experiment.

I enticed him into the project by dangling a few swords from my collection in front of him, and letting him take swings with them.

The Prince's New ToyThe Prince at PlayThe Prince Prepares to Attack

With all my fiddling with knobs, buttons and settings, he proved a very patient subject – that is when he wasn’t taking swings at me with five feet of sharp 200-year-old steel. ;)

I learnt quite a lot from that session and I’m very grateful to him for it.The Prince Approaches

The lighting setup? One SB900 in an Ezybox Lastolite softbox and an SB800 with its diffuser attached and stood on my cats’ scratch post.

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Posted in Portraits | Comments (6)

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