Sunday, December 24, 2017

Five in one

  When I started photography for more than ten years ago, I was kind of a purist, only straight out from the camera images would do. As time went by I understood that small tweaks in post might lift up the image a bit, so I started to use regularly software to enhance my images. Just a little contrast and saturation tweaks, nothing major. Then I got my first serious tool, Nikon Capture NX, and I learned to use curves, brush tool etc. Eventually there came an update, Capture NX2, which was even better. All of this, only to make images a thad better, not just giving the camera the last word in how my images should look. I still think that the best way to shoot is to make the image ready in camera as far as possible. But there is only so much you can accomplish with hardware, and to be honest, I love to play with images on computer. It's just wonderful to see how much you can do to an image afterwards. Sometimes I have a vision before I press the camera shutter release and I'll process my image according this previsualization , but sometimes I just play around with software, testing and trying what I like. Lately a big help has been ON1 Effects 10, which I use mainly for portraits and urbex images, but sometimes for landscapes and other. It's just amazing what those ready to go filters can do to my images. I've come long way, from being happy with images straight out of camera, to using filter software to enhance my images. During these years I've had a few attempts even in image manipulation, or what I guess people would call composites. For example, from time to time I've had a situation when a person is missing from a group shot, and I did have to shoot him separately and paste the person in to the group shot in post. For these purposes I've used a program called GIMP. A wonderful tool (and it's free!), but a bit difficult to use IMHO. So just to make things more interesting and hopefully easier when it comes to manipulating images, a couple days ago I acquired a software called Affinity Photo. My first task was to finish an image, or five to be precise, I made in October, a simple small family portrait. The images were made with one speedlight and a snoot. All subjects were sat on a chair and shot separately. The challenge was to stitch them all in to one image. I did one version on a laptop and Gimp, but the results where not as good as I wanted, so I decided I'll wait to be back at my desktop computer. Gimp is good, but for my skill level it just took too much time to figure out how to get all the tools to work precisely. My decision was to give the project a break. Yesterday I was back in business, and this time with Affinity photo. It took I while to figure it out, but with the help of some video tutorials I finally manged to "glue" the images together. This project just fed my appetite, so maybe in the future you'll see some more composites, realistic or unrealistic.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Steampunk / fantasy portrait

  Felt that I need a portrait shoot yesterday, so I asked my spouse if she could model for me. You really don't need much for a portrait shoot, but I wanted to do a bit of a fantasy / steampunk kind of a shoot. An old cap that I'm still using sometimes, funny welding glasses, a scarf and then of course some extra props like an axe, white globe, old keys etc. and there you go, your model has been transformed to the hero you need for your shoot.
  For lighting I  used mainly one flashgun from the camera right, shot through a softbox, and a white reflector camera left to fill in a little. In a couple of images we had a flashgun inside the globe as well. Here's the results. You can make up the stiry by your self. Enjoy...

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Urbex in Potpican

  Decided to have a small urbex adventure today. Had two choices, to explore a completely new place or to go to a spot where I had already been before, but where I didn't have the chance to finish my exploring. I chose the second one. This building is an abandoned coal mining facility in Potpican. Don't have more details for what purpose the building was built for, but it's definitely a cool place to visit. The light is extremely nice, and there is much of it because of the large windows, which are broken though. There's lots of staircases and holes in the building and of course no railings so it's kind of wise to stay alert and watch your step when moving inside there. Not a good idea to stumble or back in to a pit in the floor and find your self 20 meters down, smashed on the ground. Enjoyed my time there, and I'll be back there for sure. And next time I'll try to have a model with me for a photo shoot. This time I had to be happy with my self as a model. Good that the camera has a 20 sec. timer in it.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

From door to door

  On Friday I had a few hours of free time, so I headed to old town Labin. My main target was the lovely wooden doors which are spread around the narrow alleys of this pictoresque hilltop town. There's just something about old worn out doors which make me want to make images of them. I guess it has to be the old, rustic and colorful look. New doors are not as cool. When you see an old door it just makes you wonder who've used the door during all the past years, what kind of events and stories it has "seen", and what's behind the door. When I entered the old town I was thinking that I'd love to use my 85 mm prime lens, but pretty soon I noticed that it's best to change to my 28-70 mm lens. In so many cases it's just impossible to back enough to make an image of the whole door, the streets are just too narrow. In many cases 35-50 was a good focal lenght, sometimes 28 mm, but 85 was just too long. So, when shooting narrow alleys and streets, I'd say that it's best to use a wide to normal zoom or then why not a 35 or 50 mm prime. Here's a couple of doors. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I left my friend at home!

  I try to carry my tripod with me as often as possible, but it's not possible always. And so often it happens that just when you need it you don't have it. However I would not like to loose a nice opportunity just because my three legged friend is not with me. Pump up the ISOs, stabilize the camera against a tree or ground, take a series of shots and hope that at least one frame is decently sharp, there's lots of good options. Here's a few images shot in situations I'd really needed a tripod, but it was at home.


Monday, November 6, 2017

From the path and outside

    Exploring new places and paths is always cool. Past weekend tried a new route, a nature path from Rabac to Labin. It all started with a nice small pond and a waterfall and continued up a narrow and steep walk up through woods. The path is well marked, so no fear of getting lost. The best things though, are so often off path, and so it was this time too. At one point I just couldn't resist the temptation to get aside from the common route, and I ended up finding this small waterfall and pond, plus old ruins. The sad part was that I was running out of time so I couldn't finish my work as I wanted. However, made a couple of clicks and you can always return. Just remember, it's not always smart to jump outside the marked path, and if you do remember to watch your step.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Photo shoot in Ripenda

  Keeping your eyes open as a photographer is a must. It's not allways maybe possible to haul around your camera, but when you see a nice place which perfectly would stand as a nice backdrop for a shoot, you can allways go back there for a shoot later, you just have to remember where that perfect spot is. A while ago I saw this nice piece of road, hidden inside an arch of trees or maybe I should call them bushes. Who knows? Just so perfect for a shoot! Of course the spot would be a perfect place for landscape only, but cos I love landscapes with people, I thought it would be nice to take a model there and just make it a portrait session.
  A simple setup with flash through a softbox, a little of ambient light and there you go. Just take a few props with you and you are ready to go. Of course you don't need flash always, and just before leaving the place we stumbled across this small field and a gate. The sun was shining through not too heavy clouds, maybe I would call it haze, and my flashgun and softbox was already packed in so I thought we'll go natural. Here's a few shots.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A lovely wedding

 Had the priviledge to attend a wedding last Saturday. This time I wasn't the official photographer, but more like a guest. Of course I carried my camera with me, but only one body, two lenses and a speedlight, so I was pretty lightly armed. When you are not the official photographer you can just enjoy the party, mingle around and snap a few images from time time, and that's nice. No matter if you are a guest or on "duty", few things remain the same when it comes to weddings, the Bride is beautiful, groom is handsome and you meet lots of new cool people. Really enjoyed the atmosphere and made a couple of new acquaintances.
  Even if I wasn't invited as a photog. to this wedding I just couldn't help my self and I had to steel the couple for a few minutes for a portrait. Just something very simple, backlit by setting sun, filled with one speedlight from the front and that's it. Then a little post processing.
  So congrats Sanja and Marko! And here follows two versions of  the five minute portrait session. Just love the expressions of the bride and the groom.

Friday, June 2, 2017


  Have spent a couple of days in Labin, Croatia. Just what a lovely place! The shiny Adriatic sea, good food, nice people... the list goes on. Just fell in love with the Istrian peninsula. When it comes to photography, there's just so much to shoot. The first evening I had the pleasure to stumble in to an abandoned pharmacy and to have a short urbex adventure. The old town of Labin is just gorgeous. Lots of doors, windows, walls, stones, colors, old, rustic... I guess you got it. And then there is the reptilian side. There should be a great number of species of snakes an such in Croatia. On Thursday I saw a green whipsnake, which is actually black. Tried to run after it for a shot or two. The poor critter didn't understand my "friendly" approach and it escaped. So no phototos of that. And one more thing, just imagine what portraiture you can do in this place. Just waiting...