F11 a Photographic Museum in Happy Valley

F11 a Photographic Museum in Happy Valley in a restored Art Deco house

Art Deco house 

Art Deco house 

The museum  just opened with a Best in Show exhibition by legendary American photographer, Elliott Erwitt, who himself attend the launch. The exhibition is curated by the museum’s owner, Douglas So and  features over 50 original photographs from Erwitt’s collection.

Oversized Chinese made Leica replica 

Oversized Chinese made Leica replica 

The museum occupies a three-storey Art Deco ex-residential building, newly restored in Yuk Sau Street. 

If you don't know anything abou Erwitt’s career which spans more than 60 years and his collection just google it. If you come to the museum you can see a real great exhibition which includes some of the most renowned photographs of the 20th century. 

You'll have the opportunity to see images with political impact like the meeting  of Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushnev in Moscow as well as Jacqueline Kennedy at the funeral of her husband. You won't miss iconic images of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable.

At the same time as the Erwitt show is going there is a “Leica M3: 60th Anniversary” camera exhibition. So hurry and try to get an appointment for the visit at:  

www.f11.com

60 years of Leica M6

60 years of Leica M6

Rack it, spin it and wobble around

Let’s have a little fun and experiment with moving your camera. In essence we mostly intend to get a clear sharp, well composed and focused image. Going out and on intent messing up your shot as you move your camera or lens against all rulesThere are a number of ways to get different and quite pleasing effects with different techniques. 

The main thing you need to do  is setting your shutter speed to a longer exposure than you usual would do. That's the basis for starting, but getting some good effect takes practice, practice and lots of experimentation and on top luck, luck, luck.

Keeping the Camera still at a low shutter speed and zooming your lens at the same time will give you the zooming effect like this one.

Zooming with a 70 to 200mm lens from 200 to 70 at f2.8 with additional flash directed at her head

Zooming with a 70 to 200mm lens from 200 to 70 at f2.8 with additional flash directed at her head

As you want to capture only the zooming movement any side to side or up and down shake will impact the smoothness of the lines. If there is too much movement the shot will look too blurry. To eliminate this unwanted shakes use a tripod. Low Light will help as you are using longer shutter speeds which let more light into your camera. 

What shutter speed should you use? There is unfortunately no specific shutter speed that will work for all situations. Factors include levels of light, speed of zooming the lens etc. I mostly shoot at up to a second (or even a little longer) which is usually enough to zoom a lens from one end to another. Just experiment with different shutter speeds to see what works best.

Flash – and using it in adding light directed to a certain part of the image helps tremendous. You can do this with different light sources but the most common one is flash which should be directed just to some parts of the image. Restrain the flash light with flags to direct it for example to a face. You get what you see. Fire it during your long exposure a rear curtain mode and you can freeze part of the moving image.

Apart from zooming with your lens you can turn or I might say spin your whole camera to get the following effect. Working with an assistant who points the flash at the face got me this nice image.

Turning the whole camera if possible 360 degree at f 4.0 and having a flash fired at rear curtain can eventually produce something like this

Turning the whole camera if possible 360 degree at f 4.0 and having a flash fired at rear curtain can eventually produce something like this

Another technique which I usually apply on flowers or trees in a forest can work as well on other shots as you see but this is a rare lucky exception. The former named subjects are much more forgiving and the image is more pleasing. It works quite well in architecture shots at night I might say.

Moving my camera from the bottom to the top I got this lucky shot. Mostly as a bypassing truck turned on the corner and suddenly illuminated part of the wall with the dog which turned out to be pleasantly in focus.

Moving my camera from the bottom to the top I got this lucky shot. Mostly as a bypassing truck turned on the corner and suddenly illuminated part of the wall with the dog which turned out to be pleasantly in focus.

So get out, experiment and hopefully get some good results. I got about five pleasing images in my humble opinion out of one hundred taken. So as said in the beginning a lot of experimenting and luck.

Photo assignment drops of rain

Looking out of my window today it seemed to be a day of rain but this shouldn't stop anyone taking photographs. Instead, use the weather to your advantage to capture great raindrop patterns on windows from the comfort of your home, in a cosy coffee shop or out of windows of cars, busses and alike. 

You may not have noticed, but raindrops are not always the same on windows. If it's heavy rain the drops tend to be large and blobby after a short shower the droplets are much neater and the best sort to photograph. 

 

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Portrait time

A good friend is leaving Hanoi and he decided to get some last memories with portraits. As the weather and more over the light had been great we decided to take some images on Sunday morning. Perfect light made the portrait session an easy deal. Here some examples.


Photo assignment - Vertical Panorama

Everyone is familiar with the term and possibilities of a panorama image. Why not think out of the box and try to do a vertorama. What? A vertorama? What's that?

A vertorama is essential an image composed of two or more capture, joined together in image editing software, along a horizontal line. As our cameras are build in a rectangular format it is often hindering creative folk to illustrate the wide and tall nature of what they see. With the technique of stitching panoramas in different ways, especially vertically, everyone can change this and your viewers get an enhanced view of what you saw… like in a vertorama.


Rhineland - Culture


The old capital of Germany is Bonn and one of its parts is called Dransdorf. As Bonn has still some celebrities and a lot of them connected with the local custom of Carnival it was just a matter of time to get to know of them a little better.

The red bench

The red bench

There is a series of events - you could call them "Famous local heads just simple and private" who are invited and asked in a talk show manner by the president of the local carnival club Mr. Willi Baukhage. He invites his guests on a red bench donated by a local bank. 

Willi Baukhage enjoying the evening

Willi Baukhage enjoying the evening

I had the chance to take part at one of this events lately and he invited three interesting local community members who had music in common. A new music group who is intended to sing in the local dialect, a member of a nearly 40 years standing group who is famous as well in different cities and last but not least a character mostly acting as a clown.

the three evening guests together on stage

the three evening guests together on stage

All in all a very good performance with a lot of background information about local custom and stories about the performers. you can see some images and a little video here if interested.

Love, love, love

Love can be quite a challenge and even as Valentine’s Day is a long time gone and a long time to go I thought it a good theme, may be influenced by the cities I visited - especially here in Paris. I know some don’t celebrate Valentines day, or find such holidays rather cheesy, but I as stated in the beginning it is far away and I was  intrigued by different perspectives and takes on love. There will be certainly many different interpretations of this theme, from the traditional to the abstract.

For many of you, love might not be the romantic nature, but rather the connection between parent and child, or the bond between animals, or the smiles of strangers. So take the challenge and take your interpretation of love. 

 

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Number of the day

Another week, another challenge. Look for the number of the day. At least at the beginning of next month. Just take images which are grouped in numbers according to your shooting day. Easy for the first, second and third day of the month. Afterwards is getting quite difficult. 

 

 

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One cup of coffee ...

Eight windows if you crop it

Eight windows if you crop it

And on and on for thirty one just use some pencils, matchboxes or alike. 

Have fun! 

Photographic assignment three

There is a lot which can be achieved with post processing software, but why not trying to do something in a real world situation and still manipulating the image? There are some simple techniques especially with reflections. I didn't come up originally with the idea but read it in one of the many online magazines. Using windows, puddles and other shining objects as well as a piece of plexiglass can give you some great unexpected images. Just have a try and fun! 

 

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Through the glass

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Through a film negative

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through dirty plexiglass