Month: January 2009

Many Colors, v.1, Edit B

Many Colors, v.1, Edit B

ESTEE LAUDER Cosmetics Case and crayon shavings.

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 27 Jan 09, 12.52PM MYT.

This is a One-Light Setup: A technique of lighting that I prefer if possible.

I can fully respect Photographers who use a truckload of lighting gear to get a shot, to light and fill 15 people for an Ad Shot at a Bar, or something.  Nevertheless, when it is just for me, for my portfolio, and going Macro, NOT getting too complicated with lighting allows me to put a single light (or two lights) strategically where I need them to get the look I want.

I like graduated shadowy areas in my shots; the shadows give a certain amount of atmosphere to a shot making it have depth, show texture, and express the interest that I want.

For this shot, an ESTEE LAUDER Cosmetics Case is the main subject, and Crayola Crayon shavings in the foreground provide a colorful filler.

A single VIVITAR 2800 THYRISTER Flash (left of camera) was used with a DIY Light Modifier (Silver), and a single white Styrofoam board (opposite).

I’ve had this VIVITAR flash for YEARS…at least as long as I’ve lived in Malaysia, and that is 15-years. On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being “poor” and 5 being “OUTStanding!” – I’d give the 2800 a BIG 4.5!

.5 of a point taken off for NO Swivel.

The refresh rate on rechargeable batteries  is good and this flash unit is sensitive to my remote firing system…MUCH better than the Canon Speedlite I have, which seems to need much more battery power to trigger.  My Canon Speedlite works best with NON-rechargeable batteries.

My favorite small flash unit, however, is made by METZ! My 32-Z2 is my all-time favorite flash unit. Nevertheless, I made my DIY Flash Modifier specifically for the 2800 unit, the one used for this photograph.

Over all, I like this single, small setup for Macro, Still Life Photography: It sets up fast, easily transportable, low power to run and can be moved in and out quickly and effectively for good end results.

Happy Shooting!

And, to my Chinese friends and readers, “Gong Xi Fa Chi!” Happy New Year!

By the Way…If anyone wants to give me “Ang Pao” (Red Packet), then I will graciously and humbly accept, OK!

Devil Theory – New Favorite Song for Inspiration!

Inspiration of songs to get me to work on photography at a quicker pace. Well, if that is possible, and I believe it could be, then “Devil Theory” is probably the song that I will be playing a lot, to get me motivated to do some killer photographs.

Well, I have a new favorite song. Jeff Loomis has gone above and beyond with this one, a track from his solo album, “Zero Order Phase.” The song is called “Devil Theory” and it just blazes. The lead part is awesome, but what I really like is the ultra-low background / rhythm part. In the thread of the discussions on this song, it is mentioned that he has down-tuned the low string to a Bb! The low-notes sound unreal – totally awesome. The wonders of a 7-String guitar.

OK, so this isn’t totally a photo entry, but I thought I would give Jeff Loomis a few lines of credit for this amazing album, and awesome song!

This song will, indeed, be a tune played while composing new photographs – a very cool tune to inspire my creativity.

Of course inspiration is a very personal issue and different music inspires different people, but this is the genre that gets me moving and thinking.

High Key & High Contrast People, Edit B


High Key & High Contrast People, Edit B

High Key & High Contrast People, Edit B
High Key & High Contrast, B&W People Photography.

How to…

Well, I have added this two-photo frame to my Photostream (@ Flickr) because I was asked, recently, how I did my high key & high contrast people photos. I’m OK with sharing knowledge.

IF you are interested in this type of “High-K-C” photography, then you can always begin with using my method as your initial point and then find your style…that’s always best.

My Process:

Start out with a good color photograph.  Then, convert it anyway you wish to, to B&W.  I use PhotoImpact X3, implementing any native or 3rd Party filter (plugin) to convert to B&W.  I like OptikverveLabs Filters – such as “Satin Steel” (under PRESETS – B&W), to convert to a B&W image.  You will have many ways to adjust the Presets to get the look you want.

Go Here to get the Package (FREE):  http://optikvervelabs.com/

** Using the various levers to control Contrast, Brightness…choice to use Red, Blue, or Green filters brightness, Softness (increases brightness), and a number of secondary filters (the EFFECTS box), allows you a good range of ways to get that High Key and High Contrast Look. **

After the conversion – effects step, I usually adjust the high-mid-low tones in PhotoImpact to get the look I want from a “High K-C” Photo.

My final steps may be working with the Dodge & Soften Tools to clean up any “sharp” edges (where the tone transitions are not very gradual).

Well, there it is…I’ve told you one of the tools I use, sometimes, that I like for good effects.  I won’t tell you the exact settings I use because you should not carbon copy styles…this is where you challenge yourself to develop your own style, and simply what your eye tells you is cool.

Have a GREAT DAY!
Nawfal

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 15 Jan 09, 2.05PM MYT.

Maysa’, v.1



Maysa’, originally uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur.

Maysa’

Maysa’

Model – Maysa’
Cat Portraits.
Vivitar 2800
DETAILS of VIVITAR 2800:
# Manufactured Vivitar (Japan)
# Guide Number 24m at ASA 100
# Color temp 6000K
# Flash duration 1/2000 – 1/30,000 sec
# Recycle time .5 to 5 seconds
# Batteries 4 x AA 1.5v
# of flashes approx 450
# Bounce angles 0, 45, 60, 75, 90°
# Weight 9.4oz with batteries
# thyristor circuit
# auto check and off
# test button

Side Note: This is a great flash – very easy to work with and worked well in my DIY flash reflector. Maybe I’ll post an image of the reflector if it proves to be effective in further testing…keep posted.

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 14 Jan 09, 11.54AM MYT.

Maysa’, v.3



Maysa’, originally uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur.

Maysa’

Maysa’

Model (hahahaha) – Maysa’
Cat Portraits.
Vivitar 2800
DETAILS of VIVITAR 2800:
# Manufactured Vivitar (Japan)
# Guide Number 24m at ASA 100
# Color temp 6000K
# Flash duration 1/2000 – 1/30,000 sec
# Recycle time .5 to 5 seconds
# Batteries 4 x AA 1.5v
# of flashes approx 450
# Bounce angles 0, 45, 60, 75, 90°
# Weight 9.4oz with batteries
# thyristor circuit
# auto check and off
# test button

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 14 Jan 09, 11.55AM MYT.

Horsetail & Blue Sky

Horsetail & Blue Sky

I have no idea if this is really horsetail, but I don’t care, who cares, really…it looks like a horsetail, so there!

Feeling a little Grumpy, I guess!

But, just to show you what can be done with a little camera (A620) and very little post work:  Only contrast and some gamma adjustments were made in post production.

Photos concepts come from your head, not the camera – anyone can have a camera, and that does not mean they can make a photo to save themselves.  If you can conceptualize good photos before pulling the camera out, then you can use any type of camera to produce the final image (in many or most instances).  Better camera gear just means you have more options.  Little camera gear means you have to use your brains more to get cool shots!

Just to make this shot more difficult was that the wind was blowing about 20 MPH, and these weeds sway like a drunk’en sailor on the high-seas!

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 12 Jan 09, 1.03PM MYT.

ps:  With something that whips around like tall weeds, you need to find a way to control that – that is key to catching the subject without too much blur.  This shot was around 1/1600 sec, P Mode, f8, and Internal Flash maxed out at 1/500 sec.  Macro Mode.

BLUE & YELLOW DROPS

BLUE & YELLOW DROPS

Title: “Blue & Yellow Drops”
Creation Year: 2009
Drops and Paint in a Tub.

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 12 Jan 09, 11.39AM MYT.

Side Note: This is a pretty straight shot, very little PhotoImpact’ing (PhotoImpactX3), just boosted the contrast and saturation a little. I used the in-camera flash on the A620, on Macro, so had to crop out the negative space that happens when using flash in macro mode, but no big deal. Some specular highlight on left, but still details in highlight, so that is fine with me. Was happy not to fuss – want to try doing that more now, getting the photo by adjusting lighting and exposure better right off the bat; therefore, not so much fuss and time usage in post processing, which can EAT TIME like Godzilla on Steroids eating Tokyo! Have fun saving time! Get it right in camera if you can! Just be happy with your results.

OSK PLAZA ABSTRACTION

OSK PLAZA ABSTRACTION

Title: “OSK PLAZA ABSTRACTION”
Building: OSK PLAZA
Completion Year: 1984.
Floors: 24.
Location: Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Photo Year: 2009.

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 12 Jan 09, 11.20AM MYT.

Side Note: Make sure that if you are shooting architecture in the urban environment, that you DON’T BELIEVE that the names on the building are the names of the building! Did you catch that? The biggest name on this building is BANK OF CHINA, although, OSK is on the building as well, if you don’t know any better, or don’t do your research, you would believe it is the Bank of China Building, but it is NOT. It is the OSK PLAZA (I’ve also seen PLAZA OSK).

Good Luck!

PETRONAS TOWERS, v.3, Edit D

PETRONAS TOWERS, v.3, Edit D

PETRONAS TOWERS
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Creation Year: 2009

Vital Statistics:
Architects: Pelli Clarke Pelli
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Completion Date: 1998
Cost: $1.6 billion
Height: 1,483 feet
Stories: 88
Materials: Concrete, Steel
Facing Materials: Aluminum, Stainless Steel
Engineer(s): Thornton-Tomasetti and Ranhill Bersekutu