Month: December 2011

The Art Photo I Almost Lost

Rocks, No. 3608, Edit C, by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 2011.

Rocks, No. 3608, Edit C, by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 2011.

If, your computer starts acting “funny”, and you don’t have ALL your new photos backed up on external storage – do it, do it now!  I had worked on this photograph for some time, and then, yesterday, my computer started showing me the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death and Destruction!”  It took some trips to “Safe Mode” land and some registry fixing to get the computer half-way stable.

At least, I have been able to off-load all new photographs to external hard-drives.

I know that computer crashes are not usually predictable.  The key, I think, is to automatically save to external drives immediately.  I should NOT assume that the computer will start and continue to work, when I need it to.

9-SECONDS ONLY

“9-Seconds, v. 5, Edit C”

9-Seconds, v5, Edit C - v.5 Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur.  Original photograph created 3 Aug 2008.  The general idea behind this photograph was to capture a certain amount of time in one frame.  In this case, it was 9-Seconds.  9-Seconds Only.  The 9 shadow marks of the second hand movement shows the 9-seconds.

9-Seconds, v5, Edit C - v.5 Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Original photograph created 3 Aug 2008. The general idea behind this photograph was to capture a certain amount of time in one frame. In this case, it was 9-Seconds. 9-Seconds Only. The 9 shadow marks of the second-hand movement shows the 9-seconds.

MOTIVATIONS:

When photographs are created, one of the silent ingredients that go into the composition is shutter speed.  By looking at the photograph, we can kind of tell what the general shutter speed is.  A photo of a speeding car shown in stop-action may be photographed with a shutter speed above 1/250 second – give or take a stop here or there.  A low-light conditions photo, shot at ISO100, will likely have  a slower shutter speed, and depending on MANY VARIABLES, the shutter speed used could be anywhere from a half-second to several seconds.

The point I’m attempting to make is that without having access to EXIF data, the viewer really does not have a clear idea of the shutter speed used to capture a photograph.  And in many cases, most viewers don’t care to know the shutter speed.

WHAT MAKES “9-SECONDS” DIFFERENT?

What was needed for this photograph was to create an image where the subject was time itself.  In the case of this photograph, “9-Seconds”, the magic of time is illustrated by the movement of the seconds hand.  In a way, the viewer may become curious and count the shadowy second-hand lines.  The viewer becomes involved in the photo in this way.  One thing for sure, this photo was created using a 9-seconds shutter speed, give or take a few milliseconds.

This is what salt looks like when it bounces

“Salt Splash:  This is what salt looks like when it bounces.”

Copyright 2009 Nawfal Johnson Nur

Salt Splash:  This is what Salt Looks Like when it bounces, 2009 by Nawfal Johnson Nur

Salt Splash: This is what Salt Looks Like when it bounces, 2009 by Nawfal Johnson Nur

Trying BlogDesk Again – SUN Photo

“Hot Sun & Clouds, 13 Dec 2011”

HOT SUN & CLOUDS, 13 DEC 2011, BY NAWFAL JOHNSON NUR

HOT SUN & CLOUDS, 13 DEC 2011, BY NAWFAL JOHNSON NUR

“Hot Sun & Clouds, 13 Dec 2011”
Penang, Malaysia
Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur

This time, I’m using BlogDesk. (updated)  I mean, I attempted to use BD – no go!

I had wished BD had a few extra, useful icons at the top bar; and, I would like to see a choice of fonts available for composition.  Adding tags would be a useful feature too.  Just getting it to upload my blog entry would be nice.  Maybe I don’t have it set up correctly.

Nevertheless, if it is able to attach the blog entry photo to my home page, and, attach a thumbnail photo to the title of the blog, when publicized at Facebook, then I will probably just stick to BlogDesk…that is, until I change my mind on that. (updated) – it never did anything – would not upload my blog entry.  I used to be able to use BD.

On to another issue:

Rule number one about photographing the sun:  Never photograph the sun! LOLOL!  Well, if you are so inclined, then don’t look through the viewfinder to compose, and NEVER point your camera at the sun for very long.  BE CAREFUL!  You can damage your eyes and your camera – thus, I don’t recommend it.  Being the adventurous photographer, I don’t listen to my own good advice, and here (above) is my rendition of the sun on 13 Dec 2011.

UPDATE:
Well, BlogDesk was a bust also.  It had trouble uploading photos to WordPress.  I concede.  I will just use WordPress blog editor utility to compose my blog entries.  But, this is maddening nonetheless.

LSL Water Tank photo at Nighttime and Photo Blog Editors

LSL WATER TANK AT NIGHTTIME by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 10 Dec 2011

LSL WATER TANK AT NIGHTTIME by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 10 Dec 2011

What I discovered from my last blog entry:  Qumana does not seem to attach photos well to blog entries – attach as in to the front page of my blog; and, it does not seem to attach a thumbnail to Facebook publicized blog entries.

I was able to FINALLY set up Windows Live Writer (WLW); however, it was having a hell-of-a-time attaching photos to a new blog entry (within WLW) – very frustrating!

So, I’m back at WordPress using their publishing page to enter this in.

There are other blog editors – I’ll attempt BLOG-DESK next – it has worked in the past…to be continued…

This is a test – If this were a REAL Emergency

This is a test – If this were a REAL Emergency, IT WOULD PROBABLY ALREADY BE TOO LATE!

STAR, SWIRLS AND SHADOW AT NIGHTTIME, EDIT C, COPYRIGHT 2011 NAWFAL JOHNSON NUR, PENANG, MALAYSIA

"Star, Swirls & Shadow at Nighttime, Edit C," 10 Dec 2011, Penang, Malaysia, by Nawfal Johnson Nur

I have recently been using a blogging software called “Qumana blog manager.”  It is very easy to use and has good features.  I decided to use it over Windows Live Writer (WLW), which I have liked in the past.  The reason I did not continue using WLW is because when I attempted to set up my blog in WLW, you know, that long drawn out process where WLW attempts to find your blog and set it up so you can compose in the computer and publish to your blog…that step.  Well, WLW would get about 34% in the set up process, and then it would hang when it attempts to load images.  Qumana had NO issues during the set up phase.

My concern is that when publishing with Qumana, my photos are not showing up on my front page of my blog theme.  My photos are also not showing up as a thumbnail accompanying the title of my blog post, in Facebook.

Thus, I’m running this test with this entry:  I’m composing this blog entry in WordPress.  I have also uploaded and attached the file in WordPress.

Here is what I want to see:

  1. The photo above, showing up on the front page of my blog.
  2. The photo above, which will be publicized on my Facebook page, showing up next to the blog entry title.

Let’s see what happens…if it is a Qumana issue, then, ARGH!  It’s ease of use and friendly user options will not outweigh the fact of it not attaching photo files to my front page, or, not showing the thumbnail image on my publicized post at Facebook.  If your blog is mostly about photography, as mine is, then these ‘irritations’ are not acceptable.

My BEST Advice for Nighttime – Low-Light Photography

"My BEST Advice for Nighttime – Low-Light Photography"

ANSON ROAD AT NIGHTTIME, Edit B, 10 Dec 2011, Copyright Nawfal Johnson Nur

"Anson Road at Nighttime, Edit B"
10 Dec 2011
Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur

MOTIVATION:
Sometimes, I study the search terms that people use to get to my blog, "Behind the Lens," and then I attempt to write something useful to help out people who are searching for specific bits of advice.  In this particular case, someone had searched for "how to photograph at night".  Thus, I will mention my BEST advice for nighttime / low-light photography:  My advice to anyone wanting to photograph in near dark conditions, with only nighttime lighting (e.g. street lights, vehicle lights, etc.), is to use a tripod.  Nothing will mess with you more than unintentional movement of the camera during long exposures.  By ‘long exposures,’ I mean any shutter speed that is more than 1/15th second.  Maybe I’m not the steadiest shooter in the world, but I know that my heartbeat will certainly move the camera as blood pumps through my arms and hands.  Any movement during extended shutter times will create nice blurry photos.  A good, heavy, sturdy tripod will help create a steady platform for your camera.  So there you have it – Use a tripod is my BEST advice for nighttime and low-light photography.  My second best advice is experiment a lot.  My third best advice is shoot a lot.  My fourth best advice is try NOT to get hit by cars when taking photographs of traffic at nighttime.  I tend to set up shop in the street which has its own hazards. 

This is BEST Tree

This is BEST Tree, Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur

"This is BEST Tree"

10 Dec 2011
Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur

MOTIVATION:
It was nighttime.  I had my camera.  There was my favorite Penang tree.  I needed no other motivation.  This is a long exposure, about 20 seconds worth of time.

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Penang in December

"Penang in December"

10 Dec 2011
Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur

Motivations:
During a two hour wait, for which the reasons are not that important, I wanted to see what I might find to photograph.  This is a location very near Queensbay.  It was nearing mid-morning, so the ‘best light’ was fading and burning away.  I was going for a stereotypical postcard style scene…or something like that.  I actually waited for the two crows to fly into the scene.  The crows here in Penang are very aggressive.  If you wear sunglasses, be careful, as the crows are known to dive bomb your face attempting to steal your glasses.  In the background (way back there) is the Penang Bridge:  The bridge opened in 1985, and it spans over the water 8.4 miles (13.5km).

Currently, Penang Bridge handles 65,000 vehicles daily and has a capacity of handling 85,000 vehicles daily. It has been expanded from 4 lanes to 6 lanes to accommodate increasing traffic on the bridge.  (source:  wikipedia)

For anyone who has been stuck on the bridge during rush, I mean, crawl-hours, you would believe that 100,000 vehicles are going over the bridge daily.

Well, far away from the bustling traffic of the Penang Bridge is this mid-morning, tranquil, beach scene.

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RELAXING UNDER THE NIGHT SKY

Relaxing under the night sky

"Relaxing Under the Night Sky"

6 Dec 2011
Nighttime long-exposure photograph.
Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur 

Motivations:
I was outside already shooting the nighttime sky, and my assistants were ‘busy’ helping out, as you can see.  So, I thought I would capture about 30-seconds of their busy-ness.  The bright rectangular items in the photo are cell phone screens.