available light

Abstract Light Streaks #419, Edit D, aka, Ganesha and My Thoughts on doing Photography Everyday

Title: “Abstract Light Streaks #419, Edit D, aka, Ganesha”.

Creation Date: 13 August 2019.

By: Nawfal Johnson.

Copyright 2019 Nawfal Johnson
All Rights Reserved
Penang, Malaysia
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☆ Here’s how You can Help Me Now! Click on the Following Link and Buy my Fine Art Photography in Gallery-Quality Prints and Canvas:

https://www.imagekind.com/Abstract-Light-Streaks-419-Edit-D-aka-Ganesha_art?imid=cf94931d-f103-4392-84ef-06266d80149c

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Photography Everyday?

“One question I get asked sometimes is, “Do I do photography everyday?””

“The simple answer is, ‘No’, I don’t photograph subjects everyday.

In fact, sometimes, one, two, or even three weeks may roll by between the actual process of photographing things.

I know, that is ‘BLASPHEMOUS’, some other Photographers may exclaim!

Well, here is my reasoning: IF, I photographed everyday, I would never get to the actual creation of Art Photographs that I do, and my photographic art pieces do take (considerable) time to complete.

I already have a backlog of RAW images that I need to edit and work with. Maybe other Photographers need to be photographing everyday, but I don’t! I already have enough RAW images I need to work with, and I can only do that if I am at my desk, working with those images on my TAB (or a computer) and doing the ACTUAL creative work to design images for my various series.

So, ‘No’ is the answer to that question. When I run low on RAW image files, or, if I just want to go take pictures, then, I grab my camera and hit the streets to find new subject matter. Nevertheless, I am always composing images in my mind, and photographing images in my mind as I walk around: It is a habit for me.

☆ I do always carry my camera with me, as that is PHOTOGRAPHY’S FIRST CARDINAL RULE: ‘ALWAYS HAVE YOUR CAMERA WITH YOU’!

However, that does not mean that I always take my camera out and capture photographs for nothing. In my opinion, a subject REALLY needs to POP-OUT at me and grab my attention, or look VERY interesting for me to compose a picture with my camera. It is just the way I am now, with my photography.


Subject:

#Poetry of Moving Lights

Photography Categories:

#Long-Exposure Photography, #Nighttime Photography, #Dancing Lights, #Ambidextrous Photography.

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Tags:
#chaotic, #abstruse, #action, #AMBIDEXTROUS, #black, #complex, #conceptual, #deep, #entangled, #explosively, #expressionism, #galaxy, #horror, #hypothetical, #ideal, #illuminati, #indefinite, #infinite, #intellectual, #lightstreaks666, #longexposure, #lowlight, #Malaysia, #mirrored, #Multidimensional, #MultiUniverse, #NawfalJohnson, #NIGHTMARE, #nighttimephotography, #nonconcrete, #orange, #OrderChaosControl, #outerspace, #Penang, #philosophical, #Physics, #Pollock, #Quantum, #quasars, #recondite, #red, #RorschachLightStreaksArt, #Serpentine, #Serpentis, #StarGate, #StephenKing, #Streetlights, #StringTheory, #symmetry, #theoretical, #transcendent, #transcendental, #unreal, #UrbanLightatNightPhotography, #urbantraffic, #white, #XXX, #yellow, #Poetry, #MasterofLight, #other, #theworldistotallyfuckedupbeyondallrepair, #Rorschach, #psychedelic, #DarthPlagueis, #Photography, #Poetry, #Dancing, #Dance, #Photography, photography, #diabolus, #devil, #evil, #Ganesha,

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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.

Tags: , , , , , ,

My Favorite Pen

Pilot V Sign Pen

If I can find this pen again, the V Sign Pilot Pen, I’ll have to buy a box of them.  Awesome and smooth flowing.  And, it has a clear window so you can see the ink level.

As far as the photo goes, it is hand-held 1/15 second, and using Image Stabilization setting 2, from a Panasonic DMC-LZ8 camera.  The only things I did to the original was “despeckle” and auto adjust levels to brighten up the color a little.

OK then….talk with you later.

ps:  I have always had difficulty adding photos directly from the WordPress dashboard.  

Adding photos from Flickr to my blog is VERY EASY.  “Blog This!” Boom!  Done!  Easy!

Working from the ‘Edit Post,’ and ‘Upload/Insert’ photo option, is a pain…IMHO!  

There is nothing that I can see (no instructions) where it says how to add photos into a blog post.  I only found out how to add a photo (today) by accident.  

Adding a photo to my Photo Gallery was easy. However, from that point, things are weird! It would be nice if there is a “?” next to the ‘Upload/Insert’ Photo option, so a popup comes up and explains how to insert a photo into the blog – but there is none.

By accident I found a way to add the photo to the blog entry. I went to the HTML Tab (from the editing page).  I then clicked to the Photo Gallery, accidentally right-clicked on the photo I just uploaded, and only then, did I see an option to copy the photo URL.  I did that, and then exited out of the gallery, and then hit the ‘IMG’ option (from the HTML Tab), entered the photo’s URL into the photo location, and then entered a photo description and clunk, the photo showed up in the blog! The image was finally added to the blog.

Fine. It worked. But was a source of frustration because the “Upload/Insert” Photo option seems a bit misleading. It appears to only UPLOAD photos. At this point, it’s totally up to the user to figure out what to do with the uploaded photos. Like I said, it was only by accident that I discovered that I needed to right-click on the image and copy the photo’s URL, so I could finally paste the image from the HTML Editing Tab, using the “img” command.

DAMN!!!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!

OK, maybe I’ll just stick to adding blog entries from Flickr – less frustration.

Maybe I’m the only one who has “issues” with this. And now that I know how to do it, it won’t be an issue, but while I didn’t know how to do it, it was a very ‘ARGH-Episode!’

Aurora Borealis over Ice, v1, Edit C – Small Colored Light Source Streaks Photography!

Aurora Borealis over Ice, v1, Edit C, originally uploaded by Nawfal Nur.

A small-scale, tabletop version of the Aurora Borealis. Green streaks of light shine and flare over a large cup of ice.

INGREDIENTS FOR THIS PHOTOGRAPH:  a.)  a tabletop, b.) dark room, c.) some sort of BLACK material for the background – I used a black plastic material, d.) sturdy tripod, e.) camera, f.) small light source(s) – I used penlights, g.) some sort of transparent colored material – gels, colored plastic, etc., h.) a large metal cup – I like the Zebra brand metal cups made in Thailand (very nice), i.) ice cubes filled to the top of the cup, j.) patience! 

This is an example of what you can do with long-exposures, small light sources, and some experimentation, in order to get colored light streaks in your photographs.

This is an “available” light photograph, meaning, that I used what small light sources were available to me, to create the streaks of green light during a long (1-second) shutter speed.

Don’t expect amazing results at first:  It may take a few (or 20) tries until you get good patterns that are pleasing, and enough streaks to fill the frame.

A flashlight (torchlight) with a colored bulb, or covered with colored transparent plastic material (gels), even powerful, colored LED lights may work well to create the special light necesary for this work.

Of course, “tripod” your camera and get it ready to go:  On this shot, I used a 1-Second shutter with an f/8.0 aperture.  

You may need to punch up the contrast and saturation of the streaks to make your final touches on the photograph:  I used Paint Shop Pro to saturate the colors, and this is a personal preference.

You don’t need to use green…use any color, use several colors, combine final images, GO CRAZY!

 

The 50th Merdeka, Vespa Scooter Convoy from Terengganu: A Photo-Essay of their Stop in Penang.

“The 50th Merdeka, Vespa Scooter Convoy from Terengganu: A Photo-Essay of their Stop in Penang.”

 

Story & Photos by Nawfal Nur

Copyright 2007

All Rights Reserved

 

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KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 94-BTL

Photo One: Yellow Scooter – Close-up of “vespa”, chrome trim and red light. The yellow paint was fairly dirty, so I took a tissue and wiped it down, and no one seemed to mind.  After all, the group had already traveled several hundred kilometers and a little dirt on the scooters would be natural.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 79-BTL

Photo Two: Orange Vespa with stormy sky in the background, Malaysian flag hanging down into the frame of this shot.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 83-BTL

Photo Three: KSK Member sitting on his Vespa and an array of other scooters around him.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 87-BTL

Photo Four: An elaborate eagle decoration on the front bumper of a Vespa scooter.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 112-BTL

Photo Five: A decorative hand-stamped chrome visor: The design is of a Vespa scooter.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 97-BTL

Photo Six: An Abstract shot of a pink Vespa’s front bumper and chrome horn covering.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 109-BTL

Photo Seven: An intimidating fixture of a Viking Warrior – Maybe it’s Thor!

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 96-BTL

Photo Eight: This is the oldest Vespa in the group: It is a circa., 1964 Vespa scooter, in almost perfect condition.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 101-BTL

Photo Nine: Just me adding a little “bling” to the shot, by using a ‘lens’ effect to highlight the Malaysian flag. The light falloff was expected; and this shot I took from standing in the first lane of traffic between short pauses in the zooming by of vehicles.

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© 2007 Nawfal Nur, All Rights Reserved

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Little did I know that my wife would be coming home with an interesting photography challenge for me. However, proved to be a much needed break from the monotony of the day, and an educational-cultural experience that I had not expected.

KSK (Kelab Skuter Klasik), from Kuala Terengganu, is a branch of the Classic Vespa Scooter Club, here in Malaysia. This group was on a Vespa Scooter Convoy, in honor of the 50th year of Malaysian Independence (Merdeka).

Their ride started on the 22nd of August and would finish up on the 31st of August. They traveled from Kuala Terengganu to various stops, and ended up in Penang on the 27th of August, I had the opportunity to take some photographs of their classic, Italian Vespas. Their next destination was somewhere in Kedah.

Now, take into consideration that my Penang dialect of the Malay language is kind of atrocious, so I was trying to communicate badly with my Penang dialect, with dudes who were speaking perfectly great Terengganu-Malay dialect – what a fantastic interaction we had!

Here’s how this whole photo-shoot came about: My wife was coming home from work and noticed a group of about 20 guys, milling around a colorful array of vintage Vespa motor scooters. She naturally knew that I would want to photograph their bikes, and get a story out of it – that’s just the way I am!

The group of riders were resting near our home, about a 10-minute walk away. They had all gathered in an empty parking lot, out front of an unscrupulous night club: It gets shut down about every year for violations of various laws – that scummy place is a true ‘Menace To Society!’ However, where there’s scum, there is filth, and the two seem to exist in a symbiosis that benefits both sides, and leaves the neighborhood in disgust, but that’s another story.

My wife arrived home and told me the story of the scooter riders from Terengganu. After hearing her ‘CLIFFS NOTES’ version, I knew I needed to drop what I was doing, grab a camera and race over to the gathering.

It was 7:00PM when I left the house and the light outside was transforming into a light tobacco color. I knew I had little time to take some shots with available light, which is naturally my preference for this type of work. Artificial light coming from the camera, when shooting objects that range in distance from near to far, it tends to wash out the nearby objects and leaves the distant subjects in a fog of darkness. With limited time and no way to gather additional lighting equipment, I had to make due with my camera with a built in flash.

When I approached the riders, they seemed a bit perplexed: I can imagine some were thinking, “Why is this Mat Salleh (White Guy), coming up to us and checking out our rides?

I noticed that there were more scooters than riders, so some people were missing from their group of some 20 bikes. Maybe some had already gone for a bite to eat. Nevertheless, about 12 members had stayed behind with their rides.

I started by giving the group, the traditional Muslim “Salaam”, and no matter where you go, no matter what your ethnicity, or color of skin, a Muslim can break the ice with another Muslim by giving a heart-felt “Assalaam’mualaikum!” (Meaning: “Peace Be Upon You!”)

After that, I began the conversation with “Apa Khabar?” (How are you?), and then things went from there. I ran into some bumps and hills along the conversational journey, but I was generally making “heads & tails” of what was being said.

I asked them if I could take some photographs, and they were obliging. It didn’t appear that they had made any announcements to the Press, or had any Public Relations Plan for their trip. I assumed their long trip from Kuala Terengganu to Penang, and then Kedah, was simply out of patriotism for Malaysia’s special 50th birthday celebration, and for comradery with other Vespa club members.

The club members comprised of a mixture of seasoned, older riders, and very enthusiastic younger men; I would estimate their ages from 25 to 60 years old. Not that “fine lines” or “deep crevices” in the facial skin is a major concern of most men, you can still get a general estimate of a man’s age by their degree of “face linage.”

The younger club members were riding their father’s motor scooters. And, I imagine, the fathers had made similar trips for previous Merdeka Day celebrations. The scooters they were riding, were from the years 1964 to 1979. I’m sure that some of the club members were considerably younger than the older Vespas in their convoy.

Each bike had some elaborate decoration on it, along with one or more Malaysian flags (Jalur Gemilang), and were fastened somewhere on the handlebars or the back ends of the scooters. Each scooter, I noticed, was equipped with a spare tire, a few tools, bottles of water and odds & ends that may be necessary for a long trip.

By the time the chit-chat was over, and I had received their permission to take the shots, the sun was dropping behind the hills and it was already 7:10PM. I knew I was dangerously close to running out of usable ambient light, and I had to quickly pick a theme for this photo-essay, and then shoot as many shots as possible to cover the theme. If that wasn’t enough, to do it all in less than 30-minutes was a chore, but a pleasant one.

I chose to concentrate on the details of the antique Vespa scooters. And, coming from a Fine Art background and preferring that style, I decided to shoot this story in that way. Daylight was burning away fast and I didn’t want to depend too much on the flash in my camera, a very trusty and dependable Canon A620, that works fantastically in the studio for my Fine Art work, but not ideal for photojournalism. Nevertheless, it was the camera I had in my hands, and I was adjusting and adapting as I lost light.

The bikes were parked haphazardly in the parking lot, so I weaved in and out of the bikes looking for outstanding examples of Vespa craftsmanship, and handmade scooter accessories. There was a decorative eagle gracing the front bumper of one bike. A metal viking decoration on the front plate of another, and a hand stamped chrome visor with an outline of a scooter gracing the headlamp of another bike. It was a treasure trove of photographic goodies.

It wasn’t the most organized photo shoot I’ve been involved in, I have to admit that. All that I knew was that I had about 20 minutes to photograph. Plus, these guys weren’t paid models, so I didn’t want to take too much of their time; they were tired after a long, hot day’s ride and were still looking for a hotel where they could rest for the night.

Before it was time to “call the game due to darkness,” (See Note 1, below), I thought it may be nice to get a group shot of a few of the members with their scooters. The only suitable spot to line them up was on the sidewalk. That also meant that the only suitable spot to take photographs was from the middle of a very busy metropolitan roadway! It wasn’t the safest spot to plant myself for taking photographs, but I’m a bit crazy, and thought…”Why Not!

By this time, my wife had come back to observe the shoot: So, I put her to work!

She became the translator for me, to explain what I wanted from the members, and where to place the bikes. She also helped with the art direction: She’s multi-talented!

Yeah, OK! Technically, at this point, I should have been setting up some extra lighting: I’m a disgrace to “Strobists” everywhere! (See Note 2, below).

I knew that I should have a couple remote speedlights to get a decent group shot. But Hey! I was just trying to time traffic properly, to “safely” jump into the middle of the speedway for a few seconds; grab a shot, and then leap out of the way before getting run over by lunatic drivers. Attempting to set up strobes in the middle of the road seemed like lunacy to me, so I ditched that idea and just took a few shots with the tiny internal flash, and hoping for the best.

By 7:40PM, the sun had dropped out of sight behind the hills and the shooting was over.

We said our goodbyes to the members and wished them luck and safe journey for the rest of their convoy around North Malaysia. At that point, my wife and I were about to head home. It was sort of funny, as we were about to leave, one of the guys asked my wife, who I am in relationship to her. She explained that I was her husband. I guess, I just assumed they knew she was married to the crazy white-dude!

I spent the remainder of the evening getting the shots reviewed, edited, and then re-edited. I drafted a letter to a local newspaper, believing that this story would be a good Merdeka, local interest item. Links to the images were provided in the email to the Editor, so it would be easy for them to view the shots online, and at their leisure. I made it clear that if they did not reply to my correspondence, then I would be publishing the story and photographs to my Photography Journals (“Behind the Lens“). Sad to say….I didn’t hear anything from the Newspaper.

Well, their loss, I guess. I suppose if another newspaper or magazine wants to pick up this story, then that would be great – just contact me with details.

Otherwise, I’m just happy to know that I fulfilled what I felt was a “mission” to get this dedicated group of Vespa Club Members, some exposure about their historic, 50th Merdeka celebration, scooter convoy.

Note 1: An old Baseball ruling [started around 1930’s], where during doubleheaders, a daylight game could be stopped by the Umpire due to darkness, because the stadium lights weren’t allowed to be turned on during the daylight game. In the 1950’s, this ruling was relaxed.

Note 2: “Strobist” is a photography blog on professional lighting with Speedlites and other small flash units.

Photography Details:
Camera
: Canon A620
Place: Penang
Time: I only had about an half hour with them, from 7:10PM to 7:40PM. It started getting quite dark, so shooting conditions were NOT ideal. I had to use higher ISO settings and weak flash caused some problems (ARGH! ) However, under the circumstances, I did my best!
Software: Some retouching (reduce digital noise ) with Noiseware, and Lighting/Contrast adjustments with PhotoImpact 10.

MENARA MAXIS – Kuala Lumpur’s Built Environment

Menara MAXIS, by Nawfal Nur, 2003, All Rights Reserved

 

MENARA1
MAXIS, v.2
© 2003 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Photo Taken from Nikko Hotel

Chances are that if you travel to Kuala Lumpur, one of the first things that stands out are the Petronas Towers. You start seeing the towers from many miles away from the city (with clear skies). These towers are difficult to miss: They stand 452 meters (1,483 feet), with 88 floors, and a skybridge holds the two towers together at the 41st and 42nd floors.

When you stand outdoors in downtown Kuala Lumpur, many people, especially tourists will automatically be drawn to the Petronas Towers, ignoring, possibly, every other piece of architecture in the surrounding built environs.

If looking for a landmark to keep your bearings in Kuala Lumpur, the Towers make for a good indicator of where you are, and if you want to go to Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), just head in the direction of the tallest towers in the city.

Now with that all said, you may be thinking that this is yet another photograph of the “Towers”, and some other building just stepped in the way as I triggered the shutter button…Wrong! This is actually a photograph of the Menara Maxis (the cool looking building in the foreground).

I purposely took the photograph to position the Towers in the background. This perspective is unusual as the Petronas Towers are typically the center of attention in Kuala Lumpur architecture photography. This composition may seem blasphemous to some; but
sometimes, rules of composition are meant to be broken, or at least, experimented with.

In this photograph, the Towers are put to work as a backdrop for the building in front, the Menara Maxis. The over all architectural designs, the lighting styles, the size differentials, and the flow of lines are different enough between the two structures (the Petronas Towers being two structures, but spoke of as one whole building here), and these design characteristics keep them visually separated without needing to blur (by camera or software) the Towers in the background.

The composition is made whole with foreground and background. The cropping is kept close and vertically panoramic, thus forcing the viewer’s attention on these structures only. This compo-cropping strategy may also create an illusion, making the buildings appear impressively tall – even though they are impressive and tall anyway.

Though dwarfed by the Petronas Towers, the Menara Maxis is quite an imposing building on its own, standing at 212 meters (696 feet) tall, and with 49 floors. The architect of the building was Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates, and construction finished in 1998. The Menara Maxis is a stunning building in daylight, but even more interesting flooded by a sea of illumination at nighttime.

I think the Menara Maxis is a really super design and great addition to the Kuala Lumpur skyline.


1Menara means Tower.

 

Saltie in the Spotlight!

Salticidae - TR

“Salticidae – TR”
© 2007 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved
Subject: Jumping Spider
Family: Salticidae
Size: Approx. 6mm
Location: Malaysia, taken indoors.
Style: Macro Insect Stage-Glam Photography

This tiny Jumping Spider was photographed on the side of a shampoo bottle. These are fascinating creatures, much more entertaining than the typical, boring web weaving type of spider, who waits until something flies into their web before taking action. These guys are always on the go – totally proactive – looking for something to do, to eat, or curious about, well, almost anything. Salticidae is the largest spider family with more than 5,000 species worldwide. The name of the spider comes from the Latin, Salto, meaning to dance with pantomimic gestures, or to leap and jump. Sometimes, these spiders are called, “Salties“.

Apparently, Saltie males must prove themselves to any female Saltie they wish to hook-up with. They do this by doing a wild dance for the female spider and the female supposedly watches the male spider like a judge at the “So You Think You Can Dance” competition – the pressure is on for sure! First there was the US version of SYTYCD, and now there is one in Malaysia that just started. There are probably more franchises of this show airing around the globe. I think the Salties should have one too – maybe they are better dancers than their human counterparts, LMAO!

Their huge eyes help pinpoint food, which they are excellent at catching. Sometimes, I watch them stalk flies or ants and their kill rate is nearly 100% – they are perhaps what one may term, “natural born killers” – but they kill for food!

Jumping Spiders seem curious about anything that gets in their line-of-sight. This one, toward the end of the photo-shoot, actually got a little aggressive, and like a bolt, it quickly swung over a couple of inches off the shampoo bottle and tried attacking the spider it probably saw reflecting in the glass of the camera lens. What a silly spider!

These spiders use a fine silk thread like a safety line. This thread helps support them as they do acrobatic-jumping-insanity. If they miss their target, which wouldn’t be very often, they can pull themselves to safety by the thread. They are considered the bungee jumpers of the spider world.

As far as I understand, Salties have a special kind of natural hydralic system built into their bodies that give them their incredible jumping powers. “Their well developed internal hydralic system extends their limbs by altering the pressure of body fluid (blood) within them….Unlike almost all other spiders, they can quite easily climb on glass. This is because of the minute hairs and claws found on their feet, which grip imperfections in the glass.” [ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salticidae ]

Over all, an amazing family of spiders.

This was actually a trickier photo to take than it looks. These creatures don’t stick around for you to take their portraits all day long: They have things to do.

The goal was to put the spider in a spotlight, as if on stage. To do this, and being an avid believer in alternative “Available Lighting” – in my definition – that means, any “available light” that is at hand for me to use. At hand was my Mini Maglite®, which produces a wonderfully bright adjustable spot.

So, in one hand I had the Mini Maglite®, in the other hand, I had my camera. As the Saltie moved cautiously around the bottle to avoid the HUGE camera in its face, I also had to keep turning the bottle around, that is, until something caught its attention and he stopped (maybe a she, don’t know). Putting the shutter on Continuous Mode, and supporting my hand on a box to steady the camera hand, I hoped to capture some interesting, non-blurry shots. The EXIF data below shows the specs., for this shot. The distance between lens to subject was approximately less than 1-inch.

Shooting Data for Salticidae Photograph by Nawfal Nur.

 

 

Film or Digital?

Burnt out Car, v.5
Title: “Burnt-out Car, v.5”
Creation Date: 3 Mar 07
(c) 2007 Nawfal Nur

See Other Images from this Outing!

 

Film or Digital?” At this point, some people might say: “Who Cares!” And at that point, I guess I would have to say: “Well, it’s not so much that I care about it or want to argue either side; nevertheless, I may want to say something about what I have learned.”

If you want to read the “argument” (mainly pro-film) side of this well-tenderized debate, there’s a good thread at Lightstalkers.

Why not use both? I like that idea.

Often, I think a client may have something to say about whether a job is to be shot with film or digital. In this instant gratification world we live in, digital appears to be the winner. That’s not to say that you can’t jump back into the film-saddle again for personal work…if you want.

The other night, March 3rd to be exact, I decided to shoot some 35mm film.

The digital side of my brain was telling me: “Nawfal – you must be MAD…WHAT! Are you CRAZY…LOCO…GILA! Why do you want to be so ‘wild’? You know digital now…no need to risk so much by reverting back to film…NOoooooooooooo!” Well, it didn’t go exactly like that, but sort of.

Of course, the analog side of my brain was telling me, “Good Nawfal…you can do it, you shot film for years before you became so dependent on LCD screens to edit each shot and to do that nasty ‘chimping’ thing!

So, what did I decide to do?

I took my NIKON F out of my dehumidifier box, switched out the Nikkor 35-70mm zoom for my SIGMA 24mm f/2.8, and loaded up the camera with some Fuji Superia 200 ASA film.

To add to the difficulty factor, the power cell in my “F” was dead, so no metering…every exposure would be a guess . To top it off, I decided to go out for some nighttime shooting, just after 10PM.

OK!

Here are the circumstances of this shoot, summed up so far: I was shooting film with a 35+ year old camera with no active metering system, using a newer lens not specifically made for the Nikon F, and trying to rekindle my respect for film by shooting at night.

The only other pieces of equipment I took out were my tripod, a Bogan Pro 3001 with Manfrotto #352 Ball & Socket Head; and, a Vivitar 2800 Auto Thyristor flash, which is probably as old as my Nikon camera, but it works beautifully!

Finding subject matter was not the issue; once I was out and about, all kinds of ordinary subjects were popping out at me and just waiting for their photo to be taken.

It was that moment when I put my tripod down in front of the Burnt-out Car, that I began looking at the subject and the lighting and the environment, and realized the effect that digital photography has had on my photography: I had become complacent!

I had become nearly reliant on digital technology to instantly show me the results.

With digital photography, of course, I still have to think about the shot, but with analog, I REALLY have to think about the shot before I take it.

For the obvious reasons you have to meticullously consider all aspects of a photo session when shooting film. Film is not so cheap in the long run; and, waiting for the photo lab to process and print your photographs can make for a stressful day, especially after you have become accustomed to seeing your photos instantly on an LCD screen.

Well, the car was not going anywhere so I had the opportunity to carefully consider the exposure combinations. I experimented with aperture settings ranging from f/16 to f/2.8. Shutter Speeds varied as well, from 1 second to 2 minutes. Basically, each shot was an educated guesstimate.

I went through the 24 frames within a couple of hours, but the time seemed to move faster than that – I guess I was enjoying myself, getting familiar with photo equipment I had not used in years.

The next day, the film was dropped off at the photo lab; however, because I wanted the technician to take time inspecting the negatives, and only to make prints from “strong” looking frames, the process took a couple of hours.

21 of the 24 shots were printable. Of the 21 photographs, I really liked the results of six images, and four of these shots can be seen here. In terms of film usage, and considering that all the exposure settings were educated guesses, the percentage of shots that I “liked” is pretty good.

After this little exercise, I’ve realized a few things about myself, and in general, about the use of film for photography.

  1. Film and development can be a bit expensive compared to Flash or SD memory devices, that is, in the long run.
  2. Film cameras can last you decades of use without needing to upgrade; whereas, every two or three years digital technology seems to become quite dated and needing upgrades.
  3. Film cameras, such as my trusty Nikon F, can be used in ANY circumstance and without the need for batteries, wires, computers, or electricity.
  4. I can’t say that digital photography has made me a better photographer. I think that it has made me a more complacent photographer by depending on the technology a little too much. That’s not so good, but it’s not so bad either – it’s just a different way of photographing – perhaps digital has made me a little less instinctive in the ways of photography.
  5. Last, and I’m sure not least, is that no matter how hard I force the negative, slide, or printed photo into the floppy disk slot, there is no way in hell that they are going to show up on my computer screen, or on the WEB, without me first digitizing them. And let me add, there is no way I was going to get rid of those pesky dust marks without using photo editing software.

So, ho-hum! Film images still end up needing to be in digital format for their use in the digital world.

Nevertheless, if you are strictly a digital shooter, give a roll of film a try, that is, if you have a film camera around. The experience can be a real eye opener, and a pleasant one at that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clear the Stone of Leaves…

Dried Leaves on Stone, Edit B

 

Title: “Dried Leaves on Stone, Edit B”

Creation Date: 9 March 2007

Original Color Image Shot in 2006

 

Dried Leaves on Stone, Edit B,” is a very high contrast Black & White digital image, inspired by the opening lyrics of SLIPKNOT’s song, “Wait and Bleed“:

 

I’ve felt the hate rise up in me…
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves…
I wander out where you can’t see…
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed…

 

The EXtreme contrast of this image and the imagery itself reminded me of the opening of this song by Slipknot: They may not be everyone’s cup-of-tea, but hell, I like’em. They are a bit angry, a bit EXtreme and probably the best band to ever come out of Iowa. I hate disco and electro-noise and this is the antithesis of all of that. EXtreme Black & White for EXtreme words.

“The inspiration behind a lot of my work comes from wanting to express something within myself and usually associated with the things I love (or dislike) about life or have experienced. Some are metaphor, others more obvious. Music is big influence and of course emotion plays it’s part.” – Leith O’Malley – Artist