digital photography

Back to some Photography – Seeing Beyond the Surface

I have missed what my blogging friends have been up to for about the last 7-days.

However, I was not on some fantastic holiday – I wish…oh well, let’s get back to some photography.

SANDSTONE ON CONCRETE – PHOTOGRAPHY

Title:  "SANDSTONE ON CONCRETE, No1020673, Edit C." Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved. Penang, Malaysia.

Title: “SANDSTONE ON CONCRETE, No1020673, Edit C.”
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.

From time-to-time, I design a photograph that I truly believe fits in my TOP 25 PHOTOS I’VE EVER CREATED List.  I did not think this photograph would be on the list when I took it.  After all, it is just a rock on concrete.  However, when I saw the close-up view of this; and I saw the contrast in light, and texture, and cracky-designs; and how I unconsciously arranged the sandstone and camera so that the thin point of the sandstone pointed toward the lower right-corner; and the repeating texture of the background throughout; and how there is a black & white and a color element in this one photograph; and how the eye directly is brought to the colorful sandstone as it stands out against the rough concrete; and how the long-side of the sandstone magically creates an imaginary diagonal line that goes from the upper left-hand corner, to the bottom right-hand corner.  With all of these things happening in this photograph, it quickly was mentally added to my TOP 25 List.

Some people may just see a rock. Au contraire! I see beauty in the design.

Now…what else…?

 

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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!’

“THE 44” – A new Photography Collection with a Purpose…AND a TIGHT Timeline!

Well, March 2nd was one of those landmark days for me, it was my 44th Birthday. Yeap…double 4’s!

I was wondering what exciting idea I could come up with on this day, and at about 11AM, I thought, “Ah Ha!” One of those “Ah Ha” moments: I’ll put together a new photograph collection, but it had to follow rules.

1: All Images MUST be made on the 2nd of March.
2: All images MUST be edited and ready to be published on-line, by Midnight.
3: All images MUST be good – not just snapshots.
4: All images MUST be macro, and also still life / table-top photography.

This proved to be more taxing and difficult than I thought, but I decided to do it, so I HAD TO do it!

Any other “Spondies” out there? Well, you will certainly understand the next statement…

By 1PM, I was already ready for 100mg of Celebrex (or Tramadol, or Diclofenac, or…you fill in the blank with your favorite pain killer!) But ‘bring on the pain‘ – I told myself that I was going to do this: I only turn 44 once, and this was a project that I must complete on time.

Over all, work on the photos ran quite smoothly, from subject to subject. I started out with water-splash-cosmetics photographs of several ESTEE LAUDER Nail Lacquer containers. I then moved on to rock salt; and then sugar, and then an egg, and then the worst thing for a Photographer to run into, came head-on and hit me…I was stuck!  The BIG BLACK HOLE of ‘No Ideas!’  A ‘Mind-Meld’ with an earthworm!  The Hypercane of Nothingness!  Shall I go on…I had nothing in mind.

However, I needed 44 images, and they must follow certain stipulations…

Well, what I discovered was that it was not as easy as I thought it would be; in fact, it was quite challenging because my ‘idea-train’ got derailed.

By 6PM, I was running out of ideas, and I still had 8 photographs to fill the 44-photo prescription for this, “THE 44” collection.  What’s a Photographer supposed to do when this happens?

Instead of dwelling on what I could not think of, I went onto the second task, “minor editing” and resizing. Why “minor editing”?  Because I could not spend the time that I normally spend on a single image.  I had 44 images to view, scrutinize and then edit all before midnight.  Thus, I went into the next task knowing that each image would get only “minor editing” with minimal time spent on each image.

Rule are rules!

By 10PM, the editing of the images I had, was completed. The resizing was also completed. However, I was still stuck! I was still short of 8 photographs.

But then I got very lucky: My youngest daughter was pondering my predicament and had an idea. My mind was cloudy but she was thinking clearly: She suggested that I just go around the house and find “things” to shoot. And that was all I needed to get going again. The solution was easy, but when your mind is cloudy, sometimes the solution that sits right in front of you remains hidden until someone helps you find “a way!”

“Thanks Jenan!!!” ;^ )

Within a matter of 20 minutes I had at least 10 decent photographs in the “can”! I even had a few moments (in between shooting), to watch some of the “Samurai” special on the HISTORY Channel! Awesome!

By 10:30PM I had the final images uploaded to the computer and the editing and resizing began.

Finally, by 11:55 (maybe 57), I had 46 images completed for “THE 44” Photography Collection. COOL! 44 and 2 to spare.

SUCCESS! I was able to follow all my self-imposed rules and complete the project with a couple minutes to spare.

Today (March 3rd), I was busy in the morning and early afternoon with a funeral, a close family friend passed away. And now, at 5PM, I’m about ready to add the 44 photographs of the project, to this journal entry.

Remember that there is no one subject in this Collection. The main focus of this, “THE 44” Collection was to stick to the rules I imposed on it, and also, to complete the project on time. And perhaps most of all, to do something meaningful for myself on my birthday.

I hope you enjoy seeing these photographs.

Photo Nomenclature: “Collection Name + Photograph Number out of 44”
Photo Descriptions are found below each image.

THE 44 - 1 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 1 of 44”
Photo Subject: Suit jacket.

THE 44 - 2 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 2 of 44”
Photo Subject: Yellow belt fabric.

THE 44 - 3 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 3 of 44”
Photo Subject: Various scarf material.

THE 44 - 4 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 4 of 44”
Photo Subject: Various scarf material.

THE 44 - 5 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 5 of 44”
Photo Subject: Wood.

THE 44 - 6 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 6 of 44”
Photo Subject: MAYSA’ – my cat!

THE 44 - 7 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 7 of 44”
Photo Subject: Cat fur.

THE 44 - 8 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 8 of 44”
Photo Subject: Curtain fabric.

THE 44 - 9 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 9 of 44”
Photo Subject: ESTEE LAUDER Eye Shadow.

THE 44 - 10 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 10 of 44”
Photo Subject: ESTEE LAUDER Eye Shadow.

THE 44 - 11 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 11 of 44”
Photo Subject: Egg on CUTCO Fork.

Note: This is one of the last images I did before
I started getting stuck, and I guess, in the process
started to get a little “demented” – I was thinking:
What if I stabbed a AAA-Sized Egg with a very
sharp object – what would that look like
?”
LOLOL!!!
Actually, this was one of the toughest images
to photograph. Silver, metallic objects are so
fantastically difficult to photograph, but this is
essentially how it should look – with no reflections,
and the silver will really look “whitish”.
Cutlery is very cool!

THE 44 - 12 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 12 of 44”
Photo Subject: Cup of hot, black tea with steam,
and salt grains. Salt looks better than sugar, but
can be substituted in photos.

Side Note: LMAO!!! Right before the “tea shots”
I took some salt shots. I poured the salt
into this cup. I then poured the salt back
into the container. However, some salt remained
inside the cup. I quickly forgot about the salted cup
and poured the tea in it for this shot.
After the tea shots, I put the hot tea in the freezer
to cool down. Of course, I wanted to drink the tea!
Nevertheless, I had forgotten that the tea now
was wonderfully salt flavored!
BLAH!!!
I don’t recommend salt flavored tea to anyone.

THE 44 - 13 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 13 of 44”
Photo Subject: Hot tea being poured into a cup.

THE 44 - 14 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 14 of 44”
Photo Subject: This is what it looks like when salt
is sucked into a vacuum nozzle at 1/500th of a second.

THE 44 - 15 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 15 of 44”
Photo Subject: ESTEE LAUDER NAIL LACQUER and Salt
Crystals.

THE 44 - 16 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 16 of 44”
Photo Subject: Bouncing Salt.

THE 44 - 17 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 17 of 44”
Photo Subject: Bouncing Salt.

THE 44 - 18 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 18 of 44”
Photo Subject: Salt Still Life on Black.

THE 44 - 19 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 19 of 44”
Photo Subject: ESTEE LAUDER NAIL LACQUER (ELNL) on and in
the water.
Note: This subject is what I spent the most time
working on, the ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 20 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 20 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 21 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 21 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 22 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 22 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 23 of 44, OpB

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 23 of 44 OpB”
Photo Subject: Spiral Notebooks.

THE 44 - 24 of 44, Edit B

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 24 of 44, Edit B”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 25 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 25 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 26 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 26 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 27 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 27 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 28 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 28 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 29 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 29 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 30 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 30 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 31 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 31 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 32 of 44, Edit B

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 32 of 44, Edit B”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 33 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 33 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 34 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 34 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 35 of 44, Option B

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 35 of 44, OpB”
Photo Subject: Scarf material.

THE 44 - 36 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 36 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 37 of 44, Edit B

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 37 of 44, Edit B”
Photo Subject: ELNL Splash Photography.

THE 44 - 38 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 38 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL, Pure Color in B&W.

THE 44 - 39 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 39 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL, Pure Color in Color.

THE 44 - 40 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 40 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL, Pure Color in Color.

THE 44 - 41 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 41 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL, Pure Color in Color.
Red drop of NL and its shadow.

THE 44 - 42 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 42 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL, Pure Color in Color.

THE 44 - 43 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 43 of 44”
Photo Subject: Soap Bubbles.

THE 44 - 44 of 44

Photo Title: “THE 44 – 44 of 44”
Photo Subject: ELNL, Pure Color in Color.
Note: This may be titled “44”, but it is
the first image I took for this collection.

COLLECTION NOTE: A word about my lighting for anyone interested in gear. I attempted to use the same light source for all of the 44 images: I almost did that. I used my FAVORITE “Lighting Tool” – an 11-Year Old, 600 WATT, SYSTEMS IMAGING Studio Light with BOWENS Snoot. I think these lights were built to last forever! For the final 8 images, I needed some quick mobility, so I used my VIVITAR THYRISTER 2800 Strobe with a DIY Light Reflector.

SUPER RED HOT M&M!

SUPER HOT RED M&M, v1, Edit J-btl3

TITLE: “Super Red HOT M&M!”
GENRE: STUDIO STILL LIFE
CREATION DATE: 03 DEC 08
ARTIST / PHOTOGRAPHER: NAWFAL NUR
COMPANY: NAWFAL NUR PHOTOGRAPHY
OWNERSHIP: NAWFAL NUR
RIGHTS: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

PHOTO DESCRIPTION: A single, red MINI M&M (about 50% smaller than normal M&M’s), sitting atop a tablespoon full of VERY, VERY, VERY BURNING HOT Vietnamese Chilies. You can see how small they are, but so very potent. The good thing about these chilies is that you can eat them raw like this and they don’t have very many seeds! ;^) HOWEVER, they will make your teeth melt!!! LOLOL!!! I like to put these in Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice).

TECHNICAL DETAILS:

CAMERA: CANON POWERSHOT A620.
LIGHTING: METZ 32 Z2 STROBE (HAND HELD).
DIFFUSER: TESCO (LOLOL) HUGE SALAD BOWL.
SUPPORT: bogen 3001 Professional Tripod, bogen 3025 Head, and MANFROTTO #352 Ball & Socket Head.

SOFTWARE: PHOTOIMPACT X3.

PHOTO NOTES: I wanted to create an image with extreme subjects: The chilies are SUPER HOT; and, the Single M&M is SUPER SWEET. And, I wanted to get in really close to show how small these tiny chilies are. Also, I wanted to capture a still life with complementary color matching: Shades of green and red.

Side Note: MINI M&M’s taste NO DIFFERENT than regular sized M&M’s! Hahahahahahaha!!!!

REALLY RED ROSE, NO.1

STUDIO FLORA PHOTOGRAPHY

STUDIO FLORA PHOTOGRAPHY

“Life will bring you pain all by itself.  Your responsibility is to create joy.”
 – Milton Erickson, M.D.

BLADE BLUE HAND-667, No.1, Edit F

Blade Blue Hand, 667, No.1, Edit F, by Nawfal Nur

Blade Blue Hand, 667, No.1, Edit F, by Nawfal Nur

Title: “BLADE BLUE HAND, 667, No.1, Edit F”
Series: “BLUE HAND”
Number in Series: No. 1.
Genre: Abstract-Geometric-Expressionism
Mediums: Painting & Photography

Painter: Nawfal Nur
Photographer: Nawfal Nur
Art Direction: Nawfal Nur
Model: Nawfal Nur

Investment in Time:
* Prep Time for Equipment Set up: 1/2 Hour.
** Painting: 5 1/2 Hours.
*** Photography: 1/2 Hour.
**** Clean-up: 1 Hour.

Paint Supplies Used:
-1- Schmincke PRIMAcryl (Feinste Künstler-Acrylfarben).
-2- ZIG – KURECOLOR Permanent Alcohol based Ink.
-3- BUNCHO Water Colors.
-4- ALBRECHT DÜRER, Watercolour Pencils by FABER-CASTELL (8200 Series).
-5- Crayola “Brush Tips” Markers.
-6- Artline 70 High Performance Markers.
-7- MonAmi ACCU Liner Permanent Markers (Metallic Series).
-8- Pentel Permanent Markers (N850 Series).
-9- ESTĒE LAUDER Artist’s Eye Pencil – (01 SOFTSMUDGE BLACK).
-10- ESTĒE LAUDER Artist’s Lip Pencil-Crayon – (08 SPICE WRITER).

Camera:
CANON Powershot A620 with Modified Internal Flash Bounce Attachment. Aperture @ f/8.0 and Shutter Speed @ 1/80 sec. (I think…) ;^)

Lighting:
One 600-WATT SYSTEMS IMAGING Studio Flash with 2′ x 2′ BOWENS Softbox. MIRA Hydraulic Light Stands. Modeling on Cont., Power @ 1/16th Output. Distance to Subject, approx., 3-feet.

Additional Lighting or Lighting Aid Gear:
One 3′ x 3′ White Foam core bounce.

Support:
* bogen 3001 Professional Tripod.
** bogen 3025 head.
*** Manfrotto #352 Ball & Socket.
**** 3kg weight.

Computer Software:
* PhotoImpact X3.
————————-
As I mentioned in the text of the photo above, this will be my last photo addition to my Photostream at Flickr.

I have made a promise (to myself) to keep the “F-DEPRESSION” Series Images as close to the TOP of my Photostream as possible. Because with each new image addition, the older images get pushed deeper and deeper into the photostream. And that means, that these “F-DEPRESSION” photographs would eventually get lost in the masses of photos.

The ONLY way these images may help someone who is suffering from Depression, Anxiety or Chronic Pain is to see them, feel the shock value, read the text and GET HELP!!! And, that was the main reason I ventured into this very negative and self-expressing Photo & Text Series.

One of the key components of this type of work (body art), and one that I experienced firsthand, is that IT (the artwork) IS NOT LASTING!

Paint – Photograph – Wash – Rinse – Repeat the Wash & Rinse. Then, the painting is gone for ever! The final product, the actual artpiece is the Body Painted Photograph Portrait: The photograph – that is the lasting art work. The Painting is just part of the preparation! Get it!

This is NOT Airbrush, so the artwork is NOT smooth or finely detailed. I used Acrylic and Watercolours, along with Art Markers and applied them normally, and also with brush and artist’s knife. Some parts of the artwork are smooth and other textured. As the paints dry, the work cracks, so speed is important.

It was extremely painful for me to stand for that length of time – the arthritic A.S. types like myself usually can’t sit-stand-walk-or lie down for very long periods. However, I had to see if I could do it. After the completion of this work, it felt like someone had tortured me (kind of), like someone had been hitting the bottom of my feet with a metal ruler. If you have A.S., you may know that feeling: It’s No fun!!!

5 and 1/2 hours for one Right Arm! It’s the first work like this I’ve done. And, I can say that it was a really good experience and quite interesting to attempt painting oneself and working the camera. Strange feeling!

FROM NOW ON, PLEASE VISIT ME AT:

“BEHIND THE LENS!” (My Photography Journal where I’ve been writing, and where I’ve been exhibiting my Photography, since 2005).

smokephotographist.wordpress.com/

Nawfal Nur
“Behind the Lens!”
smokephotographist.wordpress.com/
27 Nov 2008

PS: “667” refers to what I ‘have seen’ termed as, “Neighbor of the Beast!” HOWEVER, my interpretation is different than probably the person who thought up this novel saying. Here’s how I see it:

“This world is Where the Wicked NEVER Rest, and the Righteous Struggle to just Stand their Ground!” Therefore, I am a ‘neighbor of the beast’ – evil that surrounds us all, daily – it is there, you don’t have to go far to find it.

Of course, perhaps it is much better to pretend that the world is a perfect place, so that you can sleep well at night, but this is just what people who don’t do anything to change it, want you to believe! Or, perhaps, it is what people who have it “made” want others to believe because they have all the resources available to them to ‘escape’ most of the evil that perpetuates itself daily, and around the world.

All you have to do is pick up a newspaper: There must be a lot of “evil” out there, or, the newspapers would NOT be so thick! News of Disasters, Crimes, Chaos, wars, famine, cruelty, and Injustice…this shit sells the News! I STOPPED reading the news a couple of years ago because it just perpetuates in a bad way, whatever stuff you got going on, that isn’t so good.

It is time to go…

Good night Moon!

Good night People!

pss: BTW: The “667” tattoo, I designed by computer software, but I may just have to ink myself with it one of these days!

MAYSA’ ,October 01, 2008,#1a

Maysa’
Cat Portraiture.

"MAYSA" by Nawfal Nur

"MAYSA" by Nawfal Nur

Photographed by Nawfal Nur

Formal Cat Portraiture: It is a skill just as much so as human portraiture. Maybe not as glamorous, of course, but perhaps more difficult. With humans, at least you can reason with the unruly model who had to get up too early for a photo shoot and she “just can’t do a damn thing with her hair!” Right. These types of issues can be smoothed out when reasoning with another human being.

Animals, well…they are a totally different ball of bee’s wax!

There is no reasoning with animals: They either do what you need them to do; OR, in most cases, they do whatever they damned well please!

And of course, this can be fun the first 50 times you request that they stand properly on the “mark” so you can take a good shot. On number 51, a patient Photographer begins to wish he had listened to his mother and become a weapons demolition expert, because that job would have been less stressful.

Meanwhile, back in the human studio, the photographer is going: “Oh yeah, Baby, that’s it! Right, just a little turn to your left, BEAUTIFUL! Awesome! You are looking HOT! Alright, we killed it!”

And, back at the animal photography studio, the Animal Portraitist is going: “Maysa’….Maysa’….MAYSA’ are you listening to me? Sit here…no…NO….NOOOOOOO, HERE….Ah, good! No….MAYSAAAAAA’, Get up here on the mark, no, that’s not the mark, that is some old cat food that you dropped two days ago, leave that alone, you stay here, MAYSA’! Are you going to cooperate?”

30-minutes later…

Maysa’! No…Please, just stay there. Ah, yes!!!!! OK, READY…….NOOOOOOOOO, DON’T JUMP OFF THAT!!!!!

45-minutes later…

After several cat food bribes, a lot of patience, 127 “Maysa’s”, 153 “Don’ts”, and 182 “No’s”, we accomplished a few good cat portraits.

Did I say that Animal Portraiture was a little tough, hahahahahahahaha!

Tip #1: “Use the Force!”
Tip #2: Prepare a mind calming mantra before you begin the photo session, and repeat it throughout the session.
Tip #3: Use Bribes with all subjects!
Tip #4: If you get too impatient, angry, upset, discombobulated, irate, silly-brained, or go stark raving loony-toons. then use the ‘ol standby, a tranquilizer gun…ON YOURSELF! It could be a lot of fun, it will make you feel all good all under, and your kitty subjects might just cooperate better if you are not so uptight!

There you have it! Another fine lesson in Cat Portraiture!

Good Luck! Stay Calm! And everyone will be happy.

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!

 

MY 150TH JOURNAL ENTRY AT "BEHIND the LENS!"

This is my third restart in writing “MY 150TH JOURNAL ENTRY AT ‘BEHIND the LENS!'”  With each rewrite, the topic has changed drastically.  In this third foray of writing this entry, I have decided to discuss subjects that are not very much interrelated.  Instead, to mark the illustriousness and portentousness of this event, I am hell bent on availing myself to the thesaurus in a Pecksniffian and pretentious mien that would be tantamount to a big’ol cumulus of paddling treddle. 

Now…enough of that nonsense.

At this point, I would like to, somewhat haphazardly, list of few things of interest (of interest to me, that is) that are in no way related in any way (pretty much non-related).  However, if they happen to be so, I hereby release myself from any fault; nevertheless by reading this blog entry you fully understand and take full responsibility for your actions, and hold me, Nawfal Nur, harmless of any ill effects, mind altering experiences, Alien abductions, or thinking that you saw Elvis at 7/11.

Where should I start…

MUSIC:

While you are enjoying this journal entry, please have a listen to the soothing sounds of my favorite Seattle String Philharmonic musician, Jeff Loomis, and conducted by the world renowned, and highly respected, Warrel Dane.  Oh I’m just mess’en with ya!  Here are some AWESOME solos from Jeff Loomis, guitarist extraordinaire of NEVERMORE!     http://www.nevermore.tv/

 

Solos by Jeff Loomis (NEVERMORE)

 

PHOTOGRAPHY QUOTATIONS – SOME OF MY FAVORITES:

 

“The idea that any photography can’t be personal is madness! … I see something; it goes through my eye, brain, heart, guts; I choose the subject. What could be more personal than that?” – Cornell Capa

 

“Pictures, regardless of how they are created and recreated, are intended to be looked at. This brings to the forefront not the technology of imaging, which of course is important, but rather what we might call the eyenology (seeing).” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” –Yousuf Karsh, Master Photographers – The World’s Great Photographers on their Art and Technique , Page: 125.

“A positive attitude can really make dreams come true – it did for me.” – David Bailey

 

 

MY FAVORITE CONTEMPORARY ACTRESS FROM NEBRASKA:

Marg Helgenberger, was born in Fremont, Nebraska [b. 16 Nov 1958].  Fremont is not too far from Lincoln, my hometown – 44 miles as the crow flies!  Marg is a beautiful and talented actress who plays Catherine Willows on CSI Las Vegas, and has been in scores of TV shows and several movies.  She is FABULOUS at 50! 

 

 

THE EERIEST THING I EVER LEARNED ABOUT MY PARENTS’ SCHOOL-YEARS:

My Mom attended school in Lincoln, NE, and my Dad attended school in Pocahontas, IA.  They both attended the typical Midwestern style schools of the 50’s, although my Mom’s school was considerably larger than my Dad’s school in rural Iowa.  Their classmates too, were basically the stereotypically students we think about from the 50’s, or have seen portrayed in movies and TV programs.  HOWEVER, among their classmates, both my Mom and Dad attended schools with individuals who were anything but stereotypical, and for that fact, unnaturally abnormal.  

They both went to school with notorious Serial Killers!  Bizarre right?  Yeah, I thought so too when I learned this little bit of trivia:  I immediately thought, “Wow, I’m glad that I exist!”

My Mom went to Junior and Senior High School with Charles Starkweather:

Charles Raymond Starkweather (November 25, 1938 – June 25, 1959) was a spree killer who murdered 11 victims in Nebraska and Wyoming during a road trip with his underage girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate. He became a national fascination in the USA, eventually inspiring the films The Sadist,Badlands, Starkweather, Murder in the Heartland , The Frighteners and Natural Born Killers. He also inspired the Bruce Springsteen song “Nebraska”, which Springsteen originally considered calling “Starkweather”.  [Source:  Wikipedia]

My Dad went to Senior High School with Robert Hansen (“From Baker to Butcher” – Robert C. Hansen, the Serial Killer, not the basketball player!)  

Hansen was born in Estherville, Iowa, and went to school in Pocahontas, IA.  He was in trouble with the law from early on including charges of arson and other illegal activities.  He eventually found himself in Alaska.  And of course, if you asked any of his neighbors, they would have said, “Oh, he was such a nice, quiet man.”  Yeah, Right!  Aren’t all Serial Killers like that.  His killing spree started in 1980, where he would hire prostitutes for services; and then, Hansen would fly them (he was a skilled small plane pilot) to his remote cabin in the freezing Alaskan wilderness, where he would do all kinds of unmentionable things to them.  If that wasn’t enough, he would set his victims free, only to hunt them down like animals.  We are talking about ONE SICK PUPPY HERE FOLKS!!!  He is infamously credited with 15-KNOWN murders, but there could be more.

Having both my parents going to school with psychopathic serial killers is one very weird coincidence, and it is pretty freaky too!

 

MY LATEST SPLASH PHOTOGRAPH: 

 

SPLASH-Purples, v1, Edit B-NP2

"SPLASH - PURPLES, v.1, Edit B"
© 2008 NAWFAL NUR
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

NEW “OLD” ANT SPECIES DISCOVERED IN AMAZON:

Martialis_heureka 

“This new species of blind, subterranean, predatory ant, Martialis heureka, was discovered in the Amazon by Christian Rabeling at the University of Texas at Austin. It belongs to the first new subfamily of living ants discovered since 1923, and is a descendant of one of the first ant lineages to evolve over 120 million years ago. – Photo Credit: Christian Rabeling, the University of Texas at Austin.”  [Source:  WildBiology.Com]

This ant is very tiny actually:  About 3mm long.  I don’t know, but I always wanted to believe that prehistoric ants were the size of Volkswagens…silly me…I guess I was wrong!

THE MOST FEROCIOUS CREATURE TO HAVE EVER LIVED ON EARTH (I mean, the Oceans!)

Megalodon

Artist’s Rendition of C. Megalodon. [artist’s name not listed, otherwise, credit would be given]

Megalodon means “Big Tooth” – We are talking teeth that were in the neighborhood of 18 cm long (or more), with serrated edges, and an endless supply of these death gripping prehistoric teeth.  The oldest remains of a C. Megalodon [Carcharodon megalodon] dates to 18 Million Years ago.  This predator ruled the seas from 18 Million to 1.5 Million years ago, and became extinct during the Pleistocene epoch.  This shark could grow more than 50 feet long.  It would hunt even the largest whales of its time, and according to some experts, it would disable the whales by severing the flippers first, leaving the whales virtually crippled in the water, and then C. Megalodon would go in for the kill.  To put C. Megalodon’s size (at around 50 to 60-tonnes) in perspective compared to say, the Great White Shark of today (at around 2,500 pounds), it would be like comparing a Rottweiler to a Chihuahua (roughly speaking).

Well, perhaps that is enough to round out this, my 150th Journal Entry.  I hope you enjoyed these topics.

Remember your Tripod!

Photographed by Nawfal Nur

Remember your Tripod!

You never know when the nighttime photography opportunity will arise. Keep your tripod in your car trunk.

Nighttime is my favorite time to see things for photos, but a tripod is essential…a good tripod.

Something that is more important for sharp images at nighttime, more important than high-priced glass (lenses) or a fancy camera, is a solid, heavy tripod.  A tripod that will keep your camera focusing on the same spot over long exposures.

For this shot, I used my SLIK ABLE – 300DX Tripod. It’s heavy, sturdy and easy to setup and adjust.  The center post on this tripod will also reverse for really low angle opportunities.

I also use a Bogan 3001 with a Manfrotto #352 Ball & Socket Head, but this one I usually use in my table-top studio.

So, next time you are out photographing in lowlight, throw in the tripod just in case you need it.

Good Luck!

Old Wood House at Night, v.2c, & Original

The bottom image is the original shot. The top image is the edited version. The top version is also the one the B&W image came from.

Photographed by Nawfal Nur

It is like Day & Night. Sometimes, you just have to work with the original to get something that you can be happy with.

You go out at nighttime, let’s say, and you see a scene, and it may not be ideal, or the circumstances may not be ideal, but you see potential. You grab your camera, you set it on your tripod, and you take the photograph. With limited time and working with the existing lighting, you take the shot: The “original photograph” is like the clay a potter works with to create a piece of art that is previsualized in the artist’s mind.

As a photographer and artist, you start working with the original image making the artwork come to life; it starts becoming the image you saw in your minds eye.

For me, I like this process, working with the original and then molding and shaping it until it becomes the image I saw in my minds eye, as I said, a work that I can be really happy with.

If I have a choice, I prefer to get the photograph as close to my vision as possible, with the original. However, this is not possible all the time.

This scene was photographed at around 11PM, and the only lighting was a single HPS (high pressure sodium lamp) street light, which for photographic purposes, is a very weak illumination source. Various other urban light pollution was around, but definitely not helping the photographic situation. What drew my attention to this scene was the texture of the materials in the house, the spookiness of the environment, and the possibilities I saw in my minds eye. That was enough for me to take the effort, and make the exposure.

Opportunities & Preparedness…

Yellow Line, by Nawfal Nur, All Rights Reserved

“Yellow Line”
From the “Distinctive Georgetown” Portfolio
Bishop Street, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
© 2008 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved

Opportunities & Preparedness…

Always being prepared, having your camera with you, actively seeking out photographs with your eyes wide open, and seeing things differently are some of the major keys to taking better, and more interesting photographs.

Earl Nightingale said many things that I always want to strive for, and here are a few snippets of those things:  ‘Study and Prepare Yourself…Your mind is your richest resource…Look at your work with NEW Eyes…Serve the customer better than anyone else serves the customer…

Earl also said:  “We become what we think about.”

J.B. Matthews wrote:  “Unless a person has trained himself for his chance, the chance will only make him rediculous, a great occasion is worth to a man exactly what his preparation enables him to make of it.”  I’m sure that Mr. Matthews meant all people in his statement (as Earl N., mentioned), and Matthews’ statement is indeed, very profound, and very humbling.     

This is why knowing as much about your field, whether it is photography, or computer science, or WHATEVER, that you are a first-class professional in your chosen field.  Also, that you are constantly educating yourself about your profession, keeping up with the times and surpassing your competition.

Special Note:  See…I wasn’t prepared just now, I lost all my tags and categories for some strange reason…I should have saved all first.  Even when you think you are ready, you may not be ready.

The following video link is of one of my favorite guitarists, and perhaps, one of the best guitarists in the world (at this point in time).  The video was not recorded in a studio, but rather, at the NAMM show/exhibition, so the audio quality is a bit off, but if you listen to the playing and observe the technique, you will soon see why I believe Jeff Loomis, of the band NEVERMORE, is one of the best players around.  I have mainly put this video up here, to demonstrate someone in the field of music, who I believe is a first-class, prepared, professional.  You can substitute anyone of your choice in this type of exercise.  Pick someone you know is skilled in their field, it can be your field or another one.  Just watching someone who is at the top of their game, pushes you a little (or a lot) more, to improve yourself.

 

 

Bane in the Face of Finding Happiness

Metaltocracy by Nawfal Nur

Metaltocracy
by Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved

“Conformity and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men and of the human frame,
A mechanized automaton.”
{Percy Bysshe Shelley – Source: Queen Mab, 1813}

“Truth is the bane of the Truthful.”
{Anon}