Norway: The Video Part 1

I admit.. This really took quite some time to finish this little clip. I planned to finish it already after I returned from my first trip from Norway. But what can I say… sometimes things just take longer than expected. And in some cases.. they take even longer.

Either way I got it done now. Nothing spectacular and not so entirely serious. I has become some sort of habit for me (not really a good one I have to say) to forget to turn off the time-lapse feature of my G9 ;-) But I can live with it.

I put this clip together last night and this time I opted for some background music/jingle. If it disturbs you, just turn down the volume.

And as the title suggest, there will be another clip coming. That’s going to be up in a future post and will only be… well, let’s save that for later.

I hope you like it and thanks for viewing.

Joe Cornish: A Video By Tim Parkin

I have been writing about Tim Parkin’s inspiring website/blog earlier on my blog and today he posted another interesting post on his site. A video in which one of my favorite landscape photographers, Joe Cornish, discusses the work of Peter Dombrovski.

Looking forward to more posts like this, as I think there’s not so much of landscape photographers video’s around. Please head over to Tim’s blog and check it out.

The Open Source Photographyguides Project

Just today I ran into a very interesting project (via David’s Blog) which I’m as a landscape photographer are very excited about, and I would like to share it with you. The Open-Source Photographyguides, initiated and organized by australian photographer Brent Pearson.

Related to the preparation of my trip to Cornwall earlier this year, I wrote how I use the internet and tools like Google Earth for planning a trip to an unknown location.

As useful as these tools are, the provided, or better found information is not always sufficient, especially for photographic purposes. It’s easy to find images of a certain area or location on Flickr, or to explore the area in Google Earth and simulate the light on the land (if the imagery is good enough) but then you still have to search for more information, often of very basic nature… like when would be a good time of year to be there, how to actually get there, what to be aware of and so on.

This is where the Open Source Photographyguides come in as they close this gap and provide much and detailed information on a certain location.

The idea of the project is that photographers provide information, example images, guides and so to areas they are familiar with. Here you can find locations all over the world the photographer, from Sweden to Antarctica and from Canada to New Zealand. For multiple areas are individual Blogs/Websites available with links to the individual guides. The guides itself are hosted/published on Google’s Knol, where you can also search for and browse the articles.

In these guides the authors provides background information on how-to get there, maps, location tips, what to take and more. These Knols are accompanied by stunning imagery from the authors, which gives you a even deeper knowledge and examples for the desired location.

In short, a lot of very helpful things when a planning a photoshooting in that desired area.

I’m very excited about this discovery, as it will help me in the future to find new and interesting locations as well as a lot background information. And the more photographers are contributing the more useful this will be.

For more information visit the website.

Some More Guest-Blogging

In between all the activity here on my blog with it’s ongoing re-design, name changing and the attempt to have holidays at the same time, I managed to write a little article for Martin’s blog at Kwerfeldein.de.

I introduced a little bit the Silver Efex Pro plugin which, with no doubt, has become my favorite plugin. I simply love it. It’s not a how to which I wrote, merely a little introduction into the software.

So, if you read Deutsch, I would like to invite you over to Martin’s blog and have a look at it.

As I have done with other articles, I will of course also post the article here in English also in the future.

Interview with Andrew Thatch

During the last summer I used the time to go out shooting as much as possible and did a few trips to Norway and a little around the county here. But with all the travels, I also wrote a couple of articles as a guest author for Martin’s blog Kwerfeldein.de in German language. One of those was an interview with web-friend and fellow Pixyblogger Andrew Thatch which I now present to you in it’s original English version:

Introduce yourself a little to my readers, where do you mainly work, how long are you now into photography?

Im a 45 year old English based photorapher. My images are taken all over the UK, i have no fixed area of Inspiration but im drawn to the long coastline of the UK. I have been taking photographs from about 17 years of age i studied photography at college in the mid 80s and worked for a time in a Commercial photographic studio. i had a 15 year break from all types of photography in the 90s untill i got a digital SLR a Nikon D70 in 2004. I now use a D700.

On your blog you feature your landscape photography. Is this your main focus,?

Yes its the area of photography i love the most. Its going out and being alone in the landscape i like the most.

Talking about being in the landscape… How do you prepare for shootings? Do you go location scouting, or do you visit locations that you are familiar with? Do you do longer travels?

One of the first things that happens is i see an image from another photographer of a spot ive not seen before. Could be on the internet or a book or magazine. I’ll hunt down the spot on Google Earth and plan from there. Google Earth has to be the biggest planning tool i have. I’ll look for hours along the coastline with it. I’ll try to plan for a day trip to get to the spot i like. Places like the Northumberland coast or the Lake District I’ll stop for the week.

Your work is a very interesting in terms of post processing. Where have you learned that, or where did you get the inspiration?

I learned all i know from books and the internet. I find the best way of learning is by just doing it yourself and making lots of mistakes and learning from them. The way i work is to make them as much like ive done them in the darkroom as i can. Inspiration comes from looking at great B&W photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Minor White. I love dark and moody B&W so i try to work towards that in my post processing.

Which tools do you use for that? I guess it’s Photoshop and another RAW processor?

I use three main programs. Lightroom, CS3 and Photomatix.

On one of your latest images you used an infra red filter. I myself am very interested in using filters. What other filters do you use?

Thats the one i use the most, i have some ND filters but thats it really.

Who is your favorite photographer?

It has to be Ansel Adams i just love the whole way he works, also like Walker Evans, Minor White, Edward Weston.

We basically have “met” through Twitter and here on Pixyblog. What kind of role do social networks have for you as a photographer. I also noticed that you also launched blog on blogspot. How important is the blogging thing for you?

I think the Internet has been life changing not just for me but alot of other photographers. My photographs have been seen by far more people than would have happened 20 years ago. As for Blogging its an important tool in motivating me to go out and take images as i feel the need to post something at least once a week. Its also a great way to meet new photographers and share ideas.

What are your goals for the future?

To get my photographs seen by more people, the internet is great for that. And to get a project started im thinking about which is to take photos of the structures that are disappearing around the English coastline, like piers for instance.

Thanks a lot for taking your time for this interview.

Making B&W Prints

Recently I was writing here on my new fascination for Black&White images and the announcement for my logo-competition, where the price is just such a B&W print.

The other day I was visiting my friend Kai again to make a few more prints for myself, and man are these prints beautiful! I got me some nice frames from an Swedish interior decoration store and prepared some of my images to fill them.

The prints are made on a very thick paper and they look absolutely exquisite. Still I’m more fascinated about the B&W conversion than before. Interestingly they make think a lot more about the way I post-process them. Usually, I have processed most of my colour images in roughly 15min, but on those images I spent a lot more time. I get really picky when processing those images.

Having them as a print, and seeing them in a frame is absolutely wonderful, and I would recommend to anyone to print his/her own pictures. It’s like the reward for hours of work and passion.

On a side note (of course a little shameless self-promotion) I would like to tell you that these prints also would be for sale. Stay tuned a little while, there will be some updates here on the site in the near future.

Abandoning colour!?

I admit the title of this little write-up is surely a little provocating but today I would like to share a very intense, if not game changing experience for me that I had a few days ago.

As a little background information you should know, that for the longest time I always admired the beauty of black and white landscape photography. I always enjoyed Richards and Andrews work for example. I tried a few myself but never got a nearly satisfying and artistic result. Richard already tipped me off to the Silver Efex Pro plugin which he is using but somehow I never got around playing with it.

Back to the real story…

I went to meet my friend and photographer Kai Tikkonen to make a few prints of mine in his studio. When I arrived he was working on an image using the exact same plugin. Of course I immediately had to try it myself. With his darkroom experience and his exquisite taste Kai showed how to achieve a good B&W conversion. And man what could say…the print blew my mind! We printed it on a very thick Tecco high-quality paper and framed it nicely with a beautiful paasepartout. Couldn’t be more beautiful. I was amazed how much bigger the impact of the B&W print was. I had it at home a few days and couldn’t stop looking at it. Did I mention I would also sell those?

Afferwards we converted a few more images of mine (which I intended as a colour image) and printed them. When comparing the the colour and B&W versions of the images, I enjoyed much more the depth of the B&W’s.

At home I immediately downloaded the plugin myself and started to learn how to use it. While I’m still learning on how to get more familar with the software, I have more and more the feeling, that I start to prefer the B&W versions of my images the more I work with it. I enjoy their depth, the timelessness and their sheer elegance.

Will I now abandon colour completely? Of course not, but I have the feeling you are going to see a lot, lot more B&W’s here on my blog as I dig deeper into that.

So, please stay tuned for upcoming updates on my blog. The first shot should be up during this week.

PS: This post is also a little experiment, as we are trying some changes in Pixyblog’s API and this post is entirely made on the iPhone using WriteRoom and iBlogger.