Monday, July 11, 2011

Wide Angles

DSC_2195 by Andrew de Souza
DSC_2195, a photo by Andrew de Souza on Flickr.

What do you see when you look at this picture?

It's hard to describe and certainly hard to capture on a camera.

What you'll see is that you're right on top of the water and that the view captures the detail right up to the bottom of the frame.

What's going on is that I'm using a wide angle lens. I've got a Nikon 10-24mm lens which is the widest lens you can get on a non-full frame camera.

So what's the deal?

Well most people want wider lenses to "get more in," or to zoom out more, you know, get more scenery, get a larger group, that kind of thing. And to be honest, it works to that end.

But that is not what they are for. A wide angle lens is about distorting near-far relationships and pulling the viewer right into the image.

In this picture, I was sitting on a rock, holding the camera a few inches above the water.

You can't tell it's that close in the photo but because it was when I took the picture it let's you feel like you're on the water and let's you see that detail.

If you don't quite get it, try taking a similar photo and see how it turns out.

If you don't want to do that, or just don't care, well, just enjoy!

Storytelling DOP

DSC_2251 by Andrew de Souza
DSC_2251, a photo by Andrew de Souza on Flickr.

I just came back from Banff and I've got a few decent photos I'd like to share.

But first I'll say that I absolutely love my friends. We drove from around the country to meet up in Banff before all going on our separate ways again. (Except for the one that lives there).

You can't beat the feeling that comes from knowing there are certain people who you will share your life with.

Anyway, back to photography.

It's funny because I take hundreds and then in the end only like a few, but I guess that's how it goes.

So I met up with a few friends and we trekked around Banff National Park. At one point we went to Moraine Lake and did a secondary trek to Consolation Lake.

At one point, we were at this picture's vantage point and I snapped this photo.

What I wanted to do was use the "story telling aperture," that is f/22.

What it does is give an huge depth of field, where almost everything is in focus. Click on the picture and look at what I mean.

Plus, this was taken with a wide angle, down near the rocks, so you can really see the detail.

As well, the wide angle has nice contrast, so the image just looks good.

I really only started doing this when I went to Banff because I've never really had any opportunity to put everything in focus, because often, isolating the subject works better.

But sometimes, it just works. My thought is that if I printed this huge, one could stare at the detail.

Anyway, I'll post a few more over the next few days.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Clouds, river, rain, timing

Clouds, river, rain by Andrew de Souza
Clouds, river, rain, a photo by Andrew de Souza on Flickr.

I'll start off by saying I'm going to take interesting pictures every day, damnit! That way I can practice and you (read: nobody) can enjoy.

On to today's picture, we'll talk about timing.

I was driving home after picking up a rental car and noticed the sky was awesome.

From my limited understanding of meteorology, it appeared that there was a front pushing eastward.

Right behind the front was turbulent clouds getting pulled behind it.

It made for some awesome effects, though it was somewhat bland colour-wise.

But this post is about timing. In order to get this shot I had to speed home because the wind was blowing the clouds quite fast.

Then I had to steal a camera from Danielle's office, the take an elevator up 15 floors, run up a flight of stairs before finally grabbing something useful.

While it seems all right, this picture is more about the failure of timing. If I had been faster, I would have got the front approaching the city with the iconic bridge in the foreground.

Instead I got this. Nice? Maybe. But you produce what you plan.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Around the world

I was just reading THIS POST and it brought me back to the good ol days of travelling the world.

If you look through, you'll first of all notice his sweet ass back pack, then you'll notice how much crap he's bringing.

Nothing wrong with it really, here's what Danielle and I brought with us.That's really just the clothes, we brought a lot of little things like plug adapters, toothbrushes, headlights etc.

Here's the thing though. Now that I've traveled, I would bring 1/3 of this stuff AT MOST.

You know why? The entire world sells everything you need. Unless you're in the most isolated spot in the world, you're always going to find toothpaste, deodorant, flip flops, t-shirts, batteries, plug adapters, umbrellas, cell phones, etc, etc.

Honestly, next time, I'm going to bring one pair of comfortable travelly pants, a t shirt for the ride, a hoodie incase it gets cold, shoes, a pair of socks, a camera and MAYBE a computer and that's it, I'm done.

Not that I plan on doing this anytime soon. My first goal is to get rich so that I can care even less when I travel.

We'll see how that goes...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Light play

flowers in a storm by Andrew de Souza
flowers in a storm, a photo by Andrew de Souza on Flickr.

It sounds stupid, but photography is all about light.

We see things all day and everyday and don't notice the subtle changes in light. Now, when you think back you can recall that say, at sunrise the light is orange, but when you're driving to work you probably don't really care.

Well with photography you have to learn to see more than what your brain is telling you. You need to have an unconscious idea of what pure white looks like and compare it to what the sun is doing.

It's fun once you get the hang of it. You start to notice shadows, contrast and different interplays of colours.

Unfortunately for me, this almost always happens when I don't have a camera, or, since the sun is moving, it only lasts for a few precious minutes.

Like this photo. It's not the best, I know but here's why it's decent any way.

I had to cover a story on our river here, which is 2.5 meters higher than normal.

As I was standing there getting some river shots, I noticed there was a small whole in the otherwise complete overcast sky.

We're talking like a few arc minutes at best here. I also noticed that it was going to pass right under the sun.

Looking around, I thought, "what will just pop with the bright sun against the dark sky?"

So I snapped a few of these lovely flowers.

Like I said, until you know to look for light, you'll never really see it. I bet that if you had just looked at this photo you might have thought it looks nice.

But now that you know the story, I bet you can actually imagine in your head exactly how the sun hit the flowers and how just those few minutes of interesting light that you might have otherwise ignored or not even "seen" can make for a captivating photo.

(In retrospect, I should have got a better angle, but no can do I suppose.)

Anyway, until next time!