Archive for July 2013

Far away summer break

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If you have a family, you may realize that there are only few possibilities to go on a reasonably long vacation with the whole family. This year, the circumstances are perfect for us and we are now traveling to national parks, the coast and cities in the northwestern US. If you are a regular visitor, you may therefore observe a drop in my posting frequency. 

We do not intend to lay around as lazily as the seals in the photograph above, but their sun bathing on the beach seems like an appropriate holiday greeting. In the meantime, may I recommend some of my older articles? You could, for example, read about moderation. Speaking of moderation: For our vacation, I will only take a point-and-shoot camera (mostly used by everybody but me), a compact system camera with a universal zoom (for about 90% of all my photographs), and three "old" manual prime lenses (20, 50 and 90 mm) that will be used with my tilt-shift adapter. Be prepared for my tilt-shift updates after our holiday!

If you want to have a look at some of my photographs in the meantime stop by at Floriansphotos! I have recently changed and updated the listed galleries. My most regularly updated gallery is Carcolors - an ongoing project of mine. In contrast to our far away summer break, you may also have a look at photo subjects that I find nearby - or, even better, discover and photograph YOUR surroundings! If you are also enjoying a holiday, I wish you a great time, interesting observations and - if you are a photographer - good light!

2013/07/16 by Unknown
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Nearby tilt-shift: ETH light & shadow

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 Since I do not only photograph on weekend trips or during vacations, but rather as often as time and weather permits, most of my photographs fit the nearby theme. For example, almost all carcolor compositions were discovered around where I live and so far I have also been testing my tilt-shift adapter almost exclusively on my photography bike tours around Zurich.
The tilt-shift example above is a light & shadow composition that was taken at ETH Hönggerberg, where I pass regularly to search for interesting compositions. For architectural photographs like this one it is possible to take advantage of the shift (upwards to correct perspective) and tilt (to the left or right to increase the depth of field) at the same time. With the Mirex adapter, the shift and tilt movements are always perpendicular to each other, meaning that you cannot shift the lens upwards and tilt downwards. In the composition shown here, my eye is attracted to the whitish cross a little bit above the center and to the right of the photograph.

2013/07/12 by Unknown
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Nearby: Prime Tower Zurich 1

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The third "nearby" contribution shows a skyscraper that is located a little bit further away from where I live - either 20 minutes by bike or four minutes by train. The composition above is an unusual view of the Prime Tower Zurich, which is currently the highest building in Switzerland. The Prime Tower itself is actually only in the background, on the left. The prominent part in the foreground and on the right is a reflection. Therefore, this photograph belongs to the reflections gallery

2013/07/11 by Unknown
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My photo treasures: Floris van Breugel

Photograph © Floris van Breugel. A moment of "Silence" on Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park.

Today's photo treasure is about a young, Seattle-based nature photographer: Floris van Breugel. I have been following his Art in Nature Photography blog for a while and appreciate his beautiful and original nature photographs. For example, have a look at his firefly photographs or at "Autumn Underworld" - a view through a pond with autumn leaves - from underneath. At the moment, I am particularly interested in photographs from the Pacific Northwest and Olympic National Park, because we will soon leave for long family holiday in this region. Therefore, I am glad the silent moment at Rialto Beach accompanies this blog post (the photograph was taken in winter, I think - the light will be very different for us).

All nature photographers share natural beauty as the subject of their photography and aim to convey their vision of this beauty. Different photographers are therefore often defined and differentiated by the region or area where they mostly photograph. I associate Floris van Breugel's photography with the Pacific Northwest. His photography is quite unique because he often undertakes long hikes to photograph remote  mountain landscapes. He is lucky to have a companion with whom he shares his passion for mountains, hiking and photography and this combination of mountaineering and photography makes his portfolio stand out and special. Usually, alpinists are rather driven by sportive accomplishments and photographers rarely venture so far off the beaten track.

Besides taking beautiful photographs of nature's beauty, Floris van Breugel is a graduate student at the University of Washington and tries to unravel some of nature's secrets: He is studying how insects fly and manage to land at a specific location without stumbling or crashing. Some of his results on the landing control of fruit flies have already been published. Interestingly, his research also involves the use of cameras, specialized high speed video cameras if I understand correctly, that record the flight of fruit flies in great detail. If you are interested in this topic, have a look at the fascinating TED talk by Michael Dickinson (the principle investigator Floris van Breugel is working with).

2013/07/08 by Unknown
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Nearby: PWC building 1

PWC building 1

This is my most photographed building because it is close to where I live and I often pass by to search for interesting compositions. It is an office building, which is commonly referred to as the PWC building due to its tenant. I really like this building and it is a good example for the "nearby philosophy" - to search and find compositions close to where you live. In future "nearby posts" I will show you many different angles, details, reflections and compositions of this construction. The first photograph above shows a broad view of the most remarkable feature of this building: the outer facade consisting of glass lamellas that are printed with a kind of perforated pattern and that serve as sun blinds. These glass panes cover three sides of the PWC building and automatically follow the movement of the sun to shadow the offices behind the actual glass facade (which you cannot see on this photograph). The lamellas are not always in perfect synchrony and sometimes those that break ranks cause interesting effects. In the view above I like the different heights of the shadows on adjacent glass panes. To me it looks like a giant histogram. The photograph above is also part of the facades gallery.

2013/07/04 by Unknown
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Carcolors 30: Small movement, large effect

This carcolor composition is meant to illustrate how profoundly a tiny camera movement can alter carcolor reflections. If everything works as intended, you can see a very similar composition as the one above by placing the mouse over the image (this may not work if you obtain this blog post via a feed reader, but I am not sure). The two photographs have been taken from exactly the same point, but the camera was moved a little bit (downward, if I remember correctly). These carcolor photographs shows the reflection of a clear blue sky behind bars - the car was standing inside a garage that has grid walls. Please also check out the other different carcolor compositions that were presented already in my carcolors series or visit my carcolors gallery.

2013/07/03 by Unknown
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