Photo shooting with Simona

Hey.

After the photo shooting with Ocèane came some people and was so delighted from the pictures that they also wanted to make pictures. :) So, we organized straight away another weekend, full with shootings. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Here the pictures from Saturday with Simona. We went to a park in Nicosia. It’s end of the summer and the lake in the park is relatively parched, which creates a partly bizarre landscape. But our motto for the shooting was ‘Hippie’. So, we tried to not shot the surrounding so much on the pictures.

I hope you like the pictures and would be glad about your comments.

Best regards
Gordon

 

Just click on the picture to see it in the full resolution.

 

And 2 more pictures of the shooting which doesn’t show our model itself. :)

Krebs Libelle

My beloved Olympus E-620 died suddenly and unexpected :(

Hi.

Today I have bad news (well, for me, not really for you). My good Olympus E-620 died suddenly and unexpected.

When I was at the castle Buffavento, 3 weeks ago, I had of course my baby with me. But suddenly, in the middle of a photo series, the display became dark. I thought that maybe the batteries are empty. But the screen remained black, also with new batteries. I realized that the background light is still working, but no information has been shown on the display.

Olympus E-620 aufgeschraubtI opened the camera carefully, didn’t had warranty anymore anyway, and was shaking on the contacts. It can happen that some become loose with the time. But nothing.
I didn’t dare to do more and closed the case again. So, I was sending my baby to a ‘specialist’ in Nicosia, who was recommended from some friends of mine. So, I put all my hope in this guy.
A few days later came the answer. First of all he was complaining that I opened the camera already (so what?). And he can do nothing and he don’t have the right spare parts. He will send the camera back… aham, great guy.

My last chance was eBay. I bought a new display for the camera and was hoping that this is the delinquent. Just today I got the replacement display, after 2 weeks delivery time, and changed it… you guess right, it wasn’t the display. I guess that some electric thing inside burned.

I could send the camera to Olympus for repair. Olympus have a fix price list for repairs. So I know it would cost me at least 200 Euro. And here is the thinking to invest so much money in an old camera (I know, my baby). The technology is outdated and I think a longer time already to change to another maker.
Olympus makes really good cameras… I could say they are made ‘with love’. But they are more expensive. There is rarely something new and lenses are hard to find. Especially when you are looking for something more special on the secondhand market.

Also Olympus have some new cameras on the market, of course. But only mirror less cameras. Here I could have targeted on the  OM-D E-M5. But just the camera with the kit lens cost over 1000 Euro. Far over my budget.

So I decided to change to Nikon. Why now Nikon and not Canon… honestly? When you compare the current models of both makers… then you’ll become mad. The one is here better and the other one not so good. But there is the other one better and this one not so good.

I got somehow to the new Nikon D5200 and was reading many good recessions. And the price of under 600 Euro incl. the 18-55m lens is really good. So I ordered this baby – the first camera I buy new and not used. And honestly, the difference is really big. Even the Olympus made great pictures… the Nikon is better.
Of course, between the Olympus E-620 and the Nikon D5200 are 4 years of progress. There are the 12,3 megapixel (E-620) vs. the 24 megapixel (D5200)… not that I am a megapixel freak, but it is nice to have some more. Or the much better ISO sensitivity. That was one thing which bothered me most at the Olympus. More then ISO 800 was not possible, then I had just noises in the picture. With the D5200 I can use still ISO 3200 without to much noises. And a video function is also included. I will not need it often, but sometimes I missed it.

I had the Olympus E-620 just half a year. Then it broke down. Pity, but now a new age of photography is starting for me. The first pictures with the D5200 I’ve posted the last days already (e.g. the shooting with Océane or the night pictures in Nicosia (thanks better ISO!)). The Nikon D5200 just gives me more possibilities to develop and I am more satisfied with the picture quality.
The only bad thing is that I have to sell now all my Olympus lenses and to buy all lenses new for the Nikon. Because the Olympus lenses don’t fit on the Nikon. :( It can take months until I have all lenses again.
If you like, then you can help me a bit. Just go to my Amazon wishlist (click here) and then you can buy me some parts, if you like ;)

So, now I continue with Nikon.

Rest in Peace my little Oly…

Best regards
Gordon

The old town of Nicosia by night

Hi.

As I wrote in the article about the photo shooting with Océane wrote already, I’ve been last weekend in Nicosia. And we was supposed to make a photo shooting with a model, but this canceled in the last moment. So we changed our plans and went to the old town of Nicosia in the middle of the night and spent there our time with photographing.

I was using this opportunity to take my new baby out. The Nikon D5200. A nice camera. Especially the possibility to use a higher ISO without getting to much noises on the pictures is very helpful in the night. But more about my new baby and why there is a new one… in another article soon.

Here the pictures of the night shooting in Nicosia. Just click on the images to see them bigger and completely.

Best wishes
Gordon

1st photo shooting with Océane – On the roof top

Hi.

I met Océane a few weeks ago during a Couchsurfing meeting. We made the meeting in the beautiful Karpaz area and of course I couldn’t go without my camera. She saw the camera with my big 300mm lens and she was asking me about this big baby. :)
We started a conversation and it came out that she wants to start photography and was asking if I can give her some basic tips.

We decided that it would be better if I come to her and we can talk in peace one weekend. That I can give her some tips from my small stock of knowledge and she also said that she have a friend who agreed to be our model. A German hip hop musician, who lives in Nicosia.

OcéaneSo, last weekend I went then to Nicosia. First we where talking about us, to get known a bit to each other and then I was showing her some basics with photographing with DSLR cameras. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO and so on. Explaining this things also on test pictures.
It became late and her friend wasn’t showing up. So she was calling him, to hear that he canceled the meeting (and shooting), because his parents are in Cyprus.
Thank you very much for letting us know. ^^

Well, we spend the evening then photographing in the old town of Nicosia (I’ll post this pictures later in a different article.) and on the next morning we were photographing each other on the roof top of her house (10 floors). You find the pictures below. She is very photogenic and it seems like she is feeling well in front of a camera :)
We decided already to make more pictures. :)

I got my new baby, the Nikon D5200, last week and it was the first chance to test it extensively.

I hope you like the pictures and if you have any notes, suggestions and/or critic, then please leave me a comment below and tell me your thoughts.

Best regards
Gordon
Just click on the image to open it completely.

Limassol by night. Photoshooting in the night.

Hi together.

A few days ago I got bitten by the bug again. I was a long time not on a photo tour anymore. Which was mainly because my good Olympus broke down, a few weeks ago. :( And who was once familiar with something better, don’t want to go back to the ‘worse’ anymore.
But this time I just had to make pictures. :)

So I grabbed a friend and we decided to make some pictures during sunset and after it.
The place should be a highway bridge in Limassol. It looks always cool when the cars leave light rays at long shutter times.

I missed the sunset. Bit we could play a bit with the shutter times, when it became dark.

And now is my new baby here (I’ll write later about it) and a had to try it in the dark on the roof. :)

Best wishes
Gordon

Photographing soap bubbles

Hi,

yesterday I found a new photo idea and needed to try it straight away. ;) Of course I want to show you the results and tell you how I done that. :)

After I was playing around now with water drops, things which fall into water (splish-splash) and macro, it was time today for soap bubbles.

Yes, right. This bubbles which children like to let them fly in the air. ;)

Actually I had straight 2 ideas. If you let a soap bubble fly outside in the sunshine, then you was probably amazed about the colorful round bubbles.

Why this bubbles are so colorful… is complicated :D But I wanted to catch this colors.

On the other side is it creating really amazing pictures when the bubble burst.

And when you read this both points, then it should be quick clear that the 2nd point should be much harder to achieve then the 1st. Because the bubble is bursting so quick that it is not possible to catch for the human eye. But the practice is a bit different.

So, first step. Trying to catch the colors of the bubble.

I was reading a bit in the internet about it and they said the light is the most important. No, problem, i have 2 flashes with slave mode (so, I can remote control them). Then – of course – you need soap water. It’s not hard to make. Just add a bit water to a glass, plus a bit soap. For the fist step I’ve added as well a bit glycerin, that the bubbles are more stable and I’ll have more time to shoot them.

The setup was very simple. The glas on my desk, a flash from the top, the other one from the side, my desk lamp on the position of the bubble (that I see something while focusing). In front of the desk my E-620 with the 35mm macro lens.

Das Feuer in der Blase

And then I’ve started. Blowing a bubble on the straw and putting the straw with the bubble on the glass, that I can focus it.

And then trying to focus manually. Because the automatic focus doesn’t work with the look trough bubble. But also manual is it not really easy to see and focus on one ‘wall’ of the bubble.

And then pushing the shutter… and quick it was clear… it doesn’t work like that.

The bubble was still ‘invisible’ and only the pieces of it, which the Softbox lighted up was colorful.

And then the improvisation started. I don’t have a bigger softbox. So I was building up paper wall through which I tried to flash, to get a bigger light-wall. But due to the ball shape of the bubble I would have needed a light-wall from the top, left, right, bottom and front… :( Damn.

So, I just got results with partly colorful bubbles.

I think a good solution would be to try it again outside, in the sun. But then there shouldn’t be any wind at all.

But a few interesting shots I could take.

Das Meisterstück des Versuchs

Ok, then it was time for the second part of the shooting. The bursting soap bubble.

The setting was the same. Flash from the left, flash from the top and the camera on a tripod in front of the desk. The focus was this time fix on the collusion object.

Soap bubbles are very unstable objects… that is at least what I know about it. So, my thought was that I just need something on which I can hit the soap bubble and it should burst. Should work…

I fixed a toothpick on the desk and made a bubble and… ‘hit’… the toothpick was in the bubble… but no sign of bursting. … Great…

Then I remembered the Glycerin in the water. So, I needed a new mixture. Just water with a bit of soap. And the next try… the same result. But the bubbles was much more unstable already. So, I just needed a bigger collusion object. An old candy seemed a good idea (which even looks good on the picture :D ).

But even the candy doesn’t gave me the result I expected. The soap bubble was attaching now to the candy and left the straw. … Looked also nice, but not what I wanted.

And then I found the trick. I had to blow up the bubble until the surface turned red-green. Seems like then the wall is so thin that it burst easily. (I think the colors vary by the mixture.)

So, when I had the bubble in this condition, then it was bursting as soon as it was hitting the object.

Seifenblase platzt von oben nach unten

And now it was just a question of timing. And this is also hard (if you do it manually). The bubble is bursting in millisecond, to fast for the human eye.

In one moment it’s there and in the next it’s gone.

So, I had a lot of pictures with bubble and a lot without bubble… and some I catch in the right moment.  :)

So it is like always… not easy, but the results are great. Especially the bursting bubbles are amazing. Didn’t thought they will turn out so nice.

And with better equipment it could be even better.

By the way, maybe a few words to that.

It is very important to use flashes with a short burning time. Because the flash is freezing the moment, not the camera.

I used the setting 1/128 with my Yongnuo YN560II. That is the lowest power I can set up. But it seems like ok. As faster as better.

So, I hope you liked the article and if you have questions… just leave me a comment. Of course you can also leave a comment without question ;)

CU

Gordon

Focus stacking – How to get more depth of field

Hi,

today I’d like to write some quick words about my new playing around (it’s late already).

After I started a few weeks ago with macro photography, I realized quickly that there is a big disadvantage. The depth of field is very small. I like to go to the maximum magnification factor I can get out of my 35mm macro lens (which is 1:1). As bigger as better :) But in this case the depth of field is below 1 mm (approx).

But what is the depth of field? It is the area on the photo with is sharp. It doesn’t really matter for landscape pictures, because here is mostly everything sharp. More already it matters at portrait photography. But here is it ‘just’ a technique for pictorial designing and wanted.

At the macro photography is the camera not “asking” anymore if we would like to have some sharp and blurry areas. It is just like it is. Sure, we can use a smaller aperture  (is this correct in English?… damn… hard to write gobbledygook in English… sorry) till it’s dark… doesn’t really help. Ok, in compare to the highest aperture is it a difference, but still not a lot.

And here we come to focus stacking. It’s a special technique. And as the name is saying it already.. we stack the focus (of several pictures) to one clear focused picture.

Here my “model” from today. :) Bit below you can see the the picture of the bloom.

How does it work?

“Very simple”. :) As I just said, we need several pictures. The focus of each picture is shifted in a way that the summary of all pictures together is one single sharp picture. Sounds complicated? It’s simple.

Lets say we have a bloom of 1cm depth, which we want to have full in focus / sharp. Our depth of field (per picture) is 1,5 mm.

Now we start at the beginning of the bloom and make our 1st picture. Then we focus 1mm behind the 1st focus point (0.5mm we leave for overlapping). And so we create our “focus slices” till the end of the bloom. In this example it should be 10 single pictures.

Now we add this pictures into a special software for focus stacking. There are several out there. Just ask Google for “focus stacking software”. I personally use CombineZP, it is free but not so simple to use and maybe also not so powerful then other solutions).

The software is doing exactly what I said before. It takes your pictures and is combining them in a way that at the end it will give us one single picture which combined the sharp areas of all 10 pictures together. If we was working correctly, it will create us an image of a bloom full in focus (sharp). If we wasn’t working correctly… then there will be blurry spots in the picture (like I had today all the time).

The stupid thing is, that you see only after all the steps when you wasn’t working correctly. :(

The  stacked’ picture of the flower (see above). When you have a closer look, you can see that there are still blurry areas. Here I wasn’t working accurate while making the pictures. :(

So, is it that simple? No, not really :)

It should be clear that during the whole process neither the camera nor the object should move at all. It means you need to use a tripod and the ‘model’… well… that to do. Choose a model which doesn’t mode at all… a tree for example :) If you’d like to make a focus stack of an animal… be very quick.

Then there are 2 different techniques to do the focus stack. You can put the focus on your camera to the manual mode and then focusing direct on the lens (veryy carefully).

Or you get a focusingrail. Which is the better way. The camera will be screwed on the focusingrail and the rail will move basically the whole camera… accurate to the millimeter. And, of course, with the camera is also the focus range moving. To make it more simple are on the focusingrail already measuring scales.

I’ve got a fourway focusingrail. Not just for the focus stacking. Also that I don’t have to move the tripod always… 1cm to the left, 2 cm to the front, 5 cm back… to get my object in focus when I make some macro shots. It’s a very helpful tool for this kind of photography.

And when you see the difference between a normal macro picture and a focus stack… then you see quickly that it worth the work ;)

Ok, so far from my side today. If you have questions or you’d like to say anything… just leave me a comment. I’d like to see that people read my blog ;)

Cu soon

Gordon

My first drop pictures

Hi.

I’ve mentioned it last time already. Beside of the macro and splish splash photography, I also try now the water drop photography.

As I mentioned last time already, it’s actually just possible with high-tech. At least if you want to create really stunning structures. But of course there are also some simple things for beginner. At least if the beginner isn’t fool or at least able to use Google ;)

Drop pictures are – as the name is saying already – pictures of drops. :) Why to make pictures of drops? Well, because drops can create cool shapes, in the moment it hits something. Also here is the saying of many photographers – to freeze a moment – very true. Because this moment – when the drop is creating this amazing shapes – is just a flash. Not even clear visible for the human eye. (Have a look in the video below.)

Ok, how to do it now?
As I just said, it’s about a drop (water, milk, color… whatever). So, there has to be a drop. Professionals create the drops computerized and with magnet valves. But this can cost some xx-xxx Euros (except you are ambitious DIY’er).

But it is also cheaper possible. Beginner like the infusion sets. This things which they use in the hospital. Yes, this things which dropping. … Drop ;) It’s a very simple, but functional system. A small tube is connected to a bottle with liquid and the liquid is running trough the tube. But it needs to drop… that makes a regulator. So you can adjust the drop frequency.
It cost me today not even 1 Euro in the pharmacy.

But then the question… to what do I connect this infusion set? I didn’t had anything… so I just put the end in a pot of water. This on top of a chair – on a desk … keyword: gravity.
Then I fixed the other end a bit lower on the chair (half height). The drop still needs a height to fall. As higher as more powerful the impact. And the rest is easy.
Plate or flat bowl underneath (water level should be around 3 cm). The camera on a tripod. Focusing before the point where the drop will hit the water and then the focus on ‘manual’, that the auto focus will not distort the focus point.

The most important part at drop photography is the flash. Because it’s the flash which will freeze the drop and it’s form. That’s why the flash needs to be set on the fastest burning time (my Yongnuo YN560 II can max. 1/128).
And then you need tact and playing around. The drop is falling and in the right moment you need to push the shutter.

It seems like the best place for the flash is behind the scene. On the other side of the plate (or whatever you use). But I have a space problem here… so I was playing around.
The internal flash I just need to remote control the slave flashes.
And my Godox CF-18 died at the session today :( Of course the seller is in Hong Kong… damn. But it seems like the Yongnuo is a work animal… the Metz died, the Godox died… the Yongnuo is still alive… and my last external flash at the moment :o

The good thing on slave flashes is, that they are not connected to the camera. They can be everywhere around. Which is here good because – as I said – the flash should be on the other side. So flashing from behind the scene.

But I anyway got some good results for the first try, as I think. You can see some of the results below.
I will play more in the next days with it. Will also try some colors and mild and such stuff. Will be funny :) and also a mess. But the pictures are cool, isn’t it? :) I think about to print some :)

Then see you soon.
Best regards
Gordon

Here the video of the setting:

And the pictures

Now I’ll make splish splash pictures

Hi,

after I was busy in the last days and weeks with macro photography, I found another interesting thing in a forum. Basically it’s about to drop things into water and shooting a picture (hopefully) in the right moment. :) Actually I came on this through another subject of photography… the drop photography. And this is about to make a picture of a water (or whatever) drop. The results… just ask Google for “water drop pictures”. Absolutely stunning!

But I don’t have an idea about it and really good results you’ll get only with microprocessor technique, so I have to do first something more easy.

Microprocessor controlling sounds complicated? It’s actually not… it’s just about precision. It have to be done in split of a second… about millisecond. A magnet valve drops a drop. The drop hits the water and creates the column. In this moment the technique triggers the camera and the flash. It has to be optimized on a millisecond.
And then you can go further… more magnet valves, which drop drops in exact intervals. This drops hit each other and create amazing structures and forms… which exist only for  a split of a second. That’s why it has to be controlled with technique.

So, I have to start with something more easy. :) And I call it now “splish splash”. (Don’t know if there is a name for it already.) Dropping things into water and make a picture of it. And here are the first results :)

Fly with a drop

A young fly decided to have a rest on my window board today. First I didn’t recognized her. Then I saw her and gave it a shot. I grabbed my camera and approached slowly. But the fly didn’t gave a sh** at all. She just sat there let me do what I wanted to do.

So I made many many pictures :) After a while she started to clean herself and after it she started to create a drop on her mouth. She enlarged the drop slowly and sucked it back in the mouth. And then started again to create it, enlarged it slowly and sucked it back in the mouth.

After the second time it seemed like she finished and flew away.

Nobody really knows what this drop is or what it has for a function for the fly. But it seems like many/all flies do it.

The most probable is that it is for cleaning of inner things (like mouth, maybe more). Especially because the one today did it after cleaning.

And here the picture for the story: