52Frames – 2020-38 – A Chair

The theme for 52Frames this week was A Chair. I’ll admit this is mostly a “placeholder shot” – took it today after 6PM “urgh, haven’t done 52Frames yet, I need to fix that”. We got a couple of balcony chairs since last year (and congratulating ourselves for them every day ๐Ÿ˜‰ ); since they have a meshy texture, I thought it could be fun to take a picture of one through the second one. And, there.

52Frames – 2020-37 – Single Focal Point

The theme for 52Frames this week was Single Focal Point, with an extra credit of f/1.4. Pierre made some pie this afternoon – so I took the liberty of bothering him with my camera while he was doing that.

Since I wanted the extra credit, I took my only lens that’s able to open to f/1.4, which is a non-macro 50mm, which made focusing somewhat difficult: I have been shooting with a macro lens a lot lately, and this one has a much longer focusing distance! But eventually, I got there.

I ended up taking 300 pictures – and the one I chose was the last one ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I guess I’m titling this one “Finishing touch” – that’s the last piece of pear that goes on that pie! Oh, and if you want the recipe for the pie, my husband wrote it down 15 years ago in French here: Tarte poire / frangipane / chocolat ๐Ÿ˜‰

52Frames – 2020-35 – A Common Object

The theme for this week’s 52Frames was “A common object”, with an extra credit for “One light source”. So I locked myself in my room, closed the door and blinds, got a Lume cube and a pair of earphones (which I thought would yield both some texture and some shape), and got to work.

It took me a little while to find the “right” angle – suspending the earphones on top of the light ended up being the right move for me.

52Frames – 2020-34 – Rule of Odds

The theme for 52Frames this week was Rule of Odds. I was not very inspired by the topic, but I still have a new macro lens, so I thought I’d go for something small, and I ended up with buttons.

That’s from a grey shirt, which probably is no stranger to the fact that I processed it in B&W – I hesitated because the buttons are metal/brass-y colored, but the B&W gives more leeway to go crazy with texture enhancements, so there we go!

52Frames – 2020-33 – Night Photography

The theme for 52Frames this week was Night Photography, and I kind of intended to submit some astro (which was actually the extra credit theme) – but since we had a bit of thunderstorm this evening, I took that opportunity instead.

This is a composite of two pictures: I was NOT lucky enough to get both the lightning and such nice car trails at the same time ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Also, the car trails exposure is longer than the lightning one). I must admit that Photoshop made it super easy to combine these two – I just set both my pictures as layers, put a “gimme the lightest” setting on my layers merging, and boom, done ๐Ÿ˜‰ Much easier than I was expecting (I was expecting to have to do that manually).

52Frames – 2020-32 – A New Experience

The theme for 52Frames this week was “A New Experience”. It turns out that, for reasons unrelated to 52Frames, I finally got the Pentax 100mm/2.8 macro lens I had been coveting for a while – as far as “new experiences” go, “playing with a new lens” definitely fit the bill in my book.

We went for a small walk today in a woody area – I’m glad I stopped for a little bit to catch this one!

52Frames – 2020-31 – Water

The theme for 52Frames this week was “Water”, with an extra credit for “Using an ND filter”. Turns out that I DO have an ND filter that I had never really used, and that I had wanted to go take pictures of this place on the Sihl (which has been less than 1km from my apartment for the last 12 years…) for a while.

So I got my photo bag, my tripod and my ND filter, and I went to take a few pictures. Turns out, even with said ND filter (which is only a 4-stop filter), I wasn’t able to increase the exposure length as much as I wanted to at this time (it was roughly 6PM). So there’s two things I know: 1/ I’ll probably get a stronger ND filter at some point 2/ I’ll need to go back there on a less bright day/at a later (or earlier?) time.

But anyway, I got the shot, including the extra credit, and that’s yet another one on the streak ๐Ÿ™‚

52Frames – 2020-30 – Negative Space

The theme for 52Frames this week was “Negative Space”. There isn’t much of a leap between “Negative Space” and a blank page, and I got myself a new fountain pen this week (first in year, possibly decades) (well. Pilot Parallel Pens don’t really count ๐Ÿ™‚ ), so there, a journal blank page with a fountain pen ๐Ÿ™‚

Neowise and Jupiter

A friend asked me yesterday whether I was up for an attempt at comet photography – since Neowise is currently visible in our skies. I hadn’t seen it yet, because it was either visible very early or quite late, but these days it’s visible around 23:30, which is… past my bedtime, but we don’t see comets every day, so I made an effort ๐Ÿ˜‰

We went a bit outside of the city and, after a bit of meandering, found a spot where the comet was visible and there weren’t too much other lights around. (Note: roads in Switzerland have waaaay too many street lights.)

After a bit of fumbling (I need to train my camera gear manipulation in the dark!), including a very embarrassing “oh, THAT’S why I don’t have anything on my pictures! <removes the lens cap>”, I finally settled into trying to take pictures of stars ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t have much experience in astrophotography (… yet?), but I’ve shot the moon and the like enough that I do know a couple of things:

  • Earth moves more than I think it does
  • My camera live-view 16x zoom is my best friend when it comes to focus
  • I can definitely expose to the left, the data will be there, and less noisy than if I don’t
  • Wide aperture is my second best friend (I had taken my telelens “just in case”, it didn’t get out of the bag)
  • Shutter remote is my third best friend
  • My tripod is actually my BFF, even though it’s a pain to lug around

So I took some comet pictures, and it was nice, and I have one where you can see the double tail:

Looking in other parts of the sky, well. I had never seen that many shooting stars, and I definitely saw multiple yesterday. Someone mentioned that the two brighter spots we could see were planets – and indeed a quick check on phones established them to be Saturn and Jupiter, quite close from one another in the sky. There were attempts to see Saturn’s rings, but we didn’t have the right hardware for that, but… I HAVE JUPITER’S MOONS.

I am honestly amazed – I would NOT have expected that to be a/ at all visible b/ capturable with a 70mm lens ๐Ÿ™‚ When it comes to astronomy and astrophotography, I definitely have more “star-struck” and “starry-eyed” enthusiasm than knowledge – although I actually learnt stuff yesterday. I also know that my camera DOES have an astrotracing feature, but I didn’t manage to make it work properly yesterday, I think. MORE EXPERIMENTS WARRANTED. Also, next time I shoot Jupiter, I probably need to take into account the fact that it’s ACTUALLY SUPER BRIGHT. Aaand I need to read up on astro photography processing, because right now I have no idea what I’m doing and there’s a fair chance it makes no sense (but the pictures are pretty!)

So, there. All in all, I’ll consider this astrophotography session a large success (because it makes me want to do more of it ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I have some more pictures available in the full album: Neowise and Jupiter.

52Frames – 2020-28 – Edited by Someone Else

For 52Frames, this week, the idea was to give up some control and to give a picture to edit to “someone else”. There was a handy sign-up sheet with 52Framers offering their services and what they were willing to work with; my editor for this picture of a pretty rock was Mary Lesh.

I usually work better within a set of constraints; the 52Frames constraints are actually usually slightly too loose for my taste, and without a guiding theme, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I considered going outside for a few shots (I noticed a few things I want to get in my camera recently), but my “social budget” for the day was tapped out, so I decided to stay home with my studio.

When it comes to studio, I do like photographing minerals. I also knew that this would give some leeway/freedom to my editor: they could either focus on the details, or take advantage of the space around the rock. And I had this very pretty rock (as far as I can tell, barite & vanadinite?) that hadn’t been in front of my camera yet. This is the image I sent to Mary (exported from RAW to JPG with no settings changed):

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Focal length50mm
F-NumberF/32.0
Exposure time8 s
ISO125

I thought it’d be fun to do a parallel edit to see what could be done starting with the same image ๐Ÿ™‚ I must say that I was looking for the same kind of crop as Mary sent to me, but for the life of me couldn’t “find” it. So I flipped the image (and not the table) and went for a much closer crop, and ended up with this:

Mary told me she’d left a lot of white space if I wanted to add a quote or something. I must say that I like the idea a lot, and that it had not crossed my mind ever before. Aaaand I do like the white space as it is too.

This was, for me, a very interesting experiment, even starting with a shot as basic as the one I submitted. Thanks Mary for playing that game with me!