52Frames – 2020-48 – Nature

Another early-ish submission for 52Frames this week – I’m getting surgery tomorrow, and while I should be back home the day after that, I’m not risking my 48-week streak πŸ˜‰

The theme was “Nature”; my initial plan was to go on a walk, but the combination of gloomy weather and a new World of Warcraft expansion foiled that plan πŸ˜‰ Luckily, despite living on the 5th floor with a concrete balcony, “life…. finds a way”, and I have more than a few things growing between the stone slabs of said balcony.

It was also an opportunity to test my brand new Platypod setup – I did need a support considering the late hour and low light, and the flower was definitely too low to be able to get something with a standard tripod – Platypod to the rescue! It worked well, but turning the knobs of the tripod head was kind of awkward, and I had messed up the place of a screw, which made putting the fourth foot of the plate impossible without getting tools (and I got lazy). So this was actually a real tripod πŸ˜‰ And that’s a good thing too, since the extra-credit was for “Use a tripod”, so, there, check πŸ™‚

52Frames – 2020-47 – Circle

I was in Winterthur for a German certification exam this week and, since I had a very large break between the written and the spoken part, I took my camera with me. I didn’t take many pictures, but I knew I wanted to try to get something for the “Circle” challenge.

The building first caught my eye because it had circular reliefs – which, upon approach, ended up being disappointing. But there was also a traffic light with a circular mirror that reflected said building, and I was very happy to catch that!

I must have looked a bit awkward, taking pictures of a traffic light – but I don’t care, I actually like the picture very much πŸ™‚

52Frames – 2020-46 – Mobile Phone

The theme for 52Frames last week was “Mobile Phone”. My camera was in service for most of the week – great timing ;), but I snagged that one on my way back from fetching it from the shop after it got repaired. The contrats between the green traffic lights and the red cars (and their reflections on the tunnel walls) was what initially caught my eye, but I like how there’s multiple, very different sources of light on this picture πŸ™‚

In a sense, this is not a picture that showcases where a phone camera may be particularly strong; in another, well, I did have my DSLR with me, but no lens or memory card, and my eye did get caught by the lights – so it was a case of “the best camera is the one you have with you” πŸ™‚

52Frames – 2020-43 – Reflections

I knew I wouldn’t have much opportunity to take my 52Frames picture this week, so this one is kind of placeholder. The theme was Reflections, with “Mirror” as extra credit – which I claimed. We were traveling by car earlier this week (a fairly rare thing), and I snapped this on the Autobahn. And, for a phone snapshot without edit, I think I got lucky. The electric lines that lead to the mirror feel PARTICULARLY lucky.

It’s not a great or even a good shot, but it’s a shot, I still have my streak, and getting closer and closer to get the full streak for 2020, which would be nice πŸ™‚

Scavenger Hunt #29 – Round

CameraPentax K-1 II
LensPentax DA 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 AL
Focal length18 mm
F-NumberF/4.0
Exposure time1/8s
ISO100

Round is the last image I got for this Hunt, and it’s my favorite one! It’s weird, it’s nerdy (there was a strong HAL 9000 inspiration.) And I could take bets on people having no idea how I made that image, and…. that makes me weirdly happy πŸ˜›

The whole process started, funnily enough, with the lens. It kind of popped in my mind that my camera is a full-frame camera, and that I do have a couple of lenses that do not cover the whole sensor. Hence: very strong, round, black vignetting. I started playing with what I had, and came to the conclusion that the strongest vignetting I could get was with the 18-55 at 18mm. This made things a bit awkward, because it’s a wide aperture… and at this point, I also had vaguely in the idea that I wanted to use my crystal ball – which is not that large (but which is round) too.

I then rummaged into my collection of random stuff, and I ended up with the following props:

A tube that’s a bit bigger than my crystal ball, a couple of tape rolls that are EXACTLY the right width to serve as crystal ball support, and one of my faithful Lume cubes with color filters. Well. It actually started with no filter, and then a green filter, and when I looked into the first images, I excitedly went “WAIT IF I TAKE A RED FILTER I CAN DO HAL”, so from there I had a precise direction.

It also took me a few attempts to setup everything in a way that made sense (I initially didn’t have the tape supports either) and to finally just plop the camera on top of the tube to make a tunnel and see what I would get there.

The final hurdle was the strong magenta reflection that’s still a bit visible in the image I submitted, but that I decided I could live with. I tried to fixed that one by trying to orient things differently and playing with the white balance, but without much success.

I had a lot of fun making this image; and it might actually only completely make sense in the context of a SOOC challenge! Still, I couldn’t resist the temptation to do an edit from RAW to see what I can get from my image source πŸ˜‰ And to see that that stupid magenta fringe was an artifact of processing of my camera! I hadn’t expected that. And if you think I wouldn’t take the opportunity of the postprocessing to edit a brighter spot in the middle, think, think again πŸ˜‰

And for the final album of the reveals on the Scavenger side: Round.

Scavenger Hunt #29 – Boats

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
F-NumberF/11
Exposure time1/100 s
ISO125

I’m lucky enough to live near a lake that sees a fair amount of boat traffic, so I was not too worried about the Boats theme – I knew it wouldn’t be the most original shot, but I knew I could probably get a decent shot at least. I went on a walk during the Hunt time specifically to get a few shots that I knew I could get along the way. I ended up walking more than I thought I would, but it was a very pleasant walk, so win-win.

I ended up with A Lot of candidates for my Boats shot. For the SOOC constraint, I liked this one best: it’s colorful, there’s a nice reflection, the framing is… reasonable – although I don’t like that I see a bit of the nearby Badi on the top-left corner, and I think cropping would have helped getting the shot I wanted.

If not for the SOOC constraint, I probably would have tried to get a “cropable” image of this one with a shorter focal length and hoped for the best. As it is, it is still one of my favorite shots in the multiple that I have for this theme; I would either have gone back to get a better framing or more probably gone for a tighter crop in post, and probably been somewhat unsatisfied with the shot in general πŸ˜€

And the Scavenger album is here: Boats.

Scavenger Hunt #29 – Metal

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mmF2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
F-NumberF/6.3
Exposure time1/50 s
ISO100

Metal is an instance of a picture that’s somewhat weak on the theme, but that I couldn’t resist including in my Hunt set because I loved it so much. I’m not even sure WHY I love it so much – but when I reviewed the set for that day, there was definitely an audible “oh!”.

The annoying thing is that I had a FANTASTIC find for the theme, but none of the pictures were remotely as good, at least in SOOC. There’s a botanical collection of succulent plants in ZΓΌrich, and this picture was taken behind that building. And a few meters away, there’s a bunch of metallic cactus sculptures. I spent a significant amount of time trying to get a good shot of these – but they’re stuck in an awkard place not far from a fairly busy road, so I didn’t manage to make a SOOC image work 😦 Not to mention that it was a very bright day and that there was literally no shade around at all, which didn’t help either.

If not for the SOOC constraint, I may have submitted this one:

I think it’s a better fit, but the non-edited version felt fairly bland. I also think that I may have shot differently without the SOOC constraint: I would have trusted that I could crop and turn things around, and I would probably have gotten larger angle shots with the hope of getting SOMETHING that I could use. I might go back to that place at some point, because these were fun to photograph!

And, for more pictures of the same word, the Scavenger album: Metal.

Scavenger Hunt #29 – Path

CameraPentax K-1 II
LensPentax D FA 24-70mm F2.8
Focal length24mm
F-NumberF/9.0
Exposure time1/20 s
ISO800

Path is probably one of the pictures I like less for this Hunt. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it’s a bad picture, but it’s somewhat uninspired and bland. This is a path near the river not far for my place, and it’s actually fairly rare to manage to catch it that empty: there’s usually a large amount of pedestrians and bikes trying to share it with or without grumbling πŸ™‚

That’s mostly the reason why the framing is slightly “offset” compared to what I’d try to usually do (I think) – I didn’t want to be in the way, so I settled on the side on the path and started shooting. I took a fair amount of pictures, trying different combinations of depth of field and focus; I ended up liking the ones with the smallest aperture best, because the tree in the foreground was sharper and it felt better to not focus explicitly on said tree, so, there.

With the SOOC constraint, my major difficulty was to manage both framing and a picture that’s not crooked; I had pictures that I liked better in my set but that would have required some editing, so they were out by definition.

If not for the SOOC constraint, I might have gone for this:

This one is actually a composite. The person is in another picture – for which the whole picture was softer and the framinig was meh-er, but I really liked the idea of having someone there; and I also liked that the person was looking at the water (that I know to be behind the trees πŸ™‚ ) and not simply walking. It was a no-no as it was, but comp’d with the one I submitted, it would have made it better πŸ™‚

(Hi, my name is Balise and I’m compositing pictures for “what ifs” in a SOOC challenge πŸ˜€ )

And for the album of my fellow Scavenger fellows, follow the Path πŸ™‚

Scavenger Hunt #29 – Broken

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mmF2.8 W
Focal length100mm
F-NumberF/16
Exposure time1/2 s
ISO400

With the list of words that we had for this round, the idea of a broken egg took place in my mind and never moved away from it. So I broke an egg on a reasonable surface, and I started shooting. I had started shooting hand-held, but after a few shots it became obvious that I wanted more depth of field than I could shoot handheld (and not compensate for in post), so I sighed, got the tripod out, and continued shooting.

Nothing much to say about this shot – it’s was basically a matter of “taking a lot of them and choose the best one”. If I remember correctly I did add a lume cube (or maybe a led panel? I’m not sure anymore!) as a secondary source of light, but that was pretty much it.

I would have gone for the same base picture if not for the SOOC constraint, but I would have edited a bit to remove the reflection in the back (which I find distracting) and boost a bit the reflection of the egg shell.

And the Scavenger album: Broken.