Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 43: THE YELLOW STEPS - Street or Fine-Art photography?

Isn't it strange that us Photographers, often tend to be so bogged down on definitions? What is Street Photography? What is Fine-Art Photography? Does it matter?

While I'm in the middle of making a new presentation for Fujifilm Middle East for an upcoming "Street Photography" workshop at the Xposure Photofestival in Sharjah next month, this question came up several times recently. 

If someone asks me for my own definition of Street Photography, I would tell them it is "Documenting everyday human life and society in public spaces, mostly shot candidly". Does the image below fulfill this definition? Yes... no? Does it matter?

I find it quite interesting that even photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson,  who is often referred to as the 'godfather of Street Photographer", hated the term. Maybe we shall just be "Urban Photographers", or "Photographers"? Does it matter?

Talking about definitions, lets take it a step further and try to define what a Fine-Art image is? Again, "my own definition" of "Fine Art" would be any image that somebody else than the photographer or his/her immediate family/friends, would hang up in their own living space". 

The image below, shot in Circular Quay Sydney, could certainly fulfill that requirement I guess, but then again, "does it matter"?

What I do know, is that I was immediately attracted to the great complimentary colors blue and yellow as I walked past these steps into the harbour just after sunrise. It is an image that I just send of for a large dibond print and of which I can't wait to see the results!

The wrinkles in the water, hopefully make the viewer ask some questions? Is that a fish just below the surface? Did somebody just jump in the water? 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF23mm f2 lens
  • ISO 500, f8, 1/80s
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Photoshop CC for optimal sharpening using a High Pass filter in overlay mode
I'm writing this article on a plane (as a passenger and not the pilot!) on my way to Tokyo, Japan. I'll be documenting human life and society in the worlds most popolous city over a four days and I really don't care how you want to call it! 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pic(k) of the 42: SUNRISE OVER THE OPERA HOUSE, Sydney

My day-job (or night-job) as an long haul airline pilot, has me going to some interesting places all over the world! A negative is that one often suffers from severe jetlag...

Such was the case when I was wide awake at 3,30am in Sydney the other day. I eventually got out of bed, took a quick shower and cup of coffee to finally grab my camera and go for a pre-sunrise walk in the city. As it was a Sunday morning, there was virtually nobody on the streets; a bit of a surreal experience.

Anyway, at daybreak (around 5am) the pre-sunset blue hour turned out to be spectacular. Unfortunately I had left my tripod in the hotel. Damn it! The jetlag was really getting me! Using what was available, I ended up using a wall to get a 2 seconds exposure. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF35mm f2 lens
  • ISO 800, 2sec, f8
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro for optimal contras
  • Sharpening done in Photoshop CC using a High Pass filter in Overlay mode

few more images of my 36hr visit to Sydney can be found here. The last 7 being the most recent ones.

Remember: "Every sunrise brings a new day with new hopes for a new beginning" - anon

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 41: LOOKING UP AT MUCEM, Marseille, France

It is often been said that interesting modern Architecture often changes a city over a few years; this might become the case with one of Marseille's latest buildings; MUCEM, a museum devoted to European and Mediterranean civilizations which opened in 2013. 

As Marseille is trying to get rid off its reputation of crime capital of France, MUCEM will hopefully bring in more visitors to France second largest city!  

The building which was built on reclaimed land, was designed by the French Architect Rudy Ricciotti in collaboration with Architect Roland Carta. It is connected to the 17th century adjacent fort with a 130m long footbridge. The 15.000 square meter cube is surrounded by a latticework shell of fibre reenforced concrete; the main attraction of this architectural marvel.

The openings in the shell make for some interesting shadows, the terrace on the roof also gives the visitor great views on the Mediterranean sea. One does not need to pay for the entrance to the museum in order to visit the terrace on the top floor. 

The image below was shot from this viewing deck, using a smaller aperture to have a nice sunburst effect. elected to convert to Black and White in order to take away some of the distracting color fringing in the sun flare.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with XF23mm f2 lens
  • ISO 320, 1/500s, f16
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development
  • Nik SilverEfex for Black and White conversion

I did enjoy my short time in Marseille... more images of this large city in southern France can be found here

Given that so many different cultures live together in Marseille, it is also a great city for Street Photography. Next Pic(k) of the week will show you an example of this!

Remember: "Turn your face into the sun and the shadows fall behind you" - Unknown


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pic(k) of the week 40: HOW TO STREET ? Xposure Photo Festival Sharjah

In about 7 weeks, November 22 till 25, the Xposure Photo-festival in Sharjah is on again! This 4 day yearly photo-festival, is quickly becoming one the regions most prominent photo events; having a nice mix of workshops, one of best photo exhibitions I've seen and the regions largest trade show.  

Fujifilm Middle East, will be present at Xposure and although still not 100% confirmed, as an official X-Photographer, yours truly will probably being doing a speaking event on one of the first two days. 

For the ones that don't know, Sharjah is the Emirate next to Dubai in the UAE and is promoted as being the "Cultural Heart" of the UAE. As it doesn't have the same amount of eye catching architecture like Dubai, it feels a bit like Dubai used to be in the 1980's or even 1990's. 

One of the workshops that immediately caught my eye, was "HOW TO STREET" by Indian Street Photographer Vineet Vohra. I've been following Vineet's work for several years and have always have been attracted in how he's able to layer his Street Photograph images that well. 

Something I also see in the work of Magnum Photographers Alex Webb and Harry Gruyaert; my two main inspirations when it comes to Street/Documentary photography. 

Within hours of opening, I booked my own slot for the How to Street workshop and can't wait to shoot along the master! As of today, there are still a few slots available, which can be booked here

By the way, I'm not affiliated or paid by Vineet to advertise this; he doesn't even know.

One of my Photo resolutions was the fact that I would go more to Sharjah to document Life on the Streets of the UAE Cultural Emirate. The workshop above will be a great opportunity to do so.

The image below was shot at the main Dhow (wooden cargo boats) port in Sharjah, while a small truck was being loaded onto a ship. I love the look on the face of the guy on the left; you can see him thinking, "I hope the chains were properly fixed"! 


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T20 with the XF50mm f2 lens
  • ISO 200, 1/350s, f5.6
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development using the Fujifilm Classic Chrome Film Simulation

More Street Photography from Sharjah can be found here

Remember: "Buy a good pair of comfortable shoes, always have a camera around your neck, be patient, optimistic and don't forget to smile" - Matt Stuart