Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 49: AFRICA MEETS PAKISTAN, Dubai

Over the years, Street Photography has taken a much larger role in my personal photography. There is no question that the Fujifilm cameras I've been using since November 2012, are definitively responsible for that!

Since Fujifilm announced the new 23mm f2 lens a few months ago, it has quickly taken over from the 35mm f2 in becoming my new favorite Street Photography lens. 

Sadly the 35mm f2 has been neglected since the announcement. Time to do so something about this!

The image below of 3 African ladies walking along two Pakistani men, shows how much of a multi-cultural place Dubai really is! Standing on a footbridge, I was especially attracted by how the shadows added the extra dimension to the shot.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the 35mm f2 lens
  • ISO 400, f8, 1/180s
  • Lightroom CC for RAW file development; used Camera calibration Classic Chrome and then converted to Black and White 

My best Street Photography work can be found in their respective Colour and Black and White galleries.

Remember: "All the technique in the world, doesn't compensate for the inability to notice" - Elliott Erwitt


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 48: My portrait session with a wild LION - (Fujifilm X-T2 and XF100-400)

Mid November, I got back from a great 12 day photo-adventure to Eastern Africa... Part of the trip was a weeklong wildlife photo-safari in three of the National Parks in Northern Tanzania. 

Expect an extensive blogpost about shooting wildlife (no pun intended!) with the XF100-400 lens, towards the end of the month. 

Meanwhile, the image below is probably my number one favorite of the trip! Just when we are about to leave the Ngorongoro Crater, we bumped into a pride of lions. Like most lions during the middle part of the day, they were sleeping when we first discovered them. As we were in no hurry to leave the National Park, I elected to wait at least 30-45 mins in order to see if they would get up...

Patience paid of when one of the males, stood up after about 30mins and looked straight into the camera for a very short while (less than 10s). Needless to say that being ready with the appropriate gear, is key in situations like that!

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF100-400 lens and 1.4x TC (teleconverter)
  • ISO 640, 1/420, f13, 560mm 
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development
  • Nik SilverEfex Pro for Black and White conversion

Just before leaving on the trip to Africa, I attended a seminar by fine-art wildlife photographer David Yarrow; in most of his images, David is able to show some kind of an intimacy with the animal by shooting from a very low angle. When the lion was looking me straight into the eyes (although through the viewfinder), I knew I had a winning shot. Being it one of the last wildlife images I shot during the trip, made it even more special!

The image will be printed large; something that I'm excited about!

For the ones that can't wait for my upcoming wildlife photography post, please check out the following link with +200 images of Wild Africa, here!

Remember: "Everybody wants to eat but few are willing to hunt".


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 47: SUPERMOON RISE OVER DUBAI

Yesterday was "Supermoon" night; a relative new word for a moon which is brighter and larger than normal. Last nights full Supermoon was 14% larger and 30% brighter than a "standard" full moon; something that hadn't occurred to the same scale since 1948 and for which we will have to wait till 2034 to see an even larger one. 

This coincidence happens when the moon which is on an elliptical pattern around the Earth, is the closest just at the full moon moment, resulting in an apparent larger moon disk. Even though 14% extra is a lot for a supermoon, I saw a lot of people being disappointed in how "small" it looked.

Anyway, plenty of reason to go out there to try and photograph the moment! As a lot of other photographers were using super telephoto lenses in order to show how large the moon was, I elected to try and document the first glimpse of the moonrise itself from within the city. Something that is not easy to achieve with all the high rise buildings around. 

Luckily we have IOS applications like PhotoPills, which will predict where exactly the moon is about the rise. 

Although I wasn't 100% sure if the moon would fit between the two tall buildings, it turned out to be a success. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF50-140 f2.8 lens
  • ISO 800, f5, 1/10s, 90mm (135mm full frame equivalent)
  • Lightroom CC for RAW development
  • Nik ColorEfex pro4 for optimal detail and contrast
As I'm pretty happy with the overall quality of the image, I uploaded a copy into my Architectural portfolio, here

Remember: "Always aim for the moon, if you miss you might hit a star" - W. Clement Stone

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 46: Fishing Great White Egret, Dubai

I'm presently on a 12-day Photo Safari in Tanzania; an exciting photo-adventure across the National Parks in the North of the country such as the Serengeti, Tarangire, Manyara and Ngorongoro.

While I'm not able to post an image directly due to limited internet, I've elected to share an image shot at the Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai in preparation for this exciting wildlife safari.

The image below is off a Great White Egret fishing in the Dubai creek, very close to the Ras al Khor Flamingo hide. I observed this tall wide bird fishing with a great success rate; at least 50% of its dives let to a catch!

Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF 100-400 lens
ISO 800, f9, 1/800s, 400mm
Lightroom CC for RAW development
Photoshop CC to remove some disturbing distractions in the water
Nik Color Efex Pro4 for contrast adjustment

More images of the "Nature of the UAE" can be found here while obviously over the next few weeks there will be a series about my photo-adventure to Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Remember: "Life is like fishing, you are rewarded for your constancy"


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pic(k) of the week 45: Ready for take-off at Dusseldorf airport

Since the XF100-400 had been announced, I've sung the praises of this super telephoto lens; together with the Fujifilm X-T2 it is now my go to combination for all of my Aviation Photography

Last week I took the combo on a trip to Dusseldorf Germany, to photograph some of the airliners at the airport. Post 9/11 there sadly aren't many airports left which have a dedicated observation deck to watch and photograph the aircraft landing and taking off, but Dusseldorf is still one of them! It is sad to see these places disappear, which often inspire young and old to take up Aviation as a hobby or profession. 

While I did shoot a fair amount of airliner shots that morning, the image below is more of a symbolic image. Although the lens is only a f4.5 to f5.6 lens, I had to stop down to f16 to have a recogniseable aircraft in the background. Obviously this is because of the combination of the longer focal length with a subject distance further away.

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF100-400 lens
  • ISO 1000, f16, 204mm, 1/160s
  • Topaz Clarity for optimal contrast
I've recently started using Topaz Clarity and have been pleasantly surprised with the results. For those of you wondering I'm not dumping my Nik Software plug-ins (mainly Color Efex and Silver Efex), but I'm always on the look-out for new applications which simply my workflow.

The XF100-400 is definitively my preferred new lens for 2016! For those that missed the review, please make sure you check it out here.

Remember: "Birds born in a cage, think flying is an illness."