Glass and water as a lens (day 40)

Posted in 100 day challenge on January 23, 2011 by dingobat

Found a great guide for playing around with a computer screen as a backdrop and using it to display patterns. I stuck a wine glass filled with water in front of the screen and it worked as a lens that focused different parts of the scene then the camera lens, it looked nice when using a shallow depth of field. Maybe this could be used to shoot a portrait where the subject is only in focus throught a glass of water?

Photosaic (day 39)

Posted in 100 day challenge with tags on January 22, 2011 by dingobat

I saw this picture, which I quite like, and thought it could be interesting to experiment with the technique. The original blogger calls it a photosaic so that is how I am going to refer to it.

I made the photosaic by taking a number of shots from slightly different positions to get some variations in the photos. I then cut up the photos and “glued” them back to together. I like the “loose” look of the resulting image.

Colored flash (day 38)

Posted in 100 day challenge with tags on January 21, 2011 by dingobat

Looking through some of my camera equipment I found an old flash that I had totally forgotten about (I got it for free together with an analog camera I bought some time ago). Since it can damage your camera to use an old flash unit I had never tried it out (apparently old flashes can have a very high trigger voltage that can fry the electronics in your DSLR). The flash came with 3 different color filters and I thought it would be interesting to see the effect these could have. luckily the flash could be triggered by the cheap IR flash trigger I recently bought from Ebay. The flash also has a test button that allows me to fire it off manually, this opens up the possibility of using it as a light painting tool.

These are my results trying out the different filters. I think the self-portrait where I use all 3 filters is the most interesting.

Change of perspective and miniature faking (day 36 and 37)

Posted in 100 day challenge with tags on January 20, 2011 by dingobat

For day 36 I wanted to take some photo from a different perspective. I went to the city center because there is an old church tower with a platform on top that is accessible for the public. The tower is 35 meters high, which is higher than almost all of the nearby building, so it was a nice place to shoot from. I got some nice photos using my normal lens, I will hopefully get around to turning them into a 360 degree panorama of the city center.

I also used my tele-lens and when I got home and looked at the photos it reminded me of a technique I read about. Miniature faking is when real photos are manipulated to look like pictures of miniature models. It done by using a applying focus blur in post-processing indication a shallow depth of field, Wikipedia has a very informative article on it. I thought I would give it a try and found this helpful guide to getting started working with this technique using GIMP.

To apply the focus blur on the right parts of the photos is used a depth map, something I have not used before but it seems very useable. Below are the resulting miniature photo, the depth map and the original photo.

I am not sure that the resulting photo is very convincing but it was interesting to work with and learned something about photo manipulation doing it.

Silhouettes (day 35)

Posted in 100 day challenge with tags on January 17, 2011 by dingobat

Did not have a lot of time to shoot today so I walked around and tried to find some interesting silhouettes. Since it was quite late there where not that many strong light sources around but I did manage to find a bicycle parked in front of a window. It had some interesting details which I think look good in silhouette. I tried different shutter speed to play around with how defined the edge of the silhouettes looks in the photos.

Abstract photos with multiple exposures (day 35)

Posted in 100 day challenge with tags , on January 17, 2011 by dingobat

When researching photo techniques that I could try out for the blog, I read about double exposure using analog cameras. Because analog camera use film, double (or more) exposures are easily done by winding back the film roll and exposing the film again. This is (as fare as I know) not possible to do in-camera when shooting digital. It can be done in post-processing e.g. by playing around with layer in GIMP or Photoshop. By doing multiple exposures in post-processing you gain a lot of control which can be both a blessing and a curse. What attract me to multiple exposure photos are often the randomness that comes from the photographer not being completely sure of how the multiple exposure are going to be mixed before the photo is developed.

To archive a similar effect I used a camera set to a long exposure time in a dark room and then created the multiple exposures by firing off a off-camera flash multiple times (kinda similar to the flash portraits done for day 8, except with a different subject and more exposures). I tried it out on an orchid on a black background. I found that by using a steady movement, e.g. panning the camera using a tripod, some really interesting abstract patterns was created. It could be interesting to use this technique as the basis for making alternative portraits of people (if you look closely you can actually see that I am included in one of the photos).


Pendulum light painting (day 34)

Posted in 100 day challenge with tags , , on January 16, 2011 by dingobat

I been following this blog for some time. The author of the blog writes about his project of doing a creative thing a day for a whole year. He recently completed his work on building a harmonograph (a mechanical device for drawing oscillations). Reading about this got me thinking about doing something similar only using light painting instead of pen and paper.

Today I began working on some ideas for making this happen. The photos below are the initial results, they show the oscillations of one pendulum. I did this by placing a camera on a moving pendulum and having a stationary laser pointer as the light source. To get more complicated patterns, I intended to also place the laser pointer on a pendulum, unfortunately the laser ran out of batteries before I could try this. I will probably continue to work on this project and blog about it another day.