Did I say, in my previous post, that I wanted maximum sharpness? Well, NASA has the ultimate: a one-billion pixel composition of hundreds of photos taken by Mars rover Curiosity. You can find it here. May take some time to load… 😉
The winners of the best press photos of last year were announced today. Overall winner was Paul Hansen with a picture of a funeral in Gaza: two kids, killed in a rocket attack, are carried by men whose faces express terrible grief–and anger. Together with the almost haunting light, the atmosphere of the picture is very intense.
The light effect sets this picture apart for me. Of course, being a press photo, there is no elaborate studio lighting to create such an effect. If I see it right, the photographer made smart use of light falling through a (broken, or newly-built?) window on the left, while the grey concrete wall on the right helped light up the dark side, acting as a reflection screen. To see that light, while walking backwards, almost with your nose and your wide-angle lens in the faces of crying, angry men and–even worse–dead children!
Of course, the rest of the winners in the different categories are also worth looking at. You can see them here (captions in Dutch–sorry, folks!):
Winnaars World Press Photo 2013 :: nrc.nl.
But this overall winner will stay in my mind for a long time, I fear.
In the part of the world where I live, winter is mostly dreary: cloudy days, with temperatures just above freezing, rain, chilly wind. A few weeks of snow cover (a few centimetres deep) are promised to us by the climate statistics, but in subjective experience it’s much rarer than that. And especially rare are days like this weekend, when a few flakes of snow fall on a windless day. A good occasion to rediscover the beauty of one’s own backyard dressed in a very picturesque cover.
Here’s a link to 25 famous quotes about photography.
If you don’t read Dutch, don’t worry and just skip to the quotes–they’re all in English. (Though I bet Henri Cartier-Bresson’s must have been French in the original).
Rummaging through old photos (a nice passtime on gray weekend days) I discovered that I never shared any of my Iceland trip pictures! It was just a short visit, in the summer of 2011. In fact, just a two-day trip after the end of a conference I attended there. Too short to say that I’ve seen Iceland, but long enough to get the feeling that it is a country where you must become a geologist, a biologist, a storyteller–or a photographer. And a country where it is better to be a visiting photographer than to be living in (sorry, Icelandic readers!) because the Icelandic idea of summer is too close to winter for me: not too cold but with the constant wind it did not feel pleasant!
Anyhow. The pebble beaches of Londrangar and Djupalonssandur (if you teleport to this location, you’re not far off, just drive west for some time) provided subjects for typical wallpaper pictures at every square meter. And think of the sound of those pebbles rolling with every wave that breaks on the beach!
Typical wallpaper picture for me means: not too distracting but enough matter of interest to catch your gaze in between, for instance when you’re switching from one app to the other or when you’re waiting for inspiration ;-). They must be simple but not boring, with a little something that breaks the (random) pattern–what I like to call in one word ‘sinplicity‘: simplicity with a little sniff of ‘sin’ to make it interesting.
As always: you’re welcome to click on the photos and download the original, larger version for your pleasure. Enjoy, and keep you life sinple!
Here’s how my neighbourhood welcomed the new year.
Happy 2013 to everybody!
A suggestion worth considering: don’t be afraid to play with your pictures afterwards, on your computer. Try and put them in square format, for instance. It may make a whole lot of difference! Good tip from the Facebook-page of photographer Dan Lindberg.
And the title comes from a pop song by Huey Lewis & the News, of course 😉
Tilt-shift lenses are ideal for getting straight-lined architecture pictures, but also for creative playing with the plane of focus and depth-of-field. Normally, they are very expensive objectives, but price-breaker Samyang is about to release a tilt-shift-lens (Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS USM), rumoured to cost around $ 1,1000 (€ 900?). Hope it does not only come in the Nikon and Canon versions, but for Sony too. I’d put it on my wish list immediately!
The news is from the website FStoppers, who also give a picture of the new lens.
Some days off–time to post some wallpapers. Made a year ago, on a day tour into the desert around Abu Dhabi. Feel free to download and enjoy while waiting for inspiration at your computer screen.
There are just so many apps available for taking pictures on the iPhone that one does not easily know what to choose, although a little googling will give you lots of lists with peoples’ favourites. Hipstamatic is sure to turn up as one of them. So I downloaded it a while ago, but I must admit that I have not really often found a good way for using it.
It is a nice toy, but you really have to take a different look at taking pictures. I find that difficult. My vision is more ‘traditional’, most of the time. I want to take pictures that are sharp (selectively), well-exposed (for the purpose), etc. The creativity is in finding a good perspective, a good composition–and in knowing what the picture should get across to the viewers.
This Hipstamatic game requires a different type of creativity and vision. It is more about colour, mood, and emotional vehicles to get ‘something’ across to the viewers. But I guess that it also leaves more freedom to the viewers–requires more involvement of the viewers as well, though: you as a viewer have to think much more about what this picture with these effects says to you. I’m curious to know if this one says anything to you. Reactions are welcome!