Tag Archives: nature

Isn’t It A Beautiful Morning?

Winter’s coming, it’s getting dark early, the sun rises late, the temperatures are dropping. Doesn’t make it too easy to get out of bed in the morning. But what can you do?

At least, this time of the year – especially early in the morning – is quite pretty. Today I captured these photos close to my home.

A Morning in Fall

The sun was low, shining its dark-red light on the street. Walking a little further the sun got behind a tree, illuminating the scene quite nicely.

A Morning in Fall

As usual I had some trouble getting everything done the way I wanted with my old phone, but I think it turned out okay.

A Morning in Fall

What do you think? Reminds you of fall/autumn in your own city?

A Morning in Fall

Coping with Limitations

“The best camera is the one that’s with you” – heard this a million times and it’s not untrue. Anyhow, I quite often wish I would have my “real” camera with me instead of the crappy Samsung Galaxy S (or at least a Nokia 1020 ;))

In this picture here I decided to take a small hike after coming out of a supermarket in France. I went up a hill and immediately regretted I hadn’t taken my NEX shopping. The sun was relatively low, therefore making it incredibly hard to take a shot that didn’t overexpose the sky or underexpose the landscape.

So I gave it a shot with the HDR app, but the result wasn’t quite good enough yet. In the end I decided that the best way to make up for the limitations of the camera in my mobile phone was taking away the colors. This allowed me to play a little more with contrast and brightness without producing completely unrealistic colors.

France in Black&White

I know, you can argue if I also had to put the frame, but what do you think in general – okay for a 3 year old smartphone camera?

Upside Down

On a bike trip a while ago I came across a little lake. It was fascinating, the water was perfectly calm. The lake was surrounded by trees which effectively shielded it from any wind. You could not see any movement on the surface.

What fascinated me from a photographic point of view was the reflection on the water. It was like I was looking right into a mirror. Even more, the image in the water seemed much clearer than the bright sky on this summer day.

A Calm Lake

What I did afterwards was turning the image upside down, leaving the viewer (hopefully at least for a moment) puzzled what’s the reflection and what’s not.

Focus on the Little Things

Before going to the rainforest, I did tons of reading. How would I have to prepare myself and my equipment for this trip? I found a lot, but no definite answers. Some completely ruined their cameras in the environment, others had no trouble at all. In the end, I choose to take as little equipment as possible. So I just packed my Sony NEX and one lens, the Sigma 30 mm F2,8 (didn’t have a zoom lens at this time). I thought this was the best choice for the rainforest. And then I came across ants…

Ants in the Rainforest

These leafcutter ants, carrying pieces of leafs many times there own size, are for sure impressive – but damn hard to shoot when you have the wrong lens. Usually in these moments you would go for a macro lens and be happy, but I didn’t had any choice.

Ants in the Rainforest

At the same time, I wanted some parts of the picture out of focus, of course making it harder for me to shoot. What I did was switching to manual focus, aiming at a certain point and then wait until the ants came into focus. You shoot some pictures and hope one snapshot GOES well. I learned that it’s best to look up from your screen or viewfinder in order to best anticipate the moment when the ants come into focus. Still, it’s incredibly hard because they really don’t feel like stopping for nice photo. The little bastards keep running 😉

Ants in the Rainforest

In the end, I managed to get some nice shots with the equipment given at this moment. What do you think?

Chillin’ in the sun

Last year I had the chance to visit some of the Galapagos islands. Every morning we went by boat to the various islands. It was a bumpy ride and usually you would always find someone at the rear of the boat throwing up into the ocean.

Galapagos Islands

But once you reached your destination after the 2 hours ride, it was completely worth it. I was blown away by the paradisiacal landscape and the diversity of animal life.

Galápagos sea lion

This friend here, a Galápagos sea lion, waited for our boat on my second day there. As they cool down in the water, sea lions (just like some of us) love to heat up before they take a swim. Just chillin’ in the sun, carefree and untroubled.

The Awesomeness of Mobile Photography

We all know the saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. In most cases, this means a smartphone camera. However, when you ask many photographers, they will keep telling you that mobile photography is crap. When you look a what’s trending on Instagram, they have a point. On the other hand, what I’ve seen people do with their DSLRs made me lose my faith too. A camera is a tool, in gifted hands it creates art, in less talented hands it creates … output. Just take a look at the Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera Series by DigitalRev TV.

When I look at mobile photography, I am always stunned what you can get out of a tiny sensor and a cheap lens. What makes all the difference is the software. Phone manufacturers are dealing with the physical limitations of their cameras by enhancing them with the right software. I am working with a Samsung Galaxy S, a phone that was produced in early 2010. Technology-wise, this thing is from the stone ages. However, I still manage to produce some presentable shots.

Small River in the Mountains

In this example, I used an HDR app to get some more details and afterwards added an Instagram filter. I know what some people think about vintage filters, but I believe that used properly they can actually improve a picture.

So, what do you think? Could this photo have turned out much better using a professional DSLR?