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Posts tagged ‘Architecture’

Introductions: Exploratorius

The Introduction this week is from someone I found in the reader, I kept noticing his work and I liked it, so I thought I would like to introduce you to Exploratorius and the photographer behind it, Mitch. He has some wonderful images on his blog and I really want to show you those images. Mitch has given me permission to show you his work and I hope at the end of this post you will follow the link back to his blog

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There is a lot of architecture on Mitch’s blog, and I guess that is something that I am quite attracted to.  His work reminds me of how I photograph it, well the angles, I know we work differently, I think I do more digital.

I asked Mitch where in the world he was?

My wife and I live in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, within Maryland — a state dominated by the Chesapeake Bay, which was formed by the seventh largest meteor impact crater in the world (http://exploratorius.us/2013/07/07/chesapeake-bay-impact-crater/).  We live just 27 miles (43km) from the White House, but you would never know it based upon the tiny rural community that we call home.

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Then there are the black and white images landscape images, now this is an area I really want to get better at. I like the landscapes he takes and when I look at them I realise there is no reason why I couldn’t do similar images.

I asked him how long he had been taking photos for and why?

My earliest attributed image was one I took of my mother when I was three and a half years old (March 1965), though it was only later — around the age of nine — when I discovered this thing called “composition” and began to take image creation seriously.  Eventually I was able to become a professional photographer and graphic designer in the late 1970s, before changing my career to computer support in the early 1990s (it is quite easy to starve as a professional photographer, less so as an IT guy).  Photography for me is a way to share my specific vision of the world; it can be an actual record of reality from a specific point in space and time, or it can be how I think it ought to look, with natural beauty being the primary focus.

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You could be mistaken to think that Mitch only took monochrome images, but it is good to see that he does do some colour, but they often aren’t the normal colour shots and you can expect something a little different with his.

I always ask about inspiration.

Ansel Adams is my primary photographic inspiration, but I believe I learned more about the importance of composition, lighting, and textures from the great painting and illustration masters — Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Charles Russell, and N.C. Wyeth.

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It was nice to see some close up work in his portfolio as well.  This is so soft and the colour is wonderful.  He has some other close ups too, but I don’t know that it is something that he specialises in, or does much of.

As usual I asked Mitch if there was anything special about the way he worked.

Compared to the greats?  No.  As I state in the tagline of my site, I am a photo hack; I may be a very good one, but I am still just a hack.  However, I continually strive to improve my work and I learn something new everyday.

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The familiar colours we see at either end of the day, something we all try and get.  This is a great one, it is something I find hard to get, there never seems to be any when I try.

I always ask about gear.

I have shot images with just about every major brand of camera gear out there, both as a pro and as a prosumer.  The smallest camera I have ever used was the Kodak Disc (truly tiny negatives and awful image quality), while the largest was a 20 foot (6m) long 20×24″ (500x600mm) NuArc horizontal process camera.  My favorite cameras have always been the small ones, the cameras that no one takes seriously — so at present I am shooting with a Leica M7 (35mm film), a Sony NEX-5N (APS-C digital), Olympus Stylus Epic (35mm film point-and-shoot), and whatever iPhone I am currently carrying.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mitch for allowing me to showcase his work.  I would invite you all to go and take a look at his blog, Exploratorius and maybe say hello.  I have a gallery for you now of some of my favourite images, it is just some, as there were too many to choose from.

Starting the Year as I Plan to Finish

Happy New Year

It is the first of January as this post publishes, and I no doubt will be fast asleep, well I hope I am.

In the last 12 months I have concentrated on learning things and trying some things.  In between I did a few art images. Admittedly the year started badly with a bad back that meant I couldn’t sit for very long and wouldn’t able to spend a lot of time working on images.  As the year progressed I still didn’t do many, but it is something that I want to get back to.  Robyn’s One Four Challenge was great to help me get back into it and realised that perhaps I should be doing more.  So I am hoping to do a lot more of this next year.  It is something I love doing a lot. My back is so much better now and it is much easier to sit for longer periods of time.

I have gone through this blog and the one on my website and found images that I have enjoyed processing.  Some you have seen, some you may not.  Funny when I look at them now, they are nearly all architectural, I had really noticed that before.

Be careful with the celebrations, but I hope you all have a great evening bringing in the new year.

Weekend Wanderings: Wrapping up the Year Part 2

It was great to hear how many of you enjoyed the photos yesterday and today I thought I would do the same thing, well similar, show you a selection of images that I have taken in Melbourne.  They aren’t just photos of the city, there are also photos taken within the metropolitan area of Melbourne.

There are parks and gardens galore in Melbourne, so much so it used to be called the garden state.

I was a bit shocked when I realised how many images of this area I have taken and how many posts, apparently 56, that is a good number.  So with 37 posts on the country areas, and 56 on Melbourne Metro, that is 93 posts, though to make up the rest I did go back and revisit some older posts.  I think it is quite an impressive number, and so glad that I have done it.  I can’t wait to see what next year brings and the places I will visit, it should be a good year, I hope you will have as much fun.

Weekend Wanderings: Looking Back at the Photos of Melbourne Part 2

Today I have the second half of the year and lots of the photos that I have taken in the last six months.  It has been fantastic going back over the shots.

It is 12 months ago now that I really hurt my back and was unable to sit at the computer for a long time.  My back has improved and it was interesting to see that some fine art images were slowly creeping back in, as I was able to sit at the computer again. I am starting to get right back into editing my photos again and seeing what I can do.  Some of the challenges that people run have been good to get me back into it, I have enjoyed the push to get me to try some things again, which in turn has made me want to go and try some new work.  Plans are under way, just as soon as I get my energy back.

So today the images are all architectural again, I believe, a few of the river, but I have explored some new areas of the city in the last six months and it has been good finding new places to photograph and then take photos of.  It is going to warm here today, not too hot, which is nice, but still warm enough that the best place to be is inside.  I hope you are experiencing nice weather where you are today.

Weekend Wanderings: From Bourke to Spring in Melbourne

Last weekend when I was wandering around the city with those people and taking photos, I showed you some of the images last weekend, but we did wander from the Bourke Street Mall all the way up to Spring street.  Last weekend I stopped the photos with the Christmas decorations, so today I thought I would show you more of what were taken at the Mall and to just before I left the city.

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Being the first weekend of the 2014 Christmas Festival the city was packed with people, and there were buskers everywhere. Some on their own, or small groups like this entertaining the people.  Some are good, some aren’t, but it is nice to hear and see them.  I have to start making sure I have money or change when I go in so I can give them some.  I think if I’m taking photos I should leave some money.  These guys didn’t last long, well in this set, they had been there for a while and just after they started playing their power was cut off.  They were good too.

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We ended up walking up Little Collins Street.  I haven’t really done that before, so it was great to see some new architecture.  One of the buildings I showed you the other day, and in the gallery I will include the original image with only minor adjustments.

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When you come to the top of Little Collins Street, at Spring Street, you seeParliament House.  I loved the way the light was hitting it.  The glow from the afternoon light was beautiful.  I haven’t been down this way in a while, and the last time I was here they were working on the steps and they were all blocked off.  It is a great building, I have plans for more photos.

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I have some photos of the fountain that I used for the AB Friday challenge.  It is hard to photograph, but I didn’t have my tripod with me and I think I would like to try some long exposure on it at some point.

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In this image is a statue of Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls and his wife. Lady Gladys Nicholls, he was the first Aboriginal person to be knighted and also the first appointed to vice-regal office, serving as Governor of South Australia from 1 December 1976 until his resignation on 30 April 1977 due to poor health. (from Wikipedia) I think it is a great statue, I love how they look like they are wandering down the street.

I have more photos for you, which I will put into a gallery.  Hopefully the problems WordPress were having yesterday are all fixed up and won’t happen again today.  I don’t think I have ever experienced WordPress breaking down that badly before, it was almost funny, couldn’t do anything on it.  I hope you all have a great weekend, it is raining in Melbourne this Sunday morning, it is refreshing after the heat and humidity we’ve had.

Quiet Thursday in December

It is getting here, summer has definitely arrived and December is bound to be a very busy month, what with Christmas and most of us, well in Australia, not wanting to go out much in the heat.  I like these quiet Thursdays, it means a peaceful day.

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This is an image I took last weekend while I was in the city wandering the streets.  I loved the way the sun was hitting it, but I also liked it in black and white so much more.  It did have a beautiful sky, but I replaced it, and part of the reason for doing that was to get rid of some of the distractions that were around it.

Just quickly, I have started the one four challenge again, well my entry for it, though it is over on my other blog, go here, One Four Challenge for December Week 1.

I have also done another image for Stacy’s AB Friday, well I have sent it to her but it won’t be published for another day or two, so keep an eye on my other blog, and Visual Venturing.

 

Introductions – Alex Bihlo

Earlier this  year I made a decision to spend more time on Google+ and give it a go. I did it for many reasons, and then there are things that I’ve found that have been a great result because of it.  The quality of images you see on Google+ is absolutely amazing and today I want to introduce you to a photographer that I found on G+, Alex Bihlo, and I am sure you will be blown away by his work as I was. Alex is based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada and it seems a fantastic place to take photos.

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Long exposures is something I have been hearing a lot about and Alex does them to perfection.  The muted colours or the monochrome treatment he gives, make them seem surreal but also serene.  I just love looking at them.

The first couple of questions, how long have you been taking photos for and why do you take them?

I got serious about photography around 1 1/2 years ago. I moved to Canada in 2011 and taking pictures was a way of sharing my experience with friends and family back home in Austria. First they were mainly snapshots but after a trip to BC and Alberta in 2012 I was quite frustrated with the quality of my pictures and started to learn more about photography (still annoyed about all my bad shots from these great landscapes). Once I bought my first DSLR in 2013 I soon got hooked by B&W and the more I worked without color the more I got inspired by the fine art side of photography rather than the realistic capture. Now I try to use photography to combine what I see with my eyes with what I see in my mind.

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One of the things that I have always enjoyed trying to do with the ocean is to calm the sea and I love the way Alex seems to do that.  It also helps to have a coast line that is rugged and lots of interesting rocks to use in the images.

Next I asked Alex about his inspiration.

Mostly the vast landscapes and seascapes in Canada. Coming from Europe and a country without access to the sea it is pretty special for me to be able to go to places that are still open and untouched. I do like modern architecture a lot though but there is not too much of an opportunity to shoot that here in Newfoundland.

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Whilst there is a vast number of black and white images on Alex’s Google+ page there are also some wonderful gems like these. Sunsets or sunrises where the colour remains. The long exposures give that water a frozen look while the clouds give a sense of time moving slowly.

As I always I asked Alex if there was anything special about the way he worked.

I think the more pictures I take the harder it becomes for me to process them. As I try to use pictures as a metaphor most of the work has to be done in post-processing. I start in Lightroom, do the global B&W work in Silver Efex Pro 2 and the local contrast adjustments in Photoshop. Global exposure corrections are done back in Lightroom.

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Alex mentioned earlier, he does like architecture as well.  He has a great collection of architectural images he has taken and I think they are fantastic. I love architecture too, so it is always great to see how others are approaching it.  Always inspires me to get out and take more photos of buildings.

My final question is, as always, about gear.

I started with a Canon Rebel T3i which I bought in 2013 but now mostly use a Canon 6D that I got this year. For now I stick with my 24-105 mm lens. Most of my more recent work is long exposure for which I have a 10 stop B+W ND filter and a 16 stop Firecrest filter.

Alex doesn’t have a website or blog, so if you want to see more of his exceptional work you will need to go to his Google+ page, Alex Bihlo.  I would also like to thank Alex for giving me permission to feature his work here on my blog. I have a gallery now for you with even more amazing images.  Thanks Alex.

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