The special Brunswick Street in Melbourne is a long strip of two-lane double-way street flanked by fancy shops and some bars along the narrow walkways. It is in an old area which, as told by many, used to be the den of criminals and outlaws. Not a very flattering past. Now the street is known for one thing: graffiti.
Friday, 3 September 2010
This is the Conservatorium of Music at one of the entrances to the huge botanical garden at the back of the Sydney Opera House. The scene was spotted and shot a minute before the shadow now just showing up engulfed most of the buildings. And the reflection was not obvious at first sight because the photographer was required to really stand on the toes to see it.
So it was by intuition that, when I noticed this pedestal of some sort made from black marble, I went over to see the expected reflection and did the shot. Had I hesitated for a minute, the shadow would have covered the building and blocked out the reflection.
On another occasion, I noticed a really rotten apple core on a flight of dilapidated steps which would make a tasteful image. But I hesitated to stop and missed the shot. More often than not, photographers don't have the time to hesitate.
The next stop is back to Melbourne.
Thursday, 2 September 2010
Shots of the landmark of Sydney, the Opera House, are ubiquitous on postcards, in books and magazines. Most of them are, however, uninspiring shots of cliché which shared as much in common with the winning images in a photo contest as a bowl of rice in a China Town restaurant to a spoonful of Aussie's favourite Vegemite at a friend's place.
It is a necessary pursuit to a creative photographer to see any scene from his own angle. Where, why and how are the three basic question words to bear in mind when observing a scene. The photographer should then make as much show as possible of his novel perspectives in the final images.
For an impressive structure like the Sydney Opera House, the usual panoramic shots showing it from a distance cannot do justice to the enormity of its architectural beauty which can only be felt at a close distance. A standard shot of the entire opera house has less going for it as an image reflecting its unique architecture than undermining the same.
So this is the why behind these shots to which the answers are the where (to view) and how (e.g. which angel to shoot from) as expressed with these shots.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
For those who are contemplating Sony's a55, this fast wide-angel lens is a good alternative to the kit lens provided that you already have other A-mount lenses on hand: Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX AF 11-16mm f/2.8 (*Mount available for Sony A-mount)
The lens is not cheap but absolutely worthy of every penny you spent on it. Note the SD on the lens body. It features 2 SD optical glasses. Go here for the technical bit. Another good news is that the lens can be used on a full-frame camera at f16 where shaded angels will clear up. Go here for the illustration.
These two shots were made on the street in Sydney. The first one was one of the shots made while I was standing at the traffic light to wait for the right moment. What caught my eye were the patters of the white lines in contrast to the intersecting shadows.
This second shot suddenly presented itself when I was about to put the camera back into the bag. The shadows looked better than the real bike and rider. Since the camera was duped by the bright scene, I had to drag the shutter speed down a bit for a better exposure.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Sony A55 has caused animated discussions on the Internet. If you haven't read the comments of Lori on CNet about his field test images, here you are. He comments on each aspect of the camera with the 7 photos. I have no reservation except for his comment on the landscape photo. We need other shots of the same scene taken by other comparable cameras to make the same conclusion.
Monday, 30 August 2010
The word is not an adjective. Manly Beach is the classic destination for tourists, for a good reason: the beach is better for photography than the Gold Coast for it's less windy and has a more leisurely atmosphere. I didn't post-process these shots and the one taken with the GX200 has the texture I like in the final image. Using the EVF did help under the bright sun for making the desired exposure.
By the way, if you're a Ricoh user, do mind that the deadline for entering the 10th Ricoh Photo Contest is the end of August.
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Take a break from the Australia trip because there is one thing more exciting to think about: Sony's launch of the a55. The camera has received excellent reviews, surprisingly even from the C-brand friendly site and the connoisseur-grade Luminous Landscape.
It is a camera in a body weighted and measured (except for the depth) similarly as a Samsung NX10. But Sony solves the one important issue that has remained to be improved for such smaller serious cameras– the focusing speed, as far as my experience with them goes.
There are just too many great features in the a55 to talk about apart from the focusing speed. (By the way, the beauty rocks, doesn't she?) The ability to swing its body to do the panoramic shots is too good to be true. The gob-smacking dynamic range capability is fantastic. The LCD viewfinder plus the fully articulated screen combine to give a smarter solution than an optical tilting viewfinder as in GF-1's case, for example, or a fixed screen plus a fixed EVF as in NX10's case. The price is surprisingly low too.
In a nutshell, Sony has managed to produce a camera 'small', advanced and affordable enough to tickle the fancy of many. So who will be surprised if they end up buying one next month when it is available? Or is it rather a mathematical certainty?
My Minolta lenses are kicking in the coffins from afar, I heard them.
This is 'Son'day. Have fun!