Fine Art

Lemon fizz

It’s been a week of using my macro lens, the first time in a long time. When I started with photography, my plan was to get into macro and closeup photography. It didn’t really work out that way. After watching a couple of idea videos on YouTube, I’ve been really gotten into getting that angle.

These shots are somewhat cliché, but something I’ve always wanted to do. I was making a drink (I’m on a fresh lemon in my drink phase) with fizzy water. Soon as I saw the bubbles, I put the glass in the afternoon sun and went to town.

Macro droplets

When ideas strike, you take action.

While ironing shirts, I noticed some water leaked from the iron. The ironing board treatment made the water ball up. After finishing up the shirts, I made some new water droplets and broke out the macro lens and set to work.

The afternoon sun was coming through the window for some natural light.

Textures

On a recent outing to take my son to an appointment, I had some time to kill. Good old quarantine means I can’t wait in the waiting room. So I wandered around the location. I planned ahead, and brought my Fuji X100T with me. Such a great little camera.

I found an old structure and used the morning sun and the macro feature of the camera to shoot a few closeups of the weathered wood.

Morning silhouette

I needed to take my son to the hospital for an appointment (nothing serious to worry about).

Since I didn’t know how long the appointment would be, I took along my Fuji X100T, should, you know, something interesting happen. I’m still riffing off the chess shots I took over the weekend, so I’m on it now – the photo thing.

Along the way, looking around, the tree line looked neat with the sun, obscured by clouds, looked kind of neat. So this picture came about. I always shoot in manual mode – I set the aperture and shutter speed and ISO, so I set the shutter speed to max and the shutter equally maxed out to get this look.

While it was shot at around 9:30am, it looks like a night shot in October.

Lockdown chess

As the unspeakable (because it is spoken too much) virus keeps everyone at home, I’ve been able to approach the camera again.

See, for the last year or so, I’ve been heavily involved in local musical theatre as a lighting designer and lighting technician. So all energies and more importantly, time, has been channeled that way.

So now with the lock down/stay at home orders, theatre entertainment has been postponed. The uptick is I can now dust off the camera, and find…no…rediscover, that creative outlet.

I was stuck though, as to where to start. An inspiration. And that led me to watch Zack Arias’ video, “Inspiration is for Amateurs“, and subsequently, one of his “behind the scenes” shoot videos. The crux of the first video, is that waiting for inspiration is a waste of time. Go out and shoot. Do something. Anything. The more you do, the more ideas come up. After watching the second video – which is just his approach to shooting a personal project, I was inspired. To do something. Being a lighting designer in theatre, I dug out my strobe lights, chess pieces and board, and tried to do….something. I tried different angles, lighting angles and gel colours.

It didn’t really work out as I’d hoped. But, true to Mr. Arias, I did a bunch of stuff that didn’t work, and as I was kind of giving up, I saw something, and started new shots, and came out with…something! Not great, but my eye was starting to see things.

While other experiments failed, this came out of it. Strobe light camera right at low level creating interesting shadows.

Further, I left everything in the room and did something else. As I was walking by it, the afternoon light gave me the next idea. I grabbed a different camera and shot a few more frames.

Low angle focused front light.
Same angle, changed shutter speed and focus to get silhouettes.

So, while I spent a couple hours on the “prime” ideas, I got the best pictures after. In the end, either way, I’m happy with what I got.

The first photo was shot with a Fuji X-T1 with a 16-55 f2.8 lens, with a Fuji EF-42 flash on the camera in manual mode at low power bouncing off the ceiling. The second flash is a Nikon SB-900 in slave mode, triggered by the EF-42, also in manual mode to dial in specific power and zoom level.

The other two were taken with a Fuji X-100T, only with the light from the window.

A little Acros

Its been a pretty cold and blustery winter. Since getting my new X-Pro2, I’ve had little opportunity to get outside and take some shots. A little while ago, the weather was (relatively) quite warm, and I took the opportunity to get out and get a quick walk in before it rained. I brought along the new camera, and threw it into the Acros film simulation. I’m not much of a fan of black and white photography, but there has been a lot of good comments on this simulation. Given that this time of year is pretty monochrome, what better time to try it out.

I’m still not convinced that black and white photography is the best, but I had a good time, and the photos here are decent enough. Enough to try again for sure.

Arriving UFO

I gave myself a Christmas present… a Fuji X-Pro2 Graphite edition. It’s an X-Pro2 with a cool look to it. Through some searching and a few other discounts, I got it at a really good deal. I’ve been looking at it for a while and while the weather sealing and wifi were definite draws, the 24 megapixel size was holding me off. It’s just a stupid amount of pixels for what I do with the camera. In the end, the deal/price I came up with was worth it.

So this is one of my first pictures with it. I find I have a tendency to purchase new gear in the winter when it’s too cold, too dark and just not feasible to get out and use the new stuff. Huh. This shot was from my back door in -20 temperatures. The sun was going down and the blue in the sky made for a neat picture. I was shooting other things in silhouette when an airplane was taking off. I grabbed this shot.

Its important to note that this is straight from the camera as shot with an ISO of 3200, not post processing other than a slight crop. The colours and rendering are awesome. Looks like I made a good choice!

Times are changing

Last week I took a walk near my work at lunch. It was a 10 minute drive to a spot where a path followed a bit of the CN tracks up to Arnprior on the Beachburg subdivision. At one spot, the trail comes very close to the tracks, so I took a little detour up onto the tracks. I knew that the only train through here was on Wednesdays and it was a Tuesday. That and my Spidey senses are always in tune for a train or any train sounds, and the max speed is about 20 mph, so I knew that if something did happen to come, I would hear it well before and have time to get out of the way (and it didn’t stop me from looking over my shoulder constantly…just in case).

At one point there used to be a junction (switch) that would lead up the valley on a different route. A year or so ago, that was ripped out and all that is left is the remnants of where the rails went. I was surprised to see a lot of the track bits still scattered about the location. I figured they would have cleaned it up and sold it for scrap.

Bonus for me, as it made for some fine photo shots with my trusty Fuji X100T. Sad that there is a little less rail traffic in Ottawa. Especially for someone like me who likes trains.

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Purple rain

Its been a dry month in Ottawa. I think it hasn’t rained since early May. So I’ve taken to lightly watering the grass and plants. No too much, since the city decided it wanted more revenue from water so jacked the rates by 6%.

But I digress. I was watering the flowers and such and saw the way the droplets appeared on the flowers. I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and 60mm macro and made some pictures. This is one of those.

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My friend suggested the title “Purple Rain”. Somewhat fitting since the death of Prince. I was never  a big fan of his (just his style doesn’t totally jive with mine), but I respected him as an artist and musician. He could really wail on the guitar.

Abandoned

I recently borrowed a bike to get some exercise. I haven’t ridden a bike in nearly 20 years, and boy do I like it. I have been out a number of times, and love it. I’ve been looking for routes around the area.

I was on a ride and I saw some abandoned cars in the woods. So I took the camera out to grab a few shots. There were two different cars. One from the ’40s and the other looked like an old VW Beetle.

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