Twilight Architecture

Posted on December 6, 2013

I’ve been taking advantage of the early sunsets in the city for my afternoon photo walks. Normally I go out around 3:30 but I’ve pushing it out an hour so that I’m walking at the start of twilight. There’s still just enough ambient light to keep my exposures from getting too dark while still having that warm soft glow feeing that you only get during twilight. This doesn’t last very long, maybe only 15 minutes so I have to work quickly.

It’s a real challenge taking abstract architecture with a 35mm but when I can fill the frame, I’m really rewarded with an interesting image. This lens is so small and light that I don’t want to shoot with anything else right now. The novelty may wear off in a few weeks but in the meantime I’m just enjoying not having haul around a lot of weight to get a quality image.

SONY, ILCE-7, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
1/40, f/2.8, ISO 64

Sony Alpha7

Posted on December 4, 2013

This is the first blog post with a photo from my new camera, a Sony A7 with a Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f2.8. This is a full frame sensor in a small camera body. I’m still getting used to the focal length as its a much border field of view than a 50mm on a APS-C body. As a result there’s so much more in the viewfinder to account for. I find myself taking a couple steps closer to my subject to get what I want. I’ve been missing shots because it takes time to walk forward and either the moment passes or the perspective changes so dramatically that it’s a totally different picture then what I originally saw. The camera came with a kit zoom lens but I really like the look and feel of the Zeiss.

So far it’s been a challenge shooting with the A7 but when I’ve had it dialed in, it takes some wonderful pictures. The dynamic range and high ISO performance are incredible, something that you don’t normally have work together in the same camera. Even in the really high ISO, like 12800, the noise has a very nice film grain quality to it. The camera is really small and light which adds very little weight to my day bag. But I think my favorite part about my new camera is the sound of the shutter. It sounds so cool, just like a real camera!

SONY, ILCE-7, FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
1/60, f/5.6, ISO 640

Day for Night

Posted on December 3, 2013

When I walked by this scene I was attracted to the clock and how it seemed to have a glow even though it was the middle of the day. I set up a composition and waited for someone to enter the scene. I got lucky when a women took a pose in the perfect spot right under the clock. The figure adds a sense of scale to the scene, something I was looking for. The addition of the figure also draws the viewers attention away from the clock face and makes it a much more interesting composition. It really is incredible how much visual weight a human figure has in a composition.

It wasn’t until I was post processing the image when I discovered how good this image looked as a night scene. I was done developing the image as a normal daylight shot when I started to experiment. I just kept making the area around the clock darker until it looked like the middle of the night. I adjusted the color a little to give it a warm, evening glow and ended up with a “Day for Night” scene. It’s a term used in the film industry for when they shoot a scene during the day but underexpose the film to make it look like it was shot at night. Shooting at night is not an easy thing to do and most of the time you just end up with a lot of black areas and film grain in your scene.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/90, f/8, ISO 250

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