Friday, October 21, 2016

Panning

Lately I have been reading "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson to notch up my photography game a little bit. The book lays out with many examples and in simple terms the relationship between the three corners of the exposure triangle namely aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The example images are inspiring and the related caption text describing the author's choices of camera settings is immensely helpful to understand how the three variables are manipulated to get that particular image.

One of the most important point the author makes is that there are many possible settings to get the correct exposure for the given subject but there is almost always just one single combination of the variables which yields an artistically correct exposure. Anyway, if you are into understanding the topic thoroughly, I would wholeheartedly recommend the book.

I tried experimenting with the panning which is discussed in the book while visiting Amsterdam. Panning is basically a technique where one moves the camera parallel to the direction of the motion at slower shutter speeds to focus sharply on the moving subject while at the same time blurring the stationary background. The end result is a photo portraying the motion of the subject due to the one directional blur of the background. 

It was a beautiful autumn evening and the city was full with cyclists on the bridges. This photo was taken at one of those busy bridges. I spent almost 15-20 minutes literally "shooting" the cyclists as they rode by with different shutter speeds and aperture settings almost as if I was playing that duck shooting game "Duck Hunt" on the 8-bit gaming console back in those school summer vacations. This one is one of the sharper ones which I could take at full zoom. I believe with more patience one can lock the subject as sharp as a knife.

1/40 f/10 ISO 160
I chose exactly this one out of the other competing panning shots because I just love the style of this girl; with her hairs trying to untangle themselves from the chequered bluish green shawl, her cool rucksack and that classy blue-jeans-black-shoes combi.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Autumn

1/60 f/6.2 ISO 200

Taken with my old friend FinePix F600EXR in Bamberg, Germany. It's rather an eerie surprise now that I'm looking at the metadata of the photo; it was taken exactly four years ago on 13th of Oct 2012.. Funny how dead things call back for attention as if it was all destined to be.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Sleeping Faun

Back in 2013, when I first saw two paintings of a Faun in Neue Pinakothek, the mystery of the idea took hold of me. Here are the two paintings from Arnold Böcklin (both images are taken from the website of Neue Pinakothek):

"Faun, die Syrinx blasend" - Arnold Böcklin
Photo from the Pinakothek Website
"Pan im Schlif" - Arnold Böcklin
Photo from the Pinakothek Website
One funny difference about visiting Museums and watching the photos of painting is the misjudgement of the actual scale of the painting in photos. The second painting above "Pan im Schlif" is in fact almost ten effing times bigger in area than the first painting "Faun, die Syrinx blasend". The second painting is pretty huge that it gives you the impression as if you stand there in midday sun, looking at the back of the resting faun under the shed and have a touch of angst that he will turn his head and stare at you..

Later I learned that a 2200 year old marble statue was acquired by the "Mad king" Ludwig of Bayern and is at display in Glyptothek. Here are the photos of the Sleeping Faun which I took during my visit to the Glyptothek. The statue doesn't really fulfill the potential mythos of a faun but it's one hell of an exotic one. The inebriated facial expression and the unforgiving sexuality of the statue is as mythical as the spirit of faun itself.





The shape of the figure and the range of gray tones in the photo enticed me to try in on a canvas paper. This is how it ended up.

"The Sleeping Faun" 
Acrylics on a 24x32cm Canvas Paper
Painted in 2015

I painted the face just as dabs of paint for two reasons; first, honestly I am not yet confident drawing and painting facial expressions as it requires pretty good amount of skills to asses the proportions of facial features as well as tones in order not to screw it up and second, due to the expressionistic sort of the painting. I guess I'll try a realistic painting later on someday. 

The corners of the canvas paper were taped while painting to make the paper firmly attached to the support and therefore they couldn't be painted; it doesn't look pro now ;) It was a beginner mistake as I should've either directly used a stretched canvas or a canvas pad. Well, we all make mistakes and learn.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Fossil

This sketch of a fossil held in my hand is one of the first ones I skeched back in 2013. It took a substantial amount of time and patience to complete it and was like a quantum jump in my skills related to evaluating gray values and surfaces. Here is the link to my old blog post about Darwin and this sketch: http://saurabh-sawant.blogspot.de/2013_02_01_archive.html The photo on my old blog was taken by my old Fujifilm advanced point and shoot camera at night with that crazy yellow tint. This high res photo is taken from Nikon D5300 on a bright daylight.
 "The Fossil" 13x17cm


Here is the original photo I used for the sketch.