Friday, January 4, 2013

Exploration is the key.

As I sit here it is 37 Celsius outside and I am indoors under the fans to keep cool.  I find that I have typically done my photo taking between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. when i is more pleasant and to my surprise I have been able to find a variety of subjects to photograph over the last few days.  I have settled in to a routine which is similar to what I would have had I been home in Calgary.  Other then the early morning exploration in the 1.5 km radius of our home here in India, I generally find I spend my day taking care of my boy's and working on the internet and social networking.  I find that I like to write my blog in the mid-afternoon in order to have it done before the evening scheduled blackout.

I started this morning with the extension tubes on my Canon 7D and 24-70 f2.8 lens to try some macro work.  It has been a long time since I have worked with extension tubes and I finally got some as a Christmas gift from my boy's (of course I bought them myself).  So as I walked around the property I started to photograph the variety of flowers they have worked in to the landscape.  It was a little tricky at first and I had to shut the auto-focus off and manually move the camera in and out to achieve focus.  These four photo's are some of the results.  I was pleased with what I got and will explore macro some more.  One of the biggest challenges I do foresee will be capturing images of insects, but I think I have an idea for that.

After I had walked back up the hill after taking the photo's above, I came across Kutapi, a worker who has helped the family here for years.  I have known him now for about 6 years and he is very comfortable with me.  As I was walking up to the house he signaled me to take his photograph. Now I have done so many times in the past and wanted to try something different.  Before we left Canada I had downloaded Hipstamatic's new Tintype Snap Pack.  I had tried a few images with it, but not a portrait which the designers had claimed it was most useful for.  So here was the perfect chance to explore this pak and what it would do.

Now I have been inspired by Ian Ruhter who has been working in the old wet-colodian process as well as the daguerreotype photographs that I talk about in my History, Art and Culture of photography class at SAIT.  This pak for the Hipstamatic app is suppose to reproduce this look and I was eager to try.  Now one of the beautiful things about Ian's work is that he will incorporate aspects of his subjects lives or work in to his photo's.  Keeping this in mind and since Kutapi was using the wheelbarrow I asked him to hold it and took an environmental portrait.

I then moved in close and created this head and shoulder's shot.  I was very happy with the results of both images and found that the designers claim that the software recognizes faces and locks in the focus there while creating the shallow depth of field that is something inherent of the traditional process was indeed accurate.  I plan to try some more portraits in this style while I am here as I do think the look is exquisite. In the future when I get home I do plan to explore both the original process and this modern one side by side.
Another area that I explored since the opportunity presented itself was the area of astral photography.  Since we are out in the countryside and away from the city, the stars are fairly visible.  This makes the opportunity to photograph them a tempting one.  I am still relatively new to taking photo's of the stars but decided I will give it a try a few times while I am here.  This was the result of a 109 second exposure at f5.6 and 1000 iso.

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