Posts tagged Photographs
Experimenting with long exposure and ND filter

What with being so busy and setting up my first exhibitions in the last month, it's actually been difficult to spend any time actually taking photographs. As my Plan A on a portrait project had fallen through, I decided to go out and see what I could find to shoot. My plan was to find some interesting scenes to try to shoot on a sunny winter's afternoon at about 3pm, experimenting with long exposure and my new ND filter (from Breakthrough art 6 stops of light). I'm lucky enough to live on the south coast of Wellington, so it wasn't too difficult to find a couple of promising scenes. Here's some of the images I made that afternoon and into the evening just as the sun was going down. It turns out that something in my equipment was a bit mucky - either the lens or the filter, so there were quite a few spots on the images that I had to remove in post-processing - but it wasn't a deal breaker and it was relatively easy to sort out, though. The first shot you see at the top of this post looks out across the Cook Strait where you can see the top of the South Island: ISO 200, 25mm, f/22 at 3 seconds with the ND6 filter.

In this second shot looking south, the settings were ISO 200, at 33mm, f/22 and exposed for 3 seconds with the ND 6 filter.


This third shot on the Miramar peninsula was taken as little later on: ISO 200 at 25mm, f16 and 13 seconds, with the ND filter again. I'm quite surprised that the fisherman and the seagull stayed relatively still for that long!



How to add text to your mobile images for added impact: Typorama

Here's another review I did for - a mobile / cellphone network in the UK. Typorama is an app that enables you to add text in different styles to your images to create memes or social media posts. The best thing about Typorama is that is doesn’t use set templates. Instead, it generates text design layouts that change as you choose different styles. Check out my recent review of the app here.

Do we take too many photos? Does it change our experience of life?

I run a podcast called Who cares? What's the point? In it, I interview people from around the world who are doing interesting things in psychology. In one recent episode, I spoke with Alex Barasch from the Stern Business School at New York University about how we may often hear the message that we should stop taking so many photos and just be in the moment and enjoy our experiences without trying to record everything. But is this true? Does photography - especially using our smartphones - get in the way of our experience of life? You can listen to the podcast and read the transcript of my interview with Alex here. I hope you enjoy it.

Long exposures of everyday objects and scenes

When I was in class at the Photospace Gallery the other day, we were talking about flash photography and documenting everyday reality. For some reason, this lit a spark in me to do something of the opposite: to experiment to long exposures - while in motion - of everyday objects. And also to capture this in colour, rather than documenting in black and white, which is what I tend to prefer. So here's some images I have made over the past few days, while experimenting with this idea.  

Absolutely Positively 100% Pure - Online Gallery

Of course, I recommend you go and see these photographs in real life at Raglan Roast Cafe in Abel Smith Street in Wellington if you can. But if you can't because you're elsewhere in New Zealand or an international visitor here, then here's a link to my online portfolio, linking directly to this work, and the res of my evolving portfolio of work. The image displayed here is part 3 of this series of 4 images.


Pigeon Point Lighthouse photograph published on Stuff NZ

It was a nice surprise to see this published on the Stuff Travel NZ website this weekend. It's the second photo I've had published there, out of the two that I have sent in for consideration. You can see the photo in context here, but here's the image I submitted. Taken with my Fujifilm X-T1 and 18-55mm kit lens, at 29mm focal length, 1/140sec, f5, ISO 200.

Anzac Day Apparitions

This photograph by William Hall Raine (public domain) is from the dedication of the National War Memorial Carillon taken on Anzac Day, 25 April 1932. What strikes me about this image, apart from how open the area was back then, is how many Forces personnel and civilian are present. The scale is epic, and the Carillon stands in tribute to those that sacrificed their lives so that others in their generation and in those that followed could live free.

Fast forward 86 years from this event, and Pukeahu National War Memorial has been open for 3 years, taking in the Carillon and its wider surroundings as part of the centenary commemorations of the 100th anniversary of World War I. I walk past or through this War Memorial most days that I am in the office. And sometimes, I pass through the area at night, where the area looks and feels quite different.

One of the things you may notice - and a constant challenge to various authorities I imagine - is the skateboarders who use the smooth surfaces and angled features as a make-shift large area skate park too. But what I was struck by on this particular night, was the way that my camera captured the texture of the Indian stone representing the Australian part of the memorial, against the fleeting and almost ethereal fleeting images of the skaters in motion. The light reflecting from the monument and the polished surface of the ground stones also add to this other-worldly, ghostly glow.

I got to thinking about who was standing on the ground before. Back in 1932, uniformed soldiers would have been facing and saluting the Carillon, back in 1932, and this tradition continues today. And they were most likely to be young men and women the same age, or even younger, than the men skating around this memorial at night now.

Although some people may frown when they see this space used in this way, for me it provokes a conversation about how use our spaces, continuing to honour those that have come before us, and also embracing the very freedoms that they fought so hard for us to protect. Though skating through a war memorial may seem like a trivial matter, I wonder whether the sound of the skate wheels clacking over the flagstones, or clicking up into the air and then landing and whirring away aren't precisely the sounds that demonstrate the freedoms that we enjoy now.

For me, the temporary, incomplete images of these young men rolling through this otherwise solemn landscape is a reminder of those that sacrificed so much, so that these men would not need to be sent to war. How we use these freedoms is up to us, and expressed in many ways. Let us remember and embrace them all.

Images captured by Sarb Johal with a Fujifilm X-T1, 2018.