Monthly Archives: September 2014

Apple Store Edinburgh Impressionism

It was referred to by “The Scotsman” as Edinburgh’s worst kept secret. Apple is finally going to open a store in Scotland’s capital.

And I’m sure that’s what the savvy marketing people at Apple wanted: people talking about the new store well before the opening, to build up the hype. The future Apple store is surrounded by a white wall with the famous logo emerging out of a pattern of colourful dots.

Apple logo emerging out of a pattern of colourful dots on wall surrounding the new Edinburgh Apple store

The well known logo on the wall surrounding the new Edinburgh Apple store

I was not able to find out when the store will open, though. When the Apple executives want to keep a secret, it looks like they can.

When I first saw the colours on that white wall, I immediately thought of many photographic opportunities. Since I didn’t have a camera with me at the time, I made a mental note to return later.

Multiple exposures of Apple logo on the wall surrounding the new Edinburgh Apple store

Multiple exposures in camera taken from the same vantage point as the picture above. I moved the camera slightly from shot to shot.

I first tried to do multiple exposures by moving the camera slightly from shot to shot, to give a photograph with a pointillist feel to it. Pointillism was developed by Paul Signac and Georges Seurat, as an evolution of impressionism.

Photograph of Apple logo on the wall surrounding the New Edinburgh Apple store, zooming during a long exposure

Zooming during a long exposure gives the image a dynamic feel.

The second technique I used was zooming in during a long exposure, to give the picture some movement and dynamism.

Then is was time to move in closer and try the same approaches on just a part of the dot pattern, to get some colourful, abstract pictures.

Multiple exposures of colourful dots on the wall surrounding the new Edinburgh Apple store

Rotating the camera after each shot of a 9 exposure combination, I obtained this abstract picture of colour.

Multiple exposures of colourful dots on the wall surrounding the new Edinburgh Apple store

Moving the camera a little bit after each shot of 9 in camera exposures

Colour abstract of dots obtained by zooming and moving the camera during a long exposure

Zooming and turing the camera during a long exposure.

Colour abstract of dots obtained by zooming and moving the camera during a long exposure

Another example of zooming and turing the camera during a long exposure.

Colour abstract of dots obtained by zooming and moving the camera during a long exposure

Third example of zooming and turing the camera during a long exposure.

 

 

 

 

Vision Training: Urban Abstracts

In the previous post, I described the benefits of abstract photography in refining one’s vision as a photographer.

Without a recognisable subject for our eyes to latch on to, do the lines, shapes and colours in the picture combine in some harmonious way? It’s another way to develop one’s mastery of the element of design.

Urban abstract photograph of colour obtained by multiple exposures of a coloured wall on an Edinburgh construction site

This multiple coloured panel wall was around some Edinburgh construction site. By using multiple exposures, moving and rotating the camera after each click of the shutter, I was able to create this urban abstract of colour.

Apart from close-ups, some of the techniques for producing abstract photographs include multiple exposures, moving the camera (panning) or zooming during a long exposure. These techniques not only work on nature subjects, but on urban ones too.

Zooming and rotating the camera during a long exposure, the graffiti on the wall becomes nothing more than an abstract of shapes and colours

Graffiti provides great opportunities for creating abstract photographs, and can be found in every urban area. By zooming while rotating the camera during a long exposure, I obtained the above abstract of urban colour.

Vision Training: Nature Abstracts

Over the past couple of years, I’ve grown to really enjoy abstract photography, because it is a challenge in many respects.

Colour abstract of bed of flowers in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, using a long exposure and camera movement

By moving the camera over a bed of flowers in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, I was able to create this abstract picture of colour.

With a subject, you have certain rules to can grab onto. For example, place your subject according to the rule of thirds. Set the focus on your subject with a shallow depth of field to make it “pop” from the background. Or use the power of lines to guide the viewer to the subject of your photograph.

Multiple exposure of bluebell flowers in grass, taken in Blackford Hill, Edinburgh

Superimposing multiple exposures in camera of a few bluebell flowers on Blackford Hill, Edinburgh.

Without a subject, you are forced to really think about how all of the lines, shapes and colours in your composition blend together. This becomes a real challenge when using multiple exposures or long shutter speed and camera movements to create your abstract photographs. I find this to be a wonderful vision training exercise.

Colour abstract of flowers obtained by moving the camera during a long exposure, with a texture  blended into the photograph in Photoshop

This is another colour abstract obtained by moving the camera over a bed of flowers. I wanted to get the red patch of colour to be approximately positioned according to the rule of thirds. A texture was added to the photograph in Photoshop.

Impressionist Photography: Summer Forest

Until recently, in my impressionist forest project, I had only used diffused lighting. The reason was that I believed the high contrast scene produced by sun rays into the forest wouldn’t work when panning my subjects.

A few weeks back, I was on a scouting trip with a camera. It was a beautiful sunny day that made the excursion very pleasant. The road to the location went inside a wooded area, and since I hadn’t taken pictures for a while, I really felt the urge to take some photos. In the digital age when film cost is no longer a factor, there isn’t any valid reason not to experiment. And since I hadn’t anticipated getting any decent pictures from the scouting trip, there was no pressure of any kind. Even though I was kind of convinced it wouldn’t work, I decided to experiment anyways. Who knows, may be I could add some photographs to my impressionist forest series.

Panning impressionist photograph of summer forest

The sun rays coming from the back of this forest scene add an interesting touch of warmth to this panning impress inis picture of the forest.

I was partly right in my initial judgement, in that the strong highlights in the sunny forest scene did ruin a lot of my attempts. But in some cases, as in the photo above, these highlights could be tamed in Photoshop and give me a picture like no other in my collection.

Panning impressionist photograph of  forest

The light was significantly softer from this angle, but the few patches of sunlight make for a better image.

I now have a better idea of the kind of subjects that might work for this kind of panning photography, and I look forward to going out on sunny days in the forest to see if I can further add to my collection.