Tag Archives: Camera+

Edinburgh International Festival: Colour Abstracts

Circus Hub is one of the most colourful attractions at the annual Edinburgh International Festival, which is why it immediately got my attention.

Colour abstract obtained with camera movement

For this photo, I stood in front of a colourful wall and moved the camera up and down during the 1/4 sec exposure

When I see a colourful subject, I like to explore abstract pictures using camera movement during a long exposure or in camera multiple exposures. It is a taste I acquired by following one of my favourite photographers, Bryan F. Peterson.

Colour abstract obtained with camera movement

As the ambient light level fell for some time, I was able to use longer shutter speeds, like 1 sec for this photograph. Along with the up and down movement, there was also a little bit of sideways motion to add to the blur.

With this particular wall, I first tried camera movement. The brightness level of the ambient light varied quite a bit while I was taking photographs, which is pretty much par for the course in Scotland. I was able to use shutter speeds between 1/4 sec and 1 sec. I had the most success moving the camera up and down or up and down and a little bit sideways.

Colour abstract obtained by rotating the camera between each of the three exposures, and combined in camera

For this picture, I rotated the camera clockwise by about thirty degrees or so after the first and second exposures.

I next moved to multiple exposures. I had the most success when I rotated the camera between each of the three exposures. It took a bit of experimentation to get something I like but it’s always fun to do.

Colour abstract obtained by rotating the camera between each of the three exposures, and combined in camera

For this photograph, I rotated the camera a bit more. I believe I took one pic horizontal, one at forty-five degrees and one vertical.

Next time you find a colourful bed of flowers or painted wall, why don’t you try some camera movement and multiple exposures. I warn you, the process can be addictive.

Colour abstract obtained by rotating the camera between each of the three exposures, and combined in camera

I moved to a different part of the coloured wall, and tried again the horizontal, forty-five degrees and vertical shots.

Urban Impressionism: Edinburgh Tour Buses

The use of camera movement and/or zooming during a long exposure is a technique I learned from one of my photographic heroes, Bryan Peterson. It takes experimentation to figure out which photographic subjects are likely to produce interesting images.

Edinburgh tour bus, impressionist photography using zooming and camera rotation

I really like this old style tour bus and I was delighted I could capture an impressions picture of this wonderful subject.

So a while back, I decided to try out this technique in an urban setting, namely central Edinburgh. I was quickly intrigued by the many colourful tour buses going by.

Edinburgh tour bus, impressionist photography using zooming and camera rotation

I love the colour red as it is an attention grabber in photographs.

The images in this post were taken with an exposure of 1/8s, turning the camera while holding the zoom ring. It takes quite a bit of practice, and I had to try my luck on a lot of passing cars and buses to get the three images you see here. I really look forward to trying this technique on other urban photography subjects.

Edinburgh tour bus, impressionist photography using zooming and camera rotation

This tour bus seemed to go by at a higher frequency than the others, and I therefore had multiple attempts at a “bus impression”.

iPhone Photography – Getting Started

Your phone is nearly always with you. Since all smart phones have cameras in them (and pretty good ones these days), most of the time you have a photography device with you. And it’s a wonderful thing. As Jay Maisel put it, “Always carry a camera. It’s tough to take a picture without one.”

Heriot Row, Edinburgh. Crossed processed film look, taken on iPhone

Edinburgh has some really interesting streets, such as Heriot Row. I took this pic with the Camera+ app on my iPhone. That app not only allows you to control exposure and focus, but comes with a number of tools to edit your photos. I used the filter that gives you a crossed processed film look, which I loved in my analog days.

I really liked that idea when I first got my iPhone 4, but was soon disappointed. The camera app is really easy to use, which is good. The flip side is that I found it didn’t give me enough control to take correctly exposed photographs in quite a number of situations. So I felt very frustrated and for a few years never thought again about taking pictures with my iPhone.

Lutton Place, Edinburgh. iPhone photography

This is Lutton Place, Edinburgh. Using another “film look” filter with Camera+ on my iPhone

But never say never, because a few things made me change my mind. First of all, I’m now on social media, and I’m sure, you, the reader are too. Posts with images create much more engagement on Facebook, and never mind Instagram, a social media platform that is primarily visual and created for mobile devices. While these platforms allow you to connect with people all over the world, you will have noticed that in order for social media to be effective, you need to feed the monster with fresh content on a regular basis.

Ray of light and blue door. Clarity filter in Camera+, Taken with iPhone.

One of the limitations of an iPhone camera relative to a DSLR is that since one shoots a jpg file directly, scenes with a lot of contrast are potentially problematic. But why not try? With a couple of applications of the clarity filter in Camera+, the iPhone camera can give you some interesting results when it’s not supposed to!

iPhone photography, or iPhoneography, even presents opportunities for professional photographers. Sports photographer Brad Mangin has developed quite a following on Instagram. He even published a book of his baseball iPhone pictures.

Cafe tables outdoors, with reflection. Grunge look, taken with iPhone

Another example of multiple applications of the Clarity filter in Camera+ to produce a grunge look to the image.

According to professional photographer Julian Caverley, clients are asking for some pictures to be shot on smart phones, to accompany a social media campaign. People like the look and feel you get from an iPhone camera.

Princes Street Mall, Edinburgh. Taken with iPhone

Princes Street Mall, Edinburgh. The elements of design such as lines, shapes and textures enhance your photographs, regardless of which camera you use.

I therefore decided to take an online class on iPhone photography offered by the Bryan Peterson School of Photography, taught by Holly Higbee-Jansen. It was a real eye opener, to say the least. The camera in your phone is a pretty powerful device, especially when complemented by a number of smart phone apps that allow you to better control your exposures and edit your pictures.