Longtime exposures hold a special appeal for me. Again and again I try do do it. I found the idea for this picture in a book about modern photography. The photographer took a picture of flowers in a vase with a specially built camera for many days until the first petals fell. The passing of time, which often cannot be experienced directly by us, can thus be illustrated by a photograph. Due to the new corona virus we had plenty of time at home to make flower photographs.
With my macro lens I can only realize the aperture value f/32, which means that even at ISO 50 the exposure time dose not rise above 15s possible when the lightbox is turned on. As an approximation to a true long-time exposure, I started a series of 23 HDR images at irregular intervals over the course of 4 days, just as it became apparent that my tulips would rise wide.
Each HDR image was created from6 shots at f/32 and ISO 50 with exposure times of 0.5s, 1s, 2s, 4s, 8s and 15s. The biggest difficulty was to block off a part of our living room before Christmas so that the exposures could always be done in the same way. Furthermore, the camera was not allowed to be changed by switching it on and off, changing the exposure times or removing the memory card.
I processed the layer stack of 23 TIF images in two ways. First straightforward as a smart object and then change the stacking mode in Photoshop as an average. Or fade out the layers after the start shot using black layer masks and gradually paint in interesting parts of the later images with a soft brush to create an overall impression. This approach was more promising to me than averaging the layer stack, which in my eyes expresses the flow of time too weakly.
Just to do the math: each image of my camera has 151 million pixels with a file size between 125 and 180 MByte in RAW format and 866 MByte after a RAW conversion to a TIF file. The total size of the project is something above 300 GB. 138 RAW files sum up to nearly 21 Billion Pixels. The final image has 159 million pixels due to some added background at the top of the result.
Yesterday was a chance to buy flowers for my lightbox before a new virus induced „lockdown“ takes place. Flowers on a lightbox exhibit an illusion of transparency when photographed either as HighKey image or HDR bracket sequence.
I prefer to process my bracketed photographs manually, because there is no possibility to learn how automated HDR software really works. On top of my layer stack I put one up to three HDR software results to layer them in if appropriate.
Photographing flowers is a way to cope with the situation being locked in in a house instead of traveling or meeting friends. Our house looks like a flower store, every now and then we find new compositions. At the end, there is a print.
A composition of flowers often suggests something, not with the eye, but with the inner vision. That’s the fun of it. There are so many compositions yet undone.
My friend Harold is using petals for compositions. I often shy away from cutting off the flowers or tearing out the petals. I was happy to do it today with a fading dark red rose.
Christa, my wife, loves tulips. They may resemble a dream on a lightbox, like balloons taking off for flight. To catch the whole composition I’d either had to climb up a ladder with my 120mm macro lens or change the lens to a 80mm focal length (which I did).
This year there was a complete silence on the part of the equipment manufacturers. That’s too bad. Now the calendar sheets 2021 are finished in own production. This year at the suggestion of or daughter Marlies with the topic food.
Fusion imaging does not wirk int the same way with food as with transparent flowers. But the deep structure of the food nevertheless leads to interesting results. It worked surprisingly well to depict a smoked trout with its bones. And squashes exhibit nearly artistic features.
The calendar sheets are finished now in portrait format 60cm x 42.6cm and can be viewed here.
the Heidelberg Castle is world-famous and famous for the romantic feelings it triggers. Anyone who comes to the city in spring or early summer enjoys a mild warmth and a light wind that flows through the Neckar Valley.
In autumn, the winds that hits the photographer is icy cold and the facial masks that you have recently at hand are a welcome support in taking pictures. The warm colors of the following photographs deceive one of them.
The warmth of the Neckar gives rise to considerable early mist during a cold night, which stretches over the trees to the south and west. The mists also reach the Heidelberg Castle, which subsequently appears a little more romantic and ruined.
With flowers we create feelings and express feelings. With flowers we want to elicit feelings. If they aren’t just a comfortable souvenir, that is not suitable for the wall or the shelf.
Their color is not enough to stimulate our emotions. It’s also their shape and a composition. I took a friend to my favorite florist to design a bouquet from the available flowers end of September. The central component were two specimens of a cockscomb, one in red and one in purple.
A not insignificant part of the enjoyment is the creation of the composition, together with a sensitive florist. At home I photographed the bouquet with the horizontally aligned, rectangular Lightbox in the background. It’s, of course, an HDR image, combined of shots with the Lightbox switched on and off. A final greeting of the noticeably farewell summer.
Farewell has always been a theme of flowers. Without color, subject only to the effect of light, exposing a feeling for the original color, the black-and-white image of a flower becomes intensified. The same day at sunset, with an exposure speed of 6 minutes at ISO 50, I obtained the following picture, which made me immediately think of The Godfather: I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Melitta was looking for an image in her new kitchen. She felt a fusion image of a fruit basket to be too dark. The fusion image technique is not restricted to black and white or monochrome (FAQ: Fusion imaging). With only few structural content in the X-ray of the fruits I better inverted the background of the image and sponsored a golden backdrop like an ancient greek icon. You still can see some X-ray properties looking at the lychees or the bananas. As a print its appearance was best.
Also appropriate for a kitchen would also be an image of an artichoke. If I put it on a lightbox, there is always some resemblance to a copperplate print, which I like personally. This blooming artichoke is a type of a food image, if you spend some phantasy.
A little change of perspective gives more direct access to the blooms. Every image shown in this blog entry is a combination of manual HDR and software assisted HDR. That way I get best results. The background helps to create the look and feel of ageing and simulating a print.
The artichoke presented above has some resemblance to a thistle. By chance we have a place not far from home with lots of them. Old railroad tracks had been removed and converted into bike trails nearby our house. So we went this morning by bike to get a thistle of the former track bed for an image.
As there is so much structure in these images, I felt tempted to convert my artichoke and thistle images into monochrome. To some extent they resemble images of Karl Blossfeldt.
Farewell to Maob, farewell to Eric. He knew every inch of this place like the back of his hand. Everybody goes in his direction. New friends, few words.
Our destination for the day is Page, we finally reach Kanab. Short branch out to the Valley of the Gods. It’s a lovely place, a bit of haze, not the best of light.
Before the border to Arizona the rocks of Monument Valley build up and we let it pass us over a pass road.
This region belongs to the Navajo nativ Americans. A tribal park is signposted. A packed car stops beneath us, a young man likely nativ steps out and begs for money in obscure language. His tongue is lame, probably due to the long-term effects of incorporated substances. Sad.
We had a whole day available to drive from Mojave to Furnace Creek. The morning began hazily and with scattered dust devils. At the Pinnacles we go a real sandstorm.
The long straight streets with poles often make me dream of an infinite world.
A sandstorm lets you stop all thoughts about infinity. Suddenly the safety of the equipment becomes much more important.
This train is on a siding for decades. The diffusion effect of the sandstorm showed the abandonment nicely.
After check-in in our incredibly expensive, but the only hotel in the area we immediately headed for Zabriskie Point. These structures show no scale at all and allow the imagination to run wild.
Personally I liked most a wild boar at the south end.
The eye is easily deceived. Especially when working at a screen. Early printing, starting with low contrast, simultaneous editing of several images, pausing is part of Charles („Charly“) Cramers recipes. The necessary development times in the analogue laboratory, not least the drying process, always forced the photographer to interrupt. Brain always takes some time to understand.
And he gave strong arguments against the prejudice, analog photography meant no image manipulation. In contrary, every image processing has always been manipulation.
This day ended up with 100 GB of RAW image data. Work for a year to process them. With some winds below Bridal Veil Fall there was a movement of the camera that can be seen.
So often I had good photo opportunities at Valley View. So it was today. A golden light from the setting sun shone for us, lit some bushes and warmed up the rocks.
The rise of a full moon took place at sunset. Only with a 9 EV HDR the light could be captured. It was a wonderful evening. Only hunger could us make driving back to our lodge.
This Monday arrived my new oranges from Valencia, Spain. They are sweet, juicy and just delicious. I shared half of the delivery with my employees who had also been waiting for it for a long time. We eat or drink them. Some were x-rayed for artistic reasons.
There is already a routine in doing these X-rays with food. But sometimes an X-ray machine has a life of its own. The first images are taken to check the exposure before we venture into a composition. The aperture of the X-ray tube may become narrower and unwanted images like the following may be produced.
This image was created by playing with textures and colours:
You can easily imagine a stack of oranges with the fruit lying on top of each other. The perspective of this X-ray image is from above, so that the effect of translucency is created. Because of the triangular arrangement of the oranges, one would think that the apex of the triangle would indicate at the top. In fact, the center of the triangle is at the top.