Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Express or Selfie?

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

Ansel Adams once said, “We must remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it, and no one has ever approached the full possibilities of the medium.”

Given the self absorbed state of the world around us, evidenced by the "art" of the "selfie," it's time to start looking back and moving toward approaching the full possibilities of our medium.

The best "selfie" is made using the external to express something of the internal, allowing a fuller expression of the individual self than a cell phone at arm's length. When we make our photography expressive, as well as creative, we can approach closer the full possibilities of the medium.

Of course, that's just my two cents.


The lodge wall. Antique sleigh on the wall at the lodge.
ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/30, digital

A photo doesn't have to be fancy or artsy to be expressive, creative, and artistic. Look internally, and find the expression in something external!

Well, that’s enough for today. We want you to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page, and we’ll get them posted here! Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Submit them and we’ll get them posted, also. We also welcome any tips, tricks, and ideas. If you’d like to write an article about something photographic or some place of interest, we’d be happy to post it here! You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted! Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

National Camera Day

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

Here's an item from the good Volks at SnapKnot to celebrate National Camera Day.

SnapKnot
Courtesy of: SnapKnot

I hope you have your passport and get some great photos this week.

We want you to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted!

Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Share your thoughts here or at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Daylight

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

Today we’re going to talk a little about light. Hohenfels and our surrounding areas are home to a wide variety of light, and lighting conditions. For most of us shooting outdoors, we’re using what most volks think of as natural light. Really, though, any light can be natural if properly incorporated into our vision.

Generally speaking, we think of daylight as our source of natural light. Natural light really is made up of several components. First, we have sunlight, which is just that, light from the sun. Sunlight is warmer than plain white light, although we don’t perceive it as such until we examine our photos. Then we have skylight, which light reflected from the sky itself. This light tends toward the blue end of the spectrum. We also light reflected from clouds, which is more neutral than skylight. The last part we’ll look at is light reflected from environmental objects, such as buildings. This light picks up the colors of the reflecting source.

We can generally count on most daylight running between 5000 and 5500 k in color temperature. Photographically speaking, daylight is standardized for most applications as 5500 K. We generally, though, think in terms of warm or cool light.

Having covered both the general color temperature and make up of daylight, we can move on to some thoughts when shooting in it.

When using daylight as our source, we want to consider more than its intensity and temperature. We also want to consider its direction, or its diffusion. Diffuse daylight makes for some wonderful portraits, having a lower contrast. With a little help from a reflector, some nice shadows can be formed. This allows for marvelous shape and depth to a face. Less diffuse lighting makes for some very nice landscapes and detail shots.

The lower the sun is in the sky, the warmer the light we see. This can add some nice effects to an evening shot, bringing some golden highlights into your scene. Even later, during the blue hour, the light becomes incredibly cool, almost a pure blue!

Natural light can be used indoors, as well. Using only an open window and a reflector, an amazing portrait can be made. It’s also great for product or detail shots, with a little planning. Another great use for natural light indoors is for architectural shots. Churches, ruins, palaces, and the like can be a source for great photos when you shoot with natural light, as evidenced by the photo below.

Hohenfels: Bayreuth Schlosskirche, natural light
ISO 1600, f/3.5, 1/30
The Schlosskirche in Bayreuth. The only light inside the church was from the windows. Being large and reasonably open to the light, an adequate image could be made. Using only natural light, even indoors, can make for a sense of openess in almost any image if done right.

Well, that’s enough for today. Don’t forget that we're having a "Thanksgiving means..." feature. You can submit your photos on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page, and we’ll get them posted here!

We want you to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted!We also welcome any tips, tricks, and ideas. If you’d like to write an article about something photographic or some place of interest, we’d be happy to post it here!Of course, comments on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Around Hohenfels: 3 in 1

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

The last of the leaves are rapidly disappearing from the scene, leaving us with the dark, twisted branches of winter. The last few days have provided some opportunities for getting out and making your autumn shots a reality, so I hope you’ve managed to bring home some nice color! I’ve managed to shoot 3 rolls of Provia 100F from Fuji. The colors on this film are incredible! I hope to have some to share before too awfully long! I also managed to get in 10 sheets of Kodak’s Ektar 100 in large format. While a punchy, saturated film, the right shots take on a life of their own, which I hope to present.

Now, on to today’s topic. We’re going to give a quick rundown of 3 places to visit within 30 minutes drive of Hohenfels. There are quite a few other places, and most have information available online.

First on our list is the Thurn und Taxis palace in Regensburg. This is a palace in the heart of Regensburg, near the train station. It is occupied by the Prince of Thurn and Taxis. The family created the postal service for Europe some 300ish years ago. A lovely place with regular tours, the tour also includes some of St. Emmeram's, an old monastery. The gardens of the palace are beautiful, and the little park just outside the actual palace grounds is quite nice, also.
More information is available at this site.

Next up is Walhalla. Walhalla is just outside Regensburg, on the Danube. Built as a replica of the Parthenon, Walhalla is a tribute to Germanic speaking people who have contributed to the world in general. There are many busts and statues inside, and the view outside is incredible. It’s also a great place for a picnic and fall colors.
Click here for more about Walhalla.

Here are some pics from our next site, Kelheim.

Hohenfels Volks: A View From the Top
ISO 100, f/16, 1/25
This is one of the many views from atop the Befreiungshalle in Kelheim. One can walk around the entire outside from 2 upper levels, which give you a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. It's worth the climb, but don't don't forget your camera!

Hohenfels Volks: St George Overcomes, Weltenburg
ISO 1250, f/5.6, 1/80
This is inside the Church at Weltenburg. A 20 minute ferry ride from Kelheim, this monastery is the perfect place to enjoy a nice lunch and some photographic treasures! The meals served here come in extra large sizes, so bring your appetite.

Kelheim is a fantastic little town on the banks of the Danube, where it meets the Altmuhl River. Above Kelheim is the Befreiungshalle. The Befreiungshalle was built to commemorate the victories over Napoleon. The Winged victories inside have shields made from melted down canons and the door is cased in metal from melted canon balls. The town has some beautiful scenery, and is a great place to have some iced chocolate on a summer afternoon at one of the sidewalk cafes. You can even hop a ferry to the Weltenburg Abbey, where they brew some fantastic beer and enjoy a wonderful meal while waiting to catch the next ferry back.
Of course, to get the full scoop about the Befreiungshalle, click here

While none of the information is exhaustive here, I hope it will give you some ideas about how close things are. A wonderful afternoon with friends or family, or making some great shots, are all within a short distance of our place!

We want you to share your photos, especially of our place, with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted!

Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Share your thoughts here or at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Autumn Leaves

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place!

“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile.”
William Cullen Bryant

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
Albert Camus

“On this autumn mountain,
Tumbling yellowed leaves,
For just a moment
Cease your scattering
For I would see my beloved's home.”
Kakinomoto No Hitomaro

William Cullen Bryant was a famous 19th century American poet. Albert Camus was a French philosopher and member of the resistance during the war. Hitomaro was a famous poet and court noble in the 7th and early 8th centuries, and is revered as one of the “36 Poetry Immortals” of Japan.

All 3 quotes are reminders of how autumn can be a wonderful season. The Season of color and clarity is upon us, preparing us for the dark and cold days ahead. The joys we experience in autumn can last a lifetime! Childhood memories are always rekindled with the tasted of fresh cider or just picked apples. Pumpkin pie and Halloween, not to be outdone compete with colored leaves and apple pie!

For the moment, though, we’re leaving the memories for later, when we’re each on our path. We’re going to give a few short pointers for dealing with autumn colors and shooting.

The easiest thing one can do when dealing with autumn’s majestic colors is to simply underexpose by 1/3 to 1 stop. Meter the area you’d like to see an increase in saturation, then set your exposure 1/3 to 1 stop less. To do this successfully, you have to make sure the rest of the scene is within the range of your cameras sensor. When you desire to increase saturation, underexposing will always help. This is because saturation, in simple terms, is generally inversely proportional to the reflected light. A lower luminance value will usually appear more saturated than a higher luminance.

Hohenfels Volks: Lanu Mimita
ISO 100, f/16, 1/15
Lanu Mimita, Samoan for The colors are bold. This was shot in Dietldorf, a couple years ago. By underexpsoing slightly, and lowering the levels using the levels adjustment tool, saturation is increased. With some slight tweaking of color temperature the scene can be rendered to replicate the feeling of that wonderful day, time spent with family, and the big, hot, cocoa that followed the making of this image!

Another important thing to try is changing up your compositions. Since you’re likely to be shooting color, you’ll want to use composition to enhance the brilliance of your image. This can be used to either increase your subject’s importance or bring a saturated subject in line with an element having a lower saturation, while maintaining the distinction. Composition needs to be strong with higher levels of saturation to prevent the color from creating distractions or becoming a crutch.

If you wish to shoot black and white, autumn is a wonderful time to try it. If possible, use real filters on your lenses, as they will give you better renditions of the contrast inherent in your image than software alone. Editing your image should be done on multiple layers, especially if you desire to simulate different filters. A red filter will leave your reds, oranges, and yellows bright and your greens and blues very dark. An orange filter will have less impact but the results are similar. It's all about how you visualize it! Filter pack plug-ins for Photoshop are available, and Tiffen makes one for stand-alone use.

While these suggestions are a good place to start, I highly recommend getting out and making some shots. Try these suggestions, and any others you come across and feel comfortable with. Also remember, you’re the determining factor in your image’s value. If you like it, than show it off, definitely share it here, and be proud of your work.

We want you to share your photos with us on our Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. You can also e-mail questions, photos, or comments to HohenfelsVolks(at)tks-net.com, and we’ll get them posted!

Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Share your thoughts here or at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!