Monday, May 28, 2012

Better Late...

Greetings, volks. Welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! Greetings, volks, from Hohenfels. Another weekend passes into the ether of memory, preserved with our cameras and vision.

I hope you’ve had a chance to explore the new layout. By adding our links to another page, we’re able to expand them without limit and improve on the resources we can present. I’m currently working on an advanced section, covering metering, lighting, and other things beyond the basics.

This past weekend provided some excellent opportunities to make some photos and spend some time relaxing. I trust everyone made their shots and got their chill on, as it were.

Here’s what I’m looking at from for future posts. Beginners and Basics, Advanced Concepts and Techniques, Q and A, Composition, both elements and advanced, Reviews, and of course, continuing with our ride along shots and other items. I’d love to hear from everyone out there, if you have a suggestion, idea, or question, let us know through our Facebook link.

I’m going to close this post today with the following photo, made Saturday in Munich. Ride along with me, as we explore the shot as laid out.

Hohenfels Volks: OlympiaZentrum
Olympiazentrum in Munich.

As you can see, this was taken at Olympia Zentrum, the compound built for the 1972 Munich Olympics. Given the amount of visitors that flow through Munich on any given day, not to mention annually, the difficulty is composing your image. The difficulty arises when one realizes that just about every conceivable way of showing the park and Zentrum has most likely been shot. Add the featureless sky, and you’re destined for disappointment.

Walking around the lake and park presented some wonderful shots, some of which I took. The problem was in trying to make an image that was different from all the cookie cutter see and shoot snapshots you see everywhere. We all see the same shots and most of take them. Without ever moving around or seeing with a slightly different point of view, we cut our cookie with our neighbor’s dime store mold.

Stopping to view the flowers and see if I could work them into a shot, I was presented with this view. I knew this shot would give my cookie a life of its own, I metered the flowers at about 500 c/ft2, or about 1 ½ stops brighter than the sky. Setting my camera to f/11 at 1/60 gave me about M+3 on the flowers and M+2ish on the sky. It also allowed the trees and building detail to come through and hold their values quite well. I edited the shot for N-1, giving a nice separation to the sky and flower values, while allowing the trees to retain a large amount of color. Shooting slower allowed some nice DOF softening at the building and trees, without detracting from their form or impact.

This image gives me, what I feel is a departure from the everyday scenes of the place, without removing the ability to tell where it was taken, and at the same time departs slightly from a literal rendering of the scene by placing the values where I visualized them. Visualizing is an important part of any image-creating endeavor, and must be practiced. This little exercise allowed me to improve my skills while on a family outing.

This week's exercise is to visualize a shot of something mundane; creating a scene that you can take ownership of with pride. See the scene as you want to show it, think through the steps to make it a reality, and then make the shot. Practice this, shoot for your vision, and exercise your creativity, you’ll love what starts happening. You’ll love your creations that stand apart from every other shot of the same thing.

I’m looking forward to seeing your results and hearing from you. Get the comments, thoughts, and questions coming. Let me know what you think and how you’re using your camera! 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!

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