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18-55

Monochrome Monday

I wanted to start doing some kind of weekly themed posts. The tricky part was deciding on what the theme should be. It seemed like a good idea to go with something that was not limited to one medium, to allow for some more variety. Another thing, which is a bit silly, is that I really wanted all the words in the title to start with the same letter. That seems to be how you are supposed to do it.

So I went with Monochrome Monday. I figured having a theme for the first day of the week would help me getting a good start. There will probably be a lot of photography, but I have a few other ideas as well.

We will start it of with some photos of an old car that has been used for working on telephone poles, antennas and other difficult to reach stuff like that. I used the 18-55 kit lens here. That particular lens doesn´t see much use now, but it has some advantages. It´s also my widest lens.

I don´t have that much experience with converting photos from color like this and there are so many different ways to do it. I used the channel mixer, which I think turned out alright. What kind of method do you prefer?

 

The plague doctors

A couple of pictures of the plague doctors that at times could be seen during the medieval week at Gotland, along with some unfortunate people who had fallen victim to the plague.

The effect in these photos was achieved by  following the subjects movements with the camera and using a relatively low shutter speed. I used my 18-55mm kit lens, mostly because I wanted something flexible to bring along during the day. I thought the look of the photos suited the somewhat spooky doctors pretty well.

Cats at heart

Though I like all kinds of animals, I have a special love for cats. Not only as friends and companions but also as subjects for my art.

We got our first cat about ten years ago. It´s the brown cat with the long fur you can see in some of the pictures here. We named her Sessan. I had wanted a cat for a long time before that, but it seemed like something that would never happen until that girl stole the hearts of everyone in my family. She is a cat with plenty of attitude and confidence. But she can also be very funny and loving. When I went back home for Christmas after spending several months away, I really expected her to ignore me as punishment for leaving. I was surprised and happy when she instead came running to me.

Our second cat was Lilly. We adopted her from a shelter when she was already an adult. Her previous owner left her alone in his apartment without any company and without enough food. She is a special cat with lots of peculiar personality traits. While Lilly is  pretty shy and lacking the confidence of out other cat, she makes up for it with a gentle personality.

The other cats pictured here don´t belong to my family. I know some of them well enough, others are basically unknown to me.

I enjoy taking photos of cats. Most of them are really photogenic actually. But there are difficulties with every subject, of course. The most obvious one with cats is that they move around. And they rarely seem to in the mood for sitting still and having their pictures taken. Some sort of distraction might be needed. A lot of cats, and animals in general, also tend to come close in order to sniff the camera. I tend to let them, since this will usually make them lose interest in it.

These days, I do most of my photography of pets with my old 50mm lens. I tend to use a large aperture, since it can give a pretty nice effect if done right. But the depth of field makes focusing a bit tricky at times.

What kind of animals do you enjoy, as company and in art?

Lots of lilies

 

I´ve been absent for a bit again lately, went on a small journey and didn´t really have any internet connection. But now I´m back with a new post, featuring one of my favorite flowers.

We´ve had lilies growing in our garden for as long as I can remember. We fought the battle against the bugs who were out to get them, and won.

Lilies come in many different colors, every one with their own charm. And they are excellent subjects for both photos and paintings. It´s just a very stylish flower. I actually plan to make a watercolor with a lily as subject soon. The hard part is deciding on how to do it.

Most of these shots were taken in my grandmothers garden, where there were a lot of nice subjects. Not just lilies and other flowers, there are also plenty of butterflies. She had several different colors of lilies available, not just the orange ones that we have at home.

My photography’s been a bit uninspired lately. So to get out of that, I decided to play around with the camera a bit. It´s easy to stop experimenting once you get used to the camera. But that´s a bad thing. So i tried to experience and capture the same subjects in many different ways here. Mostly be playing around with focus and aperture. It´s interesting to try to get the focus just right, and vital to the finished photo of course.

All of these photos were taken with the 18-55 kit lens. I like it a lot, and use it most of the time. But I have also ordered an old 50mm from a certain well-known auction site. It might not be the best lens out there, but it was cheap and supposedly in good condition. And I love the older lenses. Hopefully it actually arrives, in one piece. These things always make me nervous.

What flower is your favorite?

Remeber the butterflies

 

 

I have planned to do a post about butterflies for some time now, but there´s always been something else that I found more interesting. On the bright side, this long wait allowed me to get some more decent shots.

It´s funny how pictures I might have liked at the time  will always look worse when reviewed later. The´re completly unchanged of course. I´m the one who is constantly changing. I like to think that I´m improving, and my older photos are proof of that. But I´m also getting more picky. Photos that I would think very highly of back in the day would never make it out of the camera alive today.

Some of these shots did come out pretty well, at least that´s my opinion today. My sneaking up on bugs skills have improved a bit. And a lot of butterflies can sit surprisingly still. As long as you don´t let a shadow fall over them, then they are very likely to fly of. Staying quiet helps to.

There was a fair deal of cropping in some places here, because I wanted to show of more of the detail in the butterflies. I was actually impressed by the sharpness even when cropping of a lot. Is this in part because of the bigger sensor of the dSLR compared to the compacts I´ve been using? I included a very close crop of one picture, just because I thought it might be of interest to someone. It´s not that bad really.

Although most pictures went through some cropping, the kit lens performs very well when it comes to close-ups as it is. At least that´s what I think. It´s very rare that I remove anything if the subject is a flower, for example.

Are bugs a common subject for you?

 

The botanical garden

Been a few days since my last post, I´ve been very busy for a while. I got accepted into the education I wanted, and now I will be moving a long way from home. So a lot of time have been spent looking for somewhere to live. But now that I finally seem to have found a place, let´s celebrate with some flower photography!

Most of these are from the botanical garden that I visited last week, a very good place for anyone who likes flowers and other plants.

I´m really enjoying my camera, and the best thing about it has to be the fact that it´s mine. Just being able to take photos every day gives a lot of opportunities to learn. And to capture things I missed before, including many beautiful flowers.

I´m pretty happy with the close up capabilities provided by my kit-lens. But I´m still thinking about getting something that can go closer. I do have a teleconverter that enables a 1:1 ratio for your photos. I sadly don´t have any lens that goes well with it though. I´m thinking about getting a 50mm of some kind, preferably an older one. It shouldn´t be to expensive, and probably a good lens for portraits to.

For now I´m happy with what i got
though. And i plan to find a lot more things to photograph. What´s your favorite subject?

Empty places

I have always been fascinated by the empty and forgotten places of the world. They always get me thinking about the people who once were connected to that place. Why did they leave? What was their lives like? And will people ever return and bring new life to what was once left behind?

This will most likely turn into a mini series of sorts, featuring one place at the time. But I can´t promise any regularity. Hopefully you will enjoy it anyway.

This place was visited recently, it´s Furillen on the island  Gotland where I´m currently a tourist. This is an old factory of sorts, where they crushed stone. Not the most glamorous job, I´m sure. The factory eventually closed down, and the area became closed to the public. It belonged to the military for some time, but today it´s open for visits again. This is a good example of a place that´s been given new life, the area is now home to a hotel. It´s also a pretty popular place to take photos for different ads,
though the cliffs are a more common subject than the factory. Fancy that.

But there are still plenty of signs showing the age of this place, and some buildings are still mostly empty.

Island of roses

I have mentioned in another post that Gotland is also called the island of roses. So to give the flowers their own post seemed like a good idea.

I went to the botanical garden today, something I looked forward to for some time. They had a number of interesting flowers and plants, both from Sweden and beyond. And of course there was many different kinds of roses. I`m not going to show you all of them this time, just a selected (not so) few.

A few of these flowers proved to be quite the challenge. Especially the ones with very strong colors, like yellow and red. It was hard to get enough contrast, it all just melted together into one vaguely rose-shaped thing. But I still had a great day, and the weather kept nice enough until we got back home. And I could spend the cold evening going through the photos of the day.

The raw format is my new best friend, but I´m having a hard time deciding just how much is enough. I don´t want my pictures to look overly edited. A lot of the shots in this post are basically straight out of the camera, I really like that. Can you tell wich ones? I would like to be able to show every picture as it is. But at the same  time I wan´t them all to be the best they can be.

On another note, I also took lots of other shots today. At the cathedral for example. They will all be posted at some point. I have enough themes thought up to last me some time. And there will be a post about the other flowers at the botanical garden at some point. There´s no escaping it 😀

A day in the park


I spent some time in the local parks during the past week. It was nice to see all those flowers, and of course even better to take some shots of them. The photos in this post are some of my favorites, but it was a though decision. There was so many pretty things growing there. I will probably post some more later on, along with some shots of the birds I saw there. Birds is a subject I didn´t realy enjoy before. But now I´m starting to enjoy the challenge it brings.

In other news, I´m going to the zoo tomorrow. So lots of animal photographs can be expected soon. I never get tired of the zoo because of all the possibilities the animals give. There will also be some pictures of the reason for my absence lately. My mothers new cat. A very cute and shy little thing who looks a bit like an owl. I had to shower her in love for a few days.

I also started painting in during the this past week. So there will be some traditional stuff as well. So much to do, so little time! 😀

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