WIP: My new photography portfolio

Couple weeks back I started to work on my new portfolio design. Progress has been slow, and this is what I have so far. I thought I’d share it:


Index of images

Zoom of selected image

Browsing thru images can be done with the arrows on the left and the right and clicking on an image will give you a larger version of the image. Nice and simple.

I’m not quite done yet as I think I’d like to have one large image for the background. I hope you like it and if not let me know what I should improve.

Oh and in case you want to get a sneak preview of the site, you can check it out at http://www.jeffreydefotograaf.nl

Two lomo images

A while ago I edited two images to create a lomo effect and I thought I’d share them with you. I followed the tutorial that I  found here

Here are the images, let me know what you think!

Back once more? Lets hope so!

So yeah, I know I’ve been absent for some time, whether it’s for good reason or not, I don’t know. I suppose I’ve just been too busy with other stuff and been neglecting the one thing I probably love the most in live, and that’s being creative (well apart from family, girlfriend and friends — before you come and start bitching with me ;)).

My project, Project 365, was one big failure. I was too enthusiastic when I started it. Not that there’s anything wrong with being enthusiastic, I just didn’t think it thru well enough I guess. I thought it would be easy, you know, write a bit everyday, take a picture etc. But there’s a whole lot more to it then I initially thought. Boy was I wrong about how easy it would be! Anywho, I guess I did learn from it after all. I mean, I now know actually how much work there comes with it, with such a project. Normally I’m not busy photographing everyday, and for once I actually had to. So besides my job, my girlfriend who needs attention, my friends whom I like to spend time with and my other hobbies I had to photograph each and everyday AND write about it. And honestly, I’ve never been a good writer. I lack the skills to properly describe certain aspects of a subject, and thus it makes me a lousy tutor. I mean after all, that’s what I was trying to be. But I guess that in the end, it doesn’t really matter if a personal project fails or not. I mean you’ll learn from it no matter what.

I think that I’ll probably come up with some crazy project this year, and I’ll try to be more … realistic then the last time. There are a couple things I’d like to do this year, and that’s get my head around the different methods of portrait photography. I know there’s still tons for me to learn, I just have to find time to do it. But all in good time! I also just need a place of my own (with my girlfriend), which is hopefully soon. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll probably have read that my girlfriend and I are trying to get our own place to live. Still dealing with the mortgage 🙂 When we’ve our own place, my possibilities are endless! I’ll finally have space to set up a decent studio. At the moment I’m kinda running pretty damn short on space. I haven’t nearly as much space  as I’d like to have — but I suppose us photographers never have! I guess this all for tonight, time to lay next to my little monster (a.k.a girlfriend) and go to sleep.

So with all that out of the way, I’m hoping this year will bring us all some good. So even though it’s already the 19th of January, I hope you’ll have a happy/good new year!

Nightlife photography

Today I won’t be featuring a photo perse (of course I will post an image), but instead I’ll be featuring a technique instead. As you probably do understand nightlife photography is completely different then say; wedding photography or portrait. Nightlife photography brings a whole different concept. For one you can not only experiment and also get away with it, you also have to use you flash in a whole different way and you are most likely shooting at higher ISOs (800+). It’s ok if images get some noise, as long it’s not in the way of any detail you’re focusing on (and that’s not that pretty girl with the large breasts, mind you!). Nightlife photography is fun and exciting and if you’re photographing in a club you’re most likely having an awesome time. Of course you still have to remember you’re at work, so try to stay sober and lay low on the booze! Oh and please note, some of these aren’t images are mine. If it’s your photo and if you wish for it to be removed, please contact me!

Equipment

For nightlife photography you need a very basic setup of equipment. You need a flash, and even tho your build-in flash may work it’s not recommended. Since a bare flash is never nice when photographing people you may want something to diffuse your light. A Stofen OmniBouncer works in this case and you may also want a bounce card or something similar (you can creat one your self, it’s easy!).

The techniques

There are several techniques you can use in nightlife photography all with different stunning results. Like I said before you can, or rather should be creative. But of course it all depends on the setting. For example if you’re shooting at a casual business party you should be shooting sort of formal and if you’re at a night club, well go creative!

In the samples I’ll list below I assume you want to use the techniques in a club and therefor all examples are demonstrated as club photography.

Freeze the action

Freezing the action of one person can be fun and can be done in several ways. For speed photography you need fast shutter speeds and a fast flash sync (refer to your camera’s manual on how to set the sync speed). A shutter speed of 1/100 sec will probably do the trick unless you try to capture very fast movement, but in most cases 1/100 sec will be sufficient to capture a person’s movement and a result that will not have any blur due to movement. Honestly I’d never use this technique since it doesn’t give a good overall feeling to the scene. However there are occasions that you might want to use this technique, such as the case on the picture to the right. I tried to capture the tension and emotion, and it worked out pretty well.

Photo by Glenn de Vaal

Ambient light

There are two different approaches possible here, one is to leave the shutter open long enough to expose ambient light but not the movement and one which captures ambient lighting and movement.

Using a combination of your flash and ambient light is in my opinion the best technique to be used in night life photography. The trick here is to freeze the movement of your subject by using your flash (partly as fill in) and leave the shutter open long enough to capture some of the ambient light. While the shutter stays open you capture the movement of anything that moves (excluding your main subject), this is of course only when you use a rather slow shutter speed. This leaves the focus on your main subject because everything around your subject is blurry due to the movement. If you don’t want movement in your pictures however, use fast glass, high ISO and experiment with the shutter speed.

Photo by Igor Barandovski

Rear curtain sync

By using rear curtain sync you can show of movement. The trick here is to keep your shutter open long enough for your camera to capture movement and just before the shutter closes your flash should go off. Everything that happens before your flash goes off is blurred, leaving trails of movement and when the flash fires it captures (freezes) the movement of your subject. Since words say more than a thousand words, check out the picture on the left. Of course Rear curtain sync isn’t specific nightlife photography.

Pit falls

Nightlife photography, of course, doesn’t come without them. They are always lurking in the dark and you usually find them when it’s too late — at home when reviewing your images. The problem usually in dark areas with constant changing of the ambient light is that you can’t meter correctly. Your camera meters XX values and at the time you press the shutter release button the lighting changes. My advice is to always use Manual mode on your camera and just ignore your on camera light metering device. You have to judge mostly for your self about the lighting. Take a couple of test shots to determine the ideal settings. One thing that’s also very important; when you measure for light make absolutely sure you meter your subject and not your background. If you meter for the background your flash will try to fill up the entire room resulting in your subject being way over exposed. What you absolutely want is to use high ISO settings. I go for 1000+ in order to get good ambient light.

Weekly Wednesday — I missed the shot

Ever had one of those moments that you have no camera on you and you see a near perfect landscape? I had that today, so as I walked up the stairs in to my office I looked outside and saw this perfect sight of the rising sun up on a field of crops — it was serene and perfect as you can imagine. I quickly went for my pocket to get my phone only to realize I left my phone in my car. I ran back to get it, but as you probably guess, once I came back the sight wasn’t as I first saw it and taking the photo would have only disappointed me. Don’t let this happen to you, always keep something in your pocket so you can snap a picture and not write lame stories on how you missed the shot!

Today I won’t be featuring any links. And honestly I haven’t had any time to read RSS feeds or browse my favorite websites looking information I can share with you. So what have you been busy with? Eh, well, my new apartment! Eh? Yesterday my girlfriend and I signed for our new apartment, we need to get our mortgage sorted now.

So my apologies for the lack of interesting links! 😉

Band Photography – For Japan

Last Thursday I photographed my very first live performance. The band was called “For Japan” and it was the first time I saw them perform (after knowing the band’s drummer for nearly 2 years). And even tho the parking meter was running empty I had a good time after photographing their performance. When you get the chance please check out their MySpace site over here.

Anyway, here are a couple of images. There’s more to come, so check back now and then.

Photography T-Shirts

I found this page where they sell some pretty cool photography T-Shirts. Now you can show off — without your camera strapped around your neck — you’re a photographer. Chicks will adore you like some god … or not. Either way, they look cool. I actually bought two of them:

I especially like the first one, it looks worn. And the other one, well I guess I’ll wear it when I’m going as a stealthy urban sniper (I’m sure no one will notice the colors!)