My friend Husam got himself a Harley, I got myself a camera, a couple of strobes and a light diffuser that seems to have been a shower cap in a previous life. I’ve been fiddling around with a hybrid photography/graphic style that’s often referred to as hyper-realism. The style is identifiable by its clean, contrasty look, sharp details, vivid colors and usually large depth of field. Is it a good thing? Well, for what it’s worth, let’s deploy the age old dictum (or escape door mechanism) that art is subjective. And while we’re at it, let’s take a look at a before and after photo I did (click on photos to view original size): Before Â After Obviously, besides the contrast, detail and colors, I’ve composited the sky from another photo I’ve taken (my early attempts had me drawing clouds, which weren’t good at all!). In other edits, I’ve gone overboard and added more than just a cloudy sky: Before After Â The flames are courtesy of flame brushes from Obsidian Dawn. For each shot, two off-camera strobes were used. Shooting took place around the [...]
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My favorite lens currently is a 50mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro. It’s perfect for life-size close-ups and portraits. Although it’s not as fast as I’d like it to be (i.e. f/1.4 or f/1.2), it’s sharp and has lovely bokeh (the appearance of out of focus areas) thanks to its circular aperture. Some of the above photos were shot using a DIY soft box that I hacked together last night (instructions at Strobist – highly recommended site). A soft box diffuses light, softening shadows. Previously, I bounced light off a wall to diffuse it. While wall bouncing works, control is fiddly for shadow direction and spread. Wall bounce light diffusion photo: Matryoshka dolls. DIY soft box light diffusion photos: Toy truck, Mac remote, Chrysanthemum 1 and 2, Artifact, Microlith/Loompas photos, Bulb and Soviet Union Full Metal Lighter. Here’s my soft box: The lights I’m using are ordinary tungsten lamps rated at 60W and 40W. To get a perfect infinity sweep background, I need brighter lights or a hot shoe flash off camera. Equipment used: Sony Alpha 100, Sony 50mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro lens, vacuum cleaner box converted [...]
If the page does not display correctly, click here. I stood on the edge of a road bustling with people and cars. “Awas!” read a sign in Malay. The roads in Kuala Lumpur were, as in most cities, littered with signs that cautioned drivers of impending doom should they heed no warning as they zipped past roadworks and construction sites. “Awas,” was for all intents and purposes, attention, hazard, achtung–call it what you will, in Malay. From the Petronas Towers to Chinatown and from the Butterfly Park to a shady shop in lower Kuala Lumpur that sold concoctions of a most dubious nature and effect, Malaysia offered a good opportunity to grab my photography gear and run wild with it. Armed with my brand new and first ever SLR camera, a Sony Alpha 100, I took on the task of documenting my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur. To digress slightly, my advent into photography goes back to when my father gifted me a book on the subject back in fifth or sixth grade. Though my interest has only recently taken the form it has following [...]
In the garden of life we met Hello, we said In a summer of love we came set aflame we were In the garden of life love we found Happy, happy together happy to have met each other —– Click on the image above for a larger version. Original image (19/03/2007, Bahrain): Camera: Sony Alpha 100 DSLR
I’ve had a frog lying on my desk for ages. I don’t mind it. It’s harmless and only moves when you move it (it’s plastic.) The toy frog is orange actually, but I thought it looked cooler in green. Original image: Now for the David Attenborough bit: For many years zoologists have debated the existence of a particular frog belonging to the genus Hyla. Recently, however, the keyboard-dwelling species of frog has made the transition from cryptozoology to zoology. The nocturnal keyboard frog (Hyla clavea,) a distant cousin of the American green tree frog (Hyla cinerea,) is found past midnight between the modifier regions of Alternate and Control. The frog is medium-sized, up to seven centimeters. Its body is usually psychedelic green with faint purple stripes, although some photographic evidence suggests that an orange-delic variety exists as well. Note: Larger version here.
What better way to pass a lazy Friday afternoon than Photoshopping some old travel photos? The basis for the image above is a snap I took while crossing from Dubai to the Omani border a couple of years ago. The cars, falconer, camels, jets, coffee stain, grocery list and note scribble, folds and other effects are all Photoshop magic! The original base image is this: What in the world is Wunderistan? Wunderistan is a place at crossroads. It’s somewhere in the desert of Arabia, where the old meets the new. Where the East greets the West. It’s a place unlike any other. A place where a car passes by a camel, and where a falconer looks up at jets flying past. If there ever is a wunderkind of a place, it’ll be Wunderistan. Have a good weekend everyone! Note: Click here to see a hi-res version.
Ever curious, people have brewed and smoked almost everything that protrudes in one form or another from the earth and then some. Coffee is, without a doubt, the most popular of these experiments. The perfect brew follows the perfect roast. It’s a delightful play on our senses that begins with smell before sight. The smell primes us for an encounter with a dark, rich liquid. A liquid that promises to wake up our other senses as well as our body and mind. And that, it surely does. The first sip quickly crescendos into the blend’s unique character. A rapid cascade follows. Traces of continents and countries and herdsmen amongst plantations meet, greet and dissipate. From Yemen to Brazil, and from Ethiopia to Sumatra, your everyday blend coffee is truly a multicultural experience in its own right. If you will pardon deficient nation labelling, coffee is developing countries in a cup.