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  • I found it quite entertaining, and if I didn't already know that flashless, wide aperture photos make for better portraits, I could find it educational too.
    Well, I didn't know that, which is why I posted it.
  • From my blog:

    I realized that the photos I've been putting on craigslist to sublet my apartment are really old, and after the spring/summer decorating the place looks completely different now. I still want to do more work. For example, the flooring in the dining room (I want nice wooden floors instead of carpets, but I don't have the time or motivation to do that now, and the old floor was so shit it had to be covered with something), and I still want to put a fireman's pole from the bedroom to the living room area. Also, the photos in the dining room are still not any kind of final choice, and now I've blown some images up larger as tests, I'm not happy with the cheap frames.

    Today I moved various amounts of mess around, and took photos that will hopefully encourage people to want to stay here while I'm away. The reality is that I've got juggling clubs strewn across the floor, and the couch looks more like an office with all the papers and books than somewhere to sit.

    So if anyone wants to swap places to live, I'm looking for somewhere in New York for most of September...











  • image
    In related news, I joined a gym yesterday.
  • I got some pretty good photos of Chicago, considering the fact that I was using a point-and-shoot camera.


    I also discovered that I could take dark photos by covering the flash, which lead to some interesting results:

  • Some photos from my recent house fire:
  • That's gnarly, dude. I'm so sorry that happened to you.
  • edited September 2010
    Just another day in middle America. Ohio loves parades.


    Yes, that's Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee returned from the grave and united against the forces of darkness.

    Dennis Kucinich

    There was a petting zoo.

    But you couldn't pet the la tigre.
    Post edited by Jason on
  • Yes, that's Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee returned from the grave and united against the forces of darkness.
    I can't help but think old honest abe is eating a churro there.
  • I can't help but think old honest abe is eating a churro there.
    What makes it even better is that I've never seen clone high, ever. I honestly think it looks like he's grabbed a churro on his way through. Because let's face it, Churros are awesome.
  • Yes, that's Abe Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee returned from the grave and united against the forces of darkness.
  • I obviously didn't take this photo, but I'm pretty sure it's the greatest photo every taken.
  • greatest photo every taken.
    And the second-greatest photo ever taken:
  • So my grandma is moving in with us this Thursday. Problem is we only have 3 bedrooms, so I gave up mine. All my stuff has been put into a closet we managed to empty out and my parents got a neat couch that folds down into a bed and put it in the dining room. After I made the space my own, I took a picture, though I regret my lighting choice a bit.

  • Here are two photos I took in Hawaii that came out fairly well. I have a basic all purpose digital camera (FujiFilm Film XP). The camera is actually pretty neat with all the different features and types of shooting modes. It's water/shock/dust/freeze proof and can shoot photos underwater.

    Fishies in the water.

    Jeremy with a cloudy sunset.
  • I'm really interested in getting into photography. Does anyone have suggestions for a good starting camera? I'm interested in macro photography, as well as HDR photography and your standard portraits, landscapes, and cityscapes. A really inexpensive DSLR could work, but a point-and-shoot with a decent macro mode would work, too.
  • I'm really interested in getting into photography. Does anyone have suggestions for a good starting camera? I'm interested in macro photography, as well as HDR photography and your standard portraits, landscapes, and cityscapes. A really inexpensive DSLR could work, but a point-and-shoot with a decent macro mode would work, too.
    Canon Make some pretty decent Entry level DSLRs which are suitable for those applications - The Rebel range is quite good, I use one myself, and it's quite good.
  • edited November 2010
    Rebel range is still too expensive. I'm considering this Lumix.
    Post edited by WindUpBird on
  • edited November 2010
    I recently got that one. I have really liked it so far, though I haven't played with the macro too much. Has AEB, so nice for HDR. No manual focus, so maybe not so nice for macro. There are a plethora of auto-focus modes though, and I haven't had any problems with it. This is the best macro shot I've gotten yet:


    Not sure if the GPS is good for anything yet either.
    Post edited by Starfox on
  • edited June 2011
    I took this photo on Monday. I spotted the formation on the side of a Norwegian fjord called Geirangerfjord. I found it quite spooky.

    Post edited by Luke Burrage on
  • Don't worry. That's probably just one of the giants Odin et co. slaughtered. It's why you don't see them anymore these days.
  • I took this photo on Monday. I spotted the formation on the side of a Norwegian fjord called Geirangerfjord. I found it quite spooky.
    I see you've met my friend Cliff.
  • Here are the photos I took for today's FotoMarathon. Click on the image to see the entire strip of photos in a proper size in a new tab, how the would be viewed in the exhibition:

    Luke Burrage small strip

    The titles of each photo:
    1. I am me
    2. Big city plant
    3. Weekend and Sunshine
    4. There are repairs everywhere
    5. No beauty without danger
    6. The TV tower has ears
    7. Sweet life, sour life
    8. We met in a garden
    9. I want to have fun

    And here's the story of my day (and week)...

    Last year I had an awesome time taking part in the Berlin FotoMarathon. I posted about it at the time, though I never got round to sharing my final photos. I should get on that!

    1. I am me

    Today was the third time I took part in the marathon. It works like this:

    1. There's an overall theme each year. Last year it was "Time Travel Berlin" and this year it was "Music is in the Air", however, you don't learn the theme until the 11am start of the event.

    2. You then have 12 hours to take 24 photos.

    3. Each photo has a theme. But you only learn the individual themes in stages, and you have to make it to series of checkpoints around Berlin to learn the next set of themes. This year all the themes were based on song titles from Berlin-based bands or musicians.

    4. At the end of the day you give in your memory card with 24 photos, taken in order, unmodified, and every other photo deleted.

    5. There are prizes, I'm sure, but I'm not really that bothered about the actual competition and gallery showing side of things.

    2. Big city plant

    Last year I turned up with no ideas, but quickly settled on using two wooden dwarfs from a flea market to tell a story of time travel, conflict, revenge, redemption, etc.

    This year I had no ideas at the start, but I quickly settled on an interesting take. Here's how my plan came together:

    First, photo number 1 had the title "I am me." I decided each photo would be a self portrait.

    Second, the booklet said "We recommend that you shoot your photos in landscape format –based on how your photos will be shown during the exhibition. Each series will be exhibited as a 3m long strip, uncut."

    "Hmmm, " thought I, and decided that the join between each photo would be just as important as the theme and the image itself.

    3. Weekend and Sunshine

    However, the tips on the website said:

    "Charge your batteries
    Seriously, make sure they are 100% charged. Bring an extra set of batteries if you want to be on the safe side.
    And this goes not only for your camera…have a good night’s sleep and get ready for an exciting, creative and dynamic Fotomarthon day on Saturday!"

    See that part about good night's sleep? About being ready physically? Well, I've just come off the most stressful week I've had in about two years! I guess it is still ongoing.

    Monday: In quarantine with gastrointestinal sickness. Yay, much vomiting and no eating.

    Tuesday: not recovered properly, I had to do two hour-long shows on the last night of the cruise. I only just got through them without going back stage to vomit (not due to sickness, but to exhaustion).

    Wednesday: missed breakfast, long travel day, got home literally seconds before the first of 16 people turned up to my place for a meeting of creative Berliners. I bailed on a podcast recording with friends after it began, correctly gauging my energy had been completely depleted.

    Thursday: visited a friend in hospital when I should have been catching up with sleep, hung out in the park when I should have been catching up with sleep, went to a stand-up comedy show in the evening when I should have been catching up on sleep.

    Friday: lots of small jobs to do, and a friend arrived to stay over for 6 days, and I had to make time for an important date. Along the way I managed to slice my finger open so badly that blood sprayed across the kitchen. It is still painful, and still strapped up with plasters.

    And I've not been eating or sleeping well since getting ill back on Monday morning.

    4. There are repairs everywhere

    Last year I was cycling and taking photos for over 14 hours in total, and by the end I was exhausted. At 10.30 this morning I was already as tired as was at 10.30pm last year!

    I might have made it through the day if I'd just stuck to taking simple photos, but the extra creative challenge made it waaaaay harder.

    First: self portraits? Each photo is taken with a remote switch and a 2 second timer. That means I have to frame and focus at the camera, then get into position, take a series of shots, then go and check they are right, and pick the best shot of the bunch. This adds a LOT of time to any shoot. How did I think I would be able to get through 24 of these images?

    5. No beauty without danger

    Also, I set up all these images myself, including camera, set dressing, props and lighting. If all I did was point the camera my way, that wouldn't take too long. But nooooo, I had to move mirrors, decorate my kitchen with bottles, tie ropes around trees, position guitars on chairs, program the strobes and shape the constant light, gel the lighting to simulate weather and light from different times of day, etc. The only help I had was a random guy in the park who held the umbrella, and everything else was down to me.

    And in each of the photos I had to ACT. As in take on a character for that pose. Which meant that even if everything else about the photo was technically correct, if I wasn't looking in the right direction in the right way, I had to try again and again. And the moment in the throwing and juggling shots had to be perfect. In the last image I had to press the remote, pick up one bottle and make a "cheers!" motion, then get the timing exactly right to have the camera capture me throwing a second bottle back over my shoulder. But not only over my shoulder, but over the kitchen cabinet. So between every shot I had to get up and find that damn plastic bottle! Fuuuuuuuuck!

    6. The TV tower has ears

    Does this sound like fun yet? Well, yes, it was a lot of fun, but HARD.

    And it gets harder!

    Second: each photo "merges" into the next, remember? So at every image I didn't just have to worry about that image, I had to worry about the one before it to match up the left side, the image I was taking, the image following it to set up the right side, AND some kind of idea what the image two photos later would look like.

    That's up to FOUR photos in my head while composing every frame.

    7. Sweet life, sour life

    So let's do the maths. 24 photos in 12 hours means 30 minutes per photo, and that doesn't include the "marathon" part of the competition, getting between the checkpoints. I thought I'd minimize that by always returning to my apartment after each checkpoint, but I'd also have to eat and drink… leaving me with about 15-20 minutes per photograph.

    In reality, I didn't take the first photo until almost 2 hours were up. And in the following 5 hours I took a further 8 photos.

    Around photo 6 I realized I would never catch up, and decided to aim for 12 good photos, then just take 12 more random images to fill out the quota, and submit them anyway.

    At the 7pm checkpoint I decided I just wouldn't bother, and just stop at photo number 9, the one I'd just taken. As soon as I made decided this, a massive weight lifted from my body and mind, and I proceeded to spend the evening resting, eating, and sitting in front of my laptop. And I thought I'd write this, and finish it before the 11pm end time of the photo marathon.

    8. We met in a garden
    What I learned:

    I should rest if I'm recovering from an illness.

    I really enjoy planning and executing photographs. I only do it 2 or 3 times per year, and the rest of the time I'm doing much more documentary photography, merely capturing things already there rather than creating the image from my own imagination.

    Aiming for something waaaaaaay beyond what is practically possible in terms of time constraints is both good and bad. Bad: I'm never going to win a competition if I don't finish and submit the photos. Good: I probably would never have spent 6 hours working on images like this otherwise. I could have played it safe and gone for something simple or smaller, but I aimed beyond the possible and learned way more about photography than I would have otherwise.

    Next year I'll either keep it super simple: one camera, one lens, and try to be the first to finish. Or I'll do something bigger like this, but try to get a team together. A model, an assistant, and me.

    9. I want to have fun
  • Bought a Canon T3i the other week, this is my favorite photography thus far:

  • edited June 2011
    @Luke; So are you currently in Norway? If so, which town?
    Edit: Wait, that was 20 days ago, not yesterday. I'll read the date next time.
    Post edited by Aria on
  • Ready for another epic photography post? Okay!

    Today I chatted to Shona, my sister in law, about photography. She has been struggling with lack of inspiration and motivation, lack of good equipment (three broken lenses and no autofocus!), and is recovering from a bad experience photographing a wedding.

    She asked me what are the next steps to take in improving her photography. I’m a decent photographer, but not amazing. I’m certainly not an expert at photography, except at some niche subjects like taking photos of jugglers on stage.

    But there’s one thing I do know, and that is how much I’ve improved at photography in the last few years. Not only do I know how much I’ve improved, but also how I’ve improved.

    And I’ll share a bit about the how here.

    First, I’ve got one major advantage over most people who take up a new hobby, or learn a new skill: I have almost unlimited free time! Such is my life as a professional juggler. This allows me to take as many photos as I like, and try experiments, and generally practice.

    Second, I’ve learned as much technical stuff about photography as I need to. For now. If you don’t know how to use your camera, read the fucking manual.


    Yeah, this is where it starts getting interesting. If you have the time, and know how to use your equipment, why can’t you take amazing photos like the professionals? It’s what makes people think that taking better photographs is about having a good camera, or a better lens, or having the right software.

    “Nice photo! What kind of camera do you use?”

    I get this all the time.

    So how do you get that ultimate compliment? Study.

    Don’t read about photography. Don’t listen to podcasts about photography. Don’t pay to go to expensive workshops. Well, you can do all those things, but I’ve learned all the most important elements of becoming a decent photographer by studying photographs. And, in another way, photographers.

    I’ll explain my method using the example of Paul F. Gero. I heard an interview with him on the Candid Frame podcast (the only photography podcast I listen to), and his photo-per-day project sounded interesting. It was called One Camera One Lens One Photo Per Day.

    I checked out the blog, and was immediately captivated by the photos of his kids. Almost every photo he took and shared was better than any photo I had ever taken! And he was sharing a photo he took every day, no matter what the weather or the subjects he had at hand.

    What was his secret? It wasn’t the equipment, as I had a similar camera, and a similar lens, and the equipment wasn’t changing.

    But I had to find out! There was something that he was doing, maybe many things, that I didn’t know about. If it was something he could share, it would be in a book or on a website or in a blog post.

    So I just subscribed to his blog, and every day I saw a new photo come in, and they were all good, usually great, and often amazing.

    What did his photographs have in common with each other? What did they not have in common with mine?

    After a few months, something clicked! I already knew that he used a lot os shallow depth of field with his photography, as you’d expect from a 50mm 1.4 lens. But something else crystalized in my mind:

    The parts of the photograph that were out of focus are always just as interesting as a subject matter as the part of the photograph that is in focus!

    Now I say it like that, it’s obvious. Right?

    Shallow depth of feel is a “look”, but it can be more than that. If things are too out of focus, you can’t see what they are. Sometimes if you can see too much, it looks ugly. It’s a balance you have to strike, and just having something, or anything, out of focus isn’t good enough. It has to be something interesting and engaging.

    A few weeks later I visited my sister, and other members of my family, and took some photos of kids. Armed with this new nugget of photography wisdom, I took some photos. I intentionally made sure the out of focus stuff was interesting in its own right.

    Like this:

    Or this:

    My photography had changed. With this one small skill, I’d taken it to another level. Shona just said this on skype about that blog post: “I remember looking at them and wondering when you’d got so good!”

    Now I think “Not every photo Paul Gero takes is better than my best photographs, but sometimes, on a good day, I can take a photo as good as he can on an average day when the sun isn’t shining.”

    For the last year, this is just one element I keep in mind when I take any photo. It doesn’t impact every photo I take, but way more than I’d ever expect. Judging by responses on Facebook (comments and likes) I can see which photos I take are popular, and it’s telling that many of them feature somebody in focus, and then an interesting scene out of focus.

    And it joins many, many, many other nuggets of photography magic like that banging about in my head. The ones that are most important aren’t learnt from reading about photography but by immersing myself in the photography skill of someone else. Someone waaaaay better than I am.

    My aim isn’t (as the above photos of my family might suggest) to replicate Paul’s images. It’s to try to lift my skill to the level of someone of whom I think “I’m never going to be that good at photography!” A tautology? Kinda. I’ll take one element, and then apply it to photos of jugglers, or travel photography, or whatever is in front of me at the time.

    So here are some other photographers whose blogs I enjoy. The styles of photography vary, but if you look closely you can probably find some elements in common with my own work. Again, I’m not aiming to copy them, just elevate my own photography skill levels to somewhere closer to theirs.

  • In no particular order:

    • Andy Biggs at The Global Photographer who leads wildlife photography safaris in Afica. One day I’ll join him on a safari, but meanwhile I’m learning a lot from his blog.

    • Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir who takes great self portraits, along with interesting landscape photos of her native Iceland. She often combines the two, and has inspiring views on doing things live rather than in photoshop (though seems to be pretty handy at photoshop too).

    • Nicolesy, or Nicole S. Young. Nicole takes photos of food, among many other subjects, as a professional stock photographer. It’s amazing how much you can learn about “clean” photographs when keeping in mind something like “Could this ever be used in a magazine to draw people into a subject, even if they don’t already know that subject?”

    • Will & Matt Burrard-Lucas. Two wildlife photographers who aren’t adverse to trying out interesting technological solutions to trick photo problems. This includes putting cameras on radio control cars to get close to lions and elephants, dangling cameras on wires to photograph penguins under ledges, and capturing the great migrations of the Serengeti with time lapse techniques.

    • Natalie Dybisz a.k.a. Miss Aniela. Another self portrait specialist who also makes “Urbex” photography worth looking at more than once.

    • Bill Wadman and his blog On Taking Pictures. This is a new blog in my rotation. I like his sense of fun and comedy in his portraits, something I want to work into my own photographs somehow.

    • The j w l photography blog. I’m not sure how this ended up in my blog list, but I like it! It’s full of wedding (and other event and portraiture) photography, specializing in mixing people with architecture and location. I don’t intend to do any wedding photography, but if I did, I hope it would be as good as this.

    • The Boston Globe Big Picture blog. Not a single photographer, but an amazing well edited collection of press photos about a single news topic or theme. If you have a 10mm or 14mm lens for your camera, subscribe to this blog! It’s like a how-to for well composed and interesting wide angle photography.

    There are other photographers I enjoy, but maybe not on their blog, and the above list is in no way complete. But all of the above have taught me in some way. Or at least inspired me.


    Go look at the photo at the top of this blog post again, and you’ll maybe see some of the thoughts and lessons and inspirations that go into a photo of two glasses of ice drinks.

  • I was at the Hunterian Museum in London the other day, which is an awesome medical museum inside of the Royal College of Surgeons. It's based around the collection of John Hunter, a highly influential Scottish surgeon who collected hundreds and hundreds of intriguing specimen jars, covering everything from fetuses and embryoes, to tumorous organs, to cuttlefish and other animals. The museum also houses a huge collection of some of my favorite things: antique medical equipment. I took the opportunity to work on composition and ended up with this shot of a set of a WWII-era injection equipment along with an ampoule and box of pentothal from Illinois's own Abbott Labs. I'm rather proud of how it came out!

    Link to full resolution version, since this thread loads hopelessly slowly.
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