Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Sorry. That's too big.

I recently visited the Gauguin exhibition at the Beyeler Foundation just outside of Basel with an art loving friend.

Beyeler Foundation

As it was my first time at a major exhibition, I decided to take a serious camera with me and not rely on snaps from my capable mobile phone because I wanted to have some of the resulting images printed out in postcard size as a memento for my friend and thought that I would probably need to crop or zoom in if there were too many people there.

I chose my EOS 5d MKII together with the 24 - 105 zoom and a Speedlite 430ex.

Not acceptable

It was a beautiful day when we arrived and the waiting queue of people was not that long. The exhibition has been extensively advertised as a "blockbuster" type of event and has tried to capture public attention by its use of high-tech guides and even bringing in Hollywood star Keanu Reeves to open it!

After a short wait of only about five or six minutes, we reached the cloakroom and left our jackets there.

"You'll have to leave your camera behind." One of the attendants told me.
"Why?" I asked.
"That's the rule here" was his response

Reluctantly I handed over the camera and made my way through the next checkpoint.

The art gallery makes fantastic use of natural and artificial illumination. Lovely shadowless light that you normally experience on a cloudy but bright day. I looked around to take it all in and realised that THERE WERE LOADS OF PEOPLE TAKING PICTURES!

There were mobile phone cameras, bridge cameras, compacts, video cameras and even Tablet devices merrily snapping away.

I decided to join them and reached inside my coat pocket for my mobile phone only to discover that I had left in in my car. The car of course was too far away for me to go back to and I didn't fancy waiting amongst the people waiting at the entrance, which was growing longer by the minute, to get back in.

I really wanted to take some pictures for my friend so I approached one of the employees. We had a conversation something like this:

"Excuse me. I see that there are lots of people taking pictures here. Is that allowed?"

"Yes" he replied "But if there is a sign next to the painting forbidding it, then obviously we ask that it not be photographed"

"I tried to bring my camera in but they wouldn't let me". I said.

"Is it a big camera? Was his response?

"It is large in size. Yes"

"Then that is not allowed"

"But some of the people in here have cameras with perhaps better resolution than mine" I argued

"Big cameras are not allowed" was his reply.

"How about if I make it smaller?" I asked.

"That would be permissible" Said the guard.

"Great. Thanks", I replied. An idea forming in my head.

I made my way through the swelling throng of visitors back to the cloakroom and retrieved my camera from the attendant. To make my camera "acceptable", I simply removed the battery grip and the Speedlite.

Acceptable for exhibitions

As I mentioned previously, the lighting inside the Beyeler art gallery is ideal for photography. I took a spot meter reading of the palm of my hand and used the resulting reading, 1/50th @5.6 with ISO 800 for all the shots taken in the place. Such was the lighting consistency that I didn't need to change anything.

"Polynesian woman with children" (1901)

 Riders on the beach (II) (1902)

 Visitors inspecting Gaugin's largest piece of work.
"Where do we come from? What  are we? Where are we going?" (1897/98)

So if you are thinking of attending the Gauguin exhibition in Basel please be assured that you can take pictures but only with a compact, tablet device, video camera or mobile phone. if you want to use your (D)SLR, then try and make it as small as possible.

You can read more about the exhibition here.

P.S. As I have mentioned before on this blog, I am a bit of a philistine when it comes to art. 

As ever. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Learn tips and techniques part 1

So you've just bought a wonderful super specified SLR and want to do more than just take "happy snaps"?

Maybe you want to explore what your new camera is capable of?

What do all those settings on the command dial mean? What do they do exactly?

If you register for one of my classes, I will show you in simple terms exactly how to get the most out of your new (or even old) equipment.

 Learn simple but effective ways to alter flash images

What else can you do? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Even the simplest of cameras can produce jaw dropping images. As long as you have some  control over your camera settings, whether its a compact or a high end DSLR, the end results can be rewarding.
Learn how to control speed & movemenrt
 As well as group sessions, I also offer one to one coaching for people who lack the time to attend regular classes. Give me a call today and find out how to take your photography to a new level.

Contact me today for more information.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Lens focal lengths from 16mm fish eye up to 420mm telephoto

On a fine Summer's day last year in my village, I decided to see what the range of every lens in my collection was. I took a picture with each one and combined them into this 50 second clip. . .

At the start, I used my EOS 5D MKII and the Russian Zenitar 16mm fish eye. After the 300 mm  I switched to my EOS 7D to make use of the crop factor which gave me an effective 420 mm focal length.

Since doing this test, I have sold my old 300mm and my 70 - 200 zoom. They've been replaced by the Canon EF 100 - 400L  zoom so I may have to repeat it again!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Fotografie Kurse für 2015

Die Planungen sind nun komplett. Wie manche von Euch wissen, gebe ich regelmässig Fotografie und ähnliche solche Kurse für die Migros Klubschule hier in der Schweiz. Kurse wie Anfängerfotografie, Portrait Workshops, Strassenfotografie und auch das Designen eines Photobooks.

Ich gebe auch meine eigenen Kurse in Klassen, oder auch Eins zu Eins, mit Leuten die das wünschen. Manchmal bekomme ich einen spezifischen Wunsch für einen Kurs, zum Beispiel von Leuten die eine neue DSLR Kamera kauften und nicht wussten, welche Einstellungen zu gebrauchen.

Jeder Kurs ist an den Interessenten angepasst, nachdem wir zusammen erkundeten, was genau er braucht. Sie lernen simple Techniken, wie zum Beispiel, wie man den Hintergrund verdunkelt für Blitzlicht Fotografie.

Eine simple Technik, um den Hintergrund zu verdunkeln

Natürlich geht das auch umgekehrt. Man kann auch den Hintergrund progressiv erhellen.

Ich zeige den Interessenten simple Techniken, wie diese.
Ein weiterer Bereich, den ich lehre ist das Zubehör. Was brauchst Du wirklich, neben der eigentlichen Kamera, Linse und Blitzlicht? Dieser Kurs hilft den Interessenten sehr dabei sich zu entscheiden, was sie mitnehmen sollen oder nicht, oder auch was sie überhaupt zu Beginn kaufen sollen.

Filter werden auch diskutiert. Welche (wenn überhaupt welche) sind empfohlen? Ich gebe dazu meine Meinung und wir diskutieren.

Der vorher-nachher Effekt eines polarisierenden Filters

Natürlich ist kein guter Kurs komplett, ohne das Fotografieren selbst! Dies ist ein grosser Teil des Kurses und ich bin immer da für Motivation und Feedback. Danach besprechen wir alles mit Tee oder Kaffee.

Der letzte Teil meines Kurses betrifft normalerweise Software und auch wieso ich es empfehle, Bilder im RAW Format zu schiessen.

 Lerne wie Du unterbeleuchtete Bilder rettest mit dem RAW Format 

 . . .oder sogar wie du nerfige Farbenstiche änderst

Die Kurse dauern entweder einige Stunden für diejenigen, die nur etwas Neues dazulernen möchten, oder es sind drei wöchige Anfängerkurse für die Neufotografen.

Egal wieviel Erfahrung, es gibt immer etwas von Interesse für Dich.

Mehr Informationen gibt es hier und ich bin immer für Fragen erhältlich

Danke fürs Lesen.