Monthly Archives: September 2009

Dancing in the Moonlight

“It’s caught me in it’s spotlight. It’s alright it’s alright the moonlight”. A Thin Lizzy hit although I tend to better remember the great Smashing Pumpkins cover. Be thankful that my new version – Shooting in the Moonlight – only exists by my pen (well keyboard) not my voice!

Shooting images in the Moonlight lit only by a full moon is something I wanted to do for a while. You have to get away from most light pollution (cities etc) and find yourself somewhere nice and dark so you can capture a glorious night sky featuring magical stars and a nice moonlit landscape. In April I found myself camping in the Namibian Veld (Afrikaans for bush) on a night with a full moon and wanted to experiment with Shooting in the Moonlight. This is basically what I ended up with after a few tests:

Moonlit Namibia Veld

Namibia Moonlit Veld
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This is in pitch darkness lit entirely by the moon. The image itself is fairly boring but it serves as an example of how a full moon can easily light up a landscape and create a great otherworldly light along with a massive amount of beautiful stars! This image was a 25 second exposure at f/4.0 iso 1250, a full moon is bright but not exactly the burning midday sun. You do need very long exposures and high iso to capture this. A 25 second exposure is too much actually, the earth has already rotated enough to create small star trails, so a faster lens would come in very handy here.

Now that I look at the image I really should have walked up the hill and put some nice rocks close up in the foreground! My mind was frozen as it gets so cold in the veld after sunset. Ah, always great things to learn and improve on. Come next opportunity I hope to have a winning moonlit shot to show you or at least an improved one! Anyone wishing to share some moonlit shooting experiences, please do comment. Take me out to the black!

Moonlit video: For some out of this world time lapse images featuring magical stars and light, this brilliant video by Tom @ Timescapes is pure genius.

Advertisements

Travel Photography

In the words of Monty Python ‘and now for something completely different’ – Travel Photography and Ethno Photography.

Borneo bicycle man. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Bicycle Man, Pangkalan Bun, Borneo
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

While I wait for inspiration to write the CAKE crew in Marble Bar story, and my web host to come back online (major database crash at Pbase.com) I will talk about my new project. Travel Photography and Ethno Photography (roughly translates to photographing people in the world), especially of minorities, is something I want to explore and hopefully learn to do well. Having always been a fan of Travel Photography, my recent work in Malaysia and Borneo opened my eyes to the fact that I should stop just being a fan and dive into it myself. It involves pointing my camera at humans and in that way basically pointing the camera at myself as well. Something I struggle with, but where’s the fun without a new personal challenge! My upcoming Asian Adventure and Photographic Nomadic Journey around the world is the perfect opportunity for this. Would be a crime to not capture people and scenes along the way and improve my travel photography – while still capturing my beloved landscapes as well of course!

A few feeble examples of my travel photography so far. Much more to come.

Kenya masai women blog

Masai Women, Kenya 
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

pangkalan bun blog

Saving the Kitten, Pangkalan Bun, Borneo
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Mindil Beach market

Master Chef, Mindil Beach Market, Darwin, Australia
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Resources: I read The Travel Photographer’s blog, an outstanding blog. The writer, Tewfic El-Sawy, is a brilliant travel photographer, his galleries are here.

CAKE crew meets Camel Man

Camel Man. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

“Walla walla. Walla Lalla!”. That is what it sounds like repeated over and over! But Camel Man is actually shouting “leave the dog alone leave the dog alone!”. The wind, Camel Man’s mosquito net and that fact that he is just about toothless slightly muffles his words!

A truly surreal encounter just happened upon us. How did Camel Man enter the lives of the CAKE09 crew all so suddenly? Let us backtrack!

Continue reading

Nomadic Photographer and Voyager

Feeling like a bit of adventure? A bit of magic? New stories? New images? New silliness? Then get the drinks and popcorn ready and stay tuned to this blog!

Armed with a camera and a notebook, my dream of a life on the road as a nomadic photographer is about to become reality. This week I sold my flat, a big checkmark on the to-do list. Now; preparations aplenty for life on the road as a Nomadic Photographer and Voyager. I hope for some assignments along the way, but have saved up money – and courage – for a long time. Here we go!

First stop is Thailand sometime in November where dear friends await me to show me more of incredible Asia. There is no itinerary. There is no end date. Only missions. And visions. Of tropical jungles and beaches in Asia. Wide open desolate deserts in Africa. Plains of majestic wildlife in Africa. Outback grandscapes in Australia. Valleys, Canyons, Forests and deserts of America. Magical icescapes of Patagonia.

I want to show you all how Mother Nature is the greatest artist of all, how a windy Wednesday afternoon in the image below turns all magical for just a few moments. A few moments where all elements come together. A few moments forever lost in time – unless captured, magic frozen in time. I want to make you a Believer. A believer in the magic of Mother Nature and a believer in preserving the wild, untouched places remaining in the world.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Namibia – Walvis Bay Sunset Dunes
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert

Photography RSS feeds in a bundle

Google reader Photography blogs are an incredibly exciting way of keeping up to date with news and the works of other artists. Always hungry for new inputs I can hardly get enough feeds. Once you follow more than a few blogs you need a RSS feed reader. I have been using Google Reader for years to follow  feeds on photography, travel news, tech, personal blogs etc.

Google Reader allows you to share items and bundles of blogs that you follow. Click to view my Google Reader shared page. Right now there is just my Photography bundle, this is a bundle 53 of the photography blogs I follow. You can preview or add the bundle to your Google Reader if you like. It is a bundle of great photographers, news and review sites and some truly brilliant and inspirational news photo blogs like The Big Picture from The Boston Globe.

I am always looking for quality photography and travel blogs so feel free to post your links! I especially would love more African photography blogs to follow. Enjoy the great world of feed reading, beware as it is addictive!

Dales Gorge in HDR and CAKE09 tales

“Oooohhh, are you guys from the fair” says the very excited woman behind the counter at Coles supermarket; in the small mining town of Tom Price in Western Australia. “Ehhh…what…No?!” I say to her disappointment. “We look like we belong in a fair?” I ask. “Ohhhh no” she says, ” just saw your little shoulder bag”. I ponder what a ‘fair-looking-shoulder-bag’ looks like. Like mine I guess. “Ok, cheers, see ya later"!” and Rod and I collect our shopping. Meet Casey outside – where I briefly study the big town fair and wonder if that is where I really belong. We then go in search of junk food feeling like burgers and chips. 35, yes thirty-five, dollars and some awful junk food later we mostly feel…ripped off!

Later that day. We’re back in Karijini after fuel and food in Tom Price. We’re shooting in Dales Gorge on a gorgeous afternoon. When the sun is out it is so lovely here in June. When the sun sets. Bit on the cold side! I drop my lens cap. As I do. Catch it before it dives into Fortesque Falls.  I keep wanting to point my camera up at the sky. Walls, any sort of walls, and I do not agree. Confining. Boxed in. I need a wide open space with a view to infinity. Open composition. As we are doing a CAKE group portrait next to a massive tree, I somehow manage to run into someone who excitedly says she recognises me from Mitchell Falls in the Kimberley. “I’m everywhere” I say, not really remembering her. Life of an international superstar (cough cough). What a funky day in the universe!

Finally; at the bottom (or top?) pool of Dales Gorge I somehow manage a gorge shot that I like very much. And finally; after many words here it is:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Dales Gorge pool and waterfall
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

There is a massive range of light here from the highlights to the shadows. Maybe 10 stops. Much more than any camera can capture. So I chose to do a High Dynamic Range image, shooting 3 exposures of the same shot at –4, 0 and +4 stops. I don’t really like the HDR results from any software be it Photoshop or Photomatix. I do my own blend as I find I get more natural looking results. Using layers in Photoshop I simply use masks to blend the 3 different exposures together. Highlights from the –4 shot, shadows from the +4 and perhaps just a bit of midtone from the middle image. I find I can much better control the result this way, a result that looks less fake and less obvious HDR. This image is probably quite close to what the eye can see when at the scene. However; as we’re not used to any cameras being able to capture details in highlights and shadows an image like this tends to look a bit like a painting. It is not a bad look for a photograph as long as it doesn’t scream ‘HDR generated’. I am quite happy with the results here and would love to hear your opinion or questions in a comment.

CAKE09 – short for Cape leveque And Karijini Expedition ‘09. You are forgiven if it slipped your mind! More tales to come…

Karijini Rainbow Sunrise; magic on a cold morning

Scene: Camp ground at Karijini National Park, Western Australia. Time: Very early on a very cold morning in June. Rodney wakes me up. It is still pitch black. “Beautiful cloud cover, wanna go shoot?” Rod’s frozen voice asks me. Karijini in Winter is a bit on the cold side when the sun isn’t out so my warm sleeping bag is tempting, having to put on the same clothes I have been wearing all week and step outside is not. However; I cannot miss a potential wide open Karijini landscape bathed in light from a rising sun under the watchful eye of big clouds. So grab clothes and gear and out of bed it is. “We’re taking the troopie” Rod says in the direction of Casey’s tent. It is actually my small $30 Coles tent but Casey chose this tent for better insulation from snorers. “Fine, go” says Casey, not feeling like joining us in tasting the cold morning air.

Off we drive towards Knox Gorge, one of the better places near the campground where you can find a view with a bit of wide open space (my kinda setting, gorges are too confining for me). With the air con on max heating the Troopie is heaven. Having shot the sunrise a few days earlier as well I know one spot on the way to Knox Gorge where the landscapes opens up a bit. It really is still pitch black so we miss it and drive back and forth a few times until we find it. I then have to use the bush toilet. Why this always happen when I shoot is beyond me. In the meantime Rod unloads my gear and takes off. Looking back, slightly surprised I see Rod pointing Troopie’s headlight at something in the spinnifix grass and I hear him shouting “your bag is there, I am off to the gorge lookout". So I find my composition, point in the direction of the upcoming sun and run around a bit to keep warm. Many nice sunrise shots later I almost miss the real hero shot from this morning!  Look behind you numnuts and you shall see this!

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Karijini Rainbow Sunrise
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I was shooting into the sun and forgot to attach rear view mirrors so were oblivious to the lightshow behind me. Suddenly I notice, there’s a massive 180 degree visible rainbow behind me. Numnuts here is too slow in moving and setting up composition to catch all of it as it disappears in seconds. The rainbow lasted for about one minute and I almost missed all of it. Only caught the tail end of it. I got in one shot before it was completely gone. One exposure capturing mostly the reminder of a once-was rainbow. Still, the scene I ended up with retains the truly remarkable Karijini magic from this morning!

Please comment on what you think of this slice of magic and story from a cold but beautiful Karijini morning?

 

PS. Rod took forever at the gorge so I shot heaps more photos, yet to be posted. What took so long? Bloody keys dropped out of the ignition! Troopie keeps running so you don’t notice. Until you need the keys that is and can’t find them!