Tag Archives: cityscape

Hamlet’s Copenhagen Midsummer Dream

Listen closely and you can hear Shakespeare spinning in his grave, cursing me in the finest of poetic ways possible for stealing his words for the title. My only hope is that I can outrun an almost 400 year old ghost on my bicycle here in Hamlet’s home.

Inspired by a post by Tony Middleton, I wanted to shoot a panorama of Copenhagen on Summer solstice, longest day of the year. But with not a cloud in the sky and Spain playing in the World Cup I never quite moved my behind off the sofa yesterday. But I persevered today, just one day after solstice, better late than very late, and created a Copenhagen Midsummer Dream:

Hamlet Copenhagen Midsummer

This is a stitched panorama and a very wide view of the Copenhagen Harbour, shooting towards the city. It’s not the best of views but one I had not shot before and I wanted to include the soccer! There are some nice buildings here like the royal castle Amalienborg – and some not so nice new buildings. The pier is host to a large screen showing the soccer World Cup and I wanted to include this in the pano. The sun sets at 10pm and then dusk light lasts for a good hour.

soccer screen-blogNaturally, the very long exposure completely blows out the screen, so I took another earlier image exposed just for the screen and Photoshopped it in, see 100% crop on the right. I may clone out that shadow in the water from the screen and I really also should crop the left side – but had to leave the tug boat in for Charlene! I graded the sky as the weather gods needed help tonight. Neither the light nor the clouds really shined for me and it’s probably not a keeper, but it was good to get the gear out again and have fun!

Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year came and went. It is now – astronomically – all downhill from here. Well…except…if one ventures to the Southern Hemisphere!

PS. Pictured below is my vehicle of choice in Copenhagen, my trusty old human powered spaceship Silver Arrow Mk3 ! By far the best and fastest way to get around Copenhagen, she’ll do .5 past light speed.

silver arrow-blog

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Bangkok Blade Runner

“I’ve…seen things you people wouldn’t believe”. Classic line, classic movie. And when you stand on the balcony of your friend’s flat on the 21nd floor and look out over Bangkok I instantly think about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – better known as Blade Runner.  All that is missing is Vangelis brilliant soundtrack and some rain.

“If only you could see what I have seen with your eyes!”. Well you can or at least you can see what my camera saw! This is a 9 image stitch at roughly 35mm, shot on my 17-40mm L lens. Stitched perfectly on PTgui and the detail in the original is amazing. I still need to work a bit on the sky before printing, it is so hazy here that the city lights up the haze and create banding. Adding noise actually helps defeat banding when printing. Oh, and in this blog version I could not resist adding in a few flying Blade Runner “spinners” via some crude Photoshop work!

Bangkok Blade Runner Spinners - blog

Bangkok defies description. Houses more people than all of Denmark. And when you walk the street it seems they are all on the same sidewalk as you. It is awful. And awfully fascinating for a day or two as everything reminds me of Blade Runner. Much too big for me though. Much too big for it’s own good, traffic can be impossible. So loud. So noisy. Then again, I endure cities, I love them not. I love nature. Cities are an evil necessity. Mother Nature will get revenge someday I hope!

“The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long”

“All these moments. Lost. In time. Like Tears. In the rain!”

Sydney; From Dawn till Dusk

Although it is a freezing cold 15 degrees as I write this; Sydney has warmed up to me and I to Sydney. Saturday and Sunday were very warm and summery, just as I like it and just as I apparently need it as I am a cold blooded reptile desperately in need of the sun. I still very much miss “my country” the outback, but after the culture and climate shock has settled down a bit then a little sun and fun goes a long way.

Still have to get back to “my country” soon. Feels like part of me is missing. Strange feeling. Like finding my home and knowing things will never be the same again. I keep looking at those Hawk Dreaming shots and dreaming.

Waking up the world

I spent Saturday with a friend and fellow photographer who lives in the Sydney suburb Manly and was shown this beautiful place she is fortunate to call home. We began the day at 5am on Manly Beach for a lovely sunrise; this shot is the beach at dawn:

Manly Beach at Dawn. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

No clouds this morning so just a normal beautiful Manly sunrise and a quite ordinary shot by me; but some good colours and the photo is a nice memory of a brilliant day. It is far from every day I get to stand on a beach and witness the sun rise out of the ocean; it is always a humbling and thrilling experience.

New angles on New Albion

In my quest to get a few cityscapes of Sydney (originally called New Albion) from new angles I also finally got a dusk shot of the city, shot from the Harbour bridge. I’ve had that shot in my head for a while and finally got around to shooting it. Took a bit of effort as the next story will tell, but the results I reckon are worth it. The duotone version is very nice but decided to post colour version for this post:

Sydney at dusk. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I like this new angle on Sydney as it has a very nice 3D effect to it and will look impressive printed big.

If it was easy everyone would do it

Sydney Harbour Bridge shootIt was a nice very warm Sunday but late afternoon the wind changed, it cooled down and it started blowing a gale. Very strong winds. But clouds looked interesting. I wanted a dusk shot of Sydney shot from the bridge and decided this was the day – the shot you see above is the end result. I vaguely remembered that it should be possible to manoeuvre a tripod into place shooting through the fence on the Harbour bridge. It was. Just. On the right you can see the result of 10 minutes of cursing the fence and finally getting the tripod legs stuck in the wire just right so I could have my 17-40mm lens peaking through. May look a bit flimsy but was very steady.

harbour bridge shot uncroppedThe camera is actually way over my head. Standing on my toes and jumping (kept me warm!) I could see through the viewfinder and kept shooting and adjusting till I had my composition. But wait. They fired back with a massive light cannon underneath the bridge shooting straight at me! Lots of light bleeding into my shot. So I use the lens cap (no room for lens hood) and hold it in place to shield the light – see uncropped shot on the right. Jumping to peak through the viewfinder, holding the lens cap into place, shooting using cable release and almost getting blown off the bridge in very windy conditions – sometimes ya gotta put in a bit of effort! I don’t mind battling Mother Nature’s crocs, mossies, rocks, snakes etc. but why oh why can’t the design of the Harbour bridge include a little shooting hole in the fence for photographers!

In the big smoke. Miss my country.

I am quoting Bill Neidjie again; writing about his country and why he loves the bush in his book ‘Story about Feeling’ he says:

“We like white man alright. We like im city.
But city make you sick of it. Better this…”

I am now hanging out with friends in the big smoke; in Sydney. It is a culture and climate shock indeed coming here from Darwin; Kimberleys and Hawk Dreaming. Sydney is gorgeous but I don’t really like it anymore. Too big, too busy, too narrow streets, too claustrophobic, too many cars, too much traffic, too many people. No aboriginal presence like in Darwin, no history, no art etc. It is not Australia to me. The real Australia is the outback. I think I am going more and more back to my roots. Have no need or use for cities anymore. Just want to go back to “my country” – the outback. City make you sick of it.

It is also bleedin’ feckin’ cold here! Only about 20 during the day and 10 at night; I am close to being in suspended animation. I am used to 35-40 during the day, 25-30 at night. I can deal with the high temperatures; I actually love it. I can’t deal with the cold. Used to walk around in shirt, shorts and thongs (flip-flops). Now I wear 4 layers of clothes. For the people back home that know me: Yes you read right. I wear thongs (known as flip-flops in rest of the world). I have the photos to prove it. I love ’em! I certainly still hate sandals with a passion! And Crocs shoes! Hate ’em even more! But thongs good!

I am here for a few days to hang out with new and old friends. I am actually staying in a super nice house with friends who are not here. I’m housesitting while they’re in Europe. Ironic! I will shoot a bit here; but already have lots of Sydney images so trying to capture something different this time like this one:

Sydney Duotone Panorama. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I shot a stitched version of this, this is just a single shot so I’d have something to post. I find myself more and more seeking some sort of art angle on my shots and becoming less and less interested in reality. It’s reality but not as we know it. I capture the data and already have the final image in mind when I shoot the photo; I visualize the end product before shooting; an end product usually quite different from the actual scene. I capture data; but the end product is created in the digital darkroom – in this case quickly thrown together in Lightroom 2.1. The original data is still the most important though. Garbage in means garbage out!

I spent a lot of time sitting in the sun in the back garden of the unit I live in. It’s very relaxing and quiet, you wouldn’t know central Sydney is a 10 minutes walk from here. There are small lizards in the garden I play with. Until I get cold. I still wake with the sun, meaning 5.45am here in Sydney. Miss my country.

Good night Sun, Good evening Moon

Charles Baudelaire once wrote:

“This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds; one man would like to suffer in front of the stove, and another believes that he would recover his health beside the window.
It always seems to me that I should feel well in the place where I am not, and this question of removal is one which I discuss incessantly with my soul.”

Being eternally restless I have this ongoing conversation with my soul and it appears I need to change hospital beds with increasing rate. I am aching to go to on my next photo trip. Back to the heat, the outback, the dust and the untouched magical landscapes. I live for capturing those moments. Copenhagen is familiar and thus boring presently but can fortunately still surprise me. Friday night Nature the Artist treated me to this special sunset and moonrise, click to see large size:

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

Moonrise & Sunset at Lake Peblinge
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This Moonrise & Sunset was a bit of a lucky punch but then luck favours the prepared. Circling the lake half an hour before sunset listening to music with my head in the clouds; suddenly all the elements in the composition come together and my internal “photo!” critical event is trapped (perhaps I’ve worked in IT for too long). I setup shop and hope the clouds stay around, pick up colour and please do not block the moon. Nature was kind to me letting all the elements stay in place and gently lit the scene with delicate soft light and dusty colours. The composition is my classic style ‘I shoot landscapes even in a city; I ignore that they are buildings instead of rocks’.

Less is more and vertical stitching

This is one of those shoots where Nature did all the work. The RAW files are perfect, I only set the white balance I wanted and added some slight saturation. I developed the RAW files in Lightroom 2.0 and used my normal PTgui stitching workflow for this – see tutorial – with one difference. This photo is 4 horizontal shots stitched vertically so for projection you must choose ‘Transverse Cylindrical”. I lightened the shadows slightly in Photoshop and created a vignette.

Attempting to attract the eyes of people & potential customers on the web using small images on a web page means most of us are sometimes guilty of over saturating shots. Colours are the easiest way to attract eyes to a small thumbnail so we sometimes go to 11 with the colour volume. In this case I wanted to preserve the very delicate soft subtle light and colours so I kept the volume down so to speak. It may appear understated on screen but in a large print this is a gorgeous look. Super saturated sRGB colours do not always transfer well or look natural in CMYK so it’s a good idea to keep the volume down a bit. Sometimes more is more but often less is more!

…17 days to take off…

With my head in the clouds

I tell ya it’s not easy getting any photography done with all these UEFA EURO 2008 footy matches on every night! Nothing can stop me though when the light looks to be special and after having sunshine, rain and hail storms visit us during Monday I knew it would not be dull.

I chose a spot at the end of Lake Peblinge and decided that tonight was all about the sky, forget the city. I wanted a cloudscape. Clouds are so common most people overlook their astounding beauty and their importance in a landscape shot. Like an umbrella in a studio Clouds reflect light and will light and colour your scene. Clouds are for dreamers. Enough nonsense, here’s the shot:

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

Tropical Cloudscape at Lake Peblinge
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I used my 17-40mm wide angle lens, but did end up using one of tighter shots at 40mm as the composition was better. I shot at f/22.0, iso50 and used a neutral density filter to cut light and be able to expose for 6 seconds maximizing colours and light. I am standing on top of the bridge (it’s more like a road that crosses the lake) “Fredensbro” and it was blowing a gale as the water demonstrates! When shooting a scene like this be very careful with the red channel, it is very easy to blow out if you just measure luminance. The Canon 5D displays an RGB histogram but if don’t have that then measure the light on the clouds and underexpose by a stop and bracket your exposure. The red channel will be at least a stop brighter than the other channels. The compressed 8bit jpeg above actually has a bit of blown red, but the original doesn’t. Blown reds are ugly, avoid them like the plague!

The clouds and colours on this evening were from another place. These are clouds on fire, tropical colours that really do not belong in cold Scandinavia and it was a mesmerizing light show. Clouds for dreamers. With my head in the clouds. Trying not to fall over.

World Panorama Stock & my new Sydney Panorama

As always, it’s a panoramic world for me!

wps-logo I recently became a Pro member of World Panorama Stock, a great stock site that specializes in high resolution, high quality inspirational, Rights Managed only panoramic stock imagery to professional photo researchers, graphic designers, advertising agencies, publishers. I am very happy to be working with them as I am a big supporter of the panoramic format!

Yes, I hardly need to reiterate that I love the panoramic format and World Panorama Stock is a great way to display and hopefully sell more of my panorama photos. Click to see my feature World Panorama Stock page with my bio and the images that I’ve submitted so far. There are many other fantastic panoramas for you to enjoy, check out some of the other featured photographers or use the category or search feature.

Sydney Panorama and the 17-40mm f/4.0 L lens

My latest panorama release is a stitched panorama from Sydney, shot from Kiribilli across the harbour. It is late afternoon and the sun is low and the strong sidelight lights up the Opera House. The panorama is 7 vertical images stitched in PTgui and then I did some post production in Photoshop, including a custom vignetting and some dodging and burning. PTgui did a very respectable job of blending a panorama shot across the harbour even with water in motion. This is the big drawback of stitching digital panos as opposed to a true panoramic 6×17 camera – motion! Especially water is really hard to stitch, there will be a big difference between shots when you have a bit of wind. I probably still have a bit of cloning to do in this panorama shot, but here it is – click the image to see 1000 pixel version on my website:

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Sydney Panorama, Opera House, Skyline and Harbour Bridge

Like many of my panos it is shot with the Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L lens and I really recommend this for landscape and cityscape work including panoramas. It is super tack sharp (a fair bit sharper than the 24-105mm f/4.0 L lens!) and the coating on this lens produces some fantastic colours even without polarizer (which of course you can’t use in a stitched pano!). Only problem with the 17-40 L – it’s actually too light so it doesn’t create enough counterweight, shooting handheld I always end up with slightly tilted horizons! Well, the weight problem will be cured when I get the 16-35mm f/2,8 L !