Tag Archives: walkabout

Walkabout Copenhagen

Lesson no. 1 in photography: Always bring your camera! Your chances of shooting an actual photo increases greatly!

Last Friday night on my way to the cinema. I walk along the lakes in Copenhagen listening to music on my ipod all the time staring a hole in the sky. Suddenly the elements come together and brings me to a sudden stop. The special warm contre-jour light of the setting sun, the reflection in the perfectly still water of Lake Peblinge (very rarely is the water that still) and the clouds which are sort of mirrored by patterns made by weed in the lake. I attach an ND grad filter and wait for the sun to fall behind a cloud so it doesn’t overpower the scene and burn out the sky and I shoot about a dozen shots. I chose this (click to see large):

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

Sortedam Dossering and Lake Peblinge Sunset Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

A bit of Rawshooter and Photoshop post production (some painting with light, some LAB colour treatment and some vignetting) completed the photo. I didn’t want to brighten the buildings too much, just a subtle effect, it still has to look like an against the light shot.

I love it when I finally get a shot I’ve had planned in my head for months or perhaps years. But there’s also something really cool and creative about a spontaneous walkabout shot! Just remember that camera. Does make it easier!

The landscape as a character

The Proposition I am a landscape (and cityscape) photographer so naturally I love movies where the landscape itself is an integral part of the story, a character in itself. In some movies the landscape is almost the main character and through cinematography and music the landscape takes on a personality. I greatly admire the cinematographers of these movies for their work, being able to bring a personality to the landscape and make you feel as you’re actually there, suffering in the intense heat of the outback for example and not just sitting in a comfy seat at the cinema (wanting to kill everyone who eats popcorn and candy loudly but that’s another story).

10 to Yuma Almost any Western has the landscape as an important part of the story, and lately at the cinema there has been some great examples of various Western themed movies: 3:10 to Yuma, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men – all of them great movies with outstanding cinematography with the landscape itself as an important character. I recently re-watched The Proposition on DVD and this fantastic Australian western (highly recommended!) is one of the best examples ever of making the landscape a character in the movie. In Nicolas Roeg’s classic Walkabout set in the Australian outback the landscape is almost the main character. The movie is “Nic Roeg 70s weird” to the point of not making sense a lot of the time but it is still so spellbinding and so well shot and directed that it lingers in the visual cortex forever.

In still photography; Ansel Adams is one of my heroes and he created masterpieces of landscape photography. His photos, his darkroom work and his totally perfect black and white fine art printing techniques created huge prints that actually created an emotional response in the viewer. That’s hard with a landscape, easier with human portraits. I have a long way to go but I strive for the same, to someday have a landscape print that will not only make the viewer go “that’s gorgeous” but will floor them speechless (well it’s good to have ambitions!). Ansel managed to make the landscape a character.

Walkabout

Walkabout poster. Notice the burned highlights and high contrast

Conveying the landscape as a character and giving the landscape a personality is done through many different ways. Over and underexposure and different filters are often used just as we do in still photography. Overexposure is used a lot when you want the viewer to feel the intense and unforgiving heat, brightness and hostility of a desert or the outback. De-saturating the colours and upping the contrast is also a useful tool to make the image more striking, monochromatic and again make you almost feel the sun. The Proposition is shot this way, completely blown out skies and mostly brownish de-saturated colours. I really admire how you can do this and still make it look striking and beautiful. I do love the supersaturated tropical look, but it is also an easier and sometimes too easy look, to shoot a polarized and Velvia like saturated colour scene in places like Australia where the colours are already so intense. This look also fares much better on the web than the “Western” look because you need to catch the viewers eyes with a small thumbnail image and colours do this very well.

I want to experiment some more with the de-saturated, dusty, high-contrast and over-exposed Western look. This is quite possibly a look that works a lot better on print, not on the web so it will be a challenge to try and create striking images in this category.I’ll end this with a few recent examples, where I’ve experimented with a lot of different Photoshop techniques to try and find my “Western” look. Here’s the examples, click to see fullsize on my gallery:

Click to see large size on my gallery!

A new day at Hawk Dreaming

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Lancelin Sand Dunes in Ansel Adams style

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Gate to the Outback

If you have some tips for how to create this look, I’d love to hear them!