As another day ends
These photos are from a couple of days ago, down near the wharf in Belmont.
The dusk light was lovely and the reflection off the lake was very beautiful. The perfect kind of scene for a long exposure and I’m pleased with how the photos came out.
I like the scene in colour but I also really like it in black and white, particularly with all the texture it brings out and the way the shadow near the bottom helps draw the eye in to the photo.
Usually I wouldn’t edit two photos with such similar framing but I really like both photos. I think they show the scene in very different ways despite their framing and it shows that sometimes you need to be willing to break your own rules. I’m glad I did here.
Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2016
Sometimes I wonder
Who I am in this strange world?
I am simply me
I took this photo as a bit of an experiment. I’ve been playing around with flash in my spare time, trying out some different settings and ideas so I know I’ve got a few more styles to default to for portraits when I need them.
I’ve been using myself as a stand in and wasn’t expecting to use any of the photos but I actually really like this one. In this case I was experimenting more with creating mood and atmosphere and I think it’s quite effective, particularly in black and white. Reminds me of some of those dramatic sports profiles you see in magazines sometimes.
For anyone wondering how to create a look like this, it’s actually quite simple. I only used one flash (off-camera) and used a black reflector behind me to create the background (a black bed sheet or piece of fabric would work well too).
I had my camera on a tripod and sat about half a metre in front of the reflector and angled the flash across the right side of my face. At about 1/8th power that allowed the flash to illuminate just that side of my face without reaching the background.
It’s a simple setup and while this looks moody and dramatic, it works well for normal portraits too. It’s very versatile and a good setup to learn if you’re just starting out.
I don’t take that many self portraits but I’m fairly happy with this one. Might have to keep experimenting and do some more of them.
Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016
Across the lake
As I sit and think
About the world
I took this photo a couple of days ago. It was the day after the US election and I went down to the lake in Belmont to try to clear my thoughts.
I’m not going to say too much about the election as I plan to touch on it in a Q&A post soon but I will say that Trump’s win shook me a bit. Obviously I’m an Australian and not directly involved but the US sets the cultural tone for the world and affects all of us; we often say that when the US sneezes, the rest of us catch a cold, and that’s why we were following the election closely too.
It was an extraordinary result but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that many of us aren’t concerned by it and that was my immediate reaction. Not just because of Trump’s rhetoric but particularly because internationally we have little idea of what to expect from a President Trump and his presidency leaves the US-Australia Alliance, NATO and the future of the Asia-Pacific region up in the air.
So yes, like everyone I was a bit shocked by the result and as it continued to dominate the news the next day, I felt like I needed to clear my head and try to get away from it for a while. So I went down to the lake for the sunset.
It was a beautiful sunset and I just sat and watched it for a while as the sky turned a beautiful shade of purple and the reflections started to stretch across the water. After a couple of minutes I set my camera on my tripod and took a couple of long exposures to try to do the scene justice. This was one of them and I’m happy with how it came out, particularly the vibrant colours.
I felt better for my time by the lake. It was very peaceful and I think sometimes it helps just to get away from the world for a little while and not think about things too much. This definitely did that for me.
I saw this woman walking her dog by the lake a little earlier as well and took a quick photo. She spent quite a few minutes standing there, watching the sun go down. I guess maybe she was reflecting on things too.
Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2016