Article summary... A bit of everything, ballet photo, photo contest projects, wildlife,... the usual.
I'm also realizing that I have not even taken time to look at the wildlife pictures I have taken end of November. I have only uploaded them on my computer but not post treated. So I'll be doing this at the same time as I write this post, trying also to remember the little story behind them.
Wildlife photo: 18th and 21st of November - Marais de Peronne & Cinq Tailles:
The 3 pictures above where taken at the Marais de Peronne, on a bright Sunday morning. Unfortunately, 3 other "bird watcher/chatters" had the same brilliant idea as us on that day and as usual they were from the chatty-loud kind. After they all froze down (sadly not to death) and decided to retreat birds decided to approach a bit more from the observartory. Patience is always the key word. From left to right: Common Snipe, Great Cormorant (that idiot dropped its catch 1 sec later) and a pair of Northern shoveler.
Solo trip that day with this series of 6 pictures taken at the Cinq Tailles natural reserve. From left to right on the first row, a Great spotted woodpecker (already observed during our last visit roughly at the same location/tree), Lapwing (they were numerous on that day, I observed a flock of nearly 50 individuals), and a Mute swan streching up its wings. Second row is left picture shows a large group of Eurasian teal also very common on that day. Middle picture was taken from a different observatory. I popped in with my full camouflage suit and my balaclava/hood on and met with what I think was a mid-40s couple having "a moment" on a bench, facing each others, lady having her legs around the hips of the chap... I don't know who was the most shocked by the other. Anyway back to the picture, cause I took a 1 min to take a couple of shots, is showing a Great cormorant surrounded by a large number of gulls. Last picture was my little treat of the day... a little Eurasian bullfinch (they are getting rarer like a lot of bird species). It did not stayed long enough for me to take a closer picture of him. On the way back to the car I also had a go with my "smartphone" as light conditions were interesting with rays of light coming through the forest trees. I did not have my 18-35 with so the OP5 was the alternative.
Dancing school open days...
It was not an easy exercise... and this mainly for two reasons. First thing, the light was terrible which means, high ISO (noise), low shutter speed (not ideal for movements photography) and reduced depth of field as the diaph needs to be wide opened to get a maximum of light in (not ideal for group pictures). Second thing, I could not really leave my seat and move around the room to take pictures. Again these were challenging conditions and it was a good exercise indeed. To reduce the noise I have decided to use a Black and White treatment on all my pictures (Lightroom).
I snoot myself...
In addition of a snoot I also needed a second cobra flash to use in pair with my Canon 600EX II and a transmitter that will work for both of them. I could not find anything satisfying at the Salon de la Photo, I was aiming for Godox but finally I went for Yongnuo's copies of the Canon 600EX ii and ST-E3 RT transmitter and basically they work well all together.
When I finally received all the gear, I decided to give them a quick go and try them on me, revisiting the basic type of portrait lighting: Split, Loop, Rembrandt, Paramount or Butterfly.
The Red contest...
Obviously, I don't have the technique, the talent, the equipment, etc... I'm nothing like Karl Taylor but pushed by my motivation I decided to produce two different shots and to send them into the competition. To bring the red colour into the picture I decided to use... a red apple. First shot will be a portrait and the second one a motion picture (I don't think this is the appropriate term for this kind of photo but well... who cares).
Here under are a series of pictures we took during the first session of the portrait trials.
We roughly took about 100 pictures on that session but there was one specific picture that we liked more than the rest. See below.
Unfortunately, as I'm a terrible photographer and that I'm always too confident with the result on the LCD screen of my camera, I did not realise that the Focus was made on the shoulder of my model and therefore the rest of the image a bit blurry. Shame...
So we decided to try to reproduce a similar picture on the next day... Tricky... Here under is the closest we've got to the previous one.
Just for fun... here is the actual setup... In our kitchen... Told you I'm nothing like Karl Taylor :) and yes this is a safety blanket as background.
For the second picture (motion picture), we decide to re-use our apple, zero waste,... and to go for a splashy situation... I had never done this kind of picture and it is actually quite tricky to set up. I don't own a laser or sound triggering device so it even more challenging to anticipate the moment the apple is impacting the water. We went for a basic countdown before dropping it into the water but still... We probably went for almost 100 shots on that one. I'm not proud of the result but it looked okay to me.
Unfrotunately, I missed the date of the contest, I truly believed the deadline was on the 14th of December but it was in fact the 10th,... Nevermind, it was very good practice. And to be honest seeing the winners, I was way out of my league. Congratulations to all of them for their amazing work.