Monday, January 11, 2010

Project 50

Technically this projects subject is rain, unfortunately it has not rained in Munich for 6 weeks or more and it is quite possible that it will not rain for a further 2 months.  Why?  It is too cold, the temperature has been below zero now for at least a month and as we look to be in for a tough winter it is quite possible that the temperature will stay below zero for some time to come.  In the interests of completing Section 5 on natural light, I am willfully reinterpreting the subject and changing it to snow, of which we have an abundance today.  Once the weather picks up I will revisit this project and work up a number of snow themed images.

As we have had snow for some time now I have been taking the opportunity to capture a few images during the fast three weeks.  My first image is from the week before Christmas and illustrates the impact of the snow on our postal service.  This is the guy we call the Amazon Man with the pre-Christmas delivery trolley, boxes almost towering over his head, struggling through the snow in front of the row of houses I live in.  Myself and 3 of my neighbours work in the IT industry and probably now do 90% of our shopping on line.  I suspect that whilst the Amazon man was happy to be working, he probably hated us quite badly at this moment in time

5D2, 24-105mm, 24mm, f/4, 1/30, ISO 100

I have been keen to get some more photos of snow falling, and for the first time in around a week we have had heavy snow today, sadly on my first day back at work, meaning that I could only get out with my camera after dark.  The next image is my attempt to capture the swirl of the snow fall in street lighting.  The apartment buildings behind add a sense of depth to the image and I very much like the way the snow swirls through the shot following the curl of a wind eddy in the city streets.  The colour is not great, I could not find a good white balance and suspect that the light is not putting out a complete spectrum.  The image was also challenging as I used a 300mm telephoto with a 1.4x extender to enable me to frame the lamp posts and the buildings as background.  A shorter lens would have required me to shoot more upwards losing the sense of depth.  The long exposure of 1/10s helped to bring out the streaks of the falling snow reflecting the lamp light, but provided a challenge for hand holding even with IS.

5D2, 300mm + 1.4x, 420mm, f/5.6, 1/10, ISO 3200

The last two images have been the actual fall of the snow, in the next image I have tried to convey a much less obvious sense of the snow, just a few flakes that have stuck to the top of a burr (not sure on the name).  This was captured using a macro lens at close to 1:1 reproduction with a shallow DOF to throw out the background.  My attention was grabbed by the structure of the burr, it was only later that I realized that the snow added to the image

5D2, 100mm, f/4, 1/180, ISO 800

My final choice is designed to show the bleakness of the snow scape, but also to capture some of the fun that snow brings.  Two toboggans are being pulled up a slope covered in snow.  I have deliberately overexposed this image on capture and in post processing to trun the people into silhouettes, but leaving enough foreground detail to define the slope they are walking up

5D2, 24-105mm, 85mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO 400

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