Thursday, November 24, 2011

different perspectives

I've signed up Met membership for a while now but have only gone back once.  So last weekend, after my visit to B&H (what an amazing store), I decided to make a trip uptown to revisit a few of my favorite artworks.

Met's lighting condition was quite dim that day.  Maybe it's because I was there late in the afternoon and it's already getting dark outside, so there was not much light coming from the skylight.  Using the highest ISO setting of 1600, a lot of my photos turned out to be super noisy and honestly, somewhat disgusting.  The reason why the photos in this post turned out okay is because the subjects were very close to the display lights.  So this tells me that I need to be smarter in dim lighting situations - maximizing the available light source and not relying on high ISO all the time.

There's a bigger realization - after coming home and reviewing all the photos, I discovered that if there's no clear intent and I just go with innate preferences, I may never really improve.  The photos are not too bad but really, the composition and the style are what I'm used to and have taken something similar before.  The second photo shows a bit of movement with a person walking into the frame.  That's something different and I could've experiment more of that.  I guess the key is to become more aware of the moment and its surroundings, so you can inject interesting elements on the spot.

Just like being an observer at the museum and looking at the artwork through others, I need to develop different perspectives through the viewfinder too.  I know this takes time but it's something I should always think about whenever I pick up the camera.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

lights and reflections

I took these shots without a tripod so they're not as crisp and sharp as they should be.  Night scenes are something I really need to practice more seriously - which means I need to drag my lazy butt out in the cold with a tripod... and maybe with a cup of hot chocolate!

Compare these photos with what I've posted previously, it made me realize how New York is truly an amazing city for photographers.  You can pretty much shoot anything and everything, and they can all end up inspiring you one way or another.  For example, the first photo here.  I was on my way to Penn Station to take the train home, and decided to stop by ICP to look at the Empire State building and its reflection on another high-rise.  I never thought I would end up shooting something like this.  It just somehow appeared in my viewfinder and I knew I found something magical.  I guess sometimes it's all about being at the right place at the right time - with an open mind.

new york in colors

Dear friend w saw my last post of New York in b&w and now she wants to see the same photos in colors - so here they are.

I personally prefer the b&w version.  But regardless of individual preferences, it's quite obvious that b&w or color photos, depending on how you present them, tell very different stories.

Some may think that switching the same photo between b&w and colors is a snap, but it's not.  A lot of effort is needed to make sure you produce a consistent color tone, texture and feel - especially when you're presenting multiple photos at the same time.  I have to say I didn't do such a fantastic job here.  The 3rd photo seems almost out of place.  It doesn't really have the same vibe as the first two, although I tried to make them look as consistent as possible...  This really shows that post-processing is a very import part of the photography workflow.  Gosh, I still have so much to learn!