During our Easter trip to Phuket, I shot a lot of film. had taken one roll of Velvia 50 as well. While I really like Ektar and also Portra and Fuji Pro, there is something special about slide film as opposed to color negative film. True, there’s almost no exposure latitude. So if you’ve blown a highlight or your shadows are too dark, bye bye. But when you do get it right, it is just beautiful.
And there is simply no other film like Velvia. Yes, its not everyday stock. And just don’t try and capture people with it. For landscapes, it is like magic. Too saturated? Yes. A bit removed from reality? Yes. But nothing else can make something boring relatively interesting like Velvia can.
I woke up at 5am one morning when we were staying at Lorne along the Great Ocean Road. That was quite an effort for me in the middle of a family vacation with a lot of driving around. Grabbed the Sony A7R and the 16-35mm lens and walked down to the pier. I did not have a tripod but had a small Gorillapod. Woefully inadequate given the conditions – windy and not too many places where the pod could be positioned while giving an interesting viewpoint. Got this one semi-nice photo while the light was ok.
But then the light just got boring – no interesting colors, no interesting beams through the clouds. So, I just converted the photos to b&w and some abstract compositions. These photos are not much to talk about but I still keep them because I find the results kind of interesting and I remember the effort it took to wake up in the morning.
I really like black and white conversions for certain types of photos. The color photo above is straight from raw. It’s ok but rather bland. Given the leading lines and the strong contrast in the photo I decided to convert into b&w to see how it would look. The conversion was done in Lightroom using the standard tools. An important tool I have found, is to play around with the color blending in the B&W panel and moving the temperature and tint sliders in the Basic panel as well. This opens up some really interesting contrast possibilities.
As an added tweak, I reduced clarity for the photo and then brushed loosely along the path with a high clarity brush. Helps in drawing the eye through the frame. This photo was taken with the Sony A7R and Sony Zeiss 16-35 FE lens.
The public transport photo in one of my previous blog posts was taken from the pedestrian flyover pictured above. This spot is also a nice spot from where to take photos of vehicles as they round the curves. But what looks interesting to the eye often comes out as dull and boring in camera. But sometimes, when there’s a splash of red, things do come out slightly more interesting.
I have been near this location in Causeway Bay so many times. But had never come to this particular street. Stumbled upon this rather cool urban “artwork” yesterday. I wish Hong Kong did more stuff like this.
I really like walking the streets of HK. There’s so much to see. Causeway Bay is a wonderful place for this but only if the weather is nice – in summers the place is suffocating because of the crowds. This photo was taken yesterday from one of the pedestrian flyovers. On day walks, I will usually carry a film camera. However, yesterday I was going late in the afternoon and it was cloudy and threatening rain. So I grabbed the Leica MP with the 35 Lux. What attracted me to the scene was the number of buses and trams which appeared on the scene at the same time. They almost form leading lines drawing the eyes deeper into the scene. And one great thing about commercialism – the colors on some of the vehicles are brilliant!