Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall is here

I love fall. The changing leaf colors is probably my favorite aspect, but the crisp air with sun is definitely the other half of it. I was walking through a parking lot and saw how beautiful the sun was raking through this bush, and I liked how I got orange and red and green all in one. I also like how the lushness of the leaves contrasts with the hard texture of the concrete.


It was a truly beautiful day. The long shadows falling across this pathway made me stop and snap.


These leaf color patterns are really pleasing to me. I think I might have to do some prints where they are both next to each other in a single frame. (the last one)


I love the contrast in this image. Lots of deep dark colors and bright areas, but with color too, even on an overcast day. The car paint has lots of nice shades of green in it.


I posted a night shot of this same scene before, but I really liked it in the daylight as well.


The mountain was really beautiful with the sun shining on it, but I've taken so many photos of Esja that I needed something more to make me like it. I was filling my car with gas when I saw these runners, and I liked the white arrow within the composition. Glad I had my camera slung around my neck.


I liked the soft lighting on the building, and how solid it looked.


When walking down the sidewalk and I looked to my right, I saw these bright red bushes and had to walk over to get a snap.


I like the layers and color in this image. There is a lot of depth and different types of textures, from the strong green with vertical lines of the cargo containers, to the red sign of the repair shop, the blue car on the right, then the beautiful mountain in the background. I also like the contrast of the layers, grungy repair shop in front, untouched nature in back.


Friday, September 23, 2011


We had a really intense rainbow the other day I managed to capture a few photos of that I like. This one is an extreme crop, but I wanted just the trees with the brightest part of the rainbow emerging.


This one is from right in front of my house and is a stitch of 3 images to get the full arch of the rainbow in. I love the dark clouds but sunlit foreground, especially since the leaves are changing color. It makes it so there is color in the foreground and sky.


Seems I am on a color kick. I was walking to the grocery store for some snacks (shows just how you can never know when a photo opportunity will show up) and this bush had so much color, but the lighting was very flat, which meant I could capture it almost like a painting, just pools of color. I edited in post to really bring out the different hues.


It's not really the composition of this that makes me happy, just the lighting itself. Sunny and crisp, my favorite combination.


This is my dog Oskar, he's Icelandic. Every morning he gets let out to pee and poop in the little square of dirt behind him. I love how the light filters through the greenery in this corner, I feel like it's very photogenic for a poop spot. I like that you can see his breath as well, it shows the temperature was a bit chilly.


This is the police department of Reykjavik. The back parking lot is surrounded by a fence of metal bars. I realized shooting through it would give me a very cliche analogy of jail so I did. :-)


Just a skyscraper. I love reflections, repeating geometry and straight lines.


The composition of this one pleases me. I also like the small construction worker on top of the containers having the same color on his clothing as the crane.


Sunlit foreground with stormy clouds always makes for nice lighting, but combined with the yellowing birch from the cold weather, and the red university library behind and I wanted this photo.


One from the dog walk. I like the heavy green top, the vertical silver bars, then the silver box in the center with stickers and details to draw the eye.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Evening Ride

More from random spots around Reykjavik. This first is my favorite, I am going to get a 40x40cm print of it. I love the texture, and the green leaves contrasting with the red. This was growing on a neighbor's wall, right behind their garbage can area. I stopped my bike and leaned over the wall to frame it. The roots of the Ivy are what really make it for me, putting the most visual texture in the uncolored area. Otherwise it would be too homogeneous with the leaf colors.


This one wasn't as successful as I'd like, but the thing that grabbed me was the soft wash of light of the setting sun, making this path look like a good area to walk down. It was nestled between a frame of tree leaves, beckoning you to enter.


This one I liked the gradient in the sky, the yellow full moon, and the green and muddy red texture of the foreground hills. In post processing I made it so the hills had a lot more contrast for depth.


The beautiful color of this house, and how the late evening light washed over it was enough for this photo to entice me.


This little house had so much texture, and I liked the blue and red colors.


I saw this truck while bicycling by and had to circle around. Texture just calls out to me, especially in combination with a strong color. The truck was parked on a slant, making the perspective of the background a bit weird. Just look at those scratches! I also like how the back of the truck forms a strong foundation at the bottom of the image, going completely across it.


Just a random building. I liked the white contrasting with dark grey and the way the sun cut across it.


Downtown, the halgrimskirkja. Every time I pass this intersection it feels photogenic to me. I like how the car coming down the street lights it up from the wetness of the street. The low blue lighting also makes me happy.


God-rays always make me stop and stare, and I liked the haziness of the horizon.


Blue and green themes always make me happy, especially when they are subtle and natural. This is actually a sewage treatment outlet, but I like the soft graduated grassy hill, the dark concrete, and soft sky.


The door to a hotel. I like the brassy metal, the holy wall, and the reflections off the glass. Also the little lamps on the ceiling.


The middle of Tjordninn (the pond) behind city hall. The soft sky pattern, and the numerous seagulls on the island in the middle were the focus of this image.


View from my back yard looking up. Green, red and blue. :-)


The house across the street has trees that are changing color, and I really liked the framing and texture of all those colors and surfaces.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Northern Lights

The other night the Northern Lights, aka Aurora Borealis, or in Icelandic, Norðurljós, were out in full force. I took my X100, and tripod outside of the city to photograph. I dialed in -2 exposure composition, put it on F4 or F2.8, and ISO 400, and let the camera determine exposure time. Most were around 20-30 seconds.


For post processing, Contrast is at 100% to darken the skies while bringing out the lights themselves. Being truly outside of the city to avoid light pollution would have helped with this. Also I had to further make an adjustment gradient for the ground, increase contrast further, and boost exposure, to get the reflections of the lights to pop.


The city glow in the distance of this one is Akranes. This is the lighthouse of Gróta.


The moon itself was really bright, and I liked how the silhouette of the dune grass with the moon directly above looked.


Aiming back into the city with a 4 second exposure:


I liked the sharpness of the dirt on the glass, with the glow and blur of the green leaves outside.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

four images

Walking home the other night, I took a few night shots. I love how things look at night, maybe more than during the day sometimes. In this image, I liked the blue and greens of the interior lights, with the structure of the building, the bricks in the front, and the very subtle leaf shadows on the building above the glass. In the post processing I removed all the orange hues from the sodium vapor lights, so it would just be a nice neutral white, with the blues. This is at ISO 3200. A bit of noise, but nothing I'm unhappy with.


This one went a bit dark at the top, but it was a balance of losing detail in the walkway in the center, with the fact the sky was just a sea of noise. I liked the composition of different lines receding with orange in the middle. Also the yellow concrete plugs in the foreground added interest. It's quiet, boring, and somber, just how I like my night walks.


Walking by Harpa, I wanted to capture the LED lights in the glass panels. They are the white vertical lines in the glass structures of the facade. They slowly fade on and off in a random pattern. I like the sharpness of the honeycomb structure, the car silhouette toward the bottom of harpa, and the dim but discernable street with it's painted lines and rocky median strip.


And one daylit shot. I absolutely love how the X100 records greens, especially when they are leaves being backlit. There is just a perfect glow and nuance to the shades of green, it makes me so happy. The reddish bushes at the base of the trees, and the blue plastic framing it on the outsides, is what made me want to capture this.

As a compositional note. I tried capturing this from the sidewalk on the far side, and the subject (the center bush) was too small in the frame of blue paneling. I went to the safety of the median, and retook, but now it was too large and bulged out of it's "frame". I knew if I wanted the composition that grabbed me from my bicycle as I was riding by, I had to take it from the middle of the street. I watched for cars and timed it, and got the frame.

Back at the computer I could see the too small, then too large, then just right framing, and was convinced I'd been right in the distance. This is something I love about the 35mm fixed lens, it's forcing me to think about this kind of framing and spatial relationships, and forcing me to move with my feet to get the shot.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September photos

Had a bit of time where not much was drawing my eye, in addition to being really busy and my bike rides were a blur rather than me looking around. Finally forced myself to find a photo, any photo, and the first one I saw isn't here on the blog cause it was horrible, but it still got me looking around again, just the spur I needed.

The concert hall needed sidewalks across the road, and here in Iceland they make them out of patterned bricks layed on top of tamped sand, no mortar, no poured concrete. I had been following the progress, but this morning there was a dog laying on it while they worked! It was just too funny not to photograph. I love how he's just laying there while they work around him.


Sometimes it's purely the light that makes me want to photograph. I loved the back lighting of this small island of grass, and how it sits under the dark pine tree.


This was grown from a tiny cutting my husband placed below this drain pipe. It was originally just 2 small leaves on a tiny stem. I liked how the dappled sunlight lay across it, and the vibrant green contrasting with the metal pipe.


This is the police department. It's boring and dull, and the drizzly day makes it more so, but I liked the power of the structure and the rhythm of the window pattern.


I truly love this photo, it's my favorite of the batch. So many textures and details and colors. It's of an ugly construction site, sure, but there is so much to look at, and so much vibrating inside it. I'd really love a print of this, but Ágúst thinks it's hideous. :-)


This broken tile on the ground gave me an excuse for texture.


Someone took advantage of this knot in the wood to make a face and shoulders attached. I liked how it looked with the skyscraper behind, as a pseudo hat.


The simplicity of this scene, coupled with the radioactive red contrasting with the green moss made me capture it.


The heavy clouds above with contrasting light in the clouds of the distance, combined with the see through skyscraper, made me stop bicycling to work and climb a small hill to capture this. It's an extreme crop, but for a websized jpeg it's still a reduction from the original 12mp file.


Sometimes just the sunlight color bouncing off of buildings is enough to engage my eye, but I really like the car headlights filling the otherwise dark tree line, right at the focus point of the perspective.


This final shot is a panoramic from 2 images, and I love it. I'm going to have a large canvas print made of this for our living room, since it's so bright and will help to open the room and make it feel sunny even in the long dark winter months here in Iceland.