21 Jan 2012

Getting something out of a rainy day

The raining in The Netherlands started some days ago and it seems that it will not stop for a couple of weeks. So how to find a motivation to get a camera, go outside, find some inspiration and take some photos during such period? Here's an approach I tried today and it worked for me.
I gave myself a little assignment: visualize rain and check out how a landscape changed by it can work in your advantage.
I started in my close neighbourhood and took it easy (I thought): find some raindrops, some puddles and go ahead shooting. First the raindrops:

It turned to be more difficult than I thought. First of all, the exposure times with ISO 200 were around 0.3-0.5 s. So the pictures are not very sharp. Tripod in this case was not very helpful because of the wind that moved the trees. Anyway, I think there is a lot of potential in this kind of composition so I'll give a try other day (and as I mentioned, I'll get a lot of opportunities to try it out :)).

Than the puddles. Experimented for quite some time and got something like that:

Probably not the most spectacular photo but good enough as a background for some other works.
I spent some time 'studying' the different ideas on how approach the pool and make something nice out of it. Like playing with the zig-zag like lines:
Or zooming in on the border of the pool:

Again, not very best, but something to keep in back of my head for the future.
Then while walking a little bit an idea came to my mind to use the puddles as the shapes forming part of the composition. Here the first shot:

The idea is: the puddles form a leading line to my bike that is supposed to be a main subject. The focal length is way too short (32mm), so let's make it longer to 'compress' the distance a little bit:
What about that? I think it is nice. O course the main subject could be more interesting (I wouldn't mind a red Ferrari), but it's about an idea. BTW: this shot has been taken with a focal length of 200 mm and I needed to walk about 30 meters away from the subject to get everything (the puddles and the bike) into the picture.
Finally, some abstraction:
What's that? The same position, shorter focal length gives the answer:

What I am going to explore further is to get better results on the rain drops (composition and technical-wise).  And go outside more often during rainy days!

Learned today:
- Tripod can be very handy with such weather, especially when doing close-ups. Low light conditions require longer exposure times which in turn requires a steady support of the camera. Higher ISO values may help, but in case of my gear (Nikon D80) going beyond ISO 640 doesn't make much sense (the noise becomes too visible), so - tripod to the rescue.

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