I hadn’t been to Amsterdam in a long time and if I’m honest I never managed to take shots of the city center I was truly happy with. Of course the weather was lousy, otherwise it’s no fun. Still, I suppose that’s Amsterdam too (I finally understood why Dutch men always wear a T-shirt under their shirt…) One of the big challenges in shooting the canals is that even with a wide angle there are only a few places where you’ll have enough space to properly shoot. I’m quite happy with this one. It was super windy, so the (light) x100f swayed even low on the ground, which means out of six shots this is the only one that’s sharp!
Shooting the lanterns in long exposure at Senso-ji after dusk was comparatively easy (although I hadn’t realised that despite their size the lanterns would sway with the wind) but finding a way to shoot the pagoda was trickier. Thankfully I had my Platypod with me and was able to strap it to a tree. Shooting it through the branches, I thought would give it a different feel, and I’m really pleased with how it came out.
*Senso-ji at Night*
Sneso-ji at night was all it was supposed to be and more. But I had to try this one over ten times to get a decent result : long exposures theoretically erase people in front of you from the picture… except when they stand still for minutes on end in front of you to take photos. I can’t blame them, I was doing the same !
I would have loved to do a long exposure shot of this zen garden at the back of Nijo Castle, but tripods were (understandably) not allowed, so I had to make do with stabilization. Still, I quite like the end result, benefiting from a rare ray of sunlight.
The minutes before dawn can be bland, or they can be fantastic. When there are clouds and the sun is just about to peek above the horizon, you often get marvelous colours, as it was that morning in Hawaii. I decided to try this very sparse composition with lots of featureless sea due to the long exposure, and I find it very soothing.
The Manoa falls were a bit dissapointing (not much water and lots of tourists) but the stream coming down from the falls had lots of interesting photo opportunities (if one was willing to be devoured by mosquitoes). This is probably the best shot I got.
I didn’t have high expectations about Hawaii, and certainly Honolulu met these expectations: basically concrete and beaches. Still, with the right light and the right viewpoint, even concrete can be made to look beautiful, as this sunset shot from Magic Island shows.
*Quiet Waihi Stream*
I walked the Manoa Falls trail on my first morning in Hawaii (I was there for work, but nothing says you can’t take advantage of waking up at an ungodly hour in the morning thanks to jetlag not to discover the country outside of working hours…) The falls themselves were a bit underwhelming (I felt), but the Waihi stream flowing from the falls was real pretty and I kept stopping by the side of the trail to capture photos. I had brought my platypod with me (a really functional flat ‘tripod’), which turned out to be real handy.
With rushing water, long exposure is very relative. Though some like to do really long exposure times, I find that it gives the water a supernatural texture that is too far removed from the scene I see for my tastes. So my preference goes to speeds around 1/10s, which is what this is. With a stabilized lens, you can even do this handheld, as I did here. I like the tropical lushness of the surrounding vegetation around the brook…