Photography in color: Blue

By: Renate Boere


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Autumn

The morning air is crisp and fresh. You can smell the upcoming winter and feel it in your lungs. The sun does come out every now and then, if not hidden behind a large layer of fog. The skies vary from end-of-summer-blue to start-of-winter-grey. Color changes from blue and green to red, yellow and brown. Mushrooms appear, the smell of cinnamon suddenly is appealing again. The parks and forests smell wonderful after one of those thunderstorms. We stay indoors, light the first evening candles and don’t know what to wear: clothes are too warm for winter and too cold for summer… Must mean that Autumn is here. And it gives us a beautiful scenery.

By: Renate Boere

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Photography Legends #3 – Erwin Olaf

Born in Hilversum in the Netherlands in 1959, Erwin Olaf lives and works in Amsterdam since the early 80’s. Mixing photojournalism with studio photography, Olaf emerged in the international art scene in 1988 when his series ‘Chessmen’ was awarded the first prize in the Young European Photographer competition. Since then Olaf has continued to explore issues of gender, sensuality, humor, despair and grace in each successive series.

Printing his early work in documentary style black-and-white, he first gradually introduced color and then digital manipulation. There is great contrast between each series. In his four most recent series Rain, Hope, Grief and Fall, Erwin Olaf returns to classic imagery with minimal computer retouching.

Video and film offer new possibilities to explore. His first film Tadzio (1991, co-directed with painter F. Franciscus) was soon followed by comic videos for children’s television, short documentaries, music clips and commissions by the Dutch National Ballet. Recently Olaf has created autonomous video works like Separation, Rain and Grief, starring models who also appear in the accompanying photo series. In the films they play a different character, as though his moving images provide a parallel history to his color photographs. These short films have been selected for film festivals all over the world.

Over the years many of Olaf’s works – from his unabashed nude portraiture and intense symbolism to the unflinching gaze in his blood-drenched images of staged violence – have provoked controversy. Not surprisingly, this ability to attract attention has seen his work embraced by the advertising world, resulting in commercials for Lavazza, BMW, Microsoft and Nintendo among many others. Lately Erwin is frequently shooting in commission for magazines such as The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Elle and Citizen K.

Dutch National Soccer Team "New Warriors"

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Mist-erious

Every season has it’s charm i guess.
I happen too love Spring and Autumn the best – but that’s just me. One reason why is the cool mornings where it cooled off from the day before so it covers up the land with a thick layer of mist. Everything suddenly looks soft and blurry… With the right light and sometimes the help of a little colourboost in photoshop  – Mist is a very nice ingredient for some stunning looking pictures.

By: Frederic Larson

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Ugly pictures….

Whilst some have it and some don’t – it is always debatable what defines beauty and what defines not so beautiful. And then of course, that opinion varies from person to person.

As for myself,  i find it rewarding to take pictures of people and portray them as beautiful as i can. Being quite the perfectionist myself, i throw out pictures that aren’t good enough in my opinion. Be it the lighting, the angle or the background. Same goes for my landscapes… I just don’t like to have people walking in them.

Having said that, i also don’t believe in photoshopping so much that it changes a person. Authenticity makes the person and is therefor beautiful in my book. The other day my friend and i came up with the idea to go out one day and take pictures of really ugly things, just to challenge ourselves and not be so idealistic about just trying to take beautiful images…

We will do that someday soon – but then i saw these photos and it made me realize: although every person is unique and beautiful in their own way – for animals that is certainly not always the case….

By: GK Hart/Vikki Hart/Getty Images

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HDR Pictures

They are stunning, some seem unreal but they are not. What’s the trick, or rather the technique behind these beautiful colored and painting-like pictures? It is called HDR photography. And if you can set you aperture and exposure time and have photomatix and  perhaps photoshop, you can come a long way.

What is HDR?
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It is post-processing of a series of images using different apertures or shutter speeds – combining these and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are almost impossible to do with single aperture and shutter speed. It gives the images an all new look and feel. It becomes more than a normal photograph.

How to create a HDR picture?
HDR pictures are created in a few steps : you’ll need 3 to 5 pictures with a different range in light. The easiest way to create this is to use the camera’s autobracketing function and for example set it to : -2 / 0 / +2  The camera will then on release take 3 pictures with the different varieties in aperture. You will want to use a tripod to stop the camera for shaking or being slightly off.  Import the three or more pictures in Photomatix and it will create one jpg. picture for you. You upload this one as a layer in Photoshop. Then you import the 3 other pictures as layers and you mask and brush as if your life depended on it. Ofcourse – there are more steps in between and you might want to figure out all the settings in Photomax and Photoshop. For all the steps and the full “how to” there is a truly great tutorial site for creating those stunning HDR pictures : http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-tutorial/

Some examples :

By: Matthew Sullivan

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Reflection.


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