Monthly Archives: November 2012

An old abandoned Farmhouse

Sometimes you come across something that can’t help but fuel your curiosity. Like yellow tape saying something like; Do not enter, Forbidden, no trespassing. I decided to ignore the obvious and enter the area anyway. What I found was an old abandoned farm. The top floors had burned down, and there was little left intact. I managed to take some pictures though. And here’s a small selection of them.



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An unexpected enouncter

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November 18, 2012 · 13:24

Bergen Sea

This photo was taken at the Bergen beaches close to where I live.


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Self Portrait

Self Portrait

I Needed a proper self portrait for all my public profiles.
I used my Rikenon 50mm f/1.7 lens, which is great for portraits. Here’s the result

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Bergen Dunes


November 7, 2012 · 18:31

You’ll love this lens, and it’s cheap too!

When you’ve been into photography a while, you probably noticed the price tags on proper quality lenses right? For instance; a canon 35mm f/1.4 L lens will cost you a little over 1200€ and other lenses can cost you several thousands more. Even the more affordable lenses will start at around 399€.

But what if you (like me) don’t have thousands to spend on lenses, but you do want to have a lens of high quality, that gives very little distortion and lets enough light in to make proper photo’s even indoors. Well for all of this there is one kind of lens that gets you everything you want whilst at the same time gets you more in touch with your inner photographer.

An old Prime Lens.

A prime lens is a lens that doesn’t zoom, and therefore automatically lowers the amount of distortion in your picture and increases the amount of light that comes in. So you can have a very lightweight lens that gives you super sharp high quality images.

Now I picked up an old Ricoh XR Rikenon 50mm f/1.7 Prime lens for my Pentax K5 for less than 30 bucks a while ago, it fits perfectly because Pentax hasn’t changed its mounting standards over time. And the quality of the pictures shot with this lens are actually higher than that of my €600,- ‘’All-in-one zoom’’ lens.

You will have to say goodbye to autofocus and auto mode on your camera though. Because old lenses like this ask for oldskool manual settings and focus. While some may be put off by this, I personally think it’s a great way to be more in touch with the photograph you’re composing. It gives you the time to really think about the subject and how you want it. It’s not just ‘’CLICK’’, ‘’Oh garbage!’’ and ‘’Delete’’, it makes you search for the right settings, the right focus point and the right time to take the shot.

A 50mm prime also makes you use your feet rather than a zoom ring to get to a composition you want, and the magical part about it all is that pictures taken at a focal length of 50mm just look right. That might be explained by the fact that your eyes also have a similar field of view, it makes it all a bit more natural perhaps.

All in all it makes you more conscious of what you’re doing, ending up with a picture that has a whole lot more thought and love put into it.


Bokeh is something that many photographers absolutely love if done right.

Bokeh is the blur of the out-of focus area in a picture. It is the effect that creates the contrast between the sharp foreground or subject and the blurry background. You can create a very strong Bokeh if you use a very large aperture, and because our prime is in fact a prime, it can have massive aperture sizes. The 50mm often comes in f/1.4, f/1.7 or f/2 maximum aperture. If you compare this to the average zoom lens which often has a max aperture size of f/3.5 you can let a whole lot more light in with the average prime*, and therefore create a much stronger Bokeh, which most photographers do appreciate a lot.

*(The maximum aperture can be confusing because the smaller the number, the bigger the aperture size. So f/1.7 is a whole lot bigger than f/22 and f/1.7 will let a lot more light in than f/22. Just remember a lower number means bigger aperture opening.All Apertures under f/2 are seen as large/fast aperture sizes.)

Get one yourself!

These kind of old (analogue) lenses can be bought for Pentax, Nikon, Olympus, Canon and even Sony cameras, sometimes you’ll have to pick up an adapter, but it will still come very, very cheaply.

So look around your local second hand shop, and you’re bound to find an old jewel lying around in some dusty corner, it may very well end up being the best couple of coins you’ve ever spend on your photography.


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HDR Photography; An Introduction

HDR photography with Shutter speeds.

I was running a bit low on inspiration, so I tried to find new ways of making some of my photography a bit more ‘powerful’. And I found a way! It’s called HDR photography (High Dynamic Range). Which basically means that you can merge several photo’s together to form a single photograph.

Exposure Bracketing

 So for instance; you merge 3 differently exposed pictures into a single photo. Now the first picture will be taken at a shutter speed of say 1/320 seconds, the second at 1/100 second, and the third at 1/20 sec.

This set of photo’s means you have one picture that is over underexposed, one picture taken at the right amount of light, and one that is under overexposed. Merging these photo’s together in a program like  HDR Pro (Adobe Photoshop Cs5/Cs6) gives you a single photo with a very high range of lighting.

These are the steps you need to take if you have Adobe Photoshop;

  1.   Open adobe bridge
  2.   Select the files you wish to merge
  3.   Select tools;
  4.   Select Photoshop>
  5.   Merge to HDR Pro
    1. When in HDR Pro you can adjust settings to make the picture exactly the way you want it.
    2. There are 3 presets;       Monochromatic, Photorealistic and Surrealistic (and many variations within these presets)

So the dark parts of a picture that would normally be vague and without detail can now become very detailed. Giving you a photo in which every part of the photograph has the same amount of detail.

Now there are many ways in which you can vary the settings and amount of detail shown in the final photo, so you can range all the way from surrealistically sharp shot, to an undetailed plastic like photograph.

Now this is a real quick introduction into HDR photography with a few example shots. But you can vary in many more ways than just exposure. For instance you can use ISO, F/ settings, White balance, Colour balance and many more ways of bracketing pictures together into a single HDR photograph.

One last tip; Shoot in RAW if possible, this gives you the best results.

Have fun experimenting!

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