Here we are, ready to bid farewell to yet another year. Around the same time last December, I remember reminiscing back at 2013 and being horribly disappointed about how the year had turned out – both economy-wise and at a personal level. It certainly was an all-time low but the eternal optimist in me always knew that once you hit rock bottom, things can only get better.
Thankfully they did. For me, 2014 was certainly a much better year. It was a year of self reflection and new beginnings – both personally and professionally. I’ve managed to fulfill one of my life long dreams by driving across the US and I’ve made an important career move, which will present me with new challenges and opportunities in the new year. Most important of all, both my family and I are in good health. That’s certainly all one can ask for.
So let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, full of happiness and health for you and your loved ones. If 2014 didn’t treat you as well, then cheer up, aim high and let this year’s bad memories flow away, like water under the bridge. See you all in 2015!
Shot with my tripod mounted Canon 60D and my Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC HSM lens, at ISO 100, F13, at 2.5 secs using my B+W ND 3.0 filter.
Have you ever walked to a restaurant, only to find out that you have to swim back home? The restaurant in this picture belongs to the hotel we stayed at in Ngapali beach. It’s located just in front of the hotel, at the end of a long pier extending into the sea. Inconveniently, this restaurant (the “PVI” as it is known), closes at 9pm, so the latest reservation one can make is at 7pm. Getting there is a short walk, but at closing time the water tide floods the surrounding area, turning the inlet into a small island. Options are that you swim back, or wait for a shuttle boat to take you back to land. Quite the experience, but unfortunately the food there rates mediocre at best.
Shot handheld with my Canon 60D and Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OS lens, at ISO 800, F6.3 at 1/50 sec.
I love shooting still life pictures. The whole process is so much fun – from the creative thought, to setting up your equipment the right way, to experimenting over and over, to editing and making the final touches on the image…and all of that from the comfort of your own home.
My first successful still life picture was that of the Paint Splash which I had taken last April. Shortly there after, I decided to do a similar experiment, only this time attempt to freeze a water drop as it falls into a pool of water. Water drop pictures are in abundance – perhaps one might argue that this is by far the most popular still life photograph on the internet. Skipping therefore a big chunk of the creative thought process, I proceeded to set up my equipment out on my balcony. The ingredients for this shoot, were simply 2 tripods (one to hold the camera and one to hold a zip lock bag full of water), my off-camera flash, a black paint dish, a few coloured sheets of cardboard and my trusty camera remote trigger (see photo link of my entire setup).
The cardboard sheets play an important role in the whole recipe. The off-camera flash is aimed directly at the cardboard, so the sheet’s colour will dictate the colour cast of the entire image. For this experiment, I tried with red, lime green and blue, but in my opinion the blue one came out best.
Shot with my Canon 60D and Canon 100mm F2.8 prime macro lens at ISO 100, F11, 1/250 sec.
Off to Burma next week, for a full week’s worth of work. In anticipation of my upcoming trip, I decided to quickly scan through my photo archive from my last visit. As I was going through the archive, this picture jumped out at me. I wish I could say that this was taken by a war time photographer some 70 odd years ago. This unfortunately was taken last September during my day tour in the old capital city of Yangon (Rangoon). Hard to imagine that this was 2012 and that children still live in these conditions.
Taken with my Canon 60D and Canon 24-70 F2.8L lens, at ISO 200, F2.8, 1/500 sec. B&W conversion done in Lightroom 5 using Silver Efex Pro 2.
Back from what seemed like a short vacation, where I had a great time catching up with old friends and enjoying large quantities of Asian food. My biggest confession from this trip is that I did exactly the opposite of what I said I would in my previous post. I did go overboard with my spending on camera accessories, and didn’t spend enough time walking out and about with my camera. I did manage to capture a couple of decent shots (stay tuned), but my camera didn’t get anywhere near the amount of use it usually gets on my vacation trips. In hindsight, I fell into the trap of believing that my creativity would be hindered due to the fact that my surroundings were so familiar to me – a struggle which I constantly and wrongfully face in Cyprus as well.
Today I decided to post another old time favourite. This is a picture of a young boy gazing into the water at Niagara on the Lake in Canada, taken back in August 2008.
Shot with my Canon Rebel XTi and Sigma F3.5-6.3 18-200mm lens, at ISO 200, F10, 1/125sec. B&W conversion processed in Photoshop.