Photos from a roadtrip, part 2

Photos from a roadtrip, part 2

Following from the latest post, here are some more pictures and thoughts on the late summer roadtrip.

As I mentioned previously, such photographic excursions are a great opportunity to try doing different things. Especially while setting out to the countryside, most people would think landscape, wildlife and, generally, nature-inspired photography. Instead, it's better to think of means of breaking out of a rut and challenging yourself. After all, you are in vacation; it makes no sense keep on doing what you do all year long.

In that sense, I decided to try my hand in some types of shooting I seldom do, or never seriously attempted before. One example is HDR.

I know, right? It takes proper post processing technique, not to mention good taste, to make HDR pictures that don't suck. I hope I didn't mess things up too badly...

One interesting thing was that almost all my HDR photos were taken handheld. Using the E-M1 I was able to shoot bracketed (usually 3 shots, sometimes 5) with no discernible blur whatsoever. This is the power of the IBIS; though I'll admit in most cases shutter speed was high enough, which helped a lot.

This is the only HDR-type photo, of a lonely barren tree amidst a forest of green ones, taken with the Fuji. With this I had to stabilize the camera somewhat and generally be more careful, but again didn't use a tripod.

Speaking of tripods, I had a small Gorilla pod with me; a real lifesaver and, in my opinion, a must-have for any photographer. I also brought my "standard" tripod, which is a cheap Hama one. I seldom use tripods, although I may be using them more in the future, which means I'll need a sturdy, lightweight one soon enough.

I needed to use a tripod while trying what I'll call "faux IR". Let me explain.
We all know that shooting true IR, one has to have a properly modified camera; plus, most probably, an IR-filter. What I used was only the latter. To make things more challenging, I shot with the Fuji, which is probably not the most suitable camera for such a task. Reason being, the X-Trans sensor.

Having twice the number of green pixels, which are used to gather only luminance information, resolution in an IR-setup is, theoretically at least, quite lowered. Still, I was quite satisfied with the results, and look forward doing more experiments in the future. Photos were converted to B&W and processed with Silver Efex Pro; shooting data can be found in the captions.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm f/2.8-4, 15sec, f/13, ISO 250

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm f/2.8-4, 10sec, f/10, ISO 200

A location I definitely wanted to visit was the famous Gorgopotamos (it means "rushing river" in Greek) bridge.

This site became a part of modern Greek history during WWII and the German occupation. On November 25, 1942, members of the Greek Resistance, in cooperation with British commandos blew up the bridge, effectively cutting mainland Greece in two and denying a vital supply line to the enemy. The bridge was later rebuilt but the area still remains a national monument.

I took some "regular" photos of the bridge, including one with three teen girls casually chatting while seating at the edge, about 150m above ground. Ah, youth knows no fear...

But, in fact, my purpose was to make some long exposure night photos of the place.

Astrophotography was out of the question, since the moon was very bright and there was considerable light pollution from the nearby monument site. So I tried to make use of the light sources I had, to create interesting shots.

I used the Fuji with the Samyang 8mm fisheye lens. You can see the captions for more detail; I used a tripod, of course, as well as a pocket torchlight to light-paint the faces of the pillars, up to a degree.

Fuji X-E2, Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye, f2.8, 25sec, ISO 400. The light at the left are from the moon, the one at the right is from the nearby monument site. Color processed in photoshop (saturation added).

Fuji X-E2, Samyang 8mm f/2.8 fisheye, f2.8, 25sec, ISO 1600. A different, monochromatic look

The last day of my trip, heading back to Athens, I had to make a detour to visit Delphi, as it had been several years since the last time. My time there coincided with golden hour; and golden hour is simply magical at the Navel of the World.

This concludes this essay. I really hope you enjoyed my photos as much as I enjoyed making them. But, more so, I hope this served as inspiration for your own similar photographic adventures.




My Fuji vs. Olympus catch-22

My Fuji vs. Olympus catch-22

Photos from a roadtrip, part 1

Photos from a roadtrip, part 1