Social Experiment

So I have started an experiment. It is said that the way you get followers in the social media world is by being consistent and only showing your best work. I have had a 500px account for some years. I have used it to showcase all kinds of projects I work with. So it turns out to be a little like my Instagram profile. I have some shots that I have a lot, for me, attention on. And I have a lot of shots there is hardly any attention on. in my very humble (maybe not so) opinion a lot of the photographers that get way more attention for their shots are not necessary producing images that is so much better than mine.
So I have started the project – Called Scratch. I deleted my 500px account. I have then created a new one, the goal is to only present my best landscape photos there. And only that genre of images. Everything else I shoot; wilde-life, portraits, street, architecture etc will have to be shown off somewhere else.
If this works as I hope I will be doing the same thing with Instagram. Dividing up in categories. One for landscapes, one for wilde-life, one for portraits, etc….
That way I can at least experience that I get max feedback on my work, and that it falls into the categories that generate followers. In the long run we will have to see if this impacts my ability to sell more prints.

The visiting ducks

I was out at sunset to shoot reflection and autumn colours at a lake in the forest nearby of the city I live in. When I was shooting landscapes the ducks came really close to the shore and I used the chance to take some photos of them real close with wide angle lens as well as taking a little movie of them.

Duck wide angle

 

Duck II

 

I got some nice landscape shots that day as well, so all in all it was a good experience.

 

Autumn fire

Most days life is grey

Most days are exactly what you make them. There is nothing really remarkable happening. It is only you who have the opportunity to make them differentiate from other days. It is only you who can see the beauty in the day when most just see same old.
It was a grey day. It was flat light, it was no particular waves, it was no particular wind, the clouds where high.
My thought was to use the motion on the waves hitting the beach. It didn’t become spectacular, it became better than okay.
Maybe not as grey as grey.
motions

Focus on process

In this blog I have tried to focus on the process behind creating my visual expressions. I want to offer a bit deeper insight in to how I work.

I see myself as an artist using photography as a medium to express what I want to express. In this lies the concept that taking the photos isn’t where the art starts.

Art starts with inspiration and ideas.

An idea gives me the ability to create a concept. With this in mind I plan the elements I want to include in the expression or expressions of the concept.

As I work with nature, I cannot always decide to the specific how I want it to be, I can decide what I want to show.  Be it motions in water, be it distorted water, be it wind, be it stillness, reflections etc.

When working with the concept or sketch as we could call it i decide the elements I want to have added in. Rocks, waves, piers, sea planes, what kind of light, what kind of absence of light, all the elements.

Based on the inspirations I then go to my surroundings or the area I want to use for visualizing this  sketch. I choose the lens, the camera, the filters, etc I have pre-decided upon that I need for the look I want to create.

When working with transferring from sketch to visiualisation or image, I work dedicated and focused. I work on finding the elements I need and use them active.

The result that you can study in a frame on your wall is the result of a process where the idea was created and transformed. The process, the thought behind and the execution of it are part of the art, not just the end result. Audience that appreciates the artistic process will be able to get a deeper experience from art.

As i work with nature I may have several projects running, as I am not the master of my surroundings. So I can switch between projects. If not I will force myself to think outside the box, how can I without the “perfect” conditions still create what I imagined.

When I work to shoot the photo, it is important to me to be able to create as close to perfect exposure with the camera. Not that  modern editing tools do not offer great features. But my experience tell me that if the shot is not optimal it is often hard to make it optimal. I have higher requirements for myself and therefor I do not settle for OK. I think the photos are like music, louder the better or larger the better, and then it falls trough if the quality isn’t there.

So after shooting I import the shots into my computer, I am first importing them as files and then I am adding the files to a secondary location. I use external hard drives as well as cloud storage. After this I import one of the external drives into Adobe Lightroom on my computer, I add tags to the shots and import it into the program. I go trough to look after the ones I like the most. I edit them first with a “Spot removal tone curve”. I remove the spots left there by my camera. Then i adjust horizons, cut out the shot I want, then change contrasts, use predefined presets to achieve different enhancements I want. Use graduated filters and other things.

I present photos on the net, mostly on either https://500px.com/lhegdal , Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hegdal.net/ or my website http://hegdal.net

When it comes to printing them, a whole new area of knowledge gets in. I can cover some of my knowledge around that area another time.

 

 

Baybysteps II

Well I have inspired myself. I liked the video of simplicity I made last time. So I have made more, and they are much like the earlier once rather simple. This is on of the tide rising, and trough the film it rises just about an inch.

 

Inspired

Yesterday I found a book in the store that I for once felt resonated with me. There are many books about photography, but I do not experience that to many of them focus on the kind of photography I do. This book does, it also added some cool ideas I will work with in the future.

The book is called “Moodscapes” and is written by Rebekka Gudleifsdottir.

IMG_5264

 

The book gives a history of her photography, suggestions what she thinks is important, a view into her methodology and art. I found it to be a great read and read all trough it the same evening.

Another inspiration has been the photo I called “Sunset III” and published on 500px Monday got for me an all time high 96.9 with almost 1300 views

Sunset III by Leif Egil Hegdal

When I was sitting at my daytime job today and looked outside the window to see the clear blue sky and the sun shining I knew I had to take an early day off. I would love to live off photography, but until that day, I earn most money doing IT Consulting work. Well I left 1,5 hours earlier then original planned.

I decided to go to the Naturism beach at Bygdøy, because it offers a bit different micro terrain then the place I was at Sunday. When I was in the Army some 20 years ago, I learned that the micro terrain was the small hills, stone and bushes that was in front of you, and that they could offer good coverage if I knew how to use them. As a photographer I am trying to use this as a foreground on my photos.

When I came the sun stood still high on the sky so I did some other / different shots.

First one with the sun in my back

17mm / 13s / f/11 / ISO 50

And then one more or less directly to the sun

16mm / 1/13s / f/18 / ISO 50

After a while the sun went down behind the horizon and the real nice light illuminated the landscape.

16mm / 30s / f/13 / ISO 50
16mm / 33s / f/16 / ISO 50

 

I am pleased with the two last photos. However I experienced that I raised the bar today and required more perfectionism from myself. It was hard finding a position that I was really happy with. However the fact that it is difficult and challenging continues to inspire me. If all photos you took where sublime, then anyone could do it and no one could make this a living.

 

 

Blue hour – an artistic expression

During this autumn I have had and will continue to have a reoccurring theme in my photos.

“Blue Hour”

The Blue hour explained at wikipedia.com

The blue hour is the period of twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. This effect is caused by the relative diffusibility of short blue wavelengths of light versus the longer red wavelengths.

To me the time in the evening is especially appealing as the light faints and the blue gets stronger, from a faint colour until a dominant one. It is also represents a shift in nature, the birds act different, the fish often goes closer to land, the wind often looses some of it’s strength.

Some nights are full of motions,

other nights are calm and cold.

Shades get longer, there is little representation of sunlight, except in the beginning a faint line in the horizon.

Another fascination of me is that I am often close to being totally alone at these times. From a nature view it is an amazing sight that happens outside our homes. Another more modern representation of the shift in nature. People leave and nature itself takes over and shapes the landscapes without the interaction with humans for hours each night.

It is however not just by the sea that the blue hour impacts the landscape.

 

My style of showing the uniqueness of this time is trough photography and the strong usage of long exposures. Typically landscapes with low ISO, low aperture, and thereby longer shutter speed.

I am hoping to touch people to see and want to explore this time of the day more then what is done today. As well as to show my experience of natures beauty.