I’m Beatrice. In this blog post I want to present you my photographic achievements of this evening. After some cold and rainy days the sun finally showed up again, which is why I couldn’t bear staying inside my apartment any longer. In the warm evening sun I went for a walk with my camera , right through my area in the city. While doing so I noticed once again that the grayness of the winter has finally been replaced by the wonderful summer’s green of the trees and flowers. At the end of the walk I also experienced the blue hour, which I love in particular.
For street walks I always carry a very handy lens with me which has both a wide-angle and a small zoom range – the SIGMA DC 17-50mm 1:2:8 lens. Besides that it also covers the perfect focal length for portrait photography. With that lens I’m perfectly equipped for all coincidences that can happen in street photography. Thanks to its wide and consistent open aperture taking pictures in the evening is no problem even with worse lighting conditions.
Shooting in the evening has one great advantage: The sun doesn’t shine as intensively but it illuminates the surroundings in an atmospheric diffraction and makes the shadows less harsh.
Like Tamara I’m a great fan of an open aperture. I’m too much addicted to the wonderful shallow depth of field that it offers, which is why I close the aperture any further only very rarely. However, if like in my case you experience the blue hour and the sun has already set, leaving a shining evening sky bathing in blue light, I can recommend a further closed aperture to capture this atmosphere even better.
Playing with subjects
The most important thing is – open your eyes! When starting my photo walks I often don’t know myself on which things I want to focus. I like the small things without which some things would be missing but which do not immediately catch the eye. Today it was the many plants that caught my eye. Not only the ones that are obvious and that grow on big bushes, trees and small grassy areas in between the streets, but also the reflections of trees, textile flowers in shopping windows, heart-shaped petals on the ground or dandelions growing between the asphalt and the wall of a building. It’s often worth glimpsing through an open door of a house with a clear view to hidden inner courtyards. Very often they also hide a green paradise. Have you ever thought about how many plants there actually are in an urban area?
Concerning perspective I also think that diversity makes photos more interesting. When I take photos of beautiful flowers I love getting as close to the subject as the lens allows. Because of the open aperture the background gets blurred, which makes the subject even sharper for the eye in the picture. However, in the city in particular, there are so many special structures, so it would be a pity to omit those. That’s why I usually take a few steps further back from my subject when there’s a nice background. I change the perspective when I feel like it, and I often shoot from a frontal perspective with my camera pointing straight forward or down from above. If, for example, I like to take a picture of a plant on the ground, I sometimes put my camera on the sidewalk. By doing so, I can still see parts of the street in the foreground on which I also focus quite often. Then the plant itself is very blurred. But if the colors in the background match well, this particular method often makes the picture look a lot more interesting.
At the end of this post I’d like to tell you one of my favorite Photoshop tricks:
In general I don’t edit the colors provided by the surroundings, at all or only very little. I prefer them in a natural way. That’s why it’s even more important for me to make the main subject more brilliant. To do this, there’s a very simple tool on the bar to the left of the image: the Dodge tool which looks like a magnifying glass. With this tool I cover the areas of my photo that need to be emphasized with a low opacity level. It’s little effort – but a great effect.
I hope that you liked my blog post! And maybe you’ll also notice the many gorgeous plants that surround you in the city even more now.
All the best,