Dereliction at Holstvollen – part two

As mentioned in my previous post I headed out to an abandoned farm just outside Trondheim with the goal of using all the lenses in my bag. I had worked my way through some of the more infrequently used (at least for me) and was ready for my workhorse lenses.

The workshop instructors had shown us some interesting photos around repeating patterns, and as I looked up on the barn wall, I saw that there were a lot of triangles to be seen.

Repeating triangles
Repeating triangles – Canon 70-200mm at 140mm

I also found an owl in the wall…

Owl in the wall - Canon 100mm macro
Owl in the wall – Canon 100mm macro

And as usual (at least for this workshop) I found that some of the photos could be combined into new and interesting photos during post processing…

End wood
End wood
Abandoned window
Abandoned window

As I look through the photos, I see that none of the photos taken with my 24-105 workhorse lens survived the cut… Maybe I didn’t fully explore its creative potential? Maybe I have used it so much that I cannot see through it in new ways?





Dereliction at Holstvollen – part one

Just outside Trondheim lies a small farm called Holstvollen. It has been abandoned for some time, and although it is sad to see the farm in its current conditions, the dereliction gives a lot of photographic opportunities.

One of my sad photographic habits is to put a lens on the camera and stay with it, so when I headed to Holstvollen as part of a workshop (same workshop as my unexpected cricket and mud walking posts are from) I set myself the goal of using all the lenses I had in my bag.

First I started out using my 24mm f/1.4. I really like this lens for its shallow depth of field, something that is hard to get on a normal wide angle (such as a 17-40 f/4 or a 16-35 f/2.8). The contrast between the flowers in the foreground and the decaying bench and wall in the background piqued my interest, and after some work I managed to find a satisfying composition.

Decay and renewal
Decay and renewal – Canon 24mm f/1.4 wide open

The next lens I picked out from my bag was the Canon 8-15 mm fish eye. Here I found a part of an old wall that looked exactly like a snake eye or alternately two windows giving birth to a wall section…

The snake eye
The snake eye – Canon 8-15mm f/4 at 8mm

Note how you can see the entire wall in the photo (both ground and sky as well as both corners…)

Another fascinating wall was found in a portal, where the abandoned dirt made for intriguing patterns…

Abandoned dirt - Canon 8-15mm at 8 mm.
Abandoned dirt – Canon 8-15mm at 8 mm

As with the previous photos from the workshop, some of the photos didn’t really come through until in post-production. I was able to combine two photos taken with a 17-40 f/4 and a 100mm f/2.8 macro into a rough photo of an abandoned stove.

Pailing paint - 100mm f/2.8 macro
Peeling paint – 100mm f/2.8 macro
Stove - Canon 17-40mm f/4 at 40 mm
Stove – Canon 17-40mm f/4 at 40 mm
Abandoned stove
Abandoned stove

I was now half-way through my bag, and it was time to pick up some of my more frequently used lenses. More on that in a later post.




Walking in the mud

A few months back I attended a photo workshop. We had some classroom training, and then were sent out into the forest with tasks to complete. The first assignment was “Mud”. After a few “safe shots” just to have something to show for my efforts, I started working on what I had visualized in my mind: A dirty, gritty photo of a boot walking in the mud.

The first couple of tries didn’t go to well:

Another early attempt
An early attempt
An early attempt
Another early attempt

I was not happy with the look nor the composition of these two (and all the others), so I decided to try something else.

Yet another try
Yet another try

Here, I was more happy with the composition, and decided to work on something else until we started post-production.

After some more photography in the nearby stream we went back and started working with the post production. My first action was to convert it to black and white:

Converted to black and white
Converted to black and white

I still wasn’t really happy with it, so I left it alone for a while and worked on some other photos. As I was working on my unexpected cricket, I came across this multi-exposure I had taken down by the river:

6 images of a stone in the river merged into one in camera.
6 images of a stone in the river merged into one in the camera.

And this is where I have difficulty explaining my thought process. From somewhere deep in the back of my mind, I recognized that if I converted this to black and white and rotated it, it could make a nice enhancement to my mud-photo above.

Converted to black and white and given a blue tint
Converted to black and white and given a blue tint

I opened them in Photoshop and merged them, and voila!! Just the gritty, rough photo I had in mind when I started…

Walking in mud
Walking in mud

The process took quite a few unexpected turns along the way, and had I not kept an open mind, I doubt that I would have found the final result… Especially since this was not a preplanned process, but more of a experimentation.

And in case you were wondering what my “safe shot” was, I took some photos of a “valley” in the mud, knowing that if I converted to black and white and gave it some depth of field, it would look somewhat similar to a fjord with a beach…

A miniatyre fjord
A miniature fjord


The Unexpected Cricket

It has been a while, I know… And it is not because I have lost interest, far from it. Things have been really hectic at work, so there has been little time for blogging. However I hope that I will get back to more regular blogging during the summer 🙂

Over the past years, I have worked hard to master the technical aspects of photography. However, I know that I still have a lot to learn about seeing and about photography as a creative process. So when I got the chance to learn more about the creative process, I grabbed the opportunity.

Creativity is hard work, and one of the afternoons was spent in a small stream close by where we were to explore the possibilities of flowing water.

I came home with hundreds of photos of flowing water…

A lot of flowing water...
A lot of flowing water…

I started to sort through them, and found some that I could use:

An early capture of flowing water...
An early capture of flowing water…

However, I didn’t really feel that it had the “it” quality I was looking for. So I kept looking:

More flowing water
More flowing water

This one looked a bit better, but still I felt I was not quite where I wanted to be. So I tried to open it in Photoshop instead where I converted it to duotone and then inverted it. And there, suddenly I saw it…

A cricket seeking shelter from the storm...
A cricket seeking shelter from the storm…

Can you see it?

Another topic for the workshop was “Mud”. I will write more on that in a later post.