Photo Project 365

This is a photo blog focused on but not limited to study of composition and tonal relations in photographs.

It is a continuation my Project 365 from 2010 a moderately successful attempt to make and publish one photography each day for one year.

The Project lost it's steam somewhere half along the way and this place became a depository of my more satisfying photos.

Click photos to enlarge.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

D 34 - Milk Monster


This is why I'm still so excited with my new Pentacon lens.


E-510 with Pentacon 3.5 30. Flash with softbox, window on sunny day on the right hand side of the frame.

What I learned

I'm getting better at using automatic metering for fill flash. But it still is instinctive guessing not sound knowledge.
Any ideas about something to read about that?

D 33 - Crouching tiger

"Nysa" van half buried under the snow on a monitored parking lot. It haunted me for a week or so, because I can see it from my window lit at night.
The guard there told me that it is actually up and running and even has LPG installation. The owner wants some thousand polish zloty (about €200) for it.

This post is late, because yesterday my connection was down and I forgot to reset the router afterwards until today morning.


E-510 with my new shiny and pretty Pentacon 3.5 30.

What I learned

At night I'd probably have to get f:1/1.4 lens to shoot sharp photos at ISO 800 hand-held. My E-510 has ISO 1600 setting but the level of noise makes it next to useless. I must take a tripod with me every time I plan to soot after dark.
I might on the other hand buy a monopod and use it also as a walking crane. I'd kill people with brutal remarks concerning their life and death and pretend I'm House MD.

Talking to people while you are out there making photos can get you a long way. This was always somewhat hard for me. I preferred to concentrate on the camera and stay invisible.
But some time ago I realized that a good photograph of a scene involving people should make the camera (and the man behind it) not a spectator but a participant of the scene. Just like when we watch a scene through our own eyes, we are a part of the scene as well. And other people around instinctively react to us, get out of the way, briefly look at the cameraman and such.
That is the right way to go. This makes the photographed scenes authentic.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

D 32 - Where are you DDR?

Hahaha! My new 25-or-so-years old lens has just arrived today. East German Pentacon 35mm f:1/3.5. It may not be in mint condition but it was quite cheap and works just fine in my collection on 'standard prime' vacant position.
And just look what it can do!


E-510 with Pentacon 3.5/30, flash with softbox and some "studio" lighting setup. I just love to work in my studio. Such a comfort and professional touch.

What I learned

They used to make such a good equipment in the old days. Not plastic-on-plastic like modern amateur class lenses or cameras. I'm glad they did. Autofocus is fun and useful and DSLRs have such a tiny viewfinders (especially Olympus) but still old manual lenses are a bergain for their picture and build quality.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

D 31 - Better in square

I'm still finding new subjects in my apartment.


E-510 with ZD1442, built in flash.

What I learned

I always took pride in how I always use manual or at worst aperture priority, in how I know my camera and it's functions and so I can use them for creative purposes. Today I was taught wrong. Not by the book I got, not by anyone in person or on the internet.

No. I just wanted to check how exposure compensation and flash exposure compensation work together depending on certain menu setting and accidentally saw a comment on how exposure compensation works with manual setting.

Nothing much, but I always used manual flash settings in manual shooting mode and it never crossed my mind that the camera can automatically compensate the strength to adjust to chosen aperture and shutter settings. I rarely managed to hit the right flash power to expose correctly. Going on automatic flash exposure will make my life a lot easier at most times. Although I know that occasionally I will still want to make sure that the flash goes of at minimum power for example.

Bottom line: Read your manuals and then go back to them wherever you have a chance. Maybe my Olympus E-510 is no EOS-1D but it still was regarded as having by far the best customization options and additional functions for its class. And an unclear menu to add to that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

D 30 - Misty

Foggy day outside, ill child inside. I'll have to postpone my decision to go out with the camera more.

I noticed that I always use contrast adjustments on my RAW files to increase the output contrast. So I tried to go for something different this time.


E-510 with Helios 44-4.

What I learned

This photo was done hand-held with window glass as a support but the ISO had to be high. It comes out that perhaps even more than with high contrast, low contrast photographs must be done with low ISO to minimize the noise.

I was kindly instructed how to upload larger photos to Picasa and then shrink them when embedding in blog. So now you can click the photo to see four times bigger photo in Picasa.

Monday, January 18, 2010

D 29 - The art of maroon

I got this e-book that says my photography can be better, see. It says that I need to work on making my eye see and by brain compose. It says that there are points, lines, areas and edges that really count in photography. It's got Don't panic! written on the cover exercises to put the theoretical concepts into practice.
It told me to photograph stones or rocks. I don't have any! I got walnuts and chestnuts.


E-510 with Helios 44-4 hand-held, softbox for built in flash, sheet of white A4 paper and smaller sheet of aluminum foil as reflectors, LED light in my mobile phone.
I set the whole thing up in a corner of a sill with paper sheet on the right and aluminum on the left. I had to edit out some of the aluminum foil in Lightroom, because it was partially visible as a darker area (what a precision of reflecting surface setup!) in the upper right corner.

What I learned

Reflected light is a treasure to be deeply studied. Composition is the basic building brick of photography. To the point that having mastered it one can make great photos without much of an interesting subject.
You'll likely to hear me complaining for those exercises some more. I plan to improve my workshop with the book: Photography the art of composition.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

D 28 - Just make it quick

Today I wanted to do something fun and witty. I came up with this idea for stylizing an egg for a kamikaze with a nasty grin and putting it into my microwave. But my skills of egg-decoration failed and the photos were just stupid. Nevertheless the inside of a typical oven presents itself quite interesting if you don't listen to the mistress of the house yelling at you, how dare you show people that her oven is not squeaky clean.


E-510 with ZD1442.

What I learned

Trying to make a planned photo is just as fun as achieving a satisfying result.

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