Saturday, 26 January 2013

Snow seen into the sun

"Don't take photos directly into the sun" is something beginners to photography will often hear. With good reason - the exposure meter gets fooled, the subject ends up underexposed [correct me if I'm wrong here, Adthelad :)] and the result fails to please.

But if you know what you're doing and use a strong sun in a cloudless sky as part of your composition, and adjust exposure accordingly, you could be onto a winner. With fresh snow on the ground, back-lit by the sun's golden rays, you are shooting into fields of diamonds.

Today - for the first time in weeks, Warsaw enjoyed several hours of unbroken sunshine. It behoved me to drop everything, wrap up warm, take the cameras and head off for a 90 minute walk around Jeziorki.

Corner of ul. Achillesa and Nawłocka.

Looking down the line towards W-wa Jeziorki station

Ul. Dumki, with the Jeziorki wetlands - frozen over - to the right

The new retention pond between ul. Dumki and Trombity

Sunset at home. The day's now an hour longer than a month ago.
A gorgeous day to be out and about. I may have even returned with a suntan! Note how low the sun is in the sky - I set off just after midday.

All photos taken with Nikon D3200, ISO 100, 10-24mm zoom, polarising filter. The battery, which I charged last Saturday morning, packed up an hour into my walk (it has spent 15+ hours in sub-zero temperatures over the past week). I switched off the camera, popped the battery into my trouser pocket, and it returned to life within a few minutes, and was good for the rest of the journey. Nikon camera batteries are to be recommended. However, the battery meter on the D3200 is poor compared to the D80. The latter offers a five-bar graphic display as to battery life, along with detailed information in the menu as to the percentage of life left in it. The D3200 just has a three-bar graphic display and no detailed menu information. "What can you expect of an entry-level camera?" Nikon will reply. The cost of improving this is minimal, but the competitive edge it will offer compared to Canons and Sonys makes is worth implementing.

This time last year:
Warsaw - Ready For Winter

This time three years ago:
Łazienki park, glorious midwinter

This time four years ago:
At the Rampa - work stops

This time five years ago:
Polecamy MROŻONKI - old-school retail


AndrzejK said...

Good God. My old SLR from the seventies had the option of metering onto a small part of the view so as to be able to shoot subjects with a strong point source of light without underexposure.

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Andrzej K

So I hope it let you take some memorable photos :)

Spot metering requires a good appreciation of Ansel Adams' Zone System (ie you place the spot on an area that you want to come out neutral 18% grey). Not an ideal metering system unless you knew exactly what you were metering for.

Bob said...

Nice shots Michal