Colmar: immensely beautiful

Colmar is indeed a beautiful place. I had the pleasure of visiting Colmar in August 2013 – In addition to the Pinot Gris and Muscat, Alsace is famous for the Gewurztraminer wines which are a must try wines.

live to move it

Very often, when you are looking through the photos of a place you want to visit, they appear a bit brighter than the place itself when you finally there. Photographers use filters and sophisticated means to make their works if not a piece of art but at least simply look better. I cannot argue, their works are catchy, but sometimes too far away from reality. In that sense, Colmar is exactly the same as when you see it on all the artistic pictures. It is bright and beautiful without any filters and colors’ amplification. Blossoming flowers, sweet gingerbread houses and lively channels… Total awesomeness!

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Rim-lit Bottle and Glass.

There are many subjects that I want to tackle at some point and this is one of them:-

A rim-lit bottle and glass – but I wasn’t sure of the best way of achieving it. I was flicking through this book looking for inspiration (not necessarily looking to fulfil this ambition):-

Photos that sell Lee frost.

when I came across the answer, or at least one answer (page 176), I decided to get to work. Lee Frost recommends a large backlight with a strip of black material covering the middle; I used a bit of black card instead as my black material was too heavy but I think that I achieved a pleasing result – here is my set up:-

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I have blinds in my studio and so I pulled them all down. Lee describes using “a couple of bottles of decent full-bodied plonk (knowing the contents would have to be consumed afterwards)”, I cheated; I used blackcurrant squash, and a cheap one at that! I didn’t drink the squash afterwards – it only has to look the part right?

I did take a light reading but this was only a ball-park figure as the light meter will give me a mid-tone (18% grey for those who need more detail) but I knew that I was dealing with extremes of the spectrum and not mid ranges – I tried various exposures around me metered reading until I was happy. Aperture was set at f16 so that I had sufficient depth of field and adjusted the strength of the octibox and flash head to get my exposure. I then tried a selection of compositions – the ones that I have shown are the ones that I was happiest with.

Post processing consisted of fiddling with contrast, saturation and exposure in Lightroom – I like to selectively sharpen my images so that large swathes of one colour, in this case black, don’t end up generating digital noise. I also made sure that I had absolute black when appropriate, for the same reason. I output my files from Lightroom as TIFFS in case I want to edit further in Photoshop.

I decided to try then as monochome images too; again I was pleased with the results:-

I created monochrome images in Nik Silver Efex pro. I gave each a different treatment; one has a sepia effect, anther a cool blue tone whilst the other two are black and white.

It is not that easy to see the subtle changes in treatment here but they can be seen in greater detail in my My 500px Fine Art Gallery here (the colour versions are there too).