The unholy alliance part 2

I finally got the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6! She’s a beauty, isn’t she?

So this is the second lens in the team, and it’s an ultrawide. At the widest end, the field of view is 109º. That’s just crazy! It’s so wide you actually have to watch your feet to make sure they aren’t in the shot.

It’s not the sharpest nor the fastest DX ultrawide, but it’s very light and compact, and it was half the price of the equivalent Nikon. It will also autofocus on my D40, which most third party lenses don’t. I’m also rather impressed with the build quality, it feels very solid and the zoom/focus wheels are nice and smooth.

I still haven’t taken it out to christen it, so watch this space!

 

Views of Stockholm

One thing that always annoyed me about Stockholm was that I just couldn’t find any good places to take a good panorama of the city. Well I found them! Views from Stadshustornet and Katarinahissensbro are provided below for your viewing pleasure.

Like the last one? I’ve been using the long end of my [Dad’s] 28-200 mm a lot more. The Nikon 55-300 mm is looking awfully tasty right now. I guess that will have to wait until the Sigma 10-20 mm joins the family though.

 

Igelbäcken sunrise

Over the midsommar weekend I ended up partaking in an epic online multiplayer zombie apocalypse survival gaming session. We were playing Day Z, an Arma II mod that is all the rage in PC gaming circles at the moment (and is also extremely good). But anyway, when we finally stopped playing at around 3 AM I could see that the sun was just starting to approach the horizon, and since my mind was still awake from killing all those Zombies I figured it was worth popping across the road to the nature reserve with my camera stuff.

I’m glad I did, as I was treated to some excellent conditions. Mist, blue skies, yellow plant things, and some awesome light!

Svensk natur

Just a few recent photos of the Swedish countryside. The first one is from Igelbäcken nature reserve near my place in Tensta, and the others are from Roslagsleden hiking trail.

It turns out that taking nice photos in a forest is actually rather difficult. Forests are so cluttered, that when you reduce it all to a 2D image it’s hard for your eye to know what to concentrate on. You literally can’t see the forest for the trees! It seems to be even more important that usual to find strong, simple compositions, to help the viewer make sense of it all.

Sverige är ett riktigt vackert land!

Körsbärsblommor i Kungsträdgården

It’s cherry blossom time in Kungsträdgården! I swooped down there after work, and funny enough the place was full of other ‘togs snapping away and waving around their big lenses. I guess I’d have to get up pretty early to photograph this stuff without people in the frame.

Yet more Stockholm

Last weekend I decided to have another go at shooting the Stockholm waterfront at sunrise. Clear skies were forecast, and indeed they were very clear… apart from the small group of clouds on the horizon to block sun! So, no pretty sunrise for me, but since I’d already gotten up early I took some shots anyway.

I’ve been playing around with making black and white photos lately. It can be a good way to get a nice image when you don’t have much colour around. The photo of Gamla Stan from Stadhuset was pretty boring colour-wise, but I think it looks much better in black and white where the shapes become important instead.

San Francisco

I went to San Francisco to attend Photonics West 2012. San Francisco is awesome! It is also fantastic city to photograph, with bridges, tall buildings, pretty buildings, mist, and hills. I also had a great view from my hotel room on the 11th floor looking over Union Square. Here are some of the shots I got.

More icy Edsviken

I’m quite pleased with how this one turned out. It was a very overcast day and I thought my chances of catching a good sunset were pretty small, but when I looked off my balcony at about an hour before sunset and I could see a gap in the clouds near the horizon, so I thought it was worth a chance. When I got round to the East side of the lake the sky looked like it wasn’t going to do anything interesting, but once the sun went down part of the sky turned a lovely bright red for about 5 minutes.

Unfortunately the red was really quite localised in a small part of the sky, but with a bit of processing I was able to saturate more of the sky and its reflection in the lake. This image was in fact heavily processed (it is a HDR merge of three exposures). Also, since it was windy and my camera doesn’t have auto bracketing there was quite a bit of ghosting in the sky, but I think I managed to hide it with some motion blur.

By the way the foreground patterns are ice, and bits of snow on the ice (not waves). Walking home I was quite annoyed that I couldn’t find any rocks or such to use as foreground elements, but this worked out much better!